History major Hannah Stitt awarded Siobhan O'Neill Memorial Scholarship

March 10, 2021


Hannah Stitt, Class of 2021

The History department is thrilled to announce the winner of the annual Siobhan O’Neill Memorial Scholarship: Hannah Stitt.

The scholarship was established in 2019 by Pat O'Neill (Rachel Carson College '74, Philosophy), in memory of her sister Siobhan O'Neill. After studying history at UCSC, Siobhan was offered a job at the City of Santa Cruz, and city government became her career. She was also a devotee of Santa Cruz area artists. In tribute to her life and interests, the scholarship supports history majors with interests in art or government. O’Neill’s family hopes that each person who is granted this scholarship is inspired and can imagine and create the life they have envisioned.

Hannah Stitt is a Senior who is double majoring in History and Education, Democracy and Justice. After graduating from UCSC, she plans to pursue a K-12 teaching credential and a Masters in Education. “My love for history is part of what spurred my desire to become an educator,” Stitt explains. “I want to help students develop a critical lens through which to view the world, ideally in less time than it took me to develop my own. In a time when students have access to more information than ever before, it is imperative that they know how to evaluate sources and detect biases.”

Stitt’s interests and goals exemplify the purpose of the O’Neill Scholarship. In her own words, “I plan to become an elementary school teacher, and education is a field that is intimately tied with government. Educational policy passed through government has the potential to expand and amplify the work we do as educators, or the potential to limit and diminish the power of our classrooms as transformative spaces. With this in mind, I believe that both education and government are at their best when their goals and visions are aligned.”

Congratulations to Hannah on her many accomplishments! The History department wishes her nothing but the best in her future endeavors beyond UCSC.