2018 Award: Commitment to Service Award
Hometown: Pico Rivera, CA
Extracurricular activities: Campus Kids, Connections, Walking School Bus, SIL Intern Club Liaison, Men's Rugby, Knights of Gonzaga, cultural clubs, Loyola HS Alumni Spokane Chapter Leader, etc.
About the awards
The faculty of the Psychology department is honored to present an award for service to Gerald Angelo Deocariza. Gerald has worked tirelessly, and with great compassion, to serve both elementary and middle school-aged children in the greater Spokane community through many programs, including Campus Kids, Connections, and the Walking School Bus. Following graduation, Gerald will continue his commitment to service by serving as a City Year-AmeriCorps member working with elementary students in the Los Angeles area for the 2018-2019 school year. Gerald understands the complexity of children’s development and is committed to their well-being.
More about Gerald
After graduation, I will serve as a City Year-AmeriCorps member, working with elementary students in the Los Angeles area for the 2018-2019 school year. Afterwards, I hope to continue my academic studies and pursue a graduate degree in Occupational Therapy, wherever that may be. Following graduate school, I aspire to be a pediatric Occupational Therapist working in a diverse community and promoting a holistic approach within my practice. I'd love to stay and work on the West Coast, but wherever I go, my goal is to get involved in the community, immersing myself in many different cultures (both food and lifestyles) while also sharing my knowledge and privileges within the community.
How has your major contributed to your professional or personal development?
My Psychology major has influenced both my professional and personal development, providing me with a vast amount of academic knowledge that can later be applied in my profession as well as teaching me an abundance of social skills I've learned to model in my personal behavior and interactions.
Psychology classes have taught me different explanations as to how and why an individual may behave when engaging in social interactions. In my Lifespan Development, Child Psychology, and Abnormal Child Psychology, I've learned that multiple factors can influence a person's development, whether it be genetic disorders or environmental disparities. For example, a person may experience different milestones in which that individual develops a deeper understanding of social order and community belonging, due to influences from parents, peers, and other socioeconomic contexts.
Personally, in my Psychology of Social Relationships and Health class, I've learned that different components within relationships can determine an individual's health and well-being, whether positively or negatively. For instance, the effects of self-disclosure and social support can leave a monumental impact, either empowering an individual or reducing that individual's self-worth. Additionally, many of my professors were not only captivating and passionate in the course topics they taught, but they were also understanding and caring of a student's well-being, both in and outside of the classroom.
Shout out to the following Psychology professors and faculty who's made a significant impact in my professional education and in my personal lifestyle: Dr. Anna Marie Medina, Dr. Sarah Arpin, Dr. Gary Thorne, Dr. Nancy Worsham, and Ms. Jean Pugh. Special shout out to Dr. Emily Crawford for not only being the first to recognize my academic struggles and proactively engage in my studies, but also for being an incredibly passionate mentor throughout our time together. Thank you to each of you, my mentors in the academic world, for your unwavering presence and consistent support during my education.
What has been your proudest or most significant accomplishment during your Gonzaga career?
From my Gonzaga career, I am most proud of my vast social network, filled with inspirational individuals with dedicated work ethics and unwavering commitment to their passions. Whether it be the professors I've had, the faculty members I've worked for, the peers I've studied with, or the close family and friends I've looked up to, I thank each and every one of them for their generous support and inspirational presence, as they've stood by my side since the beginning. Without this social network, who knows where I'd be today? I am forever grateful and honored for the incredible opportunities to have all of them as my role models and as my inspirations to keep on going.