2011-2012 Scholars


Jesse Avila is an undergraduate majoring in intensive psychology with minors in education and philosophy, hoping ultimately to earn a PhD in school psychology but still applying to the multiple subject teaching credential program. The married father of two small girls maintains an excellent academic record.

Alex Bardales (photo not shown) tells us that his wife and children, ages 4, 1, and newborn, are the reason he returned to the university. He wants to be a role model for his family and is completing a degree in electrical engineering. Alex plans to use his scholarship to purchase parts to build a new desktop computer.


Joshua Becker is working toward a bachelor’s in business management economics with an emphasis in accounting. He will be completing an internship with KPMG, a major audit, tax and advisory services firm, this summer, and will use his scholarship to assist with travel costs to and from the internship.

Sarah Benjamin (photo not shown), single parent of a 7-year-old son, is pursuing a career in the helping professions. She is a first generation college student majoring in sociology who plans to use her scholarship toward summer tuition and fees.
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Guadalupe (Lupe) Burgara, an undergraduate with a double major in sociology and community studies, is passionate about working with children of incarcerated fathers. This summer she will be fulfilling part of the community studies internship by working with Friends Outside, an advocacy group assisting families of those who are incarcerated, and her scholarship will help with tuition and fees.

Kevin Deutsch is an undergraduate student majoring in mathematics education. He currently works as a 7th grade math teacher and is looking forward to completing both his bachelor’s degree and teaching credential. The married father of three seeks to be a role model for his children.

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Richard Flores's interests have led him to the medical field, and he has a variety of experiences working with those who are disabled and/or receiving rehabilitation. An undergraduate majoring in human biology, Richard will be using his scholarship to assist with fees associated with medical school applications.

Tamara Gonzalez, an immigrant who came to the US when she was young, was determined to excel and describes herself as a ‘product of persistence and perseverance.’ Currently completing a bachelor’s degree in feminist studies, she plans to use her scholarship to attend the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) Summer Literacy Brigade.


Erin Gray is completing a doctoral degree in the History of Consciousness. She will use her scholarship to pursue archival research at the Library of Congress on the political cartoons of the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Hawaii.

Lesley-Reid Harrison (photo not shown), an undergraduate major in sociology and feminist studies, is a single parent. She is an active member of an educational NGO (non-governmental organization) in her native South Africa. She plans to use her scholarship for summer tuition and fees.

Nestor Silva (photo not shown), an undergraduate student majoring in Latin American and Latino Studies, is currently researching historic and contemporary conflict in Peru. His long-term goal is to teach in anthropology at the university level. He will use his scholarship for fees and books for the 2012-13 academic year.
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Maxim (Max) Tabatchnik is completing a Ph.D. in politics. His current project focuses on how globalization redefines citizenship. He hopes to teach at the university level. He will use his scholarship to purchase a new desktop computer.

Virginia (Gina) Thomas is a graduate student completing a Ph.D. in psychology. Her goal is to teach issues of identity, culture, and development at the university level. Her summer research project, for which she is receiving the scholarship, investigates how technology, especially social media and connective devices, affect the capacity for solitude in adolescents. Gina receives the 5th annual Frances Spodick Drake Memorial Scholarship*.

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