May 8, 2006

Dean’s Awards recognize outstanding seniors

Seven outstanding Sacramento State graduating seniors—one from each college—were honored with the Dean’s Award during a dinner May 4. One of the recipients will be honored by President Alexander Gonzalez with the President’s Medallion during commencement ceremonies on May 19 and 20.

The Dean’s Award program recognizes the top student from each of the University’s seven colleges for academic achievement and contributions to their communities. This year’s recipients are:

• Raeanne Garcia, College of Education: In addition to her child development work on campus, Garcia has worked in both elementary and Head Start classrooms. One faculty member said her written work was so outstanding that it should be photocopied for future reference. She plans to enter the University’s bilingual multicultural teaching credential program and hopes to teach multicultural children from lower socioeconomic backgrounds in a California public school.
• Natasha Fischang, College of Health and Human Services: Fischang was one of only 10 applicants chosen to enter the doctoral program in audiology at San Diego State. She has worked as a research assistant for one of her professors and was selected as a teaching assistant. Her volunteer work began in high school and continued on through her college career and include helping homeless women and children and organizing a conference that helped raised funds to provide speech and hearing services to low-income families.
• David Porter, College of Engineering and Computer Science: The father of five began taking engineering courses on a part-time basis six year ago while supporting his family as an automotive technician. In spite of the competition for his time he is graduating with the highest grade point average in his class. He also volunteers in the community, putting his technical skills to use on community projects. He is active in Boy Scouts, his church and the engineering honor society.
• Andro Carmelo Rios, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics: Rios, a chemistry major, has received several scholarships including being both an American Chemical Scholar and a McNair Scholar. He was selected for a summer research program at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and worked on research projects in organic chemistry and analytical chemistry. He has presented two talks at an American Chemical Society meeting and will present two more talks at professional conferences.
• Heidi Wynn Stevens, College of Business Administration: The accountancy major has received five scholarships and awards since May 2004 including the Dr. Guy A. West Scholarship. She is active in Beta Alpha Psi, the honor society for financial information students and professionals and she has held several leadership positions in the organization. She has also been a member of the Inter-Business Council. She has completed internships with Investor’s Bank and Trust and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
• Faythe Vollrath, College of Arts and Letters: Vollrath is an accomplished harpsichordist. While holding a 4.0 GPA, she has been very active in the community including being choir director for a local church, a volunteer judge for high school debate tournaments, a Latin tutor and a student teacher for the University’s piano pedagogy program. She received a Scholastic All American Debater Award for academic excellence and service to her community. She will graduate with a degree in piano performance and a minor in Latin.
• Deborah A. Ward, College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies: When she receives her anthropology degree this month, Ward will be the first in her family to complete a college degree. She has worked on archeological field projects to generate research support and training opportunities for her fellow students. As a McNair Scholar, she presented a research paper at last year's national conference and to the Maidu Tribal Advisory Council. She is plans to use her studies to make more information available about the cultural histories of Native Americans in California.

For more information on commencement, call (916) 278-4724. Media assistance is available by contacting the Sacramento State public affairs office at (916) 278-6156.

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