Wednesday, April 16, 2014

University Farm Circle honors scholarship recipients

Ashley Coates is double-majoring in aerospace and mechanical engineering with the goal of designing rockets. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

Eight UC Davis students received scholarships from the University Farm Circle at the organization’s annual Fall Tea, held Wednesday at the Alumni & Visitors Center on the UCD campus. The scholarships are presented to junior, senior and re-entry students demonstrating high scholastic achievement, leadership, community service, high goals and volunteerism.

The recipients’ names are engraved on plaques each year and permanently displayed in the UCD Memorial Union. The first scholarship was awarded in 1937. This year’s recipients are:

* Ashley Coates, who is double-majoring in aerospace and mechanical engineering with the goal of designing rockets. She is part of an Aggie family; her father and both brothers are also Aggies. Like many of her predecessors, she finds being a woman in engineering intimidating at times, but enjoys the challenge.

Coates participates in many extracurricular activities, including the Cal Aggie Marching Band-uh, Collegiate 4-H, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Tau Beta Pi (the engineering honor society), the Society of Women Engineers and the Aerobrick Design Team. She continues to serve 4-H as an adviser in citizenship and service learning.

* Pamela Cobbs, a re-entry student majoring in economics with a goal of empowering women with few financial resources. Through basic financial education, she hopes to help them “do more than just survive”: to run efficient households, to budget and to cut costs. She has helped women through volunteering at domestic violence shelters and raising money for organizations such as Sojourners and UNICEF.

After becoming the first member of her family to graduate from college and then completing an MBA, Cobbs hopes to start a magazine company that will promote self-esteem building, a healthy lifestyle and financial education for young women.

* Ricci Gay, a re-entry student majoring in dramatic art. She is the fourth generation of her family to attend UCD, her great-grandfather having come from Hawaii to take part in the University Farm Certificate Program in Agriculture. Gay’s emphasis in her field is on technical theater, and she has professional experience in make-up, wigs and dressing, having worked with Music Circus and Disneyland.

In addition to her jobs on campus, Gay continues to dance with the company of the Davis Art Center. Having been inspired to consider technical theater by a field trip to the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts, she hopes after graduation to become affiliated with that program.

* Alicia Halpern, who is majoring in environmental policy, analysis and planning, with a minor in “sustainability in the built environment.” She was selected as a member of the Integrated Studies Honors Program in her freshman year and during that year she founded the UCD Environmental Club, serving as its president in her sophomore year.

A passionate road cyclist, she served as the women’s coordinator for the UCD Cycling Team. Studying environmental policy this fall in Sweden on UC’s Education Abroad Program, Halpern is preparing to attend law school and aspires to be “a lawyer who fights for things that don’t have a voice.”

* Patricia Horsthuis, a re-entry student majoring in biological sciences. Married for 44 years and the mother of four grown children, she intends to pursue a master’s degree in public health after graduation to help alleviate health care disparities. A native of Vancouver, Horsthuis has lived in Venezuela, Chile and the Canadian Arctic; has studied in Spain and Mexico; and recently backpacked through India.

A long-term volunteer at schools, food banks and homeless shelters and an advocate for income equality, health care reform and environmental causes, Horsthuis says her travels and studies abroad have spurred her passion for social justice.

* Jessica Liu, who is majoring in human development and is doing both research and community service in that field. She participated in research on Alzheimer’s disease at UC Irvine and on geriatrics at UCD. During the school year she works at a community-based project in Knights Landing for the underserved farm workers there, volunteering in the student-run health clinic, planning a music enrichment program for youth and helping to draft a health census/cohort study proposal.

This summer, she volunteered in Honduras with the Global Medical Brigades, working to provide sustainable health care to rural communities. A member of the Davis Honors Challenge, Liu aspires to attend medical school and to do research on geriatric diseases.

* Adrienne Ng, who is majoring in biological sciences with an emphasis on neurology, physiology and behavior, has had an internship at UCD’s prestigious MIND Institute where she continues her undergraduate research. This summer she participated in a research project at the UCD Health System’s department of pathology and laboratory medicine.

She is a Regents Scholar and a member of the Integrated Studies Honors Program. As chairwoman of the Sacramento County Youth Commission and a volunteer for the Paul Hom Asian Clinic, Ng performs dedicated community service. After earning her degree, she hopes, by becoming an M.D. or a Ph.D., to “discern the undiscovered.”

* Danielle Rosenberg, who is double-majoring in statistics and managerial economics and has completed an internship in financial statistics. She is a member of the Gamma Sigma Delta, the agricultural honor society, and serves on the executive committee of its associated student club. This summer she was in intern at the Bureau of Economic Analysis in Washington, D.C.

Rosenberg serves as a tutor in the Student Academic Success Center and has volunteered in soup kitchens. As president of BuildOn, a community service club, she led the group working to build a school in Nicaragua.

Membership and general information on University Farm Circle may be found online at

Special to The Enterprise


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