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LAURELS: Oaxaca Program Tabbed as ‘Diversity Champion’

By Dateline Staff on March 5, 2019 in University

Quick Summary

  • Raquel Aldana to receive Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award
  • Diversity leaders Raquel Aldana and Rahim Reed receive Social Justice Awards from the UC Davis Equity Summit
  • Christopher Simmons and his research team receive Integrated Pest Management Achievement Award for their work with biosolarization

The Latinx Health Internship Program, a partnership between UC Davis Study Abroad (a unit of Global Affairs) and Child Health Family International, has been named “Diversity and Inclusion Champion” in international education for 2019.

The once-a-year, quarterlong program in Oaxaca, Mexico, enrolls up to 32 students for coursework and internships that provide the opportunity to learn about global health in a local context. In the internships, arranged by Child Health Family International, or CFHI, the students are nonclinician observers in rotations and other clinic activities — i.e., the students shadow the clinicians. CFHI is a nongovernmental organization (nonprofit, not affiliated with any government).

The “champion” title is from the Berkeley-based Diversity Abroad Network, a consortium of educational institutions, government agencies, and for-profit and nonprofit organizations, working to advance policies and practices in support of access, diversity, equity and inclusion in global education and exchanges.

Yvette Flores mugshot

“I am honored to receive this award on behalf of our Oaxacan, CFHI, Quarter Abroad and Chicanx Studies partners,” said Yvette Flores, professor in the Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies who co-founded the Latinx Health Internship Program in 2006 and continues as lead faculty.

At 13 years old, the Latinx Health Internship Program is one of UC Davis’ longest-running Quarter Abroad offerings. “It has inspired students to pursue careers in medicine, public health, physical therapy, optometry and health education,” said Flores, who still serves as the program’s lead faculty.

“This recognition undoubtedly will continue to facilitate diverse students’ exploration of global health while they experience the cultural richness of our host cities.”

UC Davis’ successful partnership with the Child Family Health Institute in Oaxaca has led to other Study Abroad CFHI internships: summer programs in Bolivia, Ghana, India, Philippines and South Africa, as well as Hawaii and California.

Raquel Aldana, professor of law and associate vice chancellor for Academic Diversity, has been named a recipient of a 2019 Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award, given by the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women in the Profession.

Named after a Maryland colonist with a reputation as a skillful lawyer representing herself and others, the award recognizes and celebrates female lawyers who have achieved professional excellence at either the national, regional or local levels, and actively paved the way to success for other female lawyers.

The award presentation is scheduled for Aug. 11 in San Francisco during the ABA’s annual meeting.

Two campus diversity leaders recently received Social Justice Awards from the UC Davis Equity Summit. The ninth annual summit, organized by the Office of Research and Policy for Equity, took place Feb. 19.

Raquel Aldana mugshot
  • Raquel Aldana, recipient of one of two Ubuntu Awards for Inspiring Social Change, is a professor of law, associate vice chancellor for academic diversity and co-chair of the the task force coordinating the university’s planning to become a federally designated Hispanic Serving Institution, or HSI. She joined UC Davis in 2017 after eight years as a member of the faculty at Sacramento’s McGeorge School of Law, a branch of the University of the Pacific. She was a professor at the William S. Boyd School of Law, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, before joining the McGeorge faculty in 2009.
Rahim Reed mugshot
  • Rahim Reed, interim lead of the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, received a Lifetime Achievement Award for Embodying Equity and Diversity. He joined UC Davis in 2001 as the associate executive vice chancellor and still holds that post today, in charge of the Office of Campus Community Relations. Reed came here from the University of Florida, where, over 14 years, he was the founding director of the Center for the Study of Race and Race Relations, assistant dean for student and minority affairs in the College of Law, and chair of the Council on Affirmative Action. Previously he served as assistant dean in the Office of African Affairs at the University of Virginia; teacher/counselor at the University of Pittsburgh; and teaching assistant at the Rutgers University Law School.

The state Department of Pesticide Regulation recently presented an Integrated Pest Management Achievement Award to Christopher Simmons and his research team for their work with biosolarization, a process that combines the sun’s heat with soil amendments to manage weeds and other soil-borne pests.

Read story about the Simmons research.

The project receives funding from the Almond Board of California and UC Davis’ Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety, one of 11 such centers the federal government has established across the country.

Simmons is the UC Davis center’s director of research and outreach, as well as a professor in the Department of Food Science and Technology.

Dateline UC Davis welcomes news of faculty and staff awards, for publication in Laurels. Send information to

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About the author(s)

Dateline Staff Dave Jones, editor, can be reached at 530-752-6556 or Cody Kitaura, news and media relations specialist, can be reached at 530-752-1932 or