Note to editors and news directors: For a group photo of the Early Entrance Program grads at Cal State L.A., please contact the CSULA Public Affairs office at (323) 343-3050.
24 early entrance grads in CSULA’s Class of 2010
Dhanvanthari twins among EEP grads
ranging from 17-20 years old
Los Angeles, CA – With their sights set on careers in research, neurology, law, medicine, teaching, psychology engineering and more, 24 Early Entrance Program (EEP) students—most of them still teenagers—will receive their baccalaureate degrees at Cal State L.A.’s two-day Commencement ceremonies Friday-Saturday, June 11 and 12.
EEP admits extraordinarily gifted youngsters, some as young as 11, directly into Cal State L.A. and provides them with monitored evaluation, counseling, and the opportunity to study with like-minded peers.
Here is EEP’s Class of 2010, ranging from 17-20 years old:
• Jennifer Chen (Walnut), 19, biology major. Chen plans to work in a UCLA research lab starting in June, before applying to medical school to pursue an M.D. degree. A member of the Golden Key and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies, she also served as secretary and social chair of the Early Entrance Club; vice president of American Medical Student Association; president, vice president and treasurer of the Humanitarians on Campus; and vice president and webmaster of G.E. Honors Club. She also volunteered at Kaiser Permanente-Baldwin Park and for the American Red Cross.
• Shauna Cheung (Arcadia), 19, biochemistry major and art minor. Cheung, who would like to become a neurologist, will be heading to Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in Chicago this coming August. A Dean’s List and G.E. Honors student, Cheng served as webmaster and treasurer for the G.E. Honors Club, historian for the American Medical Student Association, and secretary and president for the Chemistry and Biochemistry Club. A recipient of the Organic Chemist Award, she has study the effects of gastrulating on gene expression with Biology Professor Robert Nissen and have conducted research in Psychology Professor Alicia Izquierdo’s Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience. She has volunteered at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
• Anita Dhanvanthari (Agoura Hills), 19, philosophy (pre-law) major. Dhanvanthari hopes to find a job in a law firm after Commencement before applying to graduate school and pursuing a career in the law field. A Dean’s List student, she has received the University Involvement Award and was named the G.E. Honors Club Member of the Year. A member of the Philosophy Club and the Pre-law Society, she has served as associate justice and chief justice for the Associated Student, Inc.; external vice president and president for the G.E. Honors Club; freshman class president for the Early Entrance Program. She is also a UCLA SCOPE (Students for Community Outreach, Promotion and Education) volunteer.
• Sonya Dhanvanthari (Agoura Hills), 19, biochemistry major and mathematics minor. With experience volunteering at the Thousand Oaks Surgical Hospital, Dhanvanthari will be studying to become a doctor at Rosalind Franklin University Chicago Medical School in the fall. A Dean’s List student, she is also a recipient of the G.E. Honors Scholarship and the Anthony J. Andreoli Scholarship in Biochemistry. She served as president of the G.E. Honors Club, academic chair of the Early Entrance Program Club, and secretary of the American medical Student Association. Additionally, she was a member of the CSULA Wind Ensemble, and a flutist for the Common Time Flute Quartet, which raises money for nonprofit groups.
• Katherine Donahoe (Rowland Heights), 19, chemistry major and political science minor. She will be heading to Washington State University to pursue a Ph.D. in chemistry this fall. With experience working in research labs, she hopes to pursue a career in chemistry research. An academic senator for the Associated Students, Inc., she was also involved with the Chemistry and Biochemistry Club, Mock Trial Club, and the Writing Tutorial Center. A Dean’s List student, she was a member of the Pi Sigma Alpha and Golden Key honors societies. She also participated in the Santiago Canyon College Citizenship Program.
• Bernardo Francisco Ferreiro Hernandez (West Covina), 19, chemistry major and mathematics minor. Hernandez has been admitted this fall to the Chemistry and Biochemistry Ph.D. Program at the University of California, San Diego, with full tuition coverage and stipend. He hopes to pursue a career in organic synthesis research. A Dean’s List student, he is a recipient of the MARC-U*STAR Fellowship. He is also a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Amnesty International-CSULA Chapter, and Humanitarians on Campus. He has conducted research in a chemistry lab with Professor Alison McCurdy.
• Millie Grimes (La Crescenta), 18, biology major. Grimes will be applying to veterinary school after graduation. A Dean’s List student, Grimes was named the 2006-07 EEP Freshman of the Year and the 2006-07 G.E. Honors Student of the Year. She served as associate justice for the Associated Students, Inc., president of PACK (People for Animal Care and Kindness), and president of the Early Entrance Program Club. As part of Chemistry Professor Wayne Tikkanen’s research team, she worked in synthesizing moisture sensitive compounds that are precursors to a chiral Lewis acid catalyst, which is relevant to the pharmaceutical industry.
• Alexandria Huynh (Torrance), 17, biology major. 17-year-old Alexandria Huynh was admitted to Harvard University’s Ph.D. immunology program with full funding and an additional stipend. She hopes to pursue a career in biomedical research with clinical applications. As part of Edith Porter’s research team at Cal State L.A., Huynh focused on how intestinal cells in mice respond to Salmonella enteric serovar Typhimurium, a bacterium that is a leading cause of gastroenteritis in humans. She was also a member of the Golden Key Honor Society and the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. Recipient of the Kinecta Federal Credit Union Scholarship, she was recently named the winner of Cal State L.A.’s Phi Kappa Phi Outstanding Senior Award and presented the Early Entrance Program Graduate of the Year scholarship. In addition, she has volunteered at the Torrance Memorial Medical Center.
• Charissa Kim (Arcadia), 18, biology major. In the fall, Kim will start graduate school at Cambridge University’s neuroscience program in the U.K. She has been a member of Professor Alicia Izquierdo’s psychology lab since the age of 15. Kim was one of 10 students selected to represent Cal State L.A. in the statewide 2010 CSU Student Research Competition. Her award-winning presentation was titled “Effects of Pretraining Lesions of the Amygdala on Effortful Behavior in Rats.” She also won the Chemistry Departmental Award for Excellence in general chemistry, conducting research in a chemistry lab as well as in a psychology lab. She has received the Familia Unida Living with Multiple Sclerosis award for her volunteer work. She is also vice president of the Early Entrance Program Club and the Music Appreciation Club.
• James Lee (Arcadia), 18, biology major. Lee, who hopes to become a professor of genetics, will be working Professor Hyunsook Park’s research lab before applying a Ph.D. program in molecular genetics. He has currently conducted research on the molecular genetics of the fungus Candida albicans using advanced cellular biology and biochemical techniques. A Dean’s List student, he is a recipient of the Howell Foundation and CSUPERB Undergraduate Research Scholarship and G.E. Honors Award. He has served as president, co-president and public relations chair of the Music Appreciation Club; public relations chair for the American Medical Student Association; and sophomore and junior class representative of the Early Entrance Program Club. He has also volunteered as an EEP tutor and mentor, and for the Sally Ride Science Festival at Cal State L.A.
• Rebecca Lee (North Hollywood), 20, electrical engineering major. Cheng will be going to graduate school at USC in the fall, in order to pursue her career goal of becoming a research and development engineer for nanoelectronic devices. She has conducted research in the CSULA Biomedical Engineering Research Lab, the NASA SPACE Laboratory at Cal State L.A., and the Center for Nanoscale Systems at Cornell University. She has served as secretary for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers-CSULA Chapter, and is also actively involved with the Biomedical Engineering Society, NeuroEngineering Journal Club, and Chemistry and Biochemistry Club. A Dean’s List student, she is a member of the Tau Beta Pi (Engineering Honor Society) and Eta Kappa Nu (Electrical Engineering Honor Society). +
• Michael Letivin (Laguna Niguel), 17, business administration-finance major and mathematics/economics minor. Letivin will be going to The Robert Day School at Claremont McKenna College to pursue a master’s degree in finance in the fall. He hopes to pursue a career in investment management. He has served as treasurer of the Financial Management Association, treasurer of the Mock Trial Club, and academic chair of the Early Entrance Program Club. A Dean’s List student, he is a member of the G.E. Honors Club and the Phi Kappa Phi and Golden Key honor societies. An EEP mentor, he has volunteered for the Sally Ride Festival and at Laguna Niguel Library.
• Sudipta Mohanty (Rancho Cucamonga), 20, biology major. Mohanty, who has recently applied to graduate schools, hopes to apply his volunteer experience at Pomona Valley Hospital and Central Avenue Urgent Care in his future career in medicine. A Dean’s List student, he is a recipient of the Golden Eagle Award of Excellence and the David Cameron Fischer Memorial Fellowship. He served as president and vice president of the Amnesty International and vice president and secretary of the G.E. Honors Club. He is a member of Tri Beta, Golden Key and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies. In the community, he has helped distribute food to the homeless in downtown Los Angeles for the Sathya Sai Organization, volunteered with the Ability First School for disabled children, and assisted a Corona free medical camp that provides free health screening to underprivileged children.
• Lara Roizen (Los Angeles), 19, English major. Roizen will be heading to Dartmouth University to pursue a M.A. in comparative literature, specifically focusing on French and Russian. A Dean’s List student, she was a debate finalist in the Pacific Southwest Collegiate Forensics Association. A member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and G.E. Honors Club, she served as public relations chair and as a competitor for the CSULA Debate Team. She also received honorable mention for Rachmaninoff’s 3rd concerto at the Music Teachers National Association’s Concerto Competition, was a finalist in the Southern California Bach Festival, awarded $500 from the Westside Philharmonic Scholarship Auditions, and state finalist in the California Certificate of Merit Exams, a state program testing music theory and piano performance. She has volunteered at the piano recitals at Nazareth Retirement Center and for the Overland Elementary School chorus.
• David Segall (Beverly Hills), 19, economics and finance major; math minor. Segall will take classes at the London School of Economics this summer, before studying for the GRE and applying for an economics doctoral program. He hopes to become a university professor. In addition to working part-time as a tutor at the University Tutorial Center, he has also served as treasurer of the Mock Trial Club, treasurer of People for Animal Care and Kindness (PACK), secretary for Financial Manager’s Association, and treasurer and vice president for the Early Entrance Program Club. A Dean’s List student, he is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi and Golden Key honor societies. He is also involved with Association of Computing Machinery, G.E. Honors Club, and Economics and Business Society.
• Jennifer Shitanishi (North Hollywood), 20, physics major. Shitanishi will be heading to USC Graduate School to pursue a Ph.D. in physics in the fall. She has served as president and treasurer of the Physics and Astronomy Club, treasurer of the American Medical Student Association, and newsletter editor of the G.E. Honors Club. A Dean’s List student, she is a recipient of the Ted C. Bradbury Award in Theoretical Physics and John Spielman Award in Freshman Chemistry. She has conducted research for the CSULA Consortium for Undergraduate Research Experience (CURE), Scientific Visualization Lab (SciV!i) at Cal State L.A., and the National Radio Astronomy Observatory at Charlottesville, VA. She has volunteered for the Saint Joseph Medical Center and as a tutor for the Physics and Astronomy Club.
• Haley Stepp (Pasadena), 17, psychology major and English minor. Stepp will take a year off to conduct research, and then apply to graduate school to pursue a Ph.D. in neuroscience. Having served as treasurer of Psi Chi (International Honor Society in Psychology), she is also a member of the Golden Key Honor Society, Music Appreciation Club, Early Entrance Program Club, and G.E. Honors Club. A Dean’s List student, she has conducted research in Psychology Professor Alicia Izquierdo’s Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and was a teacher’s assistant for Psychology Professor Henry Schlinger’s PSY 421 class. In the community, she has volunteered to play harp at a retirement home and assisted with the Norma Coombs Alternative School’s Library in Pasadena.
• Claire Weinan (Torrance), 20, electrical engineering major; mathematics minor. Weinan, interned at the Aerospace Corporation for a summer, is now heading to Stanford University to pursue a master’s degree in electrical engineering. She organized a blood drive with SoCal Blood Services at Shepherd of the Hills United Methodist Church and volunteered for Free Arts for Abused Children at the Edmund D. Edelman Children’s Court. She served as president of the Engineering, Computer Science, Technology Student Council; internal vice president and recording secretary of G.E. Honors Club; vice president of Eta Kappa Nu Honor Society; and activities coordinator for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. She was a member of Cal State L.A.’s Cross Country and Track and Field team, having garnered the All-CCAA Academic Award, CSULA Athletics Department Academic Achievement Award, the CSULA Cross Country and Track Outstanding GPA honor, CSULA Golden Eagle Award of Excellence, and James M. Rosser Endowed Scholarship.
***Details on David Ballardo, Julian Bouzanquet, Fiona Cochran, Matthew Goldin, Jake Pacheco, and Aditya Mohanty were unavailable at press time.
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