Several SBS students will be honored for their extraordinary accomplishments during the SBS convocation ceremony! Nominated by faculty, the students were selected because of their notable achievements and positive contributions to their communities.
SBS Outstanding Senior Award
This award is given to a graduating senior with a record of outstanding achievement, a history of active citizenship on campus and/or in the local Tucson community, and a demonstrated capacity for leadership.
Michela Qaiyaan Wilson is graduating with a B.S. in Urban and Regional Development and a 4.0 GPA.
“What sets Michela apart from other candidates is her extensive and varied volunteer work throughout the community, while maintaining academic excellence,” one judge noted. “Her leadership is shown in the unique way of stepping up as a leader with her fellow peers.”
Michela completed research internships related to the Manufactured Housing Project and at the Community Food Bank. For the Manufactured Housing Project, Michela completed background research, canvassed mobile home parks, conducted interviews, and organized logistics. She also volunteered for organizations whose missions are congruent with her studies, including Iskashitaa Refugee Network, Native Seed/SEARCH, and others.
“Her quest to apply original thinking to sociallytransformative solutions during her internship and volunteer opportunities, speaks highly of her mission focus,” said Keiron Bailey, associate professor in the School of Geography and Development.
SBS Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award
This award recognizes a graduating senior in the College of SBS who has demonstrated academic achievement, originality, and creativity in an independent, undergraduate research project.
Sierra Winkle Malis is graduating with a B.S. in Anthropology, with a focus on bioanthropology.
Sierra worked with anthropologist James Watson, assisting in the analysis of human remains from a research project that examines the transition to farming in the Sonoran Desert in antiquity.
She also helped Professor Watson with research projects that involve the repatriation of ancestral human remains to tribal communities in the Southwest.
Sierra also worked with Regents’ Anthropology Professor David Soren and Ph.D. candidate Jordan A. Wilson to excavate and analyze infant human remains from the world-renowned Cemetery of the Infants at Lugnano in Teverina, Italy. Soren described her work as the best undergraduate performance on an excavation he has witnessed in his 47 years of teaching and field directing.
Sierra's Senior Thesis was a research project designed to test a methodological approach in human osteology in fragmentary archaeological samples. Her internship in the Forensic Anthropology Lab at the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner further developed her skills.
“Sierra Malis’ application stands out for its ambitious geographic and historical scope,” one judge noted. “Her research has spanned across multiple countries and centuries, and her skills as a researcher and student is echoed in her professors’ detailed praise of her work and her promise as a budding anthropologist.”
Sierra is currently applying to graduate schools for the fall of 2020 focusing on bioarcheology.
SBS Excellence in Leadership and Community Engagement Award
This award recognizes a graduating senior who has demonstrated exemplary leadership skills through their involvement on and off campus and their impact on the lives of others.
Lynzie Hudson is an Honors student graduating with a B.S. in Care, Health and Society and a minor in Family Studies and Human Development.
Lynzie is a manager with the Care, Health & Society (CHS) Undergraduate Instructional Team and has supported more than 250 students. Lynzie collaborates with Assistant Professor Lorre Laws in developing educational interventions for at-risk students.
Lynzie also interns with the LifeSTEP program, which includes mentoring AHCCCS-enrolled youth and teaching independent living, social, and communication skills. She is also a Student Ambassador for the College of SBS, a member of the Elgie M. Batteau Honors Society, and a volunteer with both Goodwill Metro Youth and the Community Food Bank.
“Lynzie applies the theories and skills gained in the CHS program and directly applies them while compassionately serving vulnerable populations in a culturally competent manner,” Laws wrote. “Whether in the university or Tucson community, Lynzie is a devoted and highly effective leader, earning my highest recommendation for this award.”
Lynzie plans to work as an EMT and then go to graduate school next fall.
SBS Tenacity Award
This award recognizes a graduating senior in the College of SBS who has persevered in the face of significant adversity to earn his or her university degree.
Guadalupe Zozaya is graduating with a degree in history with a minor in Japanese.
Born in Bavispe, Sonora, Mexico, Lupe came to the United States at the age of three. She earned her Arizona General Education Certificate from Pima Community College in fall 2016, and then transferred to the UA. For her senior capstone project, she conducted research on medieval Japan, specifically the roles of women and their contributions to music, literature, and art.
Lupe dealt with various obstacles on her path to graduation, including health problems, uncertainty over her immigration status, and increased costs when in-state tuition was denied to DACA students.
“Guadalupe has overcome substantial personal and systemic adversity to excel at UArizona,” one judge said.
After finishing her bachelor's degree, Lupe plans to apply to Teach for America and hopes to become an ESL or History teacher.
SBS Student Success Award
This award is given to a graduating senior who is a first-generation college student.
Camille Miskin is graduating summa cum laude, with a B.A. in sociology with a thematic minor in counseling strategies.
Cami, the youngest of eight children, is a first-generation college graduate. After high school, she attended school in Germany as an exchange student to explore her interest in languages and the humanities. She began her college studies at Mesa Community College, and then transferred to the University of Arizona. She has supported herself financially during her schooling and worked a part- or full-time job every semester.
“Cami Miskin has done more than just earn excellent grades as a first-generation college student. She is actively involved in the community, reflecting her commitment to public service,” said Jeffrey Sallaz, associate professor in the School of Sociology.
For the past three years, Cami has been an active mentor to a high school student through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program. On campus, she is a member of the SOC/CHS club, the Alpha Kappa Delta International Sociology Honor Society, and the transfer student organization. She has worked, interned, and volunteered and at several nonprofits here in Tucson, such as the International Rescue Committee.
Following graduation, Cami plans to pursue a master's degree in social work and then build a career in the field of hospice care.