Callene Ross, who earns a 4.0 GPA and BA in English and Creative Writing, is the SBS Tenacity Award recipient for Spring 2022. This award recognizes a senior College of SBS graduate who has persevered in the face of significant adversity. to get their university degree.
“In an exceptional way, Callene made connections between the concepts she learned in class and the world she inhabits,” noted an award judge. “Callene exemplifies how higher education can transform a life.”
Callene earned her associate’s degree at Pima County Community College where she won second place in the “Speak Out” writing contest.
Callene was later awarded the All-Arizona Academic Team Scholarship for Merit and Voluntary Achievement and was admitted to the University of Arizona’s Competitive Honors English Program. She sought opportunities to gain experience in the industry, taking two sections of the introductory publishing course, one of which served as a pop-up editorial literary agency where she provided commentary on manuscripts and worked with established literary agents.
For Callene’s honors thesis, she worked on a supernatural genre manuscript that explores themes of consent and surviving trauma.
Callene faced significant personal challenges on the road to graduating, but she persevered.
“Callene said her classes had been her lifeline during this incredibly turbulent time and she was unwavering in her dedication to her education,” said school counselor Lauren Duley Kelly. “Calene’s grace and resilience has been incredibly inspiring.”
“I owe a debt of gratitude to the faculty and faculty advisors in the UA English Department who have worked tirelessly to see their students succeed in the midst of a pandemic,” Callene said. “Thank you for making a student’s dream come true by allowing me to work on projects that have made the difference between life and death. The diploma was a plus. »