College of HHD

2018-19 Northridge Scholars: Three from HHD

October 22, 2018

2018-19 CSUN University Scholars

(Left: President Dianne F. Harrison with the 2018-19 Northridge Scholars and VP for Student Affairs and Dean of Students William Watkins and Dwayne Cantrell, AVP for Student Access and Support Services.)

The 2018-19 Northridge Scholars were honored recently at an event held at the home of CSUN President Dianne F. Harrison, the University House.

The scholarships include financial assistance and access to mentors who can guide students on their paths to success. Out of 127 applicants, just three students were awarded Presidential Scholarships, and 24 were recognized as University Scholars. One Presidential Scholar and two University Scholars are from the College of Health and Human Development.

  • Presidential Scholar Nicolas Lopez (Kinesiology) was motivated by his studies in Exercise Science to look deeper, so he added a minor in Biology. He is a researcher who plans to go on to his Ph.D. in Microbiology.
  • University Scholar Deborah Brazil (Child and Adolescent Development) is a returning student (and grandmother) who plans to follow her B.S. degree with a M.S. in College Counseling/Student Services here at CSUN.
  • University Scholar Jennifer White (Family and Consumer Sciences) is also a returning student. She conducts research alongside faculty with an end goal to help resolve health disparities in under-served communities.

Meet these honored students below:

Nicolas Lopez, Presidential Scholar
Major: Kinesiology

nicolas lopez"I started my undergrad at CSUN straight from high school in Fall of 2013.  I was enrolled as a Kinesiology-Exercise Science major.  At the end of my second year, I was invited to attend the first ever MARC Molecular Biology Research Bootcamp in June 2015. There I met Dr. Kerry Cooper.  After the bootcamp, I started doing research in his food microbiology laboratory.  I was placed on a project looking for pathogens in fresh produce.  After a year, I was given the opportunity to take over the project.  I presented the project as a poster at the 21st annual CSUN Symposium held in April of 2017 and at the American Society for Microbiology National Conference in New Orleans in June 2017.

"At the end of 2 years doing research in Dr. Kerry Cooper’s lab, he was offered a position at the University of Arizona school of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences and had accepted it. I was accepted into the NIH Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement Program and committed to it. Since Dr. Cooper was leaving CSUN, I needed a new mentor. I chose Dr. Cristian Ruiz-Rueda’s Microbiology lab studying antibiotic-resistance.  This is where I do my current research. I will be graduating from CSUN in May 2019. I will applying for Ph.D. programs in microbiology and closely related fields."

Deborah Brazil, University Scholar
Major: CADV – Applied Developmental Science

deborah brazilDebbie is a senior undergraduate student at California State University, Northridge, working toward a degree in Child and Adolescent Development with a minor in Sociology. Choosing to major in Child and Adolescent Development was a decision birthed out of her passion for people – in particular, individuals who may come from a nontraditional academic upbringing like her own. Debbie, being a mother of 4 and grandmother of 2, understands that pursuing an education comes with many unique challenges, especially for the nontraditional student. 

As a University Scholar, Debbie plans to continue to work closely with the CADV Department where she currently serves as a Peer Academic Leader among a select group of 12-students who assist CADV majors with planning their coursework to complete their BA Degree. Upon completion of her undergraduate degree, Debbie plans to successfully realize her goal of earning a M.S. in College Counseling/Student Services here at CSUN, which would allow her to fulfill her passion and desire to continue to work on the college campus in service of all students. Debbie is proud to be a Matador and feels that there isn’t a better place to prepare for a career in the field than here at Cal State University, Northridge.

Jennifer White, University Scholar
Major: FCS/Nutrition and Dietetics

jennifer whiteJennifer White is a junior majoring in Family and Consumer Sciences: Nutrition and Dietetics within the College of Health and Human Development. She is a non-traditional student, returning to college life after spending seven years as her mother’s full-time caregiver. Having seen the effects of how an improved diet can change the body first hand by reversing her high cholesterol and losing sixty pounds when switching to a plant-based diet; Jennifer discovered just how much power that nutrition has on overall health and well-being. She chose to make nutrition a career with the desire to help other people who are in the same position, all by providing a caring and compassionate approach to improving one’s health.

As a BUILD PODER Scholar, she conducts research alongside faculty with an end goal to help resolve health disparities in underserved communities. She has an interest in public policy and has over three years of experience working in hunger alleviation and food insecurity awareness. Jennifer believes that all her experiences both in life and at CSUN will aid her in becoming a Registered Dietitian with skills, knowledge, and most importantly, heart.


Full coverage of the 2018-19 Northridge Scholars event including photos, is posted in CSUN Today.  Below are the bios of the Presidential Scholar and two University Scholars from the College of Health and Human Development.  Following our students' bios a link to the CSUN Today article covering the event.


Student Bios courtesy Minnie Low, Scholarship and Program Assistant, CSUN International Programs