Alumni Association selects 16 students for scholarships

Alumni Association selects 16 students for scholarships

Notable alumni, students honored at Alumni Awards Gala
Recipients of the 2012-13 CSULA Alumni Association Student Scholarships. Back row from left: CSULA Alumni Association President Carlos Illingworth, Jr. ’04, Jeremy Coltman, Luis Antezana, Mario Giron-Abrego, Ramon Garcia, Jackson Tea, Monique Holguin, Tarek Karam, Ethan Chen, Roxanna Muratalla, Ana Hizon and CSULA Alumni Scholarship Committee Chair Sylvia Martinez ’82 ’87 ’98. Front row from left: Julie Shaffer, Cristina Verdugo, Shwe Phyo, Cindy Lee, Kelly Grandjean and Sabrina Antoine.

Sixteen students received a boost toward their educational goals in February when the Alumni Association awarded them with scholarships.

The $1,500 scholarships, funded by donations from Alumni Association members, were bestowed upon undergraduates and graduates at a private event attended by the recipients, Alumni Scholarship Committee members, the Alumni Association Board of Directors, and Alumni Association staff.

The 2012-13 recipients are: Luis Antezana, Sabrina Antoine, Ethan Chen, Jeremy Coltman, Ramon Garcia, Mario Giron-Abrego, Kelly Grandjean, Ana Hizon, Monique Holguin, Tarek Karam, Cindy Lee, Roxanna Muratalla, Shwe Phyo, Julie Shaffer, Jackson Tea and Cristina Verdugo.

The Alumni Association began awarding undergraduate scholarships with two $600 awards in 1995. Since then, the process has expanded to include graduate students and generously awards thousands of dollars in scholarships to more than a dozen deserving Cal State L.A. students each year.

These scholarships not only aid students in their mission toward a degree at the University, but provide an opportunity for alumni to give back to the campus by working as volunteers on the selection committee.

Sylvia Martinez '82, '87, '98, serving in her second year as committee chair, led a group of 17 volunteers to review 135 student applications and conduct interviews with applicants for 2012-13.

The committee looks for well-rounded students and encourages those who have displayed leadership skills in school and the community, said Martinez, an administrator in Behavior Support for the Division of Special Education, Los Angeles Unified School District.

Students are rated in the areas of academic achievement, professional growth and internships, extra-curricular activities, financial need, written essays, letters of recommendation and overall impression.

Martinez says the committee members enjoy interacting with students and are inspired by the experience.

“The volunteers want to give back to Cal State L.A., but more importantly we want to support the students, who we find to be very unique, hard-working and exceptional students. When we read their applications and meet them during the interview process, we are very impressed with them, especially how they value education and how they will not let anything get in the way of their goals,” she explained.

The scholarships are a big push for the students, too, according to Ben Jefferson ’99, one of three previous scholarship recipients to serve on the selection committee this year.

“The scholarship represented a little bit of recognition and validation of what I had done in my time at Cal State L.A.,” said Jefferson, who was involved with the Associated Students, Inc. and the Sigma Nu fraternity. “I was transitioning from college to law school, so I had a lot of financial obligations at that time.”

Jefferson, who works as an instructional coach to special education teachers at Palmdale High School, said serving on the committee is his way of giving back to a new group of students.



Events and Announcements

The CSULA Alumni Association is pleased to add to its list of sponsors, ScholarShare, California's 529 college savings plan. Saving enough to pay for college can seem overwhelming, but an early start, good planning and regular contributions can help you put a child's college education within reach.

Any earnings on investments can grow tax-deferred, and withdrawals, when used for tuition and other qualified expenses, are federal and state tax-free. The money saved in a ScholarShare account can be used at most accredited two-year and four-year colleges and universities, eligible foreign institutions and many vocational-technical schools. And the funds may be used for qualified higher education expenses including tuition, books and certain room and board costs at many colleges.

The minimum contribution to start an account for your child, grandchild, relative or friend is $25. To learn more, visit or call 1-800-544-5248.

The ScholarShare College Savings Plan is administered by the ScholarShare Investment Board, an agency of the State of California. Neither the principal deposited nor the investment return is guaranteed by the State of California, ScholarShare Investment Board or any affiliate thereof, or the federal government or any agency thereof. Units of the portfolios are municipal securities and may be subject to market volatility and fluctuation.