2023-2024 M. Garren Tinney Travel Award Recipients Announced

The UCSB Writing Program in the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) is proud to announce the inaugural 2023-2024 M. Garren Tinney Travel Award Recipients: Ava Moreci ‘25 (College of Creative Studies Writing & Literature) and Jackie Jauregui ‘25 (College of Letters & Science Spanish).  In addition, Elora Shaw ’25 (College of Letters & Science Psychological and Brain Sciences, Biological Anthropology) received an Honorable Mention. Thanks to the M. Garren Tinney Memorial Fund, talented students each year receive an award to support travel related to their writing.  

In loving memory of UCSB alumnus Michael “Garren” Tinney’s life and experiences, Donna “Dee Dee” Tinney—Garren’s mother—established the M. Garren Tinney Memorial Fund at UCSB in June 2023 to honor the memory of her son and his interest in and passion for writing.  The Fund provides numerous opportunities, now and into the future, for UCSB undergraduate students committed to writing and who have an interest in pursuing writing-related careers.  In addition to the M. Garren Tinney Travel Awards, the fund supports the M. Garren Tinney Writing Fellows (which were announced earlier this year) and three separate M. Garren Tinney Writing Awards. Each of the Tinney Writing Awards are managed, respectively, by the Writing Program, UCSB Department of English, and the Writing & Literature program at the College of Creative Studies. 

The M. Garren Tinney Travel Awards recipients were selected by a committee of Writing Program faculty from a pool of strong applicants, each with interesting travel plans.  According to the M. Garren Tinney Memorial Fund Committee Chair Robert Krut, “Like we found when reading the fellowship applications earlier this year, our students are both incredibly talented and engaged in the writing world at large.  These travel proposals represented a wide variety of interests, opportunities, and perhaps most importantly, passion for writing.”

Each of the award winners will use their travel award in the coming months.  This June, Jackie Jauregui will participate in ieiMedia's Berlin Project, a three-week journalism intensive program in Berlin, Germany led by professionals with storied careers.  Also in June, Ava Moreci will attend the annual Puget Sound Bird Festival in Edmonds, Washington that attracts scholars, writers, and communities of birdwatchers, allowing for writing and research development in the areas of birds, nature writing, and climate change.

M. “Garren” Tinney came from Oklahoma City to UCSB as an English major and continued his studies at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Garren passed away on December 7, 2019. Garren valued free speech, education, and above all else, using the written word as a means to communicate the many insights he garnered over 41 years as a survivor of grief and student of the human condition. Over the course of his short life, Garren prided himself on his multifaceted occupational pursuits. He worked in politics in Washington, D.C., entertainment in Los Angeles, journalism and public relations in Manhattan, New York, and finally achieved his lifelong dream of becoming a writer in Pasadena, California, completing dozens of short stories, novellas, and novels.