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2021 - 2022 Scholarship Recipients

Marion Freeborn Undergraduate Scholarships

Valeria Blanco Castaneda is double majoring in Sociology and Spanish, with a minor in Education. Her participation in the University Honors Program, as well as her personal experiences working a myriad of on-campus jobs, have inspired her to pursue a career in higher education. Valeria strives to continue her career aspirations by enrolling in graduate school and eventually conducting research to best support college students from marginalized communities.

Julinna Cheung is a Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior major with a minor in Psychology. She hopes to attend a Physician’s Assistant program after graduation and then join an orthopedics practice. Her current work in Elena Flower’s lab at UCSF has helped her gain an understanding of the role of research in health care. As a volunteer for Bayanihan clinic this past summer, she was able to help provide support for underserved communities. She hopes to continue working for the clinic and to gain more healthcare experience.

Cayla Hanson is majoring in Political Science and plans to pursue a J.D. after her undergraduate degree. Her internship at former Congressman Paul Cook's office and her experience in Mock Trial has helped solidify her career aspirations. In the future, she plans to become either a District Attorney or a civil rights attorney and then open her own law firm.

Janet Kuzmenko is majoring in Global Disease Biology and is working toward becoming a doctor who specializes in cancer. As an under-graduate researcher in the Eskalen Lab, she is learning the dedication and hard work needed to succeed in the professional world. In her pursuit of medicine and public health, Janet wants to reach underserved communities around the world. She is finishing her fourth year at UC Davis and preparing to graduate in the summer of 2022.

Kate Fizell Founder’s Scholarship

Diana Garcia Perez is majoring in Sociology with an emphasis in Law and Society and minoring in Political Science. She plans to pursue higher education to serve system-impacted individuals through non-profit work. Her internship with the Prison Education Project, which serves incarcerated youth at the Division of Juvenile Justice, has helped solidify her passion to be of service to this population of often dehumanized individuals. Her ultimate goal is to use her education to be of service to others in her community.

Marion Freeborn Re-Entry Scholarship

Valerie Nyasimi is majoring in Global Disease Biology. She plans to pursue a Master’s in Physician Associate Studies with a primary focus in Pediatrics. She is currently working in the Cook Lab as an Undergraduate researcher and volunteers at Ushirika Africa. Her research and community volunteer work have helped solidify her career aspirations. As a future PA, she wants to work with children who come from underserved communities and are undocumented. In her free time, she enjoys weightlifting as physical activity and going to the beach. This balance of physical fitness and studies has helped her to maintain a perfect grade-point average in a STEM major.

Carol Lee Coss Memorial Scholarship

Natalie Laurie is a rising junior double majoring in Cognitive Neuroscience and Music Performance. She is a research assistant in the Janata and the Corina Labs at the UC Davis Center for Mind and Brain, a UC LEADS Scholar, president of the UCD chapter of the National Association of Music Education, and the Chief-of-Staff of the UC Davis Mental Health Initiative. Natalie also has had jobs in the music department and student housing. Fascinated by the interdisciplinary nature of both her majors, she is considering applying to interdisciplinary PhD programs in Musicology, Education, Composition, and Psychological and Brain Sciences.

Blanche L. Price Scholarships

Jimena Calderon is majoring in Political Science with an emphasis in Public Service and plans to go law school after graduation. She seeks to become an Immigration Lawyer to provide services to historically under-resourced communities. Her work at the AB540 and Undocumented Student Center at UC Davis, and now as an intern for the Eastern District Court of California in Sacramento, has allowed her to appreciate the importance of understanding the legal system.

Maya Vargas is majoring in Design and minoring in Human Rights, and aspires to work at the intersection of these disciplines on design projects that are centered around equity and community building. Her training as a peer educator for the Center for Advocacy, Resources, and Education (CARE) has solidified her determination to work in a human rights related field, and her self-guided interest in equity design has led her to a role as a student designer for the Digital Healthcare Innovation Program at the UC Davis Health Center.

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