Commencement 2014: Student Speakers

California State University, Los Angeles will celebrate its 67th Commencement June 13-15. Top graduating students have been selected as graduation speakers for their respective colleges.


College of Arts and Letters

Victor CornejoLos Angeles-born Victor Cornejo was introduced to the world of intercollegiate speech and debate at Pasadena City College. He received his Associate of Arts in Communication Studies at PCC before transferring. At Cal State L.A., he participated in speech and debate and served as president of the Forensics Speech and Debate team. He has garnered many accolades, including the first-place Bovero award for his contributions to forensics and community service. This June, he will receive his Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies with an emphasis in organizational communication and public relations. He will continue his education at Cal State L.A. when he enters the master’s program in communication studies in fall 2014.


College of Business and Economics

Christina StonerChristina Stoner has been a dancer for nearly two decades. She participated in dance competitions, won scholarships from world-renowned choreographers and dance companies, and even teaches at studios in the Los Angeles area. Here, at Cal State L.A., she simultaneously took courses in the management program while continuing to perfect her dancing skills under Professors Seonagh Odhiambo and Hae Kyung Lee. She also participated in theatre and film productions at Cal State L.A. Christina will receive her bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in management in June. A Dean’s List student, she is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi and Golden Key honor societies. After graduation, she plans to take a year off before pursuing her Juris Doctorate and Master of Business Administration.


Charter College of Education

Douglas ZamoraComing from a family of educators, Douglas A. Zamora knows how rewarding it is to be a teacher. That’s why he decided to become a special education teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District. He was born in Guatemala and became a U.S. citizen in 2001. He obtained his Associate of Arts at East Los Angeles College and a Bachelor of Arts in Translation/Interpretation Studies English-Spanish at Cal State Long Beach. Douglas has volunteered as a coach in several sports afterschool programs. He also served as a tutor for at-risk students in urban schools. This year, he is graduating with a master’s degree in special education and completing a Special Education Credential at Cal State L.A. Throughout his graduate studies, Douglas has maintained a high GPA and was named on the Dean’s List.


College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology

Meline BaghdasarianMeline Baghdasarian will earn both her B.S. and M.S. in mechanical engineering with a specialization in thermo-fluid sciences this June. She immigrated to the United States from Iran in 2004 and was accepted to Cal State L.A.’s mechanical engineering program in 2007. While at Cal State L.A., she served as the college’s student council president. She is a lifetime member of Pi Tau Sigma and Tau Beta Pi engineering honor societies, and is also a graduate fellow of the Center for Energy and Sustainability, funded by the National Science Foundation. Recently, she was one of only ten students selected to represent Cal State L.A. at this year’s Annual CSU Student Research Competition. Meline, who also completed an internship at Covanta Energy, will pursue a career in the power production industry after graduation.

Marco SolisMarco Antonio Solis is completing his Bachelor of Science with a double major in mechanical engineering and manufacturing engineering this June. He was born in Guanajuato, Mexico, and at the age of 2, he journeyed to United States. During his time at Cal State L.A., he served as president of the student chapter of the Society of Hispanic Engineers and was involved with the Demo-UAV for Hybrid Propulsion System project. He is a member of the Cal State L.A. chapter of Chi Epsilon, a national civil engineering honor society. He is also a recipient of the Erika J. Glazer Family Scholarship and the TELACU College Success Scholarship. Marco Antonio is currently the youngest employee at the Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), working as an associate engineer. His future goal is to pursue a Master of Business Administration and become a chief executive officer.


College of Health and Human Service

TImothy BussellTimothy John Bussell is the first in his family to obtain a master’s degree, having earned his bachelor’s degree in social work and a certificate in child maltreatment and family violence from Cal State L.A. He was born in the United Kingdom and immigrated to the United States in 1997. This June, he is graduating with honors and receiving his master’s degree in social work. Last month, he won the “Best Poster Presentation” award during the annual Cal State L.A. Student Symposium on Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity. In addition to his studies, he gained professional experience as an intern at the Children’s Law Center at the Juvenile Court and the Dangerfield Institute of Urban Problems Group Homes. Currently, he is working as a children’s social worker with the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services.

Valerie RamosValerie Ramos, who is completing her Bachelor of Science in Nursing this June, is currently conducting research on fecal microbiota transplantation, which is in the process of being published. Valerie transferred from East Los Angeles Community College and is the first in her family to graduate from a four-year university. Demonstrating academic excellence, she is a member of Sigma Theta Tau, the nursing student’s honor society, Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and Golden Key International Honour Society. She is also involved with Student Nurses Association, Alpha Tau Delta Fraternity and the National Association of Hispanic Nurses, Los Angeles Chapter. After graduation, she plans to put her nursing skills to work for a year before pursuing a nurse anesthetist graduate program.


College of Natural and Social Sciences

Giulio SanchezBorn in Lima, Peru, Giulio Sanchez was admitted at age 14 to the Early Entrance Program at Cal State L.A. He majored in political science and minored in history and criminal justice. While pursuing his degree, he served in Associated Students, Inc. (A.S.I.) as an associate justice, as a member of the Bylaws and Codes of Procedure Subcommittee, and as chief justice. This year, he worked as an extern to the Honorable Victor E. Chavez of the California Superior Court and was a part of the newly-forming Legal Aid & Advocacy Clinic at Cal State L.A. Off campus, he interned for the L.A. County Department of Consumer Affairs and worked on the Wendy Greuel for Mayor campaign as an organizing fellow. An Honors College student, Giulio is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi honor society. This fall, he will attend the USC Gould School of Law on a merit-based scholarship and plans to pursue a career in litigation.