CSUB announces outstanding graduates from Class of 2020

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Cal State Bakersfield has announced 10 outstanding graduating students from the Class of 2020.

Seven of these students represent CSUB’s four schools: School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Engineering, Arts and Humanities, Business and Public Administration as well as Social Sciences and Education.

In addition, three students are honored by the CSUB Antelope Valley campus. 

These students were chosen for their academic achievements and impact on the community, according to the university. This year’s outstanding students are: 

President’s Outstanding Graduate Student

Luke Kim – B.S. in Biology and B.A. in Religious Studies

CSUB says Kim has excelled in his double majors – biology and religious studies, with a minor in chemistry. He has been recognized on the dean’s list each semester, as well as the Helen Hawk Honors Program and the Alpha Chi Honors Society. He was an active research assistant in the Keller ecology lab, resulting in an external grant from Sigma Xi, as well as participating in the Emergency Medicine Research Associate Program at Kern Medical Center. He has presented his research to multiple diverse audiences and has been a co-author on two publications through Kern Medical Center. 

Kim has been called a “brilliant young man” by the School of Arts and Humanities. His class essays have been deeply researched, remarkably insightful and consistently on time. CSUB said Kim is motivated to become a physician by an energetic intellectual curiosity about both science and the humanities and by a deep altruism that drives his worldview. After graduation, he will begin medical school at the University of California, San Francisco. 

President’s Outstanding Graduate Student

Glendy Ardon – M.S. in Educational Counseling

“Brave,” “heroic” and “inspirational” is how Dr. Yvonne Ortiz-Bush describes Ardon. A student in the educational counseling program, she is a first-generation college student who has overcome major obstacles to achieve her educational goals and dreams, the university said. At the age of 18, she lost both parents and raised her three younger siblings. Ardon has also overcome personal health challenges on her journey, surviving stage IV Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

The School of Social Sciences and Education described Ardon as passionate about education and about empowering Central Valley students to expand their educational worldview. She has been the recipient of scholarships, including one specifically for students pursuing careers in counseling and one that supported her travel to the annual conference of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. 

Outstanding Undergraduate — School of Social Sciences and Education 

Layla Vasquez – B.A. in Psychology  

Vasquez was nominated as outstanding undergraduate for the School of Social Sciences and Education by Dr. Isabel Sumaya. Vasquez has been a student in the competitive MARC U*STAR program, for undergraduates who show promise to enter doctoral programs in the behavioral sciences. Vasquez is also a Sally Casanova Predoctoral Scholar and a CSUB Student Research Scholar. An award-winning researcher, some of Vasquez’s work has implications for Alzheimer’s disease. A first-generation college student, Vasquez has been accepted into the doctoral program in neurosciences at the University of Southern California. 

Outstanding Undergraduate — School of Arts and Humanities 

Jaymee Hasty – B.A. in History 

Originally from Fresno, Jaymee Hasty moved to the Kern River Valley in 2009 to work as an archaeologist while pursuing her studies at CSUB, where she enjoyed taking courses ranging from the Ottomans in the Mediterranean to the history of the Portuguese Empire overseas. She said she loved being part of the history program, took great pleasure in seminars, looked forward to reading the material and loved group discussions and how they made her think about things in a different light. Hasty’s master’s thesis is focused on prostitution and vice reform of Bakersfield’s red-light district in the Progressive Era. After graduation, Hasty hopes to continue her work as an archaeologist, volunteer in preserving and restoring historical structures, and travel the world beyond Paris, where she recently was in search of her ancestral roots. 

Outstanding Graduate — School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Engineering 

Linh Dang – M.S. in Nursing outstanding

Living in Lancaster, Linh Dang is a full-time registered nurse, has two small children and maintained a high GPA at CSUB. The School of Natural Sciences, Mathematics and Engineering described Dang as a “bright and happy individual” who has always remained attentive and goes beyond her duties as a student. She has experienced firsthand the disadvantages of being an ethnic minority female but has overcome linguistic, cultural and financial barriers in order to reach this point in her academic career. Dang has expressed interest in obtaining a doctorate degree in nursing within the next five years, though her main goal is to become a local family nurse practitioner serving her community. Dang aims to give back to the community by supporting the underserved population in managing and improving chronic illnesses, and implementing treatments to improve lives. 

Outstanding Undergraduate — School of Business and Public Administration 

Vanessa Chicaiza – B.A. in Public Administration 

Chicaiza completed her B.A. in Public Administration with a 4.0 GPA in the major and a 3.72 GPA overall. In addition to her excellent academic performance, CSUB said she is committed to using her education to improve her community. She is a volunteer at CSUB’s Food Pantry, been a leader in Associated Students, Inc. and was recently elected as the incoming student body president for the 2020-21 academic year. She is a Maddy Institute fellow currently working in the office of Assemblyman Rudy Salas. Chicaiza said she plans to pursue leadership roles in public administration and public policy and will use her education to improve the lives of marginalized groups in the Central Valley. 

Outstanding Graduate — School of Business and Public Administration 

Megan Matice – M.S. in Health Care Administration

Matice is receiving an M.S. in Health Care Administration after earning a B.A. in Public Administration from CSUB in 2018. Matice was described by the School of Business and Public Administration as an “excellent student” who found time to mentor fellow students. She applied her learning while employed as a project manager at Kaiser Permanente in Kern County. Matice is also a wife and mother of two young children. Her thesis research project was titled “From My Space to My Chart: What the Health Care Industry Can Learn from Social Media Networks.” Matice entered the CSUB Student Research Competition in spring 2020 and was awarded second place in the Business, Economics and Public Administration category for exemplifying how student research impacts our community. 

Outstanding Undergraduates — CSUB Antelope Valley: Morgan Griffin, B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies; Chiharu Verrett, B.A. in Sociology.

Outstanding Graduate — CSUB Antelope Valley: Jill Clifton, M.A. in Special Education

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