Spring 2017 Senior Honors Presentation Schedule

Saturday, May 6

Michelle Sawaya

9:00-9:20 a.m.
Mentor: Dr. Aaron Popp

"Business' Perspective on California's Future Minimum Wage Hike from $10 to $15 Per Hour"


My project under the guidance of Dr. Popp from the Department of Economics at Cal State Fullerton deals with business’ perspective on the upcoming minimum wage hike from $10 to $15 an hour. This new policy was declared in 2015 by the Fair Wage Act which was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown. The purpose of my project is to answer the economic debate if the minimum wage is beneficial or detrimental to society. My project developed through my interest in policy and its effects on society. Initially, my honors thesis was under Organizational Management and over time changed to an Economics project. For my senior thesis, I surveyed around fifty businesses in Orange County and compared minimum wage effects on Arkansas’ counties and their neighboring out-of-state counties. With the Arkansas data, I also compared the county pairs by industry.  Survey data indicated that businesses plan to cut back on benefits and make more investments in technology. The Arkansas data showed that salaries may be affected by a minimum wage increase.


My name is Michelle Sawaya and I am a senior at Cal State Fullerton. I am majoring in Business Economics and plan to graduate cum laude in May 2017. I was a member of the Leadership Scholars program my sophomore and junior year. I had the opportunity to be the VP of Operations for the Leadership Scholars program my junior year. Other extracurricular activities I participated in are Pre-Law Society and the Economics Association. After graduation, I plan to travel to different counties while finding a career that I love through job opportunities that come my way. Eventually, I plan to get a J.D. or MBA to further my career potential. 

Kathryn Coburn

9:20-9:40 a.m.
Mentor: Lenor Cadena

"The Opportunities and Challenges of Addressing Religious Discrimination in the Work Force"


The topic of my project is religious discrimination in the workplace. It is a research-based project studying some instances of discrimination that have happened and looks at a way to build a plan to address the issue if possible.  This project is an expansion of another project that was previously done through a class. It was a topic that interested me and I felt like I wanted to expand it and go into more detail. The project provides background into what constitutes religious freedom and discrimination and how even with our constitutional right for religious freedom, we still can be subjected to discrimination. My research considers a few different court cases where religious discrimination has happened in the workplace and responds by finding ways to prevent such instances from happening.


I am majoring in Humans Services on the Persons with Disabilities track. I have a GPA of 3.73 and have been on the Dean’s List a handful of times. My expected graduation date is May 2017. I am actively involved in the Colleges Against Cancer Club and serve as the Community Outreach Chair. I have been interning with the Illumination Foundation at their Children’s Resource Center for the past year. I volunteer and help out with my church youth group as a core team member and have been doing so since high school. After graduation, I plan on taking a year off before applying for the Master’s in Social Work program. 

Rachel Cardwell

9:40-10:00 a.m.
Mentor: Phillip Woodward

"Financial Anaylysis of Commercial Carpet and Flooring Services, Inc."


My project will look at the financials of  Commercial Carpet and Flooring Services, Inc. and analyze its function and performance through the calculation of accounting ratios. Also, my project creates a database for the company and SQL statements to help sort and filter the information. In addition, I forecast the company sales for 2016 and 2017. I chose this topic because I could combine both of my business concentrations, Accounting & Information Systems and Decision Sciences into one project. This topic is important to me because I can use the fundamentals I have learned and apply them to the business world. This is important to people in my field because if I can analyze the performance of this company, I will be able to improve others in the future.


My name is Rachel Cardwell. I am a Business Major with a double emphasis in Accounting and Information Systems & Decision Sciences (ISDS). I am expected to graduate in Spring of 2018 with a 3.80 GPA. Some of the awards that I have received while at Cal State Fullerton include, the Dean’s List (2013-2016), Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society nominee and member, and top 10% of my graduating class. In my free time, I volunteer as a small group leader with 3rd graders and college students at my church, Yorba Linda Friends Church. After graduation, my plans include attending graduate school for my Master’s in either Accounting or Information Systems & Decision Sciences.

Han Tran 

10:00-10:20 a.m.
Steven G.Mihaylo Hall (SGMH) 1307
Mentor: Steven Chen

"A Correlation Study: The Relationship Between Career Engagement Levels, Social Media Affinity, and Impression Management Among College Undergraduates"


The increase in social media usage among human resource institutions has spawned attention to the role of appropriate online presentation at college student level. This study aims to understand college students' social media utilization during the job searching process, and specifically, how they position themselves via the virtual world across multiple audiences. Based on relevant empirical evidence, a theoretical framework was created to explore the influences of social media affinity and levels of career engagement on impression management strategies, specifically in self-promoting and self-monitoring. The research was conducted with quantitative analysis accumulating from a sample size of 197 randomly selected students across the United States. Correlation results suggested positive relationship between social media affinity, self-promotion tactics, and self-monitoring image control. No significant difference was found between career engagement levels and impression management practices. Effects of difference between gender, class level, and ethnicity groups are also determined. Implication for educational stakeholders and student welfare will be discussed.


My name is Han Tran, and I am a fourth-year senior graduating in Spring 2017. I am currently majoring in Marketing at the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics. Through my classes and extracurricular activities, I developed a passion for digital marketing and advertising. This inspired me to conduct my senior honors project on the social media usage among undergraduate college students. My study aims to understand college students’ social media utilization during the job searching process, especially how they position themselves in the virtual world across multiple platforms and thus in front of a diverse audience. During my college experience, I have received multiple academic honors, such as the Dean’s Honor List (Spring 2013 through Fall 2016), the Bill Doomey Memorial Insurance Scholarship, the MCBE Alumni Scholarship, and the Student Government’s Leadership Scholarship. Besides having a strong record of academic excellence, I have also served as an executive board member in numerous student organizations, including the Association of Inter-Cultural Awareness, and Finance Association, to name a few. I was also the Campus Ambassador in the Summer 2014. In that role, I conducted daily campus tours and delivered presentations to new students. After graduation, I hope to obtain an entry-level position in digital marketing and would like to pursue a graduate degree in Business Analytics.

Karla Gutierrez

10:30-10:50 a.m.
Mentor: Danielle Zacherl

"Evaluating the Importance of Pre-settlement vs. Post-settlement Process in Determining Adult Population Density of the Olympia Oyster, Ostrea Lurida, in Newport Bay, CA"


The U.S West Coast native Olympia oyster, Ostrea lurida, forms reefs that provide crucial habitat, stabilize sediment, and improve water quality. In the past century, O. lurida suffered drastic population declines prompting restoration efforts. Subsequent studies show an interest in factors that influence population densities and therefore enhance local population revival. The objective of this study is to assess the relationship between three different life stages of O. lurida (settler, recruit, and adult) and evaluate the effect of settlement and recruitment, proxies of pre- and post- settlement processes respectively, on adult population density. Pulses of recruitment stored in the adult population can influence decoupling between both settlement and recruitment from population density. Therefore this storage effect could explain the non-significant relationship found between these processes and population density. Despite finding no significant determinant of adult populations, these data demonstrate that oyster populations experience variable conditions that may affect reproductive success. Additionally, we found a density-dependent relationship between settlement and recruitment. Considering that settlement may drive recruitment asymptotically, it is important to locate sites that promote high settlement. These potential restoration sites will most likely present a clean slate that, provided with the necessary habitat, could support future adult oyster populations.


My name is Karla Gutiérrez, I will be graduating in May 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. My first semester I became involved in M.E.Ch.A, a Chicana/o based socio-political organization where I was responsible for leading events that raised awareness of our culture and promoted higher education to students from minority backgrounds. My academic career and research focused on marine ecology and restoration of the native Olympia oyster. I am currently a volunteer aquarist at the Aquarium of the Pacific where I care for, train, and assist in medical treatments. My goal after graduation is to join The Leatherback Trust in Costa Rica that monitors endangered sea turtles and I plan to pursue a career in conservation biology.

Nuzhat Islam

10:50-11:10 a.m.
Mentor: Catherine Brennan

"Influences of Metabolism on Drosophila Phagocyte Activity"


Under the guidance of Dr. Catherine Brennan, my research investigates the regulation of immune responses to infection. As a long-time member of the Brennan Laboratory, this project grew out of our shared research interests. We study the processes of phagocytosis and phagosome maturation through the use of Drosophila. Phagocytosis is the process by which microbes are engulfed into a phagosome by phagocytic blood cells, and then degraded through phagosome maturation. Together, phagocytosis and phagosome maturation constitute one of the primary lines of defense against infection. My research investigates factors that influence the immune activity of these phagocytes. This research will help us to understand immunity at the molecular level, and may serve as an important step in developing new therapeutic interventions for the treatment of disease.


My name is Nuzhat Islam. I am majoring in Biological Science with a concentration in Cell and Developmental Biology, and minoring in Chemistry, Health Science, and Pre-Health Professions. I expect to graduate in May 2017, and am a President’s Scholar at CSUF, as well as a University Honors Program participant. I have been on the Dean’s List each semester since my matriculation, and was awarded the Presidents’ Commission Scholars Award (2015) by the CSU Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology. I conduct research on immunity as a member of the Brennan Laboratory, and intern at St. Mary Medical Center in Long Beach as a Health Scholar and Department Coordinator for the Rehabilitation unit interns. Following graduation, I will apply to medical school in pursuit of a career in Allopathic Medicine.

Saumya Jani

11:10-11:30 a.m.
Mentor: Marcelo Tolmalsky

"Solving the Problem of Antibiotic Resistance through EGS Technology"


College is often said to be a transformative experience, and it was no different for me. While I came to CSUF as a President’s Scholar and a University Honors student, neither of these identities came with the knowledge of what I wanted to do or who I wanted to be in the future. After spending the first year exploring my academic options, I decided to focus my studies on cellular and developmental biology while minoring in chemistry, health science, and pre-health professions. Although a few numbers and lists can reveal my dedication to academics, they cannot explain how the many opportunities and experiences I have had over the past four years have changed me. I have had the opportunity to explore the roles of healthcare professionals as a COPE Health Scholar, study abroad with Semester at Sea, conduct research on campus and at the University of Oxford through the Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training (MHIRT) program, improve my writing skills as the biology section editor for Dimensions, learn about clinical research as a research associate in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, empower high school students to pursue higher education as a staff member for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Fullerton, and explore the administrative side of research as the student assistant for the Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) program. All of these experiences have motivated me to pursue a career as a physician scientist. After graduating this May, I will be participating in a summer research program with support from the Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholarship and applying to joint MD/PhD programs.


Antibiotic resistance poses a serious threat to human health. Extending the useful life of existing antibiotics can contribute to solving this problem. An approach we are developing, known as external guide sequence (EGS) technology, could lead to the design of combination therapies that include existing antibiotics that are losing power due to the increase in resistance. This methodology consists of designing antisense compounds that take advantage of the properties of an endogenous ribozyme, directing it to cleave specific mRNA molecules and concomitantly turning off expression of key proteins. Elimination of proteins that cause antibiotic resistance converts otherwise resistant bacteria into susceptible bacteria. Furthermore, this strategy can be used to disable proteins that cause a variety of unrelated diseases. Successful development of this technology requires optimal composition of EGSs. In this work, we carried out a systematic analysis of EGSs with different chemical compositions. Oligomers containing locked nucleic acids, bridged nucleic acids, and deoxyribonucleotides in different configurations were assayed to determine their ability to induce degradation of mRNA and inhibition of expression of a resistance protein of high clinical relevance. We found that oligomers in configurations called gapmers containing specific numbers of locked nucleic acids and deoxyribonucleotides induced almost complete degradation of mRNA. Addition of this compound in combination with an antibiotic to resistant clinical isolates interrupted the bacterial growth indicating that resistance had been reversed. Our results hold great promise that the identified gapmers could be used in therapies to treat life-threatening infections caused by multidrug resistant bacteria.

Nhu Vu

11:30-11:50 a.m.
Mentor: Paula K. Hudson

"Characterization of Short-chain Dicarboxylic Acids in the Infrared Region Using Beer's Law"


Atmospheric aerosol particles have a large and indeterminate effect on the Earth’s climate. Incoming solar radiation and outgoing terrestrial radiation can directly interact with aerosol particles which can scatter or absorb the radiation. This process can result in either a cooling effect on the Earth’s surface, where incoming solar radiation is scattered back to space or a warming effect, where outgoing infrared terrestrial radiation can be absorbed and reemitted back to the Earth’s surface. Radiative transfer calculations, a quantification of the radiative effects, are dependent on absorption and extinction parameters which are dependent on the chemical composition and phase of the aerosol particle. In this study, the optical properties of short chain C2 – C6 α, ω-dicarboxylic acids are measured using infrared radiation. Five particular acids- oxalic, malonic, succinic, glutaric, and adipic acid, and mixtures thereof, have been characterized in the infrared fingerprint region from 1500 – 1000 cm-1 using a Fourier transform infrared (IR) spectrophotometer. The additive property of Beer’s Law is examined for spectra of mixtures by adding appropriate ratios of pure compounds. Results from this spectral math show inconsistencies in the absorbance of mixtures and pure compounds. As a result, algorithmic curve fitting is used to qualitatively and quantitatively identify the individual components from spectra of the mixtures. Analysis of the results reveals the degree to which each pure dicarboxylic acid can be distinguished in the infrared region. The detection of each compound by our method will be discussed.


My name is Nhu Vu. I am graduating with a B.S. degree in Biochemistry. While completing my undergraduate studies at CSUF, I have been a member of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Scholars Program, I was a mentor for first-year STEM students at Fullerton College, and the recipient of a Student Poster Presentation Award for Chemistry at the Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science National Conference in October 2016. I research how aerosol particles, such as sea salt or desert dust, interact with light. Similar to greenhouse gases, aerosol particles in the atmosphere can absorb and re-emit radiation coming from the Earth's surface; the extra radiation emitted back has an impact on climate. I have a cumulative GPA of 3.78 and will graduate magna cum laude. I am excited to begin a Ph.D. program in Fall 2017!

Desirae Terrien

12:00-12:20 a.m.
Mentor: Minjung Kim

"The Use and Efficacy of Music in Speech and Language Therapy"


Music and language share many parallels; both of these forms of expression use elements of melody and rhythm to integrate units of sound into meaningful structures. Due to these similarities, music often plays a role in the treatment of speech and language disorders. Given today’s rising awareness of communication disorders and increasing demand for speech-language pathologists’ services, it is important for clients and their families that therapists use evidence-based practices. Thus, this literature review focuses on the use and efficacy of music in speech and language therapy. It provides a brief overview of the relationship between music and language in the human brain, followed by descriptions of music-based techniques that are used with the goal of improving the communication abilities of patients with aphasia, voice disorders, fluency disorders, and developmental disabilities. The efficacy of these techniques is discussed, as well as possible explanations as to why each method is or is not effective.


My name is Desirae Terrien. I will graduate summa cum laude in spring 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communicative Disorders. As a University Honors student, I have conducted a literature review on the use of music in speech therapy. I am also a devoted member of CSUF Titan Catholic, having served this student organization as its publicity chair, its club secretary, and a violinist in its praise band. I have volunteered at Providence Speech and Hearing Clinic for five semesters and have worked at CSUF as a teaching assistant and a tutor. After graduation, I plan to pursue a master’s degree to become a speech-language pathologist.

Carina Barbosa

12:20-12:40 p.m.
Mentor: HyeKyeung Seung

"Bilingualism's Effect on the Language Development of Children with Developmental Disorders"


Developmental disabilities are a prevalent disorder affecting 1 in 6 children in the United States (Boyle et al, 2011). Children with a developmental disability include the diagnoses of Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, Hearing Loss, Specific Language Impairment, Intellectual Disabilities among many others. Children with these diagnoses often face speech and language difficulties. The purpose of this senior honors project is to examine the existing research concerning bilingual language development for children with Autism, Down syndrome, and Hearing loss. The goal of this project is to assess whether a second language would negatively impact the language development of a child with a developmental disability when compared to typically developing monolingual children and monolingual children with a developmental disability. The last factor taken into consideration is whether clinician bias plays a factor in the recommendation provided to patients and families. 


I will graduate in Fall 2017 with a B.A. in Communicative Disorders and a minor in Spanish. During my time at CSUF, I was a dean’s scholar every semester for the College of Communications and participated in the University Honors program. I was also involved in student organizations such as Student Speech Therapists and Audiologists Nurturing Cultural Enrichment (S.T.A.N.C.E.) in which I spread awareness on the importance of multicultural and diversity issues within the field of speech language pathology and audiology. Beyond this, I was a volunteer and interpreter at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, a Los Angeles county facility focusing on the recovery of individuals who have suffered traumatic brain injuries, strokes and spinal cord injuries. Upon graduation, I will be applying to graduate school in pursuit of a Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology. 

Hanan Elali

12:40-1:00 p.m.

"Native Language Maintenance and Loss among Four Bilingual Siblings"


 This study aims to provide an in-depth look at the language maintenance and or loss among a group of four bilingual siblings. The matter of nonnative language maintenance in the United States consists of numerous layers that all contribute to whether a language will be passed down to future generations. The significance of this topic is that it is a phenomenon that is occurring across a growing number of different ethnic groups in the country (Ishizawa, 2004). I began by researching previous literature on Spanish language maintenance in generational Mexican-Americans, including the relationship between linguistic assimilation and family context, and additional factors for preserving their native language. Next, I conducted qualitative interviews to see if the findings were consistent with previous research. Finally, I analyze the results to discuss future research considerations. 


I will graduate in Fall 2017 with a B.A. in Communicative Disorders and a minor in Spanish. During my time at CSUF, I was a dean’s scholar every semester for the College of Communications and participated in the University Honors program. I was also involved in student organizations such as Student Speech Therapists and Audiologists Nurturing Cultural Enrichment (S.T.A.N.C.E.) in which I spread awareness on the importance of multicultural and diversity issues within the field of speech language pathology and audiology. Beyond this, I was a volunteer and interpreter at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, a Los Angeles county facility focusing on the recovery of individuals who have suffered traumatic brain injuries, strokes and spinal cord injuries. Upon graduation, I will be applying to graduate school in pursuit of a Master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology. 

Evelyn Easdale

2:00-2:20 p.m.
Mentor: Cherie Ichinose

"Math! Analyzing the Effects of Afterschool Programming on Student Motivation"


Afterschool programming is an expanding industry with over 10 million children enrolled in 2014. With this level of impact, programming sites have the unique opportunity to make a difference in multiple aspects of their members’ social development. This is especially relevant from an educational standpoint when it is becoming more common to hear students dealing with a fear of math. The dread of mathematical concepts and learning is a growing phenomenon known as “math anxiety.” Realizing the need for intervention and recognizing the opportunity that afterschool programming provides, I planned and implemented a 10-week afterschool program aimed at combatting math anxiety in teenagers. With the guidance of my mentor Dr. Cherie Ichinose and the support of the Boys & Girls Club of Fullerton’s Richman Teen Center, I worked closely with a small group of middle and high school students to target the cause of their mathematical trauma and to offer suggestions for a less stressful experience in class.


Afterschool programming is an expanding industry with over 10 million children enrolled in 2014. With this level of impact, programming sites have the unique opportunity to make a difference in multiple aspects of their members’ social development. This is especially relevant from an educational standpoint when it is becoming more common to hear students dealing with a fear of math. The dread of mathematical concepts and learning is a growing phenomenon known as “math anxiety.” Realizing the need for intervention and recognizing the opportunity that afterschool programming provides, I planned and implemented a 10-week afterschool program aimed at combatting math anxiety in teenagers. With the guidance of my mentor Dr. Cherie Ichinose and the support of the Boys & Girls Club of Fullerton’s Richman Teen Center, I worked closely with a small group of middle and high school students to target the cause of their mathematical trauma and to offer suggestions for a less stressful experience in class.

Jessica Erickson

2:20-2:40 p.m.
Mentor: Risto Martinnen

"Physical Activity Breaks in the Elementary School Setting: A Literature Review"


My Senior Project for the University Honors Program is a literature review that explores physical activity breaks in elementary school classrooms. The purpose of this project is to culminate past research on how physical activity breaks affect academic achievement, cognitive performance, enjoyment of physical activity, and obesity risk for students. With a decline in physical activity and increase in obesity rates for children in recent decades, the importance of maintaining and increasing physical activity in schools is crucial. My peer, Nicole Erickson, has applied my research to create a curriculum of physical activity breaks that can be used in elementary school classrooms. My mentor for this project is Dr. Risto Marttinen from the College of Health and Human Development in the Kinesiology Department. As a future teacher and educator, I find the value and importance in forming students that value a lifetime of fitness and health.


My name is Jessica Erickson, and I will be graduating in May 2017 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Child and Adolescent Studies with an emphasis in Elementary School Settings. I have been consistently placed on the Dean’s List within the College of Health and Human Development, and I will be graduating with summa cum laude honors. Over the past 4 years, I have won four National Titles with the Cal State Fullerton Dance Team, and I have served as a co-captain for the past two years. Following graduation, I will be returning to Cal State Fullerton for the Multiple Subjects Credential Program to pursue a career in elementary school teaching.

Nicole Erickson

2:40-3:00 p.m.
Mentor: Risto Martinnen

"The Kinesthetic Classroom"


The Kinesthetic Classroom is a set of curriculum that covers the entire third grade physical education standards. My project is in conjunction with University Professor, Dr. Risto Marttinen, and fellow Honor’s student, Jessica Erickson. Jessica created a literature review regarding physical activity breaks in elementary school classrooms, and I have applied the findings into the lesson plans I developed. As a future educator, I have found that it is difficult for elementary school teachers to find time in the day to focus on physical activity with their students. Many teachers are unaware that physical education content standards exist, and therefore are unable to apply them. The culminating project is a bound book of activities that are not only cost-effective and time-effective for teachers, but most importantly are beneficial for students’ physical health and well-being. My goal is to help teachers motivate their students to lead healthy lifestyles by making physical activity a core part of the everyday classroom.


My name is Nicole Erickson, and I will be graduating in May of 2017 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Child and Adolescent Studies. I have been honored on the Dean’s List for all 8 semesters at Cal State Fullerton, and have been named in the top 10% of my graduating class for my major. I have earned four National Championships with the University’s dance team, where I have served as a co-captain for the past two years. After graduation I will be returning to Cal State Fullerton to pursue a Multiple Subjects Credential to become an elementary school teacher.

Van-Anh Vuong-Dac

3:00-3:20 p.m.
Mentor: April Brannon

"Teaching with Technology: Integrating Technological Tools into the Classroom"


My Senior Honors Project comprises of a collection of lesson plans that demonstrate how to incorporate various technology tools into the high school English classroom. With the assistance of Dr. April Brannon, I was able to create lesson plans that included technology tools ranging from Prezi presentations, PowToon animation videos, digital interactives, and more. The main purpose of the project was to illustrate ways in which educators can utilize technology and Web 2.0 tools that would supplement the content material and aid students in their learning. The idea for my project came to me after taking a course on technology in the education system. As a future teacher, I found the course extremely interesting and I wanted to explore the idea of incorporating technology into the classroom even further. By completing my project, I have learned a great deal about the educational resources that are available online and the different ways educators can utilize these technologies to better help their students.


I will graduate Summa Cum Laude with a B.A. in English and a minor in Natural Sciences. I have been fortunate enough to be a member of the President’s Scholars Program where I have been a mentor and the secretary. In addition, I have been a part of the University Honors Program and Sigma Tau Delta, the English honors society. During my undergraduate years, I have had the opportunity to publish a poem in Voices, Journal of Cultural Studies, and present two of my papers at the Far Western Regional Conference and the H&SS Student Showcase & Research Symposium. Since my sophomore year, I have had a wonderful time being the student assistant for the Division of Politics, Administration, and Justice. After I graduate, I will attend the CSUF Single Subject Credential Program and pursue a career as an English teacher.

Emma Nossal

3:30-3:50 p.m.
Mentor: Drew Chappell

"Playing the Part: An In-Depth Reflection on the Effects of High School Theatre on Teacher and Student"


My topic deals with theatre education. The creative purpose of my project was to prove the positive effects of participation in high school theatre and allow me to experience teaching firsthand. This project was borne out of my passion for both the arts and teaching, as high school theatre was what first inspired me to pursue a career in theatre. I acted as assistant director for El Dorado High School’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and in turn surveyed and interviewed the students to measure their personal growth throughout the rehearsal process; questions dealt with confidence level, ability to work with others, and other ways in which theatre had affected the students’ everyday lives. After completing the project, I gained valuable insights into the necessary elements of teaching high school theatre and was able to confirm the many positive traits participation in theatre was able to affect in the students.


My name is Emma Nossal and I am a Theatre Arts – Applied Studies major. I will be graduating in May of 2017 with an overall GPA of 3.85 and have maintained a place on the Dean’s List every semester of my college career. On campus during the last four years, I have acted as a Teacher’s Assistant for Jazz classes as well as a Co-Choreographer for Rent: A Financial Literacy Movement, presented by the Student Affairs’ Financial Literacy Program. I also work as a professional musical theatre performer at regional theatres throughout Los Angeles, Orange, and San Diego County. After graduation, I hope to continue performing professionally as long as possible along with obtaining my teaching credential and eventually teaching high school theatre.

Erin Younger

3:50-4:10 p.m.
Mentor: Wendy Grieb

"Reimagining Thumbelina"


My senior honors project is a Feature Film Pitch Package. The purpose of this project is to take an existing story or fairytale and to revision it in a character driven portfolio based on a specific style and aesthetic. I wanted to challenge myself artistically and test my design skills, as well as create a unique character portfolio consisting of diverse characters not normally seen in mainstream media. For the creation of this portfolio I first decided on a story, Thumbelina, and sought to create a new look for it that was starkly different from existing versions. I then decided on a setting, which was the amazon rainforest. From there, I drew inspiration from the fauna and flora of that location as well as the people who live there as a basis for my designs. The result I believe is a new and unique look for an animated feature film.


I’m Erin Younger. I am an animation major expecting to graduate in Fall 2017 with a GPA of 3.8. During my time at CSUF I have been a member of university honors as well as the Dean’s List for my college for all four years. In addition to university honors I have also been involved in our school’s animation club, the Pencil Mileage Club. PMC is a way for animation and illustration members to get involved with the industry through networking and speaker events. I’ve been involved with the board as secretary for the past two years. After graduation I plan to peruse a career in TV animation, specifically in character design or production.

Rebecca Genin

Mentor: Cliff Cramp

"H.A.T.C.H.: An Exploration in Solo Game Development"


As an artist, I often wonder if stories are better told by one person or several people. On one hand, one person’s intended feelings and interpretations tend to create a more unique and original final product. On the other, with a team, the final result has had more hours put into it and the story has been perfected by multiple people looking toward the same goal.

In order to gain some experience with both of these scenarios, I decided to build my Senior Honors Project around my various involvement in personal projects versus team projects during 2 1/2 years at CSUF. In the process, I learned a lot about my own work ethic, how to work better with others, the ideal pipeline for pre-production on a project, and how important it is to stay organized, both on a team and while creating a solo project. These findings highlight that solo and team projects will both turn out well depending on organization, communication, the skill/experience of each person involved, and dedication to preserving the spirit of the story in the project.


My name is Rebecca Genin and I am a BFA Illustration major in the University Honors Program. My expected graduation date is May 2017. I am very involved on campus as the current President of the Pencil Mileage Club, a club for artists interested in the entertainment industry, and as a member of the Herbivore Club. I frequently volunteer at art/game conventions such as CTN and SIGGRAPH as well as vegan festivals including Vegfest. I have also volunteered at Farm Sanctuary and Little Red Bird Sanctuary. Post-graduation I plan on getting an apprenticeship or job in a studio, moving out, and utilizing my free time to travel more, work out, cook more and expand my art skills!

Ashlyn Dickson

4:30-4:50 p.m.
Mentor: Wendy Grieb

"Pitching a Show: Stardust Patrol"


My Senior Honors Presentation focuses on exploring the process in both creating and pitching an animated Television show series. I wanted to expand my knowledge on what it means to really develop your own show and all the minute details that are involved in its creation. When deciding on a project, I knew I wanted to involve myself in working directly in correlation with my major, while also allowing myself more individual jurisdiction in the process. This lead to me to developing my own animated show; one that started from the very initial concept art, all the way to an illustrated episode of the show itself. Through this project, I aim to fully comprehend all the workings of designing and pitching a show I have made myself. This project prepares me for the animation industry as studios often encourage show pitches and always look for the next hit among viewers. My project will explain the early concepts of the show and how to put it into a single idea, then will be followed by how to give a television show pitch with all I have created.


My name is Ashlyn Dickson and my major is in Entertainment Arts/Animation. I am expected to graduate the 2nd of January 2018, and I have a GPA of 3.54. For my four years at CSUF I was a dedicated member of the animation club, the Pencil Mileage Club. For my senior year, I worked for the company Anime Impulse as and intern, writing articles and blogs of a wide variety. After graduation, I aspire to have a proffessional portfolio complete and to become a character designer for a televsion studio here in California.

Brittany May

4:50-5:10 p.m.
Mentor: Muriel Joyce & Alvin Rangel

"The Benefits of the Horton Style on Ballerinas"


My senior honors project consisted of me teaching a two-week dance intensive at Performing Arts Workshop, San Diego. I researched the benefits of the Horton style on ballerinas. My research went hand in hand with my teaching. My research was focused on how the Horton style helps ballerinas to improve. The reasoning being that Horton technique focuses on similar aesthetics seen in Ballet. My research was focused on improvements in lengthening of the spine, hamstring strength, engaged abdominals, and strengthening of the back. I focused on these elements of the body because I saw improvement in these areas on my own body as I was introduced to Horton technique my freshman year at the University. Since my Ballet technique improved from Horton, I was led to research the impact of Horton on other ballerinas.  Under the direction of my mentors Muriel Joyce and Alvin Rangel, I helped dancers improve their balance, turns, arabesques, and flexibility. Not only did the dancers improve form my intensive, they also were educated on a style of dance that is fading. Overall, I created interest among more ballerinas to train in the Horton technique.


Hello, my name is Brittany May. I will be graduating spring 2017 with a GPA of 3.8. At the University, I have been working towards my BA in Dance. I have performed in four Dance Concerts at the University as well as “Concert Under the Stars.” My choreography has also been seen in three Composition Showcases. I have been dancing for thirteen years and hope to continue for many more. My post-graduation plans include auditioning for dance companies. I hope to apprentice for a company in San Diego next year. After being a professional dancer, I would like to go back to school and get my teaching credential.

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Last Published 9/25/18

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