Evelyn Ruiz Calvillo, DNSc '91

Award Year: 2016

Evelyn Calvillo graduated from a Diploma Nursing Program in 1964, received a B.S.N. in 1983 from the University of Texas at Galveston, and an M.S.N. from Loma Linda University in 1986.  In 1987, she began the Doctorate in Nursing Science program at UCLA School of Nursing.  In addition to being admitted to the first class, she was the first Hispanic to earn a doctorate in nursing in California in 1991.  Beginning in 1986, she taught nursing at Loma Linda University and Chapman College.  She began at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) in 1990 and served the university until 2013.  She is currently a member of the CSULA Emeriti Association which has an active relationship of service to the university. In addition to a long history of teaching, during her tenure at CSULA she served in various roles including Associate Director of the School of Nursing; Associate Director of Education Programs for the Institute for Applied Gerontology; Activity Director for a student retention project funded by U.S. Department of Education, Hispanic Serving Institutions, Title V Initiative; Director of the University Academic Center; and Acting Associate Dean of the College of Health and Human services.


Beginning with the master’s, the dissertation, and after earning the doctorate, Dr. Calvillo’s research focused on the health beliefs of Mexicans and Mexican Americans and other Hispanics (Latinos). Examples of NIH funded research include assisting Hispanic patients with Type II diabetes and leukemia to make lifestyle changes. Because of her background in culture and previous research with Hispanics, she was a consultant for various institutions including the Center for Vulnerable Populations Research (CVPR) at UCLA.  She served as consultant for several proposals submitted by investigators from different institutions, both academic and service.  Throughout the years Dr. Calvillo was intense on making an impact on the health care of the Hispanic community by directly serving on many projects such as the development of the healthcare delivery system LA Care Health Plan for the diverse Medi-Cal population.  She was involved in numerous activities such as seminars, workshops, presentations, and publications to educate caregivers on providing culturally competent care.  She was invited by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) to serve on advisory boards and was co-chair for the development of competencies to prepare a culturally competent BSN, MSN, and Doctorate nursing workforce.  The documents on cultural competency for BS and Graduate nursing education programs are available on the AACN website.  The most gratifying activities she participated in were the various projects for retention and mentorship of underserved students in nursing and other academic programs.