A generous gift from the grandmother of a UC Merced alumna and current staff member is benefitting two undergraduate students who put the UC Merced Library to good use.
Melissa Becerra, a third-year psychology student, and Nathan Parmeter, who graduates this week, are the first recipients of the Carter Joseph Abrescy and Larry Kranich Library Award for Student Research Excellence.
The $26,250 endowment comes from Arlene Kranich of Sonora, grandmother of Development and Alumni Relations Director Kelli Abrescy as a memorial to Abrescy’s grandfather Larry Kranich, who died in 2003, and in honor of Abrescy’s new son, Carter.
“My grandfather did not have a formal education and barely graduated high school. He believed in perseverance and overcame many obstacles,” Abrescy said. “He always spoke about honesty, getting things done for yourself and paving your own way in the world because everyone has potential. My grandmother wanted to establish this award to memorialize his story, to honor his legacy of excellence, and to honor the many generations my grandfather helped create, all carrying on that same integrity.”
The award recognizes outstanding students who have the knowledge, skill and resourcefulness to conduct exemplary research using the tools and resources provided by the library.
Becerra, from West Covina, is a peer instructor at the Bright Success Center and helped found the Young Artists Movement. Her winning application included a paper she wrote, “Mental Health and Academic Performance of First-Generation College Students and Continuing-Generation College Students,” and a reflective essay about the research process.
Parmeter, from Fresno, majored in political science and double-minored in history and economics. He submitted a paper entitled “Obstinate Anger and Pessimism: An (Academic) History of Right-Wing Populism” and a reflective essay about his research process.
The students’ papers will be placed in eScholarship, the University of California’s open access repository.