Estropia, left, is joined by her brother, Danuel, and mother,
and Danuel Estropia
Throughout their childhoods, Danuel and Veronica Estropia came to
campus to visit their mother, an administrative assistant in the
Loans and Receivables Office. She often gave them tasks to perform,
such as filing, to give them a taste of work life.
seems to have had a positive effect on them. Years later, both joined
their mother, Lillian, as campus employees.
“I was so familiar
with the campus from such an early age, it just seems very natural
to work here,” said Danuel, fundraising stewardship manager for
the College of Engineering, of why he followed in his mother’s footsteps.
“I tried working at other places, like the Financial District, but
they didn’t fit my style.”
Veronica, a database
manager at the Haas School of Business, saw how the stability and
benefits of her mother’s job helped their family. When she got married
and started having children of her own, Veronica wanted to give
her family the same kind of support.
on campus — Lillian in Universty Hall, Danuel in McLaughlin Hall
and Veronica up at Haas — has many advantages, the Estropias said.
all work in finance-related fields, they sometimes call each other
for advice. Veronica and Danuel, both Oakland residents, carpool
together. And mother, son and daughter often meet for lunch to talk
about work and family life.
“It’s a great
time for us to visit and catch up on what’s going on in each of
our lives,” said Lillian. “And it’s so convenient since we’re all
“If I need help
with childcare or need a ride, I always have my mom or brother to
fall back on,” said Veronica, who is currently expecting another
child. “It gives me an extra sense of security.”
clan on campus extends beyond Lillian, Danuel and Veronica — there
are also cousins, nieces and inlaws who work at Berkeley.
the university seems to be an Estropia family trait: Lillian is
coming up on her 27th year in Loans and Receivables; Danuel celebrates
10 years on campus this fall; Veronica is beginning year number
“I’m a lifer,”
said Danuel. “I was almost lured by the dot-com rush a couple years
back, but I like it here. I’ll be here for a while.”
Hinkly, left, and her daughter, Brenna, both work for the School
of Public Health. Noah
Diane Hinkly knew her 23-year-old daughter Brenna was miserable
at her former job at a pet supply company but felt cautious about
mentioning an open position in the School of Public Health, where
“We are very
close, but I also wanted her to feel independent,” said Diane, manager
of the school’s epidemiology division. “I was concerned I might
Brenna had similar
likes to protect me,” Brenna said of her mother. “I wanted to make
sure it was a job where I had room to make my own mistakes, without
her jumping in to save me.
Their fears were
the job as an administrative assistant in the school’s facilities
management unit in early 2000, Brenna has excelled on the job, and
done it all on her own.
Diane is proud
of what Brenna, 24, has accomplished — handling front-desk reception
for a bustling customer service center — and she delights in seeing
her daughter grow professionally.
“I can view her
not just as a daughter, but as a working adult,” said Diane. “Most
parents aren’t given this vantage point with their children.”
They get together
almost daily for lunch. Brenna likes to escape the busy climate
of her office for a bite to eat in her mom’s more quiet environs.
I work with said she likes watching us interact and admires our
relationship,” said Diane. “She said she hopes that when her young
daughter grows up, they have the same kind of close connection.”
and Shirley Price
Price, left, is a role model for her daughter, Cyndi Dunn.
During her 17 years on campus, Shirley Price, payroll manager for
the Electronics Research Lab in Cory Hall, has earned a reputation
for being hardworking, knowledgeable and courteous — traits for
which her daughter Cyndi would like to be known as well.
“I’ve tried to
follow in her footsteps,” said Cyndi, who’s worked on campus for
two years as a project assistant for the Labor Occupational Health
Program. “She’s leading a good path for me.”
Cyndi was determined
not to use her mom’s help in getting a job on campus. After applying
for jobs for nearly 10 years, she finally landed a position.
“She’s made such
progress all on her own,” said Cyndi, whose mom was a single parent.
“I want to be a success story just like her.”
streak notwithstanding, Cyndi knows she can learn a lot from her
mother’s institutional memory, which reaches back nearly two decades.
“I give her tips
on how to navigate Berkeley’s bureaucracy, what kind of situations
to avoid and how to approach problems,” said Shirley. “I’ve also
told her that the key to getting things done is being respectful
and considerate toward others. And she’s doing well at this.“
Much of this
educational exchange takes place during their daily commute to and
from campus with Cyndi’s three-year-old daughter.
“I’ll have a
work-related question for mom on the way home,” said Cyndi, “and
by the next morning, I’m able to implement what she’s told me.”
all this talk of the campus will rub off on her young granddaughter.
“I’m thinking that maybe she’ll want to attend Berkeley when she
grows up. And who knows, she may be the next generation to work