AAP research program renamed to honor Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter and John Huggins, Jr.

The Academic Advancement Program (AAP)’s Community Development and Social Justice Program has been renamed to honor John Huggins, Jr. and Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter, two Bruins who fought for community and justice at UCLA.

The program is now called the Carter-Huggins Community Development and Social Justice Program. The Afrikan Student Union advocated for the change.

The Community Development and Social Justice (CDSJ) Program provides AAP undergraduate juniors and seniors with a service learning opportunity that integrates research and community-based practice in preparation for graduate study in social welfare, public policy, urban planning, and public health. Additionally, students are paired with an AAP Graduate Mentor who provides mentorship in their personal and academic development as well as advisement on the graduate school application process.

Carter and Huggins were both murdered during a meeting of the Black Student Union in Campbell Hall on January 17, 1969. AAP commemorates their deaths every year at the Carter-Huggins Annual Memorial, and the new name was announced at this year’s memorial on Jan. 19.

Charles Alexander, associate vice provost for student diversity and director of AAP, said paying tribute to Carter and Huggins by renaming the program after them was long overdue.

“They both were students working to bring diversity and a new perspective to higher education as it relates to social justice and inclusion,” Alexander said.

This scholarship is appropriate to be named after Carter and Huggins because they always prioritized working for the community, and the CDSJ program encourages doing research in the same communities to make impactful change, said Alexandria Davis, fourth year political science and African American studies major and ASU chairperson.

“It was important to my staff and I because without John Huggins or Alprentice “Bunchy” Carter’s activism and sacrifice we as Black students probably couldn’t attend UCLA or do the work that we do,” Davis said. “These men were members of the High Potential Program that got more Black students to attend UCLA and became what we know as the Academic Advancement Program, which directly serves our community.”

New majors, changes to existing minors’ names, curricula announced

The community engagement and social change minor changed its name this fall from the civic engagement minor.

The change intends to better reflect the component of the curriculum that involves field-learning through community involvement, said Douglas Barrera, the associate director at UCLA Center for Community Learning, the department under which the minor is housed.

New data shows Academic Advancement Program is closing achievement gaps

Research conducted by the Academic Advancement Program (AAP) has found that students in AAP have higher graduation rates compared to the overall underrepresented minority student population at UCLA – evidence that AAP is helping to close achievement gaps between underrepresented minority students and non-underrepresented students.

AAP provides academic support for first generation, low-income and students who have been historically underrepresented in higher education through mentoring, workshops, research programs, counseling, scholarships, peer-facilitated learning, and more.

AAP’s Assessment, Research and Evaluation team analyzed graduation rates, breaks and stops in enrollment, and GPAs of AAP students of freshmen standing that entered UCLA in fall 2012 (a total of 989 students). Of the students in the 2012 cohort, 70 percent graduated in four years, 87 percent graduated in 5 years and 89 percent graduated in 6 years.

The five-year graduation rate of AAP students was only 5 percent lower than that of non-underrepresented students. This is a smaller gap than the general underrepresented minority student population (including both AAP and non-AAP students), in which the five-year graduation rate was 8 percent lower than non-underrepresented students.

At the six-year graduation rate, AAP students again performed better than the general underrepresented minority population. The graduation rate was just 3 percent shy of the non-underrepresented population, compared to 7 percent lower among the general underrepresented minority population.

Charles Alexander, associate vice provost for student diversity and director of AAP, said AAP has been on a quest to evaluate and assess its students’ progress and graduation rates for the last four years. The data will help identify areas in which AAP can provide academic and student support services in a more targeted manner.

“I believe the increase in graduation rates for underrepresented minorities have to do with quarterly monitoring of academic progress by our counselors and being able to provide support services such as peer learning, emergency crisis support, and financial assistance,” he said.

Disabled dancers learn to redefine the aesthetics of movement at UCLA

As the 10 dancers moved across the studio floor in Kaufman Hall, their instructor closely watched how each dancer’s body movements transitioned from one to the next.

Victoria Marks, associate dean of the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture and professor of choreography, offered encouragement and challenged the dancers to pay closer attention to the way they could shape space both individually and in pairs.

Undergraduate Research Week 2019 in Photos

View highlights from Undergraduate Research Week 2019 including Research Poster Day, Friends of Research Luncheon, Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences Award Ceremony, Oral Presentations, and the Sciences, Math and Engineering Award Ceremony.

  • Photo by Reed Hutchinson

  • Photo by Reed Hutchinson

  • Photo by Reed Hutchinson

  • Photo by Reed Hutchinson

  • Photo by Reed Hutchinson

  • Photo by Reed Hutchinson

  • Photo by Reed Hutchinson

  • Photo by Todd Cheney

  • Photo by Todd Cheney

  • Photo by Todd Cheney

  • Photo by Todd Cheney

  • Photo by Todd Cheney

  • Photo by Todd Cheney

  • Photo by Todd Cheney

  • Photo by Todd Cheney

  • Photo by Todd Cheney

  • Photo by Todd Cheney

  • Photo by Todd Cheney

  • Photo by Todd Cheney

Photos 1-7: Reed Hutchinson

Photos 8-20: Todd Cheney

Scholarship recipients and donors come together at scholarships luncheon

From left: Lau scholars Yang Wang and Rochelle Ellison with Stanley Lau’s nephew Dennis and son Michael

Scholarship recipients had a unique opportunity to meet their donors and share their achievements at the UCLA 2019 Scholarships Luncheon on March 3.

The annual brunch was held in Carnesale commons and celebrated scholars from across the campus including those supported through the UCLA Division of Undergraduate Education. Students had the opportunity to meet with their donors over coffee, tea, and hors d’oeuvres, before joining them at their tables. The brunch program featured remarks by Chancellor Gene Block, leadership staff, and UCLA students who shared their own scholarship stories.

Undergraduate Education philanthropist guests included Dick and Eve Bergstrom, Rica and Ellen Rodman, Dennis and Michael Lau, David Brady and Stephen Petty. Collectively support from these individuals, families and foundations have helped fund three students in the Academic Advancement Program (AAP), four students conducting research in physical sciences or life sciences, and one transfer student.

Leslie Hwang, a senior majoring in neuroscience, received a scholarship from the Bergstroms through AAP. She said the brunch was “inspiring,” and she enjoyed meeting the Bergstroms in person. They wanted to know more about her hobbies and goals, and shared more about themselves – including some great book recommendations.

“The brunch felt like a celebration of achievements and a sense of community where our diversity – backgrounds, races, cultures, genders – are able to mingle and build a network of support,” Hwang said. “Each person has his or her own share of hardships and at least for me, the speakers did a wonderful job of sharing their personal narratives and passions that resonated within me. I found their perseverance inspiring and the entire time throughout the brunch was just absolutely amazing.”

Rochelle Ellison received a Lau scholarship for her research in the life sciences. A junior molecular, cell and developmental biology major, she said the scholarship allowed her to spend more time working on her research project in Dr. Stephen Young’s lab at UCLA Medical Center instead of worrying about getting a job on top of her classes, studying and other commitments.

Although Stanley Lau passed away, Ellison was able to meet his family at the brunch, who told her how important it was to him to support UCLA students.

Ellison was touched to learn that Lau kept the thank you letters that “his students” wrote to him near his bed so that he could read them from time to time.

“I appreciated being able to hear stories about Mr. Lau to form an image in my mind of the person I will forever be grateful to,” Ellison said. “I also enjoyed being able to personally thank the Lau family and to tell them how much their generosity means to me.”

Chancellor Gene Block with scholarship recipients

From left: David Brady, Warner Scholarship trustee; Vanessa Berg, Warner scholar; Stephen Petty, Warner Scholarship trustee

Vice Provost of Enrollment Management, Youlonda Copeland-Morgan, speaking to the audience.