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Web Extra: 2012 Alumni Association Awardees Departments
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Honoring Gauchos of Distinction


The UC Santa Barbara Alumni Association would like to congratulate the very deserving 2012 Alumni Awards recipients: Peter Bouckaert, Dr. Yolanda Garcia, Richard Sanford, and Dr. Walter Mead. The awards were presented at a gala event April 27 during the All Gaucho Reunion.


Distinguished Alumni Award

Peter Bouckaert,’93, Emergencies Director of Human Rights Watch

Peter Bouckaert spent his childhood in Belgium, moving to the Bay Area as a teenager. He came to UC Santa Barbara in 1989, and found his home in the Black Studies and Law & Society Departments. As a student, Bouckaert became involved in politics and activism on campus, serving as an Associated Students representative, the political chair of the 100 Black Men group, and the historian of the Black Student Union. During his 1993 graduation, Bouckaert received the Storke Award for scholarship and service. After earning his law degree at Stanford University, Bouckaert started a fellowship with Human Right Watch, eventually becoming emergencies director and helping the organization develop methods that more directly save lives. Bouckaert has had an impact on people’s lives across the globe — from Kosovo to Burma to Egypt to Libya. He has testified about war crimes in front of the Yugoslav Tribunal in The Hague, the Council of Europe, and the U.S. Senate.


Graver Alumni Service Award

Dr. Yolanda Garcia,’70, M.Ed.’72, Ph.D.’98, Former UC Santa Barbara Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Academic Support Services

Dr. Yolanda Garcia started at UC Santa Barbara as a history major in 1966. As one of UC Santa Barbara’s first Hispanic students, Garcia became involved with the Educational Opportunities Program, which was a small department serving three students at the time. After completing her undergraduate studies, Dr. Garcia received a master’s of education degree in counseling. She began her 38-year UC Santa Barbara career as a counselor at EOP, and eventually was named executive director of the program. Dr. Garcia returned to the role
of student when she earned her doctorate in Education Leadership and Organizations. She recently retired as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Academic Support Services. Dr. Garcia’s work with Gauchos continued past commencement as she served on the UCSB Alumni Association Board of Directors. In addition, she has received the Margaret T. Getman Service to Students Award as well as the Santa Barbara Hispanic Achievement Council Award for her professional and community contributions


Honorary Alumni Award

Richard Sanford, Founder and Production Manager of Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards

Richard Sanford attended UC Santa Barbara and graduated from UC Berkeley
in 1965. Sanford was drafted, and then spent three years as a U.S. Navy officer
in Vietnam. After returning in 1968, Sanford began researching climate areas in California, and identified the transverse mountain range in Santa Barbara County
as similar to the Burgundy region of France. In 1970, he planted the first Pinot Noir vineyard in the region. Over the next four decades, Sanford founded several wineries, and began employing organic and sustainable methods for farming and winemaking long before the wine community embraced it. His support and advocacy of Santa Barbara County wines led to the recognition of Santa Rita Hills as a source of top-tier Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and its designation as an American Viticultural Area. Sanford is a co-founder of the American Institute of Wine and Food. In 2012, Sanford was inducted into the Vintners Hall of Fame at the Culinary Institute of America


Honorary Alumni Award

Dr. Walter Mead, Professor Emeritus of the UC Santa Barbara Economics Department

Dr. Walter Mead received his doctorate from the University of Oregon after completing a master’s degree at Columbia. He joined the UC Santa Barbara faculty in the Department of Economics in 1957. Due to turmoil in the energy markets, his research began to focus on natural resource economics. Mead was elected president of the Western Economic Association in 1968, and served as director of economics for the Ford Foundation’s Energy Policy Project. On campus, he served as chair of the Department of Economics, chair of the Academic Senate, and chair on several important faculty committees. In 2008 and again in 2012, he and his wife, Thelma, gave a $1 million gift to the campus to create an endowed chair in the Department of Economics, supporting the enhanced research and teaching of leading scholars and economists. To honor his support, the Department of Economics held the Walter Mead Symposium in 2009.


Honorary Alumni Award

Paul Lee, Director of Recreational Sports

Department director Paul Lee has spent 38 years overseeing UC Santa Barbara Recreational Sports, the largest student program on campus with more than 10,000 participants. Using the “Power of Play,” where fun activities can be an effective environment to teach life skills, Lee aims to enhance the quality of life on campus for students. His work with Recreational Sports’ student staff ensures the development of student leaders and the quality of the program. He is the founder and chair of the Jack Canfield Chicken Soup for the Soul/Student Medical Emergency Relief Fund. Lee has served on the board of the National Intramural Recreation Sports Association and has received several awards, including the NIRSA’s Regional Award of Merit


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