Winners chosen for 2012 President's Awards for Excellence through Diversity

This year's individual winner is Fernando S. Mendoza, a professor of pediatrics at the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital. This year's program winner is the Diversifying Academia, Recruiting Excellence (DARE) Doctoral Fellowship Program.

Fernando Mendoza portrait

Fernando Mendoza

A pediatrics professor who has championed the importance of diversity at Stanford and in medicine for three decades and a Stanford program that helps PhD students whose presence will diversify the professoriate prepare for academic careers will each receive a 2012 President's Award for Excellence through Diversity.

Stanford Provost and Acting President John Etchemendy will confer the awards to pediatrics Professor Fernando S. Mendoza and to the Diversifying Academia, Recruiting Excellence (DARE) Doctoral Fellowship Program on Tuesday, June 5, at a private reception.

They are the fourth set of recipients of the awards, which were established in 2009.

Fernando S. Mendoza

Fernando S. Mendoza, a professor of pediatrics at the Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, was honored "for creating a range of programs supporting diversity in medicine" at Stanford School of Medicine, including:

  • The Early Matriculation Program, which was established in 1984 to promote academic careers in medicine among minority and disadvantaged medical students, and evolved into the Leadership in Health Disparities Program, which is available to all matriculating medical students;
  • The Individualized Academic Development Plan;
  • The Diversity Cabinet; and
  • The Center of Excellence in Diversity in Medical Education, whose goal is to prepare the next generation of medical leaders to address the health issues of a diverse society. Mendoza is the center's faculty director.

The award also commended Mendoza "for the many ways he has mentored and supported the entire continuum of Stanford medical education – premedical students, medical students, residents, fellows and faculty."

In addition, Mendoza was honored "for exemplifying the physician-as-public-servant" and "for his compassion and caring, which have prompted generations of students to emulate his dedication and leadership."

Mendoza's current research is focused on the issue of obesity among Latino children, with particular attention to children who live in immigrant families.

DARE Doctoral Fellowship Program

Patricia Gumport, vice provost for graduate education, established the DARE Doctoral Fellowship Program in 2008. The program awards two-year fellowships to Stanford doctoral students who want to investigate and prepare for academic careers and whose presence will help diversify the professoriate. The fellowships are awarded to doctoral students in the final two years of their programs.

The fellowship program was honored "for its conscientious efforts to diversify the academic pipeline through the creation and development of university-wide programs."

The citation also commended the program "for its broad interpretation of the word diversity to encompass diversity of background, experiences and worldviews, as well as diversity of gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, physical capabilities and socio-economic history."

In addition, the program was honored "for developing opportunities that introduce students to a wide range of academic opportunities and help them become leaders in these positions."

Finally, the program was lauded "for fostering an atmosphere that values greater diversity, enabling students – and the university – to thrive."