News Release| CSULA; Cal State L.A.; Los Angeles; CSU; Pre-Doctoral Scholars; Sally Casanova

Note to reporters: To arrange interviews with Cal State L.A.’s Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholars, please contact the Public Affairs office at Cal State L.A., (323) 343-3050.

18 Cal State L.A. students obtain $3,000 incentive each to pursue doctoral degrees

Largest group from the 23 CSU campuses to be selected

as Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholars

Los Angeles, CA – From cross cultural music studies to forensic anthropology, 18 Cal State L.A. students will be exploring the prospect of doctoral studies in their respective fields as recipients of the 2008-09 Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholar Awards.

According to Alan Muchlinski, CSULA associate dean of graduate studies and research, “Cal State L.A. represents the largest group from any CSU campus to be selected for these awards this academic year.”

Cal State L.A. students account for nearly a quarter of the scholars selected from throughout the 23-campus CSU system, from 220 applicants, 76 students were selected systemwide.

The CSULA Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholars—who will receive $3,000 each for travel expenses to doctoral-granting institutions, to attend professional conferences, for college applications fees, and for graduate exam fees—are as follows:

An English M.A. student, Jennifer L. Avila (San Gabriel resident) is a member of the Golden Eagle tennis team. She hopes to work as an athletics director and pursue a degree in higher education administration. She was named an Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar for 2008 by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine.

An education graduate student, Gannon Daniels (Los Angeles) would like to focus his studies specifically on the areas of assessment, reading and writing, and literature.

An interdisciplinary studies master’s student, Jennifer Declue (Los Angeles) would like to pursue a doctorate degree in communications with an emphasis on race, gender and media studies.

A physical anthropology graduate, Suzanne Fitz (Los Angeles) is interested in forensic anthropology research with a focus on crime and violence of past populations.

A psychology senior, Janet Garcia (Los Angeles) plans to pursue a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. She is the only undergraduate at Cal State L.A. to receive the award this year.

A biology master’s student, Michael Jansen (Glendale) is interested in the furthering his research in neuroscience.

A Spanish language grad student, Thania Munoz (Whittier) is interested in pursuing doctoral studies in Mexican literature of the 20th and 21st century.

A comparative literature graduate, Anna Noice (South Pasadena) is interested in furthering her knowledge in Irish literature, specifically Irish manuscript studies.

A Chicano Studies graduate student, Reina C. Rodriguez (Baldwin Park) is interested in pursuing a doctorate degree in anthropology, specifically in the areas of immigration, border studies, and the media. She is the first in her family to graduate from college. 

A biology graduate student, Suzi Sanchez (Whittier) hopes to advance her research in molecular biology.

A music graduate student, Anthony Shogren (Los Angeles) is interested in pursuing a doctorate degree in music composition with an emphasis on cross-cultural music studies.

An educational administration graduate student, Cyrene St. Amant (Los Angeles) is interested in the study of urban schooling, culturally-relevant teaching, and family literature.

A Chicano Studies graduate student, Daniel Topete (El Monte) is interested in applying to an American studies doctoral program in order to broaden his interest in music, social movements, and the development of social consciousness.

A first-year graduate student studying microbiology, Abebayehu Yilma (Los Angeles resident and originally from Ethiopia) is interested in furthering his research in immunology, specifically innate immunity.

In addition, philosophy major Joshua Allen (Los Angeles), nursing major Neomie Congello (Camarillo), art history major Laura Lesko (Burbank), and microbiology major Nadine Rodriguez (Paramount) were selected as 2008-09 Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholars.

The following four Cal State L.A. students received honorable mentions: Carla Cueva (biological sciences), Erika Morales (history/ethnic studies), Marina Rodriguez (education), and Andrew Wyatt (music composition).

Since 1998 more than 120 students from Cal State L.A. have been recognized as Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholars. Fifty-six percent of the CSULA students have entered top-ranking doctoral programs throughout the United States and in several foreign countries.

The Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholars Award is designated for participants of the CSU California Pre-Doctoral Program. The award honors the late Sally Casanova, who launched the program in 1989. A member of the CSU Chancellor’s Office staff during the 1960s, Casanova spent a year at Cal Poly Pomona as an administrative fellow, and served as associate vice president for academic affairs and dean of graduate studies at CSU Dominguez Hills, a post she held 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 Alan Muchlinski, associate dean of graduate studies and research at Cal State L.A., (323) 343-3820.

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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 205,000 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 a unique university center for gifted students as young as 12. Programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include an NEH- and Rockefeller-supported humanities center; a NASA-funded center for space research; and a growing forensic science program, housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center.