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Ten students receive True Bruin Distinguished Senior Award from Alumni Association

Ten students received the UCLA Alumni Association’s True Bruin Distinguished Senior Award for 2019. Each received a $5,000 scholarship in celebration of their volunteer and community service work during their time at UCLA. (Courtesy of Zain Delawalla/UCLA Alumni)

By Kate Nucci and Tiffany Zha

Nov. 6, 2019 1:51 a.m.

The UCLA Alumni Scholars Club recognized 10 fourth-year students Monday for outstanding achievements in community service.

The UCLA Alumni Association awards the True Bruin Distinguished Senior Award to 10 seniors every year. The award includes a $5,000 scholarship to fund students through the last year of college, along with a graduation stole, mementos and photos.

The award celebrates students who have showcased True Bruin values of integrity, excellence, accountability, respect and service, according to the Alumni Association’s website.

All fourth-year students on campus with at least a 3.0 GPA are eligible for the scholarship.

The scholarships are funded by alumni donations. The UCLA Alumni Band and UCLA Lambda Alumni Association, the alumni group for LGBTQ students, also each supported one of the 10 scholarships.

“I think the one thing I want (students) to know is, ‘Don’t ever think that the alumni don’t care, because we do,’” said Karen Swanson, the Alumni Scholarships Program steering committee vice chair. “And we want to support them in any way we possibly can.”

Winners this year were fourth-years Stacy Aneke, a linguistics student; Abraham Flores, an anthropology and Arabic language and culture student; Isabel Gandarilla, an environmental science student; Tiffany Han, a global studies student; Winnie Liu, a molecular, cellular and developmental biology student and former Daily Bruin contributor; James Setiadi, a business economics student; Victoria Solkovits, a political science and human biology and society student; Alexander Soohoo, a chemical engineering student; Katherine Strawn, an architectural studies student; and Samatha Zimmer, a biology student.

Most of the students have demonstrated significant involvement and leadership in community service. Winners included a volunteer with the No-Kill Los Angeles animal shelter, a worker with School on Wheels and a coach coordinator at UCLA Special Olympics and Bruin Belles Service Association member.

Award recipient Tiffany Han is the president of UNICEF at UCLA, which aims to educate the campus about issues affecting children worldwide. This scholarship application fit her well, Han said.

“Every extracurricular I’ve been a part of has to do with service, so I had a lot to say,” Han said.

Han decided to join UNICEF during week zero of her freshman year and has remained involved ever since. She is also a member of the Mobile Clinic Project, an organization that provides weekly streetside clinics for people who are homeless or housing insecure, and Together Educating and Advocating Community Health at UCLA.

The scholarship aims to reward students for what they have done for UCLA over their four years on campus, said Todd Sargent, Alumni Association Board of Directors treasurer.

“For me, what you do is an invaluable service to the community, to your fellow students,” Sargent said. “It has been such an important part of your university careers. I hope you understand how much we value your service to your university.”

This is just the beginning for the scholarship recipients, said Alumni Association Bruin Recruitment Director Jacob Sproul.

“This is your launching point,” Sproul said. “One day, I hope you’ll support those that follow you.”

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Kate Nucci | Senior staff
Nucci was the 2019-2020 Assistant News editor for the Features & Student Life beat. She was previously a contributor for the Campus Politics beat from 2018-2019 and Copy staff from 2017-2019.
Nucci was the 2019-2020 Assistant News editor for the Features & Student Life beat. She was previously a contributor for the Campus Politics beat from 2018-2019 and Copy staff from 2017-2019.
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