GRADUATING SENIOR RECEIVES TOP UCSB AWARD
June 12, 2002
(Santa Barbara, Calif.) Maidel Luevano has won the University of California, Santa Barbara's Thomas More Storke Medal for Excellence, the top honor given to a graduating senior. The award recognizes outstanding scholarship and extraordinary service to the campus as well as courage, persistence, and achievement.
Luevano will be presented with the award during the Social Sciences II commencement ceremony Sunday, June 16 at 9 a.m. (UCSB will hold six graduation exercises June 15-16).
Graduating with a double major in sociology and Chicano studies, Luevano earned a 3.74 grade point average while giving considerable time to help others achieve success in college.
The first in her family to attend a four-year university, Luevano has served as a peer advisor in several programs aimed at assisting and encouraging minority students, including the Educational Opportunity Program, Upward Bound and the Summer Transitional Enrichment Program. She helped establish an annual benefit concert to raise college scholarship funds for Chicano and Latino youth who live in Isla Vista, the community adjacent to UC Santa Barbara. Luevano also served on both the Student Commission on Racial Equality (SCORE) and Mujeres Unidas por Justicia, Educacion y Revolucion (M.U.J.E.R.).
One of Luevano's nominators called her "a scholar with a social conscience and a genuine concern for members of the UCSB community," and one who has "made a deep impact on campus through her academic, activist, and work-related experience."
Luevano has described her campus involvement as an attempt "to bridge the gap between academic theory and real-life practice." Her senior thesis explored the relationship between ethnic identity and college completion rates among Chicana undergraduate students and is considered by her faculty nominator to be "an important topic for sociologists, ethnic and women's studies scholars, and social scientists."
Luevano says her future plans include working for social change in the Southern California area and possibly graduate school.