TURLOCK –California State University, Stanislaus senior Rocio Garcia of Waterford, who once struggled as a child to learn English, has authored an award-winning paper on social activism that took the top prize in a prestigious regional competition.
Recipient of a number of scholarships that reflect her active role as a high-achieving student, Garcia received the “2009 Distinguished Undergraduate Student Paper Award” from the Pacific Sociological Association for her work titled “Unmasking the Dynamics of Social Activism in Modern Society.” Her work was selected from a field of college and university students from all over the Western United States.
Mentored through the process by Sociology Department Professor Dr. Ann Strahm of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Garcia won acclaim for her paper’s high professional quality. The report explores the characteristics of social movements, including the factors that motivate people to join them and maintain active participation. She demonstrated in her paper how social movements serve as expressions of both individual and collective identity in society.
The first member of her family to attend college and the daughter of factory worker parents who came to the United States from Mexico, Garcia overcame a language barrier as a youngster and excelled academically. She will graduate Summa Cum Laude in June with a double major in Sociology and Spanish as well as a minor in English.
Garcia has been an active participant in the Sociology Club, the Honors Program, a recipient of the Mary Stuart Rogers Scholarship and Presidential Award for Academic Achievers, Award for Academic Achievement in Spanish, and involved in a variety of volunteer and public service programs on and off campus for both children and adults. She organized the Sociology Club’s Christmas in a Shoebox drive that donated holiday gifts to help disadvantaged children.