The UCSC Women's Club, a campus Friends organization, awarded $20,000 in scholarships to re-entry students at UC Santa Cruz this year, a record for the club in terms of the number of scholarships awarded and the total amount of the awards.

The club made a total of 23 awards during its annual spring luncheon on May 5. Twelve scholarships went to women and 11 to men, in a variety of disciplines and including both undergraduate and graduate students. Seventeen of the 23 scholars attended the luncheon, and several expressed their appreciation to the group and gave explanations of their course of study or research project.

The campus received a record number of applications this year, which Corinne Miller, Women's Club member and director of UCSC's Services for Transfer and Re-entry Students, said is clearly reflective of the economic climate.

"More students are struggling to fund the cost of their education, and it's vital that groups like the UCSC Women's Club provide financial support to deserving students," said club board member Lorraine Margon.

In applying, all students demonstrated both financial need and academic standing. Many students are single parents and/or the first in their family to attend college; others have families to support while putting themselves through school.

In presenting the awards, Mary Wells, scholarship coordinator for the Women's Club said, "I'm grateful that our club was able to make awards to so many talented and deserving students. All are heroes in my book, overcoming any number of obstacles and barriers through hard work and sacrifice in the short term in order that they may follow a passion or dream to not only better themselves but to make the world a better place in some way."

This year's 23 scholarship recipients are:

  • Eric Arce: undergraduate Latin American and Latino studies major; his scholarship will pay for textbooks and fees during the 2010-11 academic year.

  • Ted Biggs: graduate student majoring in anthropology; his scholarship will allow him either to attend a South East Asian language training institute this summer or to conduct preliminary field work in Indonesia.

  • Guadalupe Burgara: undergraduate transfer student majoring in sociology; her scholarship will cover 2010 summer session fees.

  • Imani Caradonna: undergraduate biology major, with plans to go on to complete advanced degrees in medicine and biomedical science; his scholarship will pay for 2010 summer session fees and laboratory equipment.

  • Bruce Daniels: graduate student majoring in Earth and planetary sciences with a focus on climatology and hydrology; his scholarship will enable him to attend a conference integral to his research.

  • Jesse Dolan: environmental studies major in his senior year; his scholarship will pay for fees, tuition, and supplies needed for his natural history field quarter in spring 2010.

  • Sarah Emmert: transfer undergraduate majoring in psychology, with plans to apply to UCSC's Social Psychology Ph.D. program; her scholarship will pay for summer 2010 course work.

    Note: Sarah is also the Women's Club's 3rd annual Frances Spodick Drake Memorial Scholarship. Frances was a much beloved and admired club member, and a special friend of Rita Olsen Pister, for whom the Club's scholarship endowment is named. Frances passed away in 2007. She was a career woman and author in the field of human resources and industrial psychology and a strong supporter of women and education.

  • Marian Farah: Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics; her scholarship will allow her present her research at a conference that is the only one of its kind in her field of Bayesian Statistics.

  • Ellen FitzGerald: undergraduate community studies major who expects to graduate in fall 2011; her scholarship will fund a six-month, full-time unpaid field study for her major with San Francisco-based Urban Sprouts, a program that works with public high school students on gardening, nutrition, and environmental education issues.

  • Margarita Gonzales: graduate student studying bioinorganic chemistry; her scholarships will help fund her research project and present her results at a professional conference in October.

  • Malia Griggs-Murphy: undergraduate anthropology major; focusing on West Africa and the Trans-Atlantic slave trade; her scholarship will allow her to make an archaeological trip to Benin, West Africa.

  • Ruth Kim: Ph.D. student in education; her scholarship will help pay for summer day camp for her 8-year-old daughter, in order for her to have more time to complete her doctoral dissertation.

  • Alina Langford: undergraduate marine biology major; her scholarship will pay for a scientific diving course, which is a prerequisite for the field study course in her major.

  • Graham Langley-Edwards: double major in environmental studies and economics; his scholarship will pay for tuition and books.

  • Claudia Lopez: Ph.D student in sociology; her scholarship will fund a trip to Bogota, Colombia, where she will conduct preliminary research for her dissertation.

  • Chris Morrow: transfer student majoring in chemistry, with a focus on environmental chemistry; his scholarship will cover travel and living expenses for his summer internship working in a lab at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho, on a project entitled "Soil and Water Pollution in the Coeur d'Alene Floodplain," and will also to pay for his textbooks next year.

  • Aryn Moulton: undergraduate community studies major, with a focus on helping marginalized youth and children with illnesses and disabilities to live quality lives; her scholarship will fund her field study project, working with the Kids Club at Barrios Unidos, which is part of the Beach Flats Community Center in Santa Cruz.

  • Gabriel Muro: a junior transfer student majoring in Earth sciences with a concentration in planetary sciences; his scholarship will pay for the purchase of two programming languages and the computer parts that are necessary for him to carry out simulations for his research projects.

  • Joanna Nelson: Ph.D. student in environmental studies; her scholarship will fund highly specialized training in the denitrification process of estuarine ecosystems at two laboratories on the East Coast, training that is not available on the West Coast.

  • Thong Nguyen: undergraduate major in business management economics and accounting; his scholarship will buy textbooks and school supplies for the 2010-11 academic year.

  • William Rice: undergraduate major in Earth sciences with plans to use his degree to make better use of the limited resources on this planet while helping underprivileged people earn a better standard of living; his scholarship money will pay for 2010 summer course work.

  • Martin Rizzo: Ph.D. student in history, focusing on local Californian history; his scholarship will pay for Spanish courses at UCSC during summer 2010.

  • Niki Severson: Ph.D. student in history, focusing on gender and sexuality in the U.S. during the 19th century; her scholarship will fund a Spanish immersion program in Mexico during summer 2010.


The UCSC Women's Club has both social and philanthropic programs. A special goal of the club is to raise funds for re-entry scholarships at UC Santa Cruz. This is done through a variety of fundraisers and by continuing to invest in its endowment.

The club's most successful fundraiser to date is its annual Santa Cruz Chocolate Festival, which began in 2008. More than $44,000 has been raised from this event alone during its first three years. Since inception in 1966, the UCSC Women's Club has awarded nearly 300 scholarships for a total of almost $180,000 to help students pay for tuition and fees, research activities, computers, and childcare. The club is open to all members of the campus and Santa Cruz-area communities.

The Women's Club scholarship awards are made through the campus Services for Transfer and Re-entry Services (STARS) office. STARS provides the extra academic and personal support transfer and re-entry students may need to benefit fully from their education at UCSC, whether they are full- or part-time. STARS assists students with their pre-admissions questions, transition concerns, academic support network, and post-graduation planning.