Sociology awards honors students
|Posted May 18, 2007|
It was a room full of proud faces in the President’s Dining Room Friday as students, parents and educators came together to honor students in the department of sociology and anthropology.
The awards ceremony included the announcement of this year’s Barbara Harris Scholarship recipients, eight students in all. The awards range from $1,500 to $4,000, and are applied towards tuition, as long as the student has completed one academic year at La Verne and maintains a 3.0 GPA or higher.
Seth Shelton, a junior criminology major, received $1,500 and was praised not only for great academics, but for his involvement on the water polo team and his humanitarian efforts.
“It’s an honor to be one of the winners out of the whole sociology department,” Shelton said. “We all have different strengths, but for them to recognize me as an individual is a great privilege.”
Another winner was Toya Johnson-Moore, a junior criminology major from Sacramento, and recipient of $2,000.
“I feel so grateful because being recognized by people who are educating you and who think you have potential is great,” Johnson-Moore said.“Barbara Harris is a great woman for wanting to help us out this way.”
Johnson-Moore has more than proven that she is deserving of this award.
On top of her academic achievements, she was just elected president of the African-American Student Alliance, she is a Landis Leadership scholar, involved with the theater department and dance team, serves as a CAB multicultural chair, is vice-president of the chess club and a member of Alpha Psi Omega sorority.
Most of the recipients excel in many areas of their college experience, making them extraordinary. Sharon K. Davis, professor of sociology and department chair, agrees.
“Today is an especially wonderful celebration because it gives us a chance to focus on our best students,” Davis said. “They are bright people who care, and that is the epitome of doing my job well.”
Other recipients of the Barbara Harris Scholarship were Crystal Bobadilla, Nilda Chavez, Erin Coulter, Molly Morin, Tyler Plasch and Natalie Rojano-Jenkins.
Morin, who is a double major in sociology and liberal studies, was awarded $2,000 and is the first in her family to attend college. This is Morin’s second time receiving the award.
“It feels good to know that the Harris family are great supporters of aspiring leaders in our community,” Morin said. “I feel honored…to have been chosen again.”
Erin Coulter, a criminology major, received the top award of $4,000 and was continuously praised by all her professors. She was described as “the best I’ve ever had” by one of them, and another professor shared how she turns in 20-page papers when the assignment requires 5 pages.
For the first time ever, a CAPA student was chosen to receive the award.
Natalie Rojano-Jenkins, a sociology major, received $3,000 towards her studies. Rojano-Jenkins also received the award for academic excellence in sociology, no surprise since she maintains a 4.0 GPA, on top of being a wife and mother to her four-year-old daughter Maya.
Rojano-Jenkins shares how the award did not come easy. She had to request special permission just to apply. In the past, the award was given to traditional students only, but Rojano-Jenkins felt that if she works just as hard as anyone else, the least she deserved was an opportunity to apply.
“I presented my request to the department head to allow me to apply for the scholarship, and now it will be open to other CAPA students,” Rojano-Jenkins said.
Other awards included academic excellence in major for anthropology, which went to Amanda Calderon and Chris Ricapa, for behavioral science to Alejandra Lee and Hannah Trimbath, for criminology to Erin Coulter and Tracy Diaz and for sociology to Vienna Interiano and Natalie Rojano-Jenkins.
The recipients for the Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges were Elizabeth Canales, Tracy Diaz and Katharine Ford.
Canales is a particularly busy young woman who on top of outstanding academic merit, is president of Iota Delta sorority, is involved with the Latino Student Forum, was elected Greek woman of the year, and did a wonderful job organizing the new student and parent orientation week.
The ceremony concluded with an induction into Alpha Kappa Delta, the National Sociology Honor Society, for inductees Nilda Chavez, Melissa Sauceda and Hannah Trimbath.
As the final applause broke out, the smiles were even wider that when the awards first began. Davis summed the students up by saying: “They’ve embodied what we try to model—that is humanism.”
Cindy Lopez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.