Outstanding Staff Awards
The 2020-2021 Outstanding Staff Award Winners!
Interim Associate Registrar - University Scheduling, Office of the Registrar
Michele Kekaha is recognized for her expertise and for making herself available any time, any day to ensure faculty, staff and students encounter a seamless class registration process. During her nearly 14 years on campus, Kekaha has become the “go to” expert on PeopleSoft Student Administration modules and the campus Master Calendar. Always looking to streamline processes and make systems more user friendly, Kekaha trains department schedulers and advisors on 25 Live, Schedule Builder and CLSS (Course Leaf Section Scheduler) scheduling software systems. She is a member of multiple campus working groups, including the University Strike Team, a hand-selected group of key employees seeking to improve and increase lecture space for additional course offerings to benefit students’ time to progress toward degree. She launched Cal Poly’s Master Calendar tool, 25Live, which dramatically expanded campus space accessibility and availability for events. She implemented the new class scheduling tool CLSS, replacing a much more cumbersome process. Kekaha took over the task of first-year block scheduling, which creates schedules for all 4,500-plus first-time freshmen their first year at Cal Poly. “If asked, she will drop what she is going to help you with any project,” said a colleague.
Michele Kekaha earned a B.S. degree in agricultural business with a concentration in marketing from Cal Poly 2002 in and a master’s in agriculture with a specialization in recreation, parks and tourism management from Cal Poly in 2014.
Executive Director, Emergency Management Public Safety
Anthony Knight is credited with leading a highly effective team to plan and coordinate Cal Poly’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He is known for thinking and planning ahead, qualities that served him well as he began monitoring the pandemic in the middle of January 2020. In March, he fully activated the Emergency Operations Center, working countless hours to steer efforts in planning and responding to the pandemic. This included the creation of myriad task forces to: provide virtual learning and technology support; develop isolation and quarantine plans; conduct COVID testing; create a distribution strategy to provide personal protective equipment to faculty, staff and students; determine how employees can safely return to work; support the county’s alternate care site at the ASI Recreation Center; and consult with other universities on best practices. Throughout the pandemic, Knight coordinated with San Luis Obispo County and the state on response strategies. “Since day one, he has performed selfless acts of assistance to ensure all members of our department are supported in anything they need, regardless of whether it is related to emergency management. He makes sure that Public Safety and the campus have whatever.
Anthony Knight is a graduate of the National Emergency Management Executive Academy and U.S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Arnia
Operations Manager - Catering Concessions and Mobile Food Concepts, Campus Dining
Cynthia Stocker is described as a dedicated, loyal, highly productive staff member with a willingness to assist anyone in need. Early in 2020, while she was overseeing catering, food trucks and concessions, the department recorded its highest sales and best customer-service ratings ever. Then COVID hit, literally canceling all events. Stocker had to quickly pivot to create a system to feed COVID-positive students in quarantine and isolation. She and her team personally delivered meals, making students feeling comfortable and helping them understand the process. Her empathy often translated into late hours to ensure students in isolation had the nutrition they needed, regardless of the time of day. At the peak of students in isolation, Stocker worked seven days a week to prepare and deliver meals. “She frequently returned to campus after heading home to make sure students had meals for that evening,” said a colleague. “She stepped up at a most needed time and has proved what it means to be Cal Poly Proud,” said another. Stocker plays a major role in some of the biggest events on campus, such as Evening of Green and Gold, WOW, and commencement, working collectively with a wide range of people to deliver great events and experienc.
Cynthia Stocker earned a B.S. degree in home economics from Cal Poly in 1988.