Cal State L.A. launches students with doctoral aspirations into Ph.D. programs

Ephraim Morado

Ephraim Gabriel Morado is one of 20 MORE students who are Ph.D. bound

Twenty Cal State L.A. students this year have been admitted into prestigious doctoral programs through the University’s Minority Opportunities in Research (MORE) Programs.

The MORE Programs are funded by the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health to prepare motivated students for success in Ph.D. studies with a focus on research in science, mathematics and engineering.

Among this year’s MORE students is Ephraim Gabriel Morado, an Arcadia resident who will earn his bachelor’s degree in chemistry with honors in June. He is headed to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he will pursue a Ph.D. in organic chemistry.

MORE grads for 2015In 2012, Morado transferred to Cal State L.A. from Glendale Community College through a MORE bridge program that prepares talented community college students for the rigors of university research. Under the program, he worked for 10 weeks in the summer with Cal State L.A. faculty members in a chemistry lab before he transferred to the University.

“The MORE Programs faculty have helped foster my intellectual growth to understand the world at the molecular level,” Morado said.

He has been working in Professor Linda Tunstad’s lab on capsule molecules with controllable moving parts, which will be used as a prototype for purification or separation technology. His research earned him an Organic Chemistry Award from the American Chemical Society.

Morado’s ambition is to join other MORE alumni who have made science richer by diversifying the ranks of researchers and professors who form and answer complex questions from their diverse perspectives.

In the past 12 years, more than 100 MORE alumni have earned their Ph.D.s and are in postdoctoral fellowships, industrial laboratory positions and faculty appointments.

In its most recent listing, the National Science Foundation ranked Cal State L.A. as the top baccalaureate institution of origin for Latino science and engineering Ph.D. recipients among all undergraduate and master’s colleges and universities in the continental U.S.

Other MORE Programs students admitted to Ph.D. programs are:

  • Cynthia Alarcon, University of Texas at Austin
  • Mark Aguilar, UC Irvine
  • Emmanuel Awosanya, North Carolina State University
  • Jenna Baughman, UC Berkeley
  • Manuel Candelerio, UC Irvine
  • Erika Cuellar, Oregon Health & Science University
  • Nicholas Derimow, UC Riverside
  • Edzna Garcia, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne
  • Eileen Gonzalez, UC San Diego
  • Christina Jacobo, City of Hope
  • Jehovani Lopez, New York University
  • Julia Montoya, UC Irvine
  • Jessica Ortiz, Washington State University in Pullman
  • Annie Pham, University of Colorado, Denver
  • Pamela Russell, Baylor College of Medicine
  • Charmaine Soco, City of Hope
  • Abegail Tadle, USC
  • Jazma Tapia, City of Hope
  • Ayana Younge, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Photo above: Ephraim Morado. Photo inset: Some of the MORE Programs students who have been admitted to Ph.D. programs this fall. (Credit: Ty Washington)

# # #


Cal State L.A. is a university dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 24,000 students, and 235,000 distinguished alumni, who are as diverse as the city we serve. Located in the heart of Los Angeles, Cal State L.A. has long been recognized as an engine of economic and social mobility. Led by an award-winning faculty, the University offers nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and the humanities.

Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, Billie Jean King Sports Complex, TV, Film and Media Center and the Center for Engagement, Service, and the Public Good. For more information, visit, or like us at