Irvine, Calif. – UCI emeritus Professor Dr. Feizal Waffarn will fund UCI’s first donor-sponsored diversity, equity, and inclusion Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship, set to be awarded later this Spring with appointment to begin in the Summer.
The prestigious Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship is part of the University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, one of the most competitive in the country, with an award rate in the single digits. UCI Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellows are selected from a pool of applicants who identified faculty mentors at UC Irvine and are finalists for the University of California PPFP.
“As a migrant and a first-generation student, a fellowship such as this is very personal to me,” Dr. Feizal Waffarn said. “There were several challenges I had to overcome to get to get to where I am today in academia. If I can help do that for a promising scholar at UCI, that would be very fulfilling.”
The UCI Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship Program offers postdoctoral research fellowships and faculty mentoring to exceptional scholars in all fields whose research, teaching, and service will contribute to diversity and equal opportunity at the University of California. These contributions may include public service addressing the needs of our increasingly diverse society, efforts to advance equitable access to higher education for women and minorities, as well as research focusing on underserved populations or understanding issues of racial or gender inequalities.
The program seeks applicants with the potential to bring to their academic careers the critical perspective that comes from their non-traditional educational background or understanding of the experiences of members of groups historically underrepresented in higher education.
“We are grateful that Dr. Waffarn has funded this crucial fellowship,” said Sharon Block, Associate Vice Provost for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. “UCI has been a leader in its support of the President’s and Chancellor’s postdoctoral fellowship program. More than three dozen former fellows have become faculty at UCI largely thanks to the program’s associated Hiring Incentive. Dr. Waffarn’s gift will expand opportunities for academic excellence at UCI and UC more broadly.”
Dr. Waffarn began his faculty appointment in the Department of Pediatrics in the School of Medicine in 1980 and retired as the Chairman of Pediatrics in 2011. His research focuses on the effects of perinatal stress: effects on growth and outcomes of the fetus; global health initiatives in pediatrics, and non-invasive monitoring techniques. In addition, Dr. Waffarn also earned his M.B.A. from UCI’s Paul Merage School of Business.
In addition to his work with Graduate Division, Dr. Waffarn also serves on the Dean’s Cabinet in the UCI Sue & Bill Gross School of Nursing and provides scholarship support for underrepresented minorities in honor of his late wife Dorothy Janice Waffarn.
“Dr. Waffarn has already made his impact felt on this campus in so many ways,” said Gillian Hayes, Vice Provost for Graduate Education. “We’re so grateful that he’s decided to partner with Graduate Division to fund a fellowship that will truly change a scholar’s life.”
Dr. Waffarn’s gift will fund this fellowship for two years, through the 2024-2025 academic year. Appointment of this fellow is expected July 1, 2023.
About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities and is ranked among the nation’s top 10 public universities by U.S. News & World Report. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 224 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $7 billion annually to the local economy and $8 billion statewide. For more on UCI, visit www.uci.edu.