2018 Centennial Masters Degree Awardee

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 years past, the award was presented to two students at the Master's level and two students at the Doctoral level. In 2018, 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 Master’s student was selected and awarded the Centennial Award.

Graciela Jauregui - Centennial Masters Degree Award RecipientRachelle Hornby

Rachelle Hornby was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. She holds associate degrees in both construction management and liberal arts, a Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Built Environments with a Building Emphasis, and this December she will graduate with a Master of Science in Architecture Design and Energy Conservation and a graduate certificate in heritage conservation. Throughout her years at the University of Arizona she has regularly supported her fellow classmates earning her the title of “UA Mom” by many, a title she is most proud of.

Currently, Rachelle is interning with Local First Arizona, a nonprofit that celebrates independent, locally owned businesses, where she provides support for a city-wide grant application. In addition, Rachelle has devoted a considerable amount of time volunteering with several local organizations including Habitat for Humanity, the National Association of Women in Construction and the Blue Star Mothers of America.

Rachelle’s research areas focus on establishing connections between historical preservation and sustainable energy efficient architecture, as well as passive environmental designs and advanced approaches to NetZero status. However, her research areas have expanded beyond architecture as she recently received funding for research in the design, development and construction of a bat box habitat.  

Rachelle is a recipient of several awards including Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant, a historic preservation award from the Tucson-Pima County Historical Commission, a water conservation award through the Campus Conservation Nationals, and she received a first place in the 2016 Historic American Landscapes Survey Challenge contest. Rachelle is also a member of the Tau Sigma Delta Honors Society.

Rachelle’s leadership talents have shone through her position as a graduate teaching assistant for the program chair. In addition, she has taken the lead on a multi-year international education innovation through virtual exchange. 

After graduation, Rachelle plans to work for a government agency involved in historical preservation and planning sustainable built environments, creating a better future for Tucson.

Rebecca Renteria - Centennial Masters Degree Award RecipientEmily Maass

Emily Maass is a Tucson, Arizona native and second-year Master of Public Health student specializing in Public Health Policy and Management. As part of her current role as a graduate assistant in the Dean of Students Office, she manages the Hunter White Health Advocate Program, where she evaluates health risks in the student population through a ten-week peer educational program, encouraging undergraduates to make healthy lifestyle choices. This year, Emily is piloting a semester-long credit course to train undergraduates as health educators who can use their skills to catalyze grass-roots changes in their community. Emily has served as a grant coordinator on the Social Justice Symposium Committee and currently serves as the board secretary of the Marshall Foundation, an asset-based agency that uses revenue generated from real estate to provide grants to local non-profit organizations and scholarships to Arizona students.

This past summer Emily went to Washington, D.C. to work as a Somers Aging and Long-term Care intern through the National Academy of Social Insurance. Emily conducted research at Community Catalyst on value-based payments and methods to use them to fund the social determinants of health. The Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health awarded Emily the Nichols Initiative Scholarship as recognition for her work in health policy.

Prior to acceptance in her master’s program, Emily was a high school social studies teacher and volunteered at Clinica Amistad, a volunteer-run clinic providing free healthcare to people without health insurance coverage. Her father was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis when she was in middle school. His use of prescription medication to treat his severe chronic pain resulted in a dependence on prescription opioids that adversely affected his mental health. Following his suicide in 2015, Emily experienced a profound change in her public service calling. After graduation this spring, Emily hopes to work for a federal or state health regulatory agency working to improve the health of communities.

Karl Miller Espinosa

For the past seven years, Karl Miller Espinosa, who goes by Karlito, has been painting murals that represent marginalized and overlooked peoples all around the world. Most recently these include a mural in Kiev, Ukraine representing the Crimean Tatar people's historical struggles; a series of large-scale paintings in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month for Twitter, Inc. at its New York City headquarters; and a mural for a new municipal library for the city of San Salvador in collaboration with the UN's World Food Program.

For the past two and a half years at the University of Arizona, Karlito has continued his practice as a mural painter in addition to exploring new artistic methods of communicating local issues regarding migration, death and disappearance in the Arizona borderlands. This new conceptual work is largely based on research Karlito has done while volunteering as an artist-in-residence for the Colibri Center for Human Rights, aiding them in their efforts to address issues regarding missing migrants. The resulting artwork from this research has been publicly displayed on campus at the University’s Environment and Resources 2 Building and Lionel Rombach Gallery at the College of Fine Arts, and was a selected exhibit for the 2018 Arizona Biennial at the Tucson Museum of Art.

Karlito has received numerous awards and recognition for his artwork,  including the University of Arizona School of Art’s Marcia Grand Centennial Sculpture Prize, the College of Fine Arts’ Creative Achievement Award, and as a featured artist on the BBC News 2018 Documentary Series The Art of Now.

After graduation, Karlito plans to continue the work he has begun at Arizona, working closely with different organizations dedicated to issues of human rights and social justice along the border. He is also interested in pursuing a position as a professor or artist-in-residence at an institution of higher education.