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California State University, Long Beach
University Honors Program
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About the Staff

Dr. Deborah Thien

Interim Director

Office: Library, Room 214
Phone: (562) 985-4233

Deborah Thien, Associate Professor and Graduate Advisor, Geography completed her Ph.D. at the University of Edinburgh, UK as a recipient of a prestigious Commonwealth Scholarship. She received her MA from The University of Northern British Columbia, Canada, and she was also an international exchange scholar at Massey University, New Zealand. In both research and teaching, Dr. Thien explores the intersections of gender, place and culture, with a special interest in feminist and emotional geographies.   Dr. Thien serves as an editor for two academic journals: Emotion, Space & Society and cultural geographies and she has authored numerous publications.


Since her arrival at CSULB 2006, Dr. Thien has maintained a commitment to student success, as undergraduate advisor, graduate advisor, and supervisor for several theses and directed studies.  She is an advocate of maximizing student educational experience, whether through local activities or studying abroad. She looks forward to meeting and mentoring UHP students. 


Kashima Samuels

Kashima Samuels

Assistant Director



Office: Library, Room 214
Phone: (562) 985-4706

Kashima attended UC Santa Cruz (UCSC) and pursued a BA in Psychology and a minor in Education. After graduating from UCSC, Kashima joined AmeriCorps and volunteered as an Outreach Coordinator for a California low-income housing community. Through this experience, she was able to engage with a diverse population and directly address social justice issues. During this time, she was reminded of why education was important and made the decision to pursue her graduate degree in Student Affairs.

Kashima graduated from the CSULB Student Development in Higher Education (SDHE) Master’s program in 2013. In graduate school, she served as President for the Association for Professionals in Student Affairs; co-developed, implemented and coordinated  an International Service Learning Program at CSULB; completed  a thesis that examined  how international service learning experiences influence graduate student identity development; and co-presented research with Jonathan O’Brien (SDHE Coordinator and Lecturer) at the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting.


Lizette Alvarez

Academic Advisor

Office: Library, Room 214
Phone: (562) 985-2426

Lizette received a BA in Spanish and a minor in Latin American Studies from CSULB. She is an alumna of the UHP and served on the UHPSA 2011-2012 board. Her undergraduate Honors thesis is titled, “Indigenous Languages in Contemporary México: Preservation, Restoration, and Cultural Re-invention.” It was during the thesis-writing-process that Lizette realized her passion for social justice and interdisciplinary research.

Lizette entered the CSULB Health Science Graduate Program shortly after graduation and received two graduate fellowships with the NCLR/CSULB Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation and Leadership Training: She mentored CSULB undergraduate students majoring in the health-related sciences as part of the Hispanic Health Opportunity Learning Alliance (H2OLA) and taught childhood obesity prevention nutrition workshops for the Sanos y Fuertes/Healthy & Strong project. Her graduate thesis examines differences in psychosocial determinants of physical activity among minority middle school girls by phases of pubertal development. She received her Master of Public Health (MPH) in Community Health Education in 2015.

Her research interests include: food systems and nutrition, health disparities, neoliberalism, borders, identity, and linguistic and cultural rights.