La Jolla students making their marks

Gabriel Ruiz is recognized during commencement at Mesa College. Photo: Courtesy
Gabriel Ruiz is recognized during commencement at Mesa College. Photo: Courtesy

Here’s a collection of news about La Jolla students.

• Alexander Sammon, a 2011 Bishop’s School graduate, is one of more than 2,900 — and the only from a La Jolla school — to win a National Merit Scholarship financed by U.S. colleges and universities.

He plans to attend USC and say his probable career field is environmental engineering.

Officials of each sponsor college selected their scholarship winners from among finalists in the 2011 National Merit Scholarship Program who plan to attend their institution. The awards provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution financing the scholarship. Another group of scholars will be announced in July.

• Gabriel Ruiz, 17, of La Jolla, was the youngest graduate of San Diego Mesa College’s Class of 2011. Gabriel was among the nearly 350 students who participated in the ceremony on May 14, at the Jenny Pavilion at USD.

The son of Abril Ruiz and Mark Speros, he graduated with high honors and received an associate degree in math. He is Gabriel began classes at Mesa after completing high school by homeschooling himself through Eagles Peak Charter School in Vista. He has been accepted to UCSD's Jacobs School of Engineering and will begin studies in computer science this fall.

The oldest graduate was 72-year-old John Gary Rinaldo, who received an associate degree in the social sciences with honors.

• Megan E. Easter, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. David T. Easter, received her bachelor arts degree in economics from Washington College on May 22.

The independent college of liberal arts and sciences, located in historic Chestertown on Maryland's Eastern Shore, held its 228th commencement ceremonies. It was founded in 1782 under the patronage of George Washington and is the first college chartered in the new nation.

• Damien Vanderburg of La Jolla graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University on May 14. He earned a master of science in Biology.

• Derek Duplessie graduated on May 21 from St. John's College.

His senior essay was entitled “Refuting Shadows With No One To Answer: Socrates' Dialogue with Aristophanes in Plato's Apology.”

• Wagner College named Julia Karis of La Jolla to the Spring 2011 Dean’s List, which requires a 3.5 GPA or more for the semester. Wagner College is located on Staten Island in New York City.

• Preuss School UCSD’s Fatima Haghi-Mohamed was one of two students receiving $1,000 scholarships from the San Diego County Citizens' Scholarship Foundation. The scholarships are for local students to attend accredited colleges and universities in San Diego County.

Student who will be seniors in 2011-12 are encouraged to review the foundation's website,

, for information about next year's application cycle.



Be relevant, respectful, honest, discreet and responsible. Commenting Rules