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Alumni Scholar Profiles

McNair alumni go on to do great things!* Many McNair alumni are pursuing graduate studies and/or teaching credentials, while others are gaining professional work experience as they plan to apply to graduate programs in the near future. We are very proud of our graduates. The list below will give you a glimpse of the work they did as McNair Scholars here at CSUF as well as some of their post-baccalaureate endeavors:


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Hafsa Aasi is working on her MS in Information Systems at CSUF.

McNair Research: Identification and Authentication with Biometrics Devices with Dr. Jim Hightower (Information Systems)

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Alexi Adams

McNair Research: Self-Concept and Academic Achievement, with Dr. Pamella Oliver
(Child and Adolescent Studies)

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Aracely Ahumada completed her M.A. in Anthropology at CSUF in 2003, and is currently applying to doctoral programs. Her research interests include: Human Behavioral Ecology, Human Reproductive Ecology, Ecology of Foraging People, Subsistence Strategies in Hunter-Gatherer Societies, and Life History Traits in Humans. She has worked as project manager for several publications, including 10th and 11th Annual Conditions of Children in Orange County Reports. She has also recently submitted an article to be published in the McNair Journal, which should be arriving shortly.

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Alma Arriola is finishing up the teaching credential program at CSUF while simultaneously teaching a bilingual 2nd grade class in Santa Ana, California. Alma plans to pursue a Master's degree in the future, possibly in counseling.

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Jeffrey Dale Aultman, Jr. is putting the finishing touches on his M.A. thesis for the History program at CSUF.

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David Bolger

McNair Research: Investigating the Role of D-3 Phosphoinositides in Activating Ascidia ceratodes Sperm with Dr. Robert Koch (Biological Science)

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Oscar Castillo is completing his M.A. at Point Loma Nazarene University in January 2006.

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Carla Castro is completing her M.S. in Criminal Justice at CSU San Bernardino in January 2006.

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Michelle Cathorall is pursuing her MPH at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

McNair Research: Motorcycle Helmet Use and Head Injuries: 2004-2005, with Dr. Shari McMahan

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Aveena Chauhan

McNair Research: South Asian Indians Views towards Speech Disabilities with Dr. Terry Saenz (Human Communications Studies)

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Mariana Cole is pursuing her M.S. in Counseling Psychology at CSUF.

McNair Research: Laterality, Interhemispheric Interactions and Collaboration with Dr. Barbara Cherry (Psychology)

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Leo Cota

McNair Research: The Zapatistas: A Study of Mexican Democracy, Human Rights, and Netwar with Dr. Robert Castro (Chicana/o Studies)

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Myrna Cervantes is also currently enrolled in the teaching credential program at CSUF.

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Michelle Dang is getting a Master's degree in Computer Science from CSUF. Her research interests include: Database Warehouse, Data Mining, Software Development Cycle, and Anti-Virus Software.

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Maria Franco is pursuing her M.S. in Mathematics at CSUF.

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Clifford Frez entered the Chemical Engineering program at Brown University, where he recieved his M.S. in 2004. He is currently a PhD candidate in the program with an expected graduation date of 2008. Recently, he published his first article as a first author:

Frez, Clifford; Calasso, Irio G.; Diebold, Gerald J. "Transient gratings generated by particulate suspensions: The uniformly irradiated sphere and the point source." Journal of Chemical Physics (2006), 124(3), 034905/1-034905/9.

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Yeni Garcia is a 7th grade science teacher. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Education at UCLA.

McNair Research: Learning to Teach Science for All: Student Teachers' Views of Equity across Preservice Courses with Dr. Julie Bianchi, UC Santa Barbara ARC Program

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Amber Gonzalez

McNair Research: The Impact of Early Field Experiences on the Achievement of Standards Articulated for Teacher Candidates with Dr. Kari Knutsen-Miller (Child Family & Community Service)

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Tram Hoang is enrolled in a graduate program at Southern Illinois University.

McNair Research: Neonatal Jaundice: Its Mathematical Model and Treatments with Dr. Charles Lee (Mathematics)

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Laura Jimenez is pursuing her M.S. in Mathematics at CSUF.

McNair Research: Asymptotics of a Transformation on the Space of Rational Functions with Dr. Luis Medina-Rivera, University of Puerto Rico, Humacao

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Nicole Kanbara is pursuing an M.A. in Anthropology at CSUF. She plans on attending a Ph.D. program in Anthropology after completing her M.A.

McNair Research: Captive Non-Human Primate Enrichment with Dr. Lori Sheehan

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Omar Khalid is pursuing a Pharmaceutical Science Phd at USC.

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Ruth LaRiviere will attend CSULB's Counseling Psychology M.S. program in the Spring.

McNair Research: Parental Involvement and Academic Achievement: Investigating the Mediation Role of Academic Self-Concept with Dr. Pamella Oliver (CAS)

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Sunshine Lawson graduated Summa Cum Laude and was awarded CSUF's top honor for academic achievement (President's Associates Scholastic Award). She is currently pursing a Phd in Criminal Justice at John Jay College. Her area of interest is in race, ethnicity, and gender studies. Check out her story in our Summer 2005 Newsletter. Click here for a PDF copy!

McNair Research: The Experimental Evaluation of "Missing" California Computer Software to Prevent Child Abduction with Dr. James Lasley (Criminal Justice)

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Paola Ledezma is finishing up her masters in education at Chapman University in Spring 2005. Her interests are comparative education and multicultural education.

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Susan Lewis

McNair Research: Emotional Intelligence and Transformation Leadership as it Applies to Organizations with Dr. Ronald Riggio

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Erica Lizano is pursuing a Dual Master's degree program at USC in Social Work and Public Administration. Her expected graduation date is Spring 2007.

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Viviana Martinez is a case manager for the Boys and Girls Club. She is applying for counseling M.A. programs and is also considering pursuing a Ph.D.

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Farahnaz Masoumi-Sharif is pursuing a Masters in Social Work at UCLA, with research interests in child abuse.

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Nicole Merino is currently attending UC Santa Barbara

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Darlene Muro graduated from USC with a Masters in Public Administration in 2004 and is currently would like to pursue the Ph.D. in Political Science at Claremont Graduate University. Her research interests are in local government, California redevelopment and affordable housing.

Hoang Nguyen


Hoang Nguyen is planning to pursue a Ph.D. in economics.

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Phu Ngoc Nguyen passed away in June 2005 of a congenital heart defect. He had just been accepted to UCLA's Premed Enrichment Program. He will be dearly missed.

McNair Research: Effects of Water Pollution on Inhabitants in Vietnam's Mekong Delta with Dr. Richard Deming

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Natascha Nierenz-Guillemot hopes to apply to a graduate program soon. She just became a new mom!

McNair Research: Globalization and Cultural Continuity of the DoryFleet in Newport Beach with Dr. John Bock (Anthropology)

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Susana Ortega is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in counseling psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research interests include working towards increasing the numbers of underrepresented groups in colleges and universities.

McNair Research: Factors that Contribute to the Academic Success of Underrepresented Groups with Dr. Julie Stokes (Afro-Ethnic Studies)

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Isayir Ramirez is considering USC's MBA program. He hopes to begin in Fall 2005.

McNair Research: The North American Free Trade Agreement and Mexico's Maquiladora Labor Force: An Exploratory Study of Human and Professional Development with Professor Carlos Medina

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Jorge Ramirez Jr. is working on a second baccalaureate degree in astrophysics at California State University, San Francisco and plans to continue his research on galaxy formation models in a doctoral program after graduation in 2006.

McNair Research: The Order of Triple Products with Symmetric Groups with Dr. Scott Annin (Mathematics)

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Jani Ranasinghe

McNair Research: Political Conflict and Brain Drain in Sri Lanka with Dr. Choudhury Shamim (Political Science)

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Raquel Rios is currently pursuing a Masters in Social Work at UCLA and this summer will be traveling abroad to South Africa (specifically Ghana) to partake in some international social work opportunities. 

McNair Research: Relations of Depression, Ethnic Identity and Alcohol Consumption Among Undergraduate Latinas with Dr. Julie Stokes (Afro-Ethnic Studies)

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Tairi Roque is currently pursuing a graduate degree at Binghamton University in New York.

McNair Research: Models of Negatively Dampened Harmonic Oscillators: The Case of Bipolar Disorder with Dr. Stephen Wirkus, Cornell University

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Leslie Savicky is the Communications Coordinator for the Irvine Chamber of Commerce. She plans graduate work in Communications in the near future.

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Rhodia D.W. Shead is enrolled in CSUF's Teaching Credential Program.

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John Urrea-Roque is currently pursing a Ph.D. in mathematical sciences at Binghamton University in New York. His research interest is formal language theory.

McNair Research: Models of Negatively Dampened Harmonic Oscillators: The Case of Bipolar Disorder with Dr. Stephen Wirkus, Cornell University

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Maria Vega is currently pursuing a PhD in mathematics from Louisiana State University, where her interests are analysis and algebra.

McNair Research: A Study of the Relations among Multiple Zeta Values Using Mathematica with Dr. Jerome Hoffman (Louisiana State University) and Dr. Alfonso Agnew, CSU Fullerton (Mathematics)

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Angela Abraham


Research Project Topic: Mental Health Services among Arab Americans, with Dr. Maryam Sayyedi (Psychology)

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Zemed Berhe


Research Project Topic: Peer Influence and At Risk African American Adolescents, with Dr. Julie Stokes (Afro-Ethnic Studies & Psychology


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Rose Buckelew

Sociology & Liberal Studies

Research Project Topic:Mexican Ethnic Enclaves and Immigrant Mobility: A Case Study in Santa Ana, CA with Dr. Gerald Rosen (Sociology

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Stacy Ellis

Human Services

Research Project Topic: Racial Socialization and Attitudes Toward Therapy, with Dr. Julie Stokes (Afro-Ethnic Studies and Psychology)

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Natalie Flores

History & Chicana/o Studies

Research Project Topic: The Legacy of Latina Women Activists with Dr. Nancy Porras-Hein (Chicana/o Studies)

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Wendy Gudiel

Psychology & Comparative Religion

Research Project Topic: Religious values and their affect on adolescent moral decisions with Dr. Leslie Grier (Child, Family & Community Service)

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Jolene Harris


Research Project Topic: TBA


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Amy Ho


Research Project Topic: Gender and Mathematic Achievement, with Dr. Pamella Oliver and Dr. Allen Gottfried (Child & Adolescent Studies and Psychology)

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Cristina Marquez


Research Project Topic: Graduate School & 1st & 2nd Generation Female College Students with Dr. Susan Sy (Psychology)

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Lucy Ledezma


Research Project Topic: Representation of Glass in French Art and Culture, with Dr. Helene Domon (Foreign Language - French)

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Lidia Lopez

American Studies and Communications

Research Project Topic: "I've Got the Magic Stick": 50 Cent Videos and the Representation of Masculinity, with Dr. Terri Snyder (American Studies & Liberal Studies)

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Cynthia Mendez

Psychology and Criminal Justice

Research Project Topic: Rehabilitation Efforts in the California Department of Corrections with Dr. Kevin Meehan (Political Science & Criminal Justice)

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Tess Moran


Research Project Topic: Cultural Differences in Parental Involvement and its Effect on Academic Self-Concept in Adolescents, with Dr. Susan Sy (Psychology)

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Kylie Nguyen

Human Services

Research Project Topic: Truama-based Treatment in Out of Home Care with Dr. Sandra Armstrong (Florida International Mental Health Institute)

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Esther Pla

Human Services

Research Project Topic: Adolescence and Higher Education with Dr. Kristi Kanel (Human Services)

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Tanisha Pullen

Human Services

Research Project Topic: Racial Socialization and Coping Strategies among Black College Students, with Dr. Julie Stokes (Afro-Ethnic Studies & Psychology)

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Joyce Roys

Chicano Studies & Psychology

Research Project Topic: Chicano/Latino Community College Transfers: Barriers & Success, with Dr. Alexandro Gradilla (Chicana/o Studies)

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Felipe Salazar

Latin American Studies

Research Project Topic: Comparing Indigenous Movments in Bolivia & Ecuador, with Dr. Philippe Zacair (History)