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UCR honors "Women of Courage and Vision" on March 16

UCR honors "Women of Courage and Vision" on March 16

(February 28, 2001)

The University of California, Riverside will help honor the achievements of five Inland Empire women Friday, March 16 at Benedict Castle, 5445 Chicago Ave., in Riverside, in connection with National Women's History Month.

State Senator Dede Alpert, D-San Diego, is the keynote speaker at the Riverside and San Bernardino Counties Women of Courage and Vision Awards Luncheon, sponsored by the Gender Education and Resource Services (GEARS) at UCR, along with a variety of Inland Empire businesses and organizations.

Honorary chairwomen Judith Valles, Mayor of San Bernardino, and Susan J. Rainey, Superintendent of the Riverside Unified School District, will also speak at the event. Cost for the event is $40 per person, or $10 for students with identification. To register, call (909) 787-3337.

This year's honorees will receive a $500 honorarium. They are:

Elected Official of the Year, Maxine Frost
A graduate of Stanford University, Frost is a veteran member of the Riverside Unified School District Board of Education. She is president-elect of the California Association of Suburban School Districts, an advisor to Assemblyman Rod Pacheco, president of the Affiliates of UCR, vice-president of the Riverside chapter of the National Charity League and the Junior League of Riverside. She has been inducted into the Riverside County Education Hall of Fame

Citizen of the Year, Rose Mayes
A graduate of the University of Redlands, Mayes is the Executive Director of The Fair Housing Council of Riverside County. The 10th child in a family of 14 siblings, she has 30 years experience in civil rights and community service. She is the vice president of the Riverside African-American Historical Society; chair of both Riverside's Human Relations Commission and the Martin Luther King Jr. Visionaries Board of Directors; and a board member for the Youth Service Center and the Volunteer Center of Riverside County. Mayes has already received a 'Spirit of the City' award from Riverside; a 'Women of Distinction' Award from The Business Press and she is a YWCA 'Women of Achievement.'

Entrepreneur of the Year, Marisa Nunez
An immigrant to the United States from Mexico, Nunez sharpened her business skills as a teenager with hands-on work in her family's catering truck business in La Puente. The family business has now grown to 15 eateries in the Inland Empire and in Los Angeles County, known as El Taco-Nazo Restaurants. Nunez is a member of the Latino Chamber of Commerce.

Educator of the Year, Gloria Macias Harrison
A graduate of UCR, Harrison is now president of Crafton Hills College. With her husband, Bill, she helped found El Chicano newspaper. She is the Governor's appointee to the California Commission on Status of Women and a member of the California Council for the Humanities. She is also past president of the Inland Empire Educational Foundation.

Student of the Year, Sharon Lee Watson
A reentry student at UCR, Watson is a straight A student. She is a single mother and she is completely blind. After graduating with high honors from Riverside Community College, Watson earned the Karen and Harold H. Moeller Memorial Endowed Scholarship; the Gary Allan Ross Memorial Book Fund Scholarship; the Jameson Scholarship; the Wilma C. Holladay Memorial Scholarship; and the UCR Reentry Scholarship. She volunteers for Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Riverside and evaluates disabled student programs statewide for the California Community College Chancellor's Office. She interned at Knollwood Psychiatric Hospital in Riverside. She has also won awards for excellence from Riverside Community College and from the California Association on Postsecondary Education.

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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