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Monthly Archives: December 2016


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CI Partners with U. Nevada Reno GradFIT

CI is partnering with the University of Nevada, Reno, to offer an all-expenses paid program for first-generation students and students from underrepresented backgrounds that prepares them to apply for and succeed in graduate school. GradFIT “introduces participants to the opportunities, challenges, and expectation of graduate school, and provides training and tips for the graduate school applications.”

GradFIT takes place May 22-26, 2017. All costs are covered. UNR supports the cost of room and board, and SRAC earmarked funding for transportation. Faculty and students who are interested should contact Scott Frisch (scott.frisch@csuci.edu).

GradFIT participants will:

  • Be introduced to the University of Nevada, Reno and learn about The Graduate School
  • Attend faculty lectures and research outings
  • Tour the campus and laboratories
  • Take a workshop on preparing for the Graduate Record Exam
  • Receive training on communicating with faculty advisors and writing a personal statement
  • Learn about graduate assistantships, fellowships and other forms of financial aid for graduate students
  • Have a panel discussion with current University graduate students

GradFIT is available for the following majors:

  • Biological Sciences M.S. and Ph.D. programs, including:
    • Animal Science
    • Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology
    • Molecular Biosciences
  • Education M.A. and Ph.D. programs, including:
    • Educational Leadership
    • Equity and Diversity
  • Engineering programs, including:
    • Civil and Environmental Engineering
    • Computer Science and Engineering
    • Mechanical Engineering
  • English Ph.D., M.A. and M.F.A. programs
  • Hydrological Sciences program
  • Psychology, Social Psychology and Social Work programs
  • Public Health M.S. and Ph.D. programs

Please visit the GradFIT website for more detailed information about the program and the schedule.

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CI Student Awarded for Research on Latinos in the US

Maria Pimentel

Camarillo, Calif., Dec 14, 2016 — Educating immigrants will strengthen a labor force in the long run by providing them with better skills and higher incomes. Further, Latino immigrants who arrived as children seem to fare even better with an education than children born in the U.S of immigrant parents.

These were conclusions from a sociology research project that won CSU Channel Islands (CI) Sociology major Maria Pimentel second place in the CSU Student Research Competition held at CSU Bakersfield and first prize for the Social Science Research and Instructional Center for Best Undergraduate Research Paper.

Pimentel completes her degree this semester with the awards, a 3.5 GPA and plans to participate in the spring commencement ceremony.

“I’m excited. It’s been a great journey. I don’t want it to end,” she said. “I want to go to graduate school.”

It’s a journey Pimentel never thought she would make, considering her background as the child of an undocumented worker who was brought over the border as a baby. At first, her status dimmed her hopes for the future. Ultimately, she not only overcame these perceived limitations but used her experience as an inspiration for her award-winning paper.

Maria’s paper was titled “Is Education the Great Equalizer? Comparing the Wages of Native and Immigrant Latinos in California: 2000-2012.”

Pimentel’s faculty advisor, Assistant Professor of Sociology Luis Sanchez, Ph.D., said Pimentel explored the income differences between immigrant Latinos and Latinos born in the U.S. and to what extent education played a role in that gap.

“The general findings were that those born in the U.S. have higher incomes than their immigrant counterparts,” Sanchez said. “That gap largely diminishes after accounting for differences in education between U.S.-born and Latino immigrants.”

Education clearly played a big role in determining career success for the U.S.-born Latinos, but there was even more.

Pimentel, 24, also discovered that other Latina/os like her, who migrated to the United States as children, tended to also do very well after getting an education.

“My experience in the U.S. was a lot different than my mother’s,” Pimentel said. “I’ve been going to school here since I was a young girl. My experiences were similar to people born here.”

Pimentel’s mother took her across the U.S.-Mexico border when Pimentel was a toddler. Pimentel’s mother was escaping a broken marriage and sought a better life for her and her daughter.

Pimentel attended school but kept her expectations for herself low.

“To be honest, when I graduated from high school, I didn’t think a four-year university would be a possibility for me. When I got to community college, I was not a star student. I was not very focused. I was going through the motions to get my Associates (degree) and get out.”

Counselors encouraged her to try CI, and when she decided to go for it and enrolled, she completely transformed.

Sanchez’s statistics course fascinated her, particularly when it came to social patterns. She immersed herself in research and sought answers to the question she always had as a DREAMer.

“It’s been said that immigrants are not good for society,” she said. “But my research shows that given education and citizenship status, immigrants have the potential to be valuable to society.”

Sanchez encouraged Pimentel to enter her work in the 23-campus Student Research Competition and the SSRIC’s Student Symposium.

“Maria is passionate about immigrant issues and her research allowed her to work outside of the classroom and elevated her educational experience,” Sanchez said. “She is an excellent role model for our students and exemplifies how even those with humble beginnings, including Latino immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children, can accomplish great things.”

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SSRIC S4 2017 Conference Announcement

The Social Science Research and Instructional Council’s annual Social Science Student Symposium (S4) will take place on Thursday, April 27, 2017 at Fresno State.

The Council invites all undergraduates and graduate students, from all CSU campuses and California community colleges, in all areas of the social sciences, to present their research to their peers.

Thanks to the continuing generosity of Dr. Gene Geisler, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at San Francisco State and a key founding member of the SSRIC, the 2017 Symposium will include three $5,000 best paper awards. In addition to these awards, there will be a small amount to defray travel costs for participants. Eligibility for awards is limited to CSU undergraduates and Master’s level graduate students, and students in the first two full years of a CSU doctoral program.

Last year a CI student won the best paper award at this conference. 

Registration deadline is Wednesday, March 30, 2017.

For more information, please visit: http://ssric.org/participate/src . More information including the link to register will be available on the website soon.

If there are any questions, please contact Tim Kubal (tkubal@csufresno.edu) or Ed Nelson (ednelson@csufresno.edu).

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