Sandy Alvarado, a student in the division's Sociology department, received the Sociology of Race, Class, and
Gender Senior Thesis Award for 2015
Name: Sandy Alvarado
What Award/ Scholarship did you receive? Sociology of Race, Class and Gender Senior Thesis Award
What year are you (e.g. 2016)? 2015
Where do you call home? I love Santa Cruz but Chico, Ca is my hometown.
With all of the choices for college, what made UC Santa Cruz stand out?
I have a love and strong curiosity to learn about the ocean. At the time I was applying to college I wanted to major in Marine Biology. Not only was UC Santa Cruz the best school and location for my desired major but the campus was also more beautiful than any other campus I had seen. You can go hiking in our forest trails or take a bus down to tan or surf at the beach, UC Santa Cruz gives us the best of both worlds!
What is your field of focus?
As a sociology major I have focused on domestic violence prevention and analyzing the issue of violence in our communities. Through courses in the disciplines of sociology, Latin American and Latino studies and psychology I have extensively researched domestic violence and sexual assault to end violence in our communities. My senior thesis focused on analyzing agencies that support survivors of domestic violence to find how they can better serve women of color.
What do you hope to do once you graduate from UC Santa Cruz?
I plan to study intensive Portuguese in Brazil for a month and possibly start graduate school in the fall to pursue a Master’s in Social Work at San Jose State University.
What is one memorable moment that stands out for you as a student here?
There is so many! I took surfing twice at UCSC. The first time I took it I had never even swam in the ocean and it was very difficult for me to paddle out. Needless to say I swallowed too much salt water. Throughout the course we saw many dolphins and sea otters. I was able to catch a wave the last day of class and it was such an incredible feeling! I still remember what it felt like to reach and touch the water as I was going. After that I had to take the class a second time.
What is your one piece of advice for incoming students about life at UC Santa Cruz?
It is what you make it! We have so much here I recommend dipping your toes in as many positive experiences that you can, be open minded and trying something new. Take advantage of the resources, EOP, MSI, ACE. Don’t be afraid or too prideful to ask for help. Join clubs and get involved in the community, don’t just stick to only one (club/org) make sure to step out of your comfort zone. Most of all enjoy yourself, trust me when I say four or five years will go by fast! Have fun!
How will this scholarship impact your academic life /research?
This scholarship will support me to cover expenses for my trip to Brazil to study intensive Portuguese. It will allow me to learn more about other cultures, advocacy practices and expand my language skills. I am very blessed to have received this recognition and scholarship thank you so much for this amazing opportunity!