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31st Annual Scholarship Recognition and Distinguished Teaching Award Celebration

Thursday, March 18

ARC Ballroom, UC Davis
6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Dean Kevin R. Johnson cordially invites you the 31st Annual Recognition Celebration for Scholarship Donors and Recipients and the William and Sally Rutter Distinguished Teaching Award honoring Professor Amagda Pérez.

Amagda Pérez, recipient of the 2010 Distinguished Teaching Award, has been committed to improving legal access for rural immigrant communities since childhood.  Early on, Ms. Pérez realized the legal system afforded no cognizable assistance for those impeded by language and cultural barriers.  This realization, coupled with Ms. Pérez's bicultural and bilingual background, spawned a career of serving the legal needs of marginalized immigrant communities.

The impetus of Ms. Pérez's legal career can be traced to her employment as a youth in a pear packing shed in Kelseyville, CA.  Due to her language abilities and sensitivities to differing cultural backgrounds, she was often asked for help filling out forms and legalization applications.  Ms. Pérez knew that if she did not fill the gap, the gap would remain as there were no bilingual resources for this rural community.  When asked where and how it all began, Ms. Pérez humbly suggests it was just a need that was not being filled that she thought she could fill.

Inspired to do more, Pérez went on to UC Davis as an undergraduate, and then on to King Hall, where she got involved with the Immigration Law Clinic in her second semester, and quickly felt at home.  As a student, she served as co-chair of La Raza Law Students Association, worked in the clinic, and was honored with the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Service and Leadership Award and the Lorenzo Patiño Leadership and Community Service Award.  Her academic achievements foreshadowed the legal career committed to social justice that followed.

After graduating in 1991, she went to work for California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc. focusing primarily on legalization, education, and labor cases.  In 1994, she joined the King Hall faculty in the Immigration Law Clinic, but continued her work with CRLA Inc.  She moved to California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation in 1996, where she is now the executive director.  She was named the director of the Immigration Clinic in 2007.

Pérez finds it "extremely rewarding" to help students progress through their work at the clinic, and is deeply humbled by her selection as the Distinguished Teaching Award recipient.  "This award is recognition of King Hall students' commitment to social justice," she said.  "For them to want the work of the Immigration Clinic to be recognized in this way is a testament to what we  hold as valuable, and that is to be able to provide high quality legal services to those who would otherwise be unrepresented."

Reception at 6:00 p.m.; dinner and program following at 7:00 p.m.
Kindly RSVP
by March 2, 2010 using the following links:

General Public -

Students -

Faculty -

Staff -

Past recipients include:

1980    James E. Hogan
1981    Daniel J. Dykstra
1982    Daniel W. Fessler
1983    Richard C. Wydick
1984    Jean C. Love
1985    Friedrich K. Juenger
1986    Floyd F. Feeney
1987    Bruce A. Wolk
1988    Robert W. Hillman
1989    Edward J. Imwinkelried
1990    Edward H. Rabin
1991    Margaret Z. Johns
1992    Rex R. Perschbacher
1993    Kevin R. Johnson
1994    Joel C. Dobris
1995    Alan E. Brownstein
1996    Harrison C. Dunning
1997    Martha S. West
1998    Florian Bartosic
1999    John D. Ayer
2000    Diane Marie Amann
2001    James F. Smith
2002    Debra Lyn Bassett
2003    James E. Hogan
2004    John W. Poulos
2005    Millard A. Murphy
2006    Edward J. Imwinkelried
2007    Donna Shestowsky
2008    Floyd F. Feeney
2009    Jennifer M. Chacon

For more information, please contact Gia Hellwig at or 530-754-5335