2017 Centennial Achievement Undergraduate Awards

In December 1984, the University of Arizona Division of Student Affairs created the Centennial Achievement Award to be presented annually. This award is given to two seniors graduating during the current academic year.

Hassan Farah - Centennial Undergraduate Award RecipientHassan-Galaydh Mohamud Farah

Hassan Farah is a Tucson native and a first-generation Somali immigrant who will be graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Health Science, Physiology from the College of Medicine.

As an African American, Muslim, immigrant student, and community member growing up in post-911 America, Hassan’s childhood was marked by an awareness of the negative stereotypes attached to his identity, and the realization that a small number of people shared his specific heritage and experience. Fortunately, interactions with a wide, far-flung family, a diverse group of friends and many volunteer experiences shaped Hassan’s value for authentic community service, group interaction, and inclusive leadership as a way to navigate the world. The struggle to find community continued into Hassan’s college career. With time, he learned that the desire to find a home on campus is a sentiment shared by many students, and his growing leadership activities focused on helping marginalized, low income, and first-generation students discover there is a place for them at the University of Arizona.

From 2014 to 2017, Hassan has served as a preceptor, researcher, resident assistant, peer mentor, club president, student representative, volunteer coordinator and organizer on campus. As an Arizona Science, Engineering and Math Scholar, Hassan has mentored low income, first generation STEM students. As a UA Black Alumni Scholar, he's participated in community service and on campus events, and as a Minority Health Disparities-Undergraduate Research Opportunity Consortium scholar he's presented his research at local and national conferences. He served as president of the Elgie M. Batteau Honors Society and the Black Student Union; creating new ways to engage and retain black students across campus. More recently, as part of the Marginalized Students of the University of Arizona, Hassan worked with students and administrators to secure $600,000 in permanent funding to the Cultural and Resource Centers - a major step towards creating a campus climate that supports and empowers all University students regardless of identity.

As a Western Alliance to Expand Student Opportunities scholar, Hassan has received federal funding for his research on Developmental Nicotine Exposure and its impact on the neurorespiratory system. He will continue his research and studies, and pursue doctorate degrees in both Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science.

Moira Hamilton - Centennial Undergraduate Award RecipientMoira A. Hamilton

Moira Hamilton will graduate from the Honors College with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art and a Bachelor of Arts in Latin American Studies. She is an All-Arizona Academic Team Scholar and Trico Cooperative Scholar. Moira has been honored with scholarships from the Daugherty Foundation, Laura and Arch Brown Foundation, and has received the Golden Key International Honor Society Outstanding Leader award. Born in Scotland, Moira lived the majority of her teen years in Phoenix, Arizona.

Education and community service is the passion that drives Moira. As a foster mother for the State of Arizona, Moira adopted three children with complex medical conditions. Caring for her children has provided Moira insight into the importance of education and the necessity of providing students the tools to achieve their dreams.  She believes nurturing our youth brightens their future as well as ours.

Acting on this knowledge, Moira founded the non-profit ¡Servicio! whose goal is to aid and inspire local youth to set their sights on a college education. Through her internship with the Spanish and Portuguese Department, Moira has run the foundation for the past two years. Currently there are 15 teens that attend a college bound prep class and participate in Moira’s We Read Literacy Program, which works to teach people of all ages to read. Their volunteer participation fosters the importance of service while increasing their public speaking skills. In addition to her non-profits, Moira serves as president of UA’s Golden Key International Honors Society, which organizes campus professional development seminars.

Moira is involved with her fellow students and community members as well. She can often be spotted on campus helping students with scholarship applications, personal statements, and promoting the advantages of graduate studies. When not busy at home or school, Moira can be found painting. Her artwork has received recognition in the Tucson community. Profits from sales helps fund her youth programs.

After graduation, Moira plans to pursue her PhD in Educational Excellence and Leadership. Moira aspires to work with government agencies to change and enhance our educational system, making educational opportunities equitable across the nation. Moreover, Moira intends to continue communicating the importance of a college education to the next generation.

Moira’s motto: “Be the reason someone smiles today!”