Learn more about this year's recipients of the Dean's Award for Community Engagement! We are very proud of these students, each of whom has made unique and long-lasting contributions to the betterment of our communities. If you are interested in learning more about how you can contribute to honoring students like this, please click here:

Jordy Cardenas
Undergraduate Student
Department of Criminology, Law and Society 

Jordy Cardenas found her passion for serving the community through field study, volunteering and research at UCI. She is interested researching juvenile delinquency and programs that facilitate a prison-to-school pipeline. For her Field Study, Jordy was placed at California Service Program Youth Shelter, assisting youth with coping mechanisms for traumatic life events. Jordy has also participated as a volunteer for the Prison Education Project (PEP). PEP is a service program that works with inmates of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to create an interest in higher education and assist them in preparing for release. Through the Reintegration Academy, a college exposure and job skills training program, Jordy conducted research by interviewing parolees on their experience and evaluating this re-entry program. After graduation, Jordy hopes to publish her senior thesis research, work at a juvenile detention facility and apply to graduate school for public administration. 

Angela Clyde
Undergraduate Student
Department of Psychology and Social Behavior 

Angela is an undergraduate student in the Department of Psychology and Social Behavior. She has been a research assistant in Professor Elizabeth Cauffman’s Development, Disorder, and Delinquency Lab since March 2015, and was recently promoted to Lab Manager. As a research assistant, Angela interviews adolescents who have been involved in the juvenile justice system. Additionally, she has presented research on the influence of probation officers on substance use and delinquency among youth from single-parent households at the UCI 2016 UROP Symposium. When she is not researching, Angela promotes the value of UCI to alumni as a Lead Caller at the UCI Telephone Outreach Program. Through this program, she has raised over $30,000 for UCI. Outside of an academic setting, Angela is Chairperson of SCAC, a non-profit organization in California that arranges an annual conference for over three hundred adolescents impacted by drug and alcohol abuse. As the current Chairperson, Angela is responsible for fundraising over $40,000 for the conference, negotiating a contract with the University of Redlands where the conference takes place, and managing a committee of thirty people. Angela is applying to law school in hopes of pursuing a career in criminal law with a focus in juvenile justice.

Cristina Martin
Undergraduate Student
Department of Psychology and Social Behavior

Cristina Martin is an undergraduate student double majoring in Psychology and Social Behavior and Education. Her goal is to make a lasting difference in the lives of children. She currently works for an AmeriCorps program called JumpStart and devotes 12-15 hours a week to help close the achievement gap in lower socioeconomic status communities. Jumpstart has placed Cristina in a Santa Ana preschool, where she works closely with her partner children to improve their letter and sound recognition. Outside of this program, Cristina also works with middle school girls in her hometown as a Colorguard instructor.  Through coaching, Cristina promotes leadership skills and helps them become confident in their abilities. She is thankful for everyone who has supported her throughout her academic journey and wants to reciprocate all the love and support to the next generation.

Sureima Santillan
Undergraduate Student
Department of Criminology, Law and Society

Sureima Santillan is an undergraduate student double majoring in Criminology, Law, and Society; and Social Policy and Public Service. During her years at UCI, Sureima has been active in various organizations to inspire and empower youth to pursue a higher education. As a first generation student, she tries to be a role model by mentoring other students to strive to their highest potential. Some of the organizations she has participated in include ACCESS Social Ecology Program at UCI, UCI Criminology Outreach Program in Costa Mesa, Early Academic Outreach Program in Compton, Empower Youth International in Barbados, Higher Ground Youth and Family Services in Anaheim, Higher Education Mentoring Program in Santa Ana, and UC Irvine Upward Bound Program in Anaheim. This June, Sureima will participate in the UCI Washington DC Academic Internship Program as an educational policy intern and will graduate in December 2016. 

Brian Hui
Graduate Student
Department of Planning, Policy and Design 

Brian Hui is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Policy, Planning, and Design.  His research examines democratic reform efforts in Los Angeles, with a specific focus on the city government’s efforts to develop institutions to increase participation and inclusion of city stakeholders.  This research explores the legal, administrative, and political dimensions of the development and evolution of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Council system.  Prior to pursuing his PhD, Brian managed a non-profit community center where, in addition to overseeing the provision of basic services, he worked as a community researcher with an RO1 community based participatory research collaborative with CSU Fullerton.  Brian remains active in community work as the Housing and Community Development Liaison for Special Service for Groups, a large mental health and homeless services non-profit serving Los Angeles County.  Brian also serves on the Executive Board of the Empowerment Congress, a civic engagement and community advocacy organization based in South Los Angeles.

Rupa Jose
Graduate Student
Department of Psychology and Social Behavior

Rupa Jose is a graduate student in the Department of Psychology and Social Behavior. She is an interdisciplinary scholar interested in mental health, crime, and delinquency.  While in graduate school, her research has examined the social supports and resiliency of community domestic violence victims, the relationship between neighborhood crime and mental illness rates, and the social networks of delinquent adolescents. For her dissertation, Rupa is examining the role of local community organizations in post-disaster mental health and recovery. Before coming to UCI, she served as a rape and sexual assault victim advocate, correctional facility tutor, court appointed special advocate for children extern, and assistant language teacher to youth with special needs in Japan.

Analicia Mejia Mesinas
Graduate Student
Department of Criminology, Law and Society 

Analicia Mejia Mesinas is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Criminology, Law and Society. Analicia’s research focuses on school criminalization and youth mobilization. Her dissertation project utilizes ethnographic methods to understand a new and growing social movement campaign in Southern California directly challenging the criminalization and militarization of local public schools. Her research is supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program.

Juliana Zanotto
Graduate Student
Department of Planning, Policy and Design 

Juliana is a graduate student in the Department of Planning, Policy and Design. Since 2011, Juliana has helped to coordinate the Empowering Sustainability Initiative at UCI. Her work has facilitated the creation of a network of over 150 practitioners, academics, and activists from 30 countries. She also acts as editor of the Empowering Sustainability International Journal, a peer-reviewed open access journal. Her research focuses on the role of urban planning in advancing regressive social and environmental issues, particularly under the framework of neoliberalism. She has also conducted research on exclusionary residential communities in Brazil and on public spaces and homelessness in the United States. Before joining UCI, Juliana worked at architecture firms and urban planning agencies in the public, private, and non-profit sectors in both Brazil and the United States.