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.
When UC Davis students were calling for more student and faculty diversity and culturally inclusive programs, Robert Stanley Oden was on the front lines. One of only 40 African American students on campus in 1967, he was a founder of the Black Student Union, the first such group on campus, and wrote a column for The California Aggie called “The Dark Side.”
Investigative reporter Matthias Gafni (B.A, English/rhetoric and communication, ’98), who got his journalism start at The California Aggie, was a lead writer in a series of articles that won the East Bay Times the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News.
Three months after graduating, Nicholas Dias (B.A., psychology and communication, ’15) was preparing to wing his way to a writing internship in Argentina. Dias, who graduated in June 2015, planned to leave in late September for a year in Buenos Aires as part of his internship with national honors society Phi Beta Kappa. He will write for Phi Beta Kappa’s The Key Reporter and seek a job with an English-language publication in Argentina’s capital.
A former California Aggie staffer, he is a data journalist—“meaning that I use my own statistical tests, rather than interviews, as the basis for my reporting.” Eventually, he’d like to attend journalism school and research the optimal roles of different types of media in informing citizens of particular democracies.