You are here

Research Mentor News, June 2019

FINAL REMINDER: It is not too late to participate in the HERI Survey!

We ask for your support in responding to the 2019 Diversity Program Consortium Faculty Annual Follow-up Survey and spreading the word so we can improve mentoring programs and strategies at CSULB and nationwide.
Faculty members who complete the survey will receive a $25 Amazon gift certificate. Please click here to participate. This link is for the faculty survey only. Students have been sent a separate student-survey link.
Your (and your students’) feedback will help CSULB BUILD better meet the needs of its students and faculty. So please support our research and evaluation and complete the survey as soon as you can. The survey closes on June 30th, 2019.

BUILD Trainees Going to Grad School

Here is a list of graduating BUILD trainees who have been accepted into a graduate program so far. This is not a complete list as some trainees are still finalizing their grad school decisions.

BUILD trainees are going to these grad schools


  • Ismael Acedo, Dr. Jesse Dillon, University of California, Davis, PhD
  • Jorge Alfaro, Dr. Erika Holland, California State University, Long Beach / (Cedars-Sinai), Post Baccalaureate
  • Kenya Alfaro, Dr. Robert Schug, Case Western Reserve University, PhD
  • Kenneth Bush, Dr. Erlyana Erlyana, University of Oklahoma, MS to PhD
  • Noel Chau, Dr. Jason Schwans, Michigan State University, PhD
  • Reah Chiong, Dr. Virginia Gray, Cornell University, PhD
  • Wilma Figueroa, Dr. Niloofar Bavarian, and Dr. Selena Nguyen-Rodriguez, California State University, Long Beach, MPH
  • Tamunotelema Higgwe, Dr. Ted Yu, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, PhD
  • Destyn Jones, Dr. Kim Vu, Xavier University, PsyD
  • Do (Diane) Kim, Dr. I-Hung Khoo, University of California, Irvine, PhD
  • Kativon Makary, Dr. Danielle Kohfedt, University of Miami, PhD
  • Jairo Maldonado, Dr. Panadda Marayong, Georgia Tech, PhD
  • Adam Manoogian, Dr. Arturo Zavala, University of Geneva, Switzerland, MS
  • Sherin Mathew, Dr. Bryan Rourke, Keck Graduate Institute, MS
  • Rhea Mehta, Dr. Arturo Zavala, Johns Hopkins University, MPH  
  • Wendy Miranda, Dr. Guido Urizar, University of California, Los Angeles, MPH
  • Phoenix Pedro, Dr. Zachary DuBois, University of Notre Dame, PhD
  • John-Edward Poli, Dr. Joshua Cotter, California State University, Long Beach, MPH
  • Denys Rujchanarong, Dr. Ashley Carter, Medical University of South Carolina, PhD
  • Ivan Salladay, Dr. Douglas Pace, California State University, Los Angeles, MS
  • Peter Joseph Santiago, Dr. Hadi Tavassol, University of California, Irvine, PhD
  • Coleen Villegas, Dr. Nancy Hall, Chapman University, MA
  • Dejuante Walker, Dr. Ted Yu, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, PhD
  • Landon Watts, Dr. Stephen Mezyk, University of Colorado, Boulder, PhD


  • Matthew Nguyen, Dr. Fumio Hamano, California State University, Long Beach, MS
  • Bo Sortman, Dr. Arturo Zavala, University of Florida, Gainsville, PhD

Mark Your Calendars for these Summer Events

The Summer Undergraduate Research Gateway to Excellence (SURGE) and SURGE 2 begin today. SURGE for new Scholars and Fellows will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 am to noon, and SURGE 2 for Year 2 Scholars will be held on Tuesdays from 9:30 am to 11:30 am.

Both will run for eight weeks and will culminate in the Summer Symposium on Friday, July 26, 2019, where participants will present their research to friends, family and BUILD faculty and staff. Please mark your calendar for this event. Location and time will be announced at a later date.

In addition, SURGE participants will be participating in the following events, as well. Please note that your mentees(s) may not be able to work in your lab on those dates.

  • Elevator Speech Contest – Tuesday, June 18
  • SURGE Bonfire at Bolsa Chica Beach – Thursday, July 18
  • Field trip to UC Irvine – Thursday, July 25, all day event

More events are still in the planning stages and will be announced once dates and times are confirmed.

Mentor Spotlight – May 2019 – Dr. Virginia Gray

Virginia Gray

The Mentor Spotlight for May was Assistant Professor Dr. Virginia Gray from the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences in the College of Health and Human Services.

Her research focuses on community nutrition and parenting. “My research strives to find ways to improve nutrition habits of people in communities in ways that connect with ALL of the reasons people eat,” she says. “Sometimes people are afraid to eat with a nutrition professor! I remind them that I am not a food judge. While I believe strongly in the value of whole foods, lots of fruits and veggies, and less of the sugar that is so pervasive in U.S. diets, I hope to send a message with my research that healthy eating is meant to be enjoyable, realistic, and shared with people we enjoy being around.”

You can learn more about her and her research on the spotlight page on the BUILD website and her profile in the BUILD Mentor Database.

CSULB BUILD in Pictures – 2019 Commencement Celebration

CSULB BUILD’s Facebook and Instagram accounts are filled with pictures of our Associates, Scholars, and Fellows. Each month we’ll highlight a collection here.

  • 2019 Commencement Celebration – On Friday, May 3, 2019, we honored our graduating cohort of Year Two Scholars and Fellows with a special commencement celebration.

2019 BUILD Commencement

Acknowledging BUILD in Your Presentations/Publications

Please remember to acknowledge the funding from National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under Award Numbers UL1GM118979, TL4GM118980, and RL5GM118978 on work supported by BUILD, including support from BUILD student trainees, mentor appreciation fund, BUILD research and equipment grants. When you review your mentees’ posters, also check to make sure they have included the correct grand numbers. For a sample acknowledgment statement, NIH resources and policy, please visit the “Acknowledging BUILD in Your Publications” page on our website. It can be found under Mentors > Current Mentors.

Be Prepared

If you'd like to know what is coming up in the BUILD Learning Community for your mentee, download the current syllabus. This will give you a heads up on what events your mentee is required to attend and therefore will not be available to work in your lab at that time. This page will be updated each semester with the new syllabi.

Communicating with BUILD

We invite your news about your BUILD Trainee and any questions, comments, concerns, or suggestions about BUILD. If you have any of these, in relation to being a BUILD Research Mentor, please contact us at If you have any concerns about your BUILD Trainee, please contact the Student Training Core Director at

Be sure to keep an eye out for the July newsletter.