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Just One of Many Outstanding Graduates

UC Riverside Approaches Big Commencement Weekend

Five Ceremonies Serve 2,301 Graduates and Their Families

(June 13, 2003)

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( � Lots of students rush to make their graduation ceremony on time, but UC Riverside graduating senior John C. Chen has a good excuse. Chen, one of 2,301 graduates who will be celebrating at five campus ceremonies Saturday, June 14, and Sunday, June 15 at UC Riverside, will be just returning from an American Medical Association conference in Chicago. He represented his medical school classmates at the annual meeting.

On Sunday at 2:16 p.m., the 22-year-old from Diamond Bar will land at Los Angeles International. With some luck and some decent traffic, he will arrive at commencement in time to line up with his classmates. Then he will step up and receive four of the eleven major awards given to graduates.

�I was actually planning on just staying in Chicago but my parents really wanted me to walk,� Chen said. Perhaps his parents wanted to see him walk because he is a top student in UCR�s most demanding program, the UCR/UCLA Thomas Haider Program in Biomedical Sciences.

Chen earned the UCR Alumni Association Commencement Award, the Dean Thomas L. Broadbent Award, the Marguleas/Weiman Humanitarian of the Year Award and the Rosemary S.J. Schraer Award. So, assuming he gets to the ceremony, he will be fairly busy.

Typically, these awards might go to different students. But this year it was hard to compete with Chen, who achieved spectacularly in biomedical sciences, yet found time to volunteer as a peer mentor, as a campus counselor with a Yucaipa camp for underprivileged children and with Hospice, an organization that helps ease the end of life for terminal cancer patients.

Chen has one more year at UCR and then two years at UCLA before he earns his M.D. in an accelerated seven-year program offered in a partnership between UCR and UCLA. Most students take eight years to earn the same degree.

"John is a truly exceptional human being,� said Robin DiMatteo, a professor of psychology who works with biomedical science students. �From studying his coursework, to carrying out scientific research, to sitting with and comforting dying patients, Johnny puts his mind, heart, and soul into all that he does. I am truly blessed to know him and his family."

In turn, Chen said he is grateful to Professor DiMatteo, who boosted his confidence at a critical point in his career when he felt like giving up his goal. �It�s a good experience being part of a small campus and a small class. You get a lot of personal attention,� Chen said. �I know the faculty and staff really well.�

He is not the only stellar student at UC Riverside�s 49th Commencement. Each of the five ceremonies will have student speakers, a keynote address from an invited guest, carillon music, a full academic profession, the singing of the alma mater by a student, and a performance from the UCR Concert Band.
Other student award winners are:

� The Dean Loda Mae Davis Award will go to Ana G. Linares, who earned her BA in English and Psychology
� The Vivian Eyman Memorial Award in Teacher Education will go to Crystal Crookham, who is earning her teaching credential
� The George W. DuBois Memorial Award will go to Anna Racheva, who earned her MBA from the Anderson Graduate School of Management
� The Dr. Gordon S. and Anna Watkins Award will go to Jeffray Friedman, who earned a Ph.D. in Dance History and Theory
� The Marlan and Rosemary Bourns Award will go to David Ginsberg, who earned his bachelors in electrical engineering and Monica Sawkar, who earned her bachelors degree in environmental engineering
� The T�mas Rivera Award will go to Patrick Adam Duffy, who earned his bachelors degree in music and dance and Anne Louise Ober, who earned her bachelors in history
� The Rosemary S.J. Schraer Award, in addition to John Chen, will go to Star Lee, who earned her bachelors degree in neuroscience
� The Chancellor�s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research will go to Samuel Tan, bachelors in Chemistry and Talia N. Adams, bachelors in dance.
A schedule of ceremonies follows:

Saturday, June 14, 8:30 a.m., Commons Lawn
College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Bachelor�s Degrees in:
(African American Studies, Anthropology, Art (Studio), Art History, Asian American Studies, Asian Studies, Business Economics, Chicano Studies, Chinese, Classical Studies, Comparative Ancient Civilizations, Comparative Literature, Creative Writing, Dance, Economics, English, Ethnic Studies, Film and Visual Culture, French, Germanic Studies, History, Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Interdisciplinary, Language, Latin American Studies, Liberal Studies, and Linguistics.)

Commencement Address: Robert E. Armstrong, former President, Henry Luce Foundation
Student Speaker: Nathan Mubasher

Saturday, June 14, 6:00 p.m., Commons Lawn
College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Bachelor�s Degrees in:
(Human Development, Music, Music and Culture, Native American Studies, Neuroscience, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies, Russian Studies, Social Relations, Sociology, Spanish, Theatre, and Women's Studies)

Commencement Address: Joyce Appleby, Professor Emerita, University of California, Los Angeles

Student Speaker: Ruben Daniel Hernandez, Jr., BA, Sociology

June 15, 8:30 a.m., Commons Lawn
The A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Management Master of Business Administration Degrees
College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Bachelor�s Degrees in Business Administration

Commencement Address: Gilberto Perez, President, CEMEX U.S. Operations

Student Speaker: Tiffany Marie Karlin, BS, Business Administration

Sunday, June 15, 1:00 p.m., Student Recreation Center
Graduate Division

(All Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Arts, Master of Education, Master of Fine Arts, and Master of Science Degrees, as well as teacher credential candidates)
� The Marlan and Rosemary Bourns College of Engineering
� College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
� College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences
� Graduate School of Education
� Division of Biomedical Sciences

Commencement Address: Arturo G�mez-Pompa, University Professor and Distinguished Professor of Botany, UC Riverside

Student Speaker: Jeannette Linda Mabee, MA, Education

Sunday, June 15, 6:00 p.m., Commons Lawn
College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences (Bachelor�s degrees in all CNAS majors)
The Marlan and Rosemary Bourns College of Engineering (Bachelor�s degrees in all BCOE majors)

Commencement Address: Kathie Olsen, Associate Director, Office of Science and Technology Policy

Student Speaker: Kimberly Anne Jackson, BS, Biology


The University of California, Riverside ( is a doctoral research university, a living laboratory for groundbreaking exploration of issues critical to Inland Southern California, the state and communities around the world. Reflecting California's diverse culture, UCR's enrollment has exceeded 21,000 students. The campus opened a medical school in 2013 and has reached the heart of the Coachella Valley by way of the UCR Palm Desert Center. The campus has an annual statewide economic impact of more than $1 billion.

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