CSUB Students Awarded with Special Honors

A very exciting time is underway for California State University, Bakersfield. As the 2015-16 academic year has ended, and a new one unfolds, CSUB students have been awarded various honors and opportunities.

CSUB students Alejandro Cruz, Moriah Cobb and Jazmine Meija-Munoz were accepted into the Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholar Program for the 2017-18 academic year. They are three of the CSU students chosen out of 228 applicants.

The Sally Casanova Program is a pathway that allows students to explore furthering their education beyond the baccalaureate degree. Students who are part of the Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholar Program will receive $3,000 in support of the Pre-Doctoral Program activities. It also entitles students to participate in a summer 2018 research experience at a University of California (UC) or another doctoral-granting institution.

Associate Dean of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies, Dr. Vandana Kohli feels great about the program, as she’s always had a deep commitment for improving the educational outcomes of CSUB students.

“The student has a unique opportunity to use these funds to explore graduate programs with their respective faculty advisor. It means that more CSUB students, particularly historically underrepresented students, will be able to pursue post-baccalaureate education,” said Dr. Kohli. “Programs like the Sally Casanova allow CSUB to fulfill its mission of providing enhancement opportunities for its students.”

Students and faculty members alike are extremely grateful and excited about the opportunities this program provides:

“I would like to thank my research mentor, Dr. Matt Leon, my professors, my institution, and most importantly, my family. Being awarded the Sally Casanova Scholarship brings me one step closer to attending graduate school and pursuing a career in academia as a university professor,” said Cruz, a CSUB undergraduate and psychology major.

“I am extremely proud of Alejandro. He is well-deserving of this scholarship. He has put in a countless number of hours -- during school days, on weekends, and over holiday breaks -- to collect data for our current project,” said Dr. Leon. “He is extremely motivated and very excited about learning as much as he can about Neuroscience. I have no doubt that the two other Sally Casanova Scholars are equally deserving of this award.”

Cobb, a senior psychology major, said, "Being a Sally Casanova Scholar gives me the ability to present the research I conduct at my CSU in the worlds largest neuroscience conference. It also funds me to visit and apply to PhD programs. I am very excited and honored to represent the Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Program.”

In continuance with CSUB’s honors and achievements, CSUB student Karina Morales was   accepted into the Panetta Institute Award Congressional Internship Program. Congressional interns serve for 11 weeks in an office of a member of the California congressional delegation in the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C.

Interns are nominated by the presidents of the 23 campus, as well as Dominican University of California; Saint Mary’s College of California; and Santa Clara University, and interviewed for participation by the Panetta Institute and a representative from the CSU Chancellor’s Office. In addition to daily tasks, interns also attend weekly seminars held exclusively for them by the Institute. The seminars are held by Republican and Democratic members of Congress, top government officials and experts in a variety of fields, from the federal budget to healthcare and from immigration to foreign policy.  

“Being selected to be this year’s Panetta Intern is something I am very proud of because it acknowledges and rewards all of my achievements both in and out of the class room. It gives me the opportunity to be of greater and more valuable use for our community,” Morales said.

“From this program, I aspire to gain a more profound knowledge with regards to our government and more effective in which we can influence policy that is important for my community. Being a first-generation student makes my experience a bit more difficult when navigating through college, yet it makes me even more thankful for all my colleagues, professors, and school staff that have helped me.”

The program, now in its 19th year, was created by Secretary and Mrs. Leon E. Panetta, and is sponsored by the Panetta Institute. It is considered one of the finest congressional intern programs in the nation.

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