Academics & Faculty

Former football coach Terry Donahue named UCLA Alumnus of the Year

Annual UCLA Awards honor distinguished alumni, faculty and students

Former UCLA football coach Terry Donahue and former Los Angeles City Councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski are among a select group of alumni, faculty and students being honored this year by UCLA's Alumni Association for their outstanding achievement, commitment to excellence, and service to the university and the greater community.
The recipients will receive their honors at a private ceremony on June 1 on the UCLA campus.
Terry Donahue
Donahue '67, M.S. '77, is this year's Edward A. Dickson Alumnus of the Year. Donahue led UCLA's football program from 1976 to 1995, compiling the most wins in UCLA and Pac-10 history, with 98 conference victories and 151 overall wins. Under his leadership, the Bruins played in 13 bowl games, including four Rose Bowls, and won five Pac-10 championships. He finished his career with a 10-9-1 winning record against USC. In honor of his achievements, Donahue was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2000. He has also worked as general manager for the San Francisco 49ers and is currently a college football analyst for the NFL Network and Fox Sports.
Cindy Miscikowski
Miscikowski '70 is being honored with the Public Service Award. A dedicated public servant for more than 30 years, she served as a deputy to former Los Angeles City Councilman Marvin Braude for 22 years before being elected as the City Council's 11th district representative for two terms (1997–2005). Recognized both locally and nationally as an authority on city planning, Miscikowski's contributions to Los Angeles include revitalizing and updating the city's land-use policies. The American Planning Association recognized her expertise with the 2001 Distinguished Leadership Award for an Elected Official.
Fred Wudl
Wudl '64, Ph.D. '67, is being honored with this year's Professional Achievement Award. Recognized as one of the top 100 chemists in the world by the Institute for Scientific Information, Wudl was formerly UCLA's Dean Willard Professor of Chemistry and is currently co-director of the UC Santa Barbara Center for Polymers and Organic Solids, where he continues his groundbreaking work on the synthesis and characterization of new organic materials. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and editor of the Journal of Materials Chemistry.
David Lash
Lash '77, J.D. '80, is being honored with the Community Service Award for his legal career working with community-focused organizations. The former executive director of Bet Tzedek (House of Justice) Legal Services, Lash is currently managing counsel for O'Melveny & Myers' nationwide pro bono program. He has been recognized as one of the 100 most influential lawyers in California by the Los Angeles Daily Journal and has received a citation from the U.S. House of Representatives for his work on behalf of the poor.
Jeffrey A. Seymour 
Seymour '73, M.P.A. '77, is being honored with this year's University Service Award. A former board member and past president of the UCLA Alumni Association, Seymour has represented UCLA as an alumni regent on the UC Board of Regents, as chair of the UCLA Annual Fund and currently as a member of the board of directors of The UCLA Foundation. His dedication to UCLA is further reflected in his work as co-founder of the Alumni Academy, an eight-month alumni volunteer development program.
Elizabeth Ligon Bjork
Bjork, a professor in the UCLA Department of Psychology and chair of the Academic Senate, will receive the 2008 Distinguished Teaching Award. She is credited with creating groundbreaking teaching programs and courses. Since 1993, Bjork has served as both a member and chair of UCLA's Teaching Assistant Training Committee, as well as chair of the psychology department's undergraduate affairs committee. Bjork oversees the Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference, an annual event that offers undergraduates the opportunity to present their research in a professional environment.

Peggy Fong
Fong, a professor in the UCLA Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology for the past 12 years, will receive the Undergraduate Mentorship Award. Fong has developed and taught numerous courses in ecology and marine biology, including on-site classes in Australia and Tahiti. She has participated in her department's curriculum committee, served as chair of an ad hoc committee to review undergraduate curriculum and acted as her department's undergraduate advisor. Fong is president-elect of the California Estuarine Research Society and a member of the governing board of the International Estuarine Research Foundation.
Linda C. Garro
Garro, a professor in the UCLA Department of Anthropology, will receive the Distinction in Teaching at the Graduate Level Award. Garro joined the department in 1997, offering courses on medical and cognitive anthropology, as well as Native American health issues. She currently serves as the chair or co-chair of seven doctoral committees and has pioneered the anthropology department's Mind, Medicine and Culture interest group. She has written or edited several books on medical and psychological anthropology, including "The Ethnography of Health Care Decisions." Garro has been honored with the Society for Psychological Anthropology's Stirling Prize and a five-year career award as a National Health Research Scholar for the National Health Research and Development Program of Canada.
Teofilo F. Ruiz
Ruiz, a professor in the UCLA Department of History, will receive the 2008 Distinguished Teaching Award. Ruiz arrived at UCLA in 1998 and served as chair of the history department from 2002 to 2005. In 1995, he was honored as the Outstanding Teacher of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and in 1997, he was the 250th Anniversary Visiting Professor for Distinguished Teaching at Princeton University. He has received a prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Benjamin J. Schwartz
Schwartz, a professor in the UCLA Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, will receive the 2008 Distinguished Teaching Award. Schwartz has conducted research on electron-transfer processes, a set of phenomena fundamental to many fields of chemistry, physics and biology. He has served as the physical chemistry graduate advisor and is currently the department's graduate advisor. When he arrived at UCLA in 1997, he introduced "Schwartz cards," a simple but very effective method of evaluating his courses by asking students to submit questions and personally responding to each one. He has organized a number of national symposia and in 2005 was appointed senior editor of the Journal of Physical Chemistry.
Robert S. Winter
Winter, a professor in the UCLA Department of Music, will receive the Eby Award for the Art of Teaching. Winter, who joined the music department in 1974, is a popular public speaker who has lectured and performed for countless audiences. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1993 and the Frances Densmore Prize from the American Musicological Society's Board of Directors in 1990. In 1989, he authored the Voyager Company's first interactive CD-ROM, regarded today as the first commercial interactive publication. At UCLA, Winter has served as the Presidential Chair in Music and Interactive Arts and founded and directed UCLA's Center for the Digital Arts. He is currently president of Calliope, a multimedia publishing company.
Ifeoma Amah 
Amah '02 is currently pursuing her doctorate in education at UCLA's Graduate School of Education & Information Studies. Her research centers on critical race theory, eco-cultural theory and African American students' pursuits of postsecondary education. During her time at UCLA, Amah has held three graduate research positions working with local school districts and community-based organizations to prepare underrepresented and low-income students to go on to college, served as a co-facilitator and graduate mentor at UCLA, and is currently co-president of UCLA's Graduate Student Association in Education.
France Nguyen
Ngueyn M.P.H. '99, M.A.'05, will receive her doctorate in social welfare this summer. As a Fulbright scholar, she conducted dissertation fieldwork in Vietnam from 2006 to 2007 on issues related to food security, nutrition and HIV/AIDS. She has volunteered as an organizer for the American Public Health Association and has worked as a consultant for Homeless Health Care Los Angeles. Nguyen received a student grant from the UCLA School of Public Health's Community Health Promotion Program for her work on osteoporosis prevention.
The following graduating seniors are being honored with the 2008 Distinguished Senior Award: Nisha Bansal, Suzanne Berkovitz, Gregory Cendana, Linda Chu, Jessica Gu, Thomas Hanff, Rachael Kartsonis, Drew Kirkpatrick, Chase Knowles, Michael Marcus, Antonio Moya, Brian Murray, Edward Pham, Doron (Robby) Nadler, Adena Schutzman, Michael Safaee, Aida Sun and Jamie Zimmerman.
For individual bios on distinguished seniors and more on the other UCLA Award recipients, visit
UCLA is California's largest university, with an enrollment of nearly 37,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The UCLA College of Letters and Science and the university's 11 professional schools feature renowned faculty and offer more than 300 degree programs and majors. UCLA is a national and international leader in the breadth and quality of its academic, research, health care, cultural, continuing education and athletic programs. Four alumni and five faculty have been awarded the Nobel Prize.
Media Contact