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2019 BEARLS Academe Awards for the Principles of Community

Every year Warren College honors individuals or groups who exemplify the UC San Diego Principles of Community.  The BEARLS, an Oscars-equivalent recognition program, honors five members of the Warren College community for excellence in the following five categories:

  • Rejecting Acts of Discrimination
  • Championing Freedom of Expression
  • Celebrating All cultures
  • Resolving Conflict Constructively
  • Promoting Individuality 

Humanitarian Award

Jodi Kodesh

Jodi Kodesh
Jodi’s love of nature has taken her around the world – through the ancient monkey temples of Bali, Indonesia, up the side of a smoking volcano, and even snorkeling in what is known as the most beautiful location on the planet – the aquamarine beaches off the island of Phuket, Thailand. She has danced the waltz in Paris, shopped the busy Bangkok Farmer’s Market and enjoyed bratwurst with beer in Hannover, Germany.  But, a Southern California girl at heart, Jodi admits it was actually childhood trips with her family to Seaport Village that made her want to make San Diego her home.

She graced the airwaves for 10 years, delivering the weather on NBC 7 in San Diego, and prior to that, four years on CBS 2 in Palm Springs.  Jodi was awarded the American Meteorologists Society’s coveted Seal of Approval. She received an Emmy Award for her weather coverage of President Ford’s funeral in Rancho Mirage and was nominated for a second Emmy following her work on an educational special about El Nino.
Jodi has educated countless elementary students, with weekly visits to schools across the county. It is her mission to promote girls in STEM (science, technology, engineering & math.) Jodi speaks yearly at the Fleet Science Center, during camps that highlight female scientists.  She was recently commissioned by the San Diego Unified School District to create a series of video lessons introducing kindergartners to meteorology. 

Jodi holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geosciences from Mississippi State University. She successfully completed Boston University’s Television, Film and Radio Production Program with honors, and prior to that received her Associate Degree in Communications from the College of the Desert in Rancho Mirage.

Jodi is a member of The National Weather Association, as well as The Radio & Television News Association of Southern California. She is SKYWARN certified through the National Weather Service, as a trained daily weather observer.

Alumni Award

Keita Funakawa

Keita Funakawa
Chief Operations Officer, Nanome, Inc
As a scientifically minded artist, Keita grew up in Tokyo then moved to Honolulu where he attended middle and high school. As the lead programmer for his high school robotics team, he led his team to two time (2009,2010) state championships at the East Oahu VEX robotics competitions. As an award winning filmmaker, his film Foliage: Roots of the Tree Barrel won the 2014 HIFF (Hawaii International Film Festival) student showcase and was named San Diego Surf Film Festival's Emerging Filmmaker. 

During my undergraduate career, after reading about Mt.Gox in late 2013, I found a new passion for cryptocurrencies and blockchain which made me switch my degree from Computer Science to Management Science (Quantitative Economics).

Being the Assistant Curator for the UC San Diego Film Festival, I was exposed to VR since 2014. When I first experienced Google Cardboard and the HTC Vive, I decided that I could no longer be a painter when photography just got invented, so to speak. This led me to learn as much as I could about VR. While promoting the Festival I met Steve McCloskey, who told me about his idea for NanoVR in April 2015, which we evolved into Nanome. 

Nanome is a software company that democratizes Science to accelerate innovation using Virtual Reality and Blockchain Technologies.

Special Recognition

Sgt. Britton

Sergeant Michael Britton
UC San Diego Police Department

Awarded posthumously to the family of Sgt. Britton.

Sgt. Britton’s was one of the founding members of UCSD’s Case Management Team for sexual assault and domestic violence cases. He co-developed an 8 hour training for UC San Diego police officers on how to respond to sexual assault cases and consistently encouraged collaboration between the CARE office and the UC San Diego Police Department. Sgt. Britton’s memory and the impact that he has had on our campus community continues to play pivotal role in making sure that our police officers are receiving continuous education and training about sexual assault, domestic violence, and dating violence. He was one of the strongest advocates for improving response to these issues on our campus, and this award honors his memory and lasting legacy.  

2019 Award Recipients

Rejecting Acts of Discrimination

Jonathan Echavarria

Championing Freedom of Expression

UC San Diego Dialogue Ambassadors Program, staff initiative at the Center for Student Involvement

Celebrating All Cultures

UC San Diego Language Conversation Tables, Eleanor Roosevelt College/I-House initiative

Resolving Conflict Constructively

Natania Trapp, Office of Student Conduct staff member, representing the Restorative Justice initiative

Promoting Individuality

Le (Natalyn) Pow, Sixth College student and International Studies major

2019 Photos

Photos from the 2019 Bearls can be viewed on Flickr.

For more information about the Warren College Academe Awards program or nominations, contact