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CSTEM Student & Faculty Awards

2021 Celebration of Achievement Program

2021 CSTEM Dean's Outstanding Graduate Award

The Dean’s Outstanding Graduate Award in the College of Science, Technology, Engineering & 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.  

Zsuzsanna Dianovics, B.S. in Computer Science & Information Systems, was nominated by Dr. Nahid Majd and received this prestigious award for her outstanding academic record, research experience, leadership, peer support, and community outreach.  Zsuzsanna excelled in her computer science courses and was encouraged to apply to the 2020 Summer Scholars research program. She  worked on a research project on blockchain technology, an emerging technology in cybersecurity and presented her research at both the Summer Scholar showcase last August and the CSUSM undergraduate research showcase in December.

Zsuzsanna also prepared a scholarly manuscript based on the research she did in the summer program and submitted it to the 2021 Computer Science Conference for CSU Undergraduates hosted by CSU Monterey Bay. The paper was accepted, and she presented her research at the conference in March.  She has served as a mentor to girls interested in computer science and cybersecurity through the STREAM Festival, Girls Who Code, Hackathons, and the Mountain Shadows Outreach Project.

Zsuzsanna is graduating with a 3.78 gpa and will be attending the SANS Diversity Cyber Academy.  She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in computer science while continuing to inspire and pave the way for young women in these underrepresented fields.

San Diego Union Tribune article, May 16, 2021

Shout out to: Kodie Gerritsen, who received the Dean's Outstanding Graduate Award for the College of Humanities, Arts, Behavioral and Social Sciences and the President's Outstanding Graduate Award.

While Kodie is being recognized for achievements in CHABSS, it's important to note that they are a double major in Visual & Performing Arts and Applied Physics.  Kodie has served as a STEAM Ambassador, been an active member of the Society of Physics Students, and served as President of the Women in Physics (WiP) student organization.  

Kodie is graduating with a 3.8 gpa and is a TRIO McNair Scholar.  Kodie has applied to several graduate programs both nationally and internationally to study geography, environmental/science policy, and science communication.

  • Class of 2020:  Lauren Tafla, Physics. Recipient of the 2020 President's Outstanding Graduate Award.
  • Class of 2019: Jesus Perez, Physics.
  • Class of 2018: Veronica Gandara, Biological Sciences.
  • 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.  Recipient of the 2014 President's Outstanding Graduate Award.
  • Class of 2013: Ronald Reiter, Chemistry.

Dean's Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award

This award is given to one student each academic year and is selected from the entire graduating class in the College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics for their outstanding achievement and peer mentoring in research.

Matthew Cope, B.S. in Biological Sciences, started working in Dr. Elinne Becket's lab while he was a Bridges to Future Scholar at MiraCosta College.  He joined her lab team when he transferred to CSUSM in 2019 and has continually demonstrated his motivation to innovate and collaborate towards scientific discovery.  Matt's first major project was to find a cost-efficient way to analyze large mobile genetic elements using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE).  He independently designed a PFGE instrument that can be printed on a 3D printer and collaborated with the Electrical Engineering program to design the wiring setup.

Matt leveraged his skills learned in his NSF RESU expereience at San Jose State University to lead flurorescence microscopy efforts in the lab.  He led protocols for accurate cell counting for the coastal microbial community standard and led to the Becket Lab securing a CSU COAST GDP award to implement these technologies.

Matt is graduating with a CSUSM GPA of 4.0 and is a TRIO McNair Scholar.  He is pursuing his Ph.D. at UC Davis.

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. 

  • Class of 2019:  Carolyn Matthews, M.S. in Biological Sciences.
  • Class of 2018:  Justin Mulvany, M.S. in Mathematics.
  • Class of 2016:  Shelley Dutt, M.S. in Biological Sciences.  

2021 College Recognition Awards

Annually, the College honors the accomplishments and outstanding contributions of the students, faculty and staff of the College of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics.

The 2021 CSTEM Outstanding Lecturer Award

Presented to Professor Robyn Araiza, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry.

CSTEM Faculty-Student Collaboration

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

The CSTEM Award for Outstanding Faculty-Student Collaboration in Biological Sciences
Presented to Dr. Darcy Taniguchi, Alyssia Gonzalez, and Anissa Garcia.

The CSTEM Award for Outstanding Faculty-Student Collaboration in Biotechnology
Presented to Dr. Carlos Luna-Lopez, Rosaline Kumar, and Holly Day.

The CSTEM Award for Outstanding Faculty-Student Collaboration in Chemistry & Biochemistry
Presented to Dr. Robert Iafe and Amanda Melanese.

The CSTEM Award for Outstanding Faculty-Student Collaboration in Computer Science & Information Systems
Presented to Dr. Yanyan Li and Eric Levas.

The CSTEM Award for Outstanding Faculty-Student Collaboration in Mathematics
Presented to Dr. Shahed Sharif and Ncholas Hollander.

The CSTEM Award for Outstanding Faculty-Student Collaboration in Applied Physics
Presented to Dr. Gerardo Dominguez and Paul Hoff man.

Other Awards

The CSTEM Minerva Award
Awarded to Alicia Tovar, M.S. in Biological Sciences

CSTEM Community Engaged Scholars
Award to Emily Lyon and Alma Avila, B.S. in Chemistry & Biochemistry

Edison Scholar 
Award to Kristin Dalrymple, B.S. in Wildfire Science and Urban Interface

The Wolfram Award for Achievements in Computational Sciences
Awarded to Jacob Turull, B.S. in Mathematics, Minor in Computer Science & Information Systems.

CSUPERB Presidents' Commission Scholar Award
The California State University Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB) recognizes that research experience is critical to engaging and graduating students interested in biotechnology careers. The focus of this program is to increase the number of undergraduate students who have access to early, full-time research experiences.

Awarded to Gilda Castellano, B.S. in Biotechnology and Computern Science & Information Systems.

COAST Undergraduate Research Awards in the Department of Biological Sciences

The CSU Council on Ocean Affairs, Science & Technology (COAST) is the CSU system-wide affinity group for marine- and coastal-related activities. COAST promotes interdisciplinary, multi-campus collaborations to advance our knowledge of California's natural coastal and marine resources and the processes that affect them.

Mackenzie Pylant, working with Dr. Elinne Becket.
David Reis, working with Dr. Christina Simokat. 

Special Recognition

  • CSU Trustees' Award for Outstanding Achievement:  Kayla Nguyen, B.S. in Biotechnology.
  • Harry E. Brakebill Distinguished Professor Award: Dr. Betsy Read, Department of Biological Sciences.
  • NSF Grant to support the retention and graduation of high achieving, low income students in chemistry and biochemistry:  Dr. Robert Iafe and Dr. Paul Jasien, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry.
  • The Student Affiliate Chapter of the American Chemical Society (ACS) received an Outstanding Chapter Award. 
  • The Department of Physics ranked sixth in the nation by INSIGHT Into Diversity's 2020 Inspiring Programs in STEM for their efforts to improve access to STEM disciplines for underrepresented students.

CSTEM Finalists at the Symposium on Student Research, Creativity and Innovation

  • Clarisa Garcia, Department of Biological Sciences
  • Yosiris Hagan, Department of Biological Sciences
  • Christian Lopezguerra, Elizabeth Murguia, & Mackenzie Pylant, Department of Biological Sciences
  • Anay Ochoa, Department of Biological Sciences
  • Jaida Osman, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
  • Dani Rodea, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

University Library Award for Undergraduate Research

  • Michael McDermott, Department of Computer Science & Information Systems
  • Anay Ochoa, Department of Biological Sciences