Maria Rocha-Ruiz, executive director of the UC Santa Cruz Educational Partnership Center, is this year’s recipient of the Dr. Winston Doby Impact Award.The award is given to two exceptional UC professionals who are chosen by colleagues in recognition of their individual commitment to improving educational opportunities for California students. Like Doby, recipients “demonstrate an unwavering dedication to student access, advocacy and social justice, whatever the length of their tenure at UC.” Winston C. Doby dedicated his career to increasing student diversity and access at UCLA and throughout the University of California system for more than three decades. This year’s other recipient is Penny Edgert, executive director of the Intersegmental Coordinating Committee.
“I have long known that Maria is a superstar of our campus and the region,” said Richard Hughey, Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education. “Her efforts working with hundreds of middle schools and high schools within three counties are continually making lasting impacts not just on the students they work with, but also the schools and communities in Maria’s and the Educational Partnership Center’s collaborations.
“The Doby Impact Award is an additional recognition of Maria’s role, not just as a campus and regional leader, but also one at the state and national level.”
Rocha-Ruiz joined UC Santa Cruz in 2006 as assistant director for Pajaro Valley GEAR UP, part of the Educational Partnership Center. By 2013, she was appointed executive director of the EPC, where she oversees ten academic access and preparation programs.
“I am truly humbled and honored by this recognition,” Rocha-Ruiz said. “Having a regional and state and national level impact to ensuring access and opportunities to postsecondary education are available to students from traditionally noncollege-going backgrounds continue to be an important driving force in what I do.”
“I am looking forward to continue leading the EPC in catalyzing sustainable change across …