Alumni Awards of Distinction

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ALUMNI AWARDS OF DISTINCTION

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. This year's event will be held virtually.
 

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Saturday, October 17, 2020 | 3:00 p.m.

RSVP by October 2, 2020, to receive your gift package in time for the online celebration.

Register Today

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Inquiries: specialevents@ucr.edu or (951) 827-3144

There are several sponsorship opportunities. See which one is right for you.

Proceeds benefit scholarship and fellowship initiatives at UCR

Learn about the 2020 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.

Anthea Hartig, M.A. ’89, Ph.D. ’01

Anthea Hartig is the Elizabeth MacMillan Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and the first woman to hold the position since the museum opened in 1964. Hartig oversees 257 employees, a budget of more than $40 million, and a collection that includes 1.8 million objects and more than 3 shelf-miles of archives. She officially began her tenure on February 18, 2019.

An award-winning public historian and cultural heritage expert, Hartig is dedicated to making the nation’s richly diverse history accessible and relevant. A third-generation native of Southern California, she grew up in the greater Pomona Valley. Before joining the Smithsonian, Hartig served as the executive director and CEO of the California Historical Society (CHS) in San Francisco. During her tenure, Hartig reinvigorated the organization by raising over $20 million to quadruple the CHS’ annual budget. Under her leadership, CHS doubled its staff, created over 30 exhibitions, created its digital library, and created the Teaching California initiative, a free online history portal for K–12 students that brings the archive into the classroom. Hartig also served as the director of the Western Region for the National Trust for Historic Preservation from 2005 to 2011 and has been involved in historic preservation and public history projects since the 1990s.

Hartig earned her doctorate and master’s degrees in history at the University of California, Riverside, her bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Los Angeles and studied as an undergraduate and graduate student at the College of William and Mary. 

 


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.

Dr. Pedram Salimpour ’90

Dr. Pedram Salimpour serves as Chairman, CEO, and co-founder of Pierce Health Solutions, a California-based company focused on the creation of novel health delivery systems for large employers throughout the United States. Dr. Salimpour also serves as a three-time appointed commissioner of the Los Angeles Fire & Police Pensions Board, managing over $25 billion in assets.

Prior to Pierce Health Solutions, Dr. Salimpour co-founded multiple companies including CareNex Health Services, a healthcare technology organization specializing in neonatal disease management, Plymouth Health, and Boss Surgical Group, an ambulatory surgery center organization with locations throughout the U.S. Dr. Salimpour has co-authored major grant awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as well as dozens of peer-reviewed scientific publications. He serves on multiple boards of directors and has been published in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, GQ, Newsweek, der Spiegel, the London Daily Telegraph, and more.

Dr. Salimpour earned his bachelor's degree in biology at the University of California, Riverside, attended the Boston University School of Medicine, and completed his residency training at USC Medical Center.

 


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.

Fatima Farheen Mirza ’13

Fatima Farheen Mirza grew up in the Bay Area and started writing her first book in novelist Charmaine Craig's creative writing class at UC Riverside. Following her passion to pursue writing full time, she changed majors from pre-med to creative writing and went on to become a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her debut novel “A Place for Us” was the first book to be released by Sarah Jessica Parker’s new publishing imprint, SJP for Hogarth. It became an instant New York Times Bestseller and was named one of the best books of 2018 by The Washington Post, NPR, and People magazine.

At the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Fatima was a Teaching-Writing Fellow. She taught creative writing and fiction courses at the University of Iowa and at the Iowa Young Writers’ Studio. Fatima was awarded the Michener-Copernicus Fellowship in 2016 and The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research/Creative Achievement from The University of California, Riverside, she has also received residencies from The Marble House Project and The MacDowell Colony.

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

    2019 Helen Newman ’79 - Biochemistry [Watch the Video]

    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

    2019 Jerry Swain ’89 - Business Administration [Watch the Video]

    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

    2019 Sabrina Cervantes ’09 [Watch the Video]

    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