A table displaying framed award certificates and associated bouquets of yellow roses wrapped in cellophane and tied with orange and yellow ribbon.

Chancellor Awards for Diversity recognize the outstanding efforts of individuals who demonstrate a strong dedication to diversity. Individuals recognized are leaders and pioneers in their respective fields and to the communities in which they serve.


The Office of Diversity and Outreach is proud to introduce the 2018 award recipients by category:

Advancement of Women

Faculty category:

Nerissa Ko, MD, MAS Professor, Department of Neurology “Dr. Ko has been highly effective in advancing our efforts in many areas, including that of pay equity for women faculty, broadening our educational diversity curriculum for faculty, staff and trainees, and leading our Diversity Committee.” — S. Andrew Josephson, MD, Professor and Chair, Department of Neurology

Student/resident/postdoctoral scholar category:

Sophia Levan Student, Biomedical Sciences Graduate Program “...Sophia has been a staunch advocate for women at UCSF. Her three years spent leading the Medical Scientist Training Program Women’s group and working with the Women in Life Sciences group, while excelling in her research efforts represent a tremendous effort beyond that of a traditional PhD candidate.” — Susan Lynch, PhD, Professor, School of Medicine

Disability Service

Student/resident/postdoctoral scholar category:

Laurence Henson Student, School of Medicine “(Laurence and Lisa) did a phenomenal job creating a new inter-professional elective that gave students access and experience with individuals with disabilities who work as advocates, teachers, and providers.” — Megan Winkelman, Student, School of Medicine
Lisa Shwartz Student, School of Nursing “Together (Laurence and Lisa) went the extra mile to ensure that the syllabus and curriculum was also designed to be as accessible as possible to learners with disabilities...This required additional work...but the mission of the class necessitated this level of accessibility and Lisa and Laurence always rose to that challenge with cheerful determination.” — Tim Montgomery, Director of Student Disability Services and Clarissa Kripke, MD, Professor, Department of Family & Community Medicine

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Leadership

Faculty category:

Denise Davis, MD Professor, School of Medicine “(Denise) has not just ‘re-invented the wheel’ but has taken the wheels off the ground to a higher level… in particular, contributing to developing doctors of the future who will serve diverse populations with the dignity and respect they deserve.” — Carol Miller, MD, Professor, Department of Pediatrics

Staff category:

Teresa Scherzer, PhD Academic Programs Evaluator, School of Nursing “(Teresa) models cultural humility, questioning her own unconscious biases and challenging herself and others to look deeply at the processes and structural barriers that are frequently taken for granted and which contribute to alienating, exclusionary and often painful experiences for under-represented members of our community.” — Erica Monasterio, RN, MN, FNP, Director of Family Nurse Practitioner, School of Nursing

Student/resident/postdoctoral scholar category:

Cortlyn Brown, MD Resident Physician, Department of Emergency Medicine “Dr. Brown is simply outstanding...her dedication to increasing opportunities for a diverse and inclusive workforce in medicine is not only longstanding but profound not only in her efforts but also in the results of those efforts.” — Chris Fee, MD, Residency Program Director, Department of Emergency Medicine and Peter Sokolove, MD, Chair and Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex Leadership

Faculty category:

Amber Fitzsimmons, DPTSc, PT Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science and Department of Anatomy “Dr. Fitzsimmons is a tireless advocate for establishing cultural competency training that includes space for LGBTQI patient population needs.” — Pardis Esmaeili, Student, Doctor of Physical Therapy Graduate Program
Marguerita Lightfoot, PhD Professor, School of Medicine “Dr. Lightfoot has been incredibly accessible, unbelievably generous, and deeply committed to the LGBTQI community. Those who work with her to bridge the gap between academia and the public have said that they have yet to run across a better ally for the LGBTQI community than Dr. Lightfoot.” — Meshell Johnson, MD, Associate Professor, School of Medicine

Student/resident/postdoctoral scholar category:

Elaine Hsiang Student, School of Medicine “Fierce women such as Elaine enable our community to grow, thrive, and alter our understanding of ourselves and how our identities intersect with our roles as professional students. (She reaches into) LGBTQIA+ youth of color and draws them into a growing community of healers.” — Rachel Schenkel, Cameron Donald, Patrick Martin-Tuite, Students, School of Medicine