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UCLA Awards honor alumni for outstanding service and achievements

UCLA honored five outstanding alumni with UCLA Awards at ceremonies on campus on Friday, May 20. The awards tradition, which began in 1946, pays tribute to alumni who manifest outstanding achievement in their professional fields and have demonstrated a commitment to excellence through their contributions to society.
The UCLA Awards are bestowed by the UCLA Alumni Association. The honorees were:
Cerf, who earned a master's degree in 1970 and a Ph.D. in 1972 at UCLA, is vice president and chief Internet evangelist for Google Inc. The Dickson Alumnus of the Year award, UCLA's oldest and highest alumni tribute, is given to someone who has rendered a special and outstanding service to UCLA or who, by personal achievement, has brought great honor and distinction to the university.
Cerf, widely known as one of the "fathers of the Internet," co-designed the TCP/IP protocols and the architecture of the Internet. In addition, as vice president of MCI Digital Information Services from 1982 to 1986, he led the engineering of MCI Mail, the first commercial email service to be connected to the Internet. In 1994, he rejoined MCI as senior vice president of technology strategy. He is currently working with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the interplanetary Internet to communicate from planet to planet.
As chief Internet evangelist of Google, Cerf is responsible for identifying enabling technologies and applications to support the development of advanced Internet-based products and services.
Cerf was chairman of the board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN); founding president and a member of the Internet Society; a member of the board of advisors of Scientists and Engineers for America; and member of the board of trustees of Gallaudet University, serving the deaf and hard of hearing.
Among his many awards, Cerf received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor bestowed in the U.S., for work that has "transformed global commerce, communication and entertainment." Cerf earned his bachelor's degree at Stanford.
Alfano, the owner and president of Maria's Italian Kitchen Restaurants, received the Award in Community Service, which honors alumni who have generously contributed their time and talents for the enrichment of others and the betterment of their communities. She earned her bachelor's degree in 1980 at UCLA.
Alfano expanded a single restaurant into a chain of 10 employing 400 people. She has served as president of the California Restaurant Association and the National Association of Women Business Owners, whose hall of fame she was inducted into in 2004.
Among her civic and philanthropic works are her efforts on behalf of the FD Foundation, which is committed to research and medical treatment for victims of familial dysautonomia; the Dysautonomia Foundation; Shane's Inspiration, which is committed to creating accessible playgrounds at public parks for children with disabilities; the Max Reitzin Memorial Fund, established in memory of Alfano's late son to benefit handicapped children; the Los Angeles County Education Foundation; and the Los Angeles County Education Foundation Probation Youth Committee.
Spander, a journalist, received the Award in Professional Achievement, which pays tribute to the superior achievements of Bruin alumni in their chosen fields of endeavor. He earned his bachelor's degree at UCLA in 1960.
After launching his career with United Press International, Spander wrote about sports for the Santa Monica Outlook, the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Examiner, where he was lead sports columnist.
He covered 58 consecutive Rose Bowls, 45 consecutive Masters Tournaments, 42 U.S. Opens in golf, 34 Super Bowls, 29 consecutive NCAA Final Fours, 27 Wimbledons, 15 World Series, 30 British Opens and 11 U.S. Open tennis tournaments. Along the way, he collected numerous writing honors, including spots in the Professional Football Hall of Fame and the U.S. Basketball Writers Hall of Fame. He has been a generous mentor to sports journalists and sees his profession as an important bridge between the teams, players, business and fans.
Arditti, the now-retired assistant vice president and director of the University of California's Office of State Governmental Relations, received the Award in Public Service, which is presented to outstanding individuals singled out for their records of service as government officials or public servants. Arditti earned his bachelor's degree in 1964 and his law degree in 1967 at UCLA.
Arditti was the first person ever to receive the Marvin D. "Swede" Johnson Achievement Award, presented by the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, in recognition of his outstanding service on behalf of University State Government Relations.
In 2010, he was appointed to the California Postsecondary Education Commission and was named chair of the commission's Governmental Relations Committee. He serves on the advisory committees of the UC Center Sacramento and the Chicano Latino Youth Leadership Project.
While at the UCLA School of Law, Arditti was a program supervisor for Associated Students UCLA and a graduate student member of the ASUCLA board of control. After law school graduation, he became assistant dean of students, staffing a chancellor's committee to review campus governance.
Rothman, who works for HDR Investment Company in real estate development and property management, received the Award in University Service, which honors those alumni and friends whose dedication and volunteer commitment have significantly enriched UCLA. She earned her bachelor's degree from UCLA in 1970.
Raised in a family of Bruins, Rothman began her volunteer and philanthropic involvement in 1982 with UCLA Gymsters, a booster group for men's and women's gymnastics, serving as president for seven years. She later became involved with the College of Letters and Science, serving on the Dean's Advisory Council and the Humanities Executive Council and helping to found the Academic Advancement Program Scholarship Council, serving as its chair.
She is active on the boards of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies, the UCLA Center for Society and Genetics, the UCLA College Awards Dinner and the UCLA Friends of Art History, which she founded and for which she serves as president. She helped establish and support the Raymond C. Rothman Endowed Collection in the History of Cognitive Science.
From 1995 to 2009, Rothman served on the UCLA Foundation board of trustees, board of governors and board of directors. She was one of the founding members of Women and Philanthropy and sits on its board. She is a life member of the UCLA Alumni Association.
UCLA is California's largest university, with an enrollment of more than 38,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The UCLA College of Letters and Science and the university's 11 professional schools feature renowned faculty and offer 328 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. Six alumni and five faculty have been awarded the Nobel Prize.
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