UCI is honoring José Flores Velázquez, a former UCI Physics & Astronomy PhD student who tragically passed away on August 14, 2019 near his family home in Los Angeles, California. José was an academic super star and an inspiration to us all. He held a prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship and was on track to an impactful career in astrophysics when he lost his life. Your donation to the Graduate Division General Fellowship Fund in memory of José Flores Velázquez will help fund student awards for the annual Latino Excellence and Achievement Dinner (LEAD)* virtual event which will take place in April 2021. This is the first year that LEAD awardees will receive financial awards and UCI will be a leader in the UC system for supporting LEAD awardees in this way, in honor of José.
LEAD is the only celebration and awards event in the University of California system focused on Hispanic and Latinx graduate student success. LEAD aims to raise awareness of challenges in the graduate community, increase visibility of success, and inspire the Hispanic/Latinx community to advance in graduate and postdoctoral programs.
The mission of LEAD is to:
- Celebrate graduate student research excellence and achievement
- Recognize faculty, staff and alumni who provide support for excellence and success
- Create a sense of community and institutional memory of academic and professional achievement in the UCI Hispanic/Latinx community
We invite you to join us in supporting excellent Hispanic and Latinx students like José – many thanks for helping to advance the dreams of our students and the work they will do to change the world!
We are amazed at the support of our community! Thank you to everyone who has donated to honor José Flores Velázquez. We have exceeded our goal, and the UCI Graduate Division and School of Physical Sciences have contributed $15,000 in matching funds! Any funds raised past our goal will also go toward supporting LEAD awards.
*Please note, the formal dinner part of the LEAD event will not happen this year due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols, but we invite you to watch the virtual event at Latino Excellence and Achievement Award - UCI Office of Inclusive Excellence.