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 and Latinx community.
LEAD is the only celebration and awards event in the University of California system that is focused on Hispanic/Latinx graduate student success. In 2021, we recognized graduate research excellence and achievement in all 15 academic units and recognized faculty, staff and alumni who support graduate student success at UCI. A list of LEAD 2021 awardees is available here. Your contribution will help fund student awards for this annual UCI tradition. Donor support like yours is essential for ensuring this unique and timely program has the resources it needs to celebrate the achievements of our students. As a reminder, UCI Graduate Division has committed funds to double each donation up to a total of $10,000 in support of reaching our $20,000 goal.
Currently, Hispanics and Latinos are 39.4% of the state population in California but are only 11.4% of the graduate student population at UCI. We aim 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 last two years have been difficult for graduate students at different levels. During 2020 and 2021, I experienced the loss of family members and close friends. The pain that events of this nature bring to our lives may mislead us from our career goals. Receiving the LEAD award in 2021 motivated me to keep working to obtain my Ph.D. degree despite the difficult circumstances. It reminded me why I seek a better future for myself and the Latin community that holds my back." - Adriana Meza Soria
"Winning a LEAD award, and being given the opportunity to engage with other LEAD winners and mentors within the Latinx community at UCI, has been extremely beneficial and personally gratifying. I was able to use my LEAD award to subsidize costs associated with the completion of my dissertation. In part because of the support afforded through my LEAD award, I am well on my way toward completing my dissertation and defending in the Spring." - Yenda Prado