This past Friday graduating seniors Harrison Weber, Seth Gorelik and Antoinette Moreland- Carter received three of UCSB’s most prestigious awards for scholastic achievement and other contributions to the campus community at the University Awards Ceremony in Corwin Pavilion.
The top honor on campus — the Thomas More Storke Award for Excellence — was presented to Weber, in recognition of the former Associated Students president’s accomplishments within the university, such as tackling issues within student healthcare services or his work regarding capital planning issues on campus. Moreland-Carter was given the Alyce Marita Whitted Memorial Award for her efforts to bring educational opportunities to underrepresented foster youth, including her leader- ship over Guardian Scholars — which reaches out to high school students in foster care — as its co-chair and co-founder. The Jeremy D. Friedman Memorial Award was presented to Gorelik for his extensive research experience in the geography department in addition to other achievements.
In addition to work concerning budgetary issues, restorative justice programs, and issues within judicial affairs, Weber was responsible for major developments within student healthcare services, creating better lines of communication between on-campus healthcare services and A.S. as well as publicizing the results of the recent University-wide audit of UC health services that was performed by the UC Board of Regents.
“So there were big changes to the Regents’ UC healthcare policy. … They did this sweeping review of every healthcare system [and]…there was a report which no one could see — I couldn’t even see it — and only the student regents could see it,” Weber said. “And then so we just, [I] as council president, expressed our concern over what was going on with these changes.”
Weber lead a collaborative effort to publicize the results of the audit and generally advocate more accessibility in services through a letter addressing the Regents. His work within capital planning include efforts to establish a new Wellness Center and increase 24 hour study space, which resulted in Davidson Library’s decision to make the first two floors of the building available 24 hours a day beginning Fall 2012.
As a former foster care youth herself, Moreland-Carter received the Memorial Award for her accomplishments aiding
this community, which largely goes unrepresented in the educational community, as less than 2 percent of former foster youth earn a bachelor’s degree. While also leading Guardian Scholars, Moreland-Carter is the founding member of the Santa Barbara Chapter of California Youth Connection, which strives to pass positive legislation pertaining to children in foster care.
As the recipient of the Friedman award, Gorelik’s biggest contribution to UCSB was his work bringing the technology of Geographic Information Systems into the library, interning at the VIPER Lab and South Bay Cable Fisheries Liaison Committee with plans to serve as a future intern at NASA’s DEVELOP program.
The three scholars all managed to balance major academic achievement with additional work in the academic field as well as the larger community, but Weber said receiving such high honors also serves as a rather humbling experience.
“It’s personally one of the most humbling and touching things that’s ever been awarded to me,” Weber said. “It just, overall, leaves me with a sense of gratitude that UCSB’s been so good to me. … I’m really, really, really going to miss going to school [here].”