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2024

College of Humanities Student Awards


Student Speaker: Evelyn Cervantes, International Studies

Evelyn Cervantes is all her graduation cap and gown. She's also wearing all her cords.

As a first-generation student and daughter of migrants, Evelyn was inspired by her parents move from Mexico to study the intricate relationships formed between immigrants as they create spaces of belonging in a new country. Her major serves as a bridge to understand and contribute meaningfully to the complex intersections of relationships influenced by political decisions at various levels.

As a busy mother to an 8-year-old daughter, Evelyn served as a Ulife mentor for transfer students, was involved in Crimson Transfer Honor Society and the Center for Equity and Belonging, was a Women’s Resource Center scholar and received multiple U organization scholarships. She spent a transformative summer studying abroad in Puebla, Mexico, where she delved into Latin American history, explored Mexico's social programs, and marveled at the country's rich biodiversity. This immersive experience ignited her passion for international living and catalyzed her aspirations to forge a career abroad, unveiling a new realm of possibilities and perspectives.

After graduation, Evelyn hopes to create a career in foreign service or international work. She is passionate about global engagement and committed to contributing significantly to the interconnected challenges of international relations, sustainable development, and food security on a global scale.


Outstanding Senior: Callie Avondet, Honors History

Headshot of Callie Avodet, she's wearing a plaid blazer and black shirt

After reading “The Education of Blacks in the South,” in a history class, Callie began to view history as a way to explore and understand the present. Understanding the past, helped her make sense of what she sees in the world today.

Callie has engaged in many research opportunities in the Department of History that have shaped and benefitted her academic trajectory. In Nov. 2022, she presented her history honors thesis to the History of Education Society conference. While it was undoubtedly useful for receiving feedback on her research, the most valuable aspect was getting to meet a broader community of historians interested in education. She also worked as a research intern for the Black Faculty and Staff Association. Last summer, Maile Arvin, associate professor of history, took her and another undergraduate research assistant to Hawai’i to work on a project about child institutionalization, which taught Callie key lessons about community involved research and culturally relevant research.

Following graduation, Callie plans to earn a doctorate in Education Policy with an emphasis in the history of education. She is interested in looking at the role of race and protest within education. Her dream career is to be a professor, but she can also see herself working as an archivist, working in an education or history non-profit, or working with undergraduate research programs.


Humanities Excellence: Zachery Thiede, Classics and German

Zachery Theide in the mountains wearing a red sweatshirt

A first generation and transfer student, Zachery has accomplished many academic goals including representing the University of Utah at the CAMWS Classics conference as an undergraduate presenter and studying abroad in Germany. The time he spent abroad not only changed his perspective on the world, but it helped him become a better student by providing him with the opportunity to engage in a living education, learning a language and new culture from natives.

This summer, Zachery will travel to Berlin to teach German on a Fulbright Fellowship for ten months. He then intends to pursue a master’s degree in Latin so he can become a Latin teacher. He is also very engaged in making speech and debate in the state of Utah more accessible for all students and will be working with the Utah Debate Coaches Association to help train and teach new debate coaches.

Last Updated: 5/1/24