News Release| Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholars; Cal State L.A.


Note to editors and news directors: To arrange interviews with Cal State L.A.’s Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholars, please contact the Public Affairs office at Cal State L.A., (323) 343-3050.

10 CSULA graduate students selected as
Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholars

Each scholar to receive $3,000 to pursue doctoral studies

Picture of 2010-11 Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholars.
2010-11 Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholars: (seated, l-r) Yvonne Ribas, Brian Gatza, Isabel Martinez, Amira Ainis, Juan Landeras, Pablo Victoria Torres, (standing, l-r) Lucy Tambara, Nicholas Beyelia, Jose Esqueda, and Juan D. Ochoa.










Los Angeles, CA To focus on doctoral studies ranging from archival preservation to wildlife ecology, ten Cal State L.A. graduate students were selected for the 2010-11 Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholar awards.

Each scholar will receive a $3,000 award, covering travel expenses to doctoral-granting institutions and to attend professional conferences as well as fees for college applications and graduate exams.

Since 1998, more than 145 students from Cal State L.A. have been recognized as Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholars. More than 50 percent of the CSULA students have entered top-ranking doctoral programs throughout the United States and in several foreign countries.

The following CSULA scholars will explore the prospect of doctoral studies:

An anthropology graduate student, Amira Ainis (Alhambra resident) would like to conduct research on island and coastal archaeology in the Channel Islands and Baja, California, focusing on human-environment interactions and historical ecology of island ecosystems.

A history graduate student, Nicholas Beyelia (Temple City resident) plans to pursue a Ph.D. in public history, with an emphasis on teaching archival science and conducting archival preservation.

A social work graduate student, Jose Esqueda (Long Beach resident) indicated that he would like to further his education in “areas that best improve the social and emotional lives of others.”

A graduate student in the environmental science program with a concentration in environmental biology, Brian Gatza (Chino resident) would like to pursue a doctoral degree in wildlife ecology and to conduct research related to the management and conservation of wildlife species native to the United States.

Anthropology graduate student Juan Landeros (L.A.-Boyle Heights resident) is interested in studying migration among indigenous Mexican cultures. He has conducted research throughout Los Angeles, California, and the Sierra Norte of Oaxaca, Mexico, among Zapotec communities to understand the phenomenon of cultural change introduced through transnational associations. He has also investigated ceremonial activities, such as fiestas, and their impact on cultural identity among second generation Zapotecs born in the United States. 

A Latin American Studies graduate student, Isabel Martinez (Los Angeles resident) is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in public health. Her research delves into the sexual behavior and attitudes of adolescent Latina girls residing in Mexico, Guatemala and the United States.

A Chicana/o Studies graduate student, Juan D. Ochoa (Los Angeles resident) is interested in pursuing a doctorate in an interdisciplinary program where he can explore the intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality. His current research, an oral history project, focuses on the LGBT Chicana/o undergraduate organization, La Familia at UCLA, during the 1990s. 

An education graduate student, Yvonne Lau Ribas (Tujunga resident) plans to pursue a doctoral degree in educational foundations and policy, with a research emphasis on how language policy can lead to improved educational equity for all students. With 13 years of experience teaching English language students, she is most interested in research concerning second language acquisition and policies in English language education.

A history graduate student, Lucy Tambara (Banning resident) plans to pursue a doctoral degree in the history of U.S. international relations/ global history. Her current research project looks at non-secular development theory and the cultural politics of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church’s faith-based nongovernmental organization, Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), from 1965-1995.

A sociology graduate student, Pablo Victoria Torres (Corona resident) has diverse research interests, which include such areas as family violence, steroids use among various populations, and globalization and its effects on popular culture. Additionally, he would like to focus on the more theoretical aspect of sociological thought; particularly adding to the theoretical framework that looks into converging the micro and macro units of sociological analysis.

Additionally, the following two Cal State L.A. students received honorable mentions: Mexican American Studies major Jessica Artiga (Rialto resident) and Latin American Studies major Susana Morales (Los Angeles resident).

There were more than 200 students from the 23 CSU campuses who applied and only 70 students were selected in total. For a list of the 2010-11 scholars, go to

The award honors the late Sally Casanova, who launched the program in 1989. A member of the CSU Chancellor’s Office staff during the 1960s, Casanova also served as associate vice president for academic affairs and dean of graduate studies at CSU Dominguez Hills, from 1991 until her death in 1994. She was married to Cal State L.A. chemistry professor (now emeritus) Joseph Casanova. 

For more information on the program, contact Alan Muchlinski, associate dean of Graduate Studies at Cal State L.A., (323) 343-3820.

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