Student Achievement Week

Student Achievement Week 2021

May 31 - June 4, 2021

Students are recognized for their achievements in research and other scholarly activities during Student Achievement Week!  During this time, many will present their work publicly through a myriad of events -- everything from the Annual Print Sale, art exhibitions, and theater productions to science and engineering poster symposia.


Career Success Sammy Awards

Friday, May 21
(Video to be emailed)

The Sammy Awards were created in 2018 to celebrate and recognize contributions towards career development in the UCSC community. Every year, the Sammies are awarded to a diverse group of community members from on and off campus, ranging from undergraduate students to administrators to employers. Awards are given in the following categories:

  • Undergraduate Student of the Year
  • Graduate Student of the Year
  • Student Organization of the Year
  • Honored Faculty
  • Honored Staff
  • Honored Administrator
  • Employer of the Year
  • Recruiter of the Year
  • Alumni of the Year
  • Excellence Award

The 2020-2021 Sammy Awards Ceremony will be streamed virtually on the Career Success YouTube channel. Come to support and cheer on the winners and honourable mentions, and hear more about what's happening in career development at UCSC. 

Chancellor's and Steck Family Awards Presentation

Wednesday, June 2
Virtual Event
(Invitation only)

Up to three outstanding undergraduate theses/projects from each of the five academic divisions are chosen each year from the winners of the Deans' Awards to receive Chancellor's Awards. This event recognizes those top research/creative projects of the year. The $1,000 Steck Family Award recognizes the top research project chosen from the Chancellor's Awardees and is announced at this event.

First Generation Initiative

April - June
Ongoing recognition

More than 2,300 UC Santa Cruz first-generation students will be graduating in 2020-2021. In fact, more than 34 percent of UC Santa Cruz undergraduates are first-generation college students. To recognize the significant accomplishment of these scholars, the UC Santa Cruz First Generation Initiative is distributing #First-Gen College Grad/UC Santa Cruz T-shirts to our graduates. If you haven't already heard from us and you graduated in 2020 (fall) or are graduating in 2021 (winter, spring, and including at the end of summer), please contact us at

Haven't signed up to be part of the First Generation Initiative community? You can join via the link on our homepage: Questions, please contact us at


June 2, 2021
4:00 PM
Open to anyone

The IDEA Hub is a campus-wide initiative started under the egis of CIED that facilitates hands-on learning for social and creative entrepreneurship at UC Santa Cruz through a network of incubation hubs, student fellowships, workshops, and community mentorships. This new program invites student innovation, from any major, in responding to the critical challenges facing society. By engaging in this program, graduate and undergraduate students receive training and funding that can transform their ideas into powerful, impactful projects.

Applications for the 2021 IDEA Hub Pitch Contest are now open! IDEA Hub is the largest start-up pitch contest of the UCSC academic year. As an annual end-of-year event, the contest is open to all UCSC departments, research areas and degree programs. Non-traditional founders are strongly encouraged to apply. Join today for a chance to workshop your project with experienced entrepreneurs & alumni, gain real-world exposure to innovation & ideation teams, and supplement your project with thousands of dollars in prize money!

The link to apply can be found here.

Deadline to submit your application: May 14, 2021g

Merrill Undergraduate Research Mentorship Spotlight

May 27, 2021 
4:00 PM
(Invitation only)

Merrill College sponsors a Merrill Undergraduate Research Mentorship Program for Merrill juniors and seniors. Students are paired with a Merrill Fellow to work up to 70 hours throughout the winter and spring quarters as paid research apprentices on the faculty member's research.

The purpose of the program is to inspire and prepare Merrill students to pursue graduate studies upon graduation from UCSC. It is designed to provide research experience and personal and professional development for Merrill juniors and seniors. Merrill Fellows nominate a student whose work they are familiar with and whose interests are similar to their own area of research and expertise. As part of their mentorship, students will be employed as Research Assistants up to a maximum of $1050 for the school year. 

Pan African Research Fellowship Symposium

June 3, 2021
12:00 PM
Ticketed Event

Through a partnership with the Chancellor’s Office, Division of Student Affairs & Success, and the African American Resource & Cultural Center and our student researchers, we invite you all to hear the findings and recommendations related to the experiences of African/Black/Caribbean students and the overall collaborative development of an institutional transformation research program.

Phi Beta Kappa Induction Ceremony

June 4, 2021
Virtual Event (Zoom meeting)
(Invitation only)

Undergraduates who were elected to Phi Beta Kappa will be formally inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society at this event. Phi Beta Kappa is the nation's oldest honor society. This year’s ceremony will recognize inductees from the graduating classes of summer 2020, fall 2020, winter 2021, and spring 2021. Winners of the Phi Beta Kappa Graduate Scholarship will also be recognized. 


Arts Student Achievement Celebration

Friday, June 4, 12:00 PM
(Invitation only)

Every year, the top 10 senior theses/projects from students in the Arts division receive the Dean's award. In addition, the top 3 Dean's award projects are then nominated for a Chancellor's award. This event recognizes the students whose research projects were chosen. This year the event is virtual.  

Eduardo Carrillo Scholarship Virtual Group Show

Wednesday, April 14, 2021 - 12:00am to Wednesday, June 30, 2021 - 12:00am
Online event

The Eduardo Carrillo Scholars Virtual Group Show celebrates the life of Eduardo Carrillo, the 2021 scholarship recipients, and the importance of teaching art and fostering creativity. The online exhibition features works by 17 scholars. 

The Eduardo Carrillo Scholarship, established in 1997 in memory of UC Santa Cruz Art Professor Emeritus and famed Chicano muralist Eduardo Carrillo, is awarded to the most talented emerging student-artists in the Art Department. Since its inception, the scholarship has benefited over 300 students.

*    *    *    *    *
FREE and open to the public
View the online exhibition through June 30

Irwin Scholars Exhibition 2021

Thursday, June 3, 2021 to Friday, December 31, 2021
Location: Sesnon Gallery

Sesnon Underground Schedule & Archive

The Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery is excited to introduce IRWIN 2021: Fabricating Solace, the 35th annual Irwin Scholarship exhibition, which showcases the work of a select group of UC Santa Cruz’s accomplished young artists. This year's exhibition will take place online.

The 2021 Irwin Scholars are:

Abby McPhillips
Caroline Alfonso
Cassidy Skillman
Chloe Calhoun
Connor Hawk Alexander
Kalen Meeks
Klytie Xu
Louisa Balderas
Lucinda Rose Gold
Saul Villegas
Sydney Nicole Geisinger
Zoe Forsyth

About the Irwin Scholarship and the Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery
As a way of ensuring that others would have the kind of art education that allowed her to flourish in the art community, the late Sue Irwin established the William Hyde And Susan Benteen Irwin Scholarship Fund in 1986 in honor of her husband. The Irwin Scholarship and group show is granted annually to undergraduate UCSC students for proven excellence in the arts.

The Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery encourages interdisciplinary discourse through the lens of the arts. The gallery is currently closed through Spring 2021 due to COVID-19 restrictions. For more information email

Sammy Showcase

June 8 and 9, 2021
12:00-6:00 PM
Event held on Twitch

Check out the future of games in one of the largest student game festivals in the country! The UCSC Games Showcase celebrates undergraduate and graduate game design from the 2020-21 academic year, highlighting games from the senior class's year-long capstone projects. It features video games, tabletop games, and research talks. Come and play our student games! This event is family friendly and open to all.

Presented by Games and Playable Media, Digital Arts and New Media, Computational Media, and the Center for Games and Playable Media at UCSC. 

Friends, family, and the general public are all welcome!

The Elixir of Love: How We Made A Remote Opera

Tuesday, June 1, 2021 
7:30 PM

Members of the UC Santa Cruz opera production team and student performers discuss how they collaborated to create a remote opera film version of Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore (The Elixir of Love).

Spring 2021 Virtual Open Studios

Friday, June 11 - Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Virtual Open Studios features student artwork in a variety of media. Visit the online exhibition to view samples from each of the Art Department's Spring courses at UC Santa Cruz. Link to the Virtual Open Studios page will be posted on


Celebrating the Humanities: Spring Awards 2020-21

Friday, June 4
4:00-5:00 PM
Open to the public (audience focused on Humanities faculty, staff, students and their families)

We hope you will join us for our annual celebration recognizing student and faculty academic achievement in the Humanities Division at UC Santa Cruz. Friends and family are welcome.

Even though we are not able to celebrate together in person as we usually do, we can still come together online to honor the outstanding accomplishments of our students and faculty. Our virtual event will include live remarks from Chancellor Larive and Humanities Dean Jasmine Alinder, congratulating our exceptional scholars.

Be sure to come with a glass to raise!

2021 Virtual Undergraduate History Showcase

May 31-June 4, 2021

The Undergraduate History Showcase is an annual event held each spring that recognizes the exceptional research conducted by UC Santa Cruz History undergraduates.

Linguistics Undergraduate Research Conference

May 28, 2021
1:20-4:00 PM

Towards the end of the spring quarter each year, the Linguistics Undergraduate Research Conference (LURC) showcases the research of the department's undergraduate students. This conference always features as an invited speaker, a distinguished alumnus or alumna of the department. This year's speaker will be Chloe Willis (B.A. Language Studies, 2014; MA, UCSB)

Literature Department Third Annual Celebration of Graduating Seniors

Thursday, June 3

5:20 PM
Open to the public. All are welcome to attend this virtual event!
Zoom event link: TBD

This event will recognize our 2020-21 literature and Italian Studies graduates. Students, friends, and family are welcome to attend. 

Philosophy Department Graduation Virtual Ceremony

Friday, June 11
(Invitation Only)

A virtual department ceremony recognizing graduating undergraduate and graduate students. We will also be recognizing all undergraduate and graduate students who have won an award in the last year. Students and family are welcome to attend.



Baskin School of Engineering's Dean's & Chancellor's Award Ceremony

Thursday, June 3
5:00 PM
(Invitation Only)

This event will honor student recipients of the 2021 Deans' and Chancellor's Award in a virtual ceremony.


Ecology and Evolutionary Biology 2021 Undergraduate Research Symposium

Link to the 2021 Undergraduate Research Symposium


Building Belonging Student Flash Talk Event & Celebration

May 26, 2021
3:00 PM
(RSVP Required)

The Institute for Social Transformation is excited to host an online end-of-year celebration and student flash talk event to honor the work that has been accomplished in the Building Belonging program. Students who have been involved in the program in 2020-2021 will present their contributions to research projects.

This event will provide Building Belonging Fellows an opportunity to share their research with the community. All are welcome to attend the event on May 26th including students, faculty, staff, family and friends.

Sponsored by: The Institute for Social Transformation and the Division of Social Sciences

Division of Social Sciences 2021 Student Awards

June 4, 2021
(Invitation Only)

This event will honor student recipients of the Division of Social Sciences 2021 awards/scholarships, including the Deans' award recipients. Click the event link above to see student award and scholarship recipients across the Division of Social Sciences and read what UC Santa Cruz means to them, advice for fellow students, and plans for the future.

Education, Democracy, and Justice Virtual Graduation Celebration

June 4, 2021
(Invitation Only)
4:00-5:00 pm

We will celebrate our inaugural major graduation via Zoom.

LALS Undergraduate Research Symposium

June 2, 2021
1:00-2:30 PM
Open to UCSC Community

Zoom Link:

Meeting ID: 939 6847 3896
Passcode: 927106

Natural History Art Student Exhibit

The Art of Nature: An Exhibition of Science Illustration
Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
Through June 27, 2021

This display of natural history artwork features scientific illustration using a variety of art styles, including work done by UC Santa Cruz students, Chelsea Kintz and Natasha Vokshoori. All are welcome to view the artwork through an online exhibition and in-person at the Santa Cruz Museum for Natural History. On exhibit through June 27, 2021.

Psychology Department Graduation Celebration

Friday, June 4, 2021
3:00-4:30 PM
(Invitation only)

The celebration will include remarks from Department Chair Phil Hammack, announcement of the Psychology Department Undergraduate Awards, and a video greeting from members of the Psychology Community to our graduating seniors. After the main celebration, at 3 PM, many of our faculty, lecturers, graduate students, and staff will be available in separate meet-and-greet Zoom rooms.

An email with the link to the RSVP form was sent to students who graduated Fall 2020 or Winter 2021, or who have applied to graduate Spring 2021 or Summer 2021. If you are graduating in one of these terms and didn't receive the RSVP link, you may email to request it.

If you have questions about Student Achievement Week, please email the Undergraduate Honors Coordinator: