Nicole Orefice

2015 Harold R. Mortenson Endowed Scholarship Fund Award Recipient

Biography: Nicole is a senior at UCLA pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Business Economics. At UCLA, Nicole has had the opportunity to gain work and volunteer experience in organizations such as the Alumni Scholars Club, VITA at UCLA, UCLA Student Media and UCLA Athletics. Nicole is currently an Integrated Sales Marketing Intern at KNBC, one of NBCUniversal’s Owned Television Stations. Nicole is a Los Angeles native, and aside from her studies, enjoys hanging out with friends, attending sports games, and DIY-ing many Pinterest projects.

Future Plans: Nicole’s interest in marketing ensues from her coursework at UCLA and has significantly enhanced due to her internship and work experience at the Daily Bruin and KNBC. Upon graduation in Spring of 2016, Nicole aspires to develop a career in marketing in the entertainment industry. Ultimately, she hopes to start her own business.

What does the scholarship mean to me?: I cannot be more thankful and honored to be selected as the Harold R. Mortenson Endowed Scholarship Fund Award recipient for the 2015-16 academic year. This scholarship will grant me the opportunity to focus more on school and post-graduation, therefore allowing me to better enjoy my senior year. I am extremely grateful for Mr. Mortenson’s generosity, and am proud to represent him and the UCLA Economics Department. I hope to one day be able to give back to my fellow Bruins, as the contributions from alumni and donors are invaluable.

Gregory-Joseph Lasala

2015 Harold R. Mortenson Endowed Scholarship Fund Award Recipient

Biography: Gregory-Joseph (Joe) Lasala is a Senior Business Economics student with a Minor in Accounting. While at UCLA, he has found his passion for accounting. He is determined to obtain his CPA within the next year after graduating. During his free time, he enjoys playing basketball, reading books, and participating in community outreach volunteer opportunities.

Future Plans: After graduating in Spring 2016, Joe plans to work at Deloitte in its Audit practice and take the CPA exam. In the future, he is also interested in pursuing a MBA and working as a financial controller.

What does the scholarship mean to me?: I cannot put into words how thankful I am to be selected as the recipient of the Harold R. Mortenson Endowed Scholarship Fund Award. This award greatly reduces the financial burden I have experienced over the last few years at college and encourages me to continue working as hard as I can to pay it forward someday. I am extremely motivated to ensure that I make the most out of the opportunity of being a UCLA student and that this award will help me for the rest of my Senior year. I want to reiterate that I am extremely grateful for this scholarship and will do my best to pay it forward.

Miguel Shawn Diaz

2016 Harold R. Mortenson Endowed Scholarship Fund Award Recipient

Biography: Shawn Diaz is a sophomore at UCLA from Richmond, California. He is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Business Economics with a minor in Environmental Systems and Society. During his time at UCLA, Shawn has had the privilege of being involved with UCLA Rally Committee, Residential Life, and the UCLA Volunteer Center. In addition to his volunteer work, Shawn is currently a social media and marketing intern with the UCLA Volunteer Center. He enjoys sharing his Bruin pride at sporting events, exploring local hiking trails, and going to the beach.

Future Plans: Shawn has developed an interest in marketing; largely resulting from his internship experience with the Volunteer Center. He hopes that through this internship, he will gain the technical skills to turn his passions for social justice and environmental sustainability into assets for future professional endeavors. Shawn is ambitiously seeking new opportunities to gain experience and further discover his career interests. After graduating from UCLA, Shawn is looking to pursue work in the marketing sector before possibly returning to academia in pursuit of an MBA. He would like to acquire a profession that uses marketing platforms to advance the agenda of businesses that support the causes that fuel his drive.

What does the scholarship mean to me?: It is an honor to have been selected as the 2016-2017 recipient of the Harold R. Mortenson Endowed Scholarship Award. I would like to personally thank Mr. Mortenson, the selection committee, and the Department of Economics for making this investment in my education. My family and I are grateful for your contribution to my education. Receiving this scholarship has eased the financial burden of higher education. I will be able to worry less about finances and more about pursuing my career goals. I look forward to applying my ambition and using this opportunity to further better myself through my academic endeavors. Again, thank you for your continued support through this process. I feel truly blessed.