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2011 2012

HONORS Outlook

Volume 1, Issue 11

Table of Contents Page 1 - Spring Quarter at UH - Dan Wise Memorial Scholarship Page 2 -Teach for America - Presser Foundation Scholar Page 3 - Vietnamese Culture Night - Legislative Lobby Conference Page 4 - Graduate Schools & Programs Page 5 - Spring Break Page 6 - Honors FUN!

University Honors 2316 Olmsted Hall Riverside, CA 92521 Tel: (951) 827-5323 Fax: (951) 827-5320

April 2012

Honors News SPRING QUARTER AT UNIVERSITY HONORS By Eric Gamboa Each quarter at UC Riverside brings its own set of challenges, opportuni es, achievements and struggles. Spring quarter, however, is unique since it represents the final quarter of the academic year; plans are underway for memorable summers, prospec ve graduate students are receiving acceptance le ers that will shape the rest of their lives, and students are preparing for graduaon. In this issue of the Honors Outlook, we will delve into the lives of numerous Honors students who have experienced life-altering events this quarter. In “Honors Students Prepare for the Future,” Sabeen Dagher highlights the plans of Honors students who have been ad-

mi ed into graduate schools. These students, who have influenced their communi es through posi ons ranging from being an Honors peer mentor to Supplemental Instruc on leader, have served as an inspira on to others and have truly embodied the spirit of Honors. But these aren’t the only types of students who have recently received important le ers with long-term implica ons; numerous Honors students have been awarded pres gious scholarships and post-gradua on offers to help further their lifelong interests–which are also highlighted in this issue of the Honors Outlook. Corresponding with the theme of opportuni es and challenges is that of elec ons. This week marks the vo ng period for ASUCR elec ons, which

features candidates from University Honors. Lazaro Cardenas, Ma hew Richardson and Michael Gamboa are among the Honors students seeking to bring changes as ASUCR senators. Spring quarter has also been a noteworthy quarter for Honors faculty including Professor Robert Nash Parker. Dr. Parker has recently gained significant media a en on following the release of a study suggesting that California’s notorious “three-strikes” law has proven inefficient in terms of reducing violent crime. While the Honors community con nues to make strides towards improving the community and educa ng the next genera on of leaders, this goal has been facilitated due to the benevolence of Tim Hays. Hays,

the former owner of The Press Enterprise and dear friend of UCR and University Honors, passed away last October and le a $700,000 gi to the UCR Founda on. The gi will be used to support the crea on of the Howard H Hays, Jr. Endowed Chair within University Honors.

“In this issue of the Honors Outlook, we will delve into the lives of numerous Honors students who have experienced life-altering events this quarter.”

DAN WISE MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP WINNER By Eric Gamboa & Townsend Gallinger-Scholz Whether they are situated in Riverside or as far away as Lyon, Honors students are always able to have a posi ve impact on their communi es. This will certainly be the case when Honors student Reginald Arevalo will travel to France a er being awarded the Dan Wise Memorial Scholarship. “Through this program and by living in Lyon, I hope to gain a be er understanding of the French society and culture, and to master the French language,” stated Arevalo in an interview with the Honors Outlook. The $5,000 scholarship will allow Arevalo, a third-year linguiscs and French double major, to partake in the yearlong trip

as part of the UC Educa onal Abroad Program (UCEAP). Arevalo was one of ten students in the en re UC system who was awarded the scholarship. Arevalo will be studying at the University of Lyon and noted that he was excited to expand his knowledge by taking classes that would not normally be available in American universi es. He hopes to eventually work as either a university professor or at an American embassy in a Francophone country. In the near future, however, Arevalo plans to a end graduate school to study either diplomacy, sociolinguis cs or French literature and media. “I'm most excited to meet new people,

University of Lyon in France, where Reginald will be taking courses during his yearlong stay. to travel around France and Europe, and to experience life with a French flair…[this yearlong trip] along with my experience at UCR, will serve as

a founda on to my future academic and career plans,” stated Arevalo.

Honors Outlook



By Aaron Toop Chelsea Usher, a fourth-year English major, classics minor, is among the newest members of the Teach for America team. Teach for America is an organiza on that hires young and eager college graduates to teach children in underserved districts across the country. The organiza on’s mission is to reduce the achievement and educa onal gap in America and give everyone a chance at

the quality educa on that they deserve. “Being accepted into the Teach for America program has been so amazing for me. I absolutely knew that my life would change in a posi ve and exponen al way through this program, and I know that accep ng their offer is the best decision I can make for myself at this junc on in my life,” stated Usher in an interview with the Honors Outlook. Discussing the applica on process, she shared that she

had been “holding [her] breath un l the day [she] received the call” as she knew that this year, the acceptance rates were very different from the years prior. Wai ng the three weeks between her interview and the decision was, she says, both “terrifying and gra fying...getng the phone call on Decision day, I was at once relieved, anxious, and wholly terrified.” Chelsea will be leaving for Connec cut in a few months and intends to teach high school English. However, she will not only be educa ng children but will also be helping to foster and connect the community that she will join. Prospec ve applicants to Teach for America must face a highly compe ve admissions process that a empts to iden fy those who are most commi ed to helping others. Applicants must go through an extensive interview process,

as well as mee ng the normal requirements including le ers of recommenda on. Chelsea encourages any interested Honors student to apply, especially for those who want to make a difference in the lives of others through teaching. “It is the greatest choice I have ever made,” she remarked.

“I absolutely knew my life would change in a positive and exponential way through this’s the greatest choice I have ever made.”

PRESSER FOUNDATION SCHOLAR By Eric Gamboa University Honors’ own Kevin De León has been awarded a $4,800 undergraduate scholar award by the Presser Foundaon. De León, who is currently a senior with a double major in music and psychology, was recognized by the founda on for his talent and display of musical excellence. The award and designa on as a Presser Scholar is a highly pres gious accomplishment and is only available to one undergraduate music major at every par cipa ng college and university. De León has noted that the scholarship will fund a trip this spring to a end a seminar by

composer Roger Reynolds at the UCDC program. While at Washington D.C., De León will be able to collaborate with the University of California’s most talented music students and will also serve as an intern at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. “An opportunity such as this is quite rare, and I am confident the skills and knowledge that I will obtain from such a remarkable opportunity will be invaluable to my development as a composer,” stated the aspiring film composer in an interview with UCR Today. De León is currently working on a senior thesis in which he will examine the musical techniques used in blockbuster movies.

In addi on to studying piano and composing music for the UCR Wind Ensemble, De León also spends his me volunteering at local schools and educa ng students on film scoring. The Honors community wishes De León the best in his upcoming musical endeavors and congratulates him on this accomplishment.

For more information on the Presser Foundation, visit

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Honors News

VIETNAMESE CULTURE NIGHT By Nickolas Moreno This year, UCR’s Vietnamese Student Associa on (VSA) put on their 30th annual Vietnamese Culture Night, a night that student Kevin Mạnh and many others applauded as the “the best culture night that VSA at UCR has ever had.” The night brought to life the VSA’s vision of cultural entertainment through drama, tradi onal dance, lion dance, modern dance, and (for the first me at VCN) a film por on produced by Kevin Mạnh. First-year Honors students Alan Dao and McShirley Math, as well as assistant choreographer Ryan Situmeang were all key to the event’s huge success. VSA members began prac cing weeks in advance, with seven to nine-hour rehearsal ses-

sions that some mes lasted un l 2 a.m. The film por on of the show introduced Dao’s character, Aaron, whose early separa on from his parents le him searching and wai ng for something to happen in life. As the story progressed, Aaron met Minh Tran, a Vietnamese refugee played by Tim Nguyen,

whose experience in America had also le him with the same mindset as Dao’s character. Soon a erwards, Aaron begins working with Mr. Tran on his biography when McShirley’s character, Heather, begins to show Aaron what Vietnamese culture is all about. This reignites in Aaron a passion for his

culture, as well as love for the people that brought an end to Aaron’s searching and wai ng. To see more of Alan Dao, McShirley Math, and Ryan Situmeang’s performance, feel free to check out the Manh Media channel on


By Lazaro Cardenas My 2012 Spring Break wasn’t exactly filled with beach days and family me. More than anything else it was dominated by student advocacy. Every year the United States Student Associa on, the official voice for students in higher

educa on, holds a Legisla ve Conference in Washington, D.C. This year’s conference took place from March 24th26th, providing a progressive space for students to engage in cri cal dialogue addressing issues of race, gender, labor and poli cs, and student empowerment. Workshops and open

causes filled the daily schedule, followed by dinner and a social event. In between all of this and what cons tutes the majority of the conference is lobby clinics in which students explore federal legisla on affec ng higher educa on such as the TRIO programs, student debt and Pell grants. The conference concluded with students a ending lobby visits to each of their campuses’ respec ve congressional and senatorial representa ves. Several hundred students par cipated in a sit-in of the entry way of Sallie Mae corporate head quarters, the largest lender of student loans. Students requested a mee ng with Albert Lord, CEO of Sallie Mae. A er many failed a empts to meet with Lord to renego ate the na on’s mas-

sive student debt (expected to exceed $1 trillion by the end of April) the students were done with business as usual. Students took over the street facing the HQ and dozens of students partook in a nonviolent ac on leading to the arrest of 36 students, many from the University of California. No mee ng was held, but the students completed their lobby visits and le a powerful message to poli cians and lenders in D.C.: the student voice will be heard and we will fight to keep higher educaon accessible in the world’s wealthiest na on.

Honors Outlook


Honors Survey Graduate/Professional School Acceptances: Next Steps Compiled by Sabeen Dagher: At University Honors, we love to see our students move on to great things! Here are just a few of the programs our graduating seniors will be pursuing after they graduate.

Kaitlin Giacalone

Andrew Bernardo

Program: UC Riverside School of Educa on- Master’s/Creden al Program

Program: UC San Diego Masters of Science in Bioengineering

Alexandra Schneider

Nicole Mikulski

Program: Durham University, UKMasters of Roman Archaeology

Program: UC Riverside-PhD in Organic Chemistry

Chris Margono Program: Cri cal Language Scholarship Program This is an all-expenses-paid, intensive language learning opportunity in which Chris will go to Indonesia for 10 weeks to study language at University Negeri Malang.

Jayson Fitter Program: UCR/UCLA Haider Program-Medical School

Sarah Sawaf Program: University of Southern California School of Social Work-Masters Program “I am so excited and relieved that I know what I’m doing after I graduate. I can’t wait to meet new people, expand my knowledge about social work, and gain hands on experience in the field. I’m leaning towards specializing in mental health and ultimately want to work in student affairs and am truly thankful for this amazing opportunity!”

Brenna Schaaf Chelsea Usher Program: Teach for America, a program dedicated to ending educa onal disparity in the United States (read more about Chelsea on page 3).

Program: Northwestern University- Masters in Marke ng Brenna was also offered a merit-based grant/scholarship. “It was such a relief to be accepted into my top choice after months of hard work and preparation. Northwestern is a top program in marketing and it’s an honor to represent UC Riverside. Chicago is an awesome city and I can’t wait to move. I am also excited to be amongst some of the brightest minds in the field of Marketing. My take-home lesson from the whole process thus far is to not underestimate yourself—set the bar high, and if you want something, work for it and it can be yours!”

Paige Stevens Program: Loma Linda Medical School “I feel enormously blessed to have the opportunity to study medicine at Loma Linda University, the school that I have dreamed about attending for the vast majority of my life. Everything about my decision to attend this school seems right and I quite literally cannot wait to embark on this new stage of my life. It should come as no surprise to those of you who know me as the “Josh and Friends girl” that I will be pursuing a career in pediatric medicine. As I look forward to what the next 4-8 years of my life will hold, I am not daunted by the endless amount of studying and the amount of hard work that awaits me; instead, I am inspired and motivated to finally fulfill the calling that I believe has been placed on my life.”

Congratulations again to all of our graduating seniors! If you’ll be pursuing a cool opportunity (whether you’re a senior or not), Honors Outlook wants to know! Email Eric Gamboa at egamb004@ so we can cover your story.

Honors Outlook


Special Cover

Spring Break Recap Compiled by Anissa Monteon and Alice Deng Thomas Desmond For part of Spring Break 2012 I went to Zion Na onal Park in southern Utah. I went on two of the best hikes I’ve ever been on while there: Angels Landing and The Narrows. Angels Landing was a scary hike where you would have to hold on to chains along a 1400’ ridge to get to the peak and The Narrows was a magnificent hike up a river with 300’ ver cal walls on either side. I would highly recommend everyone go to Zion Na onal Park at least once.

Eric Gamboa Adrian Cotta

Adrian Co a spent his Spring Break hanging out with fellow Honors friend Richard Liu, Kevin For er and Alice Deng exploring the city of Hollywood and even climbing up to the Hollywood sign! Driving slowly up the narrow roads of Santa Monica Mountain, they passed dis nc ve Hollywood homes to get to the top on the lookout for celebri es. Even though they saw none, they did end up seeing a great view from the top of the mountains a er a one and a half hour winding hike uphill. The view was beau ful and showed both sides of the mountain stretching out with the city below.

I spent my en re spring break (and a few days of spring quarter) in Europe visi ng Paris, Florence, Pisa and Rome. Paris and Florence were definitely my favorite parts of the trip. Paris is undoubtedly the most beau ful city that I have ever visited and it never failed to amaze me with its architecture, churches, museums and people. The Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Élysées avenue are among the most popular tourist a rac ons, but equally as incredible was the Hôtel Na onal des Invalides, which houses the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte and a World War II museum. Florence on the other hand, had a much more cozy feel to it and had some of the best food I’ve ever eaten–lots of delicious pasta, pizza and gelato. I must say, though, that the flight (around 11 hours) and subsequent jetlag were terrible!

Erin Cascaddan

Xinyin Bi Aloha! Xinyin spent her break at Hawaii, where she was able to scuba dive and visit the world-famous Polynesian Cultural Center. The center, which is located on Oahu, features eight different villages, each of which has its own set of performances such as tribal dances. Xinyin remarked that every Hawaiian beach had “it’s own unique character,” reflected the fact that beaches may have remarkable differences from one island to another, like Maui which features beaches that consist en rely of black sand.

For Spring Break I went camping in San Diego with my youngest sister Shannon and her friend Uyen, and Uyen’s family.

Honors Outlook


Honors FUN! CTS Riddle For the new quarter, instead of a CTS photo, Honors Outlook will have a riddle! While there may technically be a “right” answer to any given riddle, the winner will not necessarily be the one who gets the “correct” answer. Instead, the winning entry will be the one voted most crea ve/funny by the MCC members. As an added incen ve, for every entry you provide (2 entries allowed max/riddle) your name will be placed in a raffle for a prize at the end of this quarter. Winning entries will have their name entered 4 mes.

THIS ISSUE’S RIDDLE: An old man wanted to leave all of his money to one of his three sons, but he didn’t know which one he should give it to. He gave each of them a few coins and told them to buy something that would be able to fill their living room. The first man bought straw, but there was not enough to fill the room. The second bought some sƟcks, but they sƟll did not fill the room. The third man bought two things that filled the room, so he obtained his father’s fortune. What were the two things that the man bought? Submit your entry (don’t forget to include your name!) to the “CTS” box in the Honors lounge.

Honors Students Bring

Color to the Pavement

By Eric Gamboa This past week, first-year Honors student Alice Deng (and MCC member!) par cipated in UC Riverside’s 22nd annual Chalk Walk where she drew a fantas c portrait of Sherlock Holmes. The exhibi on, which lined the concrete floors between the Bell Tower and Coffee Bean, featured the work of 18 ar sts. The drawings included sketches of Calvin and Hobbes, 3-D illusions of buildings protruding from the ground and students’ versions of famous pain ngs. “I [drew} BBC’s Sherlock Holmes because I am currently most deeply involved with my Sherlock Holmes fandom community and wanted to draw it in support of the #IBelieveInSherlock movement going on,” stated Deng in an interview with the Honors Outlook. The compe on awarded ar sts based on numerous categories including Best in Show, Reproduc on of a Master and Take a Stand. But for many, the event was not about the prizes but was simply a fun opportunity for ar sts to express themselves. “It was a very fun and interes ng learning experience working with new materials and I'll have a be er idea on how to use chalk next year I apply,” stated Deng. The Chalk Walk proved to be a grueling task for many, especially because of the hot weather that Riverside experienced last week. “It was really difficult because I only used my bare hands as I found that easiest to smudge with but a er long hours of rubbing, your skin become irritated and raw.” Deng’s hard work, however, paid off and gained the awe of countless students who were able to catch a glimpse of Sherlock Holmes.

Honors Students De-Stress Did you catch the Stress Recess on April 16? The Student Wellness Partners and Active Minds at UCR planned a fun-filled day to help students “play their stress away” on National Stress Out Day. Activities included a Bounce House, Play-Doh Station, and Favorite Childhood snacks. Honors students joined in on the fun as they took a Kiddie Train ride around the bell tower for a few spins. As your Spring quarter gets under way, remember to take a few moments to let your inner “kid” out for recess - on or off a choo choo train.

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Honors Outlook Volume 1 Issue 11  

The Honors Outlook is a newsletter created by University Honors students at UC Riverside. Generally 3-4 issues are published per academic q...

Honors Outlook Volume 1 Issue 11  

The Honors Outlook is a newsletter created by University Honors students at UC Riverside. Generally 3-4 issues are published per academic q...