Vicki L. Ruiz, UCI Distinguished Professor Emerita of history and Chicano/Latino studies, is a recipient of the Apple of Gold for Excellence in Education. Awarded by the Hispanic Education Endowment Fund, the honor recognizes Ruiz’s nearly four decades of work in higher education.
The first in her family to earn an advanced degree, Ruiz joined the UCI faculty in 2001 and was dean of the School of Humanities 2007-2012, and chair of the Department of Chicano/Latino Studies in the School of Social Sciences 2013-2017. Her research has focused on telling the stories of Latinas who have fought for civil and labor rights, and she’s been highly lauded for her work. Her past honors include a presidential nomination to the National Council on the Humanities. In 2012, Ruiz was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, and in 2013, she was named Distinguished Professor of history and Chicano/Latino studies at UCI. UCI’s Alumni Association also bestowed upon her the Lauds & Laurel Faculty Achievement award, and in September that same year, she received the National Humanities Medal from President Barack Obama at a formal White House ceremony. Most recently (2017-18), she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Immigration and Ethnic History Society; the Milestone in Education Award from the California League of United Latin American Citizens; and elected as a scholar-trustee for the New York Historical Society Museum and Library. In 2018 The Western History Association inaugurated an article prize in her name.
Ruiz will be honored Nov 10 at a black tie ceremony put on by the Hispanic Education Endowment Fund. Joining her in receiving this year’s Apple of Gold was Michael Matsuda, superintendent of the Anaheim Unified High School District.