Alumni Awards

Alumni Awards

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Alumni Awards

Since 1986, the UCR Alumni Association has honored graduates who personify the university’s tradition of excellence and service.  Through their personal and professional achievements, these individuals bring distinction to UCR, contribute to the betterment of society and enhance their communities.

Honorees are celebrated and presented their awards at our annual awards ceremony. Learn about the 2019 award recipients below.

Distinguished Awardees

 

Distinguished Alumnus Award

The most prestigious honor bestowed by the UCR Alumni Association, the Distinguished Alumnus Award is based on national and international distinction in one’s field and significant contribution to humankind.

Helen Newman ’79

Helen Newman attended UCR from 1975-1979 and earned a BS degree in biochemistry and a doctorate in neuroanatomy from the University of Washington in 1983. Newman is the founder of Veterinary Transplant Services, Inc. and developed a surgical veterinary orthopedic product that is only one of its kind in the world. She and her team manufacture cadaveric biologically compatible orthopedic bone products for dogs, cats, and horses in a state of the art laboratory. Her company provides medical device companies with a source of animal tissue grafts that can reduce patient morbidity, operative time, and costs. Newman's facility also produces soft tissue and cornea allografts for transplant in animals.

Newman is also an internationally recognized expert in tissue typing and research. She has actively served the American Association of Tissue Banks as a member of the Standards and Procedures Committee, a tissue bank inspector, and as an elected member of the Board of Governors and Chair of the Tissue Bank Council. She is the founder of Progenica Therapeutics, LLC, which develops technologies to aid in the creation of novel molecules used to stimulate healing in biological settings.

 


Alumni Service Award

This award honors superior service in the public sector or a sustained pattern of volunteer service in the community, arts or for the benefit of UCR that has positively represented the university and fellow citizens.

Jerry Swain ’89

Jerry Swain graduated from UCR with a BS in business administration in 1989. He founded and served as CEO of Jer’s Chocolates, a company he conceptualized while living in the Aberdeen Inverness dorms. In 2014, he sold the business and became President of West Coast Operations. He now serves as a professional speaker, Partner at CEO Coaching International, and Chair for TIGER 21 in San Diego.

He has a long history of service to the community and the university, including 14 years as a UCR Alumni Association board member. His Jer’s (Chocolate) Cares Initiative donated over $250,000 to more than 80 local and national charities. He has served on many boards of directors for the American Cancer Society - San Diego, Young Professionals Against Cancer, and the San Diego Food Bank. He is a committed volunteer and advocate for the Special Olympics. For more than 25 years, Swain has volunteered to speak at K-12 schools throughout Southern California.

 


Outstanding Young Alumnus Award

This award recognizes alumni aged 40 or younger with a significant record of career and/or civic achievement and promise in their profession.

Sabrina Cervantes ’09

Assembly Member Sabrina Cervantes graduated with a BA in political science in 2009. She then completed an executive education program at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government in 2013. Cervantes was elected in November 2016 to represent California's 60th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Corona, Eastvale, Jurupa Valley, Norco, and Riverside.

Cervantes' top priorities include veterans, public safety, transportation, higher education, and the economy. In her first year, she secured a $2 million allocation for a resource center for veterans at Norco College. She has authored legislation to support and protect California's veterans, seniors, students, and families. Cervantes also served as a director for the Legislature and the California Voter Project. 

Prior to serving in the Assembly, she worked with community organizations to enhance the local economy and improve access to quality education and governmental services. Cervantes is a member of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and previously served on the board of directors for non-profit organizations, TruEvolution and Women Wonder Writers. She is also a member of the UCR School of Public Policy Advisory Board. One of her most notable acts was to work alongside Assembly Member Jose Medina to help fund the start of UCR's School of Medicine.

Do you know a fellow Highlander that has made an impact, demonstrated exemplary service
or exemplifies extraordinary academic achievement? You can get involved by making a nomination.

 


Nomination Process

  • Who is eligible for nomination?

    Current members of the UCR Alumni Association Board of Directors are not eligible for nomination.

  • Who can make nominations?

    Alumni, friends, former award recipients, professional colleagues and members of the UCR community are encouraged to submit nominations.

    Nominations from colleagues and associates will be given greater consideration than self-nominations.

  • What is required of nominees?

    The awardees must attend the awards ceremony. The awards may not be conferred in absentia; however, they may be granted posthumously.

  • Can an individual be nominated in multiple categories?

    Nominations are accepted in multiple categories; however, the Awards Committee reserves the right to consider nominees for the category it deems most appropriate.

  • When should nominations be submitted?

    Nominations for the Alumni Awards of Distinction are accepted year-round. Nominees not selected for the current year will remain on file for three years for future consideration. The same paperwork may be used for an additional two years before a new nomination is required. However, those who wish to submit new paperwork are welcome to do so.


Past Awardees

 

  • Distinguished Alumnus Award

    2018 Martin Pasqualetti, Ph.D. ’77 - Geography [Watch the Video]

    2017 John Leonard, Ph.D. ’78 - Biochemistry [Watch the Video]

    2016 Shola Lynch, M.A. ’95 - History [Watch the Video]

    2015 Byron Pollitt ’73 - Economics [Watch the Video]

    2014 Michael Devirian ’66 - Physics [Watch the Video]

    2013 Virginia Phillips ’79 - History

    2012 Marigold Linton ’58 - Psychology

    2011 Susan Elizabeth George ’70 - English, ’73 T.C.

    2010 Robert Del Grande, Ph.D. ’81 - Biochemistry

    2009 Gary McCord ’71 -  Economics

    2008 David H. Song ’92 - Biomedical Sciences

    2007 Ed Blakely ’60 - History

    2006 Richard R. Schrock ’67 - Chemistry

    2005 Derick W. Brinkerhoff ’69 - Anthropology, M.Admin ’75

    2004 Tina S. Nova, Ph.D. ’82 - Biochemistry

    2003 Oliver A. Ryder ’68 - Biology

    2002 Robert B. Horsch ’74, Ph.D. ’79 - Biology, Genetics

    2001 Neil Campbell, Ph.D. ’75 - Biology

    2000 Tim D. White ’72 - Biology, Anthropology

    1999 Michael Martin Nieto ’61 - Physics

    1998 Ronald E. Neumann ’66 - History, M.A. ’67 - Political Science

    1996 Yolanda T. Moses, M.S. ’74, Ph.D. ’76 - Anthropology

    1995 Frank L. Bidart ’62 - English

    1994 Donald R. Huffman, Ph.D. ’66 - Physics

    1993 Thomas C. Patterson ’60 - Anthropology

    1992 Kenneth W. Goddard ’68 - Biochemistry

    1991 Guenter Ahlers ’59 - Physical Sciences

    1990 Charles F. Gay ’68, Ph.D. ’79 - Chemistry

    1989 Judith Walker, M.A. ’70, Ph.D. ’71 - Psychology

    1988 Arthur D. Riggs ’60 - Chemistry

    1987 Henry Ramsey, Jr. ’60 - Philosophy

    1986 Charles E. Young ’55 - Political Science

  • Alumni Service Award

    2018 Giles Waines, Ph.D ’69 [Watch the Video]

    2017 Tom Tolbert ’71 - Political Science [Watch the Video]

    2016 Ofelia Valdez-Yeager ’69, T.C. ’71 - Spanish [Watch the Video]

    2015 Mary Figueroa ’79 - Chicano Studies & Political Science [Watch the Video]

    2014 William Kroonen ’60 - Spanish [Watch the Video]

    2013 Ronald Stovitz ’64 - Political Science

    2012 Christine Sato-Yamazaki ’92 - Business Administration

    2011 Vernon Crowder ’73 - Psychology, M.Admin ’75

    2010 Rickerby Hinds ’94 - Humanities & Social Sciences

    2008 James E. Baldwin ’60 - History

    2007 Jean Easum ’75 - Mathematics

    2006 Charles “Chuck” Cole ’70 - Political Science

    2005 David C. Willmon ’85 - History

    2004 Markell W. Kohn ’59 - Zoology

    2003 Lee C. McDougal ’74 - Psychology and Black Studies

    2002 Sylvia Martin-James ’73 - Education

    2001 William R. DeWolfe ’58 - Political Science

    2000 Rod Pacheco ’80 - Sociology, Political Science

    1999 Madonna J. Hoffman ’82 - Liberal Studies

    1998 Craig G. Blunden, M.Admin. ’72

    1996 John. W. “Fred” Bryant ’61 - Zoology

    1995 Judy A. Field-Baker ’58 - Art History

    1994 Albert L. Page ’56 - Chemistry

    1993 Frank M. Usher ’67 - Political Science

    1992 George B. Beattie (posthumously) ’58 - Political Science

    1991 Joel Y. Bryan ’64 - Psychology

    1990 Leon Braddock (posthumously), ’73 - Sociology

    1989 Bart R. Singletary ’86 - Political Science

    1988 Charles D. Field ’58 - Economics

    1987 Donald P. Brithinee ’68, M.A. ’70, Ph.D. ’71 - Mathematics

    1986 S. Sue Johnson ’62 - History
     

  • Outstanding Young Alumnus Award

    2018 Brenda Martinez ’10 [Watch the Video]

    2017 Charles Cai, Ph.D. ’15 - Chemical and Environmental Engineering [Watch the Video]

    2016 David Gutierrez ’04 - Business Administration [Watch the Video]

    2015 Michael Nduati ’01 - Biomedical Sciences [Watch the Video]

    2014 Shah Selbe ’04 - Chemical Engineering [Watch the Video]

    2013 Ernesto (Ernie) Rios, MBA ’07

    2012 Steve (Shaohui) Chen, M.S. ’05 - Computer Science, MBA ’07

    2011 Nakul Dev Mahajan ’02 - Sociology

    2010 Andre Quintero ’96 - Political Science

    2009 Cindy Le ’99 - Biomedical Sciences

    2008 David R. Cocker, III ’96 - Environmental Engineering

    2007 Daniel Goldmark ’94 - Music

    2006 Ravish V. Patwardhan ’93 - Biomedical Sciences

    2005 Lloyd E. Levine ’92 - Studio Art

    2004 Stephen Warren ’91 - Biomedical Sciences

    2003 Rigoberto González ’92 - Humanities and Social Sciences Interdisciplinary (English/Creative Writing)

    2002 Darin P. Anderson ’89 - Business Administration, MBA ’91

    2001 John M. Gibson ’91, M.S. ’93 - Computer Science

    2000 Paul U. Niwa ’92 - Economics

    1999 Stephen Breen ’92 - Political Science

    1998 Ruben Barrales ’84 - Political Science and Administrative Studies

    1996 Darren L. Johnson ’84 - Biomedical Sciences

    1995 Dowain A. Wright ’82 - Biochemistry

    1994 Daniel Jacobo ’86 - Chicano Studies and Art

    1993 Craig V. Smith ’83 - Biomedical Sciences

    1992 Jeffrey G. Scott, Ph.D. ’85 - Entomology

    1991 Sally V. Fox, M.S. ’82 - Pest Management

    1990 Anne B. Myers ’80 - Chemistry

    1989 Hollister Hartman, Ph.D. ’82 - Population Biology

    1989 Ronald D. Hays ’79, M.A. ’81, Ph.D. ’84 - Psychology

    1988 Cynthia Quinn ’75 - Dance

    1987 Roger Luebs ’74 - Economics

    1986 Michael P. Huerta ’78 - Political Science
     

  • Community Service Award

    2008 Katherine A. Wright, M.Admin ’81

    2005 Tracy L. Kahn, Ph.D. ’87 - Botany

    2004 Wylie W. Hoffman (posthumously) ’83 - Political Science

    2003 Benita B. Roberts ’86 - Social Sciences

    2002 Pamela S. Clute ’71 - Mathematics, M.A. ’78, Ph.D. ’82 - Education

    2001 Kathleen Gonzales ’74 - Mexican-American Studies and History

    2000 Frank Heyming ’73 - Political Science, Urban Studies, and Economics

    1999 Inge Pelzer ’75 - Human Development and Liberal Studies, Ph.D. ’78 - Education

    1998 William H. Plummer ’67 - Political Science

    1996 Gabriel A. Mendoza ’88 - Spanish

    1995 Edward B. Cowan, Jr. ’58 - Biology

    1994 Pauline Mazetti McGuigan ’64 - History

    1993 William H. Bonnett III ’69 - Political Science

    1992 Lois J. Carson, M.A. ’75 - Education

    1991 Nicholas H. Goldware ’70 - Economics

    1990 Art Pick ’59 - Social Sciences

    1989 Manuela G. Sosa ’66 - Biology

  • Public Service Award

    2008 Tod Burnett ’85 - Political Science/Administrative Studies

    2005 Stanley L. Sniff, Jr. ’80 - Philosophy

    2004 Barbara E. Kerr ’68 - English

    2003 Christopher E. Angelo ’72 - Social Services

    2002 Christopher Fichtner ’77 - Psychobiology

    2001 Herbert  R. Fischer, M.Admin ’76, Ph.D. ’83 - Education

    2000 Amy S. Harrison ’72 - Psychology

    1999 Rev. William A. Greenlaw ’65 - Social Sciences

    1998 Gale M. Morrison ’74 - Psychology, Ph.D. ’79 - Education

    1996 Carol W. Williams ’64 - Zoology

    1995 Lawrence A. Lacey, M.S. ’75, Ph.D. ’78  - Entomology

    1994 Gerilee Gustason ’60 - English

    1993 Carole Nagengast ’75, M.A. ’78 - Anthropology

    1992 E. Dollie Totaro Wolverton ’57 - History

    1991 Gary J. Clarke ’69 - Political Science and Economics

    1990 Kay Ceniceros ’77 - Urban Studies, M.Admin ’79

    1989 Steven W. Clute ’71- Social Sciences
     

  • Honored Alumni Award
    BCOE

    2007 Brian Hawley ’89, M.S.  ’91 - Computer Science

    2006 Brian K. Bender ’89 - Computer Science

     

    CNAS

    2007 William Fenical, Ph.D. ’68 - Chemistry

    2006 James C. Carrington ’82 - Plant Science

     

    CHASS

    2007 Joel Reynolds ’75 - Political Science

    2006 Ann E. Maxwell ’66 - English & Evan L. Maxwell ’65 - Political Science
     

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