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University Advancement

Media Contact: Carmen Ramos Chandler
(818) 677-2130
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Public Relations and Strategic Communications


Convocation Accolades in Store for Cal State Northridge’s Top Students

(NORTHRIDGE, Calif., May 21, 2007) — Cal State Northridge biology major Jessica Beach claims to be a morning person. Up by 6:30 a.m., she is in class from 8 a.m. to noon. But she also is an afternoon person, out on the track field perfecting her hammer and discus throws until 3 p.m.

Evenings, Beach tutors fellow athletes for four hours, heads home to study, then drops into bed, an exhausted night person.

Still, when informed that her high-octane combination of superb academics and athletics had earned her the nod as Northridge’s 2007 Wolfson Scholar, the modest high achiever with the sterling 4.0 grade point average said she wondered how she had made the grade.

"When they told me I was nominated, I thought ‘wow,’ " said Beach, who will accept the honor—the university’s highest honor for a graduating senioróat the university’s 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 29, Honors Convocation on the Oviatt Library lawn, located near the center of the campus at 18111 Nordhoff St. in Northridge.

"I looked up the history of the award, to see who had won in the past," Beach said. "Some of the other students who had won were so amazing; some had overcome language barriers and other difficulties. I didnít know how I could compete."

This from a scholar/athlete who, since entering CSUN as a freshman in 2003, has made the Northridge Dean’s List every single semester. Her record includes Mountain Pacific Sports Federation All-Academic Honors and a shelf full of Big West Conference honors, both All-Academic and athletic.

She twice made the CSUN Varsity "N" Honor Roll, twice was named Northridge Female Scholar Student-Athlete of the Year, and earned the 2005-06 Heald Outstanding Junior Award for the College of Science and Mathematics.

"Super organization and time management, those are key," said Beach, also a member of the Western Athletic Conference Women’s Indoor Track and Field Championship Team.

During summer 2006, Beach found time for a laboratory technician internship in the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Molecular Genetics, identifying salmon stock and determining their parentage.

"I just fell in love with genetics," said Beach, whose will pursue a masterís degree at CSUN, with an emphasis on biomedical genetics.

Other convocations presentations will include The Nathan O. Freedman Memorial Award for Outstanding Graduate Student for 2007, to Emily Iland, a special education major with an overall 3.92 grade point average. Iland co-authored "Autism A-Z," winner of the Exceptional Parent Award.

Her thesis project—research on Latina mothers with autistic children—will be used to formulate recommendations for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Iland serves on the transition committee that reports to the governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Autism.

The Association of Retired Faculty this year selected four graduate students to receive its award: Shawn McClelland in chemistry and biochemistry, Michele Martinez in art, Patrick Ryan in theater and Arlyn Sabado in family and consumer sciences.

Outstanding Graduating Senior Awards—funded by the Alumni Association, the University Foundation and the Karen, Leon and Rita Goldstein-Saulter Memorial Fund—will be presented to:

California State University, Northridge at 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, CA 91330 / Phone: 818-677-1200 / © 2006 CSU Northridge