April 19, 2010
Each year, the Medal is bestowed upon a few extraordinary individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the vision, mission and spirit of the University of California, Irvine. The Medal is the university’s most prestigious award, and I am honored to share with you this year’s recipients:
Susan V. Bryant is vice chancellor for research at UCI and will retire in June. Her longtime service as a teacher, researcher, administrator and leader has been a driving force for important initiatives ranging from stem cell research to advancing gender diversity in the sciences. Bryant served as dean of biological sciences from 2000 to 2006 and has held numerous other administrative positions. Her honors include being an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and of the Association for Women in Science. She is a member of the Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee for the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine and of the California Council on Science & Technology. Bryant is also a leading expert in the study of limb regeneration.
Salma and Hazem Chehabi have been instrumental in helping to grow many campus areas through their commitments of time, service and financial support since first becoming involved at UCI in the mid-1990s. A board-certified physician in nuclear medicine, Hazem Chehabi started working with UCI doctors early on, offering his facilities at Newport Diagnostics for training as well as serving as a volunteer faculty member in the Department of Radiological Sciences. Salma Chehabi is a philanthropist and community leader who earned a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences at UCI in 1999 and a bachelor’s degree in psychology and social behavior at the university last year. Today they are UC Irvine Foundation trustees, and Hazem chairs the Foundation strategic planning committee. Their steadfast support of “A Celebration of Stars – The Medal Awards” includes the largest gift ever to the event, which they co-chaired in 2008. At UCI, they are lifetime members of the Chancellor’s Club and Health Science Partners.
David Pyott is Chairman of the Board and CEO of Allergan Inc., a global multi-specialty healthcare company. Through his personal gifts to UCI and by directing contributions from Allergan and the Allergan Foundation, Pyott has influenced many campus areas, including The Gavin Herbert Eye Institute, The Paul Merage School of Business, the schools of biological and physical sciences and the Medal Awards. More recently, Allergan underwrote dermatology fellowships to support the next generation of dermatologists and accelerate medical innovations. Along with his wife, Julianna, Pyott chaired the 2003 Medal Awards, and he currently is on the dean’s advisory board of The Paul Merage School of Business. He is also a past chair and current board member of the Chief Executive Roundtable.
Scott Samuelsen is a professor of mechanical & aerospace engineering in The Henry Samueli School of Engineering who oversaw the development of UCI’s hydrogen fueling station – the most technologically advanced, publicly accessible station in the world. Samuelsen directs the Advanced Power & Energy Program, which encompasses the National Fuel Cell Research Center, the UCI Combustion Lab and the Pacific Rim Consortium on Energy, Combustion & the Environment. His research focuses on energy generation, distribution and utilization, including the production of electricity, motive power and propulsive power from fuel cells, gas turbines and hybrids of both. He also explores the environmental impact of these energy systems, the dynamic between energy generation and atmospheric quality, and the development of environmentally preferred, high-efficiency energy generation integrated into buildings and building complexes.
Hosted by the University of California, Irvine Foundation, “A Celebration of Stars – The Medal Awards” is the campus’s largest fundraiser. Proceeds support key programs such as Regents’ Scholarships and graduate fellowships, which are given to students who exhibit academic merit and outstanding promise. Chaired by Rick Keller, CEO of First Foundation Advisors, and his wife, Anne, this year’s celebration will be held Saturday, Oct. 2, at the Bren Events Center.
Please join me in congratulating this extraordinary group of individuals. We are grateful for everything they have done on behalf of the University of California, Irvine.