Geography major Maral Tashjian is among this year’s elite group of 16 seniors and graduate students to be presented the University Award of Distinction. According to the UCSB Office of Student Affairs, these awards are presented annually “to graduating seniors and graduate students who have made an outstanding contribution to a particular area of UCSB student life,” and “recognize in-depth or focused involvement and significant achievement in campus or community activities.”
Maral is no stranger to our web site, having been written up for being one of the department’s “unsung heroines” who helped fill the breach left by the untimely death of our Senior Artist, Susanna Baumgart (July 2005), and for becoming the third Geography undergrad to receive a National Geographic Society Internship (Jan. 24, 2006). Our Chair, Keith Clarke, sums up Maral’s extraordinary level of service by stating: “The department website, including our outreach environmental site at earthgate.ucsb.edu has been maintained now for over a year by Maral alone. She has been a tireless and devoted advocate of sustainable practices on campus and beyond, and she has demonstrated this with an internship and voluntary activity. She has also followed her interests in a huge variety of other extracurricular activities. In addition, Maral is a pleasure to know, to talk with, and to have as a student. Her broad knowledge of the world has been an asset in class, and her gentle helping nature a great guide to her fellow students.” We’ll miss her.