While at UAB, Dr. Graciela Alarcón was a professor of epidemiology and the Jane Knight Lowe Chair of Medicine in Rheumatology. Dr. Alarcón was a UAB Faculty member for 28 years and just recently retired this past January. After pursuing a degree in medicine at the Facultad de Medicinea, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia in Lima Peru in 1967, Dr. Alarcón received an MPH in 1972 at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. 

Remaining a true mentor after retiring, Dr. Alarcón returned to Birmingham in April to attend a trainee's defense. In her nomination letter, one of her trainees wrote, "For me she is an example of ethical and professional behavior because she is always concerned about doing the right things and making decisions with fellows and her colleagues." Another trainee summed up Dr. Alarcón's mentoring qualities by writing, "Ralph Waldo Emerson once said 'To know that even one life has breathed easier because I have lived, this is to have succeeded.' I believe Dr. Graciela S. Alarcón has met and surpassed this definition of success and truly deserves the Dean's Award for Excellence in Mentorship due to her passion for teaching and service to students, fellows, and everyone around her."