A legendary music executive, a famed UCLA gymnastics coach and the mayor of California’s 12th-largest city are among the UCLA graduates being recognized by the UCLA Alumni Association this year for professional achievements, philanthropy and community service.
The 2019 UCLA Awards ceremony, which celebrates some of the local, national and international impact of UCLA’s nearly 500,000 alumni, will be held June 8 at the UCLA Luskin Conference Center.
“The UCLA Alumni Association proudly brings together the Bruin family to celebrate the impact and accomplishments of truly remarkable award recipients,” said Julie Sina, UCLA’s associate vice chancellor for alumni affairs, which oversees the awards. “On a magical night in Westwood we will spotlight these legendary icons and community leaders, who magnify what is best, brightest and inspirational about UCLA. What a wonderful way to help honor UCLA’s 100th birthday.”
Morris “Mo” Ostin, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1951 and went on to a successful career with Verve Records, Reprise Records, Warner Bros. Records and DreamWorks, is this year’s Edward A. Dickson Alumnus of the Year. Ostin is responsible for signing some of music’s biggest names, including Frank Sinatra, Jimi Hendrix, Quincy Jones, Madonna, Prince, Neil Young, the Grateful Dead, Joni Mitchell and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Ostin, who helped to shape the music industry through his 32-year career at Warner Bros. Records, including a quarter century as the company’s chairman and CEO, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with a lifetime achievement award in 2003.
On campus, Ostin has played a significant role in advancing the arts, athletics, education and medicine through philanthropic support. The Evelyn and Mo Ostin Music Center, designed to provide students with access to the latest advances in music technology; the Mo Ostin Basketball Center, a centralized home for the men’s and women’s Bruin basketball programs, and the forthcoming Mo Ostin Academic Center for Student-Athletes are among his most recent contributions to UCLA. In addition, he serves on boards of visitors for the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture and the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music.
Valorie Kondos Field, better known at UCLA as “Miss Val”, will receive the 2019 Professional Achievement Award in recognition of an illustrious 36-year coaching career with the UCLA gymnastics team. A classically trained dancer, who earned a degree in history from UCLA in 1987, Kondos Field served as the team’s head coach for 29 years. During that time, her team won seven NCAA championships, 22 regional and 18 conference championships. Just prior to her retirement in April, she coached the Bruins to a second consecutive Pac-12 title.
Kondos Field was inducted into the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010. She was also named Pac-12 Coach of the Century, West Region Coach of the Year and is a four-time National Coach of the Year.
Recognized as one of the nation’s foremost gymnastics choreographers, her many credits include choreographing and directing live variety and stage shows and TV specials. A recent breast cancer survivor, Kondos Field is also the author of “Life is Short: Don’t Wait to Dance.”
The Young Alumnus of the Year award will be presented to Katya Daniel, a global studies major who graduated from UCLA in 2008. A leader in global talent acquisition, executive recruitment and leadership development, Daniel is global associate director for PRO Unlimited. In 2018, she led searches for senior administrative posts as the director of systemwide executive recruitment at the University of California Office of the President.
She also holds a master’s degree from the University College London’s School of Slavonic and East European Studies, where she was awarded a prestigious Erasmus Mundus scholarship to continue research on human sex trafficking and corruption.
Daniel, who was co-chair of Bruins United and vice chair of the ASUCLA communications board when she was an undergraduate, has participated in alumni events around the world. She led recruiting events and has interviewed and hired fellow Bruins.
Riverside Mayor William “Rusty” Bailey is the 2019 recipient of the Public Service Award. Bailey earned a master’s degree in public policy from UCLA in 1999. The UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs, which administers the program, honored him in 2013 with the Public Policy Alumnus of the Year Award and selected him to deliver its 2018 commencement address.
Bailey is working to solve his hometown of Riverside’s most pressing issues, and leading growth and development efforts. He has served as mayor since 2012.
Bailey, a veteran who served as a helicopter pilot and platoon leader in the U.S. Army, and worked for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, also created a model solution called Housing First to secure permanent housing for homeless veterans, encourage landlords to accept Veterans Affairs housing vouchers and address underlying mental health and substance abuse issues. He later expanded the scope of Housing First to house Riverside’s chronically homeless population.
The Community Service Award will be presented to Roxana Dueñas, who earned a master of education degree from UCLA in 2009. A first-generation college student, Dueñas teaches ethnic studies and history in the math, science and technology magnet academy at Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights, a neighborhood she grew up in, located east of downtown Los Angeles.
In her role, Dueñas has worked to redefine how ethnic studies is taught in Boyle Heights through the creation of new curriculum that highlights the history of Boyle Heights, student activism and local civic engagement. Her students, and the broader community, witnessed Dueñas demonstrate these lessons first-hand when she became the face of the 2019 Los Angeles Unified School District teachers’ strike, posing for a poster and billboards commissioned by the United Teachers Los Angeles union.
Dueñas is also a member of the LAUSD’s ethnic studies leadership team that is helping schools implement better ethnic studies programs. A two-time Gilder Lehrman fellow and 2015 United Way 25 Inspirational Teacher Award recipient, she shares her expertise and knowledge with myriad universities, teacher education programs and non-profit organizations in an effort to support and expand ethnic studies programs.
The Alumni Volunteer of the Year is Stephanie Brown, who graduated from UCLA in 1985 and has remained a dedicated and committed volunteer for the past three decades. Brown, a wealth management advisor, currently serves as president of the Bay Area Bruins.
Under her leadership, that network has grown to more than 7,000 members, increasing the volunteer base of the Marijane Viat Memorial Scholarship Endowment Fund program and engaging more than 40,000 Bruins in the Bay area.
Brown previously served on the UCLA alumni board and finance committee, was two-time president of the Bay Area Bruins and strives to make the university accessible to as many students as possible though her numerous roles in the scholarship program for the last two decades. Under her leadership as district, area and state chair, their committees achieved the goals they set forth in facilitating change and growth in student scholarships.
The UCLA Latino Alumni Association is the recipient of the Alumni Network of the Year for its outstanding contributions to the UCLA community and support for the campus’s mission of education, research and service. Now celebrating its 30th anniversary, the network aims to organize Latino alumni, family and friends of UCLA for the benefit and advancement of Latino students, staff, faculty and alumni through educational, social and cultural opportunities.
Since 1991, the ULAA has awarded more than $1.5 million in scholarship awards to more than 800 students. It is currently embarking on a campaign to increase its endowment fund to $1 million in an effort to encourage and assist Latino students attending UCLA.
The UCLA Latino Alumni Association’s engagement reached a milestone with the 2018 board election, which drew participation of more than 1,100 Bruins. As the organization grows, it will further elevate the scope of service, increase representation and advance the past, present and future Latino community at UCLA.