UCSC professor receives national honor

Patricia Zavella, a professor of Latin American and Latino studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, is being recognized nationally for her scholarship in the field of Chicana and Chicano studies.

Zavella has been awarded the 2002-03 National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies (NACCS) Scholar Award. Established in 1980, the award recognizes lifetime contributions by scholars in Chicana and Chicano studies. Zavella will receive the award at a ceremony during the annual NACCS conference, which will take place April 3-6, 2003, in Los Angeles. Also receiving the honor is Richard ChabrĂ¡n, director of Communities for Virtual Research at UC Riverside and founder of the Chicano Periodical Index, now the Chicano Database.

In selecting Zavella, the association described her as "an exceptional teacher, a first rate scholar, and an activist committed to social change."

Zavella, codirector of the UCSC Chicano/Latino Research Center, joined the UCSC faculty in 1983. Her research interests focus on U.S.-Mexico immigration issues, feminist theory, work, poverty, and sexuality.

"Professor Zavella has been at the forefront of scholarship in Chicano and Chicana studies, and her leadership benefits her colleagues and students," said Martin Chemers, dean of UCSC's Division of Social Sciences. "The campus is proud to have a scholar of her caliber, and I look forward to congratulating her on many more honors."

NACCS cited Zavella's support of undergraduates and her dedication to scholarship and fieldwork that serves the community. With her first book, Women's Work and Chicano Families: Cannery Workers of the Santa Clara Valley, now in its fourth printing, Zavella became the first Chicana to publish a single-authored book focusing on Chicanas.

Zavella earned her undergraduate degree from Pitzer College and her M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology from UC Berkeley. She had a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford's Center for Chicano Research before joining the UCSC faculty.

Last month, Zavella was named one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics by Hispanic Business magazine, and she is serving a four-year term as chair of the systemwide UC Committee on Latino Research, which advises the Office of the President regarding research related to Latinas and Latinos in California.