UC Davis Engineering Alumna to Receive Aggie Service Award

UC Davis chemical engineering alumna Cynthia Murphy-Ortega (’91) will receive the UC Davis Cal Aggie Alumni Association’s Aggie Service Award for her exemplary dedication to the university in 2017. Photo: Courtesy of Cynthia Murphy-Ortega

By Bonnie Dickson

DAVIS, Calif.; Nov. 30, 2017 – College of Engineering alumna Cynthia Murphy-Ortega will receive the UC Davis Cal Aggie Alumni Association’s Aggie Service Award for her exemplary dedication to the university in 2017.

The CAAA Aggie Service Award honors a UC Davis graduate who has demonstrated exemplary pride and dedication to the university through a personal commitment of time and energy, volunteerism and leadership over the last year.

After graduating from UC Davis with a bachelor’s in chemical engineering in 1991, Murphy-Ortega joined Chevron as an engineer. Now in her 26th year with the company, she serves as a manager in Chevron’s University Partnerships and Association Relations group, where she develops strategic relationships with universities and national associations to support the curriculum, faculty and facilities that are needed to lead students to success after college.

Murphy-Ortega currently services on the Engineering Dean’s Executive Committee and the program advisory committee for the Leadership in Engineering Advancement Diversity and Retention program at UC Davis, where she was influential in Chevron’s founding partnership of the program, as well as the Avenue-E community college transfer program designed to recruit, retain and graduate diverse populations of students.

In addition to her support of student recruitment and retention programs on campus, she has also directed Chevron’s support to establish 22 scholar awards for deserving engineering students at UC Davis.

Beyond UC Davis, Murphy-Ortega is involved with programs to promote diversity in engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand.

The CAAA will honor Murphy-Ortega and other outstanding alumni at the 45th Annual Alumni Awards Gala on Friday, Feb. 2, 2018 at the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts. She is one of seven exceptional individuals selected to receive a CAAA alumni award for their impact on UC Davis and the world. The complete list of recipients is as follows:

  • Emil M. Mrak International Award: Liliana Ferrer ’87 of Sacramento, California
  • Outstanding Alumna Award: Margaret Lapiz ’89 of Alamo, California
  • Young Alumnus Award: Jesse Rodriguez ’13 of Elk Grove, California
  • Distinguished Friend Award: Ernest E. Tschannen of Orangevale, California  
  • Aggie Service Award: Cynthia Murphy-Ortega ’91 of Vallejo, California
  • CAAA Distinguished Achievement Award: John E. Madigan ’70, MS ’72, DVM ’75 of Woodland, California
  • Jerry W. Fielder Memorial Award: Patrick John Sherwood ’86 of Danville, California

Related: UC Davis to Honor Alumni and Friends (University News, 11/30/2017)