This year, in addition to the undergraduate awards, SOE established new awards that honor our exceptional graduate students, faculty, and staff. The recipients were honored at SOE’s Commencement reception at The Barn.
Below is a full list of awards and honorees.
Academic Excellence Award
This award recognizes undergraduate students—one from each Education Concentration—who are selected by the Undergraduate Education Committee (based on faculty nominations) for achieving excellence in their academics, research, and community engagement or creative activity.
Stephanie Zeng is a memorable leader as an SOE senator who authored pieces of legislation. She leads efforts to support non-traditional and marginalized students to build community, connect to campus resources, achieve academic success, and engage in peer mentorship opportunities. Stephanie also created her R'Course on “Healthy Living as a College Student”.
Maya Weiss was the Policy Intern for the Riverside Unified School District and has engaged in multiple civic engagement efforts. Maya has been conducting research and held leadership roles in the Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society and Gamma Beta Phi Honors Society.
Outstanding Achievement Award
This award recognizes one student who is selected by the SOE Dean (based on faculty nominations) for their exemplary achievement in academics and research or creative activity, breadth of involvement in the college, and commitment to service and citizenship.
Xochilt Angelica Salgado identifies as a Chicana activist-scholar, passionately advocating and promoting efforts toward equitable education & racial justice through Teachers of Color, the Underground Scholars Initiative, and civic engagement. Xochilt is a first-generation and transfer student, who connected with marginalized communities through multiple efforts, and as a researcher, making contributions as a FIERCE Scholar.
Staff Impact Award
Staff Impact Award recognizes two full-time career staff members who have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to helping SOE achieve its mission and goals. This commitment can be demonstrated through outstanding professional endeavors, top-notch customer service, or innovative solutions or contributions that make an impact to the school.
Heather Killeen is the Graduate Advisor at SOE. She uses her skills and creativity through an equity lens to enhance the internal and external community engagement for graduate students, expand the pool of competitive graduate students, and improve SOE climate and culture. She is a remarkable colleague whose work is always driven by a focus on student success. Students benefit from her in-depth of knowledge and her commitment to finding answers to their questions.
Samantha Jobelius is the Enrollment Manager at SOE. Sam plays a critical role in the SOE. She is responsible for significant course planning activity that impacts the entire SOE and every academic program within the School. She consistently works at the highest levels of precision to ensure the SOE is moving in the right direction. Her role is also highly collaboratively, and she operates by playing close attention to process, outcome, and context. Sam operates at the highest levels and the SOE is a stronger unit because of her contributions.
SOE Student Excellence in Research Award
The Student Excellence in Research Award is awarded to a student who has advanced to candidacy and has demonstrated a commitment to conducting research that aligns with SOE’s mission and values.
Valeria Dominguez’s published work and current dissertation are trail-blazing. Through research, Valeria centers equity and higher education governance by highlighting the pivotal role, yet marginalized experiences, of women of color in advancing equity efforts through their participation in governing boards. Her academic and professional backgrounds in UC governance also contributes to make better changes in the UC's continued efforts to bring equity within the UC.
SOE Student Excellence in Teaching Award
The SOE Student Excellence in Teaching Award honors a graduate student who has excelled as a teaching assistant, selected by undergraduate students and faculty nominations.
Aya Shub is an outstanding and memorable teaching assistant. She has contributed meaningful curriculum building ideas when planning student activities to foster engagement, she helps faculty problem solve, and is also very responsive to student emails, always writing from a place of compassion yet without losing the emphasis on growth. She is incredibly present during class and discussion which creates a better learning environment for the students.
SOE Student Teacher Excellence Award
The SOE Student Teacher Excellence Award recognizes two SOE teacher education students who have excelled as student teachers by realizing the SOE mission and values.
Amber Marin represents what UCR's Teacher Education Program stands for. Throughout Amber’s student teaching, she has been highly motivated to learn as much as she can and perform to her best capabilities. She consistently applies an understanding of strategies and methods to meet student needs while applying the various teaching performance expectations. To best serve the needs of her students, she seeks the advice and support of her district cooperating teacher, peers, and professors. Her passion to improve the lives of all students is clear.
Marla Vasquez was born to be a teacher. She is compassionate and empathetic. Her advocacy for social justice can be clearly seen in every meticulously designed lesson plan that she creates. We need educators like her in schools. She is collaborative with her peers and colleagues and always completes every assignment with exquisite detail. Marla will positively impact the education system.
SOE Faculty Mentorship Award
This award honors members of SOE faculty and teaching staff (including lecturers and supervisors of teacher education) who have made exceptional contributions towards mentoring students in SOE.
Cynthia Villareal creates an environment where her students feel supported and uplifted. She has a genuine concern for students’ well-being. She acknowledges the different learning styles of students and designs her classes to ensure academic success. She is committed to changing the landscape of higher education through pedagogy, mentoring, and encouragement with every student in her classes.
David Patrick Johnson, supervisor of teacher education, provides invaluable guidance to his cohort members. He gives the needed examples from his vast experience as a principal and educator that offers insight into what are the expectations, issues, and circumstances that can appear in education. He provides on-time assistance going above and beyond to answer any lingering questions. Night or day, rain or shine, Pat was available at all times ready and willing to help as much as he could.
Raquel Rall prioritizes student needs and concerns. She helps students navigate research and academic milestones. She provides valued guidance and support to her students. Her approachability, transparency, and genuine passion for student academic and professional success has made her a wonderful mentor and professor.