February 19, 2014

On Saturday, February 5, 2012, the 2012 UC LEADS and Leadership Symposium was hosted by UC San Diego. UCI Graduate Dean Frances Leslie attended the event and was a faculty judge along with Professor Martha Mecartney of the Henry Samuel School of Engineering.  UC LEADS Scholars representing UCI were:

  • Sean Burke, Electrical Engineering
  • Edgar Pena, Engineering
  • Maribel Jaquez, Engineering
  • Perry Chavez, Engineering
  • Juan Miranda, Physical Sciences
  • Luis Herrera, Engineering
  • Chasen Rangen, Physics


The UC LEADS (University of California Leadership Excellence through Advanced Degrees) program identifies, encourages, and trains undergraduates who have potential for leadership as graduate students and also as future leaders committed to address the educational and economical factors leading to underrepresentation of domestic minorities in STEM fields. The UC LEADS program provides students with tools that prepare them to meet California’s continuing scientific, economic, and social challenges. UC LEADS scholars are empowered with research experience, advanced educational credentials and leadership skills. UC LEADS undergraduates prepare themselves to earn Ph.D.s in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields offered by the University of California. UC LEADS scholars, as future leaders, will be:

  • Able to function with vision and sensitivity in a diverse society to lead others in creating an environment that meets the needs of a diverse workforce;
  • Able to assist the State through the creation of new knowledge, industries, and development of a technically competent workforce;
  • Ready to assist in preparing future generations of students in the STEM fields at the University of California and reach out to the diverse talent pool that is available within the State of California;
  • Able to provide leadership in addressing the underrepresentation of domestic minorities in STEM fields; and
  • Able to assume future leadership roles in industrial, governmental, and academic positions.


Graduate Dean Frances Leslie and Professor and UC LEADS Faculty Mentor Martha Mecartney pose for a picture with UCI LEADS Scholars at the 2012 UC LEADS Research Symposium at UCSD on Saturday, February 4, 2012.  (Back Left to Right: Sean Burke, Edgar Pena, Chasen Ranger, Juan Miranda. Front Left to Right: Martha Mecartney, Perry Chavez, Maribel Jaquez, Frances Leslie, Luis Herrera).

 UCI Leads Student

First year UCI LEADS Scholar, Edgar Pena presents his research to a faculty judge at the 2012 UC LEADS Research Symposium.

UC Leads Talk

Second year UCI LEADS Scholar Maribel Jaquez discusses her work on plant canopy phenology with attendees at the 2012 UC LEADS Research Symposium held at UCSD.

UC Leads Talk 1

Foreground: Sean Burke, first year UCI LEADS Scholar explains his research to a fellow UC LEADS student at the 2012 UC LEADS Research Symposium. Background: second year UCI LEADS Scholar Luis Herrera converses with a faculty judge.

UC Leads Talk 3

First year UCI LEADS Scholar Edgar Pena discusses his research with UCI LEADS alum and current UCSD graduate student Grant Vousden-Dishington at the 2012 UC LEADS Research Symposium.

UC Leads Student Demo

Maribel Jaquez, second year UCI LEADS Scholar explains her research to a fellow UC LEADS scholar at the 2012 UC LEADS Research Symposium at UCSD.

UC LEADS Beckwith

UCI Graduate Dean Frances Leslie, and Professor Martha Mecartney attended the UC LEADS Research Symposium as faculty judges, shown here discussing research completed by two UC LEADS students, while UC Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies Steven Beckwith listens in on the presentations.