Actor Kal Penn, dancer Lula Washington, other grads receive top alumni awards

UCLA will honor six outstanding alumni with UCLA Awards at ceremonies on campus on Friday, May 17. The awards tradition, which began in 1946, pays tribute to alumni who show outstanding achievement in their professional fields and whose contributions to society demonstrate a commitment to excellence. The UCLA Awards are bestowed by the UCLA Alumni Association.
 
Kal Penn | UCLA Award for Recent Graduate Achievement
 
Kal PennPenn, well known for his achievements as an actor, also spent two years working with the administration of President Barack Obama. Among his screen credits are his role as Kumar in the popular "Harold and Kumar" films, as Dr. Lawrence Kutner on the TV series "House" and as the recurring character Kevin on the sitcom "How I Met Your Mother." He recently returned to acting after a two-year sabbatical, during which he served as an associate director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. Penn studied theater, film, television and sociology at UCLA, graduating in 2000.
 
 Lula Washington | UCLA Award for Community Service

Lula Washington
Washington, a dancer–choreographer from South Los Angeles, choreographed movement for the Oscar-winning film "Avatar" and for Disney's "The Little Mermaid." She earned a bachelor's and master's in dance in 1976 and 1984 at UCLA, where she also established the campus's Black Dance Association. She has performed at the Academy Awards, danced with singers Cher and Al Green, and appeared in the films "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" and "Funny Lady," with Barbra Streisand. Washington has taught dance to thousands of inner-city students and has helped dozens of underprivileged youth join dance companies and Broadway shows through the Lula Washington Contemporary Dance Foundation, a school she and her husband founded.

Dorothy Wright Nelson | Edward A. Dickson Alumnus of the Year Award
 
Hon. Dorothy Wright NelsonNelson is a senior federal appeals court judge and was the first woman to serve as dean of a major American law school. After earning her law degree at UCLA in 1953, she began her career as a research associate at the USC School of Law; she served as dean of the school from 1969 to 1980, when President Jimmy Carter nominated her to become a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, covering the nation's Western states. Nelson also worked in private practice on family, juvenile and adoption matters and is the author of several books. In 1985, she and a group of attorneys and judges seeking innovative ways to handle conflict and disputes established the Western Justice Center Foundation.

Sister Callista Roy | UCLA Award in Professional Achievement
 
Sister Callista RoyRoy is a nursing theorist who has implemented master's and doctoral nursing programs at multiple universities. She is best known for developing the Roy Adaptation Model of Nursing, a theoretical approach used globally in nursing education, practice and research. After receiving her bachelor's degree in nursing from Mount St. Mary's College, Roy became a three-time Bruin, earning a master's in pediatric nursing and master's and doctoral degrees in sociology from UCLA in 1966, '75 and '77, respectively. She is a sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet and has served as a visiting professor at colleges around the world. The American Academy of Nursing and the Massachusetts Registered Nursing Association both named her a Living Legend.

David Carter | UCLA Award in Public Service
 
Hon. David CarterCarter, a federal district court judge, has advised judges and attorneys in dozens of countries with developing legal systems and co-founded a program that gives female students from Afghanistan a chance to study at U.S. law schools. A Vietnam veteran, he earned his law degree at UCLA in 1972 and was nominated by President Bill Clinton in 1998 to serve on the U.S. District Court. As a judge, Carter initiated a variety of innovative programs, including a tattoo-removal program for gang members and educational alternatives to jail for juvenile offenders. He is co-founder of the Public-Private Partnership for Justice Reform, dedicated to improving human rights along the Afghanistan–Pakistan border and is currently serving as a counterterrorism expert for the United Nations in South Asia.

Gloria Werner | UCLA Award in University Service
 
Gloria WernerWerner, UCLA's University Librarian emerita, arrived on campus in 1962 for graduate training in medical librarianship and later oversaw the technological transformation that brought paper-based card catalogs online. Through her work, more than 10 million volumes in the UCLA Library's collections have been made accessible to scholars worldwide. Werner, who served as a reference librarian and biomedical librarian, became UCLA's Associate University Librarian in 1979 and University Librarian in 1990. After the seismic retrofitting of Powell Library following the 1989 earthquake, the 1990 rededication introduced features like interactive computing classrooms, laptop lending services and what has become universal Wi-Fi access. Werner's efforts ensured these technologies were easily accessible to students and faculty. Following her 2002 retirement, she established a generous endowment for discretionary use by her UCLA Library successors.

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