Arceta Named OR STAR

More than two dozen staff were recognized at a Northwestern Research appreciation event

By Roger AndersonJuly 12, 2018

Arriving on the Chicago campus before dawn isn’t unusual for Mark Arceta, a group leader at the Center for Comparative Medicine (CCM), an integral part of Northwestern’s research enterprise that is dedicated to animal care .

Arceta has worked more than 2,000 shifts during a 12.5-year career at CCM, but the morning of May 20 stood out. Just three hours prior to a 6 a.m. start, Arceta was asleep and had planned on spending his Sunday at home. Then the phone rang. A colleague who was scheduled to work that day had an emergency and the team needed coverage fast.

“Mark stepped in on very short notice to guide staff, support animal safety, and help oversee the numerous research studies taking place,” said Jay Walsh, vice president for research, during the June 14 OR STAR (Staff Team Award Recognition). Arceta was honored for his efforts on June 14 with the summer 2018 OR STAR (Staff Team Award Recognition) Leadership Award.

“Being recognized as an OR STAR awardee means a lot,” said Arceta, who was born in the Philippines and came to the United States with his parents at the age of 20. “It has always been an honor for me to work here with my CCM colleagues.”

CCM is a core service, teaching, and training unit of Northwestern Research dedicated to supporting humane animal care and use in research and education. The center provides quality animal care, and promotes animal welfare and regulatory compliance through efficient operations and positive collaborations with faculty, students, and staff.

Arceta began working at CCM in 2005 and was quickly promoted to animal care technician. After many years of experience, he became a group leader. Along the way, Arceta has earned numerous certifications, most recently completing the Institute for Laboratory Animal Management program at the American Association for Laboratory Animal Science.

“Mark is the epitome of what any employer wants and needs in their staff,” said

Tamra Whittenberg, manager of CCM’s husbandry operations. “He gives maximum effort every day, acknowledges how important the research is, and recognizes that we at CCM are a big part of the University’s research mission. He is compassionate both to the animals and the staff he is responsible for guiding, going above and beyond expectations daily.”

During June’s event, Walsh recognized Arceta as well as 10 other OR STAR Award nominees whose accomplishments earned distinction. They were: Jerome Aviles, CCM; Liz Barajas, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC); Edem Bassey, Information Technology; Ryan Brooks, CCM; Julie Cowan, Communications; Karen Davis; Cindi Mason, Safety; Megan McConnell, Development; Bruce Roberts, IACUC; and Larry Sklar, Information Technology.

OR STAR was designed to recognize Northwestern Research employees who demonstrate leadership and support Research goals to achieve excellence at all levels. Nominees reflect the University’s values and promote a workplace culture that embraces collegiality, communication, compliance, customer focus, efficiency, and planning. The OR STAR Award includes a $300 cash prize.

Additional Honors

Research staff nominated for a Northwestern Service Excellence Award during the second quarter of the year were:

  • Peter Anderson, Financial Planning
  • Karen Davis, Office for Research
  • Johanna Fisher, Research Safety
  • Cindi Mason, Research Safety
  • Tanikka Mitchell, Sponsored Research
  • Steven Moyano, Information Technology
  • Avi Neurohr, Information Technology
  • Larry Sklar, Information Technology
  • Jennifer Thennes, Sponsored Research

June’s event also recognized staff members who were celebrating service milestones:

Five-year anniversaries

  • Brett Berg, Research Safety
  • Brandon Greene, Sponsored Research
  • Ted Smith, University Research Institute and Center Administration

Ten-year anniversaries

  • Roberto Arceta, CCM
  • Steve Matz, Facilities & Planning

Fifteen-year anniversaries

  • Steve Acuna, Information Technology
  • Timothy Weber, CCM

Twenty-year anniversaries

  • Steven Harris, CCM