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Alumni & Students News Archive

Spring 2013

Jackson Gaskins (Communication, Undergraduate) shares his compelling and personal story and challenges everyone to make a blood donation to save a life. Watch hisJackson's story

James Miller's (Lecturer, Visual and Performing Art) student, Amanda Umphrey, competitively submitted her graphic design to San Diego's 4th Annual Jewish Food Festival won. The following picture is of Amanda presenting her winning San Diego Jewish Food Festival 2013 Poster Design to Marine Room Chef de Cuisine and JFF Master of Ceremonies Ron Oliver:

Congratulations to our CHABSS student finalists for the Symposium on Student Research, Creative Activities, & Innovation! We wish you the best of luck when you travel to the Statewide Competition at Cal Poly Pamona on May 10-11, 2013!

  • Amanda Gochez (Psychology, Graduate), with faculty mentor Dr. Keith TrujilloUltrasonic Vocalization in Rats in Response to Methamphetamine
  • Carlos Gonzalez (Psychology, Undergraduate), with faculty mentor Dr. Keith TrujilloKetamine-Induced Conditioned Taste Aversion Differs in Adult and Adolescent Rats
  • Alyssa Parisette (Psychology, Undergraduate), with faculty mentor Dr. Sara BufferdParental Predictors of Shame and Guilt at Age 6 in a Multi-Method, Longitudinal Study
  • Megan Rice (Psychology, Undergraduate), with faculty mentor Dr. Nancy CaineSerpentine Shape Detection in Common Marmosets (Callithrix jacchus)
  • Anthony Torretti (Political Science, Undergraduate), with faculty mentor Dr. Cynthia Chavez MetoyerMotivated Skepticism in Voter Information Processing

Students of Michelle Holling (Associate Professor, Communication) had their competitively submitted papers accepted for presentation at the Western States Communication Association's Undergraduate Scholars Research Conference on February 15 in Reno, NV.

  •  Maricel Alamares, Junior and Communication major, "The Hunger Games": Inspiring Hegemonic Disenchantment
  • Chelsea Daniels, Senior and Communication major, Corporations Can Make Apologies.  
  • Amira El-Khaouli, Senior and Communication and Political Science major, Audience, Metaphors, and the 1995 State of the Union Address.
  • Stephanie Martin, Junior and Communication major, Margaret Sanger: The Ungrateful Yet Successful Child of Chance.
  • Joëlle Mestemacher, B.A. in Communication December 2012, Building Relationships, Creating Knowledge: The Cultivation of Professional Credibility and its Moderation by Gender in the College Classroom.

Katie Hanson and Eric Trockman, Seniors and Communication majors, had their competitively submitted paper, "Grief Work and the Utilization of Online Discursive Surface to Mourn and Memorialize" (2012, November) accepted for presentation. They presented it at the Western States Communication Association's Undergraduate Scholars Research Conference on February 15 in Reno, NV. Their faculty advisor is Dreama Moon (Professor, Communication)

Fall 2012

The San Diego Union Tribune featured Dr. Ibrahim Al-Marashi (Assistant Professor, History) and graduate student Amanda Regan for their "War at Home and Abroad" digital history project.

Students in Sheryl Lutjens’ WMST 445/PSCI 445 class, Gender and Development, held an OXFAM Hunger Banquet on December 5, 2012.  The purpose of the banquet was to raise awareness about the causes and gendered consequences of world hunger.  Sponsors included the WMST Department, ASI Pride Center, and the LGBTQ Cluba.  Students secured donations and in-kind support from the community for the banquet.

Katie Hanson and Eric Trockman, Communication majors, presented "Grief Work and the Utilization of Online Discursive Surface to Mourn and Memorialize" in the Student Poster Showcase: Promoting Student Research and Creative Activities in November, 2012. Their faculty advisor is Dreama Moon (Professor, Communication)

Jorge Villalobos' (M.A., 2012, Literature and Writing Studies) MA thesis, My Name Is/Mi nombre es: Developing Internal Voices in a Quest of an Identity has been published by AkademikerVerlag Publishing Company (August 2012).

Women’s Studies and Sociology major Cipriano Vargas was appointed to the CSU Board of Trustees by California Governor Jerry Brown. Cipriano is the first CSUSM student to serve on the board. (August 2012)

Spring 2012

Literature and Writing Studies B.A. alumna, Dalyn Luedtke, (Ph.D., University of Arizona) has accepted a tenure-track teaching position at Norwich University in Northfield, Vermont; B.A. and M.A. alumna Deborah Paige has accepted a full-time, tenure-track position teaching English at Fullerton College; Literature and Writing Studies B.A. and M.A. alumna, and Sally Casanova Predoctoral Scholar, Gina Le Vasseur Altavilla, will attend UCSD’s doctoral program in Literature in Fall 2012 and has been awarded a Cota-Robles Fellowship that will provide her with four years of tuition remission, a generous two year stipend, and another two year stipend or Teaching Assistantship through the Literature Department at UCSD.  Geoff West (B.A., History, 2012), who transferred here from SD City College after earlier careers as a chef and on Wall Street, is going on to UCSD’s doctoral program in History with a full fellowship.

Students in Professor Jule Gómez de García’s (Professor, Liberal Studies) Native American Languages course, Amy Hinchman, David Hinchman, Xochitl Cruz, Autumn Slutsky-Salvin, and Kathleen Badeaux presented “Native American Language Maps” (GIS Presentations) at the2012 CSUSM Student Poster Showcase in April.

Literature and Writing Studies graduate student Gregg Fields and his editorial board successfully launched the inaugural edition of The Critical Initiative, an online peer-reviewed scholarly publication for CSUSM students. The editors received 55 submissions and published three original scholarly essays and two faculty research spotlight pieces in Issue 1; plans are already underway for the Fall issue.  Literature and Writing Studies graduate students, Colleen Stricker and Michelle St. George held what they hope to be an annual scholarly conference, “Re/Vision,” attended by over 20 participants from CSUSM and other universities. Stricker and St. George also successfully defended their M.A. theses in the week following the conference!

CSUSM undergraduate, Carlos Gonzalez, received a First Place Award at the California State University Statewide Student Research Competition of 2012.  Gonzalez, mentored by Dr. Keith Trujillo, (Professor, Psychology) titled his project "Differential Effects of Ketamine on Learning and Memory in Adult and Adolescent Rats.">

Students of Maureen Fitzpatrick (Professor, Psychology) worked with her to present their research collaborations in poster sessions at several important national conferences (student researchers’ names are underlined):

  • Wrzeciona, K. N., & Fitzpatrick, M. J. (2012, May). Using Intrapersonal Awareness and Other Individual Characteristics to Predict Substance Use in College Students. Poster presented at the annual conference of the Association for Psychological Science, Chicago, IL.
  • Strege, M. V., Harrison, T. L., & Fitzpatrick, M. J. (2012, April). Ethnic Differences in College Students’ Knowledge of the Aging Process. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Western Psychological Association, San Francisco, CA.
  • Harrison, T. L., Strege, M. V., & Fitzpatrick, M. J. (2012, April). Health Evaluation and Maintenance: Effects of Ethnicity and Elder Contact. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Western Psychological Association, San Francisco, CA.
  • Bradley, S. A., & Fitzpatrick, M. J. (2012, April). The Effects of Ethnicity, Gender, and Extroversion on Alcohol Consumption. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Western Psychological Association, San Francisco, CA.
  • Wrzeciona, K. N., & Fitzpatrick, M. J. (2012, April). College Students’ Substance Use: Effects of Gender, Age, and Personality. Poster presented at the annual meeting of the Western Psychological Association, San Francisco, CA.

“Iphone Zombies,” the final piece for VSAR 406 by Jackie Zelon was featured in an article published in the North County Times in May; Marleen Heredia’s  work, “Varying Degrees of Severity” was featured in the CSUSM Art Gallery at San Marcos Restaurant Row; Todd Fowler and Rachael Winfield, installation art students, created a display of children’s drawings for a collaborative project between the children’s center and the career center. The structure is welded steel with colorful fleece material. It is currently displayed in the Children’s Center but will be shown around campus. It will be stored and used for future projects. The students received a small stipend from the career center for their outstanding work.

Women’s Studies minor Megan Carlier was named to the Cougar Wall of Fame, 2011-12.  Women’s Studies major Jennifer Meneray won the Jonathan Poullard Commitment to Inclusiveness and Social Justice Award, 2011-12. Recipients of this award are a staff/faculty and a student who show "tireless effort in increasing understanding and advancing campus dialogue, community and diversity."  Women’s Studies major Ariana Rivera won the Empowering Award at the All People's Celebration in April 2012.  The All People’s awards are given each academic year to student, faculty, staff, alumnus, or community member who has contributed time, effort, and energy to support diversity and promote inclusiveness at CSUSM.  The Women’s Studies Student Association produced several very successful performances of The Vagina Monologues, February 17 and 18, 2012.  Their efforts included the pre-show V-Day Festival that offered an art exhibit as well as useful information for the public on issues surrounding sexuality and violence against women.

Anthropology undergraduate students, Xochitl Cruz, Gavin Rose and Ryan Suffridge, who were awarded 2nd place in the CSU statewide Student Research Competition (held at CSU Long Beach this year on May 4) for their research, Addressing Health Disparities in North San Diego County through Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services.  Dr. Konane Martinez, Anthropology, is their faculty mentor.  Other CHABSS students and faculty who presented at the statewide competition include:

Sean J. Davis - Dr. Linda Shaw, Sociology, faculty mentor
Sociological Practice, Graduate
Getting Better: Learning and Improving at the Local Skate park

Carlos Gutierrez Gonzalez - Dr. Keith Trujillo, Psychology, faculty mentor
Biological Sciences, Undergraduate
Behavioral Differences between Adults and Adolescents with Ketamine Administration
(Mr. Gonzalez, a Biological Sciences major, competed in the Behavioral Sciences category)

Eleuterio Limas - Dr. P. Wesley Schultz, Psychology, faculty mentor
Psychology, Graduate
Reusable Bag Use Behaviors at Major Grocery Stores

Shirlee  Moore - Dr. Sharon Hamill, Psychology, faculty mentor
Psychology, Undergraduate
Gender as a Moderator between Parental Closeness and Self Reliance

Kaitlin Phillips - Dr. Kendra Rivera, Communication, faculty mentor
Communication, Undergraduate
Technology Poses Challenges and Opportunities within the Classroom

Students who participated in the local CSUSM competition include Economics students, Mike Stevenson, Brad Waldon and Mike Tomasello, who presented their research “An econometric case for craft brewing” as part of the competition (Dr. Ranjeeta Basu, faculty mentor). Vanessa Bush (Mass Media) and Stephanie Breneman (Communication) also presented their research.

Val Knox, Literature and Writing Studies alumna and the Community Partnerships Coordinator for CSUSM's Office of Community Service Learning (OCSL), has been selected by the County of San Diego Health & Human Services Agency to receive the 2012 Public Health Champion Award. In her role as Community Partnerships Coordinator, Val helps ensure that CSUSM students from every college on campus have access to placement sites in our local community where they can engage in meaningful, hands-on service that reinforces the study of their academic disciplines. Her efforts over the past decade to create and nurture relationships with local non-profits have resulted in over 100 partnerships with community organizations, including the County, and a wealth of opportunities for student learning. The County will hold a special award reception to honor Ms. Knox, on Monday April 2, 2012, at the County Administration Complex (1:00-3:00).

Communication students Joëlle Mestemacher's and Brianna Muehl's research papers were accepted for presentation at the Undergraduate Scholars Research Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Mestemacher's paper is titled "Feminist Rhetoric in Fictional Narratives: A Cluster Analysis of Kate Chopin's 'The Story of an Hour'," Muehl's is titled "A Controversial Redefinition of Pornography.” USRC is a regional conference sponsored by the Western States Communication Association Amy Greiner, a 2012 graduate. B.A., Global Studies and minor in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, has been accepted to the Master's Program in Middle East & Central Asian Security Studies at St. Andrew's University in Scotland. History M.A. student Denise Kane has been selected as an intern at the Executive Office of the President Library in Washington D.C. in summer, 2012; History M.A. student Andrew Aguirre presented a talk on “Replication Cultural Imperialism” at a digital history conference at USC.

Literature and Writing Studies 2011 B.A. alumni, Adam Bishop, currently an MFA student at CU Boulder, published a review essay in The Volta, an online journal of poetry and poetics.

Literature and Writing Studies 2010 M.A. alumna and Casanova Predoctoral Scholar Gina M. LeVasseur Altavilla has been accepted to the doctoral program in literature at UCSD and will participate in UCSD’s Competitive EDGE Summer Research Program, designed to give ten selected graduate students an opportunity to begin research in their UCSD academic department the summer prior to the start of their graduate program. The program includes a $3000 stipend, guaranteed housing, exposure to resources at UC San Diego, the opportunity to gain familiarity with department staff, and the opportunity to network with faculty, staff, and previous Competitive Edge participants.

Psychology alumna, Cynthia Garcia, has been awarded a prestigious predoctoral fellowship from the National Institute on Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Cynthia is in a doctoral program in neuroscience at Washington University in St. Louis. Her research is focused on stem cells in the brain and their potential role in certain neurological disorders.

Psychology alumni, Dr. Ian Mendez, has landed a prestigious postoctoral position at UCLA. Ian received his PhD in Behavioral Neuroscience from Texas A&M University. His research at UCLA is exploring brain substrates of motivation and their involvement in addiction and other behavioral disorders.

MASP (MA, Sociological Practice) alumna, Geneva Sanchez, presented her research on Racial Microaggressions for the CSUSM Faculty Center; MASP alumna, Lori Walkington, served as a panelist for a scholarly discussion of the works of Zora Neal Hurston in the Oceanside City Chamber Feb 31rst for the Oceanside Big Read.

VPA student Antonio Alvilla designed the winning entry in the 10th Annual International Fair Poster Contest. Mr. Avilla's design will be reproduced in large-format on sidewalk A-frames around campus before the event, and he will be recognized by the Office of Global Education in a small public presentation on the day of the fair where the poster will be prominently featured. The International Fair is being held on Thursday, April 5th in Library Plaza from 11:00 am - 2:00 pm.

Fall 2011:

Joseph Fortin, CSUSM scholarship recipient and Psychology major, will be graduating in Fall 2011 and returning to active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps to work with veterans with PTSD and stress-related injuries as a counselor.

Students enrolled in VPA 321, Learning through the Arts (two sections taught by Radhika Rao and Mindy Donner) produced and performed Puppet Theatre Plays for 320 first and third-graders who bussed to the college from San Marcos Elementary School. College student groups adapted children's literature and core reading literature, or created original works based on grade-level science standards. VPA 321 students designed and constructed all puppets, set pieces and props.

Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies students, Amy Greiner (minor) and Kristine Wise (major), co-presented a paper with Professor Linda Pershing at the annual conference of the American Folklore Society, October 2011 in Bloomington, Indiana.  The paper,  "Chaining Themselves to the White House Fence: Military Veterans Confront Obama's War Policy," was part of a panel entitled "Folklore of Peace and Justice." Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies major Alisha Ochoa co-authored an essay with Professor Linda Pershing titled, "Team Teaching with Undergraduate Students: Feminist Pedagogy in a Peer Education Project." The essay is currently under review for publication. Jennifer Meneray, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies senior, co-facilitated the Gendered Violence Workshop at the U.S.-Mexico Border Dialogue Coalition Conference, October 13, 2011.

Student research presentations from ECON 481 (Ranjeeta Basu, Professor, Economics Department) and MUSC 380 (Mtafiti Imara, Associate Professor, VPA) entitled “What is the impact of tourism on music culture in San Diego?” in December at a forum in ARTS 111.