Six University of California, Riverside students received awards for efforts in leadership and civic engagement, social justice and overcoming adversity at the fourth annual Celebration for A Day of Appreciation and Recognition of Women Students on Thursday, March 6, 2014.
The event, which was free and open to the public, was organized by the UCR Women’s Resource Center and sponsored by campus and community partners and was part of the campus’ annual celebration of Women’s History Month. “This annual celebration forwards the university’s strategic plan for diversity and former Chancellor Tim White’s Proclamation for A Day of Appreciation and Recognition of Women Students,” said Women’s Resource Center Director Adrienne Sims.
All six of the award recipients are shining examples of intelligent growth in our community. Their strong dedication to education and commitment to making their community a better place is remarkable. Not only have these successful women represented intelligent growth, they also embody the unified city pillar of seizing our destiny. They contribute to a caring community that has compassion for all of its inhabitants, and engage with one another for a better life for all.
The keynote speaker was Eloise Gomez Reyes, a long-time Inland Empire resident who is running for the congressional seat in the 31st district. A native of Colton, she worked in the onion fields at the age of 12 with mother and five siblings to earn money for school clothes. She attended San Bernardino Valley College, then graduated from USC. She later earned her J.D. from Loyola Law School and began her legal career representing injured workers and unions in workers comp cases. She later moved back to Colton and started her own law office, which she has run for more than two decades. She is a founding Board member of the Inland Empire Community Health Center in Bloomington, is on the Executive Board for the Children’s Spine Foundation, and served on the Dean’s Medical School Mission Committee here at UC Riverside.
Leadership and Civic Engagement Award
Undergraduate Student Honoree: Katherine Tsai, Biology
Katherine is an exemplary academic who is majoring in biology. In addition to forwarding academic excellence, she devotes countless hours to helping others. Her drive to improve humankind pushes her to optimize leadership roles in which she can make positive impacts on fellow students and other communities.
Social Justice Award
Undergraduate Student Honoree: Gabriela Bobadilla, Spanish
Gabriela’s work with the anti-human trafficking task force and her commitment to social justice issues in Riverside’s local community are unparalleled. Her work with Operation SafeHouse and the Child Leaders Project in Riverside show her hard work and dedication to key causes.
Overcoming Adversity Award
Graduate Student Honoree: Divya Sain, Genetics, Genomics, and Bioinformatics
Despite medical challenges, including limited mobility, Divya is an outstanding student who recently receivied the Guru Gobind Singh Graduate Fellowship, which is only awarded to one UC student per year. She will complete her Ph.D. in December.
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