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.
Sang Xuan Do
Sang, a junior majoring in Psychology and Social Behavior, is dedicated to serving youth in the community and fellow UCI students. For the past two years, Sang has volunteered for Jumpstart Corps, a national non-profit early literacy program that brings college students to underprivileged preschool classrooms to teach them language, literacy and social skills that will foster success in elementary school. Currently, Sang is a volunteer coordinator for Jumpstart, which allows him to increase his impact by getting more UCI students to volunteer and coordinate special volunteer opportunities, such as Family Reading Time at the Irvine University Park Library. As a Student Achievement Guided by Experience (SAGE) Scholar, Sang tutors students in Santa Ana in study skills and mathematics. He enjoys working with these students because he has the opportunity to provide them guidance and encouragement to attend college. At UCI, Sang also wants to support his fellow students. Therefore, he serves as a note taker for the UCI Disability Services Center and as a Peer Educator for the UCI Counseling Center, which allows him to organize workshops on how students can cope effectively with distressing life situations. In the classroom, Sang has proved to be an outstanding student. He maintains a 3.8 GPA while still finding time to work as a research assistant in Professor Elizabeth Loftus’ laboratory. Currently, Sang is exploring ways he can combine his interest in research and youth counseling. Wherever this might lead him, Sang realizes that he is inspired by the success of others, whether they are young children or college students, and hopes to find a future career that allows him to help people grow and achieve their personal passions.
Mahrukh, a senior Social Ecology student, feels her education in Social Ecology has proven to be the most relevant to “real life.” She has seen how concepts covered in her classes apply to her volunteer work with non-profits, such as the Clinton Global Initiative, Shine Humanity and Developments in Literacy. As the youngest board member of the Council of Pakistani American Affairs (COPA), Mahrukh has shared research articles from her Social Ecology classes with other board members as a way to better understand problems they are addressing. As a first generation American, Mahrukh is passionate about the social issues in her parent’s homeland of Pakistan, such as women’s rights, literacy, healthcare, and the fight against terrorism. Mahrukh advocates for these issues by giving speeches at fundraising events and political forums. As a regional advisor for the International Leadership Foundation, Mahrukh tries to energize other young people to do the same and take action to get involved in bringing about social change. Most recently, Mahrukh created a website in response to the August 2010 flooding disaster in Pakistan to bring attention to the crisis and promote local relief efforts. Along with her family and friends, she organized an event last October that raised over $600,000 for Developments in Literacy, which brings education to girls in Pakistan. In the classroom, Mahrukh maintains a 3.3 GPA and is dedicated to academic excellence. After graduation, Mahrukh plans to attend law school with the ultimate goal of getting into politics to bring about social change.
Stacey, a junior majoring in Psychology and Social Behavior, discovered in high school that she enjoyed working with children and planning events. Now at UCI, Stacy is putting her passion and skill together through her volunteer activities. At the Orange County Make-A-Wish Foundation, Stacey helps organize wish trip itineraries and creates scrapbooks for the children after their wishes come true. At the UCI Medical Center, Stacey volunteers for their Child Life Program by interacting and playing with children at their bedside, in an effort to make their hospital stay as enjoyable as possible. Most recently, Stacy has joined the UCI student organization Kenya Dream to help plan a public dance showcase to raise $20,000 to rebuild schools in Kenya. For some, committing almost forty volunteer hours a week would be too difficult. But for Stacey, she deeply enjoys the opportunities to make a difference in other people’s lives and she is inspired by the individuals she has met at UCI and in the community. She is the first person in her family to attend college and works hard to balance her volunteer and school commitments. She maintains a 3.3 GPA and is also pursuing a minor in Education and Management. Stacey’s next volunteer endeavor will take her to Africa, where she will work at an orphanage. She hopes to turn her passions into a career by becoming an event planner for a children’s hospital.