Academic excellence requires hard work and dedication. At California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), we are proud of two of our President’s Scholars, Alexis Brooks and Stephanie Sodergren, who put forth the effort and commitment.
CSULB was her University of Choice because she felt a sense of community and support at the campus. The CSULB staff was truly invested in her future and wanted her to succeed.
Alexis is highly involved on- and off-campus. On-campus, she is the community outreach chair of the Student Dietetic Association and works as a student assistant in the Housing and Residential Life Department. Off-campus, she works as a crew leader at Souplantation and completed the Manager in Training Program last summer.
In her list of accomplishments, Alexis has co-founded HeadSTRONG, an organization that aims to raise awareness and promote overall wellness to the local community on- and off-campus. She has performed with the school’s concert band and participated in fashion shows and the belly dancing club. She also studied abroad in Taiwan, focusing on global issues related to hotel and restaurant management, and studied the Mandarin and Chinese culture.
Alexis has a strong passion for volunteering in the community. One of the most satisfying volunteer experiences for her is at the Drop in Homeless Center in downtown Long Beach. This semester, she will be attending the Alternative Spring Break, traveling to New Orleans to help rebuild areas that were affected by Hurricane Katrina.
Alexis is grateful for the President’s Scholars donors who have helped her to succeed.
“It is an honor to be a President's Scholar, and I feel compelled to give back because the scholarship has come from donors who have invested in my future,” she said.
After graduation, Alexis plans to earn her master’s degree in nutrition and work as a registered dietician at her own practice, focusing on disease prevention and wellness promotion.
Stephanie saw CSULB as the perfect fit, academically. She was excited to study within the Physics and Astronomy Department, participate in research and be a President’s Scholar.
Currently, Stephanie is interning for the NASA Ames Research Center, where she works in the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy Education and Public Outreach Department. She is no stranger to the NASA program. She has completed three internships there since 2009 and has done two research projects in the field of aerospace at Dryden Flight Research Center.
Not only has Stephanie succeeded in her NASA internships but in other activities as well. She was elected vice president of the Society of Physics Club, chosen to be a Science Technology Engineering Mathematics student representative in her hometown (sponsored by Lockheed Martin), and has won the Bank of America Achievement Award in addition to other honorable achievements.
Stephanie’s future goals are to graduate with her Bachelor of Science degree, attend graduate school for a master’s degree, become a professor at a university and continue to work for NASA.
“Going to this school and being a part of the President’s Scholars Program has opened up so many doors and new opportunities that I am so grateful for,” Stephanie said.
President’s Scholar Soars with Beach Pride
Allison is a second-year President’s Scholar majoring in mathematics and economics as well as participating in the University Honors Program. She selected CSULB because of its strong reputation and the President’s Scholarship. Cal State Long Beach has been the home not only to her, but many of her family members as well.
Her love for the university has evolved into working with talented professors, staff and students, as well as exploring many of the opportunities the campus has to offer such as living in the dorms, involvement in the Leadership Academy, Greek life, serving as a SOAR advisor and President’s Ambassador, and taking part in alumni functions and Homecoming.
Allison said, “Every time I walk onto our beautifully landscaped campus and see all my fellow students and faculty, I realize how fortunate I am to have received this scholarship.”
In addition to her academic and extracurricular activities, she comes in contact with many prospective students and their families by providing individual, family and group tours. Allison is considering a career that would enable her to work at CSULB in Student Services or as a professor because of her Beach Pride.
“I love the CSULB environment, the people, the sporting events, the social life, the classes and the overall campus atmosphere,” said Allison.
President’s Scholars Excel at Putnam Competition
Bergman ranked in the top 200 of the competition with a score of 32, and Manos completed with a score of 20, placing in the top 1,000.
Receiving the President’s Scholarship allowed both Bergman and Manos broad academic opportunities, personalized support and advisement for this competition, and they found the experience to be challenging, yet rewarding.
“All in all, it's a bonding and humbling experience,” said Bergman.
“It was a difficult, yet exciting, competition to participate in, and I thoroughly enjoyed the chance to be involved,” said Manos.
Each December, about 4,000 students from U.S. and Canadian universities participate in this competition. These students are disproportionately drawn from such schools as MIT, Harvard, Stanford and Caltech.
Since 1999, CSULB students have finished among the top 500 students nationwide on six occasions, in two of those cases among the top 200 students. The President’s Scholars involved were: Jason Karcher (2001), Jeffrey Meier (2006), Sarav Patel (2006 and 2007), Austin Adams (2008), David Rudd (2008), Michael Manos (2010) and Daniel Bergman (2010).