At a ceremony held Monday afternoon at the State Capitol, France A. Córdova was honored as the 64th Assembly District "Woman of the Year" by Assemblyman John J. Benoit (R-Bermuda Dunes) for her lifetime of achievements in the scientific community and in higher education. Ms. Córdova, following a very successful and internationally-renowned career as an astrophysicist, has reached a new level of success in her tenure as the seventh Chancellor of the University of California, Riverside campus. This year, Assemblyman Benoit commended Chancellor Córdova for her successful efforts that won the UC Regents' approval to pursue a medical school at UCR, the first in the Inland Empire.
"I am honored to name Chancellor Córdova as ‘Woman of the Year in the 64th Assembly District,'" said Benoit. "She is an exceptional woman, a wonderful role model for women in the sciences and in education, and an important advocate for the educational needs of the Inland Empire. She is the epitome of the American and California dream that, with hard work and a positive spirit, one can achieve anything, including reaching for the stars as Córdova has since her days at NASA."
Chancellor Córdova said, "I am very honored to be selected by Assemblyman Benoit as the 64th District's Woman of the Year. This day was a rewarding experience that included meeting the other women of the year, hearing about their public service and outstanding contributions to California, being in our State's Capitol building, and experiencing its rich history and traditions."
In 2002, Córdova made history by becoming the first Hispanic woman to lead a University of California campus. Throughout her tenure as Chancellor, UC Riverside has achieved great things, including most recently, the UC Regents' approval to pursue a medical school, the first in the Inland Empire. The UCR School of Medicine, projected to open in 2012, would be the first public medical school west of the Mississippi since 1971, and will enroll forty medical school students in its inaugural class. In addition to her duties as Chancellor, Córdova makes time to pass her legacy to new classes of students by teaching as a Distinguished Professor of Physics and Astronomy at UC Riverside.
The California State Assembly's "Woman of the Year" program honors eighty dynamic women who work to make their communities better places to live. They are chosen by the Assemblymembers of each of California's eighty Assembly districts.
France and her husband, Christian J. Foster, are wonderful role models for their two college-aged children.
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