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The Constantine Panunzio Distinguished Emeriti Award 2022-23

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For Immediate Release                                                                                          


Dear Provosts, Deans, and Emeriti Association Presidents:

UC Irvine and UC San Francisco Professors Honored with

2022-2023 Constantine Panunzio Distinguished Emeriti Award

The 2022-2023 Constantine Panunzio Distinguished Emeriti Award honoring Emeriti Professors in the University of California system has been awarded to Professor Emeritus of Chicano/Latino Studies Raul Fernandez (UC Irvine) and Professor Emerita of Nursing Charlene Harrington (UC San Francisco).

UC Emeriti Professors Fernandez and Harrington are the fiftieth and fifty-first recipients of the Constantine Panunzio Award. Both awardees have especially long and notable records of research, teaching, and service to the University of California, their disciplines, and their communities. The late Dr. Panunzio, a Professor of Sociology at UCLA for many years, has been described as the architect of the UC Retirement System and was particularly active in improving pensions and stipends for his fellow Emeriti. The award bearing his name was established in 1983 and includes a $5,000 prize.

Raul Fernandez, UC Irvine, Professor Emeritus of Chicano/Latino Studies, who retired in 2012, is highly recognized for his scholarship on the economic and cultural transactions between the U.S. and Latin America. That simple description, however, does not do justice to a singular scholarly odyssey that started with the study of rehabilitation for heroin addicts through analysis of the Mexican-American border region, to Latin American History, and then to the field for which his now best known, Latin American Jazz. His ground-breaking research on Afro-Caribbean music and dance has brought welcome attention to the cultural contributions of the Afro-Latino diaspora and fostered an understanding of the crucial role that Afro-Cuban culture has played in the evolution of modern music here and around the world through jazz. That work provided an important foundation for the creation of the UC-CUBA Academic Initiative, a multi-campus research program in 2006. Since its inception, the Initiative has been a seedbed for new scholarships, graduate training, and publications. He acted as Director of UC-CUBA from 2012-2015 and continues to serve as Executive Secretary. During retirement, Professor Fernandez continues in an active role in his department, on campus and systemwide, including serving as Chair, Department of Chicano Latino Studies, as a member of the School of Social Sciences Executive Committee, and on the UC Presidents’ Postdoctoral Fellowship Program’s selection committees. He serves as the faculty liaison for the Chicano/Latino Staff Association at UCI, has mentored scholars, taught courses, and sits on doctoral committees across multiple disciplines such as Anthropology, History, Literature, Political Science, Sociology, and Spanish – including interdisciplinary Humanities at UC Merced and UCLA. Since retirement, he has published more than 15 scholarly articles, review essays, and reports, as well as a book, Ontología del son, La Habana: Editorial Letras Cubanas, 2021, a major collection of 20 articles in Spanish, on Cuban music and musicians. Given this exceptional record of productivity and service, UCI recognized his contributions in 2018 with the UC Irvine Outstanding Emeritus Award.

Charlene Harrington, UC San Francisco, Professor Emerita of Nursing, retired in 2008. Since that time, Dr. Harrington has maintained an exceptional level of scholarly productivity and service in the field of nursing home care. Throughout her career, she has been an energetic and expert advocate for nursing and long-term care facilities whose problems came dramatically and tragically to everyone’s attention during the COVID pandemic. Her long research program on quality of care, staffing and regulation enabled her to apply her expertise to a severe local, national and international problem, and to offer expert testimony on these issues before various governmental agencies. Her efforts have focused on measures that directly improve the lives of residents, including better training standards for nurses, public reporting of nursing home quality, and greater transparency for consumers about care expectations and price. Notably, her research and advocacy contributed to the President of the United States’ plan for “Protecting Seniors by Improving Safety and Quality of Care in the Nation’s Nursing Homes.” Her research continues to be funded by a wide range of organizations including the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, the Healthcare Financing Administration, the National Institute on Aging, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Commonwealth Fund, the California Health Care Foundation, and the Kaiser Family Foundation. Besides her service as a public advocate for nursing home care, she has also served on several editorial boards such as Policy, Politics & Nursing Practice and Journal of Aging and Social Policy. On the UCSF campus, she has remained active in the Emeriti Association and has been an informal mentor to students in her department while also providing guest lectures on a variety of topics related to her research. Additionally, she has published numerous peer-reviewed papers, book chapters, book reviews, and reports, as well as co-edited books. Not surprisingly, Dr Harrington has also been asked to lecture, teach, and mentor around the world. 

Please join all of us on the Committee in congratulating Emeriti Professors Raul Fernandez and Charlene Harrington on receiving the 2022-2023 Constantine Panunzio Distinguished Emeriti Award.



Michael S. Levine
Chair, Constantine Panunzio Distinguished Emeriti Award Selection Committee
Vice Chancellor, Academic Personnel