2022 UCLA Chemistry and Biochemistry Alumni Award

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Susan Baumgarten (B.A. ’73, M.S.’76, M.B.A. ’79) has been selected for the 2022 UCLA Chemistry & Biochemistry Alumni Award.  

Baumgarten will accept the award and present the commencement address at the UCLA Chemistry & Biochemistry graduation ceremony on Saturday, June 11, 2022. 

“My UCLA degrees gave me the entrée to my career; the educational experience gave me a breadth of knowledge which informs and enriches my life; and the campus to this day provides beauty and intellectual stimulation,” Baumgarten said. “Through all, the people of UCLA are a family, which is always there for me, and for others”. 

A true Bruin, Baumgarten received her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Biochemistry in 1973, her master’s degree in Engineering in 1976, and her MBA from The Anderson School in 1979. She was a teenage ballerina who transitioned to STEM and an extensive career in electrical/systems engineering, business development, and executive leadership at Hughes Aircraft and Raytheon Company. Throughout her career, she led organizations in space and airborne sensor development, eventually as a corporate vice president. She also served as president of Raytheon International, integrating activities in 76 countries throughout the world.  

Additionally, Baumgarten served as an executive-in-residence at The Anderson School from 2009 to 2017, lecturing and counseling on leadership and advancement in technology companies.  

Currently, Baumgarten’s efforts focus on encouraging STEM education and arts access for all.  She serves on the Board of Advisors for the UCLA Division of Physical Sciences and UCLA Women & Philanthropy, is President of Center Dance Arts at the Music Center of Los Angeles, and serves on the Music Center Board of Directors, the Board of Everybody Dance L.A., and the UCLA Chemistry Advisory Council. She occasionally presents to Women in Engineering at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering. 

In 2019, Baumgarten established a commencement award, a departmental award, and a summer research fellowship in the UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry to support chemistry and biochemistry undergraduate students. To learn more about the Saturday, June 11, 2022 Chemistry and Biochemistry graduation ceremony visit the commencement website.  

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