2019 Centennial Achievement Doctorate Degree Awardees

During the fall of 1987, the Graduate College and the Division of Campus Life established awards to recognize outstanding achievement and contributions of graduate students at the University of Arizona who have shown academic achievement despite facing challenging social, economic, or educational obstacles. In 2020, due to the philanthropic commitment of past Master’s Award recipient, Dr. William Broussard (MA, ‘02, and Ph.D., ‘07—Rhetoric, Composition, and the Teaching of the English Language) we are excited to share that a third Doctoral student will now be selected and awarded the Centennial Award.

Jacqueline Joslyn

Jacqueline Joslyn is a doctoral candidate in sociology who grew up in Beaver Dams, New York. Jackie, a lesbian from an impoverished family, has endured many hardships in her quest for an education, including surviving childhood cancer and losing her mother from cancer. Prior to graduate school, Jackie was actively involved in supporting sexual assault survivors, the LGBTQ community, and advocating for campaign finance developments that reduce financial obstacles to participation in democracy. Her complex personal experiences with adversity and extensive interactions with people of diverse backgrounds inspired her to advocate for institutional changes within her department at UA. She has written a resource and survival guide as well as establishing and chairing a reciprocity-based emergency fund for sociology graduate students experiencing financial hardship. The emergency fund has been operating successfully for two years and has been supported predominantly by women and minorities.

Jackie has been recognized for her innovative pursuits and scholarship. Her dissertation proposes conceptualizing relationships in terms of remembered and imagined events. This perspective opens opportunities for theorizing and modeling social mechanisms with greater precision. She presented her preliminary work at the 2018 Junior Theorists Symposium, a competitive conference for social theorists. Her empirical work received funding from the Graduate and Professional Student Council and she presented her findings at the 2019 American Sociological Association Annual Meeting and the 2019 INSNA Sunbelt Conference. She currently has a paper under review.

Jackie has published articles on economic development and social capital in the Journal of Rural Social Sciences and Socius. Recently, she worked as a research assistant for Corey Abramson in a study of terminally ill cancer patients. Together they co-authored a paper for Ethnography, and currently have another article under review.

In addition to research, Jackie has made positive contributions to the community, including setting up a Safe-Zone training session, guest lecturing at local high schools, and volunteering at an orphanage in Kenya. In her free time, she loves to dance and show support for Tucson's LGBTQ and non-monogamy community in any way she can.

Jackie is currently working on finishing her dissertation and looking forward to pursuing her career.


Cazandra Zaragoza

Cazandra Zaragoza holds a Bachelor of Science in Physiology and a Master of Public Health in Policy & Management. She is a Master of Science in Cellular & Molecular Medicine candidate and will be graduating this spring from the College of Medicine Tucson with her MD. Born in rural Mexico, Cazandra was raised in Fresno, California.

Cazandra’s journey to becoming a physician began when she was adopted as an infant. Her biological mother, a single woman, was dying from a treatable illness in rural Mexico. Forced to put Cazandra up for adoption, she died three months later. Cazandra is forever grateful for her sacrifice and the dedication of her parents to provide her with a better life. Through the nurturing loving relationship with her parents and brother, the story of her adoption has driven her desire to become a physician and work with underserved populations.

While at the University of Arizona, Cazandra has served as president of the College of Medicine Tucson Student Government, co-chair of the Student Diversity Advisory Committee, Western Regional Chair for the Organization of Student Representatives of the American Associations of Medical Colleges, and as an appointed committee member of the Commission on the Status of Women.

Cazandra’s research has focused on best practices in medicine and increasing the number of Latinos in health professions through service-learning and peer mentorship and advocating for equity for migrant/asylum seekers and undocumented patients in a health care setting. She is a Gold Humanism Honor Society Inductee, Office of Diversity and Inclusion Student Leadership Awardee, and has been recognized by the Pima County Medical Society for Medical Student Leadership. In addition, Cazandra will complete three Distinction Tracks at the College of Medicine: Community Service, Rural Health, and Leadership and Innovation in Healthcare. She is a volunteer peer mentor for the Pre-Medical Admissions Pathway, a facilitator for LGBTQ Safe Zone and serves as a forensic medical evaluator for the Arizona Asylum Network.

In the future she plans to be a physician in academic medicine working with underserved populations.