Jun 12, 2019
At this year’s Academic Senate Celebrating Diversity award ceremony, two faculty members and one graduate student received prestigious DEI awards.
 
At the event held on June 6, 2019 at the Chancellor’s residence, Professors Sarah Tolbert and Jorge Torres, and graduate student Jesus Iñiguez (Chong Liu group), received UCLA Academic Senate’s 2019 Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Awards. 
 
Professor Sarah Tolbert, who holds faculty appointments in Chemistry & Biochemistry, and in Materials Science and Engineering, is also the faculty education director for the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI), and directs CNSI’s extensive nanoscience education program. Tolbert received the Faculty Community Service and Praxis Diversity DEI Award, which honors a faculty member “who has built solid, lasting, and meaningful partnerships with community groups and organizations who have a significant impact on the diversity of Los Angeles and surrounding communities and has demonstrated a sustained effort in community outreach and professional service, utilizing imaginative or innovative approaches to service, serve as a community service model to students at UCLA.” Read more here.
 
Professor Jorge Torres, who holds a faculty appointment in Chemistry & Biochemistry, has served as a mentor for several UCLA diversity outreach programs including the Amgen Scholars Program, the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Initiative, and the Minority Access to Research Careers program. Torres received the Faculty Student DEI Award, which 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.” Read more here.
 
Jesus Iñiguez is a graduate student in Professor Chong Liu's group. Through his various mentorship roles at UCLA he serves as a role model to under-represented students who are interested in pursuing careers in STEM fields. Iñiguez received the Graduate Student Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Award, which is given to one graduate student a year “to honor those who have motivated other members of the University to strive for excellence. These students embrace diversity and serve humanity through learning. Not only are these students constantly working to better themselves, but they are also dedicated to the growth of their peers.”  Read more here.
 
In total, four members of the Division of Physical Sciences received awards, with Professor Smadar Naoz from the UCLA Department of Physics and Astronomy receiving the Career Faculty Commitment to Diversity DEI award. Other award recipients were Professor Alexandra Krantzler from the Department of Anthropology, Enrique Ainsworth from the Center for Excellence in Engineering and Diversity, and Professor Vickie Mays from the Departments of Psychology and Health Policy Management.  
 
Penny Jennings, UCLA Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, penny@chem.ucla.edu.