UCI News

UCI to honor 23 distinguished Anteaters at annual Lauds & Laurels event

Scholar, advocate and administrator Thomas Parham to receive Extraordinarius award

April 14, 2022
UCI to honor 23 distinguished Anteaters at annual Lauds & Laurels event
UCI Alumni Association will celebrate its 51st Lauds and Laurels ceremony honoring 23 distinguished Anteaters in support of its largest fundraiser for student scholarships.

Irvine, Calif., April 14, 2022 The University of California, Irvine Alumni Association will honor 23 accomplished individuals at the 2022 Lauds & Laurels ceremony on May 26, bestowing its highest honor, the Extraordinarius award, on Thomas Parham ’77, Ph.D., for his exemplary service, leadership and professional excellence.

Parham served enthusiastically at UCI for 33 years, most recently as vice chancellor for student affairs, overseeing the development and administration of student affairs, educational programs, enrollment management, student financial aid, undergraduate and graduate housing, counseling and health services, student activities, campus recreation and auxiliary enterprises. Prior to that, he was director of the Career Center and Counseling Center, assistant vice chancellor for counseling & health services, and an adjunct faculty member. He also chaired UCI’s Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium for 10 years.

Today Parham is the 11th president of California State University, Dominguez Hills. Affectionately known as “Dr. P,” he is a licensed psychologist with more than 40 years as a scholar and practitioner. His research focuses on psychological nigrescence, specifically identity development, African psychology and multicultural counseling.

A proud alumnus of the American Psychological Association’s Minority Fellowship Program, Parham holds the title of Distinguished Psychologist in the Association of Black Psychologists. He’s a past president of that organization and the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development.

A tireless advocate, Parham has addressed such issues as educating African American youth, conflict resolution, managing people, coping with stress, youth and violence, counseling African Americans, cultural competence, the characteristics of exceptional people, multicultural education, managing a diverse workforce, effective communication, team building, multicultural counseling, and developing effective management and supervisory skills.

In the early 1990s, he helped charter the Orange County chapter of the 100 Black Men of America, 100 BMOC. While serving as the first chair of its education committee, Parham helped develop the 100 BMOC’s signature Passport to the Future program; he’s also the architect of its Rites of Passage component. Parham was elected the fifth president of the organization in January 2002, a term he completed in 2005. In addition, he has been the national chair of education for the 100 Black Men of America and was named 2021 Man of the Year by the 100 Black Men of Los Angeles.

Sixteen individuals will be recognized as Distinguished Alumni at the Lauds & Laurels ceremony in May – each representing a different UCI school or unit:

  • Rachel Fine ’94 – Claire Trevor School of the Arts; CEO and executive director at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts
  • Diana Hendel ’85, D. – School of Biological Sciences; senior partner at Partnership Advantage LLC
  • Todd Halbrook, MBA ’05 – The Paul Merage School of Business; managing director at First Republic Private Wealth Management
  • Atahan Isik – Division of Continuing Education; partner/senior consultant at Related & Co.
  • Victoria Vasques – School of Education; owner and chairwoman of Tribal Tech LLC and its subsidiary, Cowan & Associates Inc.
  • Roger Brum, Ph.D. ’83 – The Henry Samueli School of Engineering; president of Meggitt Defense Systems Inc.
  • Albert Encinias ’72 – School of Humanities; retired teacher
  • Lloyd Tullues ’03 and Melissa Tullues ’03 – Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Sciences; co-founder of Carbonated Inc. and senior project manager at Electronic Arts, respectively
  • Desirae Hutchison ’10, J.D. ’14 – School of Law; workers’ compensation judge for the state of California
  • Jevelyn Yonchar Margines, M.D. ’72 – School of Medicine; retired from internal medicine private practice in Orange and volunteer clinical faculty at UCI Medical Center
  • Candice Whealon, M.S. ’13, D.N.P– Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing; faculty clinical coordinator of the Family Nurse Practitioner Practice Program at the Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing
  • Denis Kitayama ’76, Pharm.D. – School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences; pharmacist and project manager for Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect clinical content
  • Keith Kato, Ph.D. ’83 – School of Physical Sciences; retired chief scientist at Raytheon
  • Maurice Sanchez ’78, J.D. – School of Social Ecology; associate justice in the California 4th District Court of Appeal’s Division 3
  • Pamela Shelley-Kessler ’88 – School of Social Sciences; co-president and chief financial officer at LTC Properties Inc.

Additional honorees are:

  • Raj Parekh ’19 – Distinguished Young Alumnus
  • Omar Amr ’97, M.D. – Outstanding Alumnus Athlete
  • Feng Wang, Ph.D. – Outstanding Faculty Achievement
  • Benedicte Shipley – Outstanding Staff Achievement
  • Joshua Swank – Outstanding Undergraduate Student
  • Angeline Dukes – Outstanding Graduate Student

Now in its 51st year, Lauds & Laurels is UCI’s oldest campus tradition recognizing outstanding individuals for their service to the community, professional excellence and campus involvement, but it also supports student success. The event promotes the university’s and the UCI Alumni Association’s role in inspiring and assisting the next generation of alumni – an “Anteaters for Anteaters” movement. Net proceeds from the awards ceremony benefit the UCIAA Endowed Scholarship Fund.

The event will take place Thursday, May 26, at the Pasea Hotel in Huntington Beach, beginning with a 6 p.m. reception. Table sponsorships and individual tickets are available now at https://engage.alumni.uci.edu/s/lauds. For sponsorship opportunities, contact Jeff Minhas at jminhas@uci.edu.

For media inquiries, contact Jessica Arnaldo, UCIAA marketing and communications manager, at arnaldoj@uci.edu.

About the UCI Alumni Association: More than 50 years ago, in 1968, the UCI Alumni Association was founded to enrich the lives of alumni and engage them in lifelong advancement of UCI. It fosters the success of the university’s more than 227,000 alumni by connecting them to one another and providing a wide range of campus resources. With UCI’s ambition of being a globally preeminent university, the UCI Alumni Association strives to empower and support its alumni community through its chapters, career recruitment opportunities, social gatherings, membership program, and alumni engagement programs and events. For more information about the UCI Alumni Association, visit www.alumni.uci.edu.

UCI’s Brilliant Future campaign: Publicly launched on Oct. 4, 2019, the Brilliant Future campaign aims to raise awareness and support for the university. By engaging 75,000 alumni and garnering $2 billion in philanthropic investment, UCI seeks to reach new heights of excellence in student success, health and wellness, research and more. The UCI Alumni Association plays a vital role in the success of the campaign. Learn more at https://brilliantfuture.uci.edu/alumni.

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities and is ranked among the nation’s top 10 public universities by U.S. News & World Report. The campus has produced five Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 37,000 students and offers 224 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $7 billion annually to the local economy and $8 billion statewide. For more on UCI, visit www.uci.edu.

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