Abdiel Flores and Anna Zelaya have been awarded the California State University Sally Casanova Pre-Doctoral Scholarship for 2010-11.
The scholarship offers junior, senior and graduate students the opportunity to explore doctoral programs. The students receive the funding to travel and work with CSU faculty members. This year, 70 students received the $3,000 scholarship. They also will receive an internship opportunity in their field of choice next summer.
Zelaya is a master’s candidate in biological sciences and a first-generation college student. After graduation, she plans to pursue a doctoral degree in environmental microbiology.
She credits her advisor, Garaciela Brelles-Mariano, a biological sciences professor, as being a great mentor. “She helped me every step of the way especially whenever I had any questions about science or life.”
Zelaya says the award has helped her narrow her options and guided her into the right doctoral program. She traveled in September to UC Berkeley, Arizona State University, Montana State University and the University of Arkansas. She spoke with many faculty members and received an exclusive tour of their labs.
“This is an incredible program that opens up opportunities that most people can’t afford to do. You can travel out of state and make sure the school you want to go to is a perfect fit,” Zelaya says.
Flores is a psychology senior. He hopes to pursue a doctoral degree in social psychology. After college, he plans to teach and research at a university.