UCSB’s Jeremy D. Friedman Memorial Award is presented annually to one graduating senior who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and superior scholarship, and who has—in a particularly innovative and creative way—contributed significantly to the quality of undergraduate life on campus (source), and Geography major Seth Gorelik certainly qualifies in every respect.
According to a recent announcement by the UCSB Office of Public Affairs, “Three remarkable graduating seniors at UC Santa Barbara have been named winners of the university's top awards for their scholastic achievement, their extraordinary service to the university and the community, and their personal courage and persistence...Seth R. Gorelik, recipient of the Friedman award, is graduating with a degree in geography. Describing him as "a rock star of a worker" and "a poster child for the kind of student we want," Gorelik's nominator credits him with increasing the visibility of geography and of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) on campus.
Gorelik's commitment to excellence in geography is evident in his academic achievement as well as his extracurricular involvement. While at UCSB, he worked as a student intern for the geography department's VIPER Lab, and as a research assistant for the Earth Research Institute, in addition to concurrent responsibilities as a grader for the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Santa Barbara City College. He participated as a volunteer at the Association of American Geographers 2012 Annual Meeting, and as an assistant at the 2011 Esri International User Conference.
Gorelik's most impressive achievement, according to his nominator, has emerged through his work as a student assistant in the Map and Imagery Lab at UCSB's Davidson Library. With superior technical skills and rare initiative, he led the integration of a new set of important GIS technologies into the daily work of the library. He also helped the library create digital data from a wealth of older analog materials in aerial photography, allowing for more seamless, fast, and remote access to map information.
In addition to his contributions at UCSB, Gorelik has worked as a data entry volunteer for the Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens Blakesly Library Digital Image Database Project, and a student intern for the South Bay Cable Fisheries Liaison Committee. He also served as a volunteer after-school counselor with the Wilderness Youth Projects; as a camp counselor with Camp Okizu, a summer program for children battling cancer; and as a math and reading tutor for Transition House on Wheels, where he tutored an 11-year-old homeless child.
After graduation, Gorelik will begin an internship with NASA's DEVELOP program at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, where he will work with other students and professionals on an earth science research project using remote sensing techniques.”
Editor's note: Many thanks to undergrad Felicia Bill for bringing this material to our attention.