Elevar and Grad Equity Scholars 2022-23

Daisy Aguirre SmilingDaisy Aguirre

Daisy is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Education with an emphasis in Higher Education. Her research interests include integrating social justice and advocacy into educational theories and practices along with raising awareness of gender issues to promote community activism. After graduation Daisy plans to work at a community college/ four-year institution as director of a Latinx or Women's Resource Center and apply to PhD programs. 


Angela Ahn smilingAngela Ahn

Angela Ahn is a graduate student in the Social Work department with a concentration in community mental health. Her research interests include targeting systemic, cultural inequities such as housing insecurity and its policies compounded with evidence-based treatments in mental health. As MSWA 2022-23 president in her department, her goal is aligned to her love for literature: to uplift cohort members through disseminating narratives through community and writing. After graduation, her goal is to gain expertise in DSM-5 and become a licensed clinical social worker that works in psychiatry.

Alondra Alamo headshotAlondra Alamo

My name is Alondra Alamo (she/her/ella) and I am in my second year of the Masters of Science in Higher Education at California State University, Fullerton. I am passionate about serving underrepresented students, especially Latinx and the LGBTQIA+ community, and finding meaningful ways to support them holistically. My creative interests are traveling, drinking coffee from different parts of the world, trying new cuisines, and enjoying nature activities. After graduation, I want to continue to serve college students and work as an academic advisor. My long-term goal is to become a professor at a community college or university and teach educational courses or Chicanx studies. 

Jocelyn Aponte smilingJocelyn Aponte

I am a Masters Candidate in the History Program with an emphasis in Public History. My research focuses on Indigenous history and pre-history as well as the Alta California Mission period. My thesis project centers on inclusive history by incorporating Indigenous voice and perspective into Mission San Gabriel’s historical interpretation. After graduation, I plan to work with the National Park Service as an Interpretive Consultant. I hope to achieve a PhD. in either Public history or Indigenous history in the future. 

Valeria Ayala headshotValeria Ayala

Valeria Ayala is a third-year graduate student in the Master of Science Counseling program with an emphasis on the Latinx community. Her research interests center on the effects of heterosexism and minoritized stress on Latinx LGBTQ+ individuals. She is currently in the Animo Research Lab, where she works with Dra. Olga Mejia and Dr. Ana Guadalupe Reyes on researching the importance of culturally sensitive and bilingual counseling. Valeria is interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology to provide culturally sensitive counseling services to Latinx individuals and bring awareness about the importance of mental health within the Latinx community.

Joshua Ayala Smiling Joshua Ayala

My name is Joshua Ayala, and I am a second-year graduate student enrolled in CSUF’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders Graduate Program for Speech-Language Pathology. The area of research I have been pursuing is analyzing the role of socio-economic status, race, and ethnicity in the access to speech-language services. Upon graduating in the Spring of 2023, I will pursue a career as a speech-language pathologist in the hospital setting, working alongside other medical professionals providing inpatient care services.  

Naomi Bacop SmilingNaomi Bacop

My name is Naomi Bacop and I'm in the M.S. Environmental Engineering program. This program provides students practical and technical knowledge in environmental health areas such as water treatment, remediation, environmental regulations, etc. My research was on systems which prevent harmful vapor in soil from entering buildings, which could potentially cause health issues of occupants, by mitigating the vapors away from the building. After graduation, I plan to apply to Ph.D programs for Environmental Science so that I may be able to teach the topic of environmental remediation at the college level while continuing research on remediation systems. 

Laura Barreto standingLaura Barreto

Laura Barreto’s research examines access and equity in higher education for undocumented students, students of color, and LGBTQ+ students. Specifically, Barreto analyzes students’ knowledge about navigation of support services offered on campus, such as stable and reliable access to essential resources like stable housing and reliable food sources.

Barreto has presented her research at the 2022 conference of the Pacific Sociological Association, as well as the 7th annual CSUF Humanities and Social Sciences Student Research Symposium. She plans on applying to Ph.D. programs in order to continue her research examining access and equity in higher education for undocumented students, students of color and LGBTQ+ students.

Angelly Barroso smilingAngelly Barroso

I am second year in the Master of Public Health program with a concentration in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at Cal State Fullerton. My research interests are identifying strategies for eliminating health disparities and dimensions of illness risk perception, including implications for health behavior. After graduating I intend to become a professor at a community college or CSU, apply for a Ph.D program in Community Health Sciences, and become a Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES). My priority is to work alongside Latinx populations and reduce obesity rates in the marginalized areas of Orange County.

Katya Beener smilingKatya Beener

Katya Beener is a M.Sc. candidate in the Geological Sciences program. She studies marine and coastal sedimentology and paleoclimatology. Her graduate research focuses on recent climate trends in the Newport Bay and changes in sediment characteristics as a result of a living shoreline installation. After graduation, she hopes to join an agency that combines research and land management. She hopes to use her background to help create policies make decisions that will preserve coastal and lacustrine environments for generations. She also hopes to teach and lead outreach events, as she is passionate about making science accessible and interesting to everyone.

Katherine Biardi smilingKatherine Biardi

Katherine Biardi is a graduate student in the Biology Master’s program. Her research focuses on the effects of herbivore-induced vegetation changes on rodent populations and their interactions with songbirds in shortgrass steppe. Her thesis examines how increased shrub cover affects the diversity and population size of shortgrass steppe rodents and how these changes in rodent populations affect their role as potential nest predators on songbirds. After graduation, she plans on pursuing a career in ecological research before obtaining a Ph.D. in Ecology. 

Nadine Boctor smilingNadine Boctor

Nadine Boctor is enrolled in the Master of Arts in American Studies program. She is open to all areas of research that unveil the untold stories of marginalized populations, and she is particularly interested in conducting ethnographies. After graduation, she hopes to teach at the college level, specifically at community colleges. Her future plans possibly include pursuing a master’s degree in Psychology or Marriage and Family Therapy, with the hopes of combining the field of American Studies with the field of mental health to provide culturally and contextually informed therapy.

Sophia Briseno posingSophia Briseno

Sophia Briseno (she/her) is enrolled in the Master of Social Work program with a concentration in public child welfare. Post-graduation, she wants to be able to help underrepresented populations by improving outcomes for children and their families. She is particularly interested in helping Latinx populations as she understands the communities' barriers from hearing and witnessing stories from her family unit and through her sociological background. 

Nicole Ryan Carroll smilingNicole Carroll

Nicole Ryan Carroll is a third year student in the Master’s in Counseling program. As a passionate disability advocate, Nicole has dedicated her studies to disability justice and mental health. Most recently, she served in her practicum site as a Marriage and Family Therapist Trainee at Hillside Wellness Center, a community mental health center in Sherman Oaks, California. Following graduation, Nicole plans to obtain her license as a Marriage and Family Therapist and hopes to eventually open her own private practice focused on the advocacy and mental health of the disability community.

Katrina Catamisan smilingKatrina Catamisan

My name is Katrina Catamisan, and I’m currently enrolled in the combined multiple subject credential and master's degree program here at California State University, Fullerton. Throughout my academic journey, I have done a case study on peer interaction and how it affects students’ attainment of knowledge leading to higher levels of academic achievement. I’ve curated a literature review on adopting social-emotional learning in the classroom about how we as educators can do our best to develop those social-emotional competencies. My plans after graduation consist of being an elementary school teacher impacting students like myself, hoping to one day be a principal to make an even more significant difference in children’s lives.

Cynthia Chavez smilingCynthia Chavez

My name is Cynthia Chavez, I am a second-year graduate student in the Master of Science in Higher Education Program here at Cal State Fullerton. I currently work as an Outreach, Recruitment and Orientation Counselor and hope to continue supporting students in this capacity post-graduation. My research areas of interest are first-generation status students and the undocumented student experience. 



Tiffany Chen smilingTiffany Chen

My name is Tiffany Chen, and I am entering my second and final year in the M.S. in Higher Education program. I am passionate about serving students holistically and helping them grow. In particular, I am interested in working in Basic Needs departments or social work-adjacent fields either at an institution or non-profit. After graduating in May 2023, I am hoping to work either at a community college or non-profit organization. I am determined to advocate for those who need it the most – especially low-income, minoritized, and marginalized groups who face systemic barriers hindering achievement.

  Erin Costello smilingErin Costello

I am currently a second-year graduate student pursuing my Masters in Counseling. I am training to become a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, with an emphasis on children and family counseling! I have always been drawn to working with children and look forward to being able to support young lives as they navigate difficult emotions and life experiences. I soon will be starting my practicum at Pathways Community Mental Health, working with clients aged 3-21. After graduation, I intend on continuing my work with children in a variety of settings, and dream to one day work with LGBT youth. 

Ayanna Cuevas smilingAyanna Cuevas

Ayanna Cuevas is a first-generation graduate student in the Linguistics MA program. In the program, she seeks to conduct research on topics centering on Romance language linguistics. Additionally, she is highly interested in second language acquisition and bilingualism and how linguistic theories can be applied in the language learning classroom. It is in her plans to teach English abroad after the completion of her program via a Fulbright scholarship and along the way obtain a TESOL certificate. She envisions herself teaching at the college level and seeks to encourage and mentor first-generation students in their academic journeys. 

 Alexi De Avila Cadena headshot Alexi De Avila Cadena

The program I am enrolled in is the master’s program in Physics. My research area is in Atomic, Molecular and Optical physics with Dr. Khakoo. We investigate the properties of molecules using electron scattering. Besides physics research, I am a laboratory instructor here at Cal State Fullerton for introductory physics courses. And when I am not researching, I enjoy 3D modeling in Solidworks and AutoCAD. My plan after graduation is to enter a PhD program in Physics with a focus in Fusion Reactors. My dream school is the California Institute of Technology, and my dream career is working for NASA.

Dannica De Guzman smilingDannica De Guzman

I am currently enrolled full time in two year Master’s Of Athletic Training Program where I am set to complete 58 units and 4 clinical rotations to graduate in Spring 2023. My current creative interest is my graduate project that includes a PowerPoint presentation and poster board on a patient case study that is done during my immersive clinical rotation. After graduation, I plan to take the Board of Certification exam to become a certified Athletic Trainer and plan to work in a community college setting as a full time ATC. 

Josh DesLaurier smilingJosh DesLaurier

My name is Josh DesLaurier. I am in the Master of Arts Program in Anthropology at CSUF. My research focuses on Paleoindians’ technological organizations via stone tools in the Mojave Desert. After graduation, I plan to work as an archaeologist while simultaneously pursuing my options as an educator.



Tracy Donelli smilingTracy Donelli

Tracy Donelli is a second-year graduate student in the M.Sc. of Geological Sciences program. Her research focuses on using stable isotope geochemistry and petrographic analyses to characterize the growth mechanism of carbonate concretions within late Miocene sandstone turbidites in Ridge Basin, CA. After graduation, Tracy plans on pursuing a career in either teaching or industry. Through her Teaching Associate position, she has found a love for making STEM more palatable for those who may have struggled with it in the past. After a few years of working in the field, Tracy may continue her education at the Ph.D. level.   

Mackenzie Duncan smilingMackenzie Duncan

My name is Mackenzie Duncan and I am a first-year student in the Masters of Social Work program. I am specializing in Community Mental Health. I hope to expand my research on the family systems theory of psychology while also strengthening my understanding of different attachment theories. In the future, I am interested primarily in serving underrepresented and underserved populations in academic environments, such as within local high school districts or college campuses. 

Jessica Duron smilingJessica Duron

Jessica Duron is in the Master’s Chemistry program specializing in physical and organic chemistry. After graduating from California State University, Fullerton with two bachelor’s of science degrees in physics and chemistry ’20, she plans to pursue an MD-PhD upon completion of the program. Her area of interest involve to be able to provide free, quality medical services to those who are uninsured while also teach in higher education, preferably a CSU. She has remained steadfast in exploring the science field while simultaneously aspiring
to one day be able to provide free medical health care in Orange County, California.

Jocelyn Estrada smilingJocelyn Estrada

My name is Jocelyn Estrada, and I am currently in the Combined Program for the Multiple Subject Credential and Master’s in Education (Concentration in Elementary Curriculum and Instruction) at CSUF. I am also a member of the Teacher Recruitment Project and pursuing my general science credential. My interests include travel and culture in addition to educational leadership, technology, and partnerships that promote equitable access and opportunity for all students. After graduation, I plan to teach elementary and eventually work in middle school, administration, and higher education. One of my personal goals is to one day publish a children’s book!

Yuliana Fernandez smilingYuliana Fernandez

Yuliana Fernandez is a third year in the Master of Science in Clinical Psychology program. Her research interests include using a mixed-methods paradigm to characterize the pivotal developmental roles played by culture and environment, with the goal of using a strength-based approach to develop culturally-informed trauma-focused therapies for children and adolescents from minoritized backgrounds. Currently, she is working in the Culture and Social Action lab looking at ethnic identity development among Mexican-American college students who studied abroad in their parent’s home country. After graduation, Yuliana plans to pursue a PhD in Clinical Psychology and become a tenured professor.

Leighia Fleming smilingLeighia Fleming

Leighia Fleming is a second year doctoral student enrolled in the Educational Leadership; Community College program at Cal State Fullerton. Her research focus is institutional betrayal and the effects that has on college administration and students involved in the Title IX (sexual misconduct) process. Upon graduation her goal is to continue with a career in Higher Education leadership as a dean aiming to deconstruct the system and structures to make them more equitable and inclusive for students of color. Additionally, she hopes to expand into corporate spaces to illuminate and transform DEI initiatives. Leighia describes herself as a radical leader, advocate, and change agent. 

Stephany Flores smilingStephany Flores

My name is Stephany Flores, and I am a first-generation Latina graduate student. I’m currently enrolled in the Communicative Disorders Master’s Program at CSUF, where I will train to become a culturally competent and skilled Speech-Language Pathologist. My research interests center around understanding the impact that different training durations have on adaptation for noise-vocoded speech. Under the guidance of my mentor, Dr.Julia Drouin, I designed a study that explored my research interests, and I was able to present the findings of the investigation in my Senior Honors Thesis. After graduation, I hope to work in either a school or medical setting

Anna Garcia smilingAnna Garcia

Anna Garcia is enrolled in the Master of Science in Transformative Teaching in Secondary Education program, where she is learning about just, equitable, and inclusive practices. Her recent research includes how to deliver science instruction to middle school English learners more effectively, and she is eager to learn more about equitable teaching. She looks forward to implementing transformative teaching in her science classroom and hopes to become an instructional coach in her district one day.

Maximiliano Gutierrez smilingMaximiliano Gutierrez

Maximiliano Gutierrez is in his second year in the Master of Social Work (MSW) Program. His interest in research includes recidivism (e.g., likelihood to re-offend) rates to further explore programs and techniques that support inmates post-release. Upon graduating with his MSW, his short-term goal is to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and gain experience working in the field. His long-term plan includes returning for a Doctor in Philosophy in the future.



Jose Gutierrez looking off in the distanceJose Gutierrez

Jose Gutierrez is currently enrolled in the Master of Science in Higher Education in the College of Education at CSUF. Jose’s areas of interest in the student support, specifically for 1st Generation Transfer Students, Student Veterans, and Military Connected Students. Being a 1st Generation Transfer Student and veteran himself, Jose hopes to serve students with outreach and programs to cultivate a sense of belonging within the campus.



Ryan Christopher Han smilingRyan Christopher R. Han

Starting Fall 2022, I will be in my second year for my Doctor in Nursing Practice with a concentration in Nurse Anesthesia with CSUF and Kaiser Permanente School of Anesthesia. My research project focuses on the development of a clinical preceptor educational program to reimagine the preceptor-preceptee relationship and reinforce evidence-based teaching methods to foster the next generation of nurse anesthetists. After completing my degree, I hope to join or even lead opportunities for medical missions to support those in third world and medically-underserved countries.

Angella Higareda smilingAngella Higareda

Angella Higareda is a second-year student in the M.S. in Higher Education program at Cal State Fullerton. Being a first-generation, low-income Latina college student has fueled her passion for advocating and supporting historically underrepresented students who hope to pursue higher education. After graduation, she hopes to pursue a career working with college access programs to support the needs of underserved communities through an equitable and social justice perspective. 

Bao SmilingBaochau (Bao) Hoangtran

I am a graduate student in the M.S. program for Clinical Psychology. For my thesis, I am currently working on a qualitative study called Mental Health Perceptions in Vietnamese Americans. My research looks at how Vietnamese Americans view and conceptualize mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety based on their familial upbringing and cultural influences. After graduation, I plan to become a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. I may also pursue licensure to become a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor as well. 


Maria smilingMaria Ibanez

The leadership role that I aspire to in 5 years or less is to become the Finance Director for a local city as well as to change the education system in K - 12 grades by introducing mandatory financial management courses in each grade. This life skill needs to be taught in school to give people the opportunity for financial freedom. I am currently enrolled at CSUF for my master’s program in Public Administration (concentration in Local Government Management). This degree will enhance my knowledge in obtaining a Finance Director position and educate my community on financial literacy. 



Alexandra smilingAlexandra Jonassen

I am enrolled in the Masters of Anthropology program specializing in Archaeology.  My research interests include Mojave Desert archaeology, specifically Paleoindian lithic technology. In my thesis research, I am working with portable XRF technology to trace the geochemical sources of the lithic materials found at the site of Lake Mojave. This information will be displayed on a GIS map, showing the greater trends and possible reasons why people moved across the landscape. In expanding my knowledge of Mojave Desert archaeology at CSUF, I will gain the skills necessary towards reaching my goal of being a California State Parks archaeologist. 

Kara Kemp smilingKara Kemp

My name is Kara Kemp and I am a first-year master’s student in the Communication Sciences and Disorders program. My current research interests include how traumatic brain injury in young children affect their language development as they mature into adulthood. In addition, I am also interested in doing research focused on adults with primary progressive aphasia and how it affects individuals from diverse backgrounds. Upon graduation, I plan to work with children from underrepresented and multicultural backgrounds. My goal is to obtain a doctorate degree and open a private practice serving those in the community who are less fortunate.

Dominic Lawrence smilingDominic Lawrence

I am Dominic Lawrence I am currently pursuing my Graduate Studies in the Masters in Education with concentration in Higher Education. My career/research goal would continue to work in Student Support Services because making a sense of community for students really speaks out to me. I aim to be a good role model and aim to help all who may not have easily had access to knowledge about college resources and support. I would really like to provide my efforts to increase young men of color retention while in school. My plans after graduation will become a Program Coordinator within the CSU/UC system and in hopes to attempt to pursue a Doctorate Degree in Educational Leadership in Higher Education.

Tiffany Le smilingTiffany Le

Currently, I am enrolled in CSUF’s Master of Social Work program with a concentration in community mental health. Mental health has always been a passion of mine since high school as I struggled with my own well-being. From my experiences, I am highly interested in promoting mental health awareness in marginalized, vulnerable, and under-represented communities, especially Asian American youth. After graduation, I hope to attain a job and apply for licensure as a LCSW. From there, I will always be striving to become the most competent and effective social worker I can be. 

June Lee smilingJune Lee

June Lee is a second-year student enrolled in the Master of Social Work program with a concentration in Community Mental Health. Her area of interest revolves around improving the well-being of immigrants and marginalized populations through direct practice, research, and political advocacy. After graduation, she plans to earn California clinical licensure to serve the underrepresented population as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).

Emma Lin smilingEmma Lin

Emma Lin is a second-year graduate student pursuing her Masters of Science in Counseling. After graduating, she hopes to become a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and work with BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ clients. She is currently working with faculty mentors on research regarding anti-racism specifically through the lens of Asian American experiences. With a background in music, her interests also lie in the healing power of music, particularly with individuals living with dementia. In her free time, she loves learning about food and culture through stories and conversations shared with the people around her!


Jocelyn Kobayashi smilingJocelyn Kobayashi

My name is Jocelyn Kobayashi and I am currently a part of Cal State Fullerton's graduate + clear program where I will be earning my master's degree in Special Education and clearing my teaching credential. During the program I am researching the social emotional affects of preschool students with autism in a co-taught model classroom. After I graduate with my master's degree, I hope to go back to school to learn American Sign Language (ASL), so that I can implement that into my classroom and communicate with my students who are non-verbal. 


Ivette Martinez smilingIvette Martinez

Hello, my name is Ivette Martinez, and I am originally from Oceanside. I graduated from UC San Diego this past March with two bachelor's degrees, in Sociology and Education Sciences. I am proud of this accomplishment as I am the first person in my family who has had the opportunity to go to school beyond the 6th grade. I am an incoming student in the Master’s in Higher Education program here at CSU Fullerton. I dream of one day becoming a professor and researcher. I want to dedicate myself to increasing access and retention for Latinx students in higher education.

Remus Mitchell smilingRemus Mitchell

Remus Mitchell (they/them) is a graduate student in their second year of the Master of Arts in Psychological Research. They graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Their research interests include the psychology and social consequences of disability. After graduating from CSUF, Remus plans to earn their Ph.D. in Quantitative Psychology, where they can study Psychometrics and continue the development of self-report measures.

Jordyn Neal smilingJordyn Neal

My name is Jordyn Neal and I am a Master’s of Science in Organismal Biology student in Dr. Misty Paig-Tran's Functional Anatomy, Biomechanics, and Biomaterials (FABB) lab. I am investigating the filter morphology and performance of megamouth sharks. I will be using various imaging techniques (SEM, Histology) and modeling to figure out how these denticulated filters work to retain prey. I am also the recipient of the 2022 CSU Violet Horn Fellowship. After my Masters, I plan to further my career in academia and pursue a PhD. My goal is to become a college-level professor in Biology/ Marine Biology/ Anatomy. When I am not studying, I enjoy lifting weights, playing videogames, hiking, and reading Harry Potter.

Christine Nguyen smilingChristine Nguyen

My name is Christine Nguyen, and I am enrolled in the two-year Master of Social Work program at CSU Fullerton. Regarding the areas of interest for my research, I primarily focus on social services and their effect on disadvantaged people. In addition to my research, I have been applying my knowledge to help families in need at my internship. Upon graduation, I plan on getting my Post MSW-Pupil Personnel Services Credential so that I can work as a school social worker. My goal in this profession is to help students from marginalized backgrounds by directly assisting and advocating for them. 

Marivel Ortiz-Sanchez smilingMarivel Ortiz-Sanchez

Marivel Ortiz-Sanchez is a second-year graduate student and first-generation Latina enrolled in the Master in Education with a concentration in Higher Education at CSUF. Ortiz plans to continue serving students at the community college level to promote higher education for underserved and marginalized communities. Ortiz is interested in researching factors contributing to transfer student resilience and adaptability since she also identifies as a transfer student. After graduating, Ortiz plans to pursue an Ed.D in Organizational Leadership to one day become the president of a California Community College. 

Grislean Palacios smilingGrislean Palacios

I am currently a second-year MA Public History graduate student. My focus is on American immigration history, specifically on the formation of ethnic enclaves in major cities in correlation to patterns of various migration waves to the American West. I am in the process of finalizing my thesis proposal, which will focus on the ethnic communities of Olvera Street and Chinatown in Downtown Los Angeles through an interdisciplinary approach. After graduation, I hope to work in law or government archives. 

Jacob Patron smilingJacob Patron

Hello, my name is Jacob Patron. I am currently in the process of completing my Masters in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Strength and Conditioning at California State University, Fullerton. My research focuses on examining the effects of structured strength and conditioning on the fitness and movement competency of high school athletes. I hope to gain experience working with athletes of diverse ages and skill levels and learn how to help them to excel in their specific sports. After graduation, I plan to continue to add to the existing body of knowledge in the field of Kinesiology through further research.

Brenda Rodriguez smilingBrenda Rodriguez

Hello! My name is Brenda Rodriguez. I am a part of the wonderful M.S. in Counseling program and the Animo: Latinx Counseling Emphasis. Currently, I am a part of the Animo research lab and collaboratively working on journal articles and attending/presenting at conferences. After graduation, I aspire to become a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who works with college students.

Cristopher Rodriguez Paz posingCristopher Rodriguez Paz

My name is Cristopher Rodriguez Paz, I’m a current graduate student pursuing a Master’s in Environmental Engineering. My area of interest is in renewable energy and solid waste system design. I believe California and the world deserves access to clean, affordable and resilient energy in the future. I’m looking to research more ways we can turn our daily waste into renewable energy that can be used to power homes, fuel cars, and decarbonize the planet. After graduation I’m looking forward to working with a utility whose goal is reduce carbon emission by using renewable energy.

Juan Carlos SmlingJuan Carlos Rojas Duran

I am a first year graduate student attending CSUF’s Master of Arts in History program. My area of focus is Early Modern European history as I intend on studying how social, economic, and political climates impact uprisings and complete revolutions. I am excited to begin my studies with other eager colleagues and faculty. After completing my M.A. I plan on enrolling into a Ph.D. program so that I can begin a career in teaching higher education. I am greatly encouraged by programs and grants that support first generation graduate students. 

Angelica Romo smiling slightlyAngelica Romo

My name is Angelica Romo, and I am a first-generation college student. I am a graduate student in the Multiple Subject Credential combined Masters program. My career plans are to become a teacher that caters to the needs of marginalized communities. I have focused on research on translanguaging and how its application can assist students whose first language isn't English. I want to be the teacher that I never knew I needed while growing up in Santa Ana. My focus is to ensure that I have the necessary resources to be the best future educator I can be.

Julien (Rou) Rouvere posingJulien (Rou) Rouvere

I am in the M.A. Psychology program and specialize in quantitative psychology. My primary research work involves scale development, psychometric evaluation, and the application of statistics to research projects in the psychology, philosophy, and biology departments. After graduation, I hope to work as a data analyst and complete a doctorate in quantitative psychology.



Collette Rutherford smilingCollette Rutherford

Collette Rutherford is a Theatre Directing MFA student. This year, she will be  directing two projects for California State University - Fullerton, Jessica Swale’s Blue Stockings in Fall 2022 and Hannah Cowley’s classic comedy The Belle’s Stratagem in Spring 2023. She will direct a yet-to-be-determined play for CSUF in the 2023-2024 school year. Collette is an active member in several Los Angeles-area theatre companies including PlayGround - LA, Little Fish Theatre, and Infinite Jest Theatre as well as groups such as Emerging Arts Leaders of LA and Arts4LA. After graduation, she plans to continue working in theatre as both a free-lance director and teaching artist. ColletteRutherford.com

Krissy Sanchez smilingKrissy Sanchez

Krissy Sanchez is currently pursuing a Masters of Science Degree in Kinesiology at California State University, Fullerton. Her research areas of interest include: tactical strength and conditioning, exercise physiology, and post activation potentiation. Sanchez's goal is to pursue a PhD after her time at CSUF, and then enter the field of Kinesiology as either a college professor, or strength and conditioning specialist for first responders. 

Alia Shenasa smilingAlia Shenasa

Alia Shenasa is a second-year student currently enrolled in the Master of Social Work program with a concentration in Community Mental Health at California State University, Fullerton. She is passionate about providing direct mental health support to survivors of domestic violence in underserved communities. She is also interested in researching effective therapeutic interventions to support survivors of sexual assault the Middle Eastern/ North African (MENA) collegiate population. She hopes to continue providing support to survivors of trauma in an integrated behavioral health setting after graduation while working to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW).

Atis Srihiran smilingAtis Srihiran

My name is Atis Srihiran. I am currently in my final semester of the environmental engineering master's program at CSU Fullerton. I have been working as an engineer at an environmental consultant for more than six years. My focus is on site assessment and remediation of soil and groundwater. I decided to enroll in this master's program at CSU Fullerton in the hope that I could use some extra knowledge I have learned from this program to apply to my current job. So far, I found the courses and materials have been helpful and informative. I am grateful for the professors and classmates I have met during this program.

Michelle Suarez smilingMichelle Suarez

Michelle Suarez is a second-year graduate student in the Master of Human Communication Studies program at California State University, Fullerton. Prior to attending CSUF’s graduate program, Suarez received her B.A. from University of La Verne, majoring in Speech Communication. Her emphasis within the program is Health Communication, with research interests that primarily focus on how risk perception influences behavior change and the patient-provider relationship. Suarez's goal for her research is to establish pathways for improved health outcomes. After graduation, she plans to attain a Ph.D. in Communication while continuing her passion as a researcher and educator

Daisy Sun smilingDaisy Sun

As an advocate for Universal Healthcare, post-graduation; I plan to continue working in healthcare and hope that one day I will be able to make a change. I am currently enrolled in the Flex MBA program with my concentration in Organizational Leadership. I am excited and interested to apply what I learn in the real world and see what the results are.



Nicholas Suquett smiling slightlyNicholas Suquett

My name is Nicholas Suquett. I am a History Graduate Student with a concentration in Chicano/a Studies. I'd like to say that I am thankful for receiving this fellowship. This past academic year I had the opportunity to work on the #NetworkedOC project where we are creating a digital map of Black-Owned businesses in Orange County to improve the material conditions for Black residents. I hope to continue working on this project to document the oral histories of these establishments. My current plan after graduation is to pursue a doctoral degree in Chicano/a Studies or Education. 

Guillermo Vasquez smilingGuillermo Vasquez

Hello! My name is Guillermo Vasquez, and I am currently enrolled in CSU Fullerton’s Master of Science in Higher Education Program. As a first-generation student coming from a low-income background, I am passionate about researching and supporting how to best create educational systems that are not exclusionary and instead create environments that lead to equitable outcomes for underserved student populations.  After graduation I plan to keep working through my current position at Saddleback college supporting Hispanic/Latinx students. I hope that through this experience I can prepare to complete an Doctor of Education program in the future.

Jalen Ward smiling slightlyJalen Ward 

Jalen Ward is a rising second year graduate student in the Master of Arts Political Science program. He currently splits his time working in health policy coordination at a local startup and working for the PAJ Division as a graduate advisor and assistant. His current research focuses on political psychology & voter motivation, electoral politics/psephology, and political epistemology. Ward aims to produce substantive research on how the dissemination of information affects political ideology and electoral systems. After graduating, Ward plans to pursue a PhD in Political Science and hopes to go into academia or political and government consultancy.