University of California, Riverside

2017/18 Scholarship Recipients

2017/18 Scholarship Recipients

Since 1976, the UCR Alumni Association has awarded scholarships to provide assistance to exceptional students. Each year, the association gives out more than $100,000 to entering and continuing students. In the program’s 40 year history, $2.5 million has been dispersed to over 1,100 students.

The UCR Alumni Association’s Freshman Scholarship is at the heart of the program. Each year, hundreds of students apply to this scholarship which provides nine awards at $4,000. Recipients are selected by regional committees formed by dedicated alumni volunteers.

As you read about some of these remarkable students you will see that our Alumni Scholars are extraordinary individuals. They succeed in the classroom, participate in graduate-level research projects and welcome the social responsibility of caring for their communities.

2017 – 2018 Freshman Scholars

The Freshman Scholarship is the largest scholarship the association awards. Nine incoming freshmen are selected each year based on GPA, enrollment for fall quarter, and residency within California. After many applications and rounds of interviews, the most qualified students are selected and receive a scholarship in the amount of $4,000.

Alexander Brinkley | Biology | Hometown: Valencia, CA

Alexander was Albert Einstein Academy Class of 2017 Valedictorian.  He enjoys participating in a range of activities including martial arts and travel.  His goal is to attend medical school and pursue his dream of becoming a Neurosurgeon.

Bryanna Caloca | Biochemistry | Hometown: Riverside, CA

A first-generation college student, and child of immigrants, Bryanna is excited about the opportunities available to her at UCR.  She will be pursuing her goal of becoming a pediatrician, serving the city of Riverside and surrounding communities.

Jennifer Gonzalez | Neuroscience | Hometown: Santa Ana, CA

With a natural curiosity about the arts, sciences, and business, Jennifer enjoys participating in a range of activities.  She has also developed her leadership and business skills through programs with the Orange County Bar Foundation. She hopes to channel her passion for learning into a career in the field of neuroscience.

Carlos Haro | Biochemistry | Hometown: Murrieta, CA

Carlos has been inspired by his parents and family, to strive for academic excellence and give back to the community.  He has participated in various activities including a youth soccer referee and coaching program, as well as a Chinese cultural exchange program.  His goal is to become a physician, improving the health of the Inland Empire

Diego Hernandez | Mechanical Engineering | Hometown: Jurupa Valley, CA

Diego has a deep appreciation for the city of Riverside and surrounding regions.  As a first-generation college student, he is excited about pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering at UCR.  He also received the State Seal of Biliteracy in French and looks forward to traveling.

Marina Joseph | Biology | Hometown: Fresno, CA

Marina is heavily involved in activities that both benefit her community as well as those in need of support abroad.  She launched a charity called Unheard Cries, and continues to act as a positive role model through mentorship and leadership programs. Her goal is to earn a degree in medicine.

Michaela Subbah | Biology | Hometown: Yucaipa, CA

As the 2017 Yucaipa High School Valedictorian, Michaela is poised to make a difference in her community and beyond.  She participated in several activities in high school, including basketball and church youth groups, and hopes to attend medical school.  She is also proud of maintaining a 4.0 GPA throughout high school.

Nathan Sapong | Mechanical Engineering | Hometown: Menifee, CA

Nathan enjoys a range of academic and athletic activities, and has dedicated much of his time to service projects that benefit his community as well as people abroad.  He hopes to use his education in Mechanical Engineering, to design alternative energy sources and technology that will lessen carbon emissions.

Rizelle Vinluan | Computer Science | Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Rizelle hopes to complete the BS + MS program through the Bourns College of Engineering.  She looks forward to creating a mobile video game app, and aspires to pursue her passion for video games through employment with one of the creators of her favorite video games.


2017 – 2018 Beyond the Freshman Year Scholars
This outstanding group of students is also eligible for additional support. As Freshman Scholars, students who qualify are eligible for either the Donald and Wallace Brithinee or the Sher-Right scholarships.

Brithinee and Sher-Right Scholars

Zachary Dunn | Chemical Engineering | Hometown: South Pasadena

Now entering his senior year at UCR, Zachary has engaged in a range of research and other academic opportunities.  From conducting research in Dr. Huinan Lui’s bioengineering lab, to interning at New Mexico’s Sandia National Laboratories, Zachary has proactively pursued opportunities that he hopes will one day lead to a doctorate in chemical or biomedical engineering.

Haley Henson | Anthropology | Hometown: Apple Valley

A first-generation college student, Haley was determined to make the most of her UCR experience.  She enjoys anthropology and related subjects, and is passionate about someday improving opportunities for disadvantaged sectors of the community as a city planner following her studies.

Karen Kong | Computer Science | Hometown: Riverside

As a second-year computer science major, Karen Kong remains enthusiastic and ambitious. She has written pieces published in academic journals, and she earned high marks on her presentation at the 2017 UCR Undergraduate Research Symposium. She is also reaching for her dream of working in the tech industry, through a 2017 Summer internship with Facebook.

Alondra Marquez | Sociology | Hometown: Yucaipa

Alondra is a third-year sociology major, and was the first of four children within her family to attend a university immediately after high school. She has a passion for helping others and hopes to someday work as a teacher, and to help influence the lives of her students in a positive manner.

Cristina Velazquez | Sociology | Hometown: Los Angeles

Cristina is a Sociology major, pursuing minors in Media and Cultural Studies and Business. Her goal is to research relationships between communities of color, the media, and identity.  She has excelled academically, earning a place on the Dean’s and Chancellor’s lists during her time at UCR.

Transfer Scholar

Lorena Cruz | Sociology | Hometown: San Jacinto

Lorena is a first-generation college student, entering UCR as a sociology major.  Her goal is to enter the PhD program for School Psychology and eventually become a school counselor and college professor.  Her passion is helping at-risk teens.


Congratulations to all of our 2017 – 2018 Scholarship recipients!