Awards and Scholarships

Deans', Chancellor's and Steck Awards

These awards recognize exceptional achievements in research projects or other creative activities, in order to encourage outstanding scholarship and promote research as an important part of undergraduate education.  Students may apply for the awards based on research projects they produced in courses taken in Spring 2022, Fall 2022, or Winter 2023, and will need to identify a faculty sponsor to write a letter in support of their application. Students can find the award guidelines and apply directly online, by going to the Deans’ and Chancellor’s Undergraduate Awards website, https://dca.ue.ucsc.eduThe online application will open on Monday, February 6, 2023. The deadline for students to submit applications is March 29, 2023.

Gabriel Zimmerman Memorial Scholarship

The Gabriel Zimmerman Memorial Scholarship Fund has been established to support undergraduate students in the Division of Social Sciences who are passionate about social issues and committed to public service. Gabriel “Gabe” Zimmerman graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 2002 as a Sociology major, and he was working for Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords as her Director of Community Outreach when he was tragically shot and killed. Generous donations from more than 520 alumni, community members, and the general public funded this endowment. In 2022 up to $9,000 is available to award to one or more outstanding undergraduate students majoring in any of the departments within the Division of Social Sciences.

Undergraduate majors in the social sciences are invited to apply for this scholarship by submitting: 1) a short essay (2-3 pages maximum) about their passion for social issues and commitment to public service, 2) a resume and 3) an unofficial copy of a transcript. Candidates must be in good academic standing.  Applications for Politics must be submitted by April 1st to Jerry Diaz, the Politics Undergraduate Advisor. Submit your application here:

Valerie Fuette Scholarship

The Valerie Fuette scholarship was established to support aspiring, high-achieving students with financial need who have demonstrated the capacity to improve their performance and/or to overcome challenges or obstacles (academic, financial, or other) on the road to academic success.

In 2022, a total of $2,300 will be awarded to one or more students. UCSC Politics majors in their Sophomore, Junior, or Senior years are eligible to apply for this award. Selection is based on academic merit (GPA of 3.5 or higher), financial need, and a record of overcoming challenges and showing improvement in achieving academic success at UCSC. Politics majors are invited to apply for this scholarship by submitting an application cover sheet and short statement addressing the student’s record of improvement and financial need, along with a resume and an unofficial copy of their transcript. Applications must be submitted to him via email by April 1st.

Applications for the Valerie Fuette Scholarship can be downloaded here:

  • 750-word project proposal

  • timeline of completion

  • resume/CV

  • itemized budget 


Benjamin Quaye Memorial Scholarship

The Benjamin Quaye Memorial Endowment for Social Justice award is an annual undergraduate scholarship for a student with significant financial need who is pursuing educational and career goals in social justice, with a strong preference for a student who is the first in his/her family to attend college. Students who, like Benjamin, volunteer to help the underserved, such as foster youth, people with disabilities, and the homeless are ideal recipients of this award. Students will be nominated by their departments, and do not need to put forward an application for this scholarship. The award amount available in 2022 is $2,200.

Students who feel they are good candidates are invited to submit to the department a 1-2 page letter describing their qualifications for the award. Such a letter should include an account of the student’s educational and career goals, whether the student is a recipient of Cal Grant or other forms of need-based aid, whether the student is a first-gen student, and anything else about themselves and their accomplishments that they think are relevant to the social justice theme of the award. The letter should be sent to Jerry Diaz by April 1st.

Letters can be submitted here: 

Judy Yung Memorial Scholarship

The Critical Race and Ethnic Studies Department is proud to announce the 2022 Judy Yung Memorial Fellowship in Asian American/Pacific Islander Studies. CRES invites students from all levels (undergraduate and graduate) to apply for funding to support Asian-, Asian diasporic-, Pacific Islander-, and Pacific Islander diasporic-related research geared towards the preservation of oral histories and engagement of local community archives. Two $500 fellowships will be awarded this academic year. 

Judy Yung was born to immigrant parents from China in 1946 and grew up in San Francisco’s Chinatown where she attended both Chinese-language and American public schools. Inspired by her family’s connection to this location and the profound lack of materials about Chinese Americans in the library she worked in, Yung began her journey as a historian by establishing the library’s Chinese-language and Chinese American collections. Yung then began collecting oral histories and worked to archive and preserve the poems discovered on the walls of the Angel Island Immigration Station and in 1981 began to organize the first exhibit on Chinese American women, which would later become the book Chinese Women of America: A Pictorial History (University of Washington Press, 1986).

After receiving her PhD in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley, Yung helped establish the Asian American studies program at UC Santa Cruz where she also taught courses in women’s studies, oral history, and mixed-race studies. After her retirement, Yung continued to build critical resources on the history of Chinese Americans by authoring and co-authoring several books. Her scholarship powerfully transformed conversations surrounding the Chinese American experience by archiving a wealth of images, stories, and experiences that would have otherwise been lost to time.

This fellowship seeks to honor the spirit of Yung’s socially committed scholarship by supporting students who work in the community archives and/or work to preserve the oral histories of Asians, Asian American, Asian diasporic, Pacific Islander, Pacific Islander American, and Pacific Islander diasporic populations.

This application is open to UCSC undergraduate and graduate students with research interests in oral history and/or community archives. Preference will be given to CRES majors and Black Studies minors and graduate students with a Designated Emphasis in CRES.  

To apply, please submit the following to in PDF format: 
The final deadline to apply is Friday, April 1, 2022. For questions regarding this process, please reach out to Shauntay Larkins at