Commencement 2018

Distinguished Graduates

Dean’s award and other prizes recognize scholastic achievement in the sciences, social sciences, humanities and fine arts
Friday, June 8, 2018 - 06:00
Santa Barbara, CA

Four undergraduate students in the College of Letters and Science at UC Santa Barbara, and five graduate students, have been selected to receive awards for outstanding academic achievement and service. They will be recognized at commencement exercises June 16 and 17. One faculty member also was honored with a service award.

Ana Guerrero Gallegos, who is graduating with bachelor of art degrees in Chicana/o studies and in sociology, will receive the Luis Leal Social Sciences Undergraduate Award for outstanding interdisciplinary achievement in the social sciences. The award was established in honor of the late Don Luis Leal, a distinguished visiting professor of Chicana and Chicano Studies, whose presence and scholarship greatly enriched the Santa Barbara campus.

Brenna Giacchino, who is graduating with a bachelor of science degree in mathematical studies with a minor in music, will receive the Francis Colville and Terry Dearborn Memorial Award for outstanding academic achievement as an honors student majoring in the sciences. The award was established in memory of Francis M. Colville and Terry H. Dearborn, associate professors of physical education at UCSB.

Francisco Olvera, who is graduating with a bachelor of art degree in English, will receive the William R. Reardon Undergraduate Award for outstanding academic achievement in an arts or humanities discipline. The award is named for William R. Reardon, a UCSB professor emeritus of dramatic art and former associate dean in the College of Letters and Science.

Stephen Chih, who is graduating with a bachelor of science degree in cell and developmental biology with a minor in music, will receive the Deans’ Outstanding Senior Award in recognition of his outstanding scholarship and contributions to the campus community. The award is given on behalf of the deans of the College of Letters and Science.

Jiahao Kang, who has completed his Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering, is the recipient of the Winifred and Louis Lancaster Dissertation Award for Mathematics, Physical Sciences and Engineering.

Dajung Woo, who has completed her Ph.D. in organizational communication, is the recipient of the Winifred and Louis Lancaster Dissertation Award for the Social Sciences.

In addition, recipients of the Dixon-Levy Graduate Student Association Service Award include Sam del Castillo, a Ph.D. candidate in counseling psychology; Timnit Kefela, a Ph.D. candidate in environmental science and management; Joy Garza, a Ph.D. candidate in linguistics; and Sherene Seikaly, an associate professor in the department of history.

Honorable mentions are presented to Catherine Nesci, a professor and chair of comparative literature, and Tricia Taylor, an associate professor of environmental politics.

Named for UCSB graduate students Travis Dixon and Alan Levy, the award recognizes service to the university through Graduate Student Association elected office as well as through other forms of advocacy for graduate students.

In addition, several graduate students who excelled as instructors will receive Excellence in Teaching awards. They include teaching associates William Thompson, a Ph.D. candidate history; Dana Bardolph, a Ph.D. graduate of anthropology; as well as teaching assistants Katie Adkison, a Ph.D. candidate in English; Olga Faccani, a graduate student in classics; Heather Macias, a Ph.D. candidate in education; Kelly Whaling, a Ph.D. candidate in counseling psychology; Esther Taxon, a Ph.D. candidate in biomolecular science and engineering; and Michael Dougherty, a Ph.D. candidate in mathematics.

Honorable mentions are presented to teaching assistants Alex Johnson, a Ph.D. candidate in earth science; Julien Labarre, a Ph.D. candidate in political science; and Spencer Mermelstein, a Ph.D. candidate in evolutionary & developmental psychology.

Contact Info: 

Andrea Estrada
Office of Public Affairs and Communication
(805) 893-4620

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