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Class of 2021 Spotlights

As we wrap up another school year and our 2021 graduates prepare for their commencement celebrations, the College of Health and Human Services wanted to know how graduating seniors felt about their last year at CSULB and how it has shaped their success professionally, academically and personally. We asked seniors to submit their stories sharing the incredible work they did in relation to overcoming challenges, advancing social justice and serving their community. 

While all CHHS graduates are worth celebrating, here are a few graduates whose stories stand out because of their courage to overcome challenges, follow their dreams, and have a positive impact on the lives of others. 

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The Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies prepares students to enhance the quality of life experiences. Students from the Class of 2021 volunteered at hospitals and worked in the field during the pandemic, all while grappling with their own personal challenges. 
Beckett Gandolfi, class of 2021 Doctor in Physical Therapy candidate, served the community on campus and beyond. During his time at CSULB, he advocated for students with special needs, participated in adaptive events for children with disabilities, and worked with high-risk heart and lung patients at the UCI Medical Center. 
Upon graduation, students in the Health Science department are able to facilitate the physical, psychological and social well being of people, individually and collectively, in a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic metropolitan context. Their department offers both undergraduate and graduate options that are guided by individual interests and career paths. Graduating students within Health Science shared what it was like to be educators, community leaders and volunteers in a time that was so critical...
Taylor Sillekens is a Class of 2021 Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) candidate who has advocated for equity and inclusiveness on campus and beyond. He co-founded CSULB PTMA: (Physical Therapy Multicultural Alliance): a student-led club whose mission is to foster open dialogue on healthcare disparities of all ethnic, gender, and class groups. He was also a founding member of DICE (Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement Council).
Sarah Larsen, M.S. Speech-Language Pathology '21Sarah Larsen is a Speech-Language Pathology Master's candidate currently completing her internship at the Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center. She helps individuals with disabilities break barriers, improves their quality of life, and provides a valuable service to communities. 
The Kinesiology Department within the College of Health and Human Services aims to provide students with a variety of programs that provides a variety of outstanding research, internship, and applied experiences. Students graduate from the programs with ideas, inspiration, and drive to make a difference. We are an exemplary program that values diversity and personal growth.