Scholarship Winners
The 2013 winners, from left: Christine Marshall, Maritza Madrigal,
Tri Nguyen, Carolyn Miller, Traci Bernhardt
Photo by Bob Taylor


The Renaissance Society Scholarship program began in 1993 with two $500 awards. Over time, the amount grew to three $1,000 awards. In 2007, the Board of Directors increased the awards to three $1,500 scholarships. In 2011, they were scheduled to rise to four $2,000 scholarships. However, since Renaissance was celebrating its 25th anniversary, the board added another, for a total of five $2,000 scholarships.

For 2012, there were four scholarships of $2,000 each. That increased to five scholarships of $2,500 each, beginning in 2013.

Originally, applicants were sought in fields related to gerontology, but that has been expanded to include other disciplines. In 2013, the Scholarship Committee received 90 applications (up from 67 the year before) from students in many university departments. One-fourth were graduate students. The committee had a difficult taks choosing from among so many outstanding, deserving students.

The 2013 Scholarship Recipients

Traci Bernhardt Maritza Madrigal
Traci Bernhardt, Maritza Madrigal
Christine Marshall Carolyn Miller
Christine Marshall, Carolyn Miller
Tri Nguyen
Tri Nguyen

Traci Bernhardt has a teaching credential and Master's degree in education from University of California, Davis. However, school layoffs made her decide to pursue a Master's degree in speech pathology. She finds that her education training adds rich background to working with speech pathology clients. She has been a research assistant studying quality of life measures for people with aphasia. She hopes to continue research and make advancements in the field. Her GPA is 4.0.

Maritza Madrigal is a divorced mother of three young children who went back to school to become self-supporting. She is seeking a Master's degree in Social Work with the goal of working with minority, disadvantaged and elderly clients suffering from chronic pain. She feels she can be of special assistance to the elderly who face hip and knee replacements and arthritis. This semester she has been an intern with Sacramento County Adult Protective Services and has found that very fulfilling. Her GPA is 3.92.

Christine Marshall graduated from UC Davis in 1988 with a BS in Animal Science and intended to go on to veterinary school, but marriage and a family came first. For 29 years, she worked as an accountant. When her son was in middle school, she started taking nursing preparation courses and now, at age 46, is a nursing student. For seven years, she cared for her mother, who had Alzheimer's Disease; this strengthened her desire to become a nurse. Her GPA is 3.93.

Carolyn Miller has two career goals as a musician. One is to perform professionally, and the other is to become a professor at a university. She would like to be a cellist in a symphony or opera orchestra, because the music combines many different instruments and voices with connecting melodies and interplay to create a fantastic work. She currently has 13 students whom she teaches every weekend in Davis, and she says she will teach privately until her fingers can no longer play a note. Her GPA is 3.90.

Tri Nguyen is the first in his family to graduate high school and then college. He graduated from UC Davis in 2011 with a double major, a BA in Psychology and a BS in Exercise Biology. His next goal is to graduate from CSUS in the first Doctor of Physical Therapy program in 2015. He has worked as an aide in the physical therapy field for the last five years, giving of his time and mentoring others like he was helped by teachers and coaches along the way. His GPA is 3.75.