Visit Health Watch for COVID-19 updates. Find Employee Return to Campus and Student Return to Campus information.
Emergency Notification

Six Cal State LA graduate students named Casanova Scholars

December 7, 2017

By Margie Low | Cal State LA News Service

Six graduate students from California State University, Los Angeles have been selected for the 2017-18 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 2017-18 Casanova Scholars are noted below.

Stephany Bravo is an M.A. candidate in the Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies department. She has researched the ways in which muralists, photographers, poets and musicians from the city of Compton have created communal and autonomous narratives of Compton’s Black and Latinx populations. Bravo aspires to become a tenured professor of ethnic studies and a curator of all things related to Chicanx and Latinx popular culture. She is a Compton resident.

Marilyn Bueno is completing her M.A. in archaeology with a focus on Maya ritual and mortuary practices. Her thesis analyzes Maya concepts of death and the afterlife using conceptual models drawn from ethnography. Bueno plans to pursue a Ph.D. in bioarchaeology to investigate rock-shelter burials using an approach that incorporates biological, ethnographical, and archaeological data. She is a Pasadena resident.

Claudia Camacho-Trejo is an anthropology graduate student who has worked on two important archaeological projects in Mexico: the Templo Mayor project of Tenochtitlan and the Mural Conservancy project at Teotihuacan. Her research focuses on ritual objects in connection with human sacrifice among the Aztecs. After graduation, she plans to complete her Ph.D. in archaeology and teach in the CSU system. She is a Lynwood resident.

Cinthia Campos is pursuing a master’s degree in anthropology with an emphasis on Mesoamerican cave archaeology. For her master’s thesis, she analyzes ritual cave use among the Tarascans of pre-Hispanic Michoacán, Mexico. Through landscape studies, ethnohistorical and ethnographic research, Campos aims to further explore ancient Tarascan religion and cosmology. She is an Inglewood resident.

Joel Ramirez is a graduate student in kinesiology, who is interested in exercise science and physiology. His thesis will examine the feasibility and effectiveness of tracking physical activity using electromyography. Ramirez’s goal is to earn a Ph.D. in biokinesiology or exercise and a doctorate in physical therapy. He would like to treat patients and research the underlying mechanisms of therapeutic exercise. He is a Whittier resident.

Raquel Rojas is a graduate student in studio arts and art history. Her M.F.A. thesis project in studio arts focuses on “Femicide in America.” Her thesis for the M.A. in art history surveys the imagery of female reproductive organs throughout the Aztec codices. Rojas plans to pursue a Ph.D. in art history, with a focus on gender representation in pre-Columbian art. Her hometown is Terra Bella in the heart of Central California.

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: Front, left to right, Dean Karin E. Brown, Marilyn Bueno, Raquel Rojas, Associate Professor Christine Dy, and Cinthia Campos. Back, left to right, Stephany Bravo, Professor James Brady, Claudia Camacho-Trejo, and Joel Ramirez. (Credit: CSU Chancellor’s Office)

# # #


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.

Cal State LA is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, Billie Jean King Sports Complex and the TV, Film and Media Center. For more information, visit