Diversity Champions Honored with 2016 Chancellor Diversity Awards

The 2016 Chancellors Diversity Award winners pose with Renee Navarro after the ceremony
Renee Navarro (center), MD, vice chancellor of Diversity and Outreach, stands with the 2016 Chancellor Diversity Award winners (from left) Marcus Ferrone, PharmD, JD; Susan Forstat; David Rachleff, MSW; Nwando Olayiwola, MD, MPH; Crystal E. Morris; Shan Meltzer; Lauren Weiss, PhD; Suya Colorado-Caldwell; and Peace Chukwudi. Photo by Susana Bates

UC San Francisco’s 2016 Chancellor Diversity Awards honored 10 individuals who are leaders, activist and pioneers in the fields and communities that they serve for their work in advancing equity and inclusion.

“UCSF’s commitment to equity and inclusion is exemplified in these individuals’ service beyond the scope of their daily jobs,” said Renee Navarro, MD, vice chancellor of Diversity and Outreach. “We are honored to award each of these individuals for their accomplishments.”

The 2016 Chancellor Diversity Award winners were named Oct. 6 during a luncheon, which was one of several events for Diversity Month at UCSF.

Chancellor Award for Advancement of Women

portrait of Lauren Weiss
Lauren Weiss, PhD

Lauren Weiss, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Psychiatry and the Institute for Human Genetics. Her research laboratory studies the genetic architecture of autism using analytical as well as stem cell-based methodologies, and she has been involved in teaching complex trait genetics in our graduate and medical school programs. 

Weiss formed a female faculty peer problem-solving group, and she has participated in the Committee on the Status of Women since 2011, where she has worked toward reducing unconscious bias and microaggression as well as increasing leadership opportunities for women at UCSF.

“I appreciate the senior female mentors that I have been fortunate to have all along my training and career, and their work to make a scientific path easier for my generation of women,” she said. “I would like to continue that effort to make an academic research career equally rewarding for our female and male students today.”

portrait of Suya Colorado-Caldwell
Suya Colorado-Caldwell

Suya Colorado-Caldwell is the Special Projects, Committees and Events Coordinator for the Offices of the Chancellor and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost (EVCP). She came to UCSF in 2004 and worked in Campus Life Services as a program then project manager for seven years before joining the EVCP communications team in November 2011.

Suya is a certified Project Manager and has over 25 years of experience in operations analysis, strategic planning, program development, and project management. In her role as special projects, committees, and events coordinator she coordinates strategic and organizational projects, manages high-profile committees, plans and coordinates executive events, and manages and produces the monthly EVCP Expresso newsletter.

“I am truly humbled and grateful to be joining the stellar ranks of the past recipients of this award and count myself fortunate to be part of the amazing team that brought, and continues to bring, the ‘Ensuring UCSF is Inclusive for Women’ campaign to life,” Colorado-Caldwell said.

portrait of Shan Meltzer
Shan Meltzer

Shan Meltzer is currently a graduate student in the Neuroscience Program, studying the molecular mechanisms of neuron development and how neurons sense mechanical stimulus. She is dedicated to advancing female graduate students and postdocs, through participation in the Committee on the Status of Women, the Women in Life Sciences, and the Asian Women in Sciences organizations at UCSF.

“I am extremely honored to be receiving such an important award. I want to thank all my peers and mentors for their tremendous support, inspiration and collaboration,” she said. “I am fortunate to be a student at this wonderful school which has such a strong commitment to diversity.”

Chancellor Award for Disability Service

portrait of David Rachleff
David Rachleff, MSW

David Rachleff, MSW, received his master’s degree in Social Work from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., worked in the field of social work both in Washington and San Francisco before coming to work at UCSF in 2005. Since early 2009 has been the Curriculum Coordinator at the School of Medicine Dean’s Office, in the unit of Medical Student Education. He has worked closely with Associate Dean for Curriculum Susan Masters and is now part of the Assessment, Curriculum and Evaluation Unit under the direction of Christina Cicoletti.

“My work with the Medical Students Disability Services is truly rewarding,” he said. “Every student deserves the opportunity to take the time they need to study, prepare and take their assessments and exams. I always keep in mind that one day I may be the patient of one of these incredible students.”

Chancellor Award for GLBT Leadership

portrait of Marcus Ferrone
Marcus Ferrone, PharmD, JD

Marcus Ferrone, PharmD, JD, is an associate professor of Clinical Pharmacy and holds joint appointments in the Departments of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, and Family Health Care Nursing. He serves as Faculty Advisor for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Student Association (LGBTQSA) and is the course director for the LGBTQI Health Forum elective offered every winter quarter. During his tenure at UCSF he has also served on the UCSF Committee for LGBT Issues and the UCOP Advisory Council on LGBT Issues.

“I am humbled and truly honored to be recognized by the University in this capacity,” he said. “This award would not have been possible were it not for the successful collaborations I have had with other students, staff, and faculty devoted to making UCSF a campus of greater equity and inclusion.”

portrait of Susan Forstat
Susan Forstat

Susan Forstat is the manager of the UCSF Health Care Facilitator Program. She has worked at UCSF since 1991 in a variety of different roles and is a longtime advocate of LGBT rights and communities and has served on the LGBT Diversity Committee and currently serves as the committee co-chair.

“It is important to speak up, both for ourselves, but also for others,” she said. “When you notice something, say something. All of us can do that and it can and will make a difference.

portrait of Hannan Braun
Hannan Braun

Hannan Braun is a fourth-year medical student, and he is currently completing a gap research year as a Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) Fellow. He is working with the SAPHIR program in Lima, Peru, as part of his DDCF Fellowship, conducting research on adherence to pre-exposure prophylaxis among transgender women. At UCSF, he has coordinated the Transgender Health elective, interned for the LGBT Resource Center, served on the Community Advisory Group of Bridge HIV, and worked for the San Francisco Department of Public Health’s Transgender Health Services. Hannan participates in developing and implementing the LGBT health curriculum at UCSF, and continues to research its effectiveness.

Prior to medical school, he worked as a research assistant at the Institute of Medicine in Washington, D.C., focusing on Medicare and Medicaid payments for graduate medical education. He also led overnight street outreach teams, providing harm reduction and counseling services to street-based sex workers and injection drug users in Washington.

“This award is both a professional and personal honor. The well-being of LGBTQI individuals and their communities is both close to me and is one of my core career interests,” he said. “Thank you to the current and former faculty, staff, students, and patients who have made UCSF a leader in LGBTQI health care."

Chancellor Award for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership

portrait of Nwando Olayiwola
Nwando Olayiwola, MD, MPH

Nwando Olayiwola, MD, MPH, is a family physician, the director of the Center for Excellence in Primary Care, associate professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine, faculty affiliate in Global Health Sciences and a faculty lead for the School of Medicine’s innovative Differences Matter initiative.

Her career has been dedicated to improving the quality of care to underserved and marginalized populations across the nation and globally, and improving the diversity and inclusivity of the health professional workforce. She has been a leader in harnessing technology to increase access to care for underserved and disenfranchised populations and is an expert in the areas of health systems reform, practice transformation, health information technology, primary care redesign, health equity and health disparities research.

“Receiving this Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. award is such an incredible honor, as Dr. King’s legacy is all about vision, leadership and action,” Olayiwola said. “While the nation is increasingly diverse and there are many equal opportunities for vulnerable and minority populations, we are still far away from equity and a truly inclusive reality. Nonetheless, I remain optimistic that the work I do at UCSF with such great people, and the conversations we are being forced to have, will lead to fulfillment of Dr. King’s dream.”

portrait of Crystal Morris
Crystal E. Morris

Crystal E. Morris has 27 years service at UCSF in the Human Resources Department and as a member of the Black Caucus.

“It has been a privilege to serve with my colleagues in the Black Caucus,” she said. “I am proud to have played a small part in sustaining an upholding the values of the Caucus, to give those of African decent here at UCSF a voice.”

portrait of Peace Chukwudi
Peace Chukwudi

Peace Chukwudi is a fourth-year pharmacy student who is originally from Nigeria. She is the co-founder of the First Generation to College (FG2C) Registered Campus Organization (RCO) at UCSF and contributes as a student leader of FG2C, Black Student Health Alliance, and Global Health Interest Group RCOs. She has served as a member of the Chancellor’s Diversity Council as well as the only Northern California Nomination Commissioner representing UCSF for the 2016-17 Student Regent Nomination process. She co-coordinated an Interpersonal Violence (IPV) elective course designed to educate and empower students about different types of abuse, enhancing their ability to recognize potential victims, and provide support to patients who might be victims of abuse. She also co-coordinated a Global Health Interest Group elective course to expose students to diverse opportunities for health professionals in global health.

“As a pharmacist, equality in health care looks like the provision of safe and efficacious medicines as well as high quality affordable care to all patients in spite of their economic status or ethnicity,” she said. “I hope to devote the rest my career promoting health equality and stamping out health disparity as well as building diverse and inclusive world where health disparity becomes a thing of the past.”

For more campus news and resources, visit Pulse of UCSF.