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7 Women Honored for Impact on UC Merced Community

March 19, 2024
Women honored at Womyn Luncheon at UC Merced
Honorees (from left) MIchele Nishiguchi, Le'Trice Curl, Dulcemaria Anaya Garcia, Ma Vang, Marianna Harris, Erin Hestir, Bianca Khanona

Seven extraordinary women from UC Merced were honored Monday at the Womyn’s Luncheon, an event hosted by the Division of Equity, Justice, & Inclusive Excellence.

The event, held during Women’s History Month, acknowledged the honorees’ profound impact on UC Merced and their dedication to their work. The luncheon also was “an opportunity to foster a sense of community and appreciation” in the university, said Edith Ramirez, EJIE student success manager.

The honorees were chosen from 55 nominations of faculty and staff. They represent “not only the pinnacle of achievement but also the embodiment of resilience, innovation and empowerment that embodies the spirit of Women's History Month,” Vice Chancellor Delia Saenz said.

Here are the honorees, along with a quote from their nomination:

Dulcemaria Anaya Garcia

Assistant director, Outreach and Engagement, Calvin E. Bright Success Center

“Dulce is passionate about making sure resources are available and the Bobcat spirit is always strong. She is a truly kind and caring individual, and she spreads brightness and positivity!”

Le'Trice Curl

Associate Dean of Students; director, Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities

“The most inspiring thing about La’Trice is her longtime service to the institution, the dedication and integrity of her work, and her commitment to supporting colleagues and students of color.”

Marianna Harris

Director, Education Programs, University Extension

“Dr. Harris's commitment to improving equity through P-12 education in the Teacher Preparation Program and her work with young men and women of color is very inspiring.”

Erin Hestir

Director, Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society; associate professor, civil and environmental engineering, School of Engineering

“Erin recently assumed the (CITRIS) role and is already excelling, ably managing her team and providing strategic vision around creating information technology solutions for society’s most pressing challenge.”

Bianca Khanona

Associate Vice Chancellor, Financial Planning and Analysis, Division of Finance and Administration

“Bianca is a community and bridge builder. She adeptly builds and strengthens partnerships throughout campus in promoting continued financial stewardship in the support of student success.”

Michele Nishiguchi

Professor, molecular and cell biology, School of Natural Science

“The most inspiring thing about Dr. Nishiguchi is her commitment to ensuring quality education for students and advocating for her fellow faculty in her department.”

Ma Vang

Associate Professor, Critical Race and Ethnic Studies, School of Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts

“Dr. Vang has led a refugee teaching cooperative and multiple teacher-training workshops. She has contributed to Hmong Story 40 and is a tireless advocate for women’s stories and social justice.”

UC Merced Womyn's Luncheon. Dalia Saenz speaks, Bianca Khanona gets award
EJIE Vice Chancellor Delia Saenz (left) speaks at the Womyn's Luncheon. At right, honoree Bianca Khanona gets her award.