2019 Student Development Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Award

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Professor Jorge Torres has been selected by the UCLA Academic Senate for the 2019 Student Development Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award.  

“This award is very well-deserved,” said UCLA Chemistry & Biochemistry Department Chair Professor Catherine F. Clarke. “Through Jorge’s service, teaching, and research program, he has shown a self-less dedication to the advocacy and mentoring of under-represented minorities, women, and disadvantaged students and he has established a culture of inclusion that has had a major impact on the careers of these students, the UCLA community, and beyond. Jorge embodies the mission of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award and is a role model for students and faculty.”

According to the Academic Senate’s Committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (CODEI) awards website, the Student Development award honors a faculty member “who has excelled in teaching and mentoring a diverse student body, has taught or is currently teaching a large number of undergraduate classes, has aided in the development of academic support or mentoring programs, has established pipeline programs from high schools and community colleges, has created curricula enabling students to appreciate the dynamics of inter-group relations by enhancing free exchange of ideas surrounding controversial issues, or has developed teaching methods that are especially inclusive and interactive.”

A reception will be held to honor Torres and other DEI award recipients on Thursday, June 6, 2019, at the Chancellor’s Residence. 

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Torres with members of his research group – (front row, from left) Joseph Ong, Dr. Ankur Gholkar, Ivan Ramirez, Hieu Nguyen, (back row, from left) Nicole Lynn, Erick Velasquez, Dr. Xiao Guo, Prof. Jorge Torres, Dr. Yenni Garcia, Vivian Yang, Liliana Perez.

An associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UCLA, Torres has served as a mentor for several diversity outreach programs at UCLA including the Amgen Scholars Program, the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Initiative, and the Minority Access to Research Careers program. Torres was recently awarded the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology’s 2019 Ruth Kirschstein Diversity in Science Award, which is given annually to honor an outstanding scientist who has shown a commitment to encouraging underrepresented minorities to enter the scientific enterprise and who has also provided mentorship.  

Torres received a B.S. in molecular, cellular and developmental biology from UC Santa Barbara in 1998 and a Ph.D. in molecular biology from Princeton University in 2004. He conducted postdoctoral research at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Genentech Inc. until he joined the UCLA faculty in 2009. To learn about Torres’ research, visit his group’s website.

Penny Jennings, UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, penny@chem.ucla.edu.