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Gaucho Strong

Multiple events and memorial scholarship recipients demonstrate strength of campus community three years after Isla Vista tragedy
Thursday, May 18, 2017 - 14:15
Santa Barbara, CA


UCSB Surf Team paddle out

Photo Credit: 

Sonia Fernandez

Remembrance, reflection and continued healing.

Those are the aims of several events happening on and around the campus in May, when blue LEDs will light Isla Vista to symbolize solidarity.

Taking place Friday, May 19 and Saturday, May 20, the 2nd Annual Isla Vista Conference: The Beloved Community, will include an art show, workshops, discussions and other activities meant to build a collective understanding of Isla Vista, and a shared vision for its future.

“Documenting Our Community Healing,” Monday, May 22, 5:30-7 p.m. at the UCSB MultiCultural Center, will feature a panel of speakers sharing photographs from the May 23, 2014 Isla Vista Memorial Archive and discuss community-building, student activism and continued acts of remembrance.

Tuesday, May 23, is Show Your Pride Day, when Gauchos across campus and around the world are urged to wear blue and gold or any UCSB gear to celebrate Gaucho unity.

Also May 23, from 7-9 p.m. at Anisq’Oyo’ Park in Isla Vista, students and the public are invited to “We Remember: A Candlelight Vigil for the Community,” to acknowledge the many ways the community has been strengthened through adversity.

Finally, Wednesday, May 24, beginning at 6 p.m. at Depressions Beach, the UCSB Surf Team hosts a community paddle-out as a floating memorial to remember those lost in 2014.

The same intentions of remembrance and healing are at the heart of six scholarships created to pay continued tribute to the UCSB students who were killed during the tragic May 2014 events in Isla Vista. Meant to memorialize the students and their lasting contribution to the UCSB community, each fund is as unique as the student whose name it bears.

“The annual awarding of these memorial scholarships allows our campus community to honor and remember the six students we lost in the 2014 tragedy in Isla Vista,” said Debbie Fleming, UCSB’s assistant vice chancellor for student affairs. “Veronika, David, Christopher, George, Katie and James each brought something unique and meaningful to our campus community. Each year we have the opportunity to select students who share their qualities and interests and who are each making a difference in the UCSB and Isla Vista communities.”

The six awardees for 2017 are:

• Paola Dela Cruz-Perez, recipient of the Veronika Weiss Memorial Scholarship, will graduate in June with a degree in the history of public policy. She has worked actively to promote student and campus safety, especially in Isla Vista.

• Courtney Cabansag, recipient of the George Chen Memorial Scholarship, is a fourth-year student majoring in language, culture and society. Her sustained service to others includes working as a tutor, academic advisor and mentor to other students.

• Samantha Stopol, recipient of the David Wang Memorial Scholarship, is a third-year student extremely active in faith-based activities on campus and in the community. She has served in a leadership position in her sorority.

• Majdolene Dajani, recipient of the Katherine Breann Cooper Memorial Scholarship, is a third-year student majoring in both classics and anthropology. An honors student and honors peer mentor, she is also an active volunteer at a local elementary school.

• Luke Janes, recipient of the James Hong Memorial Scholarship, is a second-year doctoral student in the Department of Counseling, Clinical and School Psychology. His research and his active volunteerism focus on at-risk and vulnerable populations.

• Francisco Olvera, recipient of the Christopher Michaels-Martinez Memorial Scholarship, is a third-year student majoring in English and working with a faculty mentor on research in Chicana/o Literature. He is an honors student and a McNair Scholar.









Contact Info: 

Shelly Leachman
(805) 893-8726