Longtime UC Merced supporters Frederick R. and Mitzie Ruiz have established the Rose R. Ruiz Endowed Scholarship and Fellowship Fund to support highly motivated undergraduate and graduate students who face obstacles such as financial difficulties, being first- generation college students and meeting California Dream Act standards.
Rose Ruiz embodied strong work ethic, entrepreneurial spirit and belief in higher education. Thus, the Ruizes gave $262,000 in her name. The first $250,000 is an endowment to establish the fund and create a legacy of support for newly enrolling and transfer students for years to come.
The rest of the money will be given in scholarships of at least $1,000 each.
The Ruiz family hopes the fund will inspire, encourage and support students to realize their dreams, as Rose Ruiz did for her children.
Fred and Mitzie Ruiz have championed the establishment and growth of UC Merced from the beginning. Fred Ruiz also has served as a UC Regent since 2004.
The Patterson Irrigation District received a statewide engineering award for a giant screen that keeps San Joaquin River fish out of its canals.
The California chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers named it the best water project for 2012. The $13 million project involved 12-foot tall, stainless steel screening on new pumps that draw river water for use on farms.
MWH Global, based in Broomfield, Colo., designed the project and oversaw construction.
The Stanislaus Council of Governments recently recognized Gil Bostwick for his eight years of service on the agency's citizens advisory committee. He also served as the committee's Valley Vision Stanislaus Steering Committee.
Modesto Junior College student Nicholas Potts received honorable mention for the Heslett Award at the Honors Research Symposium at Stanford University earlier this month. Among the 92 student presenters, Potts was one of two who received the honorable mention. He presented his paper, "My Lai, Your Lie: An exposé of the structural dehumanization of the enemy."
Sonora resident Trish Russell received the Jean Nidetch leader of the year award during Weight Watchers' 50th year anniversary event in New York City. Russell lost 40 pounds and has kept it off for more than 20 years. She and 14 others from across the nation were honored for outstanding serv- ice to the organization. Nidetch is its founder.
Members of CareMore's Nifty After Fifty senior fitness center, who meet Monday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, have been helping the needy. Each member of "the breakfast club" kicks in $2 every time they meet, and when the pot reaches $100, they donate it to a deserving person. The facility is at 2001 McHenry Ave. in Modesto.
Four valley insurance agents received their certification in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, granted by the National Association of Health Underwriters.
They are Edward Persike, Persike Benefit Solutions, Modesto; Mark Dahlquist of Winton-Ireland Insurance Agency Inc., Turlock; Victoria Medeiros of Western Valley Insurance, Turlock; and Regan Jennings of Winton- Ireland, Strom & Green Insurance Agency Inc., Turlock.
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