An award-winning film producer, arts entrepreneur couple and real estate philanthropist. Resuming the in-person celebration of its extraordinary alumni and their accomplishments beyond campus, UC Santa Barbara will honor four accomplished individuals during the UCSB
An award-winning film producer, arts entrepreneur couple and real estate philanthropist. Resuming the in-person celebration of its extraordinary alumni and their accomplishments beyond campus, UC Santa Barbara will honor four accomplished individuals during the UCSB Alumni Awards 2022 at 6 p.m. on Friday, October 7 at the Lagoon Plaza on campus.
Walt Disney Animation Studios producer Yvett Merino ’94 will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award. Real estate investor and philanthropist Diane (Hilbert ’68) Dodds will be honored with the Graver Alumni Service Award (posthumously). Lynda Weinman and Bruce Heavin, co-founders of Lynda.com, will receive the Honorary Alumni Award. Each recipient will speak and share their ideas.
Yvett Merino, who earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology, is the Academy Award-winning producer of “Encanto” and the first Latina to receive the Oscar® for Best Animated Feature. She served as production manager on the Oscar-winning feature ‘Big Hero 6’, as well as the Oscar-nominated ‘Moana’. Launching her career in Disney animation in the technology department, she entered the world of production as supervisor of “Tangled”, “The Lion King 3D” and “Wreck-It Ralph”. Merino was also part of the team that launched [email protected], the studio’s first resource group for Latinx employees, where she served as co-chair for two years.
Diane Dodd earned a bachelor’s degree in English. As a student, she loved Shakespeare, Chaucer, literature, sociology, history and psychology. She loved the beach, cruising Isla Vista and spending hours in downtown Santa Barbara. She loved being president of her dormitory. She graduated from high school, worked in banking and finance, and spent twenty years helping run a tax and investment business. Diane was very passionate about her alma mater and philanthropically supported many areas including the Alumni Service Day, Alumni Scholarship Fund, Mosher Alumni House, and Isla Vista Foot Patrol. She was proud to be a Gaucho and an active member of her church, Opera Santa Barbara, and the UCSB board of elders.
Lynda Weinman began his career as a computer graphics artist in the early 1980s, working first in animation for film, television and industry, then as a faculty member and adjunct professor at the Art Center College of Design, American Film Institute and San Francisco State University Multimedia Studies Program. . She is the author of numerous how-to books and instructional videos, and is best known for co-founding one of the world’s first e-learning websites, lynda.com, in 1995. The company was sold to LinkedIn in 2015 and is now called LinkedIn Learning. After an early retirement, Weinman chose to become a full-time artist, leading her to combine her technical skills and learn 3D printing using clay, plastic and resin. Her practice includes teaching and collaborations in a variety of mediums, with a focus on ceramics and digital fabrication.
Bruce Hevin is an artist, strategist and entrepreneur. As creative director and co-founder of lynda.com, his creative vision has been integral to the company’s success as a leader in online education. He created his wife Lynda Weinman’s iconic company logo, designed many of the distinctive illustrations on the website, and authored some of the site’s first video tutorials in Photoshop, Illustrator, and After Effects. With extensive experience in illustration, photography and motion graphics, he has created illustrations for national publications as well as clients such as Adobe, MSNBC and E! Entertainment television.
Since 1960, UCSB alumni have awarded achievement and recognition awards to outstanding alumni and friends of the university. Nominations are made by Alumni, the Alumni Board, Valhalla, Past Honorees, UCSB Foundation Members, UCSB Deans and Department Heads, and UCSB Trustees. Applicant must be an alumnus, alumna, or friend of UC Santa Barbara whose dedication and commitment has significantly enriched the substance and contributed to UCSB’s reputation as one of the leading universities from the country. The candidate must have achieved significant professional or personal achievements; demonstrates exceptional integrity and character; and must be able to attend the awards ceremony.
The number of recipients varies from year to year depending on the applicant pool and other circumstances. Past recipients of the UCSB Alumni Award include Representative Lois Capps ’90, Steven M. Hilton ’74 and Jack ’97 and Kim Johnson ’97.