Social Sciences Division recognizes students at annual awards event

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Tiffany Lockett (center) receives the Milam-McGinty-Kaun Award for Teaching Excellence, awarded by Associate Professor of Psychology Rebecca Covarrubias (left) and Social Sciences Dean Katharyne Mitchell (right).
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Dana Tam (center left) and Tamar Sasson (center right) are awarded the Walsh Family Scholarship by Economics Department Chair Alan Spearot (left) and Dean Katharyne Mitchell (right).
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Leigh Rodi (center) receives the Dean's award from Anthropology Department Chair Mark Anderson (left) and Dean Katharyne Mitchell (right).

Students, faculty, staff, and friends of the Division of Social Sciences gathered at the end of spring quarter to recognize excellence in student scholarship and creativity. Led by Dean Katharyne Mitchell, the annual Student Awards Luncheon honors undergraduates and graduate students across the division. This year, Mitchell was delighted to bring award recipients together to celebrate in person.

“I’m so proud of these students’ ability to adapt, adjust, and achieve so much in their time at UC Santa Cruz,” Mitchell said. “Their resilience in the face of a truly challenging year is just remarkable, and this recognition is well-deserved.”

The 2022 student awardees from the Social Sciences Division are listed below. Click each student’s name to read more about them in their linked student profile, and check out a full image gallery here

Division of Social Sciences Awards

Rick Hooper Scholarship for Human Rights

The Rick Hooper Scholarship was established to honor the memory of Richard "Rick" M. Hooper, who died in the August 19, 2003, terrorist bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad. Hooper, a 1985 graduate of UC Santa Cruz, spent many years in the Middle East and became one of the UN's chief experts on the region. Recipients are selected on academic merit and financial need with preference to those interested in research promoting Middle East peace and conflict resolution, or human rights issues.

  • Mary Shamon, Politics
  • Afolabi Thomas, Economics and Politics

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 graduate 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 teaching assistants 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.

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

  • Rojina Bozorgnia, Politics

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. This award rotates among the departments in the Division and this year was awarded by economics.

Weiss Family Scholarship

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

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 toward 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.

Division of Undergraduate Education Awards

In addition, students in the Division of Social Sciences received the following 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 capstone project under the mentorship of a faculty member. A committee in each division selects up to ten Deans' Award recipients. Of those, the three most outstanding research projects are also selected to receive a Chancellor's Award. 

2022 Chancellor's Award and Deans' Undergraduate Award for Undergraduate Research

  • Ciara Clarke, Anthropology
  • Chloe Magidoff, Legal Studies
  • Joel Montejo, Politics

2022 Deans' Award for Undergraduate Research