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UCR Alumni Association to Honor Five Graduates Feb. 5

UCR Alumni Association to Honor Five Graduates Feb. 5

(January 10, 2000)

Five alumni of the University of California, Riverside will be recognized for their professional and personal achievements at the 14th Annual Alumni Awards Luncheon scheduled for 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5, in the Commons Dining Room on campus.

The awards luncheon - part of UCR's Homecoming 2000 celebration - is open to interested members of the public. Admission is $25 per person. For information and reservations, call the UCR Alumni Association at (909) 787-4511 or 1-800-426-ALUM.

UCR Alumni Association to Honor Five Graduates Feb. 5

The alumni honorees will be:

  • Tim D. White, receiving the Distinguished Alumnus Award. White, who received his bachelor's degrees in anthropology and biology at UCR in 1972, is internationally renowned for his research on African fossil hominids, or human ancestors. Now a professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley, he led a team of researchers that discovered a hominid fossil that was dated at more than 4 million years old, older than any previously discovered hominid, and about the time that scientists believe hominids branched from great apes. More recently, White gained considerable attention for the discovery of a 2.5 million-year-old hominid that researchers speculate is the missing link between the group of hominids to which the famed Lucy belonged and modern humans. His work has been covered in such magazines as Time and Scientific American. He is also curator of Biological Anthropology at the P.A. Hearst Museum and a research paleoanthropologist at the UC Berkeley Museum of Vertebrate Zoology.

  • Assemblyman Rod Pacheco (R-Riverside), receiving the Alumni University Service Award. Pacheco, who received his undergraduate degrees in sociology and political science at UCR in 1980, has served as a member of the California State Assembly since 1996, and was the first Latino Republican elected to the Assembly in close to a century. During his first year as a lawmaker, he cast the deciding vote to approve funds for the UCR Fine Arts Building currently under construction and in 1999 he secured funding for a feasibility study of a possible law school at UCR. He currently serves as vice chairman of the Assembly Committee on Education. In 1997, Pacheco was named "Legislator of the Year" by the Alumni Associations of the University of California and California School Boards Association. In 1998, he received the same honor from the Riverside County Sheriffs Association, California Law Enforcement Records Supervisors, California Building Officials Association and Hispanic Lifestyle Magazine.

  • Amy S. Harrison, receiving the Alumni Public Service Award. Harrison, who earned her bachelor's degree in psychology at UCR in 1972, is vice chairman and president of Children's Comprehensive Services, which provides education and treatment services for 3,000 at-risk youth. Harrison and business associate Martha Petrey in 1977 co-founded Advocate Schools and Group Homes, which was acquired by Children's Comprehensive Services in 1988. Harrison is also a founder and executive director of Helicon, Inc., a non-profit organization for seriously emotionally disturbed youth in Riverside County. Today, the organization serves 300 children in residential treatment in California, and has more than 30 day treatment schools in two other states. Harrison is a member of the UCR Foundation Board of Trustees. She has received a number of honors, including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, YWCA Women of Achievement Award and the Athena Award.

  • Frank T. Heyming, receiving the Alumni Community Service Award. Heyming, who received undergraduate degrees in political science, urban studies and economics at UCR in 1973, is a founder of the Riverside Youth Museum, known more commonly as KidZone. Established in 1995, Riverside County's first children's museum offers an interactive educational environment for children to learn the principles of science, mathematics, arts and technology. Heyming has served as president of KidZone since 1997. Heyming is also involved in a number of community service activities, including the Riverside Jaycees, Serra Club and Rotary International, serving as president of the Riverside Rotary Club in 1997-98. Professional affiliations include the Board of Realtors, Chamber of Commerce and the Institute of Real Estate Management. He served as a founding member of the Institute of Real Estate Management Inland Empire Chapter in 1996.

  • Paul U. Niwa, receiving the Outstanding Young Alumnus Award. Niwa, who earned a bachelor's degree in economics at UCR in 1992, is a producer at CNBC-TV, an international television network devoted to coverage of finance and business. He currently produces the program "Early Today," which averages more than 1 million viewers. He formerly produced "Today's Business," a financial and business-oriented morning show. From 1995 to 1998, Niwa was in Hong Kong where he launched three newscasts, including the Asian edition of "NBC Nightly News." He began his career in broadcasting as news director at UCR's KUCR-FM, where he developed The Western Crane Project which produced a number of documentaries including one on racial tensions in Los Angeles following the fatal shooting of an African American woman by a Korean market owner. The Western Crane Project won two Golden Mike awards from the Radio Television News Association.

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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