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FY20-21 Staff Scholarship Recipients: (top row, left to right) Melissa DeGravelles, Natalie Irons, Rachel Lam, Jenny Lee, (bottom row, left to right) Mark Kim, Miriam Sims, Helen Tran and Rigoberto Resendiz. 

UCLA staff are the glue that holds the University together. Some 31,000 strong, they are professionals, administrators, technicians and other 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 four annual awards to those who wish to attend conferences or take educational courses to further their careers. UCLA Staff Assembly administers these awards. 

In 2020 and 2021, UCLARA provided an additional four staff scholarships from current income, to increase the number offered to eight. The 2020-21 scholarship recipients are Melissa DeGravelles, Natalie Irons, Rachel Lam, Jenny Lee, Mark Kim, Miriam Sims, Helen Tran and Rigoberto Resendiz. 

Melissa DeGravelles (UCLA Alumni Career Engagement: Lead for the UCLA ONE Bruin networking platform, provides support for career programming for the Alumni Association). Melissa is pursuing the Patient Advocacy certificate at UCLA Extension to hone essential communication skills so she can help friends and family navigate the complicated U.S. health care system.  

Natalie Irons (Associate Director, Coaching Programs at Center X/Ed&IS). This scholarship will allow Natalie to complete a Trauma and Learning Certificate. She can then apply and share her learning with other educators to become trauma sensitive in creating safe learning spaces and approaches in their schools and beyond.

Rachel Lam (Assistant Pastry Chef, Housing and Hospitality) Rachel will use her scholarship to help pay tuition for the FEMBA (Fully Employed MBA) program at the UCLA Anderson School. She wants to learn the business end of hospitality, how to manage labor, food costs, and staff productivity.

Jenny Lee (Graduate Program Coordinator, Neuroscience Interdepartmental Graduate Program:  Supports students and faculty involved in advancing research)  Jenny plans to use the scholarship to enroll in a Conflict Resolution course at UNEX to add to her counselor tool kit.  She believes this will enhance her ability to support the students and faculty in her program especially when challenges arise and serve in a capacity that is supportive, unbiased and nurturing.

Mark Kim (Executive Chef, Feast at Rieber): Mark has been keeping the menu fresh at Feast since it opened in 2011. One of the favorite dining destinations for students, Feast has a unique pan-Asian cuisine. Mark plans to use his scholarship to fund the expenses to obtain the Certification of Executive Chef offered by American Chef Federation. Ultimately he would like to obtain the Certification of Master Chef, currently held by only about 70 U.S. chefs. 

Miriam Sims (Administrative Assistant, Early Care and Education: Provides essential administrative support for all functions and day-to-day operations at University Village Childcare Center) The scholarship will enable Miriam to enroll in an Early Care and Education course at UNEX to help her obtain the ECE Teacher Permit required for preschool teachers.

Helen Tran (Student Affairs Officer, Department of Design Media Arts: Advises graduate and undergraduate students) Helen will use this scholarship to enroll in two doctoral courses: “Leadership Enactment” and “Human Lifespan Development,” in hopes of learning strategies to better advocate for students.

Rigoberto Resendiz (Academic Personnel Manager, Mathematics: Manages Academic Personnel Actions: New Hires, Merits, Promotions, Payroll) Rigoberto plans to use the scholarship to enroll in an Accounting course at UNEX to obtain his accounting fundamentals certificate and to prepare him for the CPA Exam.

Support Staff Development Scholarships

Your tax-deductible gift helps ensure that these scholarships will be awarded in perpetuity. Gifts of any amount are appreciated.

Click here to make your gift today or send a check, made payable to "The UCLA Foundation" and referencing "Fund #82013E, UCLARA Staff Endowment Fund" on the front of the check. Thank you for helping to advance the careers of deserving UCLA staff members!

Mail your gift to:
The UCLA Foundation
P.O. Box 7145
Pasadena CA 91109-9903

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Staff Scholarships


Past Recipients

The 2019-20 scholarship recipients were Mitzi Bandera, Pat Brennan, Abdallah Daboussi, Min Kim, Parag Kshirsagar, Cherry Lai, Constantine Maureas, and Riana Olsen.

The 2018-19 scholarship recipients were Jessica Bishop, Eileen Garcia, Fanny Hoang and Teresa Valenzuela.

The 2017-18 scholarship recipients were Saira Almeida, Emily Knox, Cindy Oshiro, and Marina Soliman. 

The 2016-17 scholarship recipients were Kristine Jan Espinoza, Patricia Jardack, Johnson Lay and Manjula Wickramasinghe.

Email the Retirees Association at UCLARA@ucla.edu

Or phone the UCLA Emeriti/Retirees Relations Center at 310-825-7456

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