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Wendell Phillips Center, Second Floor
Susan Mannon
Department Chair
3611 Pacific Avenue
Stockton, CA 95211

Past Outstanding Students

Congratulations to our 2016 Outstanding Student

Each year, the Department of Sociology recognizes outstanding students who demonstrate academic excellence.

This May, we recognized the exceptional work of one student with the 2016 Outstanding Student award:

  • Robert Mees

Congratulations to our 2013 Outstanding Graduates

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.

Outstanding Senior - Chynna Andeola
TyaCamellia Alred  - Mason Award
Gwendolyn Primous  - Jacoby Award

Chynna Andeola was selected as the 2013 winner of the Sociology Department's Outstanding Senior Award. Chynna graduated summa cum laude with a nearly perfect cumulative GPA. She was inducted into the Alpha Kappa Delta sociology honors society in 2012 and is also a member of Phi Kappa Phi National Honors Society.

In addition to her academic work, Chynna has demonstrated leadership as programming chair and then president of Pacific's Sociological Society, organizing volunteer opportunities and co-curricular activities with her peers. Beyond the university, she was an intern at the Child Abuse Prevention Council of San Joaquin County, where she developed and taught a life skills class for truant youth and assisted with case management.

TyaCamellia Alred is the 2013 winner of the M. "Jack" Mason Award. Named after the late Jack Mason, a beloved colleague and member of the Sociology Department, the award is given annually to that graduating senior of superior GPA who best exemplifies "The Sociological Imagination" in sociological work at Pacific. The American sociologist C. Wright Mills coined the term "the sociological imagination" to refer to the ability to see the impact of cultural and political influences and historical processes on our private lives. 

Since Tya's arrival at Pacific in the Fall 2011 semester, she has made tremendous contributions to the department, the Pacific community, and the Stockton community, all of which exemplify application of her "sociological imagination".  

Her academic accomplishments include receiving a transfer scholarship, making the Honor Society's Dean's List, serving as both President and Secretary for the Pacific Sociological Society student club, and induction into Alpha Kappa Delta, the international Sociology honor society. Her engagement on campus is equally impressive. She is a tutor for the Jacoby Center and SUCCESS program.  In addition, she is a member of American Association of University Women (AAUW) which advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research. Tya's community service includes working with Western Farm Workers Association, Haven of Peace Center, Women's Center of San Joaquin, Helping Hands, and Golden Assisted Living Center. 

The Sociology department wishes Tya the best in her future endeavors which includes pursuing a graduate degree in marriage, family, and child counseling.

Gwendolyn Primous  won with 2013 Jacoby Citizen-Leader Award.  Click here to see full story. 

Naveed AhmedStockton native Naveed Ahmed (13) meets former president Bill Clinton during Clinton Global Initiative University. During CGIU, Naveed and his research partner Chad Fraga (14) won a competitive small grant to fund a mentoring program at four low-performing Stockton high schools.



Rosa and JackieRosa Montes and Jaqueline Precido (13) present their research at the Pacific Sociology Association's annual conference. 


Alumi ReceptionMinnie Hindricks (13), Ana Garcia (12), Alexis Cordoza (11), TyaCamelia Allred (13), Monique Jones (12), Dena Vang (14) and Kyle Maxwell (13) pose for a photo during an alumni reception hosted by the Sociological Society club. Ana, Alexis, Tya and Kyle have all served as club president during various semesters. 

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/Pre-dental) 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 in Cambodia
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 accomplished 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.

Meet Our Award-Winning Seniors for 2010!

Outstanding Senior: Kevin Nishi


HatKevin returned to college after leaving a career in corporate banking. He said that one of the best things that ever happened to him was getting laid off from the bank "because now I feel like a 'real person.'" Although the transition was not easy, his commitment to succeed as a returning student has been rewarding. "Sociology has both challenged and strengthened my internal integrity," said Kevin. "I am most proud of my perseverance and willingness to keep an open mind." Now that he is actively looking to start a new career, Kevin believes that majoring in Sociology will allow him to contribute meaningfully to his community and provide opportunities that will enhance his most cherished role: a single father.

M. "Jack" Mason Award: Elizabeth Musquiz

Elizabeth was selected for the Mason Award, which is given to a graduating senior in Sociology who has a superior GPA and who best exemplifies "the Sociological Imagination" through activities on and off campus. Elizabeth has been highly active in the social, cultural and political life of the Central Valley. Her most recent community service projects include coordinating the Annual Intertribal Pow Wow at Modesto Junior College, serving as Treasurer and Fundraising Chair for the Modesto/Stanislaus Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Other service projects include volunteering with the San Joaquin Valley Chapter of the League of Women Voters, tutoring fourth grade students in the Step-Up After School Program and working as a writing mentor in the Sociology Department. Elizabeth has received numerous awards for her community service from organizations and politicians. She plans to seek a career in government working with the Native American community.

Harold S. Jacoby Citizen Leader Award: Martha Valadez

Martha ValadezMartha was presented with the Harold Jacoby Citizen Leader Award, named after the first Dean of the College of the Pacific and awarded to a student who has given responsible and exemplary public service to the community. Martha has demonstrated exceptional service in Stockton, in her hometown of Rialto, and even in Mexico. She has worked to foster environmental sustainability as the ASUOP Sustainability Commissioner and as an intern at the Healthy Rialto program; to promote racial equality as a co-chair of MEChA and by working with migrant youth and their families; and to build better campus community relations through the Center for Community Involvement.

As a Sociology major, Martha has constantly pushed herself in her intellectual and civic goals. Her leadership stems from an ever-deepening understanding of the entrenched nature of inequality, as well as empathy for individuals from all walks of life. In the fall she will begin graduate studies in social work at the University of Michigan, and we have no doubt that her exceptional service while at Pacific is the beginning of a worthy and interesting career.


Students and Faculty Present at Pacific Sociology Association Conference

The following presentations took place at the Pacific Sociology Association annual conference in Oakland, California, April 2010:

  • Dr. Alison Hope Alkon presented her paper "A Fertile Field: Cultivating Space for Food Justice"

  • Jackelin Chavez '10 presented her paper "Homeless Veterans in California: A Theoretical Examination."

  • Martha Valadez '10 presented her paper "Food Disparities in Stockton, CA: Who Truly Takes a Bite of the Fresh, Ripe California Peach & Is It Really Fresh & Ripe?"

Students Recognized for Accomplishments and Contributions

Tara Ignot '12 was awarded the Woman of Distinction award for her demonstrated excellence as a leader for other women and her contributions to the well-being of Pacific.

Brandie Spencer '11 was accepted into the Mortar Board National Honors Society, which recognizes college seniors for superior achievement in scholarship, leadership and service.

Karla Barbosa '10 and the sisters of Gamma Alpha Omega sorority were featured in the Stockton Record for their work with the White Roses Program, which helps adolescent girls with educational and personal issues that may put them at risk of dropping out of school.