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.
Darlene Escobedo, a senior majoring in Planning, Policy and Design, is dedicated to helping Latino communities in Los Angeles deal with the environmental problems they face. Therefore, she has volunteered for Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), a research oriented environmental justice advocacy group in California. As a CBE intern, Darlene worked to raise funds for CBE initiatives through activities such as raffles and yard sales. She also did community outreach by going door to door to raise awareness for upcoming events. While working for CBE, Darlene realized the important role education plays in facilitating community and political mobilization and started volunteering in the Community and Civic Engagement Department of the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools (PLAS) to engage families living in south east Los Angeles. At UC Irvine, Darlene maintains a 3.7 GPA and uses her coursework to better contextualize and understand the challenges facing the poor, immigrant communities in East Los Angeles where she grew up.
Amber Morley, a senior majoring in Psychology and Social Behavior, is engaged in multiple areas of community work. She has spent her free time volunteering at Health Bridge Children’s Hospital, Costa Mesa Soup Kitchen, Orange County Rescue Mission and the Irvine Incredible Edible Park. She recently completed training to be a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for foster youth. At UC Irvine, Amber maintains a 3.9 GPA and is the co-founder of Transfer Vision, which helps transfer students prepare for success at UC Irvine. She also is an Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) Ambassador, volunteers for the Summer Academic Enrichment Program (SAEP) and still finds time do research for both Professor Yim and Professor Heckhausen’s labs.
Thanh Truong, a senior majoring in Psychology and Social Behavior, devotes her time to health promotion among diverse and often disadvantaged community members. Through Student Health Outreach, Thanh has presented to high schools across Orange County on HIV/AIDS awareness, to preschoolers in Santa Ana on healthy lifestyles, and to elementary students on nutrition. For the past two years, Thanh has volunteered at Hoag Hospital and received their Outstanding Dedication Award. At UC Irvine, Thanh has a 3.7 GPA and has dedicated approximately 400 hours in Professor Odger’s Adaptlab. She is currently working on her Social Ecology Honors Project, which is focused on childhood obesity.