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Scholarships and Awards

History – Scholarships

The mission of UFC includes fundraising initiatives that support an endowed scholarship at UC Merced. When UFC was founded, then Chancellor Steve Kang and his wife, Mia, provided the initial funding, establishing the University Friends Circle Scholarship Fund. This fund has continued to grow from generous individual gifts, fundraising events, and the support of our recent Giving Tuesday campaigns. From its inception through 2021, $65,000 in scholarships has been provided to 34 individual students.

Each spring, eligible UC Merced students are invited to apply for the scholarship and recipients are chosen by a volunteer committee of UFC members. Because the endowment has grown significantly, UFC is able to offer an increasing number of scholarships in both quantity and value.

Recipients are recognized at the annual Scholarship and Awards Reception in the spring. 

Awards

In addition to the individual scholarships, the University Friends Circle honors campus student organizations with the Community Service Award to a student organization on campus. Student clubs that engage in significant community service projects are encouraged to apply for the annual $1,000 award. These awards are announced at the UC Merced Student Leadership Awards Ceremony and the group’s leadership is invited to attend the Annual Scholarship and Awards Reception in the spring. Over the last 13 years, $15,000 has been provided in awards to student organizations that have had an impact. 

Process

Each spring, the UFC Scholarship and Awards Committee partners with UC Merced staff to solicit applications, select recipients, and disperse the awards.

The Committee carefully sets criteria, evaluates applications, conducts interviews, and selects recipients for both the Scholarship and the Award. Recipients selected exhibit leadership skills to organize meaningful service to others, demonstrate an active and ongoing commitment to the Merced Community, and have had a significant impact in the community as a result of a key project.

If you are a student looking for information about the 2022 Community Service Awards, you'll find information here. The deadline has been extended to March 16, 2022.

Get Involved

If you are interested in serving on the Scholarship and Awards Committee, and are a current UFC member, please complete this form to share your interest. 

Make a contribution to the UFC Endowed Scholarship Fund

Make a contribution to the Student Impact Fund

Scholarship and Award Recipients

Since 2009 University Friends Circle has recognized the following UC Merced students and organizations:

2021

Community Service Organization Award – 

  • Phi Delta Epsilon
  • RadioBio

Distinguished Volunteer Scholarship – 6 Recipients:

  • Gehad Elhanafy
  • Andrew King
  • Joshua Jones
  • Adrian Bultron Boada
  • Nickolas Morales Guillen
  • Emily Lichlyter

2020

Community Service Organization Award – 

  • Quantitative Project
  • RadioBio

Distinguished Volunteer Scholarship – 6 Recipients:

  • Bridget Rosales-Ortiz
  • Eddie Phosalath
  • Julisa Arreola Renteria
  • Karla Leon-Aguilar
  • Holly Auyeung
  • Genesis Flores Renteria

2019

Community Service Organization Award – 

  • Microfinance Club
  • RadioBio

Distinguished Volunteer Scholarship – 5 Recipients:

  • Valerie Moss
  • Cruzangel Nava
  • Maria Ocegueda
  • Brenda Castaneda-Castaneda
  • Nataly Rios Martinez

2018

Community Service Organization Award – RadioBio

Distinguished Volunteer Scholarship – 7 Recipients:

  • Gagandip Singh
  • Gurbinder Singh
  • Brenda Castaneda-Castaneda
  • Dannavie Faye Abenojar
  • Zhane’ Mejino
  • Tamunotubo George
  • Jessica Lopez Lara

2017

Community Service Organization Award – Society of Women Engineers

Distinguished Volunteer Scholarship – 4 Recipients:

  • Alexus Garcia
  • Andrea Gurrola
  • Asmaa Mohamed
  • Monica Perales

2016

Distinguished Volunteer Scholarship – Marqose Saephan

Community Service Organization Award – Ingenieros Unidos

2015

Community Service Organization Award – Ingenieros Unidos

Distinguished Volunteer Scholarship – Dalton Rogers

2014

Community Service Organization Award – Science Alliance

Community Volunteer Leadership Scholarship – Merlyn Perez

2013

Community Service Organization Award – Energy Conservation Corps

Community Volunteer Leadership Scholarship – Noel Justin Lee Gomez

2012

Community Service Organization Award – Rho Omicron Chapter of Kappa Sigma Fraternity

Community Volunteer Leadership Scholarship – Gabriel Rodriguez

2011

Community Service Organization Award – Alpha Phi Omega

Community Volunteer Leadership Scholarship – Shane Kavanaugh 

2010

Community Service Organization Award - Rotaract