Announcing the Eugene Jarvis Recipients

06 Jan, 2022

Announcing the Eugene Jarvis Recipients

In 2015, a generous gift by game developer Eugene Jarvis established the Eugene Jarvis Media Innovation Scholarship, in support of undergraduate students learning to critically analyze and help shape developments in new media.

Recognizing that education has become increasingly expensive and that students as a result are motivated to make educational decisions based on future job prospects, Jarvis hopes to promote intellectual exploration. “The undergraduate experience is the most formative in education,” Eugene Jarvis has said. “It’s the one time in your life you have an open mind and are absorbing knowledge while trying to find your mission on earth […] College is the ultimate kickstarter. I want to give students the freedom to learn the tools that will allow them to make something of their lives.”

This year, the Jarvis Scholarship has been awarded to Ashley Mackenzie Reed and Choyang Dhontso Ponsar!

From Ashley:

The Eugene Jarvis Scholarship has been an immense support to my academic experience at UC Berkeley. As a community college transfer student in the COVID-era, my time at the university was limited. Yet I have maintained immense gratitude to study at such a prestigious school, and wanted to soak up as many academic opportunities as possible. I decided to double major in American Studies and Media Studies and earn a minor in Education. On top of this, I have also embarked on the Undergraduate Certificate of New Media.

My American Studies and Media Studies classes have been interdisciplinary. Both fields have influenced my thesis which explores how media consumption has glorified, gentrified, racialized, feminized, and commodified the Chihuahua in the early 2000s. My academic majors have provided me with a breadth of perspectives to blend theory with media use, consumption, and identity.

After my studies conclude, I aspire to blend knowledge from my media studies and education courses to pursue a career in digital pedagogy. Today, technology is ubiquitous in the lives of children. I aim partake in creating accessible media that has a positive impact on the academic and socio-emotional development of learners.

As a low-income student, I would have been unable to commit to a demanding course load, partake in a thesis, and undergo an extracurricular certification without sacrificing stress on my financial demands. I am honored to have been chosen for this scholarship and am looking forward to carrying out what I have learned about New Media into the world post-graduation. I want to thank the Berkeley Center for New Media, Eugene Jarvis, and the Ruth Johnson Scholarship Match Program for supporting my university experience!

From Choyang:

Thank you so much for awarding me with this year’s Eugene Jarvis Scholarship! It has been a huge financial help whilst I start the process of creating my senior thesis project and is such a wonderful assurance that my interest in innovative design practices is wholeheartedly supported. I am forever grateful to the Berkeley Center for New Media for providing me with my first opportunity to conduct dissertation-level research and the encouragement that I’ve been given by the staff and faculty here to enroll in graduate classes for my certificate has hands down been one of the most memorable academic experiences of my time at this university.

The Eugene Jarvis Scholarship is supported by the Ruth Johnson Scholarship Match Program, which provides a dollar for dollar match for gifts to new endowed scholarships. This match was made possible through the bequest of Ruth Johnson, who graduate with honors from UC Berkeley in 1938. She completed graduate work and obtained her teaching credential the following year. She taught French and Spanish in public high schools for 30 years. Ruth survived her husband Milton, a U.S. Army Veteran. During their marriage the Johnsons lived in a number of places in the US and Japan. Ruth was motivated to benefit undergraduate students with scholarships when she learned about the increasing difficulty many students had paying for their Berkeley education – something she treasured throughout her life.