Chancellor's Awards for Public Service

Chancellor Dirks speaking

Each year, the Chancellor recognizes students, staff, faculty and community partnerships that embody UC Berkeley's proud tradition of public service and commitment to improving our local and global community.

Highlights from the May 2016 event

Nominations for 2016-2017 will open in February 2017.

If you have questions, please contact Jeremy Johnson at

Award Categories

  • Civic Engagement Awards honor public service by individual undergraduates, graduate students, staff, and student groups.
  • Community Engaged Teaching Award recognizes faculty leadership in developing or teaching community-based courses, or in engaging students in community-based research.
  • Research in the Public Interest Award honors research by faculty that addresses critical needs and issues affecting local, national, or global communities.
  • Campus-Community Partnership Award honors programs or projects that improve the quality of life in our community.
  • Robert J. and Mary Catherine Birgeneau Recognition Award for Service to Undocumented Students honors undergraduate or graduate students (undocumented or allies) for contributing exemplary community service to undocumented immigrants. The award also honors the recipient with $500 in recognition of their service.
  • Mather Good Citizen Award recognizes a graduating senior for his or her service, and awards $1500 to the recipient.


The awards are supported by the Office of the Chancellor, University Development & Alumni Relations, and the Public Service Center.

Chancellor's Award recipients 2016

Nominations for the 2015-2016 Chancellor's Awards for Public Service are now closed.

Nominations for 2016-2017 will open in early February 2017, and will be due in March 2017.

A committee of faculty, staff and students review the nominations and select the award recipients.

2016 Awardees


Research in the Public Interest
Jeffrey Vincent (Institute of Urban and Regional Development, Center for Cities + Schools)

Community Engaged Teaching
Jason Corburn (City & Regional Planning)

Deborah Nolan & George Johnson (Statistics/Mechanical Engineering)

Campus-Community Partnership
Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board

LGBTQI Suitcase Clinic-Berkeley Free Clinic Partnership

Student Organization for Civic Engagement
Financial Literacy and Economic Justice Conference & Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program

Undergraduate Student Award for Civic Engagement
Natalie Ruiz (Sociology)

Graduate Student Award for Civic Engagement
Cindy Dinh & Paul Monge (UC Berkeley School of Law)


Mather Good Citizen Award
Chloe Gregori (Peace & Conflict Studies, Global Poverty & Practice)

Robert J. And Mary Catherine Birgeneau Recognition Award for Service to Undocumented Students
Paola Mora Paredes (Sociology, Ethnic Studies)

Recipient Profiles

Jeffrey Vincent
Institute of Urban and Regional Development & Center for Cities + Schools
Faculty Award for Research in the Public Interest, 2016
Jeffrey has been providing research and engaging with lawmakers on education infrastructure for more than 10 years. His work on community development, land use planning, and urban education reform has been published in peer-reviewed journals, practitioner-oriented journals, and other outlets. He has provided policy guidance to the US Department of Housing,California Department of Education, and other entities and has had important local and state impacts. Jeffrey’s work has helped expose problems to structural quality and investigated solutions to create a more coherent public policy system that promotes equity, sustainability, and affordability.


Jason Corburn
City and Regional Planning & School of Public Health

Faculty Award for Community Engaged Teaching, 2016
Professor Corburn is committed to reframing the traditional planning, public health and development focus to support historical disenfranchised communities. Since 2007, he has contributed to Richmond’s ongoing development efforts as the evaluator for implementation of the Community Health and Wellness Element of the Richmond General Plan. During this time, a number of communities have recognized Richmond as a best practice model and realized the importance of addressing health equity to improve the overall environment and quality of life in a community.


Deborah Nolan & George Johnson
Statistics/Mechanical Engineering

Faculty Award for Community Engaged Teaching, 2016
Professors Deborah Nolan and George Johnson have been the faculty co-directors for CalTeach since its inception, a program that prepares undergraduate STEM majors to teach science and mathematics in K-12 schools. They hope to better prepare students for math and science disciplines in higher education, increase the number of underrepresented minority students in STEM fields, and improve overall math and science literacy. CalTeach has established partnerships with 89 schools in 16 Bay Area school districts and hopes to train students to become outstanding teachers, prepared to address the needs of students in high-needs schools.


Financial Literacy and Economic Justice Conference and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program
Student Group Award, 2016
The Financial Literacy and Economic Justice Conference (FLEJCON) and Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) work directly to address a multifaceted issue between inadequate financial education, income inequality, and economic injustice.  These programs work to foster cross-campus and community collaborations between non-profits, credit unions, banks, student organizations, and faculty that teach and empower the community about financial literacy.  Thorugh VITA, students provide free tax filing services to low-income individuals.  FLEJCON brings together faculty, communitypartners, and student leaders to facilitate workshops on financial literacy and economic justice to the greather student body and addresses topics of peverty and socioeconomic justice.


Natalie Ruiz

Undergraduate Award for Civic Engagement, 2016
Natalie is dedicated to addressing food insecurity within the community. Backed by her own experience with food insecurity, Natalie is acutely aware of the impact food insecurity has on academics and family. Her work with the SPARR Food Donation Program has engaged as many as 70 families in accessing food 3 days a week during the academic year. She also co-leads a food pick up program that works with local vendors and organizations that donate food to student parents’ families. She consistently invests over 10 hours a week to coordinate food distribution, pick ups, and engage one on one with student parent families to support their access to food.


Cindy Dinh & Paul Monge
UC Berkeley School of Law

Graduate Award for Civic Engagement, 2016
Cindy and Paul have been applying their training in law and policy to establish a statewide program allowing students across the state to automatically register to vote when they enroll at a UC, CSU, or community college campus. With backgrounds in voting rights work and leading voter registration campaigns on college campuses, they are working with faculty, statewide organizations, and the offices of UC President Janet Napolitano and CA Secretary of State Alex Padilla to design the implications of this program. By removing unnecessary barriers to voter registration for students, Paul and Cindy hope to encourage greater voter turnout and increase civic participation among young people in California.


LGBTQI Suitcase Clinic-Berkeley Free Clinic Partnership
Campus-Community Partnership Award, 2016
The Suitcase Clinics were started in 1989 by medical students to address the lack of healthcare for the homeless and low-income residents in the Berkeley community. The Berkeley Free Clinic began in 1969 as a “street care” clinic, providing free health services to the community. A partnership began in 2015 to address healthcare disparities for trans patients in the East Bay. The two organizations have worked to provide personnel and clinic resources to implement innovative services and enhance the clinic experience for patients. Additionally, they have provided community trainings for social workers, medical providers, and patient supporters to learn about the trans community and trans health.


Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board
Campus-Community Partnership Award, 2016
The Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board works to regulate residential rent increases in the City of Berkeley and to protect against unwarranted rent increases and evictions. Since its founding in 1980, the organization has dedicated itself to policy advocacy, educating Berkeley residents about rental regulations, and mobilizing for underrepresented communities from being displaced from their rental units. The Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board works with UC Berkeley students by providing knowledge and resources around housing issues in the City of Berkeley and mentors interns from the Cal in Local Government internship program with the UC Berkeley Public Service Center.


Chloe Gregori
Peace and Conflict Studies & Global Poverty and Practice

Mather Good Citizen Award, 2016
Chloe’s service focuses on directly addressing human trafficking, including educating the public about the issue and how to get involved. Her roles as a Minh Dang Fellow for Human Rights, Human Trafficking Education & Prevention DeCal facilitator, and Director of the Berkeley Anti-Trafficking Idea Lab serve to help UC Berkeley students and the community learn about human trafficking. Most recently, Chloe served as Chair for the Freedom in Action Conference, which involved 20 different community anti-trafficking organizations and a number of survivors in attendance. 


Paola Mora Paredes
Sociology & Ethnic Studies

Robert J. and Mary Catherine Birgeneau Recognition Award for Service to Undocumented Students, 2016
Paola has been engaged in the work for undocumented immigrants since she first arrived at UC Berkeley. She has served on the Chancellor’s Task Force to develop resources for undocumented students on campus as well as taken on the role as the first ever Peer Academic Counselor for the Undocumented Student Program. Paola is always finding ways to address the needs of the undocumented community both on and off campus, through her time serving as co-chair of RISE (Rising Immigrant Scholars through Education) and with her work on an undocumented survival guide to support the transition to higher education. 



Other Public Service Awards and Scholarships

In addition to the Chancellor's Awards for Public Service, the campus offers a few other support and recognition opportunities for students invested in public service.

Note: These are awards given to current students. For post-graduate public service fellowships and opportunities, please see here.

For a full list of public service scholarships visit UC Berkeley's scholarship connection.

Big Ideas Award
Big Ideas@Berkeley is an annual contest aimed at providing funding, support, and encouragement to interdisciplinary teams of students who have creative ideas to improve society.  Application deadline is mid-November.

The California Alumni Association's Leadership Award
The Leadership Award is a one-year, merit-based scholarship that recognizes undergraduate students at UC Berkeley who demonstrate innovative, initiative-driven leadership impacting their academic, work, or community environments.  Applications are due in early April each year.

The Cal-in-Sacramento Fellowship
Each year the Cal-in-Sacramento program sends approximately 30 students to intern in public service in California’s capital. Fellows work for eight weeks in the offices of Senate and Assembly members, the governor's office, state agencies, or nonprofit groups. The program provides free housing for students. 

Donald A. Strauss Scholarship
The Strauss Foundation awards $10,000 scholarships to juniors to fund a public service project proposed by the scholarship recipient. A portion of the scholarship may be used towards the recipient's tuition, fees, books, or room and board. Applications must be turned in to the Scholarship Connection (345 Campbell) by mid-February.

Matsui Local Government Fellowship
The fellowship selects four Fellows during the spring semester providing each a $2,000 stipend to work in the local government or nonprofit organization that most closely fits their public sector interest.

Mildred Jordan Sharp Scholarship
For over 40 years, the Mildred Jordan Sharp Scholarship has celebrated the leadership and service of Cal women. This scholarship awards women students with junior standing who have demonstrated leadership, service, academics, and personal development in pursuit of a specific future goal or career. Students self-nominate, and must have a minimum 3.0 GPA. The application deadline is mid-March. Awards up to $3,000.

Peter E. Haas Public Service Leadership Program
The Public Service Center's Peter E. Haas Public Service Leaders Program provides need-based scholarships in the range of $2,000 to $6,000 and supports a community of undergraduate student leaders who have demonstrated a significant commitment to service activities.

The Prytanean Prize
The Prytanean Society was founded at UC Berkeley in 1901 to recognize Cal women students who demonstrate faith, service and loyalty to the University Of California, Berkeley. The Prytanean Prize is awarded to a woman student with junior standing in recognition of campus and community service as well as academic excellence. Students must have a minimum 3.2 GPA, and the recipient will be awarded a cash prize of at least $500. The application deadline is mid-March, and includes an essay.

Stevens Scholars (Cal in the Capital)
Stevens Scholars participate in the Center's Cal in the Capital program.  Awards are distributed to two CITC participants to cover the full cost of housing for a summer internship in Washington DC that focuses on government and international relations, peacemaking, global poverty and health care, and/or foreign service.

The Truman Scholarship
The Harry S. Truman Scholarship provides $30,000 to juniors planning to attend graduate school in preparation for careers in public service

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