Funerals, Memorials for Students Announced

photo: woman with hand on chin
Angelina Malfitano

The campus community on Wednsday, June 7, will host a celebration of the life of Angelina Rose Malfitano, a 22-year-old senior who died in a May 30 automobile accident.

The celebration will begin at noon at the UC Davis Activities and Recreation Center ballroom. A reception and refreshments will follow. Those who attend the celebration are being asked to wear a solid color of the rainbow (red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple) to create a vibrancy of colors in the room, like Ms. Malfitano did when she entered a room. Participants are invited to bring a flower to place by her picture.

Wednesday's celebration follows services held in Antioch on Monday and Tuesday for Ms. Malfitano.

The Angelina Rose Malfitano Memorial Scholarship Fund has been established to honor young people who personify the values and goals for which Ms. Malfitano found such enthusiasm. Those who wish can send their contributions to The Angelina Rose Malfitano Memorial Scholarship Fund, care of Percy D. McGee, Jr. at Merrill Lynch, 1111 Broadway, 22nd Floor, Oakland, CA 94607, (510) 280-3800.

Ms. Malfitano was one of two UC Davis students who died on May 30 in separate, unrelated automobile accidents. The other student was Aparna Gupta of Fremont.

Funeral services for Ms. Gupta were held the morning of June 2 in Fremont, and they were followed that evening by a memorial service on campus hosted by Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed service fraternity. Ms. Gupta, a 21-year-old senior psychology major, was an active member of the group dedicated to campus and community service.

Chancellor Larry Vanderhoef said, "It is heartbreaking to lose any member of our campus family but especially so when they are as young as Angelina and Aparna, and have such full lives ahead of them. I wish their families and friends comfort and strength as they cope with these tragic losses."

Campus officials announced that counselors from Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) would be available to students interested in group counseling or private, one-on-one counseling sessions. They are urged to contact CAPS directly, at (530) 752-0871.

At the same time, campus staff and faculty seeking counseling assistance are urged to contact the Academic & Staff Assistance Program, at (530) 752-2727.

Authorities reported that Ms. Malfitano was killed the morning of May 30 when her 2000 Volkswagen Golf collided with a Ford pickup towing a loaded horse trailer on state Highway 12 near Rio Vista. The California Highway Patrol said Ms. Malfitano lost control of her vehicle, colliding with the pickup truck. The CHP further commented that the pickup driver tried to swerve out of the way but could not avoid Ms. Malfitano's car, fatally injuring her. Ms. Malfitano was the only occupant of the vehicle.

Ms. Malfitano, a political science and women's studies major scheduled to graduate on June 17, was one of two student assistants to the chancellor. On the night of May 30, she would have been presented with a Chancellor's Award of Merit at a campus ceremony honoring students. In addition to her work in the chancellor's office, Ms. Malfitano was active on campus in a wide range of activities: she was a Unitrans bus driver, a drummer in the Cal Aggie Marching Band-uh, a community intern for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Resource Center, chair of the ASUCD Gender & Sexuality Commission and a presenter at the recent undergraduate research conference.

"I am sad beyond words at the news of Angelina's death," Vanderhoef said. "She brought such passion and warmth and extraordinary ability to her role as student assistant to the chancellor. Angelina inspired me -- and countless others, I'm sure -- to always see the opportunity in every moment and to energetically seek ways to make a positive, personal impact. For that -- and for her -- I'm immensely grateful."

In an accident earlier Tuesday, Ms. Gupta was killed on I-80, just east of Mace Boulevard, after she was ejected from a vehicle that went off the roadway and hit a fence and a tree.

Driver Prabhjit Kaur Moundi, 21, was taken to the UC Davis Medical Center with lacerations to her head. Another passenger, 20-year-old Roma Dave, did not report any injuries, but was taken to the medical center for evaluation.

The CHP said the vehicle was traveling between 70 and 75 mph at the time of the accident and on-scene tests showed Moundi had not been drinking.

Ms. Gupta also was expected to graduate later this month. In addition to her involvement with the Alpha Phi Omega co-ed service fraternity, Ms. Gupta had an internship at the UC Davis Medical Center, was active in the South Asian community and was friends with many members of the South Asian Student Organization.

“Aparna was loved by many in our campus community," Vanderhoef said. "An active participant in Alpha Phi Omega, she inspired others with her dedication to community service. She will be greatly missed.”

Media Resources

Maril Revette Stratton, (530) 752-9566,

Mitchel Benson, UC Davis News Service, (530) 752-9844,