Current RISE Scholars 

Danny Armenta,  Computer Science Major
Mentor: Dr. Ahmad R. Hadaegh

Armenta will earn his bachelor's degree in Computer Science in spring
2015. In spring 2013, he became a Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority
Participation Scholar. In fall 2013, Danny was selected as a scholar for the
Minority Access to Research Careers program and began research at CSUSM. Under
the guidance of Dr. Ahmad Hadaegh, Danny began working with a research group
focused on discovering novel HIV-1 integrase inhibitors. Danny presented this
research proposal at the CSUSM Symposium on Student Research, Creative
Activities, & Innovations in 2013

Aurelio Arango,Computer Science Major
Mentor: Dr. Xiaoyu Zhang

Aurelio Arango a computer science major and physics minor will earn his bachelor’s degree in spring 2015. Aurelio was selected as a scholar for the Bridges to the Future Program. This scholarship introduces students to scientific research and prepares students for a seamless transition to a four year university. In spring 2012, Aurelio was selected, from many top candidates, as a scholar for the Minority Access to Research Careers Program. This program prepares students to conduct research at an undergraduate level and prepares them for a successful research career at a doctoral level. Aurelio Arango started conducting research under the mentorship of Dr. Denise Garcia and Dr. Suzanne Hizer. Aurelio’s role was the creation and implementation of algorithms to manage a database for references in the genome. Daphnia pulex was used as a reference to classify the genome. Aurelio presented this research at the 2013 Plant and Animal Genome conference. In the summer 2013, Aurelio participated was awarded a scholarship to participate in a Research Experience for Undergraduate at Purdue University. He conducted research under the mentorship of Dr. Victor Raskin and Dr. Julia Taylor. Aurelio’s investigation consisted of analyzing text for information retrieval using verbs. Currently, he is working with Dr. Xiaoyu Zhang analyzing development of protocols for gene prediction, development of intermediary software for gene and isoforms expression levels, and analyzing expression levels as an indicator of the presence of coccoliths in coccolithophores. In summer 2015, Aurelio was selected as a recipient of a Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement that prepares its scholars for a successful transition into a doctoral program.


Annalise Binette, Biotechnology Major
Mentor: Dr. Keith Trujillo

Annalise Binette will earn her B.S. in Biotechnology with a Minor in Physics in Spring 2016. She transferred from Palomar College where she was a Bridges Scholar for the 2012-2013 school year. She joined Dr. Trujillo’s neuropsychopharmacology lab in Fall 2013 and she’s currently researching methylphenidate-induced ultrasonic vocalizations in adolescent and adult rats, as well as chronic methamphetamine-induced ultrasonic vocalizations in adult rats. After obtaining her B.S., she plans to pursue a PhD in Neuroscience.



Gregory Walters, Biology Major
Mentor: Dr. Kambiz Hamadani


Luis Dorantes-Trejo, Biochemistry Major
Mentor: Dr. Jacqueline Trischman

Abraham Escobedo, Psychology Graduate Student

Mentor: Dr. Keith Trujillo


Consuelo Sauceda, Biochemistry Major
Mentor: Dr. Jacqueline Trischman