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Stephanie Bales

Bernard Osher Foundation Awards $1 Million Endowment

As a committed leader at CSULB, Stephanie Bales exemplifies the ideals of a student leader. She is involved in a variety of activities, is an excellent student and has taken advantage of all “The Beach” has to offer. As she prepares to graduate with a bachelor of science in kinesiology, Bales is looking toward a bright future helping others.

Growing up in Concord, California, Bales long dreamed of working with athletes. As a competitive soccer player from the age of 5, she thinks her ideal job would be to travel with professional sports teams as their physical therapist. She recently submitted applications to graduate schools, including Chapman, Northwestern and the University of California, San Francisco, to pursue a doctorate in physical therapy. Bales hopes to work with all types of athletes, helping them recover from injuries and surgeries.

When Bales entered CSULB in fall 2003, she was intimidated by the size of the campus. She quickly found herself at home in the residence halls, calling that first year in Cerritos, “the best beginning to college that I could have ever dreamed of.” To this day, she remains close to those with whom she shared her first experiences at Long Beach.

Looking for more ways to get involved, Bales joined Delta Gamma sorority in fall 2004. She quickly realized that she had found her niche at this once overwhelming campus. The Greek community offered Bales the opportunity to get involved at Long Beach State and truly feel at home. In Delta Gamma, she took on the role of director of finance and developed friendships with a diverse group of women. Deciding to get more involved with the Greek community, Bales ran for a position on the Panhellenic Council, the governing body of the seven CSULB sororities that are members of the National Panhellenic Conference. She was elected vice president of programming.

On her first day of sorority recruitment, she heard the Panhellenic president speak about the benefits of joining one of these values-based organizations. At that moment, Bales decided that one day she wanted to be the one standing up there talking about her wonderful experiences. Her dream came true in fall 2006 when she was elected Panhellenic president. During her term, the Greek community saw the implementation of their Standards of Excellence recognition program. The Panhellenic Council was recognized at the Western Region Greek Association Leadership Conference in March 2007 for its university involvement and leadership development programming. Bales also was instrumental in continuing to build a sense of community among all of the fraternities and sororities at CSULB. During her term, the Cultural Greek Council participated in the annual Greek Week for the first time.

In summer 2006, Bales also served as a SOAR leader, welcoming new students to “The Beach.” The impact she had on these individuals is evident in the friendships she cultivated with them. She continues to stay in touch with her SOAR group and follows up on their experiences, making sure they take advantage of getting involved on campus. Of her involvement at CSULB, Bales says, “It truly made my college experience the best years of my life thus far and taught me more than I could ever have imagined.”

As Bales prepares to move on after “The Beach,” she knows that her experiences have prepared her for a rich and fulfilling life. As a physical therapist, she will combine her greatest strengths—having compassion for others and impacting people’s lives in a positive manner.