Ambrose R. Nichols Jr. Scholarship
Established in 1976, this scholarship is named for Ambrose R. Nichols, Jr., the founding president of Sonoma State University. The Nichols scholarship is awarded annually by the Alumni Association for outstanding contributions to the campus community. It is intended to encourage the recipient's continuing intellectual development and advanced academic instruction. The Nichols Scholarship is provided through funds generated by our Life Members.
2012 Nichols Scholar Natalie Hambalek
Biology and Environmental Studies Major
School of Science and Technology
This year, the Sonoma State Alumni Association awarded its Ambrose R. Nichols Jr. Scholarship to Biology and Environmental Studies major Natalie Hambalek for her involvement on Sonoma State campus, her active participation in the community and non-profits, her scholarly achievements, and her political efforts.
Hambalek has maintained a job on campus at the Center for Community Engagement since 2009. By working at the center she stayed in involved with work in academic affairs, and takes part in events like the “Careers for the Common Good Panel” and “Discovery Day”. Another event that the center features is “Shadow Day”, which exposes high school students from Roseland University Prep to Sonoma State University. She co-presented at the Campus Compact Continuums of Service Conference in Seattle, Washington on behalf of the Center for Community Engagement on utilizing social media to address their civic mission.
In the past two years she also participated in the annual California Higher Education Student Summit with Associated Students. Hambalek has gone to Sacramento to lobby legislators for various bills that provide accessibility and affordability to the California state system, including the California Dream Act. She was recently in the Model United Nations class and participated in the National Model United Nations in New York this past April.
Hambalek has been an active biology club member and was an elected officer last year. Hambalek’s drive for academic excellence has earned her a spot in the Tri Beta National Biological Honor Society, where she holds the position of treasurer. She has also joined Sigma Alpha Lambda, a National Leadership and Honor Organization.
Hambalek has volunteered her time to various volunteer programs that include Join Us Making Progress, and has been a mentor at the Kid Street Learning Center, a school for at-risk youth, for the past two years. Hambalek has also worked as an undergraduate researcher with Dr. Nick Geist’s lab with the Western Pond Turtles, and was involved in Dr. Derek Girman’s research with California Tiger Salamanders that are highly threatened. This summer she will be working on a project with Dr. Karin Jaffe on the social compatibility of squirrel monkeys in the San Francisco Zoo.
“I have refused to let the budget cuts to the CSU system hold me back from what I want out of my education. As an undergraduate it is very important to get involved with as much as you can and Sonoma State has allowed me to do so. Everything I have been involved in-- being able to work with professors on research projects, participate in Model United Nations, getting to know how non-profits function, and even lobbying California legislators for change in higher education has truly been a dream come true”
Hambalek plans on getting her Masters in Biology here at Sonoma State University. Her future career plans include working at a governmental organization or non-profit agency whose mission lies heavily in the areas of conservation and/or youth.
“I am so thankful to have been given opportunities at Sonoma State University that have enabled me to flourish and become the person I want to be. The Ambrose R. Nichols Scholarship will help me to pursue my dreams as well as motivate me to be the best I can be. I hope to inspire others that your past doesn't have to dictate your future and this award will help me to keep pushing forward.”
Outstanding Student-Athlete of the Year Scholarship
Each year the SSU Alumni Association sponsors two scholarships specifically honoring SSU student-athletes for the school year. Five years ago, the SSU Alumni Association Board of Directors established these athletic scholarships for two deserving student-athletes, one male and one female.
Each student-athlete that is selected for the scholarship receives a framed certificate and a $500 athletic scholarship provided by the SSU Alumni Association to be awarded for the following academic year. Please note that the scholarship recipient must be enrolled as a full-time student for the Fall semester to be eligible to receive the scholarship award.
To be considered for this scholarship and the accompanying athletic scholarship, a student-athlete must submit a one to two page essay describing his or her outstanding achievements relative to intercollegiate competition, academics and community service. Click here to view the guidelines for the scholarship. The deadline for the 2013 scholarship is April 5, 2013 at noon.
The SSU Alumni Association Board of Directors select a male student-athlete scholarship recipient and a female student-athlete scholarship recipient. The scholarships are presented at the Annual SSU Sports Awards Night, "The Wolfies."
This year's recipients are Travis Newman, women's basketball, and Patrick Maloney, men's tennis.
2012-13 Outstanding Student Athlete Scholarship Recipients
Past Winners of the Outstanding Student Athlete Scholarships are:
Steven Pratt, Keala Peterson, Jesse Talaugon, Scott Gaynor, Lindsay Brown, Morgan Rodriguez, Danae Wellander, Andrew Bailey, Christina Maher, Danielle McDavid, and Nestor Bernabe.