Congratulations to our 2012 Outstanding Graduates
Each May, we recognize the exceptional work of our college's top seniors with the Outstanding Graduate award.
- Makia Smith
- Miranda Winters
- Courtney Wood
Makia Smith was honored with the Sociology Department's M. "Jack" Mason award - given annually to a graduating senior with a superior GPA, who best exemplifies "The Sociological Imagination" at Pacific. Additionally, she was recognized with a "Woman of Distinction Award" for her extraordinary level of community involvement and academic achievement.
She served as a student representative and member of a faculty evaluation committee. She held offices in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., served as a Leadership Development mentor for the Community Involvement Program and SUCCESS, and was Vice President and Mentor Coordinator for STORM.
Miranda Winters transferred to Pacific from San Joaquin Delta College. In addition to her Sociology degree, she earned a minor in Pre-Law and was inducted into two honor societies: Alpha Kappa Delta and Alpha Sigma Lambda. She has also served as a writing mentor for the past two semesters in Sociology courses. Her community service includes working as a teacher's aide for Manteca Unified School District, volunteering for the Western Farm Workers Association and Friends of the Lower Calaveras River-Coastal Cleanup Day.
Courtney Wood has maintained an outstanding academic record at Pacific, all while putting herself through school. She served as a Sociology Department writing mentor. She has also been active in various campus activities, including writing for the Pacifican, participating in the concert and pep bands, and the Na Ohana O Ke Awana Polynesian dance troupe. Off campus, Courtney volunteered at the Salvation Army Soup Kitchen and participated in the Relay for Life.
Courtney was inducted to Alpha Kappa Delta, the Sociology honors society. She is also the recipient of the University of the Pacific Regents Scholarship, as well as scholarships from the California Pipe Trades Association and the Na Ohana O Ke Awana Society.
At the end of the year, each of the academic departments and interdisciplinary programs in the College of the Pacific honors a truly exceptional graduating senior or group of seniors with the Outstanding Graduate Award. This award is given to students who have not only earned a consistently high academic record, but who have also been actively involved in the discipline through activities, research, or special projects.
Meet Our Award-Winning 2011 Graduates
The M. “Jack” Mason Award, which was established by the Sociology Department in 2006, is awarded annually to a graduating senior in Sociology, based on a combination of factors including their academic achievement and participation in activities that exemplify “The Sociological Imagination” in sociological work on and off campus during their years at University of the Pacific.
Martha made community involvement a priority in her life while earning her college degrees. She was the PTA President of the Henderson Community Day School, the Committee Chair of the Boys Scouts of America of Lodi and a Den Leader. Martha has an impressive history of devoting time to helping others succeed in school. She served as a Tutor and a Mentor for the New Transfer Student SUCCESS Program at Pacific. She also remained attentive to her own academic goals, staying on the Dean’s Honor Roll since her first semester at Pacific.
Martha’s positive attitude and intellectual drive has been an inspirational force for her own eight children, as well as for her peers and the faculty in the Sociology Department. Martha plans to pursue a Masters in Social Work. Hide
As a returning student with a young child, Leora faced many challenges unknown to many Pacific students. However, these challenges were no match for her sharp intellect, strong work ethic and determination. Leora has done superior work in all of her major classes, and demonstrated that rare combination of curiosity, critical thought and compassion that makes a truly excellent sociologist.
She was inducted into the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa honor society this spring.
Leora has been a strong presence in the Sociology Department, serving as both co-chair of the Pacific Sociological Society and a writing mentor. Drawing on her knowledge of how inequalities affect our society, Leora chose to serve as the Pride Center Intern in the Multicultural Center. Hide
Sarah is an exceptionally mature and intelligent young woman who developed her intellectual competence, critical thinking and writing proficiency, as well as an impressive grasp of the effective application of sociological research and concepts. Her academic record is exceptional, and she completed three minors in addition to her major! Sarah’s achievements include membership in Alpha Kappa Delta, Phi Kappa Phi, and Alpha Lambda Delta honor societies.
Sarah’s contributions to the Sociology major program include serving as co-chair of the Pacific Sociology Society, and as a writing mentor for Sociology courses. She managed to balance and handle the obligations associated with her schoolwork, volunteer work, and family responsibilities in an amazing fashion. Sarah always has a smile for others and a wonderful sense of humor. We know she will succeed in her future endeavors, including graduate studies in Social Work. Hide
Student and Professor Present at Conference
Ethel Nicdao and Nabeel Cajee '11 presented "Your Blood is Sweet": Sociocultural Narratives of Southeast Asians with Type 2 Diabetes at the Annual Meeting of the Pacific Sociological Association, March 10-13, 2011 in Seattle, WA. Dr. Nicdao has been appointed to serve as a member of the Pacific Sociological Association's Endowment Committee, and she has also been invited to serve on the Advisory Board of Sacramento Asian American Minority, Inc., a non-profit organization.
Sociology Student Receives Scholarship
Sarah Casesse '11 received the Ann Rogers Memorial Scholarship awarded by the Lodi branch of the American Association of University Women.
Sociology Student Interviewed on "Our Voice" Public Access Program
Sociology undergrad Andreas Garcia '11 and Jay Stephens '11 (Biology/Predental) were interviewed by Clarence Louie for the Comcast SJTV public access program called "Our Voice." The interviews aired over the summer and focused on their experience as local Stocktonians attending the University of the Pacific as well as their participation in a spring break trip to Cambodia in which they taught local schoolchildren about dental hygiene. Links to the interviews: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
Andreas Garcia helps teach dental hygiene in Cambodia
Student Highlight: Martha Valadez
One of our standout students, Martha Valadez '10, exemplifies the spirit of learning by doing. Among other things, she accompllished the following while at Pacific:
- Received Harold Jacoby Citizen Leader Award for exemplary public service to the community
- Served as the ASUOP Sustainability Commissioner
- Served as an intern at the Healthy Rialto program
- Co-chaired MEChA and worked with migrant youth and their families
- Participated in the Center for Community Involvement
In the video below, Martha talks about her interest in Sociology and her experience in our department.
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