John Zwart's Dizikes Student Scholarship Award Speech

June 06, 2013

Below is John Zwart's (2013 Dizikes Faculty Teaching Award Student Scholarship recipient) acceptance speech:

Three weeks ago, I received an e-mail from Professor Farkas that was simply entitled “great news”. When I saw the message in my Inbox, I was honestly unsure of exactly what news Professor Farkas wanted to share with me, but I assumed that it had something to do with the independent study that I am currently taking with her. Upon opening the e-mail, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Professor Farkas was not contacting me about my independent study, but rather that she was informing me that she had won the Dizikes Faculty Award. As I continued to read through the e-mail, I was even more surprised to find that Professor Farkas had selected me to be the recipient of the Student Scholarship. Admittedly, the first emotion that I felt was that of disbelief since, in my opinion, things like this rarely happen to me. However, after the initial shock wore off, I felt honored to have been selected by Professor Farkas, let alone to have even been considered by her, because of how she has helped me and many other students.

             I have taken a number of classes with Professor Farkas now, and in every course that I have taken with her, I have excelled, learning a great deal both as a student as well as an individual. This has been possible thanks to Professor Farkas’ incredible teaching style, as well as her encouragement and patience. While the information that Professor Farkas teaches is often very challenging, Professor Farkas’ lessons are accessible to students due to the fact that she explains things as clearly as she possibly can, and is always willing to assist anyone who might still need additional help. Whenever a student gets stuck on a problem, Professor Farkas gladly pushes them in the right direction, something that she has done for me many times, especially during this past quarter. Additionally, Professor Farkas motivates students into making their work the best that they possibly can, helping me to expand a short semantics squib into a much more substantial writing—one that I am personally very proud of and know would not be possible without her guidance.

Both this honor and Professor Farkas’ recognition mean many things to me. Throughout my college experience, I have always worked as hard as possible, in both my classes, as well as at my job at Physical Planning and Construction as a Student Archivist. As such, this award encourages me to continue putting in as much effort as I possibly can. Additionally, like so many other students, I am unsure of what life after college has in store for me, but this honor reminds me that opportunities will always present themselves. But most of all, this award reminds me of how much I have learned and grown during my time here at UC Santa Cruz. When I first began my college experience, I never would have imagined that I would be standing here today, or that tomorrow I would also be speaking at the Linguistics Undergraduate Research Conference. So I can say without the slightest bit of hesitation that I am truly grateful to be receiving this honor, and to have been the recipient of Professor Farkas’ “great news”.