Steck Award honoree recognized for cancer project

The Steck Award committee honored undergraduate Beau Norgeot and his two faculty mentors, David Bernick and Glenn Millhauser. (Photo by Carolyn Lagattuta)

Student Achievement Week came to a close with a ceremony recognizing this year’s Deans and Chancellor’s Awards honorees and the faculty members who guided them.

Chancellor George Blumenthal hosted a private luncheon at the University House for this year’s recipients of the Chancellor’s Awards, recognizing exceptional achievement in undergraduate research projects and other creative activities. A full list of the honorees and their mentors shows that the winners have a wide range of interests from silent movies filmed in Santa Cruz to dental robotics techniques.

The event concluded with the announcement of this year’s Steck Family Award—a special honor for the year's most outstanding senior thesis.  This year's Steck Family Award honoree is UC Santa Cruz senior Beau Norgeot, who used computer analysis to craft a drug to make cells more receptive to chemotherapy. This week, the Santa Cruz Sentinel profiled Norgeot and described the unusual collaboration at the heart of his work. He was honored along with his faculty mentors David Bernick and Glenn Millhauser.

Loren Steck (Porter '73), a UC Santa Cruz Foundation trustee, has described the award as a truly special honor for UCSC students: "Only the best undergraduates nowadays do senior theses," Steck said. "Only the best of the best of them receive Dean’s Awards. Only the best of the best of the best of them get Chancellor’s Awards."

Steck chairs the distinguished selection committee. The Steck family created the endowment that funds the award.

As usual, the identity of the Steck honoree was a closely guarded secret right up to the end of the ceremony.

These honors showcase two enduring values at UCSC—the focus on transformative undergraduate experiences on campus, and the importance of research as part of the learning process.