Occidental Honors Seven Outstanding Students With Class Awards
Occidental College kicked off its 115th academic year by granting class awards to seven notable students during Convocation ceremonies held Thursday, Aug. 30 at Thorne Hall.
The college is fortunate to have three endowed funds that make possible annual awards of $500 apiece to outstanding men and women in the sophomore, junior and senior classes.
The awards, based on the students’ prior year’s achievements, take into account scholarship, moral character and contributions to student life and the general welfare of the College. A committee convened by the Office of the Dean of Students makes the selections.
The awards and recipients are as follows:
The freshman award was established in 1955 in memory of Charles W. List ’08. The 2000-01 awardees are sophomores Ramesh Bhagat of Houston and Amerika Thomas of Downey, both undeclared majors. While working as a volunteer in the Al Gore campaign, Bhagat was chosen to represent his precinct at the state Democratic convention in Fort Worth. At Oxy, he has participated in the Multicultural Summer Institute and he spent this summer involved in chemistry research with Professor Phoebe Dea. Bhagat is now a facilitator in the Academic Mastery Program. Thomas was a member of the Learning and Living Community and she competed on the track and field team last year. She also became a student leader within the Black Student Alliance. This year she is on the College’s Orientation Team.
The Cynthia Cox Memorial Award for sophomores is in recognition of an alumna of the Class of 1972. It was established in 1980 by her parents and friends. This year’s awardees are juniors Kyle McKown, an economics major from Olympia, Wash.; Krystle Rhodes, an economics major from Chino Hills; and Gladdys Uribe, a sociology major from Buellton. McKown is a two-year All-SCIAC swimmer and an NCAA qualifier in the 200 backstroke and the 500 freestyle. Additionally, he was a student representative on the Aquatic Center Architect Selection and Design Committee. McKown has served as Residence Council vice president of finance and this year is a resident advisor in Newcomb Hall. Rhodes is co-founder and project director of the campus chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Last year she served as an Oxy Option project director, building houses for low-income families, and helping out at a middle school, community center and a regional food bank. She is studying in Washington, D.C., this fall. Uribe was an officer of MEChA/ALAS as a sophomore and this year will serve as co-chair. She has been responsible for organizing events in support of the Latino Scholarship as well as programs such as Dia de la Familia, and Semana de la Raza. She is a mariachi singer and a member of the folklorico dance troop. Uribe is active in ESCUELA and last year helped organize a food drive for farm workers.
The junior class award was established in 1955 in memory of alumnus and trustee Daniel Stewart Hammack ’05. Later, after the death in 1973 of alumnus and trustee Daniel Hammack Jr. ’35, the award memorialized the younger Hammack. This year’s Hammack awardees are seniors Michael Dovey, a biochemistry major from Alta Loma, and Meghan McArdle, an economics major from Tucson. Dovey is a three-year member of the men’s water polo team and a member of the swim team last year. He has served as an officer in the Pre-medical Society, conducted summer research with Dr. Roberta Pollock, and volunteered at several hospitals. Last year, he was invited to join Mortar Board, an academic honor society. McArdle spent last year studying in Spain. She was selected as a math tutor for the Center for Teaching and Learning and she has volunteered as a sixth-grade tutor through the Center for Volunteerism and Community Service. She was co-captain of the soccer team last year and she has played on the women’s rugby team. McArdle has been a member of the Blyth Fund board of directors since her sophomore year. She was recently invited to join Mortar Board.