MASP Student and Alumni Good News Fall 2020
December 2020 Milestones for Current Students
Marilyn Huerta completed her M.A. in Sociological Practice. She completed our first M.A. project
in the department ever, The Power of Veteran Storytelling and Art.
Maria Jimenez completed her M.A. in Sociological Practice. She successfully defended her thesis,
“No Dough, You Gotta Go”: Gentrification and a Latinx Community on the Precipice earlier this month.
Daniela Carreon, Cynthia De La Rosa, Kayli Evans, Nayeli Gonzalez, Claudia Lacher,
Laura Martinez, Nora Pozos all successfully defended their thesis proposals and advanced to candidacy.
Tatiana Apelu, Nonya Browncorwise, Ana Cardenas Benitez, Liana Covarrubias, Kayleen
Diaz, Liz Garcia, Jasmine Glenn, Summer Lipe, Karla May Pizano, Roberto Ortega, Isaac
Salcido, Talisha St. John, and Elizabeth Wright finished their first semester of graduate school.
Other Good News for Current Students and Alumni (alphabetized with the exception of baby news)
Rachael McGlaston Espinoza (M.A. 2016): I welcomed baby #2 one month ago and finished the first year of my doctoral program
last week (Joint Doctoral Program in Education Leadership at CSUSM and UCSD). Once
I graduate, I will officially be a 3x alumni of CSUSM!
Tatiana Apelu (current student) is a recipient of the ACE Scholar Working Scholarship.
Ana Cardenas Benitez (current student) was awarded an Immigrants Rising 2020-2021 Catalyst Fund Fellowship.
Daniela Carreon (current student) was awarded the Alumni Association Scholarship, the Hein Family Fellowship, and the
J. Douglas and Marian R. Pardee Scholarship for 2020-2021.
Liana Covarrubias (current student) presented her work, “Latinxs and the Struggle to Achieve a Higher Education” in the
2020 CSUSM Student Poster Showcase. She is also serving as a member of the CSUSM Graduate
Yazmin Doroteo (M.A. 2020): September 9, 2020, started a new journey learning to unpack the unknown and how to
support others dealing with grief, anxiety, depression, and other circumstances. Since
then, I have been looking into graduate programs focusing on Chican@ Studies, Cultural
Studies, and other programs where I can write my dissertation on Grief and the impact
it has on Chican@s. I currently applied to UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, and UC
Los Angeles. I have been able to network with professionals in those universities.
On a personal note, I will be an auntie in May 2021. I am so excited my younger sister
(bestie) will be having her first child.(: So many beautiful changes! I will also
be presenting my thesis work at the Pacific Sociological Association on March 18-21st,
2021 in San Diego, California (or virtual, COVID-pending). Title & Authorship: Testimonios
of Xicanas in Continuation Schools, Yazmin Doroteo, California State University San
Kayli Evans, Daniela Carreon, Laura Martinez, and Claudia Lacher (current students) have organized and successfully led multiple peer mentoring events
this semester (and will continue to do so next semester)
Marsha Gable has been named Interim Vice President of Student Services at Grossmont College. See
this Nov. 20, 2020 SD Union Tribune article for more details.
Maricruz Gomez: I became a Residential Service Coordinator for PATH San Diego. PATH is a non-profit
organization. Their mission is to end homelessness for individuals, families and communities.
Claudia Lacher (current student) is serving as a member of the CSUSM Graduate Representatives Council.
Lillian Nahar (M.A. 2016): I had the honor of being identified and selected as an expert in international cultural
mediation by the San Diego BAR Association. I was selected to sit on a panel where
I spoke and educated the legal community on the impact of culture and mediation. All
attendees received mandatory continuing law education for attending my talk. The BAR
also published my writing on the topic and is now available for all members to read.
It was an incredible honor to be identified and chosen .
Barbara Reyes (M.A. 2010) (a native of the Imperial Valley), earned tenure in the Sociology Department at Imperial
Valley College. She is working on developing a Chicanx major at IVC and is developing
new classes there, such as her recently approved La Chicana course.
Oscar Soto (M.A. 2016) coauthored an article with William Robinson, “Passive Revolution and the Movement
against Mass Incarceration: From Prison Abolition to Redemption Script” that was published
in the journal Social Justice.
Elizabeth Wright (current student) completed her paralegal certificate from San Diego Miramar College during her first
semester of the MASP program.
MASP Student and Alumni Good News Summer 2020
Katie Monderine Roethel Desai (M.A. 2016) gave birth to baby Bodhi, on July 9th. Katie is doing well, and she and her husband are loving their time with their son.
Dr. Lori Walkington (M.A. 2011) celebrated the birth of her granddaughter, Ivy, who was born on June 25th. Dr. Walkington’s daughter Azhe is doing great and they are both enjoying the addition
to their family.
Brittney Anda (current student) completed the ACLU Summer Policy Institute.
Sterling Briggs (M.A. 2020) accepted a part-time Sociology faculty position at Palomar College.
Matthew Chase (M.A. 2015) works as the San Marcos Campus Librarian at the University of St. Augustine for Health
Sciences. Recently, he developed a digital exhibit series, which draws on critical
theory and a Foucauldian perspective of knowledge production, to engage a discourse
regarding the sociocultural impact of medicine. Two exhibits are currently available
as in-depth works of open-access scholarship and education here: https://library.usa.edu/digital-exhibits. Also, in response to the protests and calls for social justice, he has been teaching
health sciences students and faculty on how to approach antiracist research, identify
systematic bias in medical research, and utilize culturally responsive resources to
assess health disparities.
Rosa Conrad (M.A. 2015) is currently a graduate student in the Master of Library and Information Science
program at San Jose State University. She has just been elected as the first president
of SJSU's newly established REFORMA Student and Alumni Group. REFORMA is affiliated
with the American Library Association and has chapters throughout the United States.
REFORMA focuses on library services to Spanish speaking communities. The student chapter
at SJSU will focus on building an inclusive organization of library science students
and emerging professionals working toward equity for Spanish-speaking communities.
This group and the executive committee was recently featured in the SJSU iSchool News and mentioned in the iSchool Alumni newsletter.
As the Outreach Coordinator at the CSUSM University Library, she has been working
during this year's Summer Orientation, providing bilingual information about the Library's
virtual services to Spanish-speaking students and their families. The transition to
going virtual was unexpected but the knowledge she has gained through the program
provided her with the necessary skills and tools needed to support our students through
this challenging time.
Lexus Criswell (M.A. 2019) was accepted into the SDICCA Regional Fellowship Program for the 2020-2021 academic
year and will be mentored by Kathy Grove at Palomar College.
Cynthia De La Rosa (current student) has been selected to be a 2020-2021 Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholar (Faculty
Sponsor: Dr. Xuan Santos)
Kayli Evans (current student) participated in a 2-day webinar called "Professional Grant Development Online Workshop" hosted by
the Grant Training Center.
James Garcia (M.A. 2020) is employed at MiraCosta College as an associate faculty member teaching an intro
to sociology course. He is now the co-coordinator for SDICCCA at MiraCosta College
and is co-authoring a genders studies textbook with MASP alum Sean Davis (M.A. 2013). He is also part of an educational podcast called S.A.F.E. Topics Podcast at MiraCosta
where they talk about issues relating to community college students and faculty.
Jordan Grasso (M.A. 2017) has been selected to be a CSU Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program Fellow while
pursuing her Ph.D. at UC Irvine. (CSU faculty sponsor: Dr. Richelle Swan)
Roxanna Llamas (M.A. 2017) was admitted to Alliant International University and will be pursuing her doctorate
in Clinical Psychology with a multicultural emphasis.
Laura Martinez (current student) took part in the 2020 Simon Initiative’s LearnLab Summer School at Carnegie Mellon
University and their Educational Data Mining (EDM) program. She and Dr. Clark-Ibáñez
presented their work, “Evaluating Qualitative Student Data Codes using LightSide.”
Shawntae Mitchum (M.A. 2020) taught SOC 101 in the Umoja Summer Bridge program at MiraCosta College. In addition,
she is teaching Soc 101 at Alliant International University and helping build courses
and requirements for a Black Studies degree/certificate at MCC. She is a consultant
for Oceanside Unified School District helping with the implementation of the Ethnic
Kelsey Sportsman (M.A. 2019) has been accepted into the SDICCCA Regional Fellowship Program for the 2020-2021
year with Cuyamaca College.
Damon Stevens (M.A. 2020) was hired earlier this summer as a Student Support Specialist for the CSUSM Educational
Opportunity Program (EOP).
Dr. Lori Walkington (M.A. 2011) wrote a journal article, “Speak About It: Be About It: Spoken Word Poetry Communities
and Transformative Social Justice”, that was published in Critical Criminology in June 2020. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10612-020-09510-8 (Note: if you have CSUSM library access, you can order the article through CSUSM
Edwina Williams (M.A. 2015) is continuing the work of the program she founded, Project LIKE (Literacy is Knowledge
Empowerment) and she is currently seeking to hire several work study eligible students
and/or interns for remote literacy projects. For more information, students can check
out projectlike.org or email her directly at email@example.com
Past Announcements & Congratulations
Angélica Ruíz (M.A. 2019) was nominated for the CSUSM Graduate Dean’s Award for 2018-2019.
Sterling Briggs (sponsored by Dr. Santos) has been awarded the 2019- 2020 Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral
Jamie Jackson has been awarded two 2019-2020 National Institute of Justice American Indian and
Alaska Native Student Travel Scholarships.
James Garcia, chair of the CSUSM Graduate Representatives Council (2018-2020), co-organized the
university’s first Grad Slam and graduate student graduation celebration.
Marilyn Huerta co-organized an event for the 2019-2020 Arts & Lectures Series, “The Power of a
Story: Building Resiliency for Veterans through Community and Conversations”
Noemi Jara (M.A. 2019) is continuing her community involvement with Native Like Water’s Intertribal
Norma Larios (M.A. 2011) will be joining the CSUSM Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs
as the Director of Divisional Operations in August 2019.
Jordan Grasso (M.A. 2017) will be joining UC Irvine’s doctoral program in Criminology, Law & Society
in Fall 2019.
Marilyn Huerta taught a 6 week-online course, Healing Through the Arts—Train the Trainer, for the
CSU Palliative Care Institute: https://csupalliativecare.org/programs/healing-through-art/
Vanessa Martinez and Filiberto Lopez-Barron (M.A. 2019) attended the 2019 California Forum for Diversity in Education at UC Davis.
Kelsey Sportsman (M.A. 2019) presented a paper, Suburban Values: Meeting the Status Quo and Upholding White Supremacy Through Hyper-Local
Social Networks, at the 4th Annual Sociology and Criminology & Justice Studies Research Symposium.
Damon Stevens participated in the Graduate Fair at the 2019 Pacific Sociological Association Meeting
in Oakland, California
Katie Roethel (M.A 2016 ) was reclassified and promoted to CSUSM’s Office of Graduate Studies
and Research’s Budget and Research Analyst.
Karen Villa (M.A 2015) published in an edited collection, The Pilipinx Radical Imaginary Reader that was acknowledged by CNN Philippines.
Daisy Avila has been awarded the 2018-2019 Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Fellowship. Dr. Xuan Santos
is her sponsor.
Kristen Schmidt (M.A. 2018) has been accepted to the Sociology Ph.D. Program at the University of
Felipe Rendon (M.A. Spring 2018) has been awarded the Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Fellowship (sponsor:
Dr. Santos). He will work with Dr. Emir Estrada at Arizona State University as part
of his fellowship.
Dawn Lee (M.A. Fall 2017) was nominated for the CSUSM Graduate Dean’s Award for 2017-2018 .
Roxanna Llamas (M.A. 2017) will be presenting her thesis research at the 11th Global Studies Conference
in Granada, Spain this July.
Olivia Victory (M.A. 2016) is working as a program coordinator for a non-profit called Promises2Kids.
Karen Villa (M.A 2015) has been accepted to the Sociology doctoral program at University of Nevada
Las Vegas (UNLV) for Fall 2018.
Yolanda Catano (M.A. 2015) is currently working as the Administrative Technician of the Title III,
HSI STEM Grant at San Diego Mesa College. In addition, she works part-time as the
HSI Educational Researcher at Cuyamaca College and she was accepted into the EdD Program
in Educational Leadership at San Diego State for Fall 2018.
Martin Leyva was awarded the 2017 the Student Champion for Inclusive Excellence Award by President
Luis Canseco, Noemi Jara, Filiberto Lopez-Barron, Martin Leyva, Vanessa Martinez were awarded 2017-2018 Hein Family Fellowships.
Barbara Imle was accepted to the Sociology Ph.D. program at Portland State University and will
be joining them in Fall 2017.
Luis Higinio was accepted to the Ph.D. program in Sociology at the University of California Riverside
and granted the prestigious Eugene Cota Robles Award. He will be joining them in Fall
Jose (Stalin) Plascencia-Castillo, Ph.D. student at University of California Riverside has been accepted to the 2017/2018
CSU Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program. His CSU sponsor is Dr. Chris Bickel.
Lori Walkington, Ph.D. student at University of California Riverside was accepted into 2016/2017
CSU Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program. Her sponsor is Dr. Sharon Elise.
Tanya Camacho, Denise Nealon, and Flor Saldana were awarded the 2016-17 Hein Family Scholarship.
Oscar Soto was awarded the 2015-2016 Chancellor’s Office Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Fellowship.
He now attends the Sociology doctoral program at University of California Santa Barbara.
Congratulations to Dr. Marisol Clark-Ibáñez and various MASP student collaborators
on publishing their book, Undocumented Latino Youth: Navigating Their Worlds, in July 2015. Learn more about the book.