Dean's Award Recipients 2013- 2014

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.

Emmanuelle Chandler
Undergraduate Student in Criminology, Law and Society
Psychology and Social Behavior

Emmanuelle is a double major in Criminology, Law and Society and Psychology and Social Behavior with a 3.4 GPA. She volunteers as a sexual assault crisis counselor where she responds to calls on a 24‐hour hotline. Emmanuelle is also an advocate at a local hospital when sexual assault victims arrive for forensic examinations. Both of these roles have been challenging but Emmanuelle is able to hold back her emotions and be strong in order to help the victims. “Knowing that I have made the healing process a little bit easier makes all the difference to me,” states Emmanuelle. Last year, she was one of two recipients of the Gilbert Geis Excellence in Research Award for her research with the Center for Evidence‐Based Corrections. Her work involved researching California Public Safety Realignment and she served as the student leader for an independent evaluation of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department In‐CustodyTreatment Program.

Kyndra Cleveland
Graduate Student in Psychology and Social Behavior

Kyndra’s research will investigate parents who are involved in the dependency division of the juvenile justice system as a result of suspected child maltreatment or neglect. Parents that become involved in this system are responsible for ensuring that their children are returned to them but the process is often times difficult. Her research will examine parents’ knowledge, understanding, attitudes, and motivation to comply with the rules of the system and how these factors may influence the outcomes of their cases. The goal of this research is to improve the court’s communication with and understanding of the families that it serves.

Tera Dornfeld
Graduate Student in Planning, Policy, and Design

Tera is interested in community engagement in conservation especially through novel applications of citizen science, specifically use of citizen science to inform policies and management plans that directly effect citizens themselves. She is also interested in the empowerment of and giving a voice to community members, especially women, through the use of technologies like social media and GIS. She will work with the Center for Unconventional Security Affairs (CUSA) researchers to design and study citizen science programs for partnership with two local conservation organizations.

Hiroshi Ishikawa
Graduate Student in Planning, Policy, and Design

Hiroshi’s interests lie in how to empower and better engage disenfranchised minority communities (e.g. women, racial and ethnic minorities, immigrants) into the land use decision‐making, environmental, and community development policy and planning processes. His goal is to instruct policy and planning processes on how to become more inclusive, deliberative, collaborative, and multicultural, particularly processes tasked with mediating between conflicting interests and negotiating difficult histories.


Christopher Rendon
Undergraduate Student in Criminology, Law and Society

Christopher is a Criminology, Law and Society major with a 3.2 GPA. He volunteers with the Los Angeles Police Department in the Commercial Crimes Division. He helps file search and arrest warrants and categorize hundreds of pawn slips, looking for patterns that would indicate stolen goods. Through this position, Christopher is able to familiarize himself with the operations of a police department and that is in‐line with his goal of pursuing a career in law enforcement. Captain Bill Williams states that Christopher “takes on projects with zeal, determination and a positive attitude.” He has been accepted into the UC Irvine Washington DC Academic Internship Program, where he hopes to acquire a volunteer position with the DC Metropolitan Police Department.

Amrita Singh
Graduate Student in Planning, Policy, and Design

Amrita is currently researching the economic costs associated with the environmental degradation of the Salton Sea on the surrounding real estate market. More specifically the increasing salinity and subsequent algal blooms have caused fish and bird die‐offs, as well as looming sulfur odors. As a result, the Sea is becoming a liability instead of an economic asset. She hopes that her research will quantify the negative economic impact that this ongoing environmental problem has had and continues to have on the surrounding communities, thereby demonstrating that failure to intervene is perhaps more costly than doing nothing at all.

Jennifer E. White
Undergraduate Student in Psychology and Social Behavior

Jennifer is a Psychology and Social Behavior major with a 3.8 GPA. She speaks several times a month at hospitals, high schools and rehabilitation centers on the dangers of alcohol and substance abuse. She mentors over 60 young women and together, they work the twelve steps of both Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous. Jennifer also volunteers at local women’s shelters and recovery homes, soup kitchens and food drives, such as First Harvest Food Bank. “These opportunities keep me connected to meaningful human experiences, where I am sure I am receiving just as much, if not more, than those I am helping,” states Jennifer. She is a research assistant in the Implicit Motivation research lab and has been accepted into UC Irvine’s Student Achievement Guided by Experience (SAGE) Scholars program.