Spring 2019 Undergraduate Student Award Recipients
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.
Bryn Deana Sharp
Bryn Deana Sharp is an Honors student graduating with a 4.0 GPA and a double major in Latin American studies and Spanish, with a minor in Portuguese.
Bryn’s commitment to the community is highlighted by volunteer and internship experiences from southern Arizona to Chile. She volunteered for the Center for English as a Second Language, as a citizen instructor for Pima Community College, was a Global Ambassador for the UA, and was a PATH Mentor for the Honors College.
Bryn participated in a one-year exchange program with Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez, where she was a member of the women’s soccer team. Bryn also worked part-time throughout her undergraduate studies. She owns her own photography business and loves sports and the outdoors.
“Besides earning the highest grade in my class, she has matured into one of the most dedicated, skilled, and responsible undergraduate students I have ever encountered,” said Colin Deeds, assistant director of the Center for Latin American Studies. “I can think of no other student of mine in over a decade of teaching that is more deserving of the Outstanding Senior Award.”
After graduation, Bryn, who also received the Dean of Students’ Robie Gold Medal Award, plans to continue her position as a volunteer citizenship instructor at Pima Community College. In 2020, Bryn will travel to Uruguay on a Fulbright scholarship, and, upon returning to the U.S., will pursue a post-baccalaureate degree.
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.
Sophie Kenyon is an Honors student who is graduating summa cum laude, with a dual degree in anthropology and physiology.
Sophie’s Honors thesis is a critical reflection on gender, race, and sexuality in the United States centered on the racialization of female sexual dysfunction in medical literature.
Sophie was the primary undergraduate researcher in Professor James Watson’s lab, where she worked on the Central Arizona Repatriation Project, which aims to return archaeological artifacts to the communities they were removed from. She also works as a lab instructor in the Introductory Biology Lab, interned at the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner, and volunteered for Tucson Samaritans.
“I believe Sophie should be given this award because of the originality, creativity, and urgency of the research she has conducted while writing her Honors thesis,” said Janelle Lamoreaux, assistant professor in the School of Anthropology.
After graduation, Sophie will work in Phoenix while she applies to medical school for fall 2020.
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.
Amanda Lucero, who has a 3.81 GPA, is graduating with double major in environmental studies and geography.
Amanda served as eco-rep for the Manzanita-Mohave Residence Hall Council, where she organized programs to educate residents about sustainable living. She was a member of the Energy and Climate Committee for ASUA Students for Sustainability and served as both secretary and vice president of the UA’s Environmental Awareness Society.
Recently, Amanda has taken an active role in the UA Housing and Residence Life’s “Dodge the Dumpster” program and was a bilingual sustainability intern at Manzo Elementary. She was also a communications assistant for the Institute of the Environment and writer of The Dirt, the institute’s weekly newsletter.
Outside of campus, Amanda interned as a coordinator of environmental issues for the Voices on the Economy (VOTE) program, volunteers at Felicia’s Farm, and is an Americorps member at Tucson Village Farm, where she leads agriculture and sustainability lessons for Tucson youth.
“I have seldom known a student with such a clear and sustained focus on practical and actionable approaches to environment and sustainability issues within the community,” said Kevin J. Anchukaitis, associate professor in the School of Geography and Development.
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.
Sarah Stueve is graduating magna cum laude, with a dual degree in information science and technology and in communication, with a minor in French.
Sarah was an undergraduate teaching assistant in the Section Leader program in the School of Information, serving as Head Section Leader and Section Leader Coordinator. A founding member of the UA’s chapter of Girls Who Code, Sarah was one of the facilitators for the first cohort of middle and high school participants. Sarah was also an implementation consultant intern at Fast Enterprises.
“Sarah is a true leaders in our BS program and her contributions have profoundly benefited the School of Information and her peers,” said Richard Thompson, lecturer in the School of Information. “Sarah is brilliant, hard-working, responsible, compassionate, a natural leader and teacher, and a wonderful person.”
Sarah, who also received a Leadership and Community Engagement Award from the School of Information, is entering the school’s Master of Science in Information program in the fall with the ultimate goal of pursuing a Ph.D.
SBS Student Success Award
This award is given to a graduating senior who is a first-generation college student.
Rebekah Ulmer, a first-generation college student, is graduating with a bachelor of science in geography.
Rebekah previously received a degree in sociology and political science from UNC-Charlotte. Searching for more of a connection between the social and physical world, Rebekah decided to major in geography at the UA.
Rebekah tutored fellow students through the SALT Center and assisted with an innovative UA partnership with Sunnyside School District and Watershed Management Group on green infrastructure for a southside Tucson high school. She had an internship with Local First Arizona to provide research on the needs of local Tucson businesses. Rebekah also conducted research on how many U.S. cities are moving back to public management of their water supply.
“Rebekah deserves to be recognized for her strength of character, for her commitment to her learning, and for her spirit of engagement in learning beyond the classroom through research, community engagement, and service to other students who are in need,” said Ben Champion, assistant professor of practice in the School of Geography and Development.