Group of award trophies on a table from UC Riverside



Three Gold stars
For 36 years, the UCR Alumni Association has honored graduates who personify the university’s tradition of excellence and service. Through their personal and professional achievements, these individuals bring distinction to UCR, contribute to the betterment of society, and enhance their communities.






Jose Medina, Distinguished Alumni Award


Distinguished Alumni Award

1974, M.A. 1984

The most prestigious honor bestowed by the UCR Alumni Association, this award is based on national and international distinction in one’s field and significant contribution to humankind.

Assemblymember Jose Medina represents California’s 61st Assembly District. He is chair of the Higher Education Committee and a member of the California Latino Legislative Caucus and the California Legislative Jewish Caucus. Before his work as an Assemblymember, he was a teacher at Riverside Poly High School and a Riverside Community College District trustee.

Throughout his career, Medina has helped secure $25 million in ongoing funds to the UC Riverside School of Medicine; $9.7 million to support the development of the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture; $3.5 million for the development of the Mission Heritage Plaza; and $7 million to support the restoration and preservation of the Harada House.



Paulette Brown-Hinds, Alumni Service Award


Alumni Service Award

M.A. 1992, Ph.D. 1998

This award honors superior service in the public sector or a sustained pattern of volunteer service in the community, arts, or for the benefit of UCR.

Paulette Brown-Hinds is board chair for the Inland Empire Community Foundation and was appointed to the James Irvine Foundation board of directors in 2018. She has made community outreach and engagement a defining component of her professional work in the communications field, especially regarding the Black community.

Embracing her role as a storyteller of African American literature, culture, and history, Brown-Hinds leads Underground Railroad study tours, stewards a collection of rare antebellum slavery artifacts, and is the founder of Mapping Black California, a community mapping and STEAM initiative identifying the assets of California’s African American community and introducing Black youth to the transformative power of geographic information system, or GIS, technology.



Larry Chung, Outstanding Young Alumni Award


Outstanding Young Alumni Award


This award recognizes alumni aged 40 or younger with a significant record of career and/or civic achievement and promise in their profession.

Larry Chung serves as vice president of local public affairs at Southern California Edison. Prior to his position with Edison, he served as director of global external affairs and government relations for the Walt Disney Company, overseeing domestic and international policy and stakeholder engagement strategy across Disney parks, experiences, and products.

Chung previously worked in local and state government, focusing on energy policy and promoting electric vehicle infrastructure installations statewide. He maintains his commitment to building strong communities through service on several local nonprofit boards, including PBS Southern California and APIs Mobilize.


Return to UCR Magazine: Spring 2022