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April 26, 2001

2001 CSUS Academic Achievement
Award Recipients

List is alphabetized within each of seven Colleges.

College of Arts & Letters

Benjamin Bellottii
Graduating Cum Laude, Benjamin received his associate's degree from Sierra College. At CSUS he majored in Philosophy with a concentration in Religious Studies. Benjamin is a member of the Golden Key Academic Honor Society and plans to obtain his teaching credential and teach at a parochial school. Graduating Cum Laude, Benjamin received his associate's degree from Sierra College. At CSUS he majored in Philosophy with a concentration in Religious Studies. Benjamin is a member of the Golden Key Academic Honor Society and plans to obtain his teaching credential and teach at a parochial school.

Michael Dale
Music Department
Graduating Magna Cum Laude, Michael has performed with the Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Orchestra and the Jazz Ensemble, mastering a number of instruments. As a sophomore he won the CSUS Concerto Competition and in the past year he has also won the juried Student Composers' Competition at the Festival of New American Music. Michael also has been working for the Sacramento Youth Symphony as Assistant Conductor and is the Junior Orchestra Manager. Michael is a very promising composer whose work shows real imagination and invention and he is truly an all-around musician.

Michelle Dowling
Communication Studies
Graduating Cum Laude, Michelle will receive a bachelor's degree in Organizational Communication with a minor emphasis in Government. She plans to begin work toward her doctorate in Communication at Stanford University this fall, where she will focus her attention on media policy and law. In additional to speech competition, Michelle has been involved with many other extracurricular activities while attending school. She is a McNair Scholar and recipient of the California Pre-Doctoral Fellowship. During her junior year, Michelle interned in the Legislative Office of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF).

Megan Elliott
Art Department
Graduating Magna Cum Laude, Megan began her studies in 1988 in Psychology at UC Santa Cruz, then Film at San Francisco State in 1990, and in 1999 returned to her education to graduate with a degree in Studio Art. As a representative of the School of the Arts she has participated in a panel discussion for the Arts Showcase, acted as the President of the Art Club, and also participated in several student art shows and was a member of the selection committee for the Senior Art Show. Her assistance as a gallery sitter for the Else and Witt Galleries has been much appreciated and she has been able to hone her gallery skills during a year-long internship at the Michael Himowitz Gallery.

Angela Elkins
Interior Design
Graduating Magna Cum Laude, Angela is the Secretary for the American Society of Interior Designers student chapter here on campus, known as ASID. She recently competed in the ASID Accessible Home Student Forum in San Francisco and received an Honorable Mention for her design. She is also currently working as part of a team with Lee Anderson on the restoration of the historic Julia Morgan House here in Sacramento.

Barbara Guzzo
English Department
Graduating Summa Cum Laude, Barbara returned to school in 1998. She is a wife and mother of four sons. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and Golden Key National Honor Society. Currently working as a substitute teacher, she plans to return to school in the fall to start on both a master's degree in English and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential.

Jamie Lynne
Humanities and Religious Studies
Graduating Magna Cum Laude, Jamie started school to prepare for the credential program. Finding Humanities more to her liking, she transferred into the Humanities Department, and enjoys the study of the connections between literature, music, art and architecture as expressions of religious belief and practice. Her dream is to continue her education and obtain a master's degree in History with a Humanities concentration. She is proud to be the first in her family to receive a bachelor's degree.

Maureen Noumov
History Department
Graduating Summa Cum Laude, Maureen has been an active literacy tutor at Sacramento area elementary schools and a tutor to history students at Sacramento City College, where she began her education. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and is about to accept an invitation to the history honor society Phi Alpha Theta. Entering the Masters program in History this coming fall, Maureen is considering going for a Ph.D. after that.

Lora Weekes
Theatre Arts
Graduating Summa Cum Laude, this is an honor a long time coming for Lora. Having started acting when she was 11, Lora put her college education off to get married and start a family. In 1996 when she decided it was time to return to her goal of obtaining a bachelor's degree in Theater Arts, she began her coursework at a local community college and then transferred to CSUS. Taking from her experience in more than 25 college and community productions and utilizing her newly acquired education, Lora has launched a children's theater production with the first performance scheduled in June.

Kathryn Wong
Graphic Design
Graduating Magna Cum Laude
(No biography available)

Ryan Wood
Foreign Language
Graduating Cum Laude, Ryan's strong motivation has allowed him to keep high marks while working full time, serving as a Naval Reserve, and studying Japanese, considered one of the most difficult Asian languages. Ryan joined the Navy in 1994 and has been honored with the award of Junior Sailor of the Year for 1996, and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for superior performance. He started his education aboard ship and then at Folsom Lake College, where after a year he transferred to CSUS and has since qualified for and joined several Academic Honor Societies.

College of Business Administration

Michael Burgenger
Graduating Magna Cum Laude, Michael is extremely proud to be graduating. He started his education unsuccessfully in 1987 and joined the Army in 1992. In 1995 he returned to Sacramento, joined the California National Guard, enrolled at American River College and also began working full time. Now that he is graduating, Michael has set his goals to someday include a master's degree in Taxation and the possibility of becoming a lawyer.

Rebecca Peters
Human Resources Management
Graduating Summa Cum Laude, Rebecca finds this especially gratifying as she has resumed her education after an 18-year absence from school. In 1996 she began attending school at Cosumnes River College part time and then enrolled full time here at CSUS in 1999. Prior to returning to school, Rebecca spent 10 years as a stay-at-home mom and then worked in an alternative education program in Galt, an experience that provided many unique challenges.

Kim Beretta Small
Management Information Systems
Graduating Summa Cum Laude, Kim finds her greatest joy comes in helping people achieve their goals by expanding their opportunities for personal and financial growth. Currently she is working for Folsom Lake College Center as the Senior Information Technology Technician, providing students with the resources they need to learn the various computer software applications that will allow them to achieve success in the job market. She hopes to one day get a master's degree in Business Administration and reach her ultimate objective of teaching Computer Information Science at the community college level.

Matthew Wilson
Graduating Summa Cum Laude, Matthew has studied marketing with an emphasis on international marketing and has special interest in business with China. He plans to spend a year in China to improve his language skills and then begin conducting international business. Matthew has had 10 years of martial arts training and applied this training to teaching troubled youth in a Koinonia Martial Arts Outreach program. He is also a member of the Sacramento Entrepreneurship Academy class of 2001.

College of Education

A R Cahee
Vocational Education
Graduating Summa Cum Laude, Cahee has served as a model and representative of the Vocational Education Program in presentations to other groups. She has been involved professionally in many innovative programs and projects and has a vision of her own future and that of her profession which will bring them both high honors.

Loretta Varanelli
Child Development
Graduating Cum Laude, Loretta has been active in her community working on projects such as "Coats for Kids," creek clean-ups and food and clothing drives for area flood victims. She has volunteered numerous hours at local elementary schools, helping students with math, history and music appreciation. She has also worked extensively on behalf of Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts of America. It is no surprise that she has received numerous academic awards at CSUS and American River College. Loretta plans a career as a teacher.

College of Engineering & Computer Science

Sheldon Astle
Construction Management Program
Graduating Cum Laude, Sheldon studied pre-architecture at Ricks College in Idaho. In 1997 he moved back to California and started the Construction Management Program, completing his upper division work in just two years. At the same time Sheldon has been working for Howard Perkins AIA and serving as the Project Engineer for Granite Construction.

Chad Beach
Electrical & Electronic Engineering
Graduating Magna Cum Laude, before even transferring here, Chad sought out the Department Chair and Faculty Advisor for the IEEE Student Branch and began activities with the Laser and Electro-Optics Chapter. Since transferring he has taken on numerous leadership roles within the Engineering Department, chairing the IEEE Student Branch, organizing industry site visits, presentations, conferences and consortiums which has directly lead to the near tripling of enrollment in the IEEE Student Branch.

Steven Gillette
Mechanical Engineering
Graduating Summa Cum Laude, Steven entered CSUS in 1998 after earning an AA in Computer Technology at Sierra College. While finishing his bachelor's degree here, he has been working full time as the lead Combustion-Turbine Technician at the Northern California Power Agency. Since his arrival here at CSUS, Steven has kept his outstanding marks and his senior project has been acclaimed as one of the best in the history of the MET program.

Stuart Kapicka
Civil Engineering Program
Graduating Magna Cum Laude, Stuart started at American River College in 1995 and joined us at CSUS in 1998. In just two years he completed 72 upper division and general education units. While here, Stuart has become a member of the student chapter of ASCE and Tau Beta Pi, serving also as their webmaster. He has worked as an engineering assistant for Imbsen & Associates and was involved with a variety of structural engineering projects.

Paul Lesneski
Computer Science
Graduating Cum Laude, Paul is a member of Phi Beta Delta, Upsilon Pi Epsilon and the National Scholarship Federation. Paul was the Japan-America Peace and Freedom Scholarship Recipient in 1996-1999, and spent three years in Japan learning the language and culture, teaching English and working as an orientation counselor. He has also served as president of the Environmental Union here at CSUS and as the vice president of Campaneros, a group focused on social and political issues in the Central Americas.

College of Health and Human Services

Lisa Baskette
Recreation and Leisure Studies
Graduating Summa Cum Laude, Lisa has been active in the community serving as the Sacramento County Therapeutic Recreation Services Coordinator, Ride to Walk Therapeutic Riding Program Volunteer and Area Coordinator, and a variety of positions coordinating walks, races and assisting in summer camp activities for persons with disabilities.

Andrea Becker
Kinesiology and Health Science
Graduating Summa Cum Laude, Andrea is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, the Golden Key Society, the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, and the Physical Education Major Club. In addition to her excellent performance in the classroom she is Team Captain for the CSUS Division I Intercollegiate Softball Team, has won the Outstanding Kinesiology and Health Science Student of the Year, the NFCA All-American Scholar Athlete, the Lloyd O. Snelson Award and an Images of Excellence Award.

Hugo Calderon
Criminal Justice
Graduating Magna Cum Laude, Hugo feels he owes all his academic success to his mother and grandmother. Hugo is very proud to be the first member of his family to graduate from a University. He has achieved tremendous success academically and is currently a member of Alpha Phi Sigma and the Golden Key Honor Society and is on the National Deans' List. In the future Hugo plans to work for a state law enforcement agency.

Mellisa Drake

Division of Social Work
Graduating Cum Laude, Mellisa is currently awaiting her admission into the Masters of Social Work Program. A descendant from the Wailacki and Wintun tribes and member of the Colvelo Indian Community, Mellisa spends lots of her time mentoring siblings and working to be a positive role model. Mellisa carries with her a wealth of experience from her conservation work with Lassen National Forest, counseling and tutoring services with the Sacramento Job Corps, fundraising and program efforts with Women In Community Service and work with the Sacramento Police Department and the Meadowview Drug Free Zone. Taking from her undergraduate field experience with a Parkinson Disease support group, she hopes to focus her efforts toward caregiving issues within the elder Native American community.

Lisa Harp
Speech Pathology and Audiology
Graduating Summa Cum Laude, Lisa's goal to become a Speech-Language Pathologist started back in high school. Starting out in a Junior College, Lisa transferred to CSUS to complete her undergraduate work in Speech Pathology and has been recently accepted into the graduate program this fall. Lisa served as the Junior Class Representative and then the Vice President of the National Student Speech-Language Hearing Association as well as served as Chair for the Community Service Committee and helped organize various fundraising activities.

Amy Hooper
Graduating Cum Laude, Amy has been very active as a lobbyist for the California Student Nurses Organization local chapter and representative of the nursing student body. She was elected at the state level to serve as co-chair of the Council of Chapter Representatives, has been recognized by the American Nurses Association, has received the Sacramento-El Dorado Medical Society Alliance Scholarship, and has been selected as one of 20 in the nation for the Helene Fuld Health Trust Fellows. Amy has worked hard to improve the learning experiences of fellow nursing students and the practice of nursing within the healthcare system, and will continue to bring recognition to herself and CSU Sacramento.

Patricia Mattox
Physical Therapy
Graduating Summa Cum Laude, Patricia started her college career after 20 years in the restaurant management business. Patricia's choice of a career in Physical Therapy was based on her desire to help people, a belief in exercise and her empathetic nature. All of these traits have helped her earn stellar reviews from her clinical supervisors and will make her a valued colleague.

College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Angel Nguyen and Teresa Nguyen
This year's chemistry honor is being shared by two sisters, who in their teens came to the United States along with their mother and nine other siblings from Vietnam. Shortly before their departure from their homeland their father died and left them each with lasting words of encouragement and guidance. Today Angel is graduating Magna Cum Laude and is planning to continue her education in the field of Dentistry. Teresa is graduating Summa Cum Laude and has goals of going on to Medical School. Both are members of the Science Equity Education program, work with church groups and volunteer on behalf of the needy. Both have achieved incredible success and overcome tremendous personal and familial hardships.

Christian Rohde
Graduating Cum Laude, Christian is an amateur naturalist and avid outdoorsman whose interests lie in environmental topics and land use management. After becoming a member of an environmental club at Sierra College, he focused his efforts in support of the Spenceville Wildlife Management and Recreation Area east of Beale Air Force Base. Along with his wife and local residents, he helped to found Friends of Spenceville, and continues with his volunteer efforts to increase public outreach and education about the need to appreciate the preserve and the necessity of site clean-ups to encourage recreational use.

Dustin Shackleton
Biological Sciences
Graduating Cum Laude, Dustin has been a tremendous asset to the Biology Department. He has worked and volunteered as a teaching assistant for a wide variety of biology classes and while doing such, organized and conducted extra test study and review sections on his own time. While working toward his goal of becoming a doctor he has served as a medical assistant for the Liga International Clinic in Mexico, the Flying Doctors of Mercy, a number of internships with the County Coroner's Office and UC Davis Medical Center, and has participated as both a member and leader of several campus student organizations. So far this semester Dustin has been invited to interview for medical school at UC San Francisco, UCLA, UC Berkeley, and UC Davis.

Cecilia Yeung
Mathematics & Statistics
Graduating Summa Cum Laude, Cecilia arrived in Sacramento five years ago from Hong Kong with her husband and sons. Having been a nurse in Hong Kong she decided to change her career to Mathematics and began her studies at Sacramento City College. In the meantime her two sons, one graduating from high school and the other from home schooling, have been accepted to MIT in the fall. If both boys accept, the family will be moving to Boston where Cecilia, too, will continue with her education in graduate school.

College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies

Nancy Beland
Family and Consumer Sciences
Graduating Cum Laude, Nancy expects to begin her teacher preparation program in the fall. She plans to teach Home Economics Careers and Technology, and is currently volunteering with the Culinary Arts program at San Juan High School. While here are CSUS, Nancy has assisted with conferences for the California Association of Family and Consumer Science and the California Council on Family Relations. She has also been instrumental in forming a new department club, the Student Family Scholars, and has served as the co-chair for the Fall 2000 FACS alumni dinner and meeting.

Silke Bradford
Social Sciences
Graduating Cum Laude, Silke has been able to complete her college career in three years. Silke has a plan to begin teaching and then consider either an administrative credential or a doctorate in education policy. While attending CSUS she has regularly tutored at her former high school, both in content areas and in development of reading skills through the AVID program.

Courtney Fea
Graduating Summa Cum Laude, Courtney has a passion for her discipline and for service to the community. She has received a number of scholastic honors and is a member of the Golden Key National Honor Society, Psi Chi and the Psych Society. Courtney volunteers extensively having served for three years in the Sutter Community Hospital Phone Friends Program as a mentor for latchkey children, and creator of guidelines for helping children resolve problems. She has also worked as an accredited research assistant for the Jane Goodall Institute and has served as a Sacramento Zoo Keeper-aid, where she collected data on chimpanzees.

Pamela Flores
Ethnic Studies
Graduating Magna Cum Laude, Pamela changed her educational goals from pre-veterinary science to focusing on social issues in Ethnic Studies and Spanish. Pamela has managed to learn a great deal about herself. Having found her inspiration Pamela has done much for her community as a legal assistant for injured workers, a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children, and a volunteer with the Women's Center working on behalf of troubled teens and the developmentally disabled. Pamela is currently awaiting acceptance into graduate school where she will continue with her goal of educating others about social acceptance.

Tasha Hamilton
Graduating Magna Cum Laude, Tasha managed to graduate with honors while working full time for an environmental consulting firm that specialized in hazardous waste disposal policies and regulations. Since graduating, she has continued to pursue a career in the environmental field and now works as a project coordinator for an environmental lobbying firm specializing in land acquisition and conservation.

Maha Kalush
Graduating Summa Cum Laude, Maha came here from Libya at the age of 10. Since then, she has devoted herself to developing superb academic skills and her love of learning. Having completed all of her higher education here at CSUS, her professors have been impressed with her dedication, intelligence and insight.

Jennifer LeBoeuf
Graduating Magna Cum Laude, Jennifer transferred to CSUS from American River College and has completed her coursework as a night student. While working full time and being a student, Jennifer has managed to stay active in her community by coaching the Loretto High School Speech and Debate Team, and participating in her church.

Kandi Lewall
Graduating Magna Cum Laude, Kandi choose her major after spending a year in Benin, West Africa. Finding the cultural and social differences between herself and the Beninese fascinating, she became interested in how people come together to create communities. While in Benin she taught kindergarten and is considering teaching after she graduates. Currently Kandi is working as an intern at the Sacramento Food Bank at their computer clubhouse for disadvantaged children and is also a member of the Sacramento Area Bicycle Advocates, and a supporter and lobbyist on behalf of public transportation.

Jennifer Murphy
Graduating Magna Cum Laude
(No biography available)

Terri Paul
Graduating Cum Laude, Terri has a passion for bettering the life of older adults. Terri's goal is to provide opportunities and activities that enrich elders' lives and their environment. With this goal in mind, she has worked at the Triple R Ranch, an adult day center, where she developed and managed many daily activities, and created an intergenerational culminating Service Learning Senior Project. Terri has also been an active participant in student activities on campus and has served as the Gerontology Association President for three semesters.

Jessica Smith
Environmental Studies
Graduating Magna Cum Laude, Jessica transferred from Las Positas College and Humboldt State University, bringing with her strong interests in both filmmaking and environmental studies. Her passion truly lies in environmental studies and she is currently president of the CSU Environmental Studies Student Organization.

Kathy Weir
Graduating Summa Cum Laude, Kathy began her studies at CSUS in 1999 after completing an AA in Education from Sierra College. She is currently serving as a student assistant for the Nutrition and Metabolism classes, presents in-service programs on nutrition and smoking during pregnancy for WIC dietitians, volunteers at the Kaiser emergency room, and has participated in the 2001 California Dietetic Association Conference. In the future, Kathy plans to apply for a dietetic internship and become a registered dietitian. She is looking forward to a career in public health and community nutrition.

Tiffany Wheldon
Liberal Studies
Graduating Summa Cum Laude, Tiffany transferred from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and has focused on Liberal Studies with a science concentration. In addition to school Tiffany worked as a child care teacher at the YMCA, where she mentors K-6th grade children and helps them with school work and arts and crafts. She also volunteers for Project Play, working with disabled children. In the fall she will be entering the teaching credential program.


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