Social Sciences Division celebrates outstanding students

A grouping of headshots of student awardees

As spring quarter drew to a close, the Division of Social Sciences recognized excellence in scholarship and research through its annual student awards ceremony. Dean Katharyne Mitchell led the celebration, which was held virtually on June 4th from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Twenty-one students from more than 12 different academic programs were honored for their accomplishments. 

“We are so proud of our students, who have all shown amazing resilience, commitment, and leadership in the past year,” said Social Sciences Dean Katharyne Mitchell. “This is an opportunity to recognize exceptional students and celebrate their many successes.”

The 2021 student awardees from the Social Sciences Division are listed below. Click each student’s name to read more about them in their student profile.  

Division of Social Sciences awards

Gabriel Zimmerman Memorial Scholarship:

This scholarship was established to honor Gabriel "Gabe" Zimmerman, the alum who was shot and killed in the 2011 attack on Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Zimmerman was working as Giffords' community outreach director at a constituent-engagement event he had organized when gunshots rang out; he ran towards Giffords, who was gravely wounded in the assassination attempt. Gabe was killed. The scholarship was established in the weeks after the shooting by UC Santa Cruz graduates Jonathan Klein (Merrill '89, politics) and Alex Clemens (Porter '89, international politics) and has since attracted support from more than 520 donors. It supports undergraduates who are passionate about social issues and committed to social service.

Walsh Family Scholarship:

This scholarship was established by Economics Professor Carl Walsh and his wife, Judy Walsh (MS, '90, applied economics), in honor of Carl's parents Eugene and Bessie Walsh. The award is presented to one or more undergraduates within the Division of Social Sciences, based on academic merit and financial need.

Weiss Family Scholarship:

The Weiss Family Scholarship was established in 2005 by Timothy and Jean Weiss to support students in Colleges Nine and Ten. It is presented to one or more students who are working directly with faculty who are affiliated with a divisional research center.

Benjamin Quaye Memorial Award:

The Benjamin Quaye Memorial Endowment for Social Justice was established in 2016 to honor the memory of UC Santa Cruz undergraduate Benjamin Quaye. Ben had a strong commitment to spreading values of tolerance and social justice, and this scholarship supports students pursuing educational and career goals in these areas. 

Keeley Coastal Scholars Award:

The Keeley Coastal Scholars Award supports underrepresented undergraduates by providing the financial assistance needed to engage in summer research and policy work related to coastal sustainability. Former Assemblyman and Santa Cruz County Treasurer/Tax Collector Fred Keeley is a widely recognized champion of the coastal environment and the author of the Marine Life Management Act.

Milam-McGinty-Kaun Award for Teaching Excellence:

Professor Emeritus of Economics David Kaun established this award in 1999 to recognize two talented teaching assistants each year. He was inspired to endow the award and name it after the first recipients, international economics graduate students Garrett Milam and Matt McGinty, who were TA's in Kaun's Intermediate Microeconomic Theory course. Recipients are selected each year based on academic merit, one from Economics and one from another department in the Social Sciences Division. 

Campuswide awards

Students in the Division of Social Sciences also received campuswide Deans' and Chancellor's Awards. Deans’ awards recognize outstanding achievement by undergraduates in each academic division. Each student or team works on a senior research or milestone project under the mentorship of a faculty member. A committee in each division selects 10 Deans' Award recipients. Of those, up to three in each division may also be selected to receive a Chancellor's Award. 

2020 Deans' Undergraduate Award and Chancellor's Award: 

2020 Deans' Undergraduate Award:

For a full list of 2021 Social Sciences student award and scholarship recipients, including departmental awards, check out the student profiles section of the division’s website. A video recording of the awards ceremony is also available.