In its seventh annual celebration of Dynamic Womxn of UCI, the Womxn’s Hub has named two from social sciences among its 2020 awardees. Jenny Fan (pictured left), manager, Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion, is the Outstanding Social Justice Advocate award recipient, and Nicole Balbuena (pictured right), ’19 Chicano/Latino studies, political science, and sociology, is the Alumni & Community Award recipient. Learn more about our social sciences recipients below, and congrats to all 10 honorees celebrated virtually. 

Outstanding Social Justice Advocate
Jenny C. Fan, Manager, Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion

Jenny C. Fan has spent her 15-year UCI career with the School of Social Sciences. Currently, she is the manager for the Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion (IMTFI), a research institute that looks at the consumer side of financial technology everyday use and implications of new technologies: how people engage with, refuse, modify, hack, and share them, and how they in turn influence people’s understandings of money, value, justice, and even faith. Fan fosters collaborations and connections with and on behalf of IMTFI and its fellows in a variety of academic, policy, and other professional communities. She received her bachelor’s in political science from Wellesley College, her MFA in creative writing from the University of Washington, and has been the recipient of the Charles Johnson Award in Fiction. In her spare time, she is a social activist, and she enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, and eating good Asian food. Her recent review of Minor Feelings is available online via the UCI Humanities Center.

Alumni & Community Award
Nicole Balbuena, ’19 Chicano/Latino studies, political science, and sociology

Nicole Balbuena graduated from UCI in 2019 with triple majors in Chicano/Latino studies, political science, and sociology. In 2017, she founded the first college Healthy Emotions and Attitudes in Relationships Today (H.E.A.R.T.) mentoring program in Orange County with the support of Laura's House, a domestic violence agency that provides services and shelter to victims of intimate partner violence. The H.E.A.R.T. mentoring program still operates and serves 40 to 50 youth from three after-school programs in Anaheim and Santa Ana each quarter. In this program, mentors educate their mentees about their rights and available public resources, the common signs of abuse, and how to formulate a healthy relationship. Nicole has been accepted to Columbia University, University of Chicago, University of Michigan, UC Berkeley, USC, and UCLA to pursue a master's degree in social work, where she will continue serving underrepresented communities and uplifting marginalized populations.

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