Great People Events

Thank you to everyone who submitted to the Great People Events Contest. We received 77 applications and were amazed at the amount, variety and creativity of your on-campus events to celebrate the UCSF Community. After a review process which included the assistance of a Selection Committee we’re ready to announce the winners.

The winners are:

Human Library
Joanna Kang, data science and marketing coordinator, Library

“What I would like to do is create a space where members from all over the huge UCSF community can have meaningful, genuine, and respectful conversations with each other,” said Kang.

“A key component of this event is that it is completely voluntary so folks are coming in with the mindset to want to share and learn.” Kang said UCSF storytellers will share their experience of hardship and triumph, and participants can ask questions to encourage a dialogue and spark connection that inspires a sense of community. “The library intends on continuing to offer opportunities to strengthen the UCSF community with events and programs like the Human Library.”

Popsicle Pop Up
Heidi Truman, orthotist, Department of Orthopedic Surgery

Truman said she was delighted to learn her idea to host a popsicle pushcart was chosen. She will distribute popsicles to faculty, staff and trainees at the Mission Bay Hospital. “The impact is to provide a ray of joy into everyone’s day, and in their work area. A popsicle makes you pause, enjoy a fleeting pleasure, and reflect on what a good moment it is to be present. A popsicle might be the highlight of someone’s day, and keeps people happy to be part of the UCSF family.”

“This started as a wild idea, but UCSF has ways of turning those into reality,” Truman said. “Little things can mean a lot in making someone’s day. I entered on a whim, and I’m excited to turn it into a real event!”

Underrepresented in Medicine Student & Staff Dinner
Shakkaura Kemet, second-year medical student

For Kemet, the competition provided an opportunity to build on her vision of creating an opportunity to connect staff of color with faculty and students of color with an appreciation event.

“There are so many students of color who have experienced unsolicited kindness from the staff of color on campus. There were faculty of color too who spoke to me about how much they treasure the moments in which they connected with staff at UCSF through simple greetings in the halls of the hospital. Everyone I spoke to wished they knew the people had shown them such kindness better.”

Expanded C.A.R.E. (Culture of Appreciation, Resiliency and Excellence) Day
Kathleen Grusenski, project manager, Volunteer & Guest Services (and BCHO C.A.R.E. Committee)

Sandra Kistler, an infection control practitioner at the UCSF Medical Center Mount Zion Campus, is a member of the C.A.R.E. Committee which promotes a culture of appreciation, resiliency, and excellence. The committee has developed its annual C.A.R.E. Day at the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, which is similar to a mini wellness conference with breakout sessions.

“C.A.R.E. Day gives employees the opportunity to interact with other staff members across all departments and levels,” she said. “We have noticed while bringing people together from all levels of the organization provides a safe space for interactions, that may be unavailable in a typical work environment.”

Kistler said working with CLS Wellness & Community will allow the C.A.R.E. Committee to expand the idea to employees from Mount Zion, Parnassus, and all UCSF satellite locations. “Our goal of engaging staff and providing a day of respite will remain the same. The annual C.A.R.E. Days have contributed to a culture of greater inclusion and we look forward to bringing this experience to a wider audience.”

Women’s Day: Celebrating Women at UCSF
Nerissa Ko, professor of neurology (and Committee on the Status of Women)

Nerissa Ko, MD, professor of neurology, and other members of the UCSF Committee on the Status of Women were exploring ideas for a campus-wide celebration of the contributions of women at the university. They saw an opportunity to develop their idea in the new competition.

“We have partnered with women’s groups at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center and Mission Bay, but as small volunteer groups, we struggle with outreach and engagement in our vast multi-site campus. The Great People Events Contest gave us the support to expand our vision.”


•Contest is open to UCSF faculty, staff, trainees and students
•One entry per Great People Event idea
•Events must be on campus, and only for UCSF faculty, staff, trainees and/or students
•Events and event attendees must adhere to all UCSF policies
•Provide as much detail about your event idea as you want (all winners will have Wellness & Community’s help with event planning).


Contest entry period is open July 9th to August 17th. All entries must be received by the August 17th deadline.

A review committee will choose five (5) Great People Event winners. All winners will be notified no later than November 1st. All contest winners will work with a member of Wellness & Community to plan events. Events will be held before July 2019.

Contest Entry

The contest entry period closed on August 17th. Stay tuned for the announcement of winners this fall.


Q. Who can enter?
A. Any member of the UCSF community can submit an Great People Event idea: faculty, staff, trainees and students.

Q. How are the winning event ideas chosen?
A. Events will be chosen by a selection committee. Entries will be evaluated for impact, target population, budget, creativity and feasibility. The selection committee will aim for a diverse mix of events.

Q. How will Wellness & Community be involved in planning the winning event ideas?
A. A Wellness & Community team member will partner with winners to ensure the success of their event idea by determining the best location, time and event structure, as well as helping with communication to ensure optimal attendance. As needed, on-site event support will also be available.

Q. How are Great People Events funded?
A. Wellness & Community has a yearly budget for events that build community at UCSF. This year we are piloting a new approach where event ideas are dreamed up BY the UCSF community FOR the UCSF community, rather than by our team.