June 5, 2008

Sacramento State professor receives
health professions diversity award

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Sacramento State biology professor Juanita Barrena was one of three higher education leaders in California to receive the 2008 Champions of Health Professions Diversity award from The California Wellness Foundation. Barrena will receive the award on Monday, June 9, in San Francisco at the Foundation’s sixth annual “Champions of Health Professions Diversity Award” ceremony.

The award recognizes efforts of higher education leaders to reduce entry barriers and ensure the success of underrepresented minorities in the health workforce. Honorees receive a cash award of $25,000.

Barrena, a professor of biological sciences, is also director of Sacramento State’s Science Educational Equity program. The program provides comprehensive academic support for students who face social, economic, and educational barriers to careers in the health professions, science research, and science teaching.

“I truly believe that our students are the real champions because they’re the ones who take the tests and struggle with tremendous obstacles,” says Barrena. “We are merely the ones who provide support and try to ensure that they have a safe place where they can develop and realize their potential.”

This year’s award winners also include David Hayes-Bautista of the University of California, Los Angeles, and Linda Squires-Grohe of the City College of San Francisco.

For more information on Sacramento State’s Science Educational Equity Program, visit www.csus.edu/sedeq/ or call (916) 278-6519. For more information on The Champions of Health Professions Diversity Award program, visit www.tcwf.org/leadership_awards/champions_award/2008/. For media assistance, contact Sacramento State’s Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.