Community Studies is proud to announce that Katie Sweeney has been awarded the 2016 Gabriel Zimmerman Memorial Scholarship. The award was established to support undergraduate students in the Division of Social Sciences who are passionate about social issues and committed to public service, and honors Gabriel (“Gabe”) Zimmerman. Gabe was a UCSC sociology alumnus who was killed in a tragic shooting incident while working for Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
Many UCSC students excel in public service work, so Katie Sweeney can be considered the best of the best. Katie’s public service started early in life and assumed a variety of forms. She founded and directed the UCSC chapter of Camp Kesem, a summer camp for children with a parent battling cancer or who died of cancer (as Katy's own mother did). She not only founded and directed the camp but also successfully raised over $100,000 to sustain it as a lasting legacy. She also assisted Camp Kesem in fund raising on a national level. Katie worked at Barrios Unidos' after school program, which is a long-standing local effort at gang prevention, and did her Full time Field Study at the Santa Cruz Public Defender's office, to rave reviews from her supervisor. Throughout this work, Katie maintained an exceptionally strong 3.8 GPA. In reaching its decision, the selection committee expressed confidence “that Katie Sweeney will continue a career in public service and bring continued honor to the tradition set by Gabe Zimmerman.”