2015-2016 Scholars


  • Nse Akang

    Nse AkanaNse is sociology major with a focus on global information and social enterprise studies (GISES). As part of his project for GISES, Nse will partner with a non-governmental organization to provide technological tools to young girls in Nigeria to empower them to keep them safe from dangers such as mass kidnappings that have occurred. Nse’s scholarship will apply toward his project budget.
  • Chrissy Anderson-Zavala

    Chrissy ‘s fundamental motivation and passion for earning a PhD in education is the opportunity to engage with the communities most neglected by the education system, specifically communities of color. Her scholarship will fund dissertation research.

  • Nicolas Blanc

    Nicholas Blanc While completing his BS in physics, Nicolas is part of a research group allowing him to develop research skills and knowledge, and he is a member of UC LEADS (Leadership Excellence thru Advanced DegreeS), a program for highly motivated students who plan to pursue a graduate education. He will use his scholarship to fund his applications to graduate school.

  • Sara Blaylock

    Sara BlaylockFor her PhD in visual studies, Sara’s dissertation, Magnitudes of Dissent: Art from the East German Margins explores the implications of experimental, non-state-conformist art through photography, performance art, Super-8 film, galleries, and artist publications. She argues that these art practices enacted an idea of citizen agency particular to the conditions of state-socialism. Her scholarship will support a trip to Germany to follow up on her collection of primary research.
  • Jesse Borges

    Jesse is the parent of two children who are his inspiration for returning to school.  They also inspired him to pursue a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies because he wants to help make the world that they grow up in a more sustainable and just place. Jesse’s award will pay for summer school.

  • Rebecca Buchanan

    Rebecca BuchananRebecca is in the dissertation stage of her PhD program in education. Her dissertation focuses on how best to prepare social justice minded educators, specifically the divide between the university and K-12 schools. Her scholarship will fund a new computer.
  • Zoe Davis

    Zoe is completing a bachelor’s degree in critical race and ethnic studies on her way to a master’s in higher education. Her goal is to become an academic counselor focusing on improving access to higher education for first generation and low-income students. Zoe will use her scholarship toward summer session tuition and fees.

  • Benjamin Dorsey

    Ben is a first-generation college student whose life’s goal is to become a professional musician. In his time at UCSC, he has found a sense of purpose in the study of ‘early’ music—art music from the Renaissance through 1750. Ben is playing a Baroque violin, and his scholarship will apply to music lessons. Ben is our Robert Leet-Corday scholarship recipient.
  • Evelyn Drake

    Evelyn is an undergraduate student who never thought of herself as someone who would attend a university. Now she is working toward a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and later a master’s in education with the goal of teaching high school students. She will use her scholarship to attend summer school.

  • Breanne Escobar

    Breanne EscobarBreanne is an undergraduate student majoring in literature who says she “yearns to be the instructor encouraging any and all students to be the positives in society.” To do so she plans to attend graduate school. She will use her scholarship to pay for the GRE, graduate school applications, and a new laptop computer.

  • Eric Garcia

    Eric GarciaEric is a PhD student in ecology and evolutionary biology who has come a long way from carrying out manual labor for long, harsh days on farms. His dissertation research analyzes the genetic connectivity of marine fishes along the California coast and the Sea of Cortez. Results will inform conservation and management efforts in the area. This research requires heavy computational analysis, so Eric’s scholarship applies to the cost of a new computer.
  • Richard Hartnell

    Richard HartnellRichard’s experience as a movement artist has brought him to UCSC to double major in human biology and intensive psychology with a focus on embodied cognition which investigates interactions of body, mind, and environment. He is currently performing research with Professor Travis Seymour to study meditative states, and his scholarship will purchase technology to assist with the research.

  • Nathan Heller

    Nathan HellerNate is spending this quarter at UC San Diego taking advanced coursework in cognitive science toward his double major in cognitive science and computational mathematics. His scholarship will be used to fund graduate school application expenses.

  • Sean Laney

    Sean LaneySean received an award from the Women’s Club last year, and since then he has developed a more technological focus from economics, and his interests are in data mining, optimization, and machine learning. After he completes his bachelor’s degree in technology and information management, he plans to attend graduate school and work in the Silicon Valley. His scholarship will go toward an upgrade to his computer.

  • Katherine McClure

    Katherine McClureKatherine is a PhD student in ecology and evolutionary biology as well as the mother of an infant daughter. She is receiving a scholarship to help with childcare expenses in the fall term.
  • James “Nate” Nichols

    James When Nate Nichols started community college, he didn’t know how to type. Now he is a single father who, after overcoming significant adversity, is raising his daughter while completing his bachelor’s degree in literature. Long-term, he wants to teach high school to students in marginalized schools. He will use his scholarship for childcare in the upcoming school year.

  • Mollie Peterson

    Mollie PetersonMollie is the mother of four children, and she is completing majors in classics, anthropology, and philosophy. She will use her scholarship toward the cost of summer school.

  • Sheeva Sabati

    Sheeva SabatiSheeva has advanced to candidacy and reached the dissertation stage of her PhD in education. Her research focus is on the three-tiered system of public higher education in California, and her question asks how ‘a deep reading of the history and formation of the university system in California might inform our understanding of and ability to intervene in the current changes occurring in the US public universities more broadly.’ Her scholarship will help with travel expenses to various libraries for archival research.

  • Sabrina Sedell

    Sabrina is an undergraduate student studying robotics engineering with the goal of designing robots that help people. She will use her scholarship toward tuition and fees for the upcoming academic year.
  • Chalia Simon

    Chalia SimonChalia is completing her undergraduate degree in psychology with a minor in education to prepare her for a career following her passion that she describes as “helping people who face adversities and disabilities.” A single mom, Chalia has also found time to develop her advocacy skills for those with disabilities. She will use her scholarship to pay toward summer school.

  • Maxim Tabachnik

    Max TabachnikMax is in the last stage of his doctoral program in politics. His research involves post-Soviet states with ‘frozen’ or unresolved territorial conflicts that have the potential to destabilize the international system. Max has been invited to interview the foreign minister of one of the ‘frozen’ conflict states, up to now off-limits to Western researchers. His scholarship will fund his travel to this interview.

  • Alma Villa

    Alma VillaAlma migrated from Mexico to the US with her family when she was 15. She is majoring in sociology and Latin American and Latino studies. Prompted by her own life experiences, Alma is conducting research about the housing insecurity that low-income Latinos face in Los Angeles. Her scholarship will cover her expenses this summer to carry out her research.

  • Tuyetnhung Vo

    Tuyet is our Frances Spodick Drake Memorial Scholarship recipient. She emigrated from Vietnam as an adult with a very strong interest in entrepreneurship, and she is completing her bachelor’s degree in business management economics. Her scholarship will go toward next year’s tuition and fees.