BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Days before California State University Bakersfield students turn the tassel, two students at the top of the graduating class of 2022 were recognized accomplishments by University President Dr. Lynnette Zelezny.

Graduate Student Ricco Reynolds originally from Tehachapi and undergrad student Jane Lopez from Palmdale, each were awarded the 2022 President’s Medal. 

Reynolds graduates from CSUB’s Family Nurse Practitioner Program and has been saving lives at the frontlines as an emergency department RN at Kern Medical.

While pursuing his master’s, Reynolds led a research project with his colleagues, titled “Comparing Stress and Anxiety of Parents and Non- Parents during COVID-19.” The project was awarded first place in the 2022 CSUB Student Research Competition in the Health, Nutrition and Clinical Sciences category. 

“To be doing all of that on top of me doing my next step as a nurse practitioner was challenging for sure, I couldn’t do it without my wife, that is for sure, so it is fun to look back,” Reynolds said.

Lopez studies Psychology and as a research scholar has worked to develop unbiased survey questions for potential jurors. She holds various leadership roles within extracurricular organizations and clubs and still manages to find time to work with developmentally disabled children in Palmdale and foster animals from local shelters.

“I think my families support is the biggest reason why I am able to do what I am able to do,” Lopez said.

Commencement ceremonies are slated for this weekend.