Our Staff

Rennie Schoepflin

Rennie Schoepflin, Ph.D.
Director, Honors College

Rennie B. Schoepflin (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin—Madison) joined California State University, Los Angeles as professor and chair of history in September 2005 and after serving the university in several subsequent academic leadership positions, including both associate dean and dean, he joined the Honors College as Director in August 2019. He was a member of the College’s founding committee in 2008-09, and he has taught courses in intellectual history, environmental history, and the history of medicine, science and religion. His current research interests include religion and health, the history of health and medicine in California, and changing concepts of the supernatural in western thought.

Alison McCurdy

Alison McCurdy, Ph.D.
Associate Director, Honors College

 Dr. Alison McCurdy earned a Ph. D. in Chemistry from Caltech, and joined the faculty in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Cal State LA in 2002.  She taught organic chemistry, general chemistry, advanced electives, and Introduction to Higher Education classes. She participated in and chaired a variety of educational policy committees, as well as served as Department Chair.  Her research interests center on creating photoresponsive organic molecules that mimic key biological calcium signals and chemistry education research topics such as student misconceptions in organic chemistry and spatial reasoning in organic chemistry.  She joined the Honors College as Associate Director in August 2019.

Andrea Arias, Ed.D.                                                                                                                              Associate Director, Early Entrance Program

Andrea Arias EEP Director

Dr. Andrea Arias is the Assistant Director for the Early Entrance Program. She oversees recruitment, admissions, and advisement for EEP, and provides overall support for all EEP students. Dr. Arias joined the Cal State LA community after serving in K-12 public schools for over 20 years. She has a B.A. in Psychology from Loyola Marymount University, a Masters in Educational Administration from CSUDH, a Doctorate in Education with a focus in Organizational Leadership from Pepperdine University as well as several educational credentials. Her career spans across four districts and two counties, and she has provided support to numerous students and their families.

Marylu Castillo
Academic Advisor and Admissions Coordinator, Honors College

Marylu Ms. Castillo earned her BA in Psychology and her MS in Counseling, with an option in School Leadership and Counseling, from Cal State LA. Prior to becoming an academic advisor, she worked as a research assistant for the Psychology Department and as a student assistant at the University Academic Advisement Center. Her expertise in advisement encompasses general education requirements, university requirements, and university policies and procedures. As a result of her passion to promote student success on campus, she helped establish, and is a member of, the Academic Advisement Council (AAC). In addition, she sponsors several student organizations on the Cal State LA campus.

Jessica Rodriguez
Advisor & Coordinator for Scholarships & Theses, Honors College

jessicaJessica is the Advisor & Coordinator for the National and International Scholarships & Fellowships Program (NISFeP). She works closely with all Cal State LA students, faculty, and staff  to promote external scholarships, fellowships, and other off-campus opportunities. Jessica advises and contributes to the Honors College Thesis process for EEP and Honors students in their fourth year. Jessica enjoys being able to interact and assist students in finding motivational opportunities for advancing their academic and professional careers. As a proud alumna of Cal State LA, with a passion for history, all-things Game of Thrones, and photography, Jessica enjoys being a part of the campus community.

Isabelle Garcia
Program Coordinator, Honors College

Isabelle staff photo

Isabelle is the Program Coordinator for the Honors College, and oversees the day-to-day operations of the office. She coordinates all events for the program and works with Honors College and Early Entrance Program students, faculty, and staff. Isabelle began as the Program Assistant for EEP in April 2011.  As a first generation college graduate, she is passionate about guiding students through the University and completing their degrees. During her free time, she enjoys traveling, searching for cheap flights, and hanging out with her cat Spaghetti.

 


Caitlin Zarate                                                                                                                               Honors Lead Student Assistant

Caitlin ZarateCaitlin is a Student Assistant for the Honors College. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, aspiring to be a Forensic Anthropologist. She is the Marketing Director for the Academic Honors Association, where she works to unite the Honors College community through various events throughout the school year. Caitlin is very passionate about painting, science, and engagement within the campus community, especially the Honors College. Caitlin assists the administration and Honors faculty with daily tasks, in addition to, events, recruitment, and inter-department communication.

 

Ignacio Gonzalez                                                                                                                              Early Entrance Program, Graduate Assistant

Ignacio Gonzalez student assistantIgnacio is a student assistant for the Early Entrance Program. He is working towards a Masters of Biochemistry, and aspires to become a cell therapy specialist or a osteopathic physician. Ignacio is also a research lab manager in one of many laboratories found in Cal State LA.  Ignacio enjoys collecting books and is passionate about scientific discoveries, interior design, bird watching and helping students to achieve their academic goals. In the Early Entrance Program, Ignacio assists the administration and EEP faculty with daily tasks, in addition to, events, recruitment, and inter-department communication.

 

Samantha Mariano                                                                                                                              Honors College Student Assistant

Samantha is a Student Assistant for the Honors College. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and is interested in researching social media effects. Samantha enjoys binge watching shows Netlfix shows and occasional trips to Disneyland. In her spare time, she volunteers in helping the homeless as well as chaperoning and coordinating events for youth programs. Samantha assists the administration and Honors faculty with daily tasks, in addition to, events, recruitment, and inter-department communication.

 

Toma Dayton
Honors College Student Assistant

Toma is a Student Assistant for the Honors College. She is currently pursuing a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and planning to continue her education in graduate school to earn a Masters degree. She is also a lab assistant in a Psychology Lab here at Cal State LA. Toma spends her free time going on hikes, travelling, and hanging out with friends. Toma assists the administration and Honors faculty with daily tasks, in addition to, events, recruitment, and inter-department communication