It’s commencement time — the culmination of a student’s years of toil, sweat and tears — and the campus is once again geared up for this joyous, annual celebration. With 13 college/professional school ceremonies, 33 departmental graduations and several other related events, graduation fever at UCLA will peak on Commencement Weekend, June 17-19, when the majority of ceremonies will take place. In his message to the Class of 2005, Chancellor Albert Carnesale lauds the new graduates. “We are grateful for what you have contributed to the excellence, diversity, and vitality of UCLA,” he says. “Hold on to the spirit of service and the quest for learning that you have embraced here.” Certain to follow that advice are the five enterprising individuals who won the UCLA Alumni Association’s 2005 Outstanding Senior and Outstanding Graduate Student awards for academic and community-service achievements. Exemplifying the very best that UCLA has to offer, these five young women have succeeded in making UCLA a better place to learn, and their communities a better place to live.
Molly Crockett ’05, a senior psychobiology major, conducted research as a freshman and ran experiments that examined the interactions between controlled conscious thought and automatic affective thought. A listener for the UCLA Peer Helpline, Crockett also served as president of the Alumni Scholars Club and as a Regents Scholar Society Outreach Mentor.
Senior Jennifer Lauren Lee ’05, an English major, interned for former astronaut Sally Ride and wrote articles for the Sally Ride Science Club, an organization that promotes careers in science for girls in grades 5-8. Lee also was a coordinator for the “I’m Going to College” and Alumni Relations committees of the Alumni Scholars Club.
In the Department of World Arts and Cultures (WAC), Francine Maigue ’05 founded and directed the Educating Youth Through the Arts project, which encourages college-bound youth and WAC undergraduate students to discover creative possibilities together. She also founded the Outta WAC Undergraduate Dance Company, a project that exhibits the work of the department’s undergraduate students and develops outreach programs for high school students.
As a neonatal intensive care nurse, graduate student Rita Wadhwani ’03, M.S.N. ’05 spearheaded several international teaching missions to provide needed technology and education to nurses and physicians in India, serving as a liaison to India with the International Children’s Health Foundation.
Finally, Manisha Sisodia ’01, D.D.S. ’05, a graduate student in dentistry, applied her clinical knowledge to improve the lives of children with craniofacial anomalies. Through UCLA’s Craniofacial Clinic and Facing Forward Foundation, Sisodia devoted her time to helping children with these severe developmental deformities.