Extension Accepts Leadership in Diversity Award at UPCEA Conference

Dean Wayne Smutz, Aymara Zielina, and William Bajor at the awards presentation at the UPCEA conference.

Aymara Zielina, Program Director for Extension’s Tribal Leadership and Community Development Certificate, traveled to Baltimore last month to accept the Leadership in Diversity award at the UPCEA Annual Conference.

Along with Dean Wayne Smutz, Aymara received the award from UPCEA’s Diversity & Inclusiveness Committee Chair¬†William Bajor of East Stroudsberg University. The award recognizes an individual or¬†program representing best practices in promoting the educational success of diverse students.

Extension developed the program in conjunction with the Tribal Learning Community and Educational Exchange (TLCEE) at UCLA, UCLA School of Law, and various tribal communities. Launched in 2014, the certificate was designed to dramatically increase access to college for Native American students, the most underrepresented group in higher education. Click this link to learn more about the program.

“I was delighted to accept this award on behalf of UCLA Extension and all of our program partners: UCLA School of Law, TLCEE, instructors, mentors, families, and the communities whose engagement has been instrumental to our collaborative success,” Aymara said. “It is especially fulfilling to be able to share our program with other educators who may use it to initiate or strengthen their own diversity, access, and inclusion efforts.”

Congratulations to everyone involved with this extraordinary program!