A group of seven Cal State LA students was selected for the 2022-23 Sally Casanova pre-doctoral scholar awards, which are granted each year to support the doctoral aspirations of students across the 23-campus California State University (CSU) system.
Each scholar receives a $3,000 award to help fund graduate exams, fees for professional conferences and other costs related to graduate school.
Here are Cal State LA’s 2022-23 Sally Casanova Scholars:
Jessica Cobos is working on a master’s degree in sociology with the goal of pursuing a doctoral degree in the social sciences. Her research is focused on the unequal gender experiences of Mexican-origin women when their romance partners migrate to the United States in the post-Trump era. She is also interested in investigating how femicides or gender-based violence in Mexico impact women’s decisions to migrate to the United States. She resides in Fontana.
Jennifer (Schroeder) Johnson, a master’s degree candidate in TV, film and media studies, is focused on studying the gendered power imbalance in Hollywood. In her research, she seeks to uncover how historical discourse has affected women behind the camera and throughout time and into contemporary filmmaking. After completing her master’s degree, she plans to pursue a doctoral degree in the humanities. She is a Los Angeles resident.
Dalila Valdez Levin is completing her master’s degree in Latin American studies. Her research investigates the Latina immigrant experience from a personal and cultural perspective. She uses autoethnography, oral histories and portrayals of undocumented and immigrant women in contemporary works of literary fiction as methods of data collection and critical analysis. A Moreno Valley resident, she plans to pursue a doctorate in the social sciences after completing her master’s degree.
Sean Lyon is a master’s degree candidate in environmental biology with a focus on avian ecology. Through museum specimens and community-science data, he is exploring the historical distribution of birds in the Los Angeles Basin. He is also analyzing how birds have used the region differently over 120 years of urban development. After graduation, he plans to pursue a doctoral degree in the behavioral ecology of birds. He resides in the Mount Washington neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Rosa Maldonado is working on a master’s degree in Chicana/o and Latina/o studies. She is interested in exploring how structural racism is embedded within the U.S. food system by focusing on archival and contemporary research of agricultural workers in the U.S. She aims to illustrate the links between the historical legacies of settler colonialism and recent neoliberal policies that render migrant workers vulnerable to racialized and gendered forms of violence. A Los Angeles resident, she plans to pursue a doctoral degree in the social sciences.
Makayla Edwards Shapiro is completing her master’s degree in psychology. Her research areas include romantic relationships and sexual well-being within LBTQIA2S+ community. She is currently conducting research on the timing of relationship milestones in same-gender and mixed-gender couples. The findings will lay the groundwork for future studies during her pursuit of a doctoral degree in social psychology. She is a San Fernando Valley resident.
Teresa Rodriguez Sotelo is working on a master’s degree in Latin American studies with the goal of pursuing a doctoral degree in the social sciences. Her research focuses on the implications of human rights violations throughout Latin America, with an emphasis on Mexico. Through studying minoritized communities in Mexico, she seeks to find information that will be beneficial for families and communities that are affected by state violence. She resides in Lynwood.
The Casanova award honors the late Sally Casanova, who launched the program in 1989. She was a staff member with the CSU Chancellor’s Office 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 Joseph Casanova, a Cal State LA emeritus chemistry professor.
For more information, contact Karin E. Brown, associate vice president and dean of Graduate Studies at Cal State LA, at (323) 343-3820.
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California State University, Los Angeles is the premier comprehensive public university in the heart of Los Angeles. Cal State LA is ranked number one in the United States for the upward mobility of its students. Cal State LA is dedicated to engagement, service, and the public good, offering nationally recognized programs in science, the arts, business, criminal justice, engineering, nursing, education, and the humanities. Founded in 1947, the University serves more than 26,000 students and has more than 250,000 distinguished alumni.
Cal State LA is home to the critically-acclaimed Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs, Hertzberg-Davis Forensic Science Center, Hydrogen Research and Fueling Facility, Billie Jean King Sports Complex and the TV, Film and Media Center. For more information, visit www.CalStateLA.edu.