Published: Nov. 7, 2018

The annual Chancellor’s Employee of the Year Award is presented to CU Boulder staff in recognition of and appreciation for exceptional job performance and remarkable contributions to the campus community.

Recipients of this distinguished award join a rich heritage of past awardees who display outstanding performance, inspired leadership, extraordinary service to the campus and community and exceptional interpersonal skills. 

CU Boulder is filled with passionate and dedicated individuals who, day in and day out, shape tomorrow’s leaders, inspire innovation and positively impact humanity. Congratulations to the 2018 award recipients: Rosa Hernandez, Sarah Miller, Jonathan B. Sibray and Sharon Van Boven.

The award recipients will be honored at a private reception with Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano and guests. 

Rosa Hernandez

Rosa HernandezHernandez is a custodial supervisor in Housing Facilities Services-Environmental Services. For over 23 years, she has committed to providing and teaching time-honored traditions and skills of custodial work with extraordinary passion. She can often be found working alongside her team members, or by herself, demonstrating the belief that as a leader she should set the example—and she sets the bar high.

Throughout her tenure she has led teams in every resident hall on campus, including Family Housing. When her team was recently given the monumental task of ensuring a welcoming, safe and clean environment in the Center for Community, Hernandez instantly began to walk the building and establish a plan. She started her shift early and set to stripping floors, cleaning carpets and scrubbing grout alongside her team. Even when complete, she started the process again because she believed she could “get them a little cleaner for our customers” and that “everything is for our students.” 

Members of the campus community continuously acknowledge Hernandez and her team for the pride they demonstrate daily in their work.

Hernandez is recognized for her “spirit of pure excellence” and is described by those that know her as working with heart and passion day-in and day-out. Those trained and developed by Hernandez are recognized for their ability to demonstrate the highest quality of custodial methods and techniques. Through her extraordinary leadership and mentorship, four members of her frontline team have promoted into leadership roles. She often speaks of her love of the university and students. Perhaps one of her proudest moments in her long career is when her daughter, now a sophomore, became a CU student. 

Sarah Miller

Sarah MillerMiller is the assistant dean for diversity and inclusion in the College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS). Her extraordinary leadership and vision serve as a model for broadening the participation and inclusion of underrepresented voices in the college, and supporting access to CU for under-supported populations. Highlights of Miller’s impact include: 

  • Leading the extraordinary team in the Broadening Opportunity through Leadership and Diversity (BOLD) Center that was honored this year by the Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity (CoNECD) as Program of the Year
  • Serving as Principal Investigator on a National Science Foundation grant to help improve calculus preparation of prospective transfer students in collaboration with community colleges, and providing new pathways for these students to pursue science, technology, engineering and math education at CU.
  • Expanding the GoldShirt Program to over 50 new students per year, which supports motivated and talented students who need additional math, science or humanities preparation before diving into the full undergraduate engineering curriculum.
  • Creating “Spring Break for Research” which provides early opportunity for undergraduate students to participate in research alongside faculty and graduate students

Most notably, Miller is recognized for her willingness to take on new challenges and go beyond her day-to-day responsibilities to support teaching and research in STEM education. 

Jonathan B. Sibray

Jonathan SibraySibray is the senior director of information technology in the CU Law School. Described as a change catalyst, he is highly regarded for creating and supporting an environment which encourages individuals to proactively find ways to improve teaching, administrative processes and public engagement through technology. Highlights of Sibray’s technological innovations include: 

  • Creating and implementing a secure desktop solution for clinical education programs to solve how students could safely and ethically use personal hardware for clinic-related work given changes in today’s technology
  • Collaborating with law school admissions to design a data-driven email campaign to provide outreach to underrepresented perspective students
  • Developing a grading application for faculty to create efficiency in the grading process, and a new course scheduling software that eliminates the need to create course schedules by hand 
  • Overseeing the complex technological needs when hosting national and international events, including:
  • The United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues event for the Tenth Anniversary of the Adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples 
  • Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Hearings that are being held on campus and for the first time outside of Washington, D.C.

Sibray is recognized for his passion in working with others to improve technology literacy. 

Sharon Van Boven

Sharon Van BovenVan Boven is the program coordinator in the Department of Theatre & Dance. She is highly regarded for her ability to understand the big picture while managing the smallest of details.

Van Boven served as the primary coordinator for the Northwest Region American College Dance Association (ACDA) festival in early 2018. Held on campus for the first time in more than a decade, the festival drew over 500 students and faculty to CU Boulder. For this extraordinary event, she oversaw a complex schedule of programming that included the creation of five adjudicated concerts, four days of guest artist classes, a faculty reception and the closing gala and dance.

Van Boven is described as being warm, gracious and an “ambassador for the arts, our students and CU.” One undergraduate student shared that she “always seems like she actually cares about the students and wants them to succeed.” She is recognized for having an indelible mark on the lives of students, faculty and staff, and for making the day-to-day operations of her department efficient, cooperative and full of mirth.