Spring 2017 Senior Honors Presentation Schedule

Friday, May 5

Victoria Whalen

9:30-9:50 a.m.
Steven G. Mihaylo Hall (SGMH) 1307
Mentor: Dr. Sanam Kazemi

"Breast Cancer Wellness Plan"


Breast cancer has and continues to affect numerous women. Because of great healthcare professionals and advanced technology, survival rates have increased over time. Breast cancer survivors have specific needs. The purpose of this project is to create a breast cancer survivor wellness plan, which will cover different dimensions of wellness. The dimensions covered will include intellectual, financial, emotional/spiritual, nutrition, physical, and social aspects of life after breast cancer. The initial questions posed were: What breast cancer wellness programs are currently in place and what are they lacking? How will this program differ from ones already in place? The needs of survivors will be addressed through interviews, questionnaires, and literature review. This project came to be because of a “Program Planning” class offered as part of the Health Science curriculum at California State University, Fullerton. The topic was easily selected because there are many affected breast cancer survivors, including my mom. The priority of the project is to improve the quality of life for breast cancer survivors, and ultimately create a program aimed at keeping them in remission! This project was graciously mentored by Dr. Sanam Kazemi, faculty of the Health Science Department at California State University, Fullerton.


My name is Victoria Whalen and I am a fourth year Health Science major. I will be graduating May, 2017 with an honors distinction as well as completing the University Honors Program requirements. I have made the Dean’s Honors List nearly every semester during my four years here at Cal State Fullerton. During my time here, I was an active member in a sorority for some time, a member of the Student Health Professions Association, a member of the Physician Assistant’s Coming Together Club, as well as a member of Consent is Key: Preventing Sexual Violence Club. I was also an initiated member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. I volunteered for over a year (150 hours) at St. Jude Medical Center, completed the COPE Health Scholars direct-patient-care internship (280 hours) at St. Joseph’s Hospital, as well as worked part time at a steakhouse in Chino Hills. After graduation, I plan to gain paid patient experience by getting my Certified Nursing Assistant Certification and working in a hospital. After this, I plan on going to PA school to pursue my dream of becoming a Physician’s Assistant.

Monica Vu

Mentor: Darany Hoang
"A Guide to Balanced and Simple Meals for College Students"


Typically during the college experience students rely on instant noodles or eating fast food frequently since most college students say that they are on a low budget and have little to no time. Fast food and eating away from home not only is very costly, but also contains many harmful ingredients that we do not know about. Thus, this project aims to overcome this challenge by finding recipes that are relatively inexpensive and easy to make. Additionally, there has been a need to look at more nutritious balanced meals for college students so they can comprehend that making their own food at home is less costly and more beneficial. Through this project, college students can access a variety of recipes that are simple, balanced, and low cost. Through guidance given by my mentor, I hope that this project can help college students increase their self-efficacy and confidence to cook their own meals so they can enjoy better health and quality of life.


I will graduate Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s of Science in Health Science. My passion in music led me to become involved in Women’s choir and ASI Productions. I have held leadership positions such as president of the Student Alumni Ambassadors, ASI Productions Administrative Director, and treasurer of Honors Student Advisory Council. With a drive to serve the community and to educate students on important issues, I have been a member of Rotaract, Consent is Key, and as a Step Up Facilitator. My senior honors project focuses on simple and inexpensive balanced meals for university students. I have been awarded the ASI Titan Shops Book Scholarship and Alumni Association Scholarship. Following graduation, I hope to gain more professional experience before entering graduate school.

Kasem Toubat

Mentor: Dr. Dominique Sturz
"The Current Efficacy of Treatments for Adolescent Depression"


Depression is one of the most prevalent and consequential disabilities in the world. This condition is a universal concern because it is found across age groups, cultures, and time. Depression is not only detrimental in itself, but is also heavily connected with the development of suicidal ideation and behavior. Epidemiological statistics show that this synergism between depression and suicide is perhaps most devastating for adolescents. Suicide is a leading cause of death in the adolescent population, second only to unintentional injury. Given this, the lack of attention and support for this public health issue is surprising. Therefore, the purpose of this literature review entailed three main objectives; to draw attention to the magnitude of this issue, to assess any current trends of adolescent depression, and to review whether or not current medical treatments are efficacious in stifling major depression in adolescents. This review also addressed the potential for promoting social support as a means of preventing adolescent depression. Despite common misconceptions, there is no evidence for or against the notion of there being an epidemic of adolescent depression. In addition, current pharmaceutical treatments for adolescent depression are mostly ineffective. Lastly, social support programs offer hope for catalyzing the prevention of adolescent depression.


My name is Kasem Toubat and I’m a senior health science student who will graduate in May, 2017. I have made the Dean’s List on several occasions throughout my academic career, and I currently have a 3.6 GPA. I’ve participated in the Student Health Professions Association (SHPA) for several years and have benefitted greatly from doing so. I’ve also been fortunate enough to contribute back to the community in a variety of roles. The primary way I do so is by working as an emergency medical technician (EMT) for Premier Medical Transport. However, I’ve also helped host and run National Night Out events for several years in the city of Bellflower. After I graduate, I plan to continue helping my community by becoming a physician assistant.

Siobhan Gee

Mentor: Dave Mickey

"Behind the Scenes: Deadly Hazards of the Entertainment Industry"


This presentation examines the onset of orthostatic hypotension, suspension trauma, and post-rescue procedure in a post-fall arrest situation as it relates to at-height workers in the entertainment industry. Riggers, carpenters, electricians, and stagehands are among many of the workers who are exposed to varying degrees of fall hazards on a daily basis within the entertainment industry. Whether it's pulling points from I-beams 85' above an arena floor, or focusing lights from a scissor lift 16' from a ballroom floor, many situations require at-height workers to use personal fall protection equipment properly. Fall protection and safe work practices protect the worker from an inevitable death. In the event that the worker's fall is arrested, the worker is now at great risk of orthostatic hypotension and requires a swift and immediate rescue.


I began my technical theater studies at Cal State Fullerton in 2013. One day as a stagehand with Star Way Productions, I gazed up into the rafters of Citizen's Business Bank Arena and noticed workers walking on the I-beams nearly 80' above the ground. "That looks dangerous. I want to do it too." With diligence and perseverance, I began professionally rigging in 2014. My first up rigging gig was in 2015 at Irvine Meadows where I maneuvered across 2" box beams nearly 60' above the amphitheater deck. It was terrifying, yet empowering. This was also the year that I hired into Technical Services at the Disneyland Resort where I took my first rope access class. This class was my first experience with even the concept of rescue. Since then, I began noticing issues within the industry with regards to fall protection and rescue. I am an advocate for safety and continue to work as a freelance rigger for companies such as Killswitch Inc, IATSE 504, PSAV, and more. I also enjoy my job as a maintenance technician for California Adventure's World of Color. When I am not at work, I enjoy belly dancing, working out, and traveling.

Natalie Dillon

Mentor: Dr. João Barros

"An Ethnographic Study Examining Disability and Occupational Therapy in Mexico and the United States"


As health services globalize and nations become more diverse, it becomes increasingly important that health professionals are culturally competent to provide clients with relevant medical care. With the mentorship of Dr. João Barros, the aim of this project is to investigate how the countries of Mexico and the United States each socially and culturally construct disability, and how their sociocultural contexts influence occupational therapy access and practice for children with disabilities. Utilizing ethnographic research methods and an interdisciplinary literature review, this project also explores the various activities and occupations that children with special needs engage in, examining how occupational participation, facilitation, or restriction to may have sociocultural influences specific to each country. By identifying these sociocultural distinctions, occupational therapists can improve their ability to provide culturally relevant and client-centered therapeutic interventions that holistically serve both the patient’s biomedical and cultural needs.


My name is Natalie Dillon, and I am a Kinesiology Major with a concentration in Clinical Movement Science and a minor in Spanish. As a President’s Scholar and University Honors student, I will be graduating Summa Cum Laude this May of 2017. Following a semester studying abroad at the Universidad de las Américas Puebla, I researched the sociocultural construct of disability in Mexico using ethnographic and interdisciplinary methods, with close attention to how those constructs influenced occupational therapy access and practice for children with disabilities. In the President’s Scholar Student Association, I led volunteer events and supported freshman as a Peer Scholar Mentor. I also worked as a rock climbing instructor at our campus gym, volunteered at various rehabilitation clinics, and served at a special needs summer camp. I am excited to begin attending Tufts University this fall to pursue my Master of Science in Occupational Therapy!

Anthony Co

Mentor: Dr. Heather Battaly
"Virtue and Homelessness"

The problem of homelessness elicits many different answers. This project used Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics as a framework to determine if our individual and collective response to homeless is too generous, not enough, or somewhere in the middle. In terms of charitability, seven kinds of givers are identified; uninformed givers; improvident givers; charitable people; sad givers; people with shameful greed; selfish givers; and the cruel. Additionally, achieving reliable results is more important in this situation than having the “right” motivations. Having good intentions is helpful in staying virtuous, but knowing which intentions are good, and even revealing a person’s motivation, is especially challenging. The context-specificity nature of Aristotelian virtue theory requires that more data should be made available if one is to thoroughly analyze a community’s charitability.


I am a Psychology major with a minor in Philosophy. My interests are generally rooted in advocating for social responsibility and coexistence. Accordingly, my Senior Honors Project focused on virtue theory and applying it to society’s response towards homelessness. In other words, I aim to find out whether we are being virtuous, disciplined, weak-willed, or vicious when interacting with homeless individuals. During my sophomore year, I was involved in CSUF Rotaract, which is a service club engaged in various community service events in Fullerton and the surrounding area. For my last year in college, I participated in CSUF’s Moot Court team. This involves defending the petitioner and respondent’s side of a hypothetical case in a mock appellate court environment. During the American Moot Court Association 2017 Brief-Writing Competition, my teammate and I placed fourth nationally for our respondent brief. After graduation, I will be spending most of my time studying for the LSAT and applying for law schools.

Elyse Smith

Mentor: Jonathan Taylor
"Visionary Biota Worldwide: Entheogenic Shamanism and the Human Experience of Selected Natural Psychoactive Substances"


Humans have consumed natural psychoactive “drugs” since time immemorial. Among indigenous tribes around the world, shamans have healed the “spiritually ill” of the community by using these visionary natural substances in ritual ceremonies, tending to ailments ranging from malevolent sorcery to psychological illness throughout history. Today, on almost every continent, indigenous shamans, western healers, and modern psychoactive plant-based religions practice these traditional and syncretic forms of healing for natives and foreigners alike. “Psychedelics,” “hallucinogens,” or “entheogens”—all remarkably consciousness-altering substances—have transcended through the millennia, presenting ways to access and explore vast, incomparable realms of the human psyche. In recent times, scientific research has provided strong empirical evidence for the unique potential of many of these substances to become psychiatric treatments with unparalleled therapeutic efficacy. This project is an in-depth, exploratory literature review of three of the world’s geographically distant, major entheogens: ayahuasca, peyote, and ibogaine. By examining these botanical psychedelics’ psychological and physiological effects, indigenous uses, and contemporary applications, this project aims to provide a sound informational basis for further study of what entheogenic remedies have offered timelessly and what they may indicate for the future of psychiatric and spiritual development.


I will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology as a CSUF University Honors Student who transferred from the Mt. San Antonio College Honors Program. Recently, I enjoyed completing an internship where I volunteered as the Life Enrichment Coordinator’s assistant at Crescendo Senior Assisted Living in Placentia. Choir has been a highly influential part of my school career. I was the soprano section leader, performed in four different countries and four major American concert halls, and won two international choir championships including the Grand Prix of Nations with the Mt. SAC Chamber Singers. I have also performed backup singing at the Hollywood Bowl twice with the CSUF Concert Choir. In the academic area, I have presented at both the Western Psychological Association and the Honors Transfer Council of California research conferences. After graduation, I plan to pursue graduate study in alternative psychotherapeutic modalities, including research into promising psychedelic-assisted therapy.

Mai Anh Tran

Mentor: Vanessa Gunther

"Victorian Era Sexuality and Gender Theories"

American Victorianism developed concurrently alongside its British counterpart, the era—defined as the length of Queen Victoria’s reign from 1837-1901—represented a social, political, and cultural force that established authoritative standards of conservative morality and sexual frigidity. During this time, the regulation of sex and sexuality evolved as a rhetoric of patriarchal power—theories of gender were constructed on social and biological understandings meant to keep women in a role of factual ignorance and embarrassment regarding their own sexuality. Thus, this period of restrictive Victorian ideals had a lasting effect on the gendering of American women throughout the following decades. My project explores the nature of Victorian-era conceptualizations of gender and sexuality and the influence of such principles on female identity, as well as their inherent reflection of pre-established patriarchal mechanisms.
My choice to pursue the subject of Victorian-era female sexuality is one of both personal and contemporary importance. As a female historian, this topic allows me to combine my scholarly interests and personal identity in the exploration of an issue that I believe to be both intriguing and of social value. Along with my mentor, Dr. Vanessa Gunther, I intend to address the importance of understanding and exploring the origins of modern gender roles and sexism. The history of gendering and sexual identification in the United States warrants further inquiry due to its modern application and contemporary significance for the conceptualization of the female image. This issue is therefore one that should be addressed, as the movement for progressive gender norms and roles continues to instigate debate and controversy and increases in influence over American politics, society, and culture.


As a President’s Scholar, Dean’s Scholar for the College of Communications, and University Honors student, I will graduate Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications-Advertising and a Bachelor of Arts in History. While attending CSUF, I have been involved on campus as Lead Mentor of the President's Scholars Peer Mentor Program, Director of Communications for the Communications Inter-Club Council, and a member of AdClub. I worked as a student assistant for the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs in the College of Communications, the Advertising Producer/Artist for Titan Communications, and Creative Director for the 2016 American Advertising Federation National Student Advertising Competition team which won third place at regionals. I will also be serving as the student commencement speaker for the History B.A. Class of 2017. After graduation, I anticipate a career in advertising/marketing with the long-term goal of attending law school and practicing in copyright/trademark infringement law.

Kristy Leung

Mentor: Dr. Jared Coburn
"The Effects of Hippotherapy on Movement: A Case Study"

My research is on the effects of hippotherapy on physical performance of a child with cerebral palsy. My mentor is Dr. Jared Coburn from the Kinesiology department. My interest started through seeing the impact cerebral palsy has on the development of a child that I take care of through my job as a respite care worker. The child initially would fall and stumble every step at the age of three. After trying out hippotherapy, there has been significant improvement in his core strength and his ability to walk. Now at the age of 5, he is able to walk at a stable pace and even change direction. The purpose of this project is to see if hippotherapy is evidence based practice. Clinicians often use specific types of treatment that have no evidence of being beneficial to the patients. Thus, I wanted to look at previous findings from other research and see if it is effective treatment in improving physical performance. I am doing a case study on a child that has cerebral palsy and that receives hippotherapy regularly. I will perform a series of physical performance (fitness) tests in order to see how the child has been responding to therapy. The series of tests will be performed twice. One at the beginning of a three month period and once at the end of the three month period. I hope to discover that hippotherapy is an evidence-based practice and has a positive impact in improving physical performance.


My name is Kristy Leung and I am a Kinesiology major. My expected graduation date is this spring, May 2017. I have received the honor of being on the Dean’s List and I am a part of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. For the past two years, I have been Treasurer and small group leader of Intervarsity Christian Fellowship on campus. Through volunteering at a Hand Therapy Clinic for the past year and a half, I have realized how we often take for granted the ability to walk or use our body parts to carry out daily activities. This eye opening experience has motivated me to work even harder in hopes of becoming an Occupational Therapist. After graduating, I plan on taking a gap year to apply for graduate school and to get more experience in the Occupational Therapy field, specifically in the hospital setting.

Flavio Salazar

Mentor: Hakob Avetisyan
"Green Homes: Striving for Sustainability"

The housing industry is always looking for the best ways to optimize the performance and improve the experience of homes. One area that has been advancing rapidly is green technology and related practices that reduce energy consumption and are environmentally friendly. However, it is not always known whether incorporating green technology and related practices are worth the effort and are cost effective. I am expecting to find some green technology and related practices that are already cost effective while others that still need more time to have a place in the everyday market.
I will be comparing the construction procedures and performance of a home when it is built with conventional techniques versus a greener, more eco-friendly version of it. My analysis of the two different home types will include the effects on the environment, materials used, energy consumption and production. Additionally, my research will cover the politics and policies related to this field while also considering the timeliness of completion, practicality, life cycle, cost, feasibility, and profitability.

My name is Flavio Salazar and I will be graduating this spring semester of 2017 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering with an overall GPA of 3.45. For five years, I have been part of the magic of dance with club Ballet Folklórico de CSUF. Currently, as an intern for TranSystems, I am on a team working on the Bus Stop Usability Study for LA County Metro where the bus stops throughout LA County are evaluated. This summer, I will be studying to pass the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam to become a certified Engineer-in-Training and will be seeking an entry-level engineering position. I will be pursuing a M.S. in Civil Engineering with a specialization in Transportation Engineering within the next year and a half.

Kevin Melgar

1:10- 1:30
Mentor: Dr. Pratanu Ghosh
"Better Concrete for Better Bridges: Optimizing Zeolite Use in High Performance Concrete for Bridge Deck Applications"


Zeolite is a natural mineral capable of improving concrete durability and partially replacing Portland cement in concrete. Thus, zeolite could decrease the need for Portland cement production, an activity responsible for 5% of global carbon dioxide emissions. This study investigated how to optimize zeolite use in High Performance Concrete for bridge deck applications. Numerous combinations of water-cement ratio (W/C), aggregate size, and amount of zeolite were tested to find which combination would most improve the concrete’s resistance to corrosion while maintaining the strength necessary for use in bridge decks. For this study, 32 concrete mixes were prepared. Of these mixes, 19 contained 10% to 35% zeolite, 9 contained a mix of zeolite and other supplementary cementitious materials, and 4 contained only Portland cement. The durability of these mixes was tested using non-destructive electrical testing over 56 days of curing. The strength of each mix was tested after 28 days of curing. Overall, 25% zeolite replacement was found to be optimal when ¾” aggregate and W/C 0.4 was used. This mixture had higher durability and strength than the 100% Portland cement mixes. These findings indicate that zeolite is a viable candidate for improved bridge deck construction.


My name is Kevin Melgar, and my major is Civil Engineering. Under the advisement of Dr. Pratanu Ghosh, I performed research on High Performance Concrete for my Senior Honors Project. I also participated in graduate-level courses specifically related to Structural Engineering. I am a student member of numerous professional organizations, including the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Concrete Institute. Outside of CSUF, I have enjoyed volunteering at my church as a youth leader for high school students. This semester, I am graduating with my Bachelor of Science Degree, having maintained a GPA of 3.97. I have been nominated for a graduate fellowship at UCLA, and I plan to pursue my Master’s Degree in Structural Engineering after graduation.

Stacy Hahn

Mentor: HyeKyeung Seung
"How Intervention Programs Have an Effect on Language Outcomes in Children with Autism"


The purpose of this study is to find how intervention programs have an effect on language outcomes in children with autism. The data were collected online. The ages of the children ranged from 2 years and 11 months to 7 years and 5 months. The sample consists of 1 female and 10 males. Majority of the responses indicated that intervention programs did have an effect and even improved their language.


My name is Jeongyon Hahn and I am a Communicative Disorders major. I have been working towards applying to graduate school in my field and hoping to become a speech language pathologist. I have been involved in volunteering under a speech therapist in a hospital setting, in a communication recovery group for stroke survivors, and as a translator for graduate clinicians in the CSUF speech and hearing clinic. Next semester I will be applying to graduate schools and hopefully continuing in the field I have grown to admire and respect.

Melanie Espino-Canche

Mentor: Dr. Erica Howell
"Children with Disabilities Experience Music and Dance Integration"


The research investigation, supported by Co-Director of the Center for Autism, Dr. Erica Howell, examines the benefits of incorporating music and dance into weekly cheer classes for children with disabilities. The performing arts and athletic related extra-curricular activities are not easily accessible to children with special needs and the objective is to provide them with that opportunity and investigate the impact it makes on their development. The underlying purpose of this project is to bring awareness that the implementation of a stimulating routine provides children with disabilities the opportunity for social, cognitive, and physical growth. Throughout the experience, they are encouraged to overcome their physical barriers and recognize their potential. In addition, incorporation of hidden curricula is utilized that implement the common core state standards. The exploratory results evoke that regardless of the stigma posed by their disability, children with special needs are indeed capable of participating in such activities and there are NO LIMITS.


My name is Melanie Rae Espino-Canche and I am an honors biological science major with a concentration in molecular biology and biotechnology as well as a minor in chemistry.  My major specific GPA is 3.9 and I am expected to graduate May of 2018.  My leadership roles include director of the Alhambra Thunderbirds Cheerleading organization, instructor for the McCoy Rigby Conservatory of the Arts special needs class, and publicity chair of the Freshman Programs Student Association.  I am a member of the National Society for Collegiate Scholars, Student Health Professions Association, and American Medical Student Association. I volunteer as a child life volunteer and surgery observer at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, where I hope to pursue a career as a pediatric surgeon in the future. My post-graduation plans are to attend medical school and turn small victories into profound transformations in the lives of my patients.

Karen Barron

Mentor: Yuying Tsong
"Help-Seeking Experiences Among Latinx Parents of Children with Autism"


Research has found that Latinx children are more likely to receive an Autism diagnosis, up to a whole year later compared to White children. Latinx individuals also encounter barriers due to their cultural beliefs toward disabilities, lack of knowledge on atypical behavior, and appropriate developmental milestones of children.

The purpose of this qualitative study is to understand the help seeking experiences, barriers, and facilitating factors that Latinx parents faced in receiving and seeking services for their children with Autism and their recommendations to other parents who have a child with Autism. The researcher conducted in-person, semi-structured interviews with a total of 8 participants who all identified as Latinx. Interviews were transcribed and translated and analyzed using a phenomenological approach.

Results showed parents lacked the most support when they first received the Autism diagnosis. A main focal point is that most parents stated a lack of support from their primary practitioner. The most salient themes for support came through family and parent support groups. Regarding recommendation for other parents, themes included accepting the diagnosis and becoming educated on Autism in order to better help their children. Results from this study still help educators, practitioners, and policy makers better understand how to reduce barriers and promote facilitators to better help Latinx parents who have children with Autism.


I will graduate magna cum laude with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Human Services with an emphasis in elementary education. I studied abroad in France and was part of the first Human Services group ever to study abroad. I have had the privilege of completing over 260 hours at my internships which included schools and a family outreach program. I was a speaker at the Annual Fiesta Educativa Conference which is an agency that works on empowering parents of children with special needs. I currently get to work with children who have Autism and after graduation I want to keep gaining experience working with children in school settings to later pursue my multi-subject credential and become an elementary school teacher.

Nicole Felix

Mentor: Aaron Goetz
"Scrubs and Sluts: Sexism in Online Gaming"

Research has found that sexism negatively affects women in many areas of life, including the workplace and the home. Recent studies have also found evidence of sexism in the gaming community. On average, women who play online games are more likely to receive hateful or sexual comments than men. In an attempt to further this area of study, this project explores whether people’s attitudes towards a victim of in-game harassment differs when the victim is male or female. Participants took an online survey under the guise of a study on “trashtalk in competition”. Half of participants read a story in which a male gamer harasses a male victim, and the other half of participants read a story in which a male gamer harasses a female victim. These stories were nearly identical, apart from pronoun changes. Following the short story, participants answered questions gauging their attitudes towards the characters. It was found that people were significantly less sympathetic towards the female victim than the male victim. In addition, when the victim was female participants were more forgiving toward perpetrator.


I am a psychology major that spends her mornings helping special needs kindergarteners. In between studying and finger painting, I competed in collegiate parliamentary debate and impromptu speaking. At midnight, I could be found doing the Time Warp as Janet with a local Rocky Horror Picture Show shadowcast. My love of gaming and fascination with online culture inspired me to study sexism in the gaming community for my senior honors project. After graduation, I plan to lay in a hammock and drink something with a miniature umbrella in it. Oh, and apply for graduate school. I don’t exactly know what comes next, but if it’s anything like my college experience I’m sure it’ll be full of challenges, surprises, and adventure.

Miguel Baltazar

4:00- 4:20
Mentor: John Ibson
"The Final Blade: A Film Script"


My topic is on a film script that I wrote titled “The Final Blade” which is about an emotionally fragile Mexican American college student who uses his newly discovered powers to fight against a masked terrorist in a post-utopian Chicago. The nature of my project is to show the importance of scriptwriting in the film industry and illustrating the writing process through my own script. The topic of screenplays and film writing is vague and often ignored by movie goers even though it’s the essential foundation of all films. Movies are an important part of our culture and express many facets of our lives; this project will showcase the importance of story structure to craft an original story that welcomes Mexican culture into the superhero genre. The Final Blade is my first film script which means it is not going to be fully polished. I have used traditional and innovative methods to create it and this project represents the process that professional screenwriters use in the film industry. This script is my initiation into the chaotically beautiful world of cinema.


My name is Miguel Baltazar. I am currently a senior pursuing a BFA in illustration. I expect to graduate in Spring 2018. I am proud and honored to say that I have miraculously maintained a 3.98 GPA. Honors that I have received over my four years were the College of the Arts Dean’s List for Fall 2013 and Spring 2014. Recently in May of 2016 I was awarded Tutor of the Year by the GEAR UP program at CSUF under Educational Partnerships. Not just being a student, I have extended out my duties as a human being and contributed to the campus culture. I first got involved with Camp Titan under ASI where I received training to be a camp counselor to a group of kids in the summer of 2014. Being an artist and advocate to students, I have dedicated time to giving art lessons to students at my elementary school. Recently I became a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society for my academic distinction at CSUF. My post-graduation plans are to work at an animation studio as a storyboard artist and eventually work up to become an art director or director.

Austria Silk

Mentor: Dr. Carrie Lane
"The Teenage Girl in Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, and Degrass"

My senior honors project analyzes how teenage girls are depicted within the mainstream media, typically on television shows like Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, and Degrassi. The purpose of my project is to gather information that proves my thesis that teenage girls in television shows are being pushed toward adulthood at a young age. The girls on these shows are dealing with responsibilities that are too mature for their age, are overtly sexualized, and are heavily involved in vice and violence. I want to look into what causes these issues in real life, and why teenage girls are used to depict these real-life problems in television shows. My mentor, Dr. Carrie Lane, and I actually came up with my topic together. I wanted to focus on how teenage girls are depicted within the media, and Dr. Lane suggested that I narrow my topic down to contemporary media, and strictly to television. As a result of my project, I want to conclude that teen girls are used because there is a wider range of opportunities for exploitation for girls versus males, and that while these television shows do address real-life issues; they dramatize these issues for the entertainment piece.


My name is Austria Silk, and I am a senior majoring in Communications, with an emphasis in Public Relations. I am graduating in Spring 2017 with a 3.75 GPA. I have been on the Dean’s List all four years here at California State University, Fullerton.  I have been a member of PRSSA for two years, and I have done volunteer work at a local high school for its Sports Communications department. I wrote articles and created social media content. After graduation, I want to have a career in Sports Public Relations, work for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and attend graduate school at CSUF after I have gained work experience.

Allie Munier

"A Look into Spec Scripts"


My senior honors project is on the subject of spec scripts. The project covers what a spec script is in the television industry, why writers use them, and the process of writing one. I chose this topic because as a Cinema Television Arts Major, I had heard the term spec script but did not have a comprehensive understanding of what they were. I knew I wanted to do my project on something in my field, and also on something I love. That is why I chose to do my research on spec scripts, but also incorporate a creative aspect where I wrote my own spec scripts on one of my favorite shows, “Bob’s Burgers.” Through my research, I now have a much better understanding of spec scripts, but also of the television industry as a whole, especially for writers. Writing the original script taught me what a challenge writing a spec script can be, but also how to think in new and different ways to conquer writer’s block.


My name is Allie Jo Munier, and I have spent the last 4 years at CSUF working hard to earn degrees in Cinema Television Arts as well as Communications with a concentration in Entertainment and Tourism. I will be graduating as an honors student in May 2017 with a cumulative GPA of 3.8. Since my freshmen year I have been in the honors program as well as a member of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority. Through Gamma Phi Beta, I have held a few leadership rolls and worked with the philanthropy Girls on the Run. Along with school and sorority, I’ve been working at Disneyland for the past 3 years. I hope to continue working for the Disney Company after graduation and making people happy for a living.

Cinthia Pasillas Yañez

"Journalism in Mexico and the United States: A Personal Experience"


My project covers my personal journalistic experiences in two countries, Mexico and the United States. Those experiences are based on my internships. The purpose of this project is to explore how journalism, through an internship, is different in these two countries. This work has been written to share both the beauty of journalism as well as its dangerous side. I decided to write about journalism because this is my major and what I will be doing after graduation. Being a journalist is not only coming out on a camera and looking good, there is way more than that. There are challenges and risks that journalists go through, therefore I decided to talk about my experiences. My project highlights things that I witnessed and experienced while I was an intern in Mexico and during my internships in the United States. I give detailed information of the time I was “censured” and how safe I felt in some occasions while doing my job as a reporter. Through this project, I have come to understand the life of a reporter from an international perspective while realizing that there will be many more adventures as I continue my professional journey.


My name is Cinthia Pasillas Yáñez and my major is Communications with an emphasis in Broadcast Journalism. I have been part of the Honors Program since my freshman year and I made the Dean’s list several times. I was a member of the Latino Journalists of CSUF and later served as the Vice President of the club. I am also member of the Latino Communications Initiative. After graduation, I plan to get a job as a reporter or a multi-media journalist. I want to report in Spanish. I also plan to get my master’s degree in Criminal Justice and combine that with my journalism knowledge to do investigative reporting.

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Last Published 9/25/18

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