In a tragic two weeks this past June, UCSB lost four students.
Between June 15 and June 27, three undergraduates were killed in traffic accidents and the fourth undergraduate student was killed while hiking in the Alps Mountains in Switzerland.
Irene Gyulnazarian, 22, was killed June 15 in an auto accident while driving home on Highway 101. She was taken to Valley Medical Hospital in San Jose, CA, but her injuries were severe, and she died two hours later.
“She called me [before the accident] and told me she would be home soon, but she never came home,” Gyulnazarian’s mother, Rosanna Ohanjanian, said.
Gyulnazarian had just completed her junior year at UCSB, where she majored in psychology. Prior to attending UCSB, Gyulnazarian received a degree in psychology from Foothill Community College in Los Gatos Hills, CA. She planned to pursue a career in psychology after she graduated from UCSB.
“She was following in my footsteps,” said her mother, a clinical psychologist.
Gyulnazarian excelled in academics, and for four years in a row she was featured in the National Dean’s list, an honor awarded to college students across the U.S. in recognition of academic achievement. She also liked to write poetry, and in 2002 the Library of Congress included her poems in a collection by the International Library of Poetry entitled “Inscriptions in Time.” The Noble House, an international publishing house based in the United Kingdom, recently offered to include some of her poetry in a new book, “Theatre of the Mind.”
In addition to poetry, Gyulnazarian also enjoyed singing, dancing and playing the piano. Her mother said she had also been skydiving and hot-coal walking.
“Whatever she did, she was very talented at it,” Ohanjanian said.
A fund has been established in her name, and the proceeds will be used for student scholarships, faculty research, and specific departmental needs at the Yerevan State University in Armenia.
Donations to the fund should be sent to the Irene Gyulnazarian Education Fund for Armenia, IGEFA, P.O. Box 320652, Los Gatos, CA 95032.
Rory Patrick Mulholland
Rory Patrick Mulholland, 21, was killed June 17 after he fell 150 feet off of a steep trail while hiking in the Swiss Alps. Witnesses said Mulholland lost his footing while hiking on a trail adjacent to a dam. He tried to hold onto the rocks but lost his grip and fell down the terrain, officials from the U.S. Embassy in Switzerland said.
A rescue team and doctor flew to Mulholland’s aid by helicopter, but it was too late. The impact of the fall caused severe injuries to his body.
Mulholland was a senior and majored in biological science at UCSB, where he was involved with laboratory research. He was thinking about working as a national park ranger after graduating. Mulholland enjoyed the outdoors and loved to go hiking, surfing, skydiving and camping, and had recently received his SCUBA diving certification.
“He was always up for an adventure,” Mulholland’s mother, Susan, said to the Ventura County Star. “Once he had his mind set on it, he would say. ‘Don’t worry about me, mom. I’m going to be fine.'”
His older sister, Erin, is a UCSB graduate. and [[Start new sentence here?]] in a statement she wrote that from an early age, Mulholland would climb tall trees in his backyard.
“Rory, the outdoorsman, had a love of hiking which included two expeditions to Mount Whitney, as well as various national parks,” his sister wrote. “His adventures led him to Thailand in March, where he returned with many interesting stories and pictures to share with everyone.”
Prior to the accident in the Alps, Mulholland had had a brush with death in 1999, when he was involved in an auto accident. The accident left him with severe head injuries and in a coma for two weeks.
Rory Patrick Mulholland is survived by brothers Casey and Mason, sister Erin, and brother-in-law Jeff.
Nicole Clara Mayer
Nicole Clara Mayer, 21, died June 19 from injuries sustained in an auto accident while she was driving back from Las Vegas.
She was a junior and majored in psychology at UCSB.
The UCSB Office of Student Life would not release contact information for Mayer’s family. Her family could not be found in the phone book under the last name Mayer in her hometown of San Diego, CA.
Gregory James Hawley
Gregory James Hawley, 21, died June 27 from injuries sustained in an auto accident while driving north on Highway 101.
The California Highway Patrol report said Hawley was eating while driving north at high speeds in foggy conditions near Tajiguas Ranch Road when he came upon a truck in his lane. Hawley tried to avoid a collision and swerved to the right into the slow lane, but hit the truck’s trailer, which sliced through his car and killed him, according to the CHP report.
The semi truck did not stop, but it is unknown whether the driver knew Hawley hit his truck. The accident has been called a hit and run by the CHP.
Hawley was a junior law and society major at UCSB. He transferred from De Anza Community College to UCSB in the fall of 2002.
“He didn’t read books, he inhaled them,” mother Diane Hawley, said. “He loved to collect art, he loved music and loved hanging out with his friends.”
He was a Eagle Scout with troop 400 of San Jose.
At his memorial, his parents said they expected about 200 to 250 people to attend the service, but instead more than 700 people showed up.
“There were people who said he had promise [and people who said] who he could have become,” Hawley’s mother said. “I’m his mom. I’m just happy with who he was.”
Hawley’s parents invited some attendees to stay in their home for the night after the service to avoid a long drive at night.
James Hawley, his father, said fog and impulsiveness were contributing factors in his son’s death.
“I dedicate myself to improving driver’s education,” Hawley’s said in his eulogy.
Hawley is survived by a brother, Gordon.