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Remembering Zeke Hasenfeld’s Intellectual Generosity

Former colleagues, students and friends of Yeheskel “Zeke” Hasenfeld gathered at the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica on Oct. 11 to honor his life and reflect on the profound influence the professor emeritus had on those around him. Hasenfeld passed away on Feb. 28, 2019, leaving a legacy as a generous mentor, gifted communicator and a pioneer in the study of human service. After three decades at UCLA, Hasenfeld retired in 2014 but remained connected as a researcher and mentor. Among those who spoke at the memorial was Professor Laura Abrams, chair of UCLA Luskin Social Welfare, who has “fond memories of Zeke, who graced the halls of UCLA with his kindness and the rare intellectualism that made him a true social work legend.” Fernando Torres-Gil, professor of social welfare and public policy, remembers Hasenfeld’s infectious joie de vivre and a sense of life that never wavered. In remembrances shared during the memorial, former colleagues recalled his penchant for challenging them intellectually over the years, and former students expressed their gratitude for Hasenfeld’s deep trust in the capacity of students to do good work that matters. Several speakers at the memorial noted Hasenfeld’s devotion to family, and the pleasure he took in talking about his children and grandchildren. One of his daughters, Rena Garland, thanked the Luskin School for hosting the memorial, saying it gave her a deeper understanding of her father’s academic research and accomplishments. Also speaking at the memorial from UCLA Luskin were Professor Emeritus A.E. “Ted” Benjamin, Professor Emerita Aurora P. Jackson and alumna Sara Terrana, as well as other former colleagues and students who came forward to share memories at the memorial. Thomas Brock, a former student of Hasenfeld at the University of Michigan, and Michalle Mor Barak, a professor at USC and personal friend of Hasenfeld, attended the memorial and offered their remarks, and video tributes were provided by four other former students and colleagues.

A memoriam to Hasenfeld’s life and career can be found here.

View a Flickr album of the memorial.

Fostering Leadership: 2018-2019 Senior Fellows Breakfast

UCLA Luskin hosted an opening breakfast to kick off the 22nd year of the Senior Fellows Leadership Program, a mentoring program that matches UCLA Luskin graduate students with distinguished leaders from the public, private and nonprofit sectors. This program gives students an opportunity to enhance their academic experience by connecting and establishing networks with leaders in their areas of interest. This year, Dean Gary Segura welcomed 12 new Senior Fellows, including several UCLA alumni, in addition to the 36 returning Senior Fellows, making up the largest group of Senior Fellow mentors in the program’s history. Edmund Cain, vice president of grant programming at the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and returning Senior Fellow, was the keynote speaker for the Oct. 25, 2018, breakfast, which was organized by UCLA Luskin External Programs and Career Services. The event served as an icebreaker for students and their new Senior Fellow mentors, who will serve as role models for the next generation of leaders in public policy, social welfare and urban planning.

This year’s new Senior Fellow mentors are:

  • Bob Alvarez, BA ’88, chief of staff, California State Sen. Cathleen Galgiani
  • Michael Alvidrez, MA UP ’83, external ambassador, CEO emeritus, Skid Row Housing Trust
  • Cecilia Choi, foreign service officer, U.S. Dept. of State; UCLA Diplomat in Residence
  • Honorable Mike Gatto, former California Assembly member, D-43rd District
  • Seth Jacobson, MPP ’03, senior director, energy and water programs, Climate Resolve
  • Cheryl Mathieu, PhD ’05 (Social Welfare), founder and CEO, AgingPro
  • Honorable Brian Nestande, former California Assembly member, R-42nd District
  • Berk Özler, lead economist, Development Research Group, The World Bank
  • Paco Retana, MSW ’90, vice president of programs, Los Angeles Child Guidance Clinic
  • Joel Reynolds, western director, senior attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council
  • Faye Washington, president & CEO, YWCA Greater Los Angeles
  • Emily Williams, MPP ’98, senior deputy for human services and child welfare, Office of Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas

For more information about the Senior Fellows Leadership Program or to access a list of all past and returning Senior Fellows, click here.

View more images from the 2018-2019 Senior Fellows Breakfast.