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.

Nominations for 2015-2016 are due March 7, 2016, at 5pm.

The recipients will be honored at an awards ceremony and reception on May 9, 2016, from 3-5:30pm at Alumni House.

If you have questions, please contact Mong Vang 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, External Relations & Office of Protocol, and the Public Service Center.

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

Nominations are due Monday, March 7, 2016, at 5pm.

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

2015 Awardees


Research in the Public Interest
Emily Ozer (Public Health)

Community Engaged Scholarship
William Drummond (Journalism)

Jun Sunseri (Anthropology)

Staff Award for Civic Engagement
Anne Marie Richard (SAIT)

Campus-Community Partnership
All of Us or None

Undergraduate Student Award for Civic Engagement
Steven Czifra (English)

Graduate Student Award for Civic Engagement
Arturo Cortéz (Education)

Mather Good Citizen Award
Alejandra Meza (Social Welfare)

Robert J. And Mary Catherine Birgeneau Recognition Award for Service to Undocumented Students
Sean Tan (Development Studies, Education)


Recipient Profiles

Emily Ozer, Public Health
Faculty Award for Research in the Public Interest, 2015
Professor Ozer develops curricula and programs that support positive, meaningful youth development and result in improved mental and physical health outcomes for young people. Her Youth-Led Participatory Action Resesarch (YPAR) project in public schools in San Francisco has engaged over 900 student peer leaders over the last 9 years, supporting them in their work to conduct research as a tool for creating institutional change.


Anne Marie Richard, SAIT
Staff Award for Civic Engagement, 2015
Anne Marie has provided over 10 years of voluntary service to the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) Pan Valley Institute. She has worked closely with staff to develop and implement the Institute’s mission of supporting immigrants to become more active and visible in the public sphere.


William Drummond, Journalism
Faculty Award for Community Engaged Scholarship, 2015
In 2012, Professor Drummond began leading “Editing the San Quentin News”, a service-learning class that brings Cal students to San Quentin to help edit the prison’s inmate-produced newspaper. He also arranged a partnership with the Haas School of Business in 2013 for MBA students to help develop the newspaper’s business plan. Through these efforts, the San Quentin News was awarded the James Madison Freedom of Information Award and provides an authentic voice for prisoners that is heard by both the public at large and the approximately 144,000 California inmates.


Jun Sunseri, Anthropology
Faculty Award for Community Engaged Scholarship, 2015
Professor Sunseri’s collaborative research and teaching projects support native descendent communities disenfranchised by colonialism. In his projects in New Mexico and California, multiple under-served Indo-Hispano villages have identified him as a true collaborative research partner in their current struggles for self-determination, which include not only heritage revival and local school curriculum, but also federal recognition, and land and water rights cases. Through Jun’s Anthropology class and his research projects, undergraduate and graduate students are actively involved in this community-engaged approach to archaeology.


Steven Czifra, English
Undergraduate Award for Civic Engagement, 2015
Steven has dedicated himself to raising campus awareness of solitary confinement abuse practices within the United States prison system. He has openly shared his first hand experiences with solitary confinement in order to expose the realities of the practice and to educate those “outside” of the prison system. He is the co-founder of the Underground Scholars Initiative, an organization that provides community for students and prospective students affected by the criminal justice system.


Arturo Cortéz, Education
Graduate Award for Civic Engagement, 2015
Arturo first started exploring student voice and agency when he began working as a public school teacher over 13 years ago. In 2014, Arturo co-founded the Xóchitl Justice Book Press, which works with elementary-aged children from disadvantaged backgrounds to develop and then publish their own stories. Over the past year, the Xóchitl Justice Book Press has published 30 books from 30 different young people, with plans to publish 80 new authors by the end of 2015.


All of Us or None
Campus-Community Partnership Award, 2015
All of Us or None is a grassroots civil rights organization that fights for the rights of formerly- and currently-incarcerated people and their families. Since its founding in 2013, the organization has elevated the campus level of discourse around including and belonging for formerly incarcerated students. All of Us or None provides mentoring and strategic planning advice for formerly incarcerated students in the Underground Scholars Initiative, works with other coalitions, and educates the larger campus.


Alejandra Meza, Social Welfare & Education
Mather Good Citizen Award, 2015
Alejandra has dedicated her undergraduate years to empowerment, promoting issues of youth development, justice, and civic engagement through a wide range of efforts. She has worked for BUILD, a literacy program supported by the UC Berkeley Public Service Center for three years; as a JusticeCorps member, she provided free legal support and served as a Spanish translator for over 35 low-income litigants at the San Francisco Superior Court. Additionally, through her leadership with the VotoLatino Campaign, Alejandra registered 500 Cal students and several thousand individuals nationwide to vote during the 2012 election.


Sean Tan, Development Studies & Education
Robert J. and Mary Catherine Birgeneau Recognition Award for Service to Undocumented Students, 2015
Sean is the second undocumented student in Cal’s history to be elected to the ASUC Senate. During his undergraduate years, he has passed legislation to provide undocu-ally training, produce additional funds for DREAM resource centers, and guarantee the safety of undocumented students on campus. He also served on the Vice Chancellor’s task force to create the Undocumented Student Program and worked with the UC-wide committee to distribute 5 million dollars in funding to address the needs of undocumented students, served as co-chair of RISE (Rising Immigrant Scholars through 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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