DR. VICKI L. RUIZ is Distinguished Professor Emerita of History and Chicano/Latino Studies at the University of California, Irvine. A first-generation college-bound student, she received her Ph.D. in History from Stanford University in 1982. An award-winning scholar and educator, she is the author of Cannery Women, Cannery Lives and From Out of the Shadows: Mexican Women in Twentieth-Century America and co-author of Created Equal: A History of the United States. She and Virginia Sánchez Korrol co-edited the three-volume Latinas in the United States: A Historical Encyclopedia, which received a 2007 “Best in Reference” Award from the New York Public Library. Over the course of her career, Ruiz has participated in numerous public history and community engagement programs, including Arizona State’s Hispanic-Mother Daughter Program and UCI’s Humanities Out There. From 2007-2012, she served as Dean of the School of Humanities at UC Irvine.
In 2012 Professor Ruiz was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the oldest and most prestigious learned societies. Directing twenty-six doctoral dissertations, she has mentored four generations of graduate students from UC Davis, Claremont Graduate School, Arizona State, and UC Irvine. The National Women’s History Project named her a 2015 Honoree in recognition of her scholarship and that year she also received the UC Irvine Lauds and Laurels Faculty Achievement Award. She is the past president of the American Historical Association, the flagship organization for historians across all fields representing over 14,000 members. On September 10, 2015, President Barack Obama awarded Ruiz the National Humanities Medal, the eighth University of California faculty member and first Latina so honored.