Default LEAD

Latino Excellence and Achievement Awards Dinner

The Latino Excellence and Achievement Awards Dinner (LEAD) honors key leaders, graduate students, staff and faculty who support and champion student success and research excellence in the Hispanic/Latinx community at UCI and in Orange County. The Latino Excellence and Achievement Awards was the inspiration of PhD in Education graduate Verónica Ahumada Newhart, who believed the time had arrived to celebrate the accomplishments of UCI’s Latinx community.

LEAD Awards

GRADUATE STUDENT AWARDS

LEAD Heather Lee Echeverria

Heather Lee Echeverria

Claire Trevor School of the Arts | Graduate Student Excellence Award

Heather Lee Echeverria is a first generation Latina and the proud daughter of two Mexican immigrants. She is a MFA Acting Candidate at The Claire Trevor School of the Arts.  She also recently graduated from CTSA’s undergraduate program with Honors in Acting (2020). Throughout her time in the Drama Department, she has participated in many productions including: Plumas Negras, Silent Sky, The Comedy of Errors, When We Were Young and Unafraid, and most recently, Rebecca Oaxaca Lays Down a Bunt.

Although she has dedicated her studies to developing her acting skills, one of the highlights of her time here is her involvement in Brown Bag Theatre Company (BBTC). Brown Bag Theatre Company is UCI’s one and only Latine theater company on campus dedicated to producing, creating and engaging with Latine theater. As a proud member for almost 6 years, Heather has been an actor, a director, a writer, a producer and many other roles in various BBTC productions. She served as the artistic director of the company in her final year as an undergraduate and now proudly serves as the graduate mentor. As a graduate mentor, she is passionate about giving young Latine undergraduate students the guidance they may need to be successful in the UCI Drama environment.

Through her work with BBTC, she has discovered the great need for Latine storytelling in the theater and film. She hopes to continue to amplify the stories of her community throughout the rest of her time at UCI and in her career in the arts. To quote her first ever BBTC production and a BBTC original play, Quebrando El Silencio, “Because the stories of mi gente deserve to be heard.”

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LEAD Tiffany Batarseh

Tiffany Batarseh

School of Biological Sciences | Excellence in Research Award

Tiffany Batarseh is a 6th year Ph.D. candidate in Dr. Brandon Gaut’s lab in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. As a NSF Graduate Research Fellow and, most recently, UC President’s Dissertation Year Fellow, she studies bacterial evolution using both experimental and bioinformatic techniques. Through experimental techniques, Tiffany studied the genetic basis and effects of evolutionary rescue. This work was published in Genome Biology and Evolution. and was subsequently selected by the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution for the 2021 Best Graduate Student Paper Award. Tiffany has also leveraged and expanded on a large-scale evolution experiment previously conducted in the Gaut lab by performing a second phase of evolution that seeks to investigate the effects of evolutionary history on future adaptive potential. Additionally, Tiffany is interested in the genomic evolution of bacteria in response to host-pathogen interactions and studies this through comparative genomics. The hope is that these approaches will identify both the genomic changes that underlie pathogen adaptation and candidate gene targets for pest management. Prior to her graduate studies, Tiffany attended El Camino Community College before transferring to UC Irvine where she received her B.S. in Biological Sciences. As an undergraduate, Tiffany conducted research as an NIH MARC scholar studying antibiotic resistant bacteria from environmental sources and was awarded for her research presentations at the 2015 ABRCMS and 2016 AAAS national conferences. As a low-income, first generation college student born to two immigrant parents, Tiffany was aware of and disappointed by the discrepancy and inequity in access to education from an early age. Toward that end, Tiffany is committed to giving back and serving the community at each step of her career. She has worked with the Minority Sciences Program at UCI and has mentored 6 undergraduate students, each with their own independent research project in her lab. Additionally, Tiffany served as a founding member of the Anti-Racism, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion working group, which is now a recognized council in the EEB department. After receiving her Ph.D., Tiffany will join Dr. Britt Koskella’s lab at UC Berkeley as a postdoctoral researcher with the goals of becoming a faculty member with her own research group at a R1 university.

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LEAD Maria-Teresa-Carmier

Maria Teresa Carmier

Paul Merage School of Business | Leadership Award

Maria Teresa Carmier is the daughter of Teresa Villalobos and Walter Carmier Jr and mother to Nathan Rey and Evan Rey. She is an a/r/tographist (artist-educator-researcher) who received her BA in Fine Arts from Mount Saint Mary's University-Los Angeles. She was awarded a W.M. Keck Foundation research appointment to perform research on Feminist zine Artists in Los Angeles and New York. This work inspired her to facilitate children's zine workshops at local elementary schools. Noticing an art access gap in her communities, she co-founded and led The Saturday School project, an experiential informal art school situated in South Central Los Angeles. There she provided students and community members with art lessons and media use experimentation for free.

After retiring the project, she then applied and was accepted to the Paul Merage School of Business to pursue a specialty master's program in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The summer before entering graduate school, Maria Teresa was selected for two group shows at Palos Verde Art Center in Palos Verde, California, and Super Chief Gallery in New York City. She recently founded Unii (pronounced OO-knee) Learning Labs, a multicultural and multilingual parent company creating products that empower language exploration and mastery through creativity and play. She is also a research assistant for Dr. Tonya Williams-Bradford, exploring wealth in Black in Brown communities. She is the VP of Marketing and Events for the Merage Black Management Association and The President of the Association of Latino Professionals for America UCI chapter. She also runs a small business with her mother supporting other women-centered small brands with their business development expansion projects. A force to be reckoned with, Maria Teresa Carmier is on a mission to create magic to propel the world forward.

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LEAD Melina Pinales

Melina Pinales

School of Education | Graduate Student Excellence Award

Melina Pinales is the child of Mexican immigrants and a Ph.D. Candidate in the School of Education at UCI specializing in Educational Policy and Social Context. Utilizing both quantitative and mixed methodologies, her research interests are geared towards evaluating programs and discovering best practices in the education of children from diverse ethnic, linguistic, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds to address policy reform, specifically in early childhood and K-3 educational settings. She has an ongoing collaboration with the Santa Ana Unified School District where she assists in evaluating the implementation and effectiveness of different educational programs aimed at improving the academic performance of Latino and Spanish-speaking students. She is a Gates Millennium Scholar, has been awarded the prestigious Eugene-Cota Robles Fellowship in support of her doctoral studies, and is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

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LEAD Karen Leonor Lopez

Karen Leonor Lopez

The Henry Samueli School of Engineering | Graduate Student Excellence Award

Karen Leonor Lopez is a first-generation Latina and a second-year PhD student in the department of Biomedical Engineering. She is the first in her family to apply and be accepted into a Ph.D. program, and the first woman in her family to study engineering. As an undergraduate at San Jose State University, she received the NSF-funded California State University Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) award as well as the Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) award, which financially supported her research. She also had active roles in programs such as the Jay Pinson STEM Program and CommUniverCity which focused their efforts in educating underrepresented students in the local San Jose schools.

In her first year as a graduate student, she took an active role in the BME Diversity and Inclusion Task Force with the goal of improving the mental health of her fellow graduate students during COVID. During her second year, she was appointed Treasurer of the Graduate Association of Biomedical Engineering Students (GABES). As treasurer, she helped plan, advertise, and host multiple community- building events for the graduate students in the BME Department. Additionally, with the funding and support from GABES and the BME Department she created and managed the BME PrePair Mentorship Program. This was a quarter-long program designed to match current students with incoming graduate students with the purpose of creating a sense of community and improving interdepartmental connections. Apart from her academic extracurriculars, she has also volunteered in community outreach events such as IUSD’s Ask-A-Scientist Night, the IUSD Career Conference, and as a Judge in the 41st Annual IUSD Science Fair. Her goals for the remainder of the time at UCI include rebuilding the sense of community in the BME Department post COVID and continuing her research at the Digman Lab.

LEAD Dan Bustillo

Dan Bustillo

School of Humanities | Graduate Student Excellence Award

Dan Bustillo (they/them; elle/elles) is a scholar, workshop facilitator, penpal, and friend. Their research focuses on trans Latinx activists’ strategic mis/use of media to challenge a variety of borders (carceral, national, and digital borders of belonging). Bustillo is also part of artist collectives, community projects, and queer and trans youth mentorship programs.

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LEAD Richard Martinez

Richard Martinez

Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Science | Graduate Student Excellence Award

Richard Martinez is a 4th year graduate student in Informatics. He works in the Games+Learning+Society (GLS) Lab under professor Kurt Squire and Constance Steinkuhler’s guidance. Richard studies and builds immersive experiences for youth with mobile and wearable systems. His current focus is on AR enabled eyewear and understanding designs and interactions that youth value through participatory design. He aims to continue dissertation work with youth at Homeboy Industries and include non-traditional perspectives into the design of emerging technologies. Richard hopes to give back to Latin communities through technology and technology design. He believes that technology has the potential to democratize opportunity for those who have typically been left on the margins. He bases these ideals on what he has learned directly from his community mentors and Father Greg Boyle of Homeboy Industries.

LEAD Jessica Santiago

Jessica Santiago

School of Law | Leadership Award

Jessica Michelle Santiago is the daughter of Mexican immigrants. As the first in her family to navigate the educational system in the United States, she is proud to be an example for her two younger siblings and a mentor to pre-law and law school students. Jessica attended UC Irvine where she graduated cum laude and received her bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Criminology, Law, and Society. Through the UCI Law Immigrant Rights Clinic and Small Business & Startup Clinic, Jessica has secured the release of individuals in immigration detention, filed asylum and u-visa applications, and has represented minority entrepreneurs in forming their businesses. Jessica has held several leadership positions at UCI Law, including serving as the Co-Chair for the Latinx Law Student Association and the First Generation Professionals, Associate Editor for the UCI Law Review, Vice-Chair with the Mexican American Bar Association, and is a member of the Young Lawyers Committee with the Latina Lawyers Bar Association.

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LEAD Cindy Yanez

Cindy Yañez

School of Physical Sciences | Graduate Student Excellence Award

Cindy Yañez is a third year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Earth System Science (ESS). She graduated from UC Riverside with a BS in Physics in 2019. Her academic career in the earth system science field began when she analyzed how climate change would impact her hometown, the Coachella Valley in California, which has a predominantly Latino population. Cindy’s first publication reported that increasing temperatures in the already extreme desert climate would have a devastating effect on the local economy, specifically the tourism industry. Her recent work aims to map fine scale spatial patterns of fossil fuel carbon dioxide emissions in order to support decarbonization efforts. She works to communicate climate change research to those most at risk and enjoys engaging community scientists in her research. She is the current graduate student representative of her department and plans inclusive social and academic events to support ESS graduate students. Her research is funded by the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program and by the UC Lab Fees Research Program.

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LEAD Omar Pérez Figueroa

Omar Pérez Figueroa

School of Social Ecology | Graduate Student Excellence Award

Omar Pérez Figueroa is a Doctoral Candidate and a Ford Dissertation Fellow in the Urban Planning and Public Policy Program at UCI. Omar graduated cum laude in 2010 with a Bachelor of Social Sciences from the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras. One year after completing his undergraduate studies, he obtained the Truman Foundation scholarship that he used to complete a master's degree in Water, Interdisciplinary Analysis, and Sustainable Management from the University of Barcelona. He has worked with diverse communities and l international governments, both local and international, and with private corporations. His research interests focus on understanding how community-based movements and marginalized communities address environmental inequalities, focusing on water issues. Additionally, he has presented his research to diverse audiences, including government officials, politicians, United Nations officials, and K-12 students. His most recent project focuses on community aqueducts in Puerto Rico and how they understand water governance problems and resilience in the face of disasters and extreme weather events. The National Academy of Sciences funds this project. Finally, Omar is committed to increasing representation in academia of graduate Latino/Latina/Latinx students, especially from the Caribbean.

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LEAD Estéfani Marín

Estéfani Marín

School of Social Sciences | Graduate Student Excellence Award

Estéfani Marín is a fifth-year PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology in the School of Social Sciences. Her work centers on how Latino/a/x and Asian American families generate and transmit educational resources. Estéfani’s research amplifies how siblings who are often overlooked in research but are present in day-to-day life provide support in the transition to young adulthood. Her work has been funded by UC MEXUS and the Social Science Research Council. Estéfani’sexperiences as the eldest of nine, daughter of Mexican immigrants, and first-generation college students inform her research agenda and service. One way she supports the academic trajectories of diverse students is through mentoring. From 2018-2020, she was a mentor for UCI’s Educational Community and Doctoral Experience Program (DECADE). In this work, she was committed to sharing unsaid information out loud and demystifying the "hidden curriculum" of graduate school. From 2019-2021, she mentored 30 low-income and first-gen UCI students through DECADE's undergraduate student program. She worked with students weekly both on a group and one-on-one basis to enhance their time management, studying, and networking skills. She is currently serving as a mentor for UCI’s Chicano Latino Staff Association Mentorship Program. Through her research and service, she seeks to support the educational trajectories of historically marginalized students.

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JenniferYonan Headshot E1648054353649 214x300, UCI Office of Inclusive Excellence

Jennifer Yonan

Susan and Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences – School of Medicine | Excellence in Research and Health for the Latino Community Award

Jennifer Yonan is a Ph.D. candidate in the lab of Dr. Oswald Steward in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology. Her dissertation research aims to understand how alterations to neuronal growth and morphology can influence circuit connectivity and function in the adult brain. Her work has important implications for neurological disorders like epilepsy. Jennifer’s work has been funded by an NIH T32 Epilepsy Training grant and an NIH R01 Diversity Supplemental grant. As a graduate student, Jennifer enthusiastically mentors undergraduates from the Minority Science Programs’ Bridges to Baccalaureate at UCI. As a first generation American of Mexican and Assyrian parents and the first of her family to pursue an advanced degree, she finds joy in passing on the same support, encouragement, and guidance that she has received over the years. Additionally, Jennifer is on UCI’s Brews and Brains leadership team, a science communication group that aims to bring the exciting research of our University’s trainees to the greater Orange County community. Jennifer’s long-term goals are to eventually transition to independence as a researcher in the Neuroscience field and continue her efforts to increase diversity in science.

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LEAD Jorge Montes

Jorge Montes

Susan and Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences – Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing | Graduate Student Excellence Award

Jorge Montes received his bachelor’s degree in history at UCLA. Prior to returning to school to pursue his master’s degree in nursing, Montes was in the education world. During the previous eight years Montes was a high school world history teacher in South Los Angeles and loved it very much. His greatest pleasure as a teacher came from working directly with, serving, and advocating for his community. Ultimately, Montes decided to pursue nursing because it was his childhood passion. What Montes loves very much is that he will continue to work with and serve the community, albeit in a different field. He realizes that his passions lie in advocating for and bridging greater access to resources for our most vulnerable populations and he very much looks forward to doing that in his capacity as a nurse. After obtaining his MSN degree Montes plans on working at the bedside before returning to school with the ultimate goal of becoming an advanced practice registered nurse. Along the way Montes also developed an interest in mental health and nursing education and he looks forward to seeing where these interests take him.

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LEAD Martin Amezcua

Martin Amezcua

Susan and Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences – School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences | Graduate Student Excellence Award

Martin Amezcua is a current PhD Candidate in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the David Mobley Lab. He received his B.S. in Biochemistry from California State University Fullerton, where he synthesized and studied novel small molecules as potential counter measures against Botulinum Neurotoxin A. As an undergraduate he was part of STEM2, aimed to increase retention of underrepresented students in STEM fields. During this time, he also served as a tutor, supplementary instructor, and peer mentor for students in STEM courses that historically had high drop/failure rates and research. His research interests are in drug discovery and in understanding mechanisms of action of pathogenic organisms. His research work includes protein-ligand modeling and testing and studying computational tools for predicting binding thermodynamics of host-guest systems to help improve their accuracy for computer aided drug design.

LEAD Connie Valencia

Connie Valencia

Susan and Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences – Program in Public Health | Graduate Student Excellence Award

Connie Valencia, is a 4th year PhD candidate in the Program in Public Health, department of Population Health and Disease Prevention, under the mentorship of Dr. Brittany Morey. Connie is a first-generation Latina, daughter of Mexican Immigrants, wife and mother of two. She was born and raised in Boyle Heights, a predominantly low income, immigrant community. Connie obtained her Masters in Public Health from Cal State Fullerton and Bachelors of Science from UCLA. Currently Connie is working on a mixed methods study focused on understanding barriers and facilitators of civic engagement among residents in Boyle Heights. With the support of the Campus Community Research Incubator Grant, Connie is working with LegacyLA, a local non-profit organization in Boyle Heights. Her goal is to increase community capacity for environmental justice through the collaboration of Legacy LA. Through this process, she can support LegacyLA in empowering local residents that can assist them to gain skills to inform local elected officials of the need to improve air quality. Finally, Connie has dedicated her efforts in supporting students through the Public Health Diverse Educational Community and Doctoral Experience (DECADE) program and Health and Justice Advocate (HJA) student group.

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FOUNDER'S AWARD

Founder of the Latino Excellence and Achievement Awards Dinner to celebrate the accomplishments of UCI's Hispanic and Latino/Latina/Latinx community

LEAD Veronica Ahumada

Verónica Ahumada Newhart, PhD

Assistant Professor Health Informatics and Human-Robot Interaction, Department of Pediatrics - School of Medicine, UC Davis

Dr. Verónica Ahumada Newhart is an assistant professor of Health Informatics and Human-Robot Interaction in the School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics at the University of California, Davis. She is the director of the Technology and Social Connectedness (TASC) lab housed in UC Davis Health’s Center for Health and Technology. Her work is focused on the use of social robots and interactive technologies for improved health and developmental outcomes. Ahumada Newhart is the principal investigator of a $1 million dollar National Science Foundation, National Robotics Initiative grant, Robot-Mediated Learning: Exploring School-Deployed Collaborative Robots for Homebound Children, to create better telerobots for children who are restricted to their homes due to medical conditions or disabilities. She is also co-PI on a $1.2 million University of California, Multicampus Research Projects and Initiatives project, Robot-facilitated Health Equity in Post-Pandemic California and Beyond, to create telemanipulation robots for healthcare worker safety and social inclusion of individuals who are at high risk of infection. Ahumada Newhart's transdisciplinary research encompasses strong collaborations between medicine, health informatics, robotics, developmental and behavioral pediatrics, computer science/engineering, and learning sciences

OUTSTANDING COMMUNITY BUILDER AWARD

Community member who develops and champions UCI and the UCI Hispanic and Latino/Latina/Latinx community

LEAD Pamela Pimentel

Pamela Pimentel, RN

Advocate for Community Health

Pamela Pimentel is a registered nurse with 45 years of experience working in and for the community of Orange County.  Pamela began her nursing career in January 1977 choosing to work at an inner city, disproportionate share hospital that predominately served the low-income Latino population.  She entered nursing because of a strong and abiding passion for empowering women to understand their bodies and to self- manage their well-being and that of their families.  For 23 years, Pamela worked within various areas of maternal child nursing, nursing administration and out-patient women’s prenatal care centers for low-income Latino families, located in the heart of Orange County.

Eventually, Pamela brought her deep passion for the health and well-being of low-income and vulnerable mothers, their children and families to the non-profit world.  On March 1, 2000, she became the Chief Executive Officer of MOMS Orange County, a nonprofit organization founded in 1992 to improve the health and birth outcomes of low-income mothers and babies in Orange County.  She developed and implemented a prenatal and post-partum home visitation program utilizing a unique paraprofessional model of care.  Under her stewardship, MOMS Orange County grew from a budget of $650,000, a staff of 9 and serving 250 families to a $5,500,000 budget, a staff of 55 and serving 3,500 families annually.

During her tenure at MOMS Orange County, Pamela worked with Dr. Yuqing Guo from the UCI Sue and Bill Grossman School of Nursing on several nursing research projects focused on maternal mental health and early relational attachment.  This on-going partnership led to the publication of several articles in peer reviewed journals and to Pamela’s current involvement with UCI Institute for Clinical Translation Science.  After 20 years at the helm of MOMS Orange County, Pamela retired in February 2020.  Pamela’s commitment to the empowerment of those who are disenfranchised, overlooked and often not heard remains steadfast.  In her role as a consultant to the UCI ICTS, she serves as a community liaison consistently bringing a strong sense of the community’s needs to the table.  Additionally, Pamela consults in regards to community building with UCLA and Vanderbilt.

In 2004, Pamela was honored by the National Latina Business Women’s’ League as “Executive of the Year”.  That same year, March of Dimes honored her with the “Excellence in Nursing Leadership”.  From 2004 to 2006, Pamela was President of the Orange County Chapter of Mexican American Women’s Association.  In 2009, Pamela was recognized by Senator Lou Correa as one of five “Women Making a Difference” and was also featured by OC Metro Magazine in “20 Women to Watch”.  Pamela continued to receive many accolades in the ensuing years but at the end of her full time career, she received two awards she is exceptionally proud of, the 2019 Non Profit Foundation of Orange “Excellence in Leadership Award” and her Congressional Record read on the floor of the US House of Representatives on February 11, 2020 by Member of Congress, the Honorable Lou Correa recognizing her outstanding achievements in women’s and children’s health.

Pamela is very proud of her heritage and often says she was “raised bi-culturally before it was a thing”.  In 1950, as a junior in high school, her father left his hometown in Zamora, in the state of Michoacán, Mexico to complete his education in the United States.  Her parents were high school sweethearts and married their 2nd year of college.  Pamela’s mother was raised in San Diego and she grew to love all aspects of Mexican culture, the food, the music, and the people.  The family joke was that Pamela’s mother “converted to Mexican” and “was more Mexican that her dad”.  When her parents married in 1955, their marriage was considered interracial and they experienced prejudice.  They overcame all obstacles and recently celebrated 67 years of marriage!  From her parents, Pamela learned to stand up for her beliefs and to stand against injustice.  She carried those values into her adult life and she considers her parents her heroes.

DISTINGUISHED STAFF LEADERSHIP AWARD

Staff or postdoctoral researcher who displays strong leadership on behalf of UCI's Hispanic and Latino/Latina/Latinx community

LEAD Joanna Hernandez

Joanna Hernandez

Assistant Director of the Student Success Initiatives Office
Program Director of the Transfer Student Center
Co-Chair of the UCI Chican@/Latin@ Staff Association

Joanna Hernandez grew up as a first-generation Latina & former foster youth student. Over her past 10 years in higher education, she has focused explicitly on advocating for first-generation & low-income students' needs as a practiced counselor and seasoned program developer. She is passionate about the future of higher education and ensuring it is a safe & inclusive environment for all student communities. Joanna currently serves as the Chican@/Latin@ Staff Association Co-chair and is pursuing her doctorate in Educational Leadership at Cal State Long Beach. Joanna completed her master's in Higher and Postsecondary Education at the University of Michigan and her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Latin American & Iberian Studies from UC Santa Barbara. She currently serves as the Assistant Director at the Student Success Initiatives Office and Program Director for the Transfer Student Center, providing leadership to programs that support foster youth, student parents, undocumented students, transfer success programs, community partnerships, as well as first-generation and low-income students. Prior to this appointment, she served as the TRIO project director at UC Irvine and worked as an EOP counselor at UC Santa Barbara. Joanna is a dog & cat mom, hiking enthusiast, urban art lover, and music appreciator.

OUTSTANDING FACULTY MENTORSHIP AWARD

Faculty member who mentor and encourages the success of Hispanic and Latino/Latina/Latinx graduate students and junior faculty

Professor Gustavo Carlo

Gustavo Carlo, PhD

Professor in the School of Education
Director of the Cultural Resiliency and Learning Center

Gustavo Carlo is Professor in the School of Education and Director of the Cultural Resiliency and Learning Center at the University of California, Irvine. Before arriving to UCI, Dr. Carlo was the Millsap Endowed Professor of Diversity and Multicultural Studies in Human Development and Family Science at the University of Missouri. His primary research interest focuses on understanding positive social development and health in culturally diverse children and adolescents across the world. However, many of his projects focus on U.S. ethnic/racial minority groups, including Latino/a youth and families.

He has published seven books and over 200 chapters and research papers in distinguished journals. His work has been funded by various agencies including the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health. For his research contributions, he received recognition as an elected Fellow of the American Psychological Association, elected Fellow of the American Psychological Society, and an Outstanding Research Award in Positive Psychology from the American Psychological Association and the Templeton Foundation. His book, Prosocial Development: A multidimensional approach (Oxford University Press; co-edited with Laura Padilla-Walker), earned the Book Award by the Moral Education and Development SIG of the American Education Research Association. Dr. Carlo also received the Outstanding Senior Mentor Award from the Society for Research in Adolescence in 2018.

Currently, he is Associate Editor of the International Journal of Behavioral Development and the Developmental Psychology journal and serves on other journal editorial boards. He also currently serves as a member of the Governing Council of the Society for Research in Child Development. His latest book is the upcoming American Psychological Association’s Handbook of Adolescent and Young Adulthood Development. His most recent research focuses on understanding care-based helping behaviors towards ingroup/outgroup persons and how such actions can address social inequities.

LEAD Vladimir Minin

Vladimir Minin, PhD

Professor of Statistics, Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences

Vladimir Minin is Professor of Statistics in the School of Information and Computer Sciences and Associate Director of the UCI Infectious Disease Science Initiative. His research interests revolve around developing statistically rigorous solutions to problems that arise in biological sciences. These solutions often involve formulating stochastic models that can describe complex dynamics of biological systems and devising computationally efficient algorithms to fit these models to data. Minin is currently most active in infectious disease epidemiology, working on Bayesian estimation of disease transmission model parameters. His other research interests include phylogenetics, population genetics, computational immunology, and systems biology.

OUTSTANDING ALUMNI LEADERSHIP AWARD

Alumni who develop and champion UCI and the UCI Hispanic and Latino/Latina/Latinx community

Alumni Carlos Feliciano

Carlos Feliciano

Founding Member, UCI-OC Alliance
Special Agent, Office of Inspection General, Department of Homeland Security

Carlos Feliciano has always been passionate about public service. While at UC Irvine, he co-founded the Lobby Core Program, was elected as Board Chair for the UC Student Association, and was elected President of the Associated Students of UCI. In these roles, Carlos collaborated with his peers and university leadership to support the UC's expansion of financial aid and helped food service and maintenance staff at UCI become recognized as university employees.

Upon graduation, Carlos was hired as a Program Analyst and then promoted to Special Agent for the Office of Inspection General (OIG) for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The mission of the OIG is "To provide independent oversight and promote excellence, integrity, and accountability within DHS."

Carlos has continued his service to UCI as a founding member of the UCI Orange County Alliance for a Latin Thriving University and former Chair of the UCI Young Alumni Council (YAC). He helped YAC and the UCI Alumni Association launch the Anteater Network, an online mentorship platform for students, alumni, and the greater UCI community. Carlos is an honorary member of UC Irvine Campus Wide Honors Program and a member of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity whose motto is, “The Great Joy of Serving Others."