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Anthropologist Wins Malinowski Award

Anthropologist Carlos Vélez-Ibáñez Wins Malinowski Award

(July 2, 2002)

Carlos Vélez-IbáñezRIVERSIDE, Calif. – July 2, 2002 -- Carlos Vélez-Ibáñez, director of the Ernesto Galarza Applied Research Bureau and professor of anthropology at the University of California, Riverside, is the winner of the 2003 Bronislaw Malinowski Award from the Society for Applied Anthropology.

Vélez-Ibáñez is the author of numerous books, including Border Visions: The Cultures of Mexicans of the Southwestern United States, which received the National Association of University Librarians "Choice" award for Outstanding Academic Book in Social and Behavioral Sciences for 1997.

The Malinowski Award is presented each year by the Society to an outstanding social scientist dedicated to the goal of solving human problems through the application of concepts and tools from the social sciences.

Prof. Vélez-Ibáñez will receive the Award on March 21, 2003, at the 63rd Annual Meeting of the Society in Portland, Oregon. At that time, he will deliver the Malinowski Address, which is the featured presentation of the annual meeting.
“This award recognizes work that I have done with the help of many colleagues,” said Vélez-Ibáñez.

“Prof. Vélez-Ibáñez has contributed significantly to applied anthropology and particularly, to an understanding of the contemporary lives of Mexican and Mexican-American populations,” said Tom May, executive director of the Society for Applied Anthropology, an international society of social science.

“He has concentrated on work that creatively explored such themes as the education of children, the emergence of socially viable communities, the role of women in politics, the development of cultural identity, the political economy of border life, and the social basis of economic survival in scarce circumstances. These distinguished achievements clearly earned Professor Vélez-Ibáñez his place among the prior recipients of this important Award,” said May.

Some previous recipients since 1973 include Gunnar Myrdal, Margaret Clark, Everett C. Hughes, Sol Tax, Elizabeth Colson, and Sir Raymond Firth.

Vélez-Ibáñez founded and directed the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology at the University of Arizona, before coming to UC Riverside as dean of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, in 1994.

He currently directs the Ernesto Galarza Applied Research Center, which carries out applied research projects and programs that improve the physical and mental health of women, the learning and educational success of Latina/o people, the formation of healthy communities, and strongly supports programs that close the digital divide among underserved populations. “It serves as a bridge between the university and the community,” Vélez-Ibáñez said.

Current projects include the Community Digital Initiative, a computer lab in the Cesar Chavez Community Center in downtown Riverside, which offers computer instruction to young people from low-income neighborhoods. “We are really teaching them how to learn,” said Richard Chabran, a researcher who directs the project. Another major research and digital learning project is planned for the Coachella Valley.

A third project called “Community Health Worker Program for Improving Quality of Health Care for Latinos” has placed bilingual women, trained in health care issues, into communities in California. These promotoras (health promoters) serve as advisors in the community, in an effort to improve access to quality health care. The project is in its early stages and is funded by the California Healthcare Foundation.

The University of California, Riverside offers undergraduate and graduate education to about 15,000 students with projected enrollment of 21,000 students by 2010. It is the fastest growing and most ethnically diverse campus of the preeminent ten-campus University of California system, which is recognized as the largest public research university system in the world. The picturesque 1,200-acre UC Riverside campus is located at the foot of the Box Springs Mountains near downtown Riverside, in Southern California. More information about UC Riverside is available at or by calling 909-787-5185

Contact: Carlos Vélez-Ibáñez , (909) 787-5018 or email:

The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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