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9 Students Named 2010-11 Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholars

Published: October 15, 2010

Nine students at CSULB have been named Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholars for the 2010-11 academic year. The one-time award includes $3,000 in funding support, which each scholar will use for specific activities that will help him/her become strong candidates for doctoral programs.

Designed to increase the number of potential college faculty, the program supports the doctoral aspirations of California State University (CSU) students who have experienced economic and educational disadvantages. Students chosen for this honor are designated Sally Casanova Scholars as a tribute to Casanova, a CSU administrator who died in 1994.

This year’s Sally Casanova Scholars from CSULB, their intended discipline of study and their faculty sponsors include:

• Senior Erendira Aldana (psychology), whose faculty sponsor is Dustin Thoman, assistant professor of psychology;

• Graduate student Jaime Alvarez (political science – comparative and theory), whose faculty sponsor is Ronald Schmidt, professor of political science;

• Grad student Jinae Bartlett (biology), whose faculty sponsor is Bryan Rourke, assistant professor of biological sciences;

• Senior Melissa Bernardino (geology/earth science), whose faculty sponsor is Richard Behl, professor of geological sciences;

• Grad student Kimberly Felix (sociology), whose faculty sponsor is Laura Portnoi, assistant professor of social and cultural analysis of education;

• Grad student Daisy Flores (plant molecular genetics), whose faculty sponsor is Judy A. Brusslan, professor of biological sciences;

• Grad student Andrew Kretz (education), whose faculty sponsor is Laura Portnoi, assistant professor of social and cultural analysis of education;

• Senior Khuyen Nguyen (cognitive psychology), whose faculty sponsor is William Kelemen, professor of psychology;

• Grad student Ruth Rubio Rodriguez (19th and 20th century Latin American literature), whose faculty sponsor is Bonnie Gasior, associate professor of Spanish.

“We are extremely proud of these scholars and their achievements. They all deserve to be part of this unique opportunity and receive the guidance and financial help that many students need in preparing for and applying to doctoral programs,” said Cecile Lindsay, vice provost for academic affairs and dean of graduate studies. “Our hope is that when they complete their degrees, they return to The Beach or another CSU campus to teach.”

Each scholar works closely with a CSU faculty sponsor to develop an overall plan leading to enrollment in a doctoral program that is tailored to the student’s individual career and educational goals. The program places a special emphasis on increasing the number of CSU students who enter doctoral programs at University of California (UC) campuses with the goal of students returning to a CSU campus as a new faculty member.

Some of the activities the scholars will be involved with (which are specified in the plan and undertaken during the award year), include preparing graduate school applications, visiting campuses and attending professional conferences. Other activities include participating in summer research internship programs at doctoral-granting institutions, travel to national symposia or professional meetings in their chosen field, as well as joining professional organizations.

Now in its 21st year, the California Pre-Doctoral Program has had more than 1,000 scholars participate in the program to date.

–Rick Gloady