UC Berkeley today announced the winner of the coveted University Medal, along with the four runners-up for the award which recognizes a graduating senior who best embodies the highest ideals of UC Berkeley. Among the runners-up is public health major Morvarid Mehdizadeh, of Pinole, Calif.
“At Berkeley, you feel empowered to shape history, rather than being passively shaped by it," Mehdizadeh told Berkeley News. Mehdizadeh continued: "Over the course of four years, you’re intellectually transformed and you become more and more eager to change the world. The empowerment that Berkeley gives you makes you believe that not only are you capable of doing so, but you have an obligation and a duty to use your education not just for individual success, but to help other people as well. You realize that success is rewarding — but even more rewarding than individual success is when your successes have a positive impact on the people around you.” After graduation, Mehdizadeh plans to continue working as a research associate in the laboratory of Jeffrey Bluestone in the Sean Parker Autoimmune Research Laboratory at UCSF.
The remaining three runners-up represent physics and economics, economics and statistics, and psychology. Freja Ekman, a chemical biology major, is this year’s winner.
Meet the University Medal runners-up