2020 Sara Matthews Scholarship

The Sara Matthews Scholarship, from the estate of Sara E. Matthews, is awarded by International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS). It is granted to deserving undergraduate international students of Sophomore or Junior standing at UC Santa Cruz to help with educational costs. This year, five international students were selected to receive scholarships ranging from $1,000-$5,000. 

“This is the only scholarship that ISSS offers to international students,” Assistant Director of International Student Services, Adrienne Bergenfeld said. “Being able to offer this scholarship shows support and recognition for students who have gone above and beyond to be involved outside of academics and truly have a passion for being a part of UCSC and the internationalization of the UCSC campus.”

Sara Matthews Scholarship is only offered for spring term. Eligible students can learn more by visiting the ISSS financing and scholarships webpage.

Scholarship Recipients:


mingxie.resize.jpg

Mingxin Xie (China) – Proposed Computer Engineering

How will this scholarship help you further your education?

I am so grateful that I can be a recipient of this scholarship. It is definitely a great recognition of my hard work in the past and a significant motivation for me to study harder in the future. I will use a part of this award to attend summer sessions this summer at UC Berkeley which is going to be a different and meaningful learning experience. I believe this experience will help me to learn more and become a better student. What’s more, is that I will be able to maximize my learning period to focus on the major projects and subjects I am interested in to boost my learning skills since I don’t have to work that much to pay my living cost here. I will also put this award on my resume, it will help me to be a little bit more attractive to be selected when I am applying for a research project or any other educational program. Anyway, this scholarship is a huge encouragement to me to learn more knowledge on my educational path.

What are your plans for the future (academically or professionally)?

My current target is to find a computer science & engineering related internship. I still have to learn a lot of CSE knowledge to be qualified for an internship. I will spend most of my time studying major classes to boost my coding skill and attend summer classes which will allow me to finish my major classes and graduate earlier. I am planning to attend graduate school in the future, which is a huge step in my life. These are just small plans, my big plan is  I will study and work hard,  try to help whoever needs help on everything and share love with everybody who is around me. 


gioh sung

Gioh Sung (S. Korea) – Film and Digital Media

How will this scholarship help you further your education?

This scholarship will be a big help in relieving some stress that I’ve always had about college tuition. I’ve been working different jobs on top of pursuing my education, but due to the COVID-19 lockdown, I haven’t been able to work. This opportunity came as a really big surprise and a relief for me because I’ve been planning to graduate in 3 years due to the amount of tuition I have to pay every year as an international student. Now that I have this financial support, I can maybe hope to enjoy my college experience to the fullest, without having to shorten it to 3 years. 

What are your plans for the future (academically or professionally)? 

The more I strive to pursue my higher education, the more joy I find in the subjects I study here in UCSC. I am studying Film and Digital Media as my major and Education as my minor, which I find both really interested. Though I knew what to major and minor in from the early stages of going to the university, I wasn’t sure of what I wanted to do with what I am studying until recently. After having different internships and jobs in the fields that I’m currently studying, I think I would like to implement my knowledge of film and media production into youth development.


Jiayuan Zhu

Jiayuan Zhu (China) – Computer Science/Computer Game Design

How will this scholarship help you further your education?
This scholarship will certainly strengthen my opportunity to learn video photography and buying camera gear which I was not affordable. It can help me further my professional training and goals that I have set for myself and will, in turn, help me start a new career in media study. Also, it gives me the confidence to learn more cinematography knowledge and encourages me to study harder. Overall, this scholarship will help me accomplish my current goal, move on to the next, and eventfully become successful in cultural diffusion.

What are your plans for the future (academically or professionally)?

In the short term, one of my goals is to continue developing my cinematography skills even though I am not a Media Studies major. But I am excited about the prospect of working with teams of the film crew, sharing culture and perspective via the attractive genre: videos. I hope to develop my verbal communication and public speaking skills at the same time. In the future, I want to be a media professional, contributing to my community.


Harry Feng

Haixiao (Harry) Feng ( China) – Technology & Information Management

How will this scholarship help you further your education?

The scholarship will allow me more time to work on career planning (perfecting resume and cover letter, self-learning technical knowledge, internship application, networking, etc) by allowing me to work fewer hours; It will allow me to have quicker access to learning resources (i.e. online courses/materials) that are essential to both my academic and career success.

What are your plans for the future (academically or professionally)? 

My goal is to become a business consultant because I’m very critically-minded and I want my profession to be influential, to be “high-impact”. The field of consulting comes with many benefits (i.e. connections, experiences in different industries, more exit opportunities) but it also poses many rigors challenges (personality/habit requirements, social/leadership skills, knowledge across multiple subjects, less direct path of technical learning, sophisticated logic/critical thinking). I am grateful that UCSC provides me with a great opportunity in the TIM major (teaches me the way of thinking that a consultant needs and knowledge across different subjects) and other resources such as this scholarship. I dedicate the majority of my energy to achieving my career goals.


Raghav Lodha

Raghav Lodha (India) – Computer Science

How will this scholarship help you further your education?

This scholarship will help to remove some financial burden. So that I can save some money for my future.

What are your plans for the future (academically or professionally)?

My plan is to be an entrepreneur who uses computer science as a tool to reach people, makes a difference, and hopefully helps people through technology.

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