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Karen, Executive Assistant

By UCR Jobs

Karen Springer

Turkeys!  My family’s holiday celebrations begin with lots and lots of turkeys.  Our church serves over 4,000 meals on Thanksgiving Day to families throughout Riverside.  In the days leading up to the holiday, I cook turkeys, my husband delivers them to our church, and my husband and daughter work either throughout the day carving turkeys or on the overnight shift boiling and mashing hundreds of pounds of potatoes through Thanksgiving morning.

After Thanksgiving, we quickly shift gears to begin gathering gifts for the children at an orphanage in Tijuana, Siempre Para Los Ninos, that we hold very dear to our hearts. My husband and brother-in-law are part of a wonderful Christmas celebration each year as they help deliver the gifts to the children.  We also purchase items to place in backpacks that we help hand out to people on skid row in the heart of downtown Los Angeles through our church’s program called Jackets for Jesus.

We are of the Christian faith and celebrate the birth of Christ by attending church together on Christmas Eve. On Christmas day, we gather together with extended family, exchange gifts, and sing traditional Christmas carols.  My brother-in-law plays the guitar and leads the singing. Our celebration would not be complete without a trip to downtown Riverside to gaze at the Festival of Lights at the Mission Inn.

Last year, we started a new holiday tradition.  Our family attended a holiday choral concert performed by the UCR Chamber Singers and UCR Choral Society — it was phenomenal!  I got to share with my children the most incredible music – the choral works of Menotti, Vivaldi, Handel, and so much more! That’s one of the things that I like best about working at UCR — the way that being here touches and enriches so many parts of my life and the lives of my family members.  My oldest daughter, who dreams of becoming an Entomologist, and I have attended lectures on campus regarding the amazing research and discoveries that have been made at UCR regarding bees.  My teenage daughter has taken free photography workshops at the California Museum of Photography through UCR ARTSblock programs in downtown Riverside.  My husband and I enjoy the Botanic gardens on campus (40 acres worth!) and attend the plant sales in the fall and spring – the flower beds around our home are living proof of that!  My youngest son has Asperger’s Syndrome — a condition found on the Autism spectrum.  UCR has a Family Autism Resource Center through the Graduate School of Education called SEARCH which we can and have used as a resource.

I feel so blessed to be a part of UC Riverside.  The opportunities for growth and enrichment for me and my family are endless.  I am both proud and humbled to be a part of an institution that brings so much good into the world.

Karen Springer
Executive Assistant
Finance and Business Operations


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