Chemistry Achievement Prize winners named

July 20, 2015

Joel Adlen and Doris Kaeo

Joel Adlen, Faculty Support Administrator in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, is one of two recipients of the Chemistry Achievement Prize. A returning member of UC Berkeley's staff, Joel was nominated by Elena Lunt, a fellow FSA in CBE.

Elena cited Joel's knowledge and resourcefulness as being a valuable asset in the construction, testing and implementation of the college-wide Chemistry Complex Building Access project. "He took initiative to collaborate with the creator of the system to make sure that all the glitches were addressed and staff had proper training.

Joel also took on the role of liaison, collecting feedback that he could synthesize for easy transfer to the key system programmer." Formerly on the staff in the College of Natural Resources, Joel took a 15-year break from UC Berkeley and weathered the dot com boom and bust, as well as a long stint at Levi Strauss. When describing his return to Berkeley, Joel says "Working in private industry gave me the perspective to see systems and processes in different ways. I like to view a situation from the bottom up. In doing so, I can often gain a point of view that leads to a quicker understanding and, hopefully, a good solution to any problems."

An award-winning theatrical librettist and lyricist, Joel also enjoys spending time with his pug, Wilbur, and a recently adopted rescue dog, Belle.

Doris Kaeo, receptionist for the College of Chemistry, was nominated for the CAP award by Geralyn Unterberg, the Dean's Analyst for Academic Personnel. Geralyn cited Doris' outstanding work ethic, her ability to establish professional relationships with on-and off-campus entities and her unique and welcoming style.

Reacting to a serious water leak that flooded the dean's office, Geralyn wrote that "Doris was able to quickly order the furniture that the dean needed for his renovated office by setting up arrangements with the vendors for payment and delivery within two days." Geralyn's nomination also noted Doris' assistance to Esayas Kelkile in ordering the chairs needed for the PDP move to the 4th floor of Latimer, working with Mike Brateng on processing a rush order for the renovation of a professor's lab and ably serving as the dean's decision-maker on constant requests for use of 775 Tan Hall.

Before coming to the College of Chemistry in 2006 as a purchasing officer, Doris was employed in a variety of places, including an optometry clinic, a baby products manufacturer, a data com company, AT&T and Pacific Telephone. But one constant was that she was always in the field of customer service, even if that was not her official title.

"As a college graduate in history, I was naturally able to work with a wide variety of people," Doris says. "Whether in person or over the phone, I have always been able to deal with people from all walks of life, from all backgrounds and at all levels of education. Research has been an important part of my own education and my work experience, so this prepares me well for my job in the college."

Indeed, during this interview, Doris helped to locate a piece of equipment stored in a college lab that needed to be inventoried by a staff member from another College.

When she is not on her 2 ½ hour commute, Doris enjoys cooking, baking and her family, which includes her husband, a son, a daughter and son-in-law, a four-year-old grandson and a granddaughter expected this fall.