Dean's, Chancellor's, and Steck Awards

2022 Chancellor's Award winners with their Faculty Mentors and Chancellor Larive (Photo by Sullivan Gaudreault)

Deans' Awards are granted to 50 of the most outstanding undergraduate research theses or projects completed during the current academic year, 10 from each of the academic divisions. Chancellor's Awards are granted to the most excellent submissions out of the Dean's Award winners in each academic division. Both awards recognize excellence in undergraduate research and creativity as evidenced through completed projects and theses. Each Dean's Award project will receive a $100 award. Each Chancellor's Award project will receive a $500 award. Chancellor's Award projects are then considered for the Steck Award. The names of the all winners are displayed on the Deans' and Chancellor's Award website here and are also announced at college commencement ceremonies. 2022 Award Guidelines: Click Here


Each student or student team worked on a senior research or milestone project and is mentored by a UCSC faculty member, postdoc, graduate student, or researcher (noted in parentheses below). A committee in each division selects the Deans’ Award recipients. Winners of the Chancellor’s Awards, noted by an asterisk before the winner's name, are recognized as being one of the top 3 projects from each of the five Divisions. Winner of the Steck Family Award for outstanding research project is denoted with an ^. Project details and mentor name(s) can be seen by clicking the project title link.

Division of the Arts

* Luis Booth (Nine), Blair Hammond (Kresge): Any Face, Whatever Body

* Sofia Tomanov (Porter): Jane Avril: Spectacle and Spectator in the Art of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

* Nicole Rudolph-Vallerga (Porter): Seance of Duality: Summoning Those Living In-Between

Aja Bond (Cowell): All Day I Dream About Soil

Brandon Castro (Porter): Sancho & The School of Quetzalcoatl

Claire Apana (Porter): IMPRESSIONS

Christy Yee (Merrill): From Me to You

Gabriel Wall (Porter): (Don't) Just be Yourself: Fashion, Play, and Identity in the Post-Ironic Age

Ira Irvani (Porter): The Dream is Gone/ What Cinema Could've Been ... Gender and Sexual Ambiguity in Pre-Code Hollywood and the Motion Picture Production Code of 1934

Robert Jeffrey (Merrill), Spencer Greene (Porter), Philippa Fuschich (Porter): we're here because we're here

Baskin School of Engineering

* Connor Masterson (Eight): Hardware Acceleration For Multi-Scalar Multiplication In Zero-Knowledge Proofs

* Eric Vin (Oakes): Labelled Control Improvisation

* Torrey Bronwell (Porter), Franklin Zheng (Ten), Tobin Berger-Cahn (Porter) Denise Calderon (Kresge), Yi-Chi Chu (Merrill), Rose Delvillar (Eight), Alfonso Gaminao (Merrill), Tarabyn Grismer (Cowell), Emily Hallamasek (Eight), Julia Howard (Crown), Stephen Hwang (Merrill), Tanya Ivanov (Crown), Rhea Kamath (Ten), David Kelaita (Porter), Natasha Liu (Eight), Nabil Mohammed (Ten): Progenie: Programmable Gene Disruption in Pathogenic Bacteria

Alec Soronow (Merrill): Bell Jar: A Semi-Automated Registration and Cell Counting Tool for Mouse Neurohistology Analysis

Alan Brilliant (Nine): Quantum Circuit Superoptimization

Elana Muzzy (Nine): Organoid-Ion Pump Integration

Meghan Mathers (Eight), Meghan Burr (Cowell), Samuel Magdaleno (Eight), Aiden Mcfadden (Eight): CRISPy Lettuce

Nicolas Ayala (Crown): Inferring non-additive multi-locus selection in introgressed populations using hidden Markov models

Rohan Jhangiana (Stevenson), Adrian Parrales (Ten): owards a Gaze-Based Immersive Virtual Reality Game for Improving Visual Acuity with Amblyopia

Sayaka Kozuki (Nine): Engineering Embryonic Stem Cell Fate Using CRISPR Activation

Division of Humanities

* Lucy Dasilva (Stevenson): Memories of the Blacklist Era

* Rane Vigil (Kresge): Apartheid and the Bloody Origins of Khayelitsha

* Ryan Hart (Merrill): Power, Law, and Symbolism: Hammurabi’s Code over 3700 years

Arianna Nocelo (Merrill): in my briefs and opera gloves

Chloe Seifert (Kresge): The Curious Female Traveler: Anna Maria Falconbridge’s Narrative of Two Voyages to the River Sierra Leone

Emma Willis (Porter): Across Many Oceans: The Strange Journey of the Northwest Palace Reliefs

Gavin Williams (Merrill): The Blood of the Nopal: A Case of Indigenous Cochineal Cultivation from 1521-1796

Maia Zelkha (Stevenson): Pens of Iron: Echoes of the Psalms of David in Hebrew Poetry from Samuel HaNagid to Yehuda Amichai

Nicholas Masher (Oakes): The Site and the Memorial: Hiroshima's Peace Complex in Cold War Japan

Division of Physical & Biological Sciences

*^ Elizabeth Yunerman (Crown): A Pathway for Collisional Planetesimal Growth in the Ice Dominant Region of Protoplanetary Disks

* Austin Dymont (Cowell): Cleaning our Hazy Lens: Statistical Trends in Transmission Spectra of Warm Exoplanets

* Jialin Li (Nine): Two Approaches to the Search for Life: Comparison Study of Titan Haze Analogs and Coronagraph Mask Designs for Exoplanet Imager

Ariella Stewart (Cowell): Fezf2 promotes differentiation in hippocampal post-natal neural stem cells

Irene Franco (Eight): Investigating the Binding of Amyloid-beta with the Prion Protein Regulatory Domain
Jodi Lee (Merrill): RNA-seq Analysis Reveals Mode of Splicing Inefficiency: Coordinated Intron Retention

Kenneth Gee (Crown): Identifying Nonstationarity in Ecological Time Series using Empirical Dynamical Modeling

Mara Baylis (Cowell): Selection against mitochondrial mutations occurs across life stages in Drosophila

Nina Blanch (Porter): Cloudy and Cloud-free Thermal Phase Curves with PICASO: Applications to WASP-43b

Tobin Berger-Cahn (Porter): Determining Single-Cell Multilineage Capacity of Developmentally Restricted Hematopoietic Stem Cells (drHSCs)

Division of Social Sciences

* Chloe Magidoff (Ten): Without an Umbrella in a Rainstorm: The Significance of Shelby County v. Holder (2013)

* Ciara Clarke (Kresge): Uprooted: (Un)Natural Histories of Eucalyptus in California

* Joel Montejo (Oakes): Mexico’s Response to COVID-19: How a Comparison with Brazil Explains the Country’s Deficient Response

Claudia Torres Arias (Oakes): Beyond Survival: Fostering Thriving Immigrant Communities in Santa Cruz through Multi-Faceted Social Services

Fiona Debernardi (Kresge): “No Harm, No Foul?” Evaluations of Cheating Across Contexts

Grace Brieger (Cowell): Field Guide to Birds of the UCSC Arboretum

John Jezek (Stevenson): Neighborhoods: What Exactly Are We Defending? Representation, Race, and Land-use Politics in Santa Cruz

Leigh Rodi (Stevenson): Sustainable Fiefdoms: A Comparative Analysis of the Political Economy of Tourism in Northwest Peru

Nona Golan (Merrill): The Geo-Legal History of the Kabarra Wetland & al-Gawarna People in Israel/Palestine