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College of Social Sciences
Nuvia Garcia, of Turlock, completed her B.S. in criminology, forensic behavioral science
option, and a minor in Spanish with a 3.97 GPA. She is a first-generation college
student who became interested in criminology after a friend got involved with drugs,
criminal activity and then took his own life. Her own struggles almost got the best
of her, too. Garcia spent many hours in the lab as a research assistant and lab manager.
She was also able to conduct her own research as part of the McNair Post-Baccalaureate
Achievement Program and the College of Social Science Honors Program, examining the
effect pre-admonition commentary — statements given to the witness before a lineup
— has on mock jurors. Garcia wants to earn a master’s degree in clinical counseling
and a license as a professional clinical counselor, then a doctorate in clinical psychology.
Traci Arbios, of Clovis, earned her M.A. in history with a 4.0 GPA. She previously
earned a B.A. in dramatic arts from the University of California, Davis. In 2015,
Arbios suffered a cardiac arrest, caused by an unknown genetic disorder, that landed
her in a San Francisco hospital for a possible heart transplant. She lost oxygen to
her brain for 20 minutes. The road to recovery took three years, several operations,
physical and speech therapy and a look at new opportunities. After a career spent
at The Fresno Bee, Arbios enrolled at Fresno State where she served as a teaching
assistant, joined Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society and was honored with the Department
of History’s Outstanding Thesis Award for her research about the gender integration
of The Fresno Bee’s newsroom and the effects of the broader Women’s Liberation Movement
on women in the media workforce. She hopes to begin a second career teaching in college.
Danielle Richman is a B.A. in Political Science and a B.A. in History with a Certificate
in Legal Studies as a College of Social Sciences student and Smittcamp Family Honors
College Scholar. Richman decided to leave her hometown of Manhattan Beach, California
in pursuit of a new environment in the Central Valley. Complemented by her studies
at Fresno State, Richman found a passion for international relations and diplomacy,
having experienced two wildly different atmospheres in Southern versus Central California.
She went on to pursue her academic aspirations by interning for the Department of
Education in Washington, D.C., and taking classes at George Washington University.
In her senior year, Richman became the university's first ever Rhodes Scholarship
Finalist, a program that selects a few individuals from around the world to study
at the University of Oxford in England. In addition to her academic merits, Richman
also competes as a full-time student athlete for the Fresno State Women's Golf Team,
an NCAA Division I program. She now serves as the President of Fresno State and Mountain
West student-athletes, promoting such initiatives as mental health awareness and increased
community service. Upon graduation, Richman will embark on a Masters in Philosophy
at the University of Oxford or the University of Cambridge before working towards
a career in international diplomacy and law.
Stephanie Novak is from Morro Bay California. She earned her associate degree in Administrative
Justice at Cuesta College, and her bachelor’s degree in Criminology at Fresno State,
with a focus on forensic behavioral sciences. Also interested in victimology, as an
undergraduate, she earned a victim services certificate. Novak then returned for her
master’s degree in Criminology. She received the William E. and Carolyn M. Crumpacker
Scholarship and the Dean’s Scholarship for Research and Study. She volunteered as
a research assistant where she helped research positive and negative interviewing
techniques used by police officers on cooperative witnesses. Novak also conducted
her own research on the perceptions of emotional intimate partner violence, which
she turned into her master’s thesis. She is a member of a nationally recognized criminal
justice honors society, Alpha Phi Sigma, and served as the Vice President and President
of the Fresno State chapter. She is currently employed by the Fresno County Public
Defender’s Office as a defense investigative technician.
Khoi Quach was born in Vietnam and immigrated to the United States as a refugee in
2002 with his parents and older sister. He is majoring in Sociology with a minor in
Criminology. Despite being an excellent student and a Boy Scout with a bright future,
he found himself steering into the wrong direction, was charged with attempted murder
and faced 25 years to life in prison. His family worked to get a plea deal and lesser
sentence and after serving six years in prison, he resumed his life and began attending
college. Khoi works in a variety of ways to serve previously incarcerated individuals
including work with Project Rebound, a program designed to support previously incarcerated
individuals in higher education. He has published a number of newspaper articles and
worked as a volunteer at the Fresno Interdenominational Refugee Ministries known as
FIRM. Khoi's experience with the criminal justice system as a teen has fueled his
passion for academic excellence and community service. He received four scholarships
at Fresno State and has worked with Fresno State’s Central Valley Health Policy Institute,
Project Rebound, and currently as program coordinator for the Prison Arts Collective.
He has also participated in research projects for UC Berkeley’s Underground Scholars,
Texas A&M’s Undergraduate Research Experience, and participated in a data collection
internship for Fresno State's Central Valley Health Policy Institute. He will be joining
the Sociology Doctorate program at UC Berkeley in the fall to explore issues related
to inequality, mass incarceration, and political economy with an emphasis on technology.
His ultimate quest is to combat structural inequality in the United States.
Shelby Elia is from Clovis, CA. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Criminology at
Fresno State and returned for the Master of Public Administration from the Political
Science department. She was selected as a research fellow for the Institute for Leadership
and Public Policy during her first year as a graduate student. Shelby began a research
project which examined the criminal justice processes that led to wrongful conviction
and the public’s perception of individuals who had been wrongfully convicted of a
crime. She presented her research at several conferences where she was acknowledged
with awards including First Place Presentation for Graduate Behavior and Social Sciences
at the 31st Annual California State University Student Research Competition and Best
Quantitative/Methods Paper at the 42nd Annual Student Research Conference Organized
by the CSU’s Social Science and Research Instructional Council. She also presented
at the 16th International Symposium of the World Society of Victimology in Hong Kong,
a trip made possible by the funds granted to her by the President’s Graduate Scholarship.
Her master’s thesis analyzed the current state of the Department of Veterans Affairs
and veterans’ perceptions of their federal benefits. Her suggestions for reform were
aimed at creating policy proactively and revising outdated procedures. After graduation,
she will continue her work with the City of Clovis and later pursue a doctorate degree
hoping to teach at Fresno State as a professor.
Selena Carbajal is a first generation college student, and the daughter of Mexican
immigrants. She graduated with a triple major in Chicano and Latin American Studies,
Women's Studies, and Psychology with a 3.97 GPA. Selena is a scholar for the Ronald
E. McNair Program, California Pre-Doctoral Program, and the Society for Research on
Adolescence (SRA) Undergraduate Scholars Program. Her work bridges her three majors
to examine the challenges and barriers of Latina first-generation college students
in higher education. As a McNair scholar, she has conducted research to examine how
Latina first-generation college students negotiate the gendered and cultural expectations
of their family and their university identities. Selena's honors thesis examines how
biculturalism buffers the influence of filial responsibilities on depressive symptoms
for Latina college students from immigrant families. Selena will have a paid summer
research experience at the University of California, Santa Cruz through the California
Pre-Doctoral Program to foster the growth and direction of her empirical and theoretical
trajectories. In the Fall 2018, she will begin her doctoral studies at the University
of Arizona in Family Studies and Human Development. Her aspirations are to create
lines of research that can inform higher education policies and interventions.
Savannah Nakamura earned her undergraduate degree from California State University,
Long Beach, where she had the opportunity to study abroad with the CSU International
Program in Florence, Italy. After graduation, she spent a year teaching English in
South Korea, returned to Fresno and completed her M.A in History. She received a research
fellowship through the Fresno State Graduate Net Initiative and took the opportunity
to work with other graduate students to conduct research. Savannah spent a summer
interning with the Special Collections Department of the Henry Madden Library and
had the opportunity to research and write articles about Fresno State’s history to
share with alumni. She currently works in the Graduate Writing Studio where she provides
support to graduate students from all disciplines. During her research, she studied
The Female Spectator, the first magazine written for women by a woman in 1744 by Eliza
Haywood, a series of letters and essays directed to teaching women appropriate behavior.
Savannah specifically looked at Haywood’s prescription of the study of insects and
science as appropriate conversation topics for women, and she investigated Haywood’s
recommendation that women moderate their attendance of public events, instead focusing
their time and energy on self-improvement. She hopes to continue to work with college
Alexandra Gallo of Hollister, was awarded the top University honors at Fresno State.
She was chosen from a group of nine Dean's Undergraduate medalists graduated Magna
Cum Laude with degrees in Political Science and Communication. She has served at the
Ronald McDonald House and has helped facilitate after school activities for youth
in Southeast Fresno. Alexandra has exercised her passion for service and civic engagement
with her involvement as President of the League of Women Voters Student Unit and service
as Senator of Undergraduate and Graduate Affairs for Associated Students, Incorporated.
Alexandra has held leadership positions in the Panhellenic Council and in Delta Zeta.
As a Ronald E. McNair Scholar, she conducted research of voter identification laws
and presented her research at the Southwestern Social Science Association Conference.
As a Maddy Institute Legislative Scholar, Alex interned under Congressman Jim Costa
who she will continue to intern for in the summer 2017 and will then represent Fresno
State as a student ambassador on a tour of China. Alexandra hopes to pursue a career
Katy Hogue of Fresno, obtained her Masters in History. Her research examines the cultural
development of the 19th Century American West in an attempt to mitigate the myth of
the frontier. She was a Graduate Teaching Assistant and presented at the 2015 and
2016 History Graduate Student Association Symposium, and the 2016 Graduate Research
and Creative Activities Symposium. Katy also accepted a series of internships at the
Fresno Historical Society where she created an exhibit about the J.R. McDonald paddle
boat. Passionate about public history, Katy is currently the Collections Manager at
the Fresno Historical Society where she works to make the historical records and manuscripts
available to the public.
Outstanding Student Reception 2017