We are thrilled to announce that Joanna Hernandez (Director of the UCI Transfer Student Center & Assistant Director for UCI Student Success Initiatives) has won this year’s Latino Excellence and Achievement Dinner (LEAD) Distinguished Staff Leadership Award!

Now celebrating its fifth anniversary, LEAD is the only awards ceremony in the University of California system that celebrates Latinx and Hispanic graduate student success. Each spring, LEAD honors the key leaders, graduate students, faculty, and staff who support and champion student success and research excellence in the Hispanic/Latinx community at UCI and in Orange County. LEAD strives to bring together the campus community and create a sense of institutional memory focused on academic and professional leadership within the UCI Hispanic/Latinx community.

In addition to graduate students from each school who will be recognized at this year’s event, Joanna is one of four campus leaders who will be honored for their outstanding support of UCI’s Hispanic/Latinx population. The LEAD Distinguished Staff Leadership Award recognizes one staff member or postdoctoral researcher who displays strong leadership on behalf of UCI’s Hispanic/Latinx community. Joanna was selected as this year’s recipient after a campus-wide nomination process. 

“Joanna is an ‘all-star’ and absolutely deserves this recognition,” says nominator Kevin Huie (Executive Director of Student Success & Director for Student Success Initiatives). “Her impact on students and staff has been immeasurable over the years—particularly her contributions within the Latinx community. SSI and the OVPTL have benefitted from her leadership, her mentorship, and her commitment to student success.”

Michael Dennin (Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning & Dean of Undergraduate Education) was also excited to nominate Joanna:

“The various leadership roles that Joanna holds on campus make her an exceptional role model for students and staff alike. Joanna’s dedication, kindness, and genuine care inspire respect and admiration from everyone who has the pleasure of working with her. Joanna has made a visible difference for the Latinx community at UCI, and I’m thrilled that she has been recognized with this honor.”

Joanna and this year’s other LEAD awardees will be honored at a special reception at the UCI Student Center on Thursday, March 31, 2022. Please join us as we extend our sincerest congratulations and thanks to Joanna in light of this incredible recognition!

Check out this article to learn more about Joanna. Visit this page to learn more about LEAD and its mission.