2017-2018 Scholars

  • Heily Acicon

    Heily Acicon

    Heily Acicon is an undergraduate student in Latin American and Latino Studies who identifies as a first-generation queer woman of color. As an advocate for social justice who champions the marginalized and underrepresented on campus, she aspires to become an attorney. Heily will use her scholarship to fund a Law School Admission Test (LSAT) preparation course.
  • Bianca Aguilera

    As an undergraduate student majoring in Community Studies, Bianca Aguilar is a first generation college student who is very proud of transferring to UC Santa Cruz. She plans to apply to graduate school so that she can be a counselor. She will be using this scholarship to assist her with her field study and her goal of making a meaningful contribution to a non-profit organization located in Pescadero, CA.
  • Christine Anderson-Zavala

    Christine Anderson-Zavala

    Christine Anderson-Zavala is a graduate student pursuing her Ph.D. in Education, Feminist Studies, and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies. Chrissy's goal is to become a professor at a research university, so her commitment to educational equity and community-driven social justice will inform her work between academic and alternative high school settings. She will utilize her funding to help her acquire a laptop that is critical to her dissertation work.
  • Lee Bernard

    Lee Bernard returned to school after a long career as a metal welder and is currently pursuing a degree in Applied Physics. Since returning to school, he found a passion for math and physics, taking part in research opportunities. Lee hopes to attend graduate school so that he can develop a career as a research scientist or engineer. His scholarship will pay for the GRE, as well as a laptop needed to support his summer research.
  • Alessia Cecchet

    Alessia Cecchet is a graduate student studying Film and Digital Media. She works to capture reflections of death, loss, and grief through her work, specifically looking at the world through a post-humanist lens. Alessia uses trail cameras in her work recording footage of wildlife without the assistance of a human, thus allowing wildlife to behave more naturally. Alessia aims to become an instructor of film at the college level, believing that film is a medium that that has the potential to bring change through the voice of underrepresented communities. She will use her scholarship to purchase a new trail camera and lock box.
  • Brendon Chapman

    Brendan Chapman

    Brendan Chapman, an undergraduate in Earth and Planetary Sciences, found his passion studying planetary sciences and decided to return to school at age 29. Brendan wants to pursue his doctorate in Planetary Sciences, hoping to work for NASA as a research scientist. He wants to help humanity better understand the universe through science. He has started applying for various research opportunities on and off campus, and he will use his Women’s Club scholarship to purchase a laptop to track his work.
  • Benjamin Dejarnatt

    Benjamin Dejarnatt is a first generation student and veteran who graduated with a Bachelor of Science majoring in Earth Sciences from UC Santa Cruz in 2015. After graduating, he was approached by a faculty member in the department who offered him a research opportunity and pathway to complete a master's degree, which he is now close to finishing up. Benjamin will use the funding from the UCSC Women’s Club to purchase equipment needed to analyse the tectonic history within rocks along the eastern edge of California and Northern Arizona.
  • Andrew DiLallo

    Andrew DiLallo is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Arts in Music. He is the parent of two children, is working two jobs, and is also attending school full time. Andrew has witnessed first hand the transformative nature of music therapy through different paid positions and volunteer work. His goal is to attend a music therapy licensure program after he graduates and become a professional music therapist. He will utilize the Women’s Club scholarship to take summer courses needed for his undergraduate degree as well as prerequisites for the licensure program.
  • Raed El Rafei

    As a first year international graduate student, Raed El Rafei is pursuing his Ph.D in Film and Digital Media. Raed hopes that this program will help him develop innovative approaches to documentary filmmaking, specifically in the interactive and participatory fields of documentary. Raed will be utilizing funds from the Women’s Club Scholarship to shoot a documentary in Lebanon which will focus on queer theory and post-colonial studies, which are both topics that will be explored throughout Raed’s qualitative exams next year. Raed ultimately hopes to teach.
  • Nicolas Fernandez

    Nicolas Fernandez is a fourth year Ph.D. student studying physics. He was recently accepted to participate in a program at the International Center of Theoretical Physics this upcoming summer. This program is critically important for his current research in the realm of dark energy and dark matter and will serve as a stepping stone for his dissertation. The program is pivotal in advancing Nico’s academic career, and he will use the scholarship to pay for the registration fee.
  • Oscar Fernandez Cazares

    Oscar Fernandez-Cazares

    Oscar Cazares is a first generation LGBTQ student pursuing his Ph.D. in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology. Coming from a working class family, Oscar has had a non-traditional path toward higher education, but through hard work and a positive outlook, he knows anything is possible. He plans to be a tenured professor at a four year institution. He wants to bridge inequality gaps and provide access to higher education for underprivileged and minority students. He will be using this scholarship to attend a conference that will help expand intellectual and technical breadth in his field.
  • Margaret Hames

    As an undergraduate student, Margaret Hames is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in anthropology. Margaret strongly believes that museums and archeology are invaluable community resources, having the ability to influence our understanding of social issues as well as create dialogue. Her long term goal is to either work at a museum or to conduct archaeological research after she obtains her Ph.D. Her scholarship will help Margaret get closer to her goal by enabling her to pursue her own independent research in Belize, and this research will serve as the basis for her senior thesis.
  • Nate Heller

    Nate Heller

    Nate Heller is a graduate student in the Scientific Computation and Applied Statistics Department. Nate transferred to UC Santa Cruz as an undergraduate from the community college in 2014. The Women’s Club funded him for the summer of 2015. In 2016, the Women’s Club awarded him a scholarship allowing him to pay for the GRE as well as graduate school fees. This year, Nate is using his Women’s Club Scholarship to purchase a laptop to help him compute data. Nate's long-term goal is to become a neuroscientist.
  • Nora Lang

    Nora Lang

    Nora Lang is currently pursuing her doctorate in education. Upon completion of her Ph.D., she hopes to participate in preparing high school educators to better support recent immigrant students in content area classrooms. Nora will use her scholarship to help her with her dissertation research exploring the integration of language and content instruction for adolescent immigrant youth in both Santa Cruz and Oakland.
  • Ace Lehner

    Ace Lehner is awarded the Robert Leet-Corday Memorial Scholarship. Ace is a first generation graduate student from a economically disadvantaged background, pursuing a doctorate in Visual Studies. Their work deals with ideas around social justice, critical race studies, queer and trans-theory and theories of representation. Their dissertation is a visual study approach to contemporary photographic self-representations made by trans and non-binary artists. Ace is using their scholarship to purchase a laptop that will assist them with the completion of their dissertation.
  • Laura Mijangos

    Laura Mijangos

    Laura Mijangos receives the Frances Spodick Drake Memorial Scholarship. She is an undergraduate student studying both psychology and sociology. Laura is very proud to have transferred to UC Santa Cruz, a goal which she initially thought was unattainable. Through her perseverance and hard work, Laura ensured that she would reach that goal, transferring to UC Santa Cruz at the age of 30. Laura wants to become a psychologist, and this scholarship will help her reach her goal by funding some of her summer session expenses.
  • Shirene Misif

    Shirene Misif

    Shirene Misif is an undergraduate student majoring in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. She is particularly proud of her accomplishment of transferring to UC Santa Cruz from community college. She describes herself as a highly independent, self motivated and ambitious student. She will use her scholarship to take classes during summer session, accelerating the completion of her degree.
  • Angel Mora

    Angel Mora is an undergraduate student pursuing his bachelor’s degree in sociology. From thinking he would never set foot on a college campus, to transferring to UC Santa Cruz with high marks, Angel’s path towards higher education has not been an easy one. Angel challenges himself and his peers intellectually, aiming to foster academically rigorous dialogues, hoping to create new and innovative pedagogies. He will be utilizing the Women’s Club funding to continue his research on masculinity and machismo and how that affects adolescent males.

  • Leonardo Rivera

    Leonardo Rivera is a queer, first generation, Latinx and immigrant student pursuing his bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and Biomolecular Biology. His academic endeavors brought Leo to UC Santa Cruz, but he also wants to pursue another one of his dreams through the help of the campus radio station, KZSC. Leo wants to incorporate his passion for the sciences and social justice as a talk show host, eventually having his show be televised. Leo is asking for funding to help make this talk show dream a reality over the summer, enabling him to pay for the class as well as the needed equipment.
  • May Roberts

    May Roberts

    A graduate student in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department, May Roberts' career goal is in marine conservation. She wishes to encourage, spark and inspire the next generation of scientists. She will use her scholarship to pursue her research on the role of evolution in species ability to adapt to climate change. The funds will purchase reagents necessary for the genomic lab work as well as software to process and analyze data.
  • Mariana Romero

    Mariana Romero is a first year master’s candidate pursuing her degree in Literature. Mariana is returning to school after an eight year break; throughout that break, she spent her time working as a preschool teacher and after school program educator. Mariana’s goal is to teach at the community college level, which is one of the reasons why she decided to acquire an MA. Specifically, Mariana wants to prioritize serving first-generation students and students of color who encounter obstacles and barriers while they navigate college and the university. Funding from the Women’s Club will be used for Mariana’s testing and application fees for her Ph.D programs.
  • Sheeva Sabati

    Sheeva Sabati

    As a graduate student pursuing her doctorate in education, Sheeva Sabati's goal is to become a professor at a university working in higher education to support students and communities that have been historically underserved. Sheeva specifically aims to create new forms of institutional ethics which are grounded in racial equality and social justice. She will be utilizing the scholarship funds to attend a conference critical to her research.
  • Brad Thompson

    Brad Thompson is a fifth year graduate student pursuing his degree in computer engineering. Brad’s research stands at the intersection of artificial intelligence and science education. Brad is currently working on an “intelligent tutor,” a tool which will help users gain skills needed for university level lab courses. Brad will use his scholarship to acquire expertise critical to the furtherance of his software development this summer.
  • Kimberly Vachon

    Kim Vachon

    Kim Vachon, a first year doctoral student in Education, wishes to impact social change at the systemic level. Kimberly hopes to eventually work in a university setting as a professor and as a researcher, integrating activism in academia. She will use the funding to help cover some of her tuition costs for next year, helping her move one step closer to her ultimate goal.
  • Julia Vasquez

    Julia Vasquez, an undergraduate transfer student pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Community Studies, hopes to gain the knowledge, tools, and experience needed to learn more about grassroots organizing and affecting change in communities. Julia hopes to earn her master’s degree in Educational Counseling in order to become a college counselor. She will use her Women’s Club scholarship to help her cover the costs of her field study program during the summer.
  • Stephanie Webb

    Stephanie Webb

    Stephanie Webb is a graduate student in Environmental Studies, returning to her studies after a five year break. Her purpose at UC Santa Cruz is to improve knowledge of global food systems and bridge gaps between fisheries and critical food studies. Her long-term goal is to reduce exploitation of and conflict in fisheries, without marginalizing fishers or alienating intermediaries. During summer 2018, she will use her scholarship for ethnographic research in Washington, USA, China and Japan.