College of Education
Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award
Dr. Charles J. Alexander, Grad '88
Growing up, Dr. Charles Alexander knew he wanted to help people, potentially as a doctor or teacher. Today, he has creatively integrated both into a successful career. As associate vice provost for diversity and director of the Academic Advancement Program in UCLA's Division of Undergraduate Education, he leads and develops initiatives for more than 6,000 undergraduates from diverse populations. His programs include academic advising, collaborative learning workshops, and summer bridge programs for entering freshman and transfer students.
"I want to help uplift those who have been traditionally and historically excluded from higher education," he says. "It's a value that was passed on to me to share with others."
As if leading these creative educational programs for thousands of students isn't enough, Alexander also is committed to advances in the dental profession as an educator. He recently published a monumental study involving students pursuing prerequisite classes for medical and dental schools. Other responsibilities include serving as chair of the national advisory committee for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Pipeline, Profession and Practice: Community-Based Dental Education Program II and as associate adjunct professor in the division of public health at UCLA's School of Dentistry.
Although his achievements and accolades are far from the Marquette campus where he received his graduate degree, the university's commitment to excellence and service has had a lasting impact on his life.
"I always strive for excellence both personally and professionally and my faith gives me the strength to stay committed to the work that I do helping students and individuals realize their talents," he says.
Fun facts about Charles
What book would Charles recommend to a young professional: Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell