ESS community service, research, and academic excellence awards announced at senior send-off
Senior sendoff on May 23rd was a lovely garden affair where, surrounded by spring flowers, ESS faculty were delighted to share good food, memories, and laughter with our 2016 graduating seniors. College of Arts and Sciences Dean Debbie Tamahsebbi, Associate Dean Steve Lee, ESS Chair Iris Stewart-Frey, and graduating seniors Lauren Cloward and Sean Reilly shared some remarks. Many or our amazing students were able to attend.
Paloma Sisneros-Lobato won this year’s ESS community service award for her work in starting a Food Recovery Network on campus. The Food Recovery Network at Santa Clara University just celebrated its second year recovering and donating food to persons in need. To date, the network has donated more than 9,000 pounds of food and is one of the most successful chapters at universities nationwide. The ESS Community Service Award is given to the graduating ESS senior who, in the judgment of the ESS faculty, has made the most significant contribution to community service at Santa Clara University and beyond.
Claire Parchem and Sean Reilly both won the 2016 best project or research awards. The ESS best project or research award is given to the graduating ESS senior who, in the judgment of the ESS faculty, has made the most significant research contribution through research with faculty, independent research work, or class projects. Sean has been the research assistant of ESS professor Hari Mix, and has done outstanding work analyzing the isotope signature of atmospheric rivers. Atmospheric rivers are a phenomenon that can channel tremendous amounts of moisture to California and are instrumental in breaking droughts. Sean assisted in field data collection campaigns, analysis of the samples in the lab, and interpretation of the data. He has presented his portion of the work at scientific conferences. Claire has been the research assistant of ESS professor Iris Stewart-Frey, partly in collaboration with anthropology professors Lisa Kealhofer and Lee Panich. Claire has worked on two projects, one uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to analyze patterns of development around the historic Santa Clara Mission. The other project examines the impact of climate change and warmer summer temperature on the stream temperature and water quality of the local urban streams. To this end, Claire is deploying and servicing a network of sensors and conducting time series analysis to understand variations across the headwaters and floodplains of local streams. She will present her work at an upcoming professional meeting and recently won a prestigious Clare Boothe Luce fellowship for women in STEM fields. Both Claire and Sean presented at the recent Sigma Xi poster session on campus.
The academic achievement in awards in Environmental Studies(Sciences) are given to the graduating senior with the highest GPA in Environmental Studies (Sciences), respectively. This year’s awards went to Lauren Cloward in Environmental Studies, and Sean Reilly in Environmental Science.
Congratulations to all award winners and the many runner-ups for the wonderful work they have been doing!