For University Medal finalists, the pandemic was a stormy voyage of discovery

May 17, 2023

The UC Berkeley Class of 2023 may be known to history as the COVID class — the students’ first year on campus was cut short by the pandemic, and the virus roiled their lives, wave after wave.

But for University Medal winner Catherine Vera, and for finalists Aaron P. Hill, Rohith Sajith, Andrea Sandoval and Rosie Ward, the pandemic was just one challenge on an often profound voyage of discovery.

They had to contend with learning by Zoom and social isolation. Some lost family members to other sorts of illness. And yet, in their own individual ways, they summoned the resilience needed to learn and to serve their communities — and to emerge stronger, wiser and ready for the world. In this, they exemplify the strength of their class.

The University Medal was established in 1871, and candidates must have achieved a GPA of 3.96 or higher while overcoming significant challenges and making an impact on the lives of other people.

This year’s finalists are all in the College of Letters & Science:

  • Aaron P. Hill - Major: History
  • Rohith Sajith - Majors: Physics, computer science, and applied mathematics
  • Andrea Sandoval - Majors: Molecular and cell biology, public health
  • Rosie Ward - Majors: Environmental economics and policy, geography

Read more about each of these incredible students at the link below >

Berkeley News