Alumni association to honor Bruins for their commitment to UCLA and their communities

The UCLA Alumni Association will honor policymakers, activists and other leaders for their lifelong dedication to bringing Bruin’s values ​​to the world.

“This year, we celebrate six incredible UCLA alumni and a network who have catalyzed change and activated optimism for the greater good,” said Julie Sina, UCLA Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Rights Affairs. old.

“After a virtual ceremony last year, this will be our first award ceremony since the pandemic began,” Sina said. “Our campus partners and alumni leaders around the world will connect to recognize their continued dedication to building a strong UCLA alumni association.”

UCLA award recipients will be honored at a ceremony to be held May 21 at the UCLA Meyer and Renee Luskin Conference Center.

Sheila Kuehl – Edward A. Dickinson Alumnus of the Year

Kuehl earned her bachelor’s degree in English from UCLA in 1962. She was a lifelong pioneer for women’s rights and queer representation in politics. In 1994, Kuehl was the first openly gay or lesbian person elected to the California Legislative Assembly, and throughout her many terms in public office, she passed important bills advancing community rights. disenfranchised in Los Angeles County and California as a whole. She will retire from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors this year. Kuehl was previously honored by UCLA in 1993 with the UCLA Award for Community Service and in 2000 with the UCLA Award for Public Service.

Kuehl attended UCLA at the same time she was filming “The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis”, playing the character of Zelda Gilroy. After graduating from UCLA, she became Associate Dean of Students. Kuehl became Regents’ Professor of Public Policy at the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, where she received the Ruth Roemer Social Justice Leadership Award for her work on homelessness, and taught law at UCLA, USC, and Loyola Law. School.

UCLA alumni band — Network of the Year

Founded in 1976, the UCLA Alumni Band provides a space for alumni who play a band instrument to give back to the UCLA community and entertain the Bruins. To continue its tradition of academic and community support, the network established the UCLA Band Alumni Memorial Scholarship, awarded annually to two seniors who have worked closely with the UCLA Band. The group of alumni bring their energy and school spirit to home games, the Rose Bowl Court of Champions and women’s gymnastics competitions.

Debra Duardo – UCLA Award for Public Service

Duardo is a triple Bruin who earned her bachelor’s degree in feminist and chicana/o studies in 1994, her master’s in social work in 1996, and a doctorate in 2013 from what was then called the Graduate School of Education and information studies. After having to drop out of high school to work full time and defer college until his late 20s, Duardo has dedicated his career to providing a safe environment for underrepresented students. Duardo worked for the Los Angeles Unified School District for 20 years and in 2016 was appointed Superintendent of Schools for Los Angeles County by the County Board of Supervisors, where she continues to pursue equity for $2 million. ‘students. She was also named Joseph A. Nunn’s UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs Social Welfare Alumnus of the Year.

Monica Ebeltoft — Volunteer of the Year

Ebeltoft, who earned his baccalaureate‘s degree in kinesiology from UCLA in 1989, served as president of the Orange County Bruins. She has created networking opportunities for Bruin alumni and hopefuls, finding ways to help alumni give back and connect with each other even during the pandemic. While leading the OC Bruins, Ebeltoft coordinated the Orange County Golf Tournament, which raised over $10,000 for UCLA Alumni Scholarships. As the current President Emeritus of the OC Bruins, Ebeltoft founded the Women of UCLA Committee and she is also the Scholarship Chair for UCLA.

Kristen TorresPawling — Young graduate of the year

Pawling received her bachelor’s degree in geography and environmental studies from UCLA in 2009 and her master’s degree in urban and regional planning in 2012. She served as an executive member of the office of the California Chair in Climate Change Policy in Sacramento , where she also joined the Sacramento Alumni Network and helped develop its recent graduate program. Pawling brought his expertise to the climate crisis as an air pollution specialist for the California Air Resources Board Transportation Planning Branch and helped the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Urban Solutions Department implement its strategic plan in Los Angeles. She is currently the Sustainability Program Manager for Los Angeles County.

Alberto Retana – UCLA Award for Community Service

Throughout her time at UCLA and in the professional world, Retana, who earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 2009, has pursued social, economic, and racial justice through community building and engagement. He worked for the Obama administration as Director of Community Outreach at the US Department of Education and helped mobilize black and Latino voters for the Community Coalition in South Los Angeles. Retana’s commitment to championing equity in Los Angeles has been recognized with the American Civil Liberties Union Educational Equity Award and the Durfee Foundation Sabbatical Award, among others.

A. Wallace Tashima – UCLA Professional Achievement Award

Tashima, whose long career in public service inspired Asian Americans in the legal profession, earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from UCLA in 1958. He overcame countless obstacles to attend Harvard Law School. . After graduation, he became an assistant attorney general for California and later served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. He was the first Japanese-American jurist to be appointed to a United States Court of Appeals. Tashima, who took senior status in 2004, continues to hear cases.

Learn more about the 2022 UCLA Award Recipients.

Andrew B. Reiter