Countywide : 2 UCLA Students From O.C. Win Scholarships


Two Orange County students have been named distinguished scholars at UCLA, campus officials said Wednesday.

Pooneh Hendi of Anaheim Hills and Oliver Wright of Costa Mesa won the prestigious award.

The students are among 21 undergraduates to be recognized by the UCLA Alumni Assn. for outstanding achievement in the classroom and service to the campus and surrounding community. Undergraduate distinguished scholars must have a grade point average of 3.5 or higher.

To be considered for scholarships--which range from $500 to $2,500--students must be nominated by a professor or instructor in their department.


“This particular award is perhaps the most competitive at UCLA,” Wright said.

Peter Hayashida of the UCLA Alumni Assn. said scholarship money comes from donations and endowments.

Hendi, 24, studies linguistics and biochemistry. She is a senior who came to Orange County from Tehran, Iran, in 1991.

She said she is doing research at the UCLA Medical Center into alternatives to cardiac transplant for low-income patients and hopes to enter medical school next year to concentrate in oncology.

“I would like to make some achievements in that field, especially for women,” Hendi said.

Wright, 22, is a senior working on a degree in communications.

He has done research into how gender was discussed in the media during the 1992 U.S. Senate race in California, which involved two female victors.

Wright said he is currently researching how reporting of crime in the media differs according to the race of suspects and victims.

A member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, Wright hopes to become a Fulbright scholar and attend Harvard Law School.