Left to right: Melanie Bonilla, Lyset Castillo, Paula Miranda, Andrea Reyes, Diana de los Santos. Not pictured: Karina Arzate-Arenivaz, Yadira Bautista, Grace Fransisca, Rebecca Ger and Ziba Razinia.
"I'm so thankful to the UCLA Retirees Association for investing in my professional development as a UCLA staff member. These donations bring new life to the work that staff do every day." - Geno Mehalik, scholarship recipient
UCLA staff are the glue that holds the University together. Some 31,000 strong, staff are professionals, administrators, technicians and other hands-on employees in all fields of endeavor - the support team that enables UCLA to excel in its mission of teaching, research and service. To recognize and support current staff, UCLARA has established a Staff Development Scholarship endowment fund to provide annual awards to those who wish to attend conferences or take educational courses to further their careers. UCLA Staff Assembly administers these awards.
Since 2013, UCLARA has funded at least four staff scholarships annually, adding additional awards when the operating budget permitted. In 2023 UCLARA funded ten scholarships. The 2023 scholarship recipients are Karina Arzate-Arenivaz, Yadira Bautista, Melanie Bonilla, Lyset Castillo, Grace Fransisca, Rebecca Ger, Paula Miranda, Ziba Razinia, Andrea Reyes, and Diana Margarita de los Santos. The following recipients have shared their plans with us:
Melanie Bonilla (David Geffen School of Medicine Dean’s Office - Office for Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion): "Not only is this award a financial help, it will help me get the professional development required to excel in my role and better serve our community. Thank you Staff Assembly and UCLA Retirees Association for the support!"
Lyset Castillo (Department of Neurobiology): "This scholarship will enable me to attend this year's annual SRAI meeting - a great platform for research administrators to stay informed, grow their network, and discuss important topics that are affecting research across the globe."
Rebecca Ger (Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology): "This scholarship will help me further my knowledge and skills so that I can better contribute to the workspace."
Paula Miranda (ITS): "I intend to use the scholarship to help strengthen my business writing and Excel skills through trainings offered by Campus Human Resources. Thank you!"
Andrea Reyes (Interventional Cardiology): "I am extremely grateful for this opportunity to gain more conference experiences and knowledge from educational materials through the generosity of the Staff Assembly Scholarship Fund. This award will help me move towards the goal of Principal Radiologic Technologist in the Cardiac Cath Lab. Thank you for this educational endowment."