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Dean's List & Awards

Dean's List

To qualify for the undergraduate Dean's List at the conclusion of a semester, the student must have completed a minimum of 12 units of graded Cal State San Marcos coursework (A, B, C, D, F) during that semester with at least a 3.50 grade point average. The letters are sent electronically to the campus email address on file with Enrollment Management Services after grades formally post to your transcript.    

Letters are usually not available for several weeks after the semester ends so please be patient.  If you do not receive a Dean's List letter, are pursuing a major in the College of Science & Mathematics, and meet the above criteria, please contact the Office of the Dean.  Your request must include the semester of eligibility, student ID number and contact information: full name, email address or telephone. Email your request to  

*All other majors: please contact the college your degree program is housed in.  You can review that listing at All CSUSM Colleges.

2018 Dean's Outstanding Graduate Award

The Dean’s Award in the College of Science and Mathematics is given to a graduating student who exemplifies the core values of research, creative activities and commitment to discovery. The student has not only demonstrated academic excellence, but has also shown a strong record of service to the college, the university and the surrounding community.

Veronica Gandara, the 2018 CSM Dean's Award winner for outstanding academic achievement, graduated in May 2018 with a degree in Biological Sciences.  Growing up in Sweden, Veronica’s father stressed the importance of a good education. Even though he never attended high school, he wanted his daughter to have a better life. Veronica was 12 years old when he died, and her dreams of higher education faded after his death.

After graduating from high school, she traveled to the United States where she met her husband, who encouraged her to return to school. It only took one semester before Veronica realized that she was in the right place. She finally felt like she was headed toward a meaningful future.

Veronica is the first in her family to graduate from college. When her grandmother lost her battle with cervical cancer, Veronica volunteered for the American Cancer Society’s Discovery Shop to honor her grandmother’s memory. Spending time around cancer survivors and later around cancer patients during an internship at Palomar Hospital helped her develop a deep admiration for those affected by disease. She intends to pursue a medical degree in psychiatry.

Veronica excelled in the classroom at CSUSM, graduating with a 4.0 grade-point average despite a challenging course load.

  • Class of 2017: Sharon Patray, Biochemistry.
  • Class of 2016: Staff Sergeant German Alberto Mendoza, Biological Sciences.
  • Class of 2015: Josephine Gonzales, Biological Sciences.
  • Class of 2014: Gary Simmons, Physics.  (Also received 2014 President's Award)
  • Class of 2013: Ronald Reiter, Chemistry.

2018 Graduate Dean's Award

The Graduate Dean's Award is given to a student who exemplifies the core values of research, creative activities and commitment to discovery by the Office of Graduate Studies.

Justin Mulvany graduated in May 2018 with a 4.0 grade-point average, putting him in elite company. Of the 54 graduate students who have gone through the mathematics master’s program, only two others have achieved this feat.

Justin changed majors twice as an undergraduate, starting in literature and writing studies before moving to economics. He began taking mathematics courses to better prepare for graduate school and discovered an aptitude for proof-based and applied mathematics courses, leading him to switch to a mathematics major. Through his studies, he has obtained a solid foundation in theoretical subjects such as analysis and topology, and their applications to fields like probability theory, optimization and numerical analysis.

While at CSUSM, Justin has also taken the opportunity to teach. Each semester, he was selected for a Graduate Teaching Assistantship. In this role, he assisted professors teaching upper division courses by grading, lecturing and holding office hours. These experiences strengthened his understanding of fundamental mathematical subjects and allowed him to grow as an educator.

Justin will pursue his Ph.D. in Data Science and Operations at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. His goal is to become a professional academic researcher, using mathematics to study complex problems arising in operations research.

  • Class of 2016:  Shelley Dutt, M.S. in Biological Sciences.  

2018 College Recognition Awards

Annually, Dean Katherine Kantardjieff honors the accomplishments and outstanding contributions of the students, faculty and staff of the College of Science and Mathematics.

Outstanding Lecturer

This award honors an adjunct faculty member in the College of Science and Mathematics for achievement in the area of teaching, with emphasis on the last three years.

Outstanding Lecturer
Presented by 2017 recipient, Dr. Joshua Lovelace, Department of Mathematics, to Dr. Daun Barr Stansfield, Department of Biological Sciences.

CSM Faculty-Student Collaboration

CSM recognizes the outstanding faculty and student scholarly collaborations, exceptional instruction by our adjunct faculty and the academic accomplishments by our students.

The CSM Award for Outstanding Faculty-Student Collaboration in Biological Sciences
Presented to Dr. John Eme and Ms. Cassidy Cooper.

The CSM Award for Outstanding Faculty-Student Collaboration in Biotechnology
Presented to Dr. Arun Sethuraman and Ms. Yumary Vasquez.

The Dr. Megan Hamreus Award for Outstanding Faculty-Student Collaboration in Chemistry & Biochemistry
Presented by Dr. Megan Hamreus to Dr. Sajith Jayasinghe and Ms. Isamar Aranda.

The ViaSat Award for Outstanding Faculty-Student Collaboration in Computer Science & Information Systems
Presented to Dr. Ali Ahmadinia and Mr. Emmanuel Castillo.

The Northrop Grumman Award for Outstanding Faculty-Student Collaboration in Mathematics
Presented by Thomas McCloud, Northrop Grumman, to Dr. Amber Puha and Mr. Mavin Pena.

The Thomas and Renee McCloud Award for Outstanding Faculty-Student Collaboration in Physics
Presented by Thomas and Renee McCloud to Dr. Justin Perron and Mr. Erick Ochoa.

Other Awards

The Thomas M. Wahlund Memorial Scholarship
Presented by Dr. Colleen Moss, Sociology.
Presented to Ms. Alireza Seylani, Biological Sciences. 

The MolSoft Award in Computational Science
Presented by Dr. Andrew Orry, MolSoft LLC.
Presented to Mr. Colton Breyer, Chemistry.

The Wolfram Award for Achievements in Computational Sciences
Presented by Dr. Linda Holt, Mathematics.
Presented to Mr. Christopher Powell and Mr. Fernando Azepitia Tellez, Mathematics.

The Carolyn Mahoney Mathematics Scholarship
Presented by Dr. Wayne Aitken, Mathematics.
Presented to Ms. Luz Clarita Torres and Mr. Wei Wesolowski, Mathematics.

COAST Undergraduate Research Awards

  • Ms. Kathleen Moorman and Dr. Jacqueline Trischman, Chemistry & Biochemistry.
  • Ms. Amanda Bauer and Dr. Diego Sustaita, Biological Sciences.
  • Ms. Brooke Harrington and Dr. Diego Sustaita, Biological Sciences.   

Special Recognition

  • Southern California PULSE Institute Award:  Dr. Denise Garcia, Biological Sciences.
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships: Ms. Maylin Caldwell (BIOL), and Mr. James Oakley (CHEM).
  • Sloan Fellowship:  Ms. Desirae Mellor (CHEM).
  • 2017/18 Cougars Affordable Learning Materials (CALM) Award: Dr. Jacqueline Trischman (CHEM), Dr. Robert Iafe (CHEM), Dr. Lenuta Gonzales (CHEM), and Dr. John Hakanson (BIOL).
  • Senator Joel Anderson Recognition of ACS Affiliates Chapter Board for Outstanding Service: Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry American Chemical Society Student Chapter.
  • Future of Physics Days Outstanding Presentation Award:  Ms. Josefa Gregorio (PHYS).
  • Athena Pinnacle Awards, Education Category:  Dr. Katherine Kantardjieff, Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics (awardee), and Dr. Youwen Ouyang, Professor, Department of Computer Science & Information Systems (nominee).