National scholarships, campus honors

08 May 2002 | A promising future after graduation will become even more so for Berkeley seniors who have garnered national awards to help them get started.These are a few of the most notable.

George J. Mitchell Scholarship
Mariyam Cementwala, a graduating political science major, has won the 2002 George J. Mitchell Scholarship for intellectual distinction, leadership, extracurricular activity and unselfish service to others. The scholarship — named in honor of the former U.S. senator who served as chair of peace negotiations in Northern Ireland — rewards 12 graduating seniors nationwide annually with a year of graduate study in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Cementwala, who is legally blind, has spent her college years as a lobbyist for the National Federation for the Blind. Her role as a leader in both the National and California Associations of Blind Students involved organizing hundreds of students to attend career, education and advocacy seminars. She aspires to become a lawyer.

Harry S. Truman Scholarship
Jini Kim, who wants to become a disability rights lawyer and activist on behalf of the severely mentally disabled, is one of 77 students from 65 U.S. colleges and universities to win a Harry S. Truman Scholarship.

Kim will receive $27,000 for graduate school, to prepare for a career in government or public service. Truman scholars also receive priority admission and supplemental financial aid at some graduate institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling and special internship opportunities within the federal government.

Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship
Aidan Craig, Ankur Luthra and Joanna Yeh have been awarded scholarships from the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program. Authorized by Congress in 1986 to honor Barry Goldwater’s 30 years of service in the U.S. Senate, the scholarship was established to help alleviate a critical shortage of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians and engineers.

Craig, a junior who plans to pursue a Ph.D. in physics, wants to become a university professor or staff scientist at a national laboratory. His research interests focus on condensed matter physics and nonlinear dynamics.

Luthra, a junior interested in earning a doctorate in computer science, wants to start an artificial intelligence research company that will develop practical applications to improve people’s lives. He established the nonprofit organization Computer Literacy 4 Kids to help underprivileged and troubled youth obtain computers, hardware, software and an education in computer science.

Yeh is a sophomore with ambitions to pursue an M.D./Ph.D. in genetics. She wants to become a research scientist in a hospital or university and specialize in genetics or genetic engineering. She hopes to apply her research to biomedical problems.

Campus honors

Berkeley campus honors have gone to several outstanding graduating seniors as well, for their exceptional conduct and leadership qualities.

Mather Good Citizen Award
Rowena Cardona Castillo, a political science major from San Diego, has been awarded the Mather Good Citizen Award, recognizing a graduating senior “who has demonstrated a high standard of conduct and service to the university.”

Castillo has been active in the Cal Corps Public Service Center as an AmeriCorps member, the Associated Students of UC, CalSO and Pilipino Academic Student Services. She will receive a $500 gift and a certificate, and her name will be added to the award plaque in Moffitt Library.

Honorable mention went to Laurel Westbrook, a sociology and mass communications major from Ojai, Calif., who has been active in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender programs, the Daily Californian newspaper and other campus publications.

Priestley Award
Tam Mai Ma, a political science major from Los Angeles, has won the Kenneth Priestley Award for “a graduating senior who is outstanding in student leadership and contributions to student welfare.”

Ma has been active in the Cal Corps Public Service Center as an AmeriCorps member, the Committee on Student Fees, the Office of Residential and Family Living, and the campus Habitat for Humanity chapter, among other activities. She will receive $500 and a certificate, and she will be recognized at the senior Commencement Convocation on May 17.


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