The UCSC is proud to introduce five outstanding students from across the University who are demonstrating a high level of engagement in community and civic life and achieving incredible things in our communities. Read on to learn about their accomplishments and goals for the future.
President's Volunteer Service Award Winners: Ashlin Kamoe and Frank Medina
The President's Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) recognizes students who have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to voluntary service in the greater community during the past academic year.
“This past year my student experience has led me to creating a library of the excess books that my field placement, Cradles to Crayons, was receiving, and providing the books to CPS teachers and students for free. From here I was able to expand to providing additional items such as school supplies, diapers, and clothing and have been able to partner with my fellow social work students in distributing diapers all over the city of Chicago. It’s been a great joy working with my social work classmates in supporting their clients and being a representative of the University in the communities that so graciously welcome me.”
“My goal to become a physician who fights for health equity starts with me meeting and listening to people where they’re at—so that I can make informed decisions on how to best advocate for my patients and the communities I may care for. This value has materialized itself through my partnerships with Latinos United for Cancer Education, Research & Outreach (LUCERO), Healing Every Revolutionary Chicago (HER-Chicago), ThoughtPoet, the South Side Science Scholars Program (S4) at the Dulles School of Excellence, and the Gage Park Latinx Council (GPLXC). [...] There’s power in people, especially on the South Side of Chicago.”
Perry Herst Prize Winners: Lauren Cole, Liana Massey, and Stephanie Zhang
The Perry Herst Prize (PHP) recognizes the achievement of two to three graduating seniors in the College who have successfully integrated their academic studies with community engagement in a way that has enriched both sets of activities.
“After the 2019 CTU strike, I began volunteering as a health educator through Peer Health Exchange and working for Jumpstart in a pre-school literacy program to assist teachers. I have also conducted research with the Chicago Justice Project on the effectiveness of the City Council's Public Safety Committee over 20 years, the misconduct of the ex-Fraternal Order of Police President, and uncovered a suspension of the CPD Superintendent. I am excited to further develop as an advocate for good policy as a joint degree student at the Harris School of Public Policy and earn my Masters in Public Policy next year.”
“Through my leadership on the Sexual Assault & Awareness Prevention (SAAP) committee, my involvement with the Intouch Peer Health Advocates, and my internship at a domestic violence agency, I was able to use the lens I developed as a Gender & Sexuality Studies major and actually advocate for sexual health and support sexual assault survivors. This year, as Co-Chair of SAAP, I organized a myriad of events for April’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month, including a survivor self-care space with Greenlight Counseling and a keynote speech about storytelling and assault by Chanel Miller. [...] My [...] joint BA thesis focuses on how experiences in college impact how students view sex, and the results from my research found support for how disrupting a sexual assault can be for a college student, making me even more dedicated to supporting sexual assault survivors.”
“Through involvement with student groups like Phoenix Farms, Camp Kesem, and UChicago Blood Initiative and academic work like cancer surveillance research and TAing, student life has been integral as a platform to enact change centering on racial and ethnic health disparities and connect with both the campus and greater community. To address racial and ethnic health disparities in not only theory but practice, my involvement with student life through service, research mentorship, and teaching has been crucial in several ways: personal development, access to relevant opportunities, and connection with peers.”