Faith Davies Awards recognize leadership in students, staff, faculty
The annual Faith Davies All-University Leadership Awards Ceremony is a beloved Commencement-week tradition, which takes time to recognize members of the Pacific community and student organizations who have made significant contributions to the University and the quality of the student experience and exhibit extraordinary leadership, mentoring and philanthropy. At this year's ceremony and luncheon held on Friday, May 9, three faculty members, one staff member, six students and four student organizations were honored.
The Podesto Award for Excellence in Student Life, Mentoring and Counseling
This year's recipients of the Podesto Award were pharmacy professor Donald Floriddia, law professor Dorothy Landsberg and Multicultural Center director Serjio Acevedo. The Podesto Award recognizes members of the Pacific community who have played a significant role in enriching the student experience. Recipients are educators, staff, or faculty, who significantly support whole-student learning through direct advising and mentoring of students.
Donald Floriddia '71 PHS has been at Pacific since 1968 and is the associate dean for Student and Professional Affairs and professor of pharmaceutics and medicinal chemistry in the Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Floriddia, who retires this year from an outstanding 46-year career at Pacific, was recognized in particular for his mentoring of students as advisor to numerous student organizations, including Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity-Gamma Nu Chapter, California Pharmacy Student Leadership, Yearbook Committee, Professional Fraternity Council, American Pharmacists Association-Academy of Student Pharmacists and the California Pharmacists Association. Among his numerous awards are Outstanding Educator of America; Outstanding Chapter Advisor, and induction into the California Pharmacists Association Hall of Fame (2010) and the San Joaquin Pharmacists Association Hall of Fame (2012). Floriddia was cited as an exceptional advisor who whole-heartedly supported his students and helped them develop as leaders.
Dorothy Landsberg '87 LAW, the associate dean for Academic Affairs and an associate professor of lawyering skills at Pacific McGeorge School of Law, has been at McGeorge since 2009. Prior to her appointment as associate dean in 2013, she was the director of legal clinics for four years, where she helped launch a Federal Defender Clinic, a Criminal Appellate Advocacy Clinic and two mediation clinics. In addition to providing important and effective services to the community, these clinics offer numerous experiential learning opportunities for Pacific students. The mediation clinics were recognized by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in 2013 with the ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) Education Award. Since her appointment as associate dean of Academic Affairs last July, Landsberg has embraced innovative teaching methods and contributed greatly to curricula that have been embraced at McGeorge and at law schools across the country. She spearheaded a mentoring program that pairs at-risk students with faculty members to review exams and teaching methods in a nurturing setting. She also makes a special effort to reach out to international students, including hosting dinners in her home to welcome them to the larger Pacific McGeorge community.
Serjio Acevedo, who has been at Pacific since 2005, is the director of Multicultural Affairs for the division of Student Life. In the presentation of his award, Acevedo was recognized as having been a consistent voice for social justice and an advocate for creating an inclusive community at Pacific. As director of Multicultural Affairs, Acevedo has promoted cultural diversity and awareness through a variety of educational programs, activities and services. He provides numerous opportunities for students to develop leadership skills through the many events and programs sponsored by the Center. As the advisor to the United Cultural Council, a governing body for all campus cultural student organizations and the Multicultural Greek Council, he brings student representatives from a wide variety of backgrounds together to achieve collaboratively developed goals.
Outstanding Student Organization Advisor Award
Timothy Naccarato, assistant dean for Academic Programs at Pacific McGeorge School of Law and faculty advisor to the Military Law Society, was the recipient of this year's award, which recognizes an advisor who has provided significant assistance toward advancing the goals and mission of a registered student organization. McGeorge's Military Law Society has hosted two 131,000 Challenge fundraisers, which raised more than $11,000 for homeless veterans in the Sacramento Area, has participated in Operation Stand Down, and last October hosted a campus visit and lecture by Brigadier General Mark S. Martins. A former Army JAG officer, Naccarato has been an important resource for students applying to the Judge Advocate General program. Four McGeorge students were accepted into the highly competitive program this past year.
Elizabeth Griego Outstanding Student Leader Award
Danielle Procope '14 and Kyle Sasai '14 were the recipients of this year's Outstanding Student Leader Award, which recognizes two graduating seniors who have made significant and sustainable contributions to the student experience at Pacific. Procope majored in English and Philosophy with minors in Sociology and Ethnic Studies. She was the president of Lambda Tau chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and editor-in-chief of the award-winning student literary magazine, Calliope. She was recognized in 2013 as a University of the Pacific Woman of Distinction. Sasai is an educational administration major and a Pacific Legal Scholar. He is one of the founders of Pacific's chapter of Beta Theta Phi fraternity and the organization's philanthropy/community outreach chair. While at Pacific, Sasai created the Hope Street Backpack Outreach Program, which provided backpacks and school supplies to local middle school students along with mentoring and encouragement to stay in school.
Jesse Marks Co-curricular Award
Byron Patton '14 was the recipient of this award, which recognizes a graduating senior who has made significant and outstanding contributions to the University. Patton is a psychology major with a minor in business administration. He has served as a community tutor and program manager in the Center for Community Involvement, where he was responsible for hiring, training, evaluating and managing a team of more than 20 college student mentors. He also served as president of the Hmong Student Association and is a member of Kilusan Pilipino and the Asian/Pacific Islander Committee.
Dochterman Outstanding Junior Scholarship Award
Diana Wang '15 was the recipient of this award, which recognizes a student with junior standing who has made significant contributions to the University. Wang is an athletic training major and served as the student representative for the Health, Exercise and Sport Sciences Department and is the president and a founder of the Eta Kappa chapter of Phi Epsilon Kappa fraternity, a national professional fraternity for persons engaged in or pursuing careers in subjects such as health, recreation, exercise science, sports medicine and sports management. She has completed more than 500 hours in outpatient physical therapy and research clinics.
Karen DeRosa Outstanding Graduate Student Leader Award
Juan Martinez was the recipient of this award, which recognizes a graduate student who has completed a Master of Arts in Educational Administration with a specialization in Student Affairs. Martinez is the Greek Resident Director for Theta Chi House and a graduate intern in the Diversity and Community Engagement Office, where he helped facilitate the Campus Conversations events and assessments on issues involving diversity. He served on Pacific's LGBTQIA conference committee, leading the development and implementation of a conference-wide social media engagement strategy. He is also a member of Pacific's Bias Response Team.
Anderson Y Community Service Award
The Community Involvement Program Student Association (CIPSA) was the recipient of this award, which recognizes an outstanding registered student organization engaged in Pacific and the surrounding local community. CIPSA provides year-round outreach and college presentations to local high schools and San Joaquin Delta College. Fifty-three CIPSA members worked all day at Build Day at Conway Homes and were recognized for their contribution by Councilmember Michael Tubbs. The group sent two students to the State Capitol to lobby against Cal Grant reductions for private universities and annually participates in the Thanksgiving food drive for St. Mary's Interfaith Dining Hall.
Pacific Tiger Award
The McGeorge Rugby Football Club was the recipient of this award, which is presented annually by the Pacific Alumni Association to recognize a registered student organization that exhibits and promotes school spirit, encourages student participation in activities and events and/or provides students with knowledge of Pacific's heritage, traditions and history. For the past 30 years, the McGeorge Rugby Football Club has provided a sense of Pacific McGeorge pride through school-wide events and rugby matches against other graduate schools. Alumni donated funds to create the Rugby Room in the legal studies center, which displays their history and provides students a comfortable study area. The group regularly participates in volunteer opportunities with other student organizations.
Pacific Fund Philanthropy Award
The McGeorge Women's Caucus was the recipient of this award, which recognizes a registered student organization, club or council that demonstrates outstanding commitment to charitable giving and has achieved excellence in fundraising for a nonprofit or civic group during the current academic year. The caucus's annual Live and Silent Auction, which has been conducted for the past 36 years, raised $4,000 to support WEAVE, the primary provider of crisis intervention services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Sacramento County. The group promotes female participation in the legal field and supports community outreach, specifically in the Oak Park area of Sacramento. It is one of McGeorge's most active student organizations with an impressive membership pool and numerous events throughout the year.
Student Organization of the Year Award
The Muslim Student Association was the recipient of this award which recognizes a registered student organization that has made a lasting impact on the Pacific community. The Muslim Student Association contributes to the campus by educating others on Muslim social values, morals and religious practices through programs such as Know Islam, the Lives of Four Imams, Swipes Against Hunger, Welcome a Stranger, Muslim Day at the Capital and Interfaith Meetings. Their annual charity banquet with Islamic Relief USA to support humanitarian efforts in Syria raised $28,500. The group supports the homeless population in Stockton by partnering with the Black Campus Ministries to collect clothing.
Congratulations to all the faculty, staff and student award recipients upon receiving this well-deserved recognition.