If you walked past the Civil Engineering building in October 2019, you might have seen a table full of pizza surrounded by adoptable puppies.
That wasn’t just a campus party -- it was the first time the College of Engineering held a fundraiser for UA Cares, the University of Arizona’s giving initiative. The campaign begins in October each year and provides UA employees with the opportunity to support an area of the university, the United Way of Tucson or any other nonprofit. The “Lunch for Paws” fundraiser brought in more than $800 for the Pima Animal Care Center, or PACC, and all the puppies found homes within three days.
Engineering Research Administration Services, or ERAS, hosted the fundraiser, and the effort was spearheaded by Tiffany Gregory, a senior research administrator who has been with the College of Engineering since 2017 and with the university since 2013.
“I love working for the University of Arizona, I love our campus, and I love Tucson,” Gregory said. “It’s kind of a no-brainer for me: If you love where you’re at, from time to time, you’ve got to give back.”
The college raised $3,300 in 2018, but thanks to increased efforts and some cuddly puppies, that amount grew by 60% in 2019, to just over $5,500. This year, fundraising efforts will be limited due to COVID-19 -- no pizza and puppies outside Civil Engineering, for example. So the program, which kicked off on Oct. 1., will be relying more heavily on pledges. Through the UA Cares tile in UAccess Employee, faculty and staff can easily pledge to support causes including the Employee Emergency Fund, to offer relief to fellow Wildcats.
As a UA employee herself, Gregory is well aware that, with furloughs and other hardships facing the university community, it’s a hard time to ask for giving.
“We should look at it as even more of a reason to give,” she said. “These campus programs and nonprofits in the community need our help now more than ever. I am confident that the College of Engineering community will step up to show their love and support.”
Donations aren’t limited to the Employee Emergency Fund, either. Faculty and staff can raise money for a number of causes that are near and dear to their hearts. For ERAS last year, that meant raising money for PACC. After her son’s father passed away in late 2019, Gregory decided to support Tu Nitido, a local nonprofit that supports children and families who are grieving.
Rising Star Recognition
While Gregory was dedicating many lunch hours, breaks and evenings to fundraising, her efforts didn’t go unnoticed. At the end-of-season celebration for UA Cares in early 2020, the team recognized her with the Rising Star Award. The honor is given to a new ambassador in celebration of outstanding service, participation and donor engagement.
“Tiffany did a fantastic job in spreading awareness of the UA Cares campaign,” said Karla Morales, director of the Office of Multicultural Advancement. “With unending enthusiasm and creativity, she was able to increase the participation, enhance the awareness in her department and campus-wide, and bring folks out of the woodwork who haven’t ever participated in UA Cares.”
Jeff Goldberg, former dean of the college and former interim senior vice president for academic affairs and provost also received the Community Champion Award for his dedication to helping Tucsonans in need.
If you’re interested in getting involved with the 2020-2021 UA Cares campaign for the College of Engineering, contact Tiffany Gregory by email or call 520-621-3354.