UCLA professors Paul Barber, Patricia Gándara and Dr. Wendy Slusser have been named by UC President Janet Napolitano to receive UC's Award for Outstanding Faculty Leadership in Presidential Initiatives. Napolitano announced the awards, going to 10 faculty systemwide, at a UC Board of Regents meeting at UC San Francisco on Nov. 19.

“The brainpower and creativity of these 10 faculty members represent one more proof point of the tremendous difference the University of California makes in our state and beyond,” Napolitano said. “I look forward to congratulating them in person when we recognize their achievements in the New Year."

The recipients, each of whom will receive $3,000, will be honored by Napolitano at a dinner she will host in early 2016.

Professor Paul Barber

Barber, a professor in UCLA’s department of ecology and evolutionary biology, is being recognized for his contributions to increasing the enrollment of underrepresented students in UC graduate degree programs. Barber created and directs “The Diversity Project/Pathways to Ph.D.s in Marine Science,” a summer program on coral reef ecology from historically black colleges and universities. Participants conducted field studies at the UC Berkeley Gump Research Station in French Polynesia and complete research projects at UCLA. Three participants in the summer program are now doctoral students at UCLA.


Professor Patricia Gandara

Gándaraa research professor of education at UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies, chairs the UC-Mexico Initiative Education Working Group, which is focused on addressing the needs of the more than 500,000 K-12 students who shift between Mexico and the United States. She leads a pilot project that is a partnership between the Los Angeles Unified School District and the University of Guadalajara that seeks solutions to the challenges facing cross-border students.


Dr. Wendy Slusser

Slusser, associate vice provost for the UCLA Healthy Campus Initiative and a clinical professor of pediatrics at UCLA’s schools of medicine and public health, is a member of UC’s Global Food Initiative Steering Committee and a key leader in its K-12 subcommittee. She works with Los Angeles-area school districts to develop healthy and sustainable dining options for their students. Slusser also is involved with projects to help small farms develop the capacity to supply the local food chain and working to develop experiential farming, food education and healthy living programs for high school and UC students.

Read UC’s announcement of all the award winners here.