Eight students at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) were named Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholars for the 2011-12 academic year. The one-time award includes $3,000 in funding support, which each scholar will use for specific activities that will help him or her become strong candidates for doctoral programs.
Designed to increase the number of potential college faculty, the pre-doctoral program supports the doctoral aspirations of California State University (CSU) students who have experienced economic and educational disadvantages. Students chosen for this honor are designated Sally Casanova Scholars as a tribute to Casanova, a CSU administrator who died in 1994.
This year’s Sally Casanova Scholars from CSULB and their intended discipline of study include graduate students Matthew Alcala (psychology), Donald Bessom (political science), Jesus Garcia (French and Francophone studies), Zoraya Gudelman (education) and Michelle Hayes (religious studies). There were also three undergraduate student recipients—seniors Diem Han Julie Nguyen (psychology), Joanna Sanchez-Avila (women’s, gender and sexuality studies) and Anna Silva (Chicano and Latino studies).
“I felt very honored when I found out that I had been admitted into the Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Program,” said Hayes, a resident of Long Beach. “The monetary support the program offers me is much needed and appreciated, but the level of inner confidence and fortification I have gained as a result of knowing that the committee supports me is priceless.”
Hayes, who expects to earn her master’s degree from CSULB in 2014, noted that 219 very qualified California State University students applied to the pre-doctoral program, but only 67 were selected to receive the honor. “I am encouraged knowing that a highly educated committee looked over an outline of my aspirations and believed that my goals were worth investing in.”
Each scholar works closely with a CSU faculty sponsor to develop an overall plan leading to enrollment in a doctoral program that is tailored to the student’s individual career and educational goals. The program places a special emphasis on increasing the number of CSU students who enter doctoral programs at University of California (UC) campuses with the goal of students returning to a CSU campus as a new faculty member. .
“We are certainly proud of these students and their selection as pre-doctoral scholars,” said Cecile Lindsay, vice provost for academic affairs and dean of graduate studies. “They deserve to be part of this unique opportunity and receive the guidance and financial help that many students need in preparing for and applying to doctoral programs. Our hope is that when they complete their degrees, they return to The Beach or another CSU campus to teach.”
Some of the activities the scholars will be involved with, which are specified in the plan and undertaken during the award year, include preparing graduate school applications and visits, and attending professional conferences. Other activities include summer research internship programs at doctoral-granting institutions, travel to national symposia or professional meetings in their chosen field, as well as membership in professional organizations.
Now in its 22nd year, the California Pre-Doctoral Program has had more than 1,000 scholars participate in the program to date.