Lea Ybarra Named IAAY Executive DirectorLea Ybarra, a sociologist with a wide range of academic and administrative experience, has been named executive director of the Johns Hopkins University Institute for the Academic Advancement of Youth. She succeeds William Durden, who left the university earlier this year. Ybarra assumes her new post Sept. 1.
"The search committee was strongly impressed by her personal force and creativity," said Steven Knapp, provost and vice president of academic affairs. "I think she is the ideal person to lead IAAY into the next phase of its growth."
The Institute for the Academic Advancement of Youth of The Johns Hopkins University evolved from a pioneering program for students with extraordinary mathematical ability. Today it is a comprehensive, university-based initiative that promotes the academic ability of children and youth throughout the world. Its program include research, the identification of young people's academic talents in the liberal arts, and challenging in-school or out-of-school educational programs in mathematics, the sciences and the humanities specially suited to their emerging abilities.
"I am looking forward to continuing the tradition of excellence that has been established," Ybarra said. "Working with the wonderful staff, I know we can establish stronger linkages with the university and the community, maintain the quality of our programs and create an even more dynamic future for the institute and for the students we serve."
At the time of her appointment, Ybarra was a senior research associate for Olmos Productions in Los Angeles. There she was involved in a variety of innovative projects, including researching and writing an educational guide on date violence.
Prior to that, Ybarra held, for 24 years, a variety of teaching and administrative positions at California State University, Fresno. From 1994 to 1996, she was acting associate provost for academic planning and student affairs. She was assistant to the president from 1993 to 1994 and assistant to the provost and vice president for academic affairs from 1992 to 1993.
As professor in the Department of Chicano and Latin American Studies from 1983 to 1992, Ybarra researched issues of race, class and gender, the sociology of the family, political sociology and contemporary Latin America. During that time--from 1987 to 1992--she was director of the Faculty Mentoring Program, a university-wide program for freshmen. She also served as assistant to the dean of the School of Social Sciences.
Ybarra also has directed programs such as Project Excel, a project underwritten through 1999, which is designed to provide math, science and computer technology training for young women from kindergarten through college.
She has made dozens of presentations on leadership, community service and academics and has published papers on the socio-economics of Chicano women and familes. Ybarra also has a long history of being involved in university and community activities, receiving numerous awards and honors along the way.
Among them, in 1996, Ybara was given the Latinas Beyond Boundaries Award by the Central California Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Women's Conference and was honored by Leadership California. She also received the Rosa Parks Award for Outstanding Community Service in 1990 and was named Fresno's Outstanding Business/Professional Woman of the year in 1989. In 1987 she was recognized with the California State University, Fresno Exceptional Merit Service Award for Excellence in Teaching and Community Service and was presented in 1983 the Hispanic of the Year Award for Outstanding Service in Education.
Ybarra holds a bachelor's degree (1970), a master's degree (1972) and a doctoral degree (1977) in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley.
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