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Cal State LA students awarded CSU pre-doctoral scholarships

October 17, 2018

By Margie Low | Cal State LA News Service

Six Cal State LA students were selected for the 2018-19 Sally Casanova pre-doctoral scholar awards, which are granted each year to support the doctoral aspirations of students across the 23-campus California State University system.

Each scholar receives a $3,000 award to help fund travel, graduate exams, fees for professional conferences and other costs related to graduate school.

Cal State LA’s 2018-19 Casanova Scholars are:

Dalesy Casasola is an undergraduate student in the Latin American studies program. She is documenting histories of Central American migrant communities that are threatened by criminalization and displacement. Casasola plans to pursue a Ph.D. in anthropology to continue working through her oral history research for a better understanding of the future of the Central American diaspora in the U.S. She resides in the Pico-Union neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Nancy Escalante is completing her M.A. in history with a focus on the 1980s Los Angeles movement in solidarity with the popular struggle of El Salvador. Escalante is using her research as the foundation for a pop-up exhibition that amplifies an often silenced Los Angeles history that resulted from the aftermath of the Salvadoran Civil War. Her research interests include transnational solidarity, student and women's movements, globalization, visual and print culture, and Central America studies. She resides in East Hollywood. 

Carlos González Figueroa is a biology graduate student who has conducted research on mitochondrial proteins and in RNA biochemistry. His current research focuses on mitochondrial protein Adenylate Kinase 4 (AK4) and the biological effects brought about by AK4 protein expression levels. After graduation, he plans to pursue a Ph.D. in biochemistry. He resides in the Westlake neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Gloria Marquez is working on a master’s degree in psychology with the goal of pursuing a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. For her master’s thesis, she is examining the relationship between motivational factors and positive mental health in historically marginalized populations. Her research includes synthesizing the effects of researcher-manipulated social media content on social norms and alcohol cravings, as it relates to psychological well-being within Latino populations. She is a Boyle Heights resident. 

David J. Robles is a graduate student in psychology. He is researching ways to reduce the impact of substance abuse, psychiatric disorder and related behavioral health disparities among stigmatized and underserved communities. His thesis is an exploration of health symptoms, personality, and substance abuse in persons living with and at risk for HIV. Robles’ goal is to earn a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. He intends to pursue research on therapies for substance use disorder and psychiatric disorder with socioeconomically and ethnically diverse communities. He is a Monterey Park resident.

Arlene Sagastume is a master’s candidate in psychology and she is researching the predictors of gender normative pressures and cultural values among young Latina women in Los Angeles. Her thesis will investigate cultural values, conflicts, as well as stress on Latina graduate students caused by the impostor phenomenon. Sagastume plans to pursue a Ph.D. in social, health, or developmental psychology. She resides in Arleta, CA.

The Casanova award honors the late Sally Casanova, who launched the program in 1989. She was a staff member with the CSU Chancellor’s Office 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 Joseph Casanova, a Cal State LA emeritus chemistry professor.

For more information, contact Karin E. Brown, dean of Graduate Studies at Cal State LA, at (323) 343-3820.

Photo: From left to right, back, Professor Karin Elliott Brown, Dalesy (Gredma) Casasola, Carlos González Figueroa, Professor Chris Endy, and David Robles. From left to right, front, Professor Kaveri Subrahmanyam, Professor Enrique Ochoa, Arlene Sagastume, Nancy Escalante, and Gloria Marquez (Credit: CSU Chancellor’s Office)

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California State University, Los Angeles is the premier comprehensive public university in the heart of Los Angeles. Cal State LA is ranked number one in the United States for the upward mobility of its students. Cal State LA is dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good, offering nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education, and the humanities. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 28,000 students and has more than 245,000 distinguished alumni.

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