Barbara Hammerman Memorial Scholarship
Honoring Our Public Servants, Past and Present
Recipients of the School of Management’s Lt. Barbara Hammerman Memorial Scholarship shared their thoughts on Lt. Hammerman’s legacy and what being a public servant means to them.
The Lt. Barbara Hammerman Memorial Scholarship honors the inspirational Lt. Hammerman ’02, a USF Law Enforcement Leadership alumna, an officer for the San Mateo Police Department, and a loyal advocate of women’s rights who truly exemplified strength as the first female officer to join the San Mateo PD’s motorcycle unit. She was an innovative, brave, and exceptional leader in the community; she was San Mateo PD’s first openly gay officer, as well as the first in all of San Mateo to be honored with the distinguished Narcotics Officer of the Year award. Through her work, she was able to inform as well as protect her community, and truly demonstrate what it means to be a deeply devoted public servant.
Director of USF’s International Institute of Criminal Justice Leadership and assistant professor Anthony Ribera emphasized how impressive and positive Lt. Hammerman, his former student, was. “She was a leader in the cohort, she was a brilliant student, [and] she brought energy to the class every night,” he said. For Ribera, the scholarship reminds him of Lt. Hammerman’s legacy, “positive leadership in law enforcement and in the public sector,” he said. “Positive leadership of serving others, and serving others with a smile on your face, that’s what Barbara did.”
In 2006, at the age of 47, Lt. Hammerman passed away due to brain cancer. However, her spirit and inspirational work are remembered and cherished by the USF community--and paid forward through a USF scholarship that bears her name.
Hammerman Scholarship awardee Jordyn Aquino MPA ’18 said she was inspired “to work harder and be fearless” after learning about Lt. Hammerman’s professional and academic careers. “Barbara fought courageously for women’s rights and became a pioneer when it came to women in the workplace advancement,” said Aquino, “Through this scholarship, I dream of breaking the glass ceiling for myself and other women.”
Aquino is a business analyst for San Francisco Public Works. After completing her undergraduate degree, she began work with the City and County of San Francisco where she “focused on ways to improve government services through new forms of technology.” Additionally, she is an appointed member of the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Advisory Committee where she supports the “urban parks and open spaces” of San Francisco. “These roles couldn’t be any more different; however, both opportunities have influenced my passion for public service and the importance of voicing the needs and concerns of others,” she said.
Looking forward she said “I’d like to serve as a leader in my organization and community in different capacities. I hope to nurture positive impact in new roles and continue to stay motivated when it comes to learning and challenging myself.” In the upcoming academic year, Aquino will serve as President of the Graduate Student Senate.
“As a current University of San Francisco graduate student, I am constantly learning about new styles and values of leadership. I am lucky to be a part of such a supportive and caring cohort, as they are also my teachers every day,” she said. “Because of USF’s MPA program, I am confident to serve as a leader in my community alongside my peers.”
Ruel Espinosa MPA ’18 said “Receiving the scholarship has shown me that what you do for others can often transcend the boundaries of time and geography better than doing something for yourself. I owe it to Lt. Hammerman to make the most of my education to serve my community and those around me.” He gives his thanks to assistant professor Ribera, the School of Management for making him aware of the scholarship opportunity, Lt. Hammerman’s work and inspiration, and those that contribute to the memorial scholarship. “Thank you for your service!” said Espinosa.
“Being a public servant is important to me because it allows me to stay connected with the community I serve and also share that passion with other public servants who feel the same,” he said. Espinosa explained he previously served in the U.S. Air Force for six years as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician and between the years 2007 and 2010, completed three tours to Afghanistan. “The main take away from my time in the military is that service is a gift, many gifts actually. The gift of perspective, the gift of opportunity, and the gift of self sacrifice. I served with many of the most honorable men and women from different backgrounds and walks of life, and we all figured out how to come together and accomplish greater things than we could have ever accomplished alone,” said Espinosa.
Alexandra Betancourt de Almeida Lop MPA ’18 expressed how honored she felt to receive the scholarship award--as it has a direct connection to public service and law enforcement, which are of high importance to her. She said the most valuable thing she has learned from her time at USF has been “how supportive the USF community is,” explaining how she has witnessed this support through her cohort and professors.
“In my experience at USF I have learned the value of leadership and how effective leadership can pave the way for change and unimaginable success,” she said. “Most importantly how leadership is not the work of just one individual. It's the work of many people and/or organizations working collaboratively and expressing core values, beliefs, and passions in combination with courage and determination.”
Betancourt de Almeida Lop currently works for the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office. She said the scholarship has inspired her to strive towards professional goals as well as maintain her connection with the community and public safety. She explained that she plans to continue her efforts in public service, and in the future, hopefully work in an executive management position. “Public service is important to me because I enjoy having a positive impact with the community I live and work in and also feeling connected to my community I am serving.”
By Lonny Wysard