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Dr. Lari Wenzel Named Deputy Director of Mentoring

Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Senior Leadership Council is delighted to announce that Lari Wenzel, Ph.D., is the newly appointed Deputy Director for Mentoring, Education and Training, beginning September 1, 2012.

Dr. Wenzel will provide leadership and oversight for the development and administration of the Cancer Center’s Faculty Mentoring Program. In addition, she will serve as liaison with department chairs and mentoring facilitators.

The Faculty Mentoring Program (FMP) will provide a foundation for the success of junior faculty members (up to Assistant Professor) at the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center. Mentors will include tenured/full clinical and research scholars. Our Mentors will have the ability to contribute significantly to the development of their mentees’ research, teaching and clinical skills, particularly with respect to career satisfaction, career management and networking opportunities. The purpose of the FMP is to transition, assist and propel junior members and promote the advancement and retention of the mentees into our next generation of cancer focused academic physicians and research leaders.

"Lari Wenzel is exactly the right leader, at the right time for the CFCCC. She’s smart, accomplished, has excellent mentoring experience, strong relationships, and unbeatable enthusiasm," said Shelly Greenfield, Interim Director.

Lari is a full member of the Cancer Prevention and Prognosis Research Program in the Center and is Professor in the Program in Public Health, the Department of Medicine and the Health Policy Research Institute in the College of Health Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. She also serves as Associate Dean for Faculty Development in the School of Medicine. Lari has had substantial experience developing and supervising the implementation of counseling interventions, including those to enhance quality of life and cancer survivorship. Her extensive experience in QOL research in cervical cancer survivors and in mentoring junior faculty members in her SOM Associate Dean’s role makes her well qualified to be named Deputy Director for Mentoring, Education and Training.

California State University, Fullerton (CSUF) and the University of California, Irvine Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center (UCI-CFCCC) have just been awarded a P20 to establish a collaborative partnership to develop pilot research projects between faculty members at CSUF and UCI-CFCCC that will generate preliminary data for R01 or other competitively funded grant applications and, as part of these projects, to mentor and train early stage investigators and students at both institutions in cancer health disparities research. The Partnership plans to fund four projects during the length of the proposal. The first one, Disparities in Social Support, Isolation and Coping in Cervical Cancer Survivors, is Lari’s project.

"I'm very excited to be offered and to have accepted the position of Deputy Director for Mentoring, Education and Training! We are one of only 41 Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the Nation, and the only Comprehensive Cancer Center in Orange County. This highest NCI designation recognizes excellence in treatment, prevention, research, education and training. I am committed to our success. As new DD for MET, I am devoted to working together with the council, members, staff, and the community at large." – Lari Wenzel, Deputy Director for Mentoring, Education and Training.