Students Tracy Thompson, Jennifer Carey, Gabriela Arroyo, and Adam Rizwan Khan Will Be Honored with Commencement Awards

By Stephanie Wejbe, Student Intern of CHASS College Computing

The 2004 Commencement Awards Ceremony will recognize CHASS students Tracy Thompson, Jennifer Carey, Gabriela Arroyo, and Adam Rizwan Khan. Thompson and Carey will both be awarded the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research. Arroyo and Khan will both be honored with the College’s Tomás Rivera Award. The recipients will receive their awards at a ceremony Friday afternoon June 11, 4:00 p.m., at the Commons Terrace Rooms.

Each year, the University of California, Riverside honors the recipients of the Commencement Awards for their extraordinary work in the classroom and laboratory and their contributions to the campus and the community. Following last year’s precedent, Dance student Tracy Thompson will be the second dance student in a row to receive the award. Tracy is a senior at UCR and is double-majoring in Dance and Psychology. She plans to attend medical school to become a cardiologist.

Tracy began dancing at the age of three. Later, she studied and performed at the School for Performing Arts and the Chattanooga Civic Ballet. While in high school, Tracy started her career as a choreographer. She was invited to be a soloist and company member of the Chattanooga Civic Ballet, where she performed in Coppelia, La Sylphide, Pas de Quatre, La Fille Mal Gardée and The Nutcracker.

Jennifer Redelle Carey, is graduating from the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences with a B.A. in Creative Writing and a minor in English. She transferred to UCR in Fall 2002. In her two years at UCR, she has received the following awards: The Chancellor's Performance Award (in Spring 2003), The Outstanding Student Award in Creative Writing (in Spring 2004), an award for her exceptional work on her Senior Thesis from the Creative Writing Department, an award for academic excellence from the Creative Writing Department, and she has graduated from the UCR Honors Program for her work on her senior honors thesis entitled Unusual Tales From the City of Gracious Living, a short story collection with connecting stories that are of the Urban Fantasy genre, and all are set in the actual city of Upland, California. Carey also is the first Undergraduate winner of The Adam Repan Petko Prize for her Science Fiction media tie-in book collection. Her paper for the award is entitled: “Print Me That Universe: Media Tie-Ins, References and Academic Critique of Television and Movie Science Fiction and Fantasy Universes.” Her collection can be found in the Special Collections Department of the Rivera Library and will be on display through September 2004.

In recognition of the rich legacy of Tomas Rivera, a writer, poet, and academic leader of exceptional distinction, the College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences annually awards the Tomás Rivera Award. Selection is based on academic excellence and on faculty recommendations. This year, Gabriela Arroyo and Adam Rizwan Khan will receive the prestigious award.

After attending school in Tijuana, Mexico through 11th grade, Gabriela Arroyo came to the United States due to marriage and work. At age 26 she enrolled in an Adult Education Program in Riverside and received her GED. She then attended RCC where she graduated with highest honors. Gabriela arrived at UCR as a transfer student in Fall 2002 majoring in Sociology and will graduate with highest honors this June. She has been actively involved in an internship with Professor Adalberto Aguirre, at Operation SafeHouse, a homeless and runaway youth shelter. She is currently a caseworker/child care worker at Operation SafeHouse and because of her bilingual skills, she participates in family sessions with Spanish speaking parents and family counselors. Previously, she interned for nine months at the Van Horn Youth Center through the Riverside County Probation Department’s Juvenile Division. She has been doing her own research in a participant/observation study of Latino immigrant adolescents. Recently, she has been asked to work on a NIH Mental Health Grant under Professor Scott Coltrane to study the effects and meaning of Mexican fathers for adolescents.

Arroyo is involved with a number of academic organizations on campus. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Delta (Sociology Honor Society), UCR’s Golden Key International Honor Society, Gamma Beta Phi Honor Society, and Alpha Gamma Sigma Honor Society. Her long-term goal is to earn a Ph.D. and become a professor and researcher in the social sciences. Gabriella is a committed student who has successfully met the challenges of bettering her own life; she is now looking forward to helping others of similar backgrounds the opportunity to achieve theirs.

Adam Rizwan Khan has contributed tremendously to the quality of campus life at UCR and excelled academically. Adam was named an Outstanding Student at the West Region Conference of the National Association of College Activities. This year he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa -- likely the most prestigious academic honor society. He has received such honors by being virtually a perfect student in two degree programs, Business Administration and Psychology. He has been on the Dean's List for eleven consecutive quarters and on the Chancellor's List for three consecutive years.

He served in the Host Ambassador Program and was a Bear Facts Orientation Counselor and for two years served as a Resident Advisor. In addition, he was a student member of the College or Humanities Arts and Social Sciences Executive Committee. He has served as a Board Member of the Muslim Student Union where he worked on activity planning including Islamic Awareness Week. During the summer of 2002, he served as an intern in Senator Barbara Boxer's office. Adam has also found the time to acquire experience in the business world outside of campus as a Marketing Intern at Apollo Soccer and Sports. From June of 2003 to the present, he has been the Director of Marketing for the Associated Student Program Board at UCR. This is a demanding position and concurrent with this he has excelled academically.

Highlights of Adam's research include:

Measuring personality connotation in proper names using high-dimensional memory models. Presented at the Psychonomic Society Conference, November 2003, Vancouver. (also published in the Psychonomic Society Abstracts 2003)

Learning Proper Name Connotations Using a Lexical Co-occurrence Algorithm. Presented at the Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference, May 2004, Los Angeles California.

Assessing Consumer Attitudes of Car Companies. Presented at the Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference, May 2004, Los Angeles California.

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