News Release| Student Research Symposium; Cal State L.A.

March 29, 2011

Note to editors and news directors: For assistance covering the competition, including arranging access to specific student presentations, please call Cal State L.A.’s Public Affairs office at (323) 343-3050 or email the contacts listed above.

10 students to represent CSULA at statewide research competition

Research to focus on American identity, Gaussian approximation, methamphetamine, antifreeze protein, mussel beds, more

Los Angeles, CA – Covering research topics ranging from the novel anti-cancer agent to Saturn data analysis, 10 Cal State L.A. students will represent the University at the 25th Annual CSU Student Research Competition at Fresno State University May 6-7, 2011.

Picture of CSULA student research delegates.
Pictured: (l-r) Phoutdavone Phimphasone, Coleman Dobson, Rebecca L. Flegel, Joe Beaty, Victor Mejia, Matthew Pasillas, and Jose A. Zamalloa. (Not pictured: Alisa Kosheleff, Sarah Gao and Tara Fansler)


Sponsored by the California State University (CSU) Office of the Chancellor, the statewide competition will consist of 10 discipline categories in the undergraduate and graduate levels. Each student will have 10 minutes to present an oral presentation to an audience and jury, who will then have five minutes to ask questions.

The following 10 Cal State L.A. students, who were selected from the CSULA campus event, are competing in the research competition:

Joe Beaty (Burbank resident) - mentored by Mark Tufenkjian, professor of civil engineering.  Title: “The Use of Flow Penetrometers to Determine the Strength of Soft Clays at Shallow Penetration.”

Coleman Dobson (Los Angeles resident) - mentored by Linda Spilker, NASA JPL, and  Susan Terebey, associate professor of physics and astronomy.  Title: “Saturn Data Analysis and Thermal Modeling.”

Tara Fansler (Norwalk resident) - mentored by Choi Chatterjee, associate professor of history.  Title: “Writing American Identity: Impressions of Race in 19th Century Southern California Travel Literature.”

Rebecca L. Flegel (Los Angeles resident) - mentored by Carlos Robles, professor of biological sciences.  Title: “Landscape Pattern and Process in the Disturbance Paradigm: An Alternative View of Mussel Beds.”

*Sarah Gao (Arcadia resident) - mentored by Yong Ba, associate professor of chemistry.  Title: “Antiproliferative Effects of the Novel Anti-cancer Agent, Chlorambucil-Tempol, and its Use in Drug Delivery Research.” She is recipient of Cal State L.A.’s 2011 Phi Kappa Phi Travel Award of $1,000.

Alisa Kosheleff (Sunland resident) - mentored by Alicia Izquierdo, assistant professor of psychology.  Title: “Effects of Binge Doses of Methamphetamine on Effortful Behavior in Rats.”

Victor Mejia (Los Angeles resident) - mentored by Eun-Young Kang, assistant professor of computer science.  Title: “Automatic Detection for Tracking Moving Objects in H.264 Video Sequences Using Multiple Features and Gaussian Approximation.”

Matthew Pasillas (Whittier resident) - mentored by Roseann Giarrusso, professor of sociology. Title: “Emotional Labor of a Disney Resort Character.”

Phoutdavone Phimphasone (Pasadena resident) - mentored by Ji Son, professor of psychology. Title: “Academic achievement in adolescents: Perceiving is not Achieving.”

Jose A. Zamalloa (San Gabriel resident) - mentored by Xin Wen, assistant professor of chemistry. Title: “A Mutagenic Study of the Conserved Threonines in an Antifreeze Protein from Dendroides Canadensis.”

The CSU event each year follows the annual Cal State L.A. Symposium on Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity. The aim of the campus symposium is to encourage all Cal State L.A. students—undergraduate and graduate in every discipline—to showcase their papers, projects and research endeavors. It also provides them an opportunity to network with administrators, faculty and peers. For information about Cal State L.A.’s symposium and its 10 student delegation, call Cal State L.A.’s Office of Research and Development at (323) 343-3798.

For more details on the CSU Student Research Competition, go to  

#  #  #

Working for Californiaia 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 215,000 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.