Accolades: Locals win awards, earn degrees, receive honors
by TP staff
Jun 21, 2012 | 3178 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Alumnus awarded doctorate

Christopher William Petz, a 2003 graduate of Tracy High School, received his doctorate in material science and engineering May 20

at University of Virginia, Charlottesville.

Petz has accepted a research position at Micron Technology in Boise, Idaho. He earned his bachelor’s degree from University of Washington in 2007.

The graduation ceremony in May was attended by his parents, Charles and Polly Petz; grandparents, Leroy and Glenna Sue Petz; brother, Matthew Petz; sisters, Katrina and Anna Petz; and aunt Sharon Petz.

West graduate earns master’s

Matthew Collins, a member of West High School’s Class of 2003, recently earned a Master of Science degree in counseling psychology from California State University, Long Beach. He works as a behavior therapist and family counselor with Autism Interventions & Resources in Orange County.

Collins graduated magna cum laude from California State University, Stanislaus, in 2009.

He is the son of Tom and Jan Collins of Tracy.

Local man graduates with honors

Tracy High School alumnus Khrystopher Lawson graduated magna cum laude from St. John’s University in New York City on May 13. He earned a degree in mass communications with an emphasis in sound engineering and a minor in business administration.

Lawson, the homecoming king of Tracy High’s Class of 2008, performed in hip-hop shows throughout New York, California and Nevada while a student at the university. He and two college friends also launched a clothing company, Mint Kondition LLC.

His parents are Darrell and Rochele Lawson of Tracy, and his sister, Lauryn Lawson, is a student at California State University, Northridge, in Los Angeles.

Tracy High graduate earns computer science degree

Evan Goad, Tracy High School Class of 2008, received a bachelor’s degree in computer science last weekend from the University of California, Santa Barbara, School of Engineering.

He will work as a software engineer for Procore Technologies Inc. in Santa Barbara.

Scholarship winner honored at state Capitol

Upinderpreet Gill, who graduated from Tracy High School on June 2, was among eight San Joaquin County students invited to the state Capitol on June 14 for a salute to education sponsored by Comcast.

Gill won $1,000 from the Leaders and Achievers Scholarship Program in recognition of her community service work and academic success. She is among 180 students who received the scholarship in 2012.

In addition, Gill received scholarships from Tracy Rotary Club, Soroptimist International, Tracy School Management Association and Health Plan of San Joaquin.

Writer wins national recognition

Ashna Thaker of Tracy was judged among the top student writers in the annual Achievement Awards in Writing sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of English.

Thaker, an International Baccalaureate diploma candidate, will begin her senior year at Tracy High School in the fall. She was nominated to take part in the competition by teacher Lisetta Wallace and the Tracy High English department.

She is the daughter of Ketan and Deval Thaker of Tracy.

Among 1,107 nominees, 274 students received certificates in recognition of outstanding writing.

• If you have news for Accolades, send it to or P.O. Box 419, Tracy 95378-0419.
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