Scholarship Winners
From left, Scholarship Cochair Lou Weintraub, recipients
Jillian Carli, Ivan Parker, Jessica Palka, Maritza Madrigal and
Amanda Kwiatkowski, Scholarship Cochair Doug Fulton.
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. In 2015, there will be six of $3,000 each.

Originally, applicants were sought in fields related to gerontology, but that has been expanded to include other disciplines. In 2014, the Scholarship Committee had more than 130 applicants (one-fifth of them graduate students), up from 90 the year before. The committee had a difficult taks choosing from among so many outstanding, deserving students.

Since 1993, Renaissance has given scholarships to 61 students.

The 2014 Scholarship Recipients

Jillian Carli Amanda Kwiatkowski
Jillian Carli, Amanda Kwiatkowski
Maritza Madrigal Jessica Palka
Maritza Madrigal, Jessica Palka
Ivan Parker
         Ivan Parker

Jillian Carli has been accepted in CSUS's first Physical Therapy Doctoral Program. She wants to specialize in either neuromuscular or orthopedic physical therapy because she would like to work with people recovering from or living with neuromuscular diseases. Carli earned a bachelor's degree in exercise biology from UC Davis, where she was an undergraduate anatomy teaching assistant. Her grade point average (GPA) is 3.98.

Amanda Kwiatkowski will receive her master's degree in Speech Language Pathology in December. Her goal is to pursue a doctoral degree in her speciality. She works on a language development program in neurology at UC Davis and plans to continue research on helping special needs children and also people with swallowing difficulties and communication problems brought on by an accident or stroke. Her GPA is 4.0.

Maritza Madrigal is a graduate student who will earn her master's degree in social work in May 2014, and has been accepted in a special Masters in Gerontology Program this fall. A single parent with three children, Madrigal was the first intern at the UC Davis Pain Clinic working with chronic pain patients. She also has worked with the Sacramento County Adult Protective Services Division, serving the abused elderly. Her GPA is 3.92.

Jessica Palka's goal is to become a doctor. She is a senior majoring in biology with a biomedical specialty. Palka is a teaching assistant in human anatomy and advanced molecular cell biology and has been a volunteer at Sutter Hospital, observing surgeries and learning how doctors interpret scans. She also is president of the Joint Council of Natural Science and Mathematics. Her GPA is 3.97.

Ivan Parker is a sophomore in the university’s Music Department, with a double major in music theory and composition and classical guitar performance. He is also interested in choral and symphonic conducting. Parker is president of the Guitar Students' Association, which organizes master classes featuring famous classical guitarists, and is leader of a group of students who film and record all department performances. His GPA is 3.65.