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Isolating genes. Mapping criminal networks. Maximizing traffic flow.

Ten California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) graduate students are conducting research and creative projects in these and other areas during the 2007-08 year thanks to a university-sponsored fellowship.

The CSULB Graduate Research Fellowships were granted to the following students:

  • Stephanie Crahen (political science) is working on feminist performance art and the theory of Theodore Adorno.
  • Jose Plaza (educational psychology, administration and counseling) is researching migrant students’ perceptions of the college experience.
  • Susan Porteous Evans (art) is making books by hand to be presented as art forms in an exhibition.
  • Carl Fan (criminal justice) is looking at whether key players in criminal networks – specifically those involved in illicit drug production – live further from the areas in which they commit crimes than others in the network. 
  • Juan Casse (engineering) is working on the logistics behind developing a system that can maximize traffic flow for large numbers of travelers.
  • Katherine Jirik (biological sciences) is looking at whether stingrays are using modified estuaries in Seal Beach for mating. 
  • Katherine Nutter (anthropology) is exploring how low-income housing programs and the people they serve define success so that organizations can tailor services to help families become self-sufficient.
  • Virginie Vo (educational psychology, administration and counseling) is researching Vietnamese students’ identity development in college.
  • Ayla Preszler (kinesiology) is testing the impact of group fitness on menopausal women.
  • Ashley Christensen (biological sciences) is looking at the evolution of grasses by isolating the SEPALLATA gene from grass and grass relatives.

The Graduate Research Fellowship, which is beginning its third year, was created by the university to provide much-needed financial support to graduate students conducting research and creative projects.  Each student received $4,500 at the start of the fall semester and will receive an additional $4,500 in the spring. 

Students were selected for the fellowship by faculty in June based on the importance of their research or creative project and their outstanding academic achievements.  All students will submit a progress report in June 2008 highlighting the work they have done.

CSULB offers 67 different master's degrees that prepare graduates for prestigious doctoral programs and careers in the public sector, industry, education and the arts. For more information on the Graduate Research Fellowship, call (562) 985-8225.

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