Redwood City Student Honored as Top Graduate by UC Davis

Redwood City Student Honored as Top Graduate by UC Davis

Brooke Morey from Redwood City is being honored as a top graduating senior and will receive the University Medal from the University of California, Davis. This award recognizes her excellent undergraduate studies, outstanding community service, and future promise in scholarship and societal contributions.

Beth E. Levy, an associate professor of music, praised Morey on behalf of the College of Letters and Science honors committee. Levy said, “In her scholarly achievements, ethical outlook, and personal story, she truly represents the best of UC Davis undergraduates. She is a stellar student, ambitious researcher, and empathetic community member.”

Morey will receive this award along with her bachelor’s degree in anthropology at Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center on June 14.

During her time at UC Davis, Morey became fluent in Arabic and studied human rights, including cultural heritage. She also conducted, presented, and published scientific research.

Morey aims to become a professor and hopes to change Egyptology from a colonial discipline to one that protects cultural heritage. She said, “I want to push the culture forward and transform Egyptology into a modern, just, and human rights-oriented field. It’s important to value not just a country’s past but also its current people and culture.”

To pursue this goal, Morey worked as director of special projects for the Interdepartmental Program in Human Rights Studies. She conducted research and interviews to help establish a UNESCO chair in human rights and the humanities at UC Davis. She also helped draft a human rights curriculum being taught in public schools in the Fresno area through the California History-Social Science Project.

Morey said, “I didn’t think that at age 22 I could write a curriculum and meet with UNESCO officials to advance human rights. It’s been very interesting and very fulfilling.”

She was inspired to become an Egyptologist at age 8 after reading the Magic Tree House book “Mummies in the Morning.” She said, “I was just hooked. Every decision I’ve made about my academic career has been with that in mind.”

Morey’s research has been supported by several awards, including the Hanson Family Undergraduate Research Publication Award, the Provost’s Undergraduate Fellowship, an Undergraduate Research Center Travel Award, and the Sacramento Archeological Society.

She gained field experience interning for three summers at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose, working as a student assistant at the Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Sherm Museum of Art at UC Davis from 2021-22, and studying fantasy literature at Oxford University in the summer of 2022.

Morey was also active in extracurricular activities, serving as team captain of the Women’s Club Volleyball team for two seasons, vice president in 2023, and alumni coordinator. She has also been involved with Students for Justice in Palestine for over a year.

In August, Morey will continue her studies at Indiana University Bloomington in a two-year master’s program in Egyptology and will also study Arabic. She will receive coverage for her tuition and $20,000 in annual support from the U.S. Department of Education’s Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship Program.

Next summer, Morey will travel to Egypt for her first fieldwork in archaeology in the Valley of the Kings, the burial site of many pharaohs.