News Release| Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholars; Cal State L.A.


Cal State L.A. graduate students
named Casanova Scholars

With 11 pre-doctoral students, the University
has one of the
largest contingents of awardees

Picture of a senior design project.
Pictured: (back, l-r) Valentina Licitra, Steven Moreno-Terrill, Kaitlin Brown, Mario Giron-Ábrego, Alexander Woodman, Wayne Warner, (front, l-r) Omar Padilla, Collette Salvatierra, Mayling Gonzalez, Veronica Pedroza, and Scott Doherty.

Los Angeles, CA

– Eleven Cal State L.A. graduate students—focusing on doctoral
studies ranging from applied biotechnology to urban schooling—were
selected for the 2012-13

Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholar
The University is one of the largest contingents in the California State
University system to receive the prestigious awards.

Each scholar will receive a $3,000 award, covering travel expenses to
doctoral-granting institutions and to attend professional conferences as
well as fees for college applications and graduate exams.

Since 1998, more than 165 students from Cal State L.A. have been
recognized as Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholars. Fifty percent of the
CSULA students have entered top-ranking doctoral programs throughout the
United States and in several foreign countries.

The following CSULA scholars will explore the prospect of doctoral

Kaitlin Brown
an anthropology major, plans to conduct graduate research on asphaltum
production on San Nicolas Island. She is also interested in studying the
archaeology, pre-historic technology, trade and emergence of complexity
among hunter-gatherers. She resides in Alhambra.

Scott Doherty
an applied biotechnology major, is interested in neurodevelopment
research. He plans to apply the management standards of the
biotechnology industry as a doctoral student and postdoctoral
researcher, and to incorporate them into biology courses that he may
teach as a professor. He resides in San Gabriel.

Mario Giron-Ábrego
an anthropology major, is conducting an epigraphic and iconographic
analysis of the polychrome ceramics that were discovered from the Maya
site, “Midnight Terror Cave,” in Belize, during his field work in 2008,
2009 and 2010. He hopes to obtain a Ph.D. in Maya archaeology in order
to become a director of research for a Mayan archaeological program and
a university professor. He is a Los Angeles resident.

Mayling Gonzalez
a Spanish major, hopes to become a professor to teach Spanish. She is
also interested in conducting research on the creation and
representation of identity in Latin America literature of the 19th
and 20th centuries. She is a Burbank resident.

Valentina Licitra
an anthropology major, plans to pursue a career as a museum
professional, working for a non-profit organization. She is also
interested in studying Mesoamerican cave archaeology with a focus on
religion, cosmography and iconography. She is a Los Angeles-Highland
Park resident.

Steven Moreno-Terrill
a Chicano studies major, is interested in the history of ethnic studies
and culture centers in higher education, the Chicana/o educational
pipeline, and the critical/cultural theories and qualitative methods in
education. He is working toward becoming a post-secondary educator and a
community-engaged scholar. He is a Riverside resident.

Omar Padilla
a Chicano studies major, plans to pursue a doctoral degree in an
interdisciplinary field, such as American studies, ethnic studies or
Chicano studies. His study seeks to explore the Mexican immigrant
populations established in the Los Angeles west side communities of
Santa Monica and Venice, focusing primarily on the immigrant population
that began to arrive through the Bracero Program (1951-65) and through
the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. He is a West Los Angeles

Veronica Pedroza
an educational foundations major, plans to pursue a doctoral degree with
a focus on urban learning and special education. Her current research
looks at the social, cultural, political and economic contexts of public
schooling as well as urban schooling and educational theory. Currently
an elementary schoolteacher, she hopes to become a professor of
education in order to play a direct role in teacher education. She is a
La Puente resident.

Collette Salvatierra
a history major, plans to attain a doctorate degree and become a
professor at a CSU campus, promoting the education of gay and lesbian
history. Her research is focused on the international connections of the
gay and lesbian civil rights movements of the 1950s. She is also
interested in the studying the U.S. and European Cold War sexual
politics and gay and lesbian civil rights organizations. She resides in
Long Beach.

Wayne Warner
a microbiology and biochemistry major, plans to pursue a doctoral degree
in cancer biology. He is interested in conducting research on the
identification of Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs and other
small molecules that activate p53 (a tumor suppressor protein). His
recent research was published in Chemical Biology and Drug Design.
He is a Los Angeles-University Hills resident.

Alexander Woodman
a public health major, has diverse research interests, which include
such areas as psychology, gerontology and medicine. His graduate thesis
is focused on the environmental causes or contributions to mental
illness among elderly population. Woodman shared that he is committed to
“the empowerment of society, humanity in general through education,
challenge, research, discovery and diversity.” He resides in Los

Additionally, Latin American studies major Carla Villanueva
received an honorable mention. She is a Los Angeles resident.

The award honors the late Sally Casanova, who launched the program in
1989. A member of the CSU Office of the Chancellor staff during the
1960s, Casanova also served as associate vice president for academic
affairs and dean of graduate studies at CSU Dominguez Hills, from 1991
until her death in 1994. She was married to Cal State L.A. chemistry
professor (now emeritus) Joseph Casanova. 

For more information on the program, contact Karin E. Brown, acting
associate dean of Graduate Studies at Cal State L.A., (323) 343-3820.

#  #  #


Working for California since 1947: The 175-acre hilltop campus of California State University, Los Angeles is at the heart of a major metropolitan city, just five miles from Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. More than 20,000 students and 220,000 alumni—with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds—reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. Six
Colleges offer nationally recognized science, arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and humanities programs, among others, led by an award-winning faculty. Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Jazz Orchestra and to
the Honors College for high-achieving students.
Programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include an NEH-supported humanities center; a NASA-funded center for space research; and a growing forensic science program, housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center.


Back to: News
  |  Services
for Journalists
  |  Public
  |  Cal
State L.A.