Emeriti Fellowships awarded
at the Fall 2014 Emeriti Luncheon
This summer, the Emeriti Fellowship Fund Committee recommended awarding 15 graduate fellowships. Nine non-discipline specific Emeriti Fellowships include the Carol J. Smallenburg Emeriti Fellowship and those honoring James M. Rosser and Sidney P. Albert. The Leonard Mathy Fellowship in Economics was established by Mathy this year and is being awarded for the first time. The five Memorial Fellowships to be awarded are the Jane Matson in counseling, William E. Lloyd in public administration, John L. Houk in political science, Mary Gormly in Native American-related studies, and David Cameron Fisher in biology. The awards were presented at the Emeriti Fall Luncheon on October 24, 2014.
(L to R) Dorothy Keane, President, Emeriti Association, 2014 Fellowship Recipients: Justin d'Agostino, Carly Marie Good, Faye Landry, Patty Lam, Maria Borden, Angelica Hernandez, Helen Yip, Minh Nguyen, Erik Blanco, Selene Torres, Luis Echeverrianewberry and Alfredo Gonzalez, Fellowship Committee Chair. (Not pictured Aria Golestani, Monique Macasaet, Jekyns Pelaez and Carina Vasquez).
Rcipients of Emeriti Fellowships are Carina Vasquez (Counseling), Justin d’Agostino (Anthropology), Jekyns Pelaez (Television, Film and Theatre), Faye Landry (Education, Option in Bilingual/Multicultural Education), Selene Torres (Counseling, Option in Rehabilitation Counseling), Carly Marie Good (Anthropology), Monique Macasaet (Nursing), Erik Blanco (Sociology), and Minh Nguyen (Nutritional Science).
After earning a B.A. in child development and working as a mentor and tutor for a teen program and as a co-teacher of an English language development class at West Adams Preparatory High School, Carina Vasquez, recipient of the Carol J. Smallenburg Emeriti Fellowship, decided to pursue a master’s degree in school counseling leadership. The degree will enable her to reach her goal to give students a sense of belonging and support that will motivate them and guide them to success. Living her entire life in low-income communities undoubtedly influenced her research on the impact of poverty and neighborhood characteristics on the educational experiences of Latino children.
Justin d’Agostino, whose goal is to become a professor of anthropology and a research scientist, is the recipient of the James M. Rosser Emeriti Fellowship. The recipient of several awards and scholarships from Cal State L.A., San Francisco State University, and Yale University, Justin has given poster presentations such as “Foraging Ecology of Primates in East Kalimantan” at the Gibbon Conservation Center, where he continues to volunteer, and has presented his research at the American Anthropological Association. An article, “The Ability to Associate Colors with Hidden Preferred Food Items: Testing in the family Hylobatidae,” is in review with the Journal of Animal Cognition. His documentary, Into the Jungle, which highlights his international research experience, was screened at the 2014 Cal State L.A. Student Film Festival.
The recipient of the Sidney P. Albert Emeriti Fellowship, Jekyns Pelaez, is studying for an MFA specialization in Television, Film and Theatre, and uses his extensive performance background as a teaching associate in Cal State L.A.’s Music, Theatre and Dance Department. From humble beginnings in Colombia, the seventh in a family with financial difficulties, he was enrolled by his mother at the age of 10 in the Instituto de Bellas Artes, where he studied dance and drama. In 1991, after graduating from the Incolballet (Instituto Colombiano de Ballet), he left for New York and began a career performing with more than 30 ballet companies around the world, including Colombia, where he received a Medal of Honor from the state government in 2008.
Currently with the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), Faye Landry, an Emeriti Fellowship recipient, is pursuing a master’s degree in education, with an option in bilingual/multicultural education in the urban classroom. Recognized for her leadership and service by the district, she continues to do volunteer tutoring, with much success: after convincing four male students to go back to school, all four graduated. Her mother, Marguerite Poindexter LaMotte, was a member of the LAUSD School Board from District 1 and a great influence in Faye’s life. In turn, Faye, who was a single mother, taught her two sons about the value of education, and they are now both in college.
Selene Torres, who received an Emeriti Fellowship, is a graduate student in the rehabilitation counseling program. She has already begun working as an academic adviser for the TELACU (The East Los Angeles Community Union) Veterans Upward Bound program, where she helps them to transition to higher education by providing academic advisement and assessing their skills for potential careers. As a member of the Rehabilitation Counseling Association, she held the positions of treasurer and vice president while involved in community service. Although her goal is to work with the veteran population, she has also been working with the homeless and individuals with disabilities.
Another Emeriti Fellowship was awarded to Carly Marie Good, a student in sociocultural anthropology, whose goal is to become a university professor. She wants to increase her understanding of how oppression in Latin America affects lives and to find ways to alleviate it. A graduate teaching assistant and a founder of the Sociocultural Club, Carly is a member of the Society of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology, the Alliance for Global Justice, and the American Anthropological Association, where she has presented her original research. She continues to work as an organizer for Witness for Peace, a social justice organization, and volunteers at the John Cooper Archaeological Center and as a researcher for the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians.
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Monique Macasaet, who is studying to become a family nurse practitioner, received an Emeriti Fellowship. She has overcome financial and physical hardships, including heart surgery, to reach her goal. A graduate of UC Davis, she has volunteered at various health events and student-run clinics providing free health care to Filipino World War II veterans and the underprivileged. In Los Angeles, she has volunteered at The Midnight Mission, Pyramid Autism Center, and Flu Shot Clinic, as well as at the Relay for Life. A musician, Monique played the trombone in her high school marching band and was a choir director. One of her future goals is to earn her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree.
The recipient of an Emeriti Fellowship, Erik Blanco wants to obtain a Ph.D. to become a professor and do research at the university level. He is focusing on health inequalities among the elderly due to race/ethnicity, social class, and gender. In his family, originally from Guatemala, Erik is the first to pursue a master’s degree. He graduated magna cum laude from Cal State L.A. and has received numerous awards. He has worked in the Sociology Department as an undergraduate teaching and research assistant, and currently tutors high school students and students in the Cal State L.A. Writing Center.
Minh Nguyen, who received an Emeriti Fellowship, studied pharmacy and became a pharmacy technician after graduating from UCLA. Although her plan was to go to pharmacy school, Minh realized that she wanted to help people prevent diseases rather than to focus on treating them. She decided to study nutritional science and, now at Cal State L.A., is in the coordinated dietetic program on her way to becoming a registered dietitian. She has volunteered with Project Angel Food and Meals on Wheels, and has been on a dietary team for Project Limón Nicaragua Volunteer Mission. A member of the Cal State L.A. Student Dietetic Association and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, she was also elected to the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.
The first Leonard Mathy Fellowship in Economics was awarded to Aria Golestani (Economics), whose ultimate career goal is to obtain a Ph.D. in behavioral economics in order to teach and conduct research in global economics. A graduate of the University of Tehran, where he received a full scholarship, Aria has received special recognition in graduate studies at Cal State L.A. and was elected to the Omicron Delta Epsilon Economics Honor Society. He currently tutors students in economics, statistics and mathematics at the Cal State L.A. Tutorial Center and has been an active member of Mahak, an organization that supports children with cancer and their families.
The recipients of the Memorial Fellowships are Luis Echeverrianewberry (Counseling), Patty Lam (Public Administration), Angelica Hernandez (Political Science), Maria Borden (Latin American Studies), and Helen Yip (Biology).
The recipient of the Jane Matson Memorial Fellowship, Luis Echeverrianewberry, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, is studying to become a vocational rehabilitation counselor in order to assist fellow veterans, service members, and their families. An undocumented immigrant as a child of eight, Luis has successfully moved from a background with limited resources to several areas in which he excels: as a volunteer (San Gabriel Valley Homeless Veteran Stand Down, Cal State L.A. Associated Students, Inc. as Veterans Commissioner, and other groups), as a scholar (member of Golden Key, Phi Kappa Phi, and Pi Lambda Theta honor societies, as well as recipient of numerous scholarships), and as the single parent of two children.
Patty Lam, the recipient of the William E. Lloyd Memorial Fellowship, whose career goal is to become a campus administrator, has spent two years working as an administrative support coordinator for the School of Social Work. An immigrant from Macau, China at the age of 10, Patty had many obstacles to overcome, including learning a new language and dealing with the death of her father. She focused on completing her studies at UCLA, where she continues to assist undergraduates and supervise students at volunteer events. Patty has been so successful in working with undergraduates that she wants to continue to assist others in a career center or areas dealing with student involvement.
The John L. Houk Memorial Fellowship wasawarded to Angelica Hernandez, whose career goal is to become an attorney and an elected official. As a student of political science and public administration, she was named a James R. Galbraith Public Affairs Fellow by the Edmund G. “Pat” Brown Institute and received the Hector Elizondo Scholarship in Political Science. Her volunteer efforts include the Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County at their Self-Help Center and Domestic Abuse Self-Help Services. As a policy intern at Hispanas Organized for Political Equality and the UCLA Labor Center, Angelica researched the Affordable Care Act and its impact on the immigrant community in California, and found that millions would not benefit from the Act. She developed a statewide resource guide of over 230 clinics and programs that serve the undocumented community. It has been published in both English and Spanish.
After a 19-year career in newspaper journalism, including assignment as a foreign correspondent in Mexico City for The Arizona Republic, Maria Borden, the recipient of the Mary Gormly Memorial Fellowship, returned to school to seek a master’s degree in Latin American studies, with the goal of becoming a nonprofit professional. Having parents who emigrated from Cuba in the 1960s, Maria’s journalism specialty became telling the stories of immigrants and those in our society who are disadvantaged. Her thesis will compare indigenous rights movements in Mexico and the U.S. She volunteers as a translator at the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law, working with Latino clients, and at the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) in Pico-Union. She has been elected to the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society.
Helen Yip, recipient of the David Cameron Fisher Memorial Fellowship, is an immigrant from Canada. Although her degree in biology is from the landlocked University of Alberta, Helen found ways to enhance her knowledge of the marine world by volunteering at the Edmonton Aquarium and the Edmonton Valley Zoo, as well as at a paleobiology laboratory, where she explored different aspects of marine science. She plans to pursue a career as a marine educator, focusing on educating people about the natural world, including the challenges of global warming and the loss of biodiversity. She wants to improve science education and public understanding of how science supports policy by producing reliable answers.
The 2014-15 Fellowship recipients were recognized at the Fall Luncheon on October 24, 2014..