June 2, 2004
Special Awards Given to Outstanding UCSB Graduates
Santa Barbara, Calif. Three remarkable graduating UC Santa Barbara seniors will receive the university's top three awards for their scholastic achievements, their extraordinary service to the university and the community, and their personal courage and persistence.
Julie Lynne Allen, a Regents Scholar and honors student in music from Hillsborough, will receive the Thomas More Storke Award, the campus's highest student honor. Allen has a 4.0 grade point average and, although deaf since her freshman year at UCSB, is an outstanding flutist who had to spend countless hours making the necessary adjustments in her flute technique. She is described by one of her nominators as having "excelled in every way with the challenging academic courses of the major and through her many sensitive and commanding musical performances." During her years at UCSB, Allen was a member of the Provost's Honors Council and served as a peer mentor to freshman music majors. She was a member and social chair of the Regents and Chancellor's Scholars Society, and served on a variety of campus advisory committees. Allen will pursue a career in medicine. (Sunday, June 13 at 1 p.m.)
Azarel B. Rainbow, a dramatic art major with a 3.76 grade point average from Fairfax, will receive the Jeremy D. Friedman Memorial Award. A near fatal car accident while she was attending a community college, ended her hopes for a career in dance. Although undergoing physical therapy continually during the three years she has been a UCSB student, Rainbow maintained a full academic load while employed full time as the performing arts house manager for UCSB's Arts and Lectures. One of her nominators wrote that "she is one of those rare individuals who shine in the midst of adversity, possessed of intelligence, iron will, an amazingly positive attitude." Rainbow hopes one day to create her own theatre company, but first she will pursue an advanced degree.
Eric Ridgeway, a double major in history and black studies from Santa Barbara, will receive the Alyce Marita Whitted Memorial Award after eight years as an undergraduate. Ridgeway has cerebral palsy, which severely limits his mobility and his ability to communicate verbally. He is confined to a motorized wheelchair and can only use one finger to type, which means it can take him up to an hour to finish one page of text. A nominator wrote "His education has extended beyond the classroom as he has participated in many student organizations, such as American Students for Israel, Hillel, Gaucho Locos, and the Associated Students Commission on Disability Access."