Edison Scholars | Spotlight

Two Honors College students named as first Edison Scholars

Edison International awards $1 million endowment to CSULA for scholarships

L-r: Honors College students Yulan Lin and Francisco Sepulveda with Edison CEO and CSULA president.
L-r: 2013 Edison Scholars Yulan Lin and Francisco Sepulveda.

Recognized for their academic excellence and their passion for the sciences, Cal State L.A.’s senior Yulan Lin and freshman Francisco Sepulveda were selected as the first scholarship recipients of the Edison Scholars program, funded by a $1 million endowment from Edison International to the University’s Honors College.

Both Lin and Sepulveda are in CSULA’s Honors College, a competitive interdisciplinary program for students pursuing advanced degrees. They will receive scholarship support annually until they graduate.

Lin is a chemistry major who began college at 13 through the University’s Early Entrance Program. Sepulveda is a biology major and the first in his family to attend college.

“The opportunity at Cal State L.A. to interact with like-minded peers and to explore my interests in a supportive environment with great faculty has been amazing,” said Lin.

Currently, Lin is conducting research with CSULA Professor Yong Ba and Caltech Professor Julie Kornfield. In her free time, she enjoys music, singing with the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, and volunteering with the Saturday Conservatory of Music.

After completing her degree at CSULA, Lin hopes to travel abroad before continuing her education.

“I’ve always loved learning, and wanted to know more about life at the molecular level,” said Lin. “Although I’m not sure what I want to study in the future, I love the freedom I have to ask questions in the sciences, and the tools I am given to pursue the answers.”

Lin also expressed her gratitude in being recognized as one of the University’s first Edison Scholars during a recent press conference held on campus at the Golden Eagle Ballroom.

“It makes me feel really good to know that other people who I respect look up and notice what I’m doing,” said Lin.

The Edison Scholars endowment aims to provide a stable base and support for Honors College students in perpetuity. In addition to the $1 million endowment for the CSULA Edison Scholars program, Edison International has helped raise another $1 million in gifts and pledges for the Honors College.

“Through Edison’s support, gifted CSULA Honors College students, like our first Edison Scholars Yulan and Francisco, will have the opportunity to become better leaders within their chosen STEM fields,” said Cal State L.A. President James M. Rosser. “These segments of the workforce are not only on the frontline of the strengthening economy, but also enable other industries to function at the high technological level today’s workforce demands.”

Sepulveda, a 2012 graduate of Bell Gardens High School, plans to pursue a master’s degree in forensic science.

“I chose to attend CSULA because it was close to home and it has one of the best programs in criminalistics,” he said. “I was always interested in science, so it was easy for me to choose a major.”

The first two quarters at CSULA were very difficult for Sepulveda due to his financial situation.

“My mom had to find a job so I would be able to pay for my education,” he said. “Now, with this award, it will be easier for me to pay for school and not have to worry about being tight on money.”

Sepulveda also commented that so far the Honors College and the Edison Scholars experience has been “amazing.”

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