Community Engagement

The Ukleja Center for Ethical Leadership engages the business and professional communities through these initiatives:

Nell and John Wooden Ethics in Leadership Award

Recognized around the world for his ability to instill confidence and transmit his values to the on-court behavior of his players, former UCLA basketball Coach John Wooden was presented with the Ukleja Center's inaugural Nell and John Wooden Ethics in Leadership Award in 2009.  At UCLA, Wooden’s basketball teams won more national championships than any other – 10 over a 12-year period.  His teams achieved the pinnacle of his Pyramid of Success, known as “Competitive Greatness.”  The pyramid is a values-based system of leadership that transcends the basketball court and can be applied to personal and professional leadership realms. 

The Ukleja Center’s Nell and John Wooden Ethics in Leadership Award, along with a $10,000 check, is presented annually to a person or organization whose contribution to a relevant community – local, national, or global – is built on ethical behavior and visionary leadership.  The goals of the award are to promote ethics in leadership, recognizing its application, and to honor a great couple whose lives epitomized the Ukleja Center's mission, vision, and values.

Award Criteria

  • The nominee obtains a substantial result from the demonstrated leadership practice, action or behaviors
  • The practice, action, or behaviors exhibit a strong ethical component and values that reflect high standards
  • The nominee demonstrates a clear commitment to ethical standards that benefit the relevant community

2017 Award Recipient

The Ukleja Center will present the 2017 award to Rev. Gregory Boyle, S.J., Founder of Homeboy Industries, on November 16, 2017. The event will be held at the Carpenter Center for Performing Arts on the CSULB campus. Table sponsorship opportunities and benefits will be announced this summer. Please join us for an intimate and inspiring evening with Fr. Boyle!

Award Recipients

2009 - Coach John Wooden
2010 - Special Olympics Southern California
2011 - Ken Blanchard
2012 - Pat Haden
2013 - Governor George Deukmejian
2014 - Mohamed El-Erian
2015 - Louis Zamperini (posthumous award)
2016 - CSULB Shark Lab
2017 - Rev. Gregory Boyle, S.J.

  • John Wooden 2009 Award
    John Wooden
    2009 Award Recipient
  • Special Olympics 2010 Award Special Olympics Southern California
    2010 Award Recipient
  • Blanchard 2011 Award
    Ken Blanchard
    2011 Award Recipient
  • Haden 2012 Award Pat Haden
    2012 Award Recipient
  • Deukmejian 2013 Award Governor Grorge Deukmejian
    2013 Award Recipient
  • D Mohamed El-Erian 2014 Award Mohamed El-Erian
    2014 Award Recipient
  • D Mohamed El-Erian 2014 Award Louis Zamperini
    2015 Award Recipient
  • CSULB Shark Lab 2016 Award CSULB Shark Lab
    2016 Award Recipient
  • Rev. Gregory Boyle, S.J. Rev. Gregory Boyle, S.J.
    2017 Award Recipient

William Dickson Faculty Fellows

Thanks to a generous investment from Astro Aluminum Treating Company, the annual William Dickson Leader-in-Residence Program was launched in 2007.  Through this program, the Ukleja Center invites a prominent business executive, government, or nonprofit leader to interact with our university community over the course of an academic year.  Bringing an experienced leader to campus for an extended period of time allows program participants to learn about the full range of ethical leadership issues our leaders-in-residence have faced during the course of their careers.  In addition, campus and community leaders get to explore how they manage the ethical aspects of their own leadership responsibilities.

Leaders-in-residence engage with the campus community in a variety of settings, from classroom presentations to informal discussions with small groups of students, faculty, and/or business leaders.  These interactions enable members of the university community to enhance their understanding of ethical leadership, discover how these concepts are used in practice, and apply them within their own lives.

In 2010, the Leader-in-Residence became part of the center's William Dickson Faculty Fellows program, which engages top executives with the campus in exchange for a 3-year teaching appointment at our university.  Now each Leader-in-Residence is part of a cohort, rather than standing on his/her own.  By integrating these two programs, the synergy created has become greater than the sum of the parts. 

William Dickson Leaders-in-Residence
2007-2008: Robert Lorber, President, Lorber Kamai Consulting Group
2008-2009: Patrick McClenahan, CEO, 2015 Special Olympics World Games
2009-2010: Richard Strozzi-Heckler, President, Strozzi Institute
2010-2011: Cynthia Stamper Graff, President and CEO, Lindora Clinic
2011-2012: Damon Dunn, Co-Founder and Partner, Tricor Corporation
2012-2013: Diana Hendel, CEO, Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, Miller Children's Hospital, Community Hospital Long Beach
2013-2014: Rafer Johnson, Olympic Gold Medalist and California Special Olympics Founder
2014-2015: David Maggard, Jr., Chief of Police, City of Irvine
2015-2016: Justin Rudd, Founder, Community Action Team
2016-2017: Mary Zendejas, Executive Director and Founder, Professional Abilities Association of America

William Dickson Faculty Fellows
2008-2011: Robert Eckert, Former Chair of the Board and CEO, Mattel, Inc.
2008-2011: Beverly O’Neill, Former Mayor, City of Long Beach
2008-2009 and 2011-2013: Patrick McClenahan, CEO, 2015 Special Olympics World Games
2009-2010 and 2011-2012: Richard Strozzi-Heckler, President, Strozzi Institute
2010- 2013: Cynthia Stamper Graff, President and CEO, Lindora Clinic
2011- 2014: Damon Dunn, Co-Founder and Partner, Tricor Corporation
2012-2015: Diana Hendel, CEO, Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, Miller Children's Hospital, Community Hospital Long Beach
2013-2016: Rafer Johnson, Olympic Gold Medalist and California Special Olympics Founder
2014-2017: David Maggard, Jr., Assistant Chief of Police, Office of Operations, Los Angeles World Airports
2015-2018: Justin Rudd, Founder, Community Action Team
2016-2019: Mary Zendejas, Executive Director and Founder, Professional Abilities Association of America