UCLA Chancellor Gene Block announced that Vickie Mays, a professor of psychology and health policy and management, has been named special adviser to the UCLA chancellor on Black life.
“Across our nation, and indeed the world, institutions of every type are wrestling with how to vanquish structural racism and inequality,” Block wrote in a letter to the UCLA community. “The success of UCLA’s efforts in this realm is central to the overall success of our university’s mission.”
Mays is a highly regarded thinker, scholar and leader, whose work has focused on understanding the physical and mental health challenges of underserved populations, “guiding policy to address these challenges and developing new methodologies to enhance the physical and mental well-being of vulnerable groups,” he said.
For the past 14 years, Mays has directed UCLA’s BRITE Center for Science, Research & Policy, an NIH-funded center with 60 faculty, staff, students and community partners working to eliminate physical and mental health disparities in racial/ethnic minority populations.
Mays has long made vital contributions to university governance at UCLA. She previously served as assistant vice chancellor for research diversity as well as chair of UCLA’s Academic Senate and chair of the Undergraduate Council. She has chaired or served on a number of Senate and administration ad hoc committees and task forces focused on subjects ranging from responsibility-centered management to data governance.
Her record of academic leadership and service on campus earned her the Academic Senate’s Lifetime Contributions Senate Service Award this year, as well as its Lifetime Contributions to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Award in 2019. For her academic work, Mays has received the American Psychological Association’s Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research and Public Policy. In October, she will be awarded the American Public Health Association’s Carl Taube Award for her lifetime career contributions to mental health services research.