Leading up to the UA's 100th Homecoming, we are highlighting UA alumni who are being honored by their colleges with alumni of the year awards.
The first child of a Mexican immigrant family to attend college, Rudy Valenzuela was called first to the priesthood and earned his UA doctorate in nursing in 2010. He is this year's Alumnus of the Year for the College of Nursing.
Passionate about culturally competent, community-based health care, Valenzuela understands the struggles of those he serves. He served the homeless people of Skid Row in Los Angeles and returned to Arizona to establish Camillus Health Center in south Yuma County. He later started Clinica Santa Maria de Guadalupe in San Luis Rio Colorado, Mexico. Today, he is building Blessed Angelo Paoli Hospital to provide rooms for surgery, obstetrics and recovery.
Last year, 45,000 patients received care through his clinics.
Valenzuela also earned his master's degree in nursing from the UA in 2002. Earlier, he studied at the Washington Theological Union, California State University and Imperial Valley College. He is active in professional medical organizations striving to provide health care and eliminate disparities in border regions.
Other UA alumni being honored are:
- Architecture Alumnus of the Year: James Edward Richärd
- Agriculture Alumnus of the Year: P. Andrew 'Andy' Groseta
- Education Alumna of the Year: Colleen Niccum
- Eller Alumna of the Year: Sarah Brown Smallhouse
- Engineering Alumnus of the Year: David Hutchens
- Fine Arts Alumnus of the Year: Jeffrey Haskell
- Honors College Alumnus of the Year: Nick T. Spark
- Humanities Alumnus of the Year: Eric Scott Baker
- Medicine Alumna of the Year: Adele Marie O'Sullivan
- Optical Sciences Alumnus of the Year: Jacobus "Jim" Oschmann
- Pharmacy Alumnus of the Year: Kevin Boesen
- SBS Alumna of the Year: Melody S. Robidoux
- Science Alumnus of the Year: Kenneth Krane