Out of a group of 94 eligible UCC students, three have been nominated for the Jacoby Award. The three finalists are Taylor Strickland, Monica Botwinick, and Eric Anderson. The nominees were evaluated by their scholastic achievement, college service such as participating in college events, and community service. To be considered for nomination, students needed to complete at least 72 credits and six terms at UCC, have a GPA above or at 3.5, and have all graduation requirements completed by the end of summer term 2019.
After a committee led by Georgann Willis narrowed the choices to three nominees, interviews were held in order to determine the winner of the Jacoby award. The winner is announced at graduation where they will then give a speech.
Strickland has maintained a solid 4.0 GPA throughout the year while busy playing on the women’s basketball team. Strickland is planning on transferring to Eastern Oregon University to further her education in the medical field and to continue playing basketball.
Strickland has been on UCC’s women’s basketball team for two years. “Over those two years, both the team and myself have been fortunate enough to have a fair amount of success and recognition. Basketball season is from September to March and can take anywhere between 30-50 hours a week, but I was able to maintain a 4.0 GPA during this. The only way I could accomplish what I did both academically and athletically was by having good time management and making school and basketball my only priorities. But, I certainly didn’t do any of it myself. I had instructors, coaches and administrators who never let me slack off and pushed me to my full potential,” Strickland said.
Strickland hopes to win the Jacoby award and to be an example to the growing athletics department that you can succeed and reach high levels of excellence in both school and sports at the same time.
Anderson is going to school for nursing and is currently finishing up the RN program. Anderson loves volunteering for events and helping his fellow peers. “I am honestly not sure what I did to become a semi-finalist; I just go to class and do the best I can to help my fellow students.” Anderson feels very humbled that his instructors see him worthy of nomination. “I don’t expect to win; there are a lot of amazing people, and I am sure if the others have been nominated they must be amazing as well.”
Botwinick is attending UCC to work on her AAOT. She plans on transferring to Portland State in order to pursue a Bachelor of Science in psychology with a minor in women’s studies. Botwinick works on campus as a peer mentor, is a council member on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion council, and is the president of the Queer Student Advocacy club. Botwinick is also a Debate Club public relations officer, and a Phi Theta Kappa five-star officer. These positions have allowed her to advocate on UCC’s behalf on many occasions including when she went to Salem to testify for lawmakers to convince them to increase the budget for community colleges.
Despite also having three kids at home, working part-time, and her volunteering, Botwinick has managed to keep up a 3.89 GPA. “I try not to expect anything in life and be pleasantly surprised if the outcome is positive. Just to be nominated and acknowledged by the staff and faculty on campus is humbling and an honor. If I were to win, my hope is that it would encourage others to get involved on campus. I’ve always been open to sharing my story because I want to inspire people to think big!”
The Harry Jacoby award was instituted in the early 1970s to honor a graduating student who excels in more than just academic achievement. The award amount is $1000 and the funds are provided by the UCC foundation for this purpose.
The award was named after Harry Jacoby, the first president of UCC, and assistant superintendent of the Roseburg School District.