News Release| Sempra $6,000 grant; Cal State L.A.



Cal State L.A.’s MESA garners $6,000 Sempra grant

Funding to boost engineering, computer science students toward graduation

Los Angeles, CA  -- The Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) Center at California State University, Los Angeles will receive a $6,000 grant from Sempra Energy Foundation to support college-bound students in becoming future mathematicians, engineers and scientists.

According to Thelma Federico, director of MESA Schools Program (MSP) at Cal State L.A., “The grant will benefit more than 220 MESA students by increasing retention and graduation services and programs at Cal State L.A.”   

T. Fox, director of MESA Engineering Program (MEP), said, “I am extremely grateful to the Sempra Energy Foundation for this very generous gift. The funds will be allocated to student academic support, leadership and professional development, in order that our students will be prepared to meet the rapidly changing demands of our global workforce.”      

MESA is a statewide program that supports educationally-disadvantaged students, so they can excel in math and science and go on to college to study in math-based fields. Cal State L.A. is home to two MESA programs:

MEP focuses on students enrolled at Cal State L.A. in two majors: engineering and computer science. Cal State L.A.’s MEP fosters a supportive academic environment by providing guidance and counseling in academics, financial matters, and career placement, among many other services. Peer interaction is at the core of MEP. Students are clustered together in courses from the first day of classes, making it possible for them to build relationships and grow academically with their peers.

MSP is a pre-college program designed to spark interest in math, science, and engineering among middle and high school students. MESA pre-college students gain a distinct advantage over other students by participating in MESA-sponsored activities, such as enrichment programs, career exploration opportunities, and academic and financial aid advisement. MSP works with 19 secondary schools in the Los Angeles, San Gabriel, Montebello, Alhambra, Glendale, and Pasadena School districts. 

Cal State L.A.’s MESA was named as one of the five most innovative public programs in the nation in 2001, and honored with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring in 2000.

“Sempra has long been a supporter of MESA, but this is the largest grant MESA has received from the company,” said MESA Executive Director Oscar Porter. “The money will help us increase services to nearly half of our centers that serve university students.”

Sempra is a worldwide energy company whose California subsidiaries, Southern California Gas Company and San Diego Gas and Electric, serve 20 million customers in southern and central California. 

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Working for California since 1947: The 175-acre hilltop campus of California State University, Los Angeles is at the heart of a major metropolitan city, just five miles from Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. More than 20,000 students and 215,000 alumni—with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds—reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. Six Colleges offer nationally recognized science, arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education and humanities programs, among others, led by an award-winning faculty. Cal State L.A. is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Jazz Orchestra and to a unique university center for gifted students as young as 12. Programs that provide exciting enrichment opportunities to students and community include an NEH- and Rockefeller-supported humanities center; a NASA-funded center for space research; and a growing forensic science program, housed in the Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center.


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