Winners of Top 2020 College Awards Announced

Picture of Jumana Esau
English major Jumana Esau has been awarded the Herbert A. Young Award for outstanding senior in the College of Letters and Science.

Each year, the UC Davis College of Letters and Science names two graduating seniors as the Herbert A. Young Award and Leon H. Mayhew Memorial Award recipients in recognition of outstanding academic achievement, community service and extracurricular involvement in the college. The college honors and celebrates the incredible leadership that both these students have shown our academic community.

English Major Wins Herbert A. Young Award

English major Jumana Esau has been awarded the Herbert A. Young Award for outstanding senior in the College of Letters and Science. The $2,000 award was established in 1964 to honor Herbert A. Young, founding dean of the College of Letters & Science.

Esau has also received the University Medal, given to the top graduating senior at UC Davis, and in March was named winner of a Gates Cambridge Scholarship.

Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and Jordan, Esau focused her studies on the nexus of literary scholarship, human rights and climate change. During her studies, she realized that her culture was not being represented in the climate narrative and plans to explore this issue after graduation.

Esau has given back to many throughout her time in the college. Through a human rights class, she became involved with the Article 26 Backpack program, which helps displaced people to reconstruct and store their educational credentials through a cloud-based app. Fluent in Arabic, she helped refugees in the Sacramento area create online educational profiles and translate documents.

Spanish and Religious Studies Double Major Receives Leon H. Mayhew Memorial Award

pic of Kenton Goldsby
Kenton Goldsby,  Leon H. Mayhew Memorial Award winner

Kenton Goldsby of Ferndale was recognized with the Leon H. Mayhew Memorial Award, presented by the College of Letters and Science to undergraduates majoring in music, art or literature for their academic achievement and service to the university.

Goldsby, who will graduate with two bachelor’s degrees in Spanish and religious studies, was campus news editor of The California Aggie and a peer advisor for the Department of Religious Studies. He shared that he is “passionate about highlighting students in a palpable way, allowing their voices to be heard, their grievances acknowledged, and holding those in authority accountable.” Goldsby spent a year studying abroad at the University of Barcelona in Spain and speaks Spanish, Catalan and English.

The $1,000 Mayhew Award was created in memory of Leon H. Mayhew, a sociology professor and dean of the College of Letters and Science.

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