Your  Account:

Graduate Dean's Awards Recipients

Past Graduate Dean's Award Recipients

2016 - 2017
Graduate Dean's Award

Christie Jaeger earned her Master of Arts degree in General Experimental Psychology in Fall 2016 and was nominated by her faculty and selected by committee to receive the 2016-2017 Graduate Dean’s Award.

Christie came to CSUSM in 2014 after completing a dual BA in Psychology and Environmental Studies from Metropolitan State University of Denver. She came to CSUSM specifically to study environmental issues, and she wanted to focus her graduate work on the behavioral aspects of water conservation. Christie graduated with a 3.97 GPA and her nominated faculty stated that she was a clear stand-out in all of her graduate courses, and she was consistently the top ranked student in her courses.

While her accomplishments in the classroom are noteworthy, her research and culminating experience are truly exceptional. In her research, Christie worked with the Olivenhain Municipal Water District (OMWD) to develop and test a new outreach strategy to encourage residents to conserve water. In addition to her outstanding culminating experience, Christie was actively involved in several other professional, academic, and service activities during her time at CSUSM. She collaborated with the US Forest Service on a large-scale evaluation project focused on the benefits of nature experiences for children living in urban areas, and she submitted three manuscripts for consideration in peer reviewed scientific journals. One of these papers was accepted for publication in the Journal of Environmental Psychology on which she is the lead author. 

Her success both in and out of the classroom show that graduate education at CSUSM can have a positive impact on our local community, while at the same time making important contributions to the knowledge base in an academic discipline.

2015 - 2016
Graduate Dean's Award

In Spring 2016, Ms. Shelley Dutt earned her Master’s of Science in Biological Sciences with a focus in Immunology. She was nominated by her faculty, and selected by the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research to receive the 2015-2016 Graduate Dean’s Award due to her outstanding scholarship and achievement in academic, professional, and service activities.

Ms. Dutt graduated from UC Irvine in 2010 with degrees in Criminology and in Anthropology. Her interest in Biology began after completing Dr. Bianca Mothé’s course in Immunology, where she discovered a passion for understanding disease, and especially the body’s natural response to infection. She joined Dr. Julie Jameson’s lab where she honed her research and clinical skills, and took on a lab leadership role on a clinical project that focused on wound healing with kidney transplant patients. The project was conducted in collaboration with researchers at UCSD and the California Institute for Renal Research.  
Ms. Dutt’s empirical thesis, The Impact of Everolimus on Wound Healing in Renal Transplant Patients, focused on an analysis of clinical samples from 40 patients. As a result of her thesis work, she will join a laboratory at Stanford this summer as a research associate. Dr. Jameson highly praised Ms. Dutt’s thesis work stating, “This is such an extensive project that usually a post-doctoral fellow would be heading it up with the help of several technicians.”

Ms. Dutt is truly an outstanding example of what can be accomplished as a graduate student at CSUSM. She built a foundational base in biology before enrolling in her master program, and once in the program, she distinguished herself in the lab, the classroom, and through STEM service activities. By working closely with CSUSM faculty mentors, she was able to develop a depth of knowledge in immunology, and her thesis project far exceeds the standards for a culminating experience.  

2014 - 2015
Graduate Dean's Award

Mr. Keith Gemmell earned his Master’s in Business Administration in Spring 2015. Specifically, Mr. Gemmell completed his coursework through the College’s Fully Employed MBA (FEMBA) program. He was nominated by his faculty and selected by the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research to receive the 2014-2015 Graduate Dean’s Award due to his outstanding scholarship and achievement in academic, professional, and service activities.

As part of the requirements for the MBA at CSUSM, Mr. Gemmell completed a group project for his culminating experience. The team conducted a feasibility study and impact report for a new international airport at Camp Pendleton in an attempt to ease San Diego’s struggle to meet the transportation needs of local residents and businesses, while balancing the environmental, noise, and health impacts of an international airport. The 24-student cohort produced a single, five-chapter study in which Mr. Gemmell played a lead role in both the writing and presentation of the final report.

As a result of his leadership on the airport study and his sustained level of leadership in his cohort, Mr. Gemmell received the MBA Outstanding Leadership and Service Award. This award is presented to a graduating FEMBA student in recognition of leadership, mentorship, and service to his/her cohort. Importantly, this award is based on student nominations and recommendations. He was voted as the President of his cohort in the first semester and received numerous accolades during his time in the MBA program.

Mr. Gemmell’s academic accomplishments extend well beyond the classroom. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with his bachelor’s degree from San Diego State. Subsequently, he began working for the Moonlight Stage Productions where he managed operations for events at the Amphitheater and the AVO Playhouse. After several years, he decided to return to school and pursue his MBA at CSUSM. By combining his professional work responsibilities with the content from the MBA program, he was able to implement many of the topics from his coursework, including developing marketing materials and strategies, maintaining facility budgets, negotiating contracts and agreements, and supervising event projects. He is currently working for the City of Carlsbad as a Community Coordinator for the library, where his numerous skills are applied. Given the nature of the FEMBA program, Mr. Gemmell’s work highlights the synergies that can happen at the intersection of academic and professional settings.

2013 - 2014
Graduate Dean's Award

Mr. Joseph Schmitt earned his Masters of Arts in Psychology in Spring 2014. He was nominated by his faculty and selected by the Dean of Graduate Studies to receive the 2013-2014 Graduate Dean’s Award. Mr. Schmitt maintained a 3.8 GPA during his master’s program. He was also named a co-recipient of the 2013 CSUSM Distinguished Service Learning Award and a Distinguished Service Learning Partner of the Year for his work in Dr. Schultz’s Conservation course and efforts in the San Diego Safari Park.

During his graduate career at CSUSM, he worked in Dr. P. Wesley Schultz’s lab and collaborated on several projects including two local large-scale field studies on household electricity consumption. He worked on Dr. Schultz’s NSF grant in collaboration with San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), and co-authored a manuscript based on the study, which has been submitted for publication in a peer-review journal. He presented his research at several professional meetings including the 2013 Society for Personality and Social Psychology, 2013 Behavior Energy Climate Change and the 2014 SPSP Sustainability Conference. He has also co-authored a book chapter that focused on theoretical approached in social marketing with an emphasis on strategies for promoting energy conservation titled, “Driving Change: Applying Theoretical Models in Social Marketing.” It will appear in the forthcoming Handbook of Persuasion and Social Marketing(Praeger, 2014).  

Mr. Schmitt’s thesis project (Normative Social Influence and the Moderating Role of Group Identification: A Field Experiment on Household Electricity Consumption) explored the use of smart technology in San Marcos homes to conserve energy. He examined whether smart meters and In-Home Displays (IHDs) provided residents with effective feedback for reducing home every levels. To his accomplishment, over 4,000 households participated in the study.

In 2010, he received his B.A. in Psychology from Illinois Wesleyan University in Chicago. He is a first generation college student, who has persevered through economic hardships. He is described by his advisor, Dr. Schultz, as, “an amazingly resilient person, affable, and he brings an infectious energy to his work. In short, Mr. Schmitt makes science fun.”

2012 - 2013
Graduate Dean's Award

Mr. Fernando Sánchez earned his Masters of Arts in Literature and Writing Studies in Fall 2012. He was nominated by his faculty and selected by the Dean of Graduate Studies to receive the 2012-13 Graduate Dean’s Award.   Mr. Sanchez was then awarded the highest honor a CSUSM student can receive – the President’s Outstanding Graduate Award for 2013.

During his graduate career at CSUSM, Fernando served as a volunteer tutor in the Step Up Youth Mentoring program where he assisted many diverse low-income elementary and middle school students with academics, life skills, and team building.  He also volunteered as a teaching assistant in AP English at High Tech High.  As a graduate teaching associate, Fernando taught lectures in literary theory and its practical use and application.  These experiences helped Fernando to mature and shape his pedagogical approach and understand the powerful role of the university in the community. 

In the classroom, Fernando is able to articulate the purpose of theory and it place in the community.  These experiences also led to his development of creative and remarkable thesis research: Symbols and Voices Along the Tijuana-San Diego Border. According to Fernando’s thesis adviser, Dr. Kenneth Mendoza, Fernando’s research is “reshaping the dialogue on Border Studies and contributing to the field of Cultural Studies.”

In 2011, he received his B.A. in Literature and Writing Studies from CSUSM, and was a recipient of the prestigious California Pre-Doctoral Scholarship for 2012-13. Fernando demonstrated clear evidence of outstanding achievement across Graduate Dean’s Award criteria achieving a 3.86 GPA in his graduate program of study.

This fall, Fernando will be a visiting scholar at Harvard University’s Romance Languages and Literatures department studying under the guidance of Professor Sergio Delgado, with plans to pursue his PhD in Fall 2014. 

2011 - 2012
Graduate Dean's Award

Ms. Mary Baker, a Masters of Science degree in Nursing as an Advanced Public Health Clinical Nurse Specialist candidate, was nominated by her faculty and selected by the Dean of Graduate Studies to receive the 2011-12 Graduate Dean’s Award.

In 2009 she received her B.S. in Nursing with a minor in Women’s Studies from CSUSM, and was the recipient of the 2009 CSUSM Nursing Director’s Award and 2009 President’s Outstanding Student Award. Mary has demonstrated clear evidence of outstanding achievement across these criteria achieving a 4.0 GPA in her CSUSM graduate program of study. 

Mary has demonstrated superb leadership qualities, intelligence, and personal initiative.  Mary was also a founding member CSUSM School of Nursing Sigma Theta Tau and CSUSM National Student Nurses Association.  She was a member of the Golden Key Honour Society and Triota Honor Society (women and gender studies).  Mary's thesis project (Nursing Student Stress and Demographic Factors) explores the connection between Nursing student stress levels and demographic variables. Mary plans to return to our CSUSM School of Nursing in June 2012 to complete a post-Master's Certificate as a Nurse Practitioner.