Sonoma State University students Ruzanna Gasparyan and Ismael Lopez have been awarded the Sally Casanova Scholarship, one of the most prestigious scholarships in the California State University system. Only 75 scholarships are awarded annually among the 23 CSU campuses to students in the California Pre-Doctoral Program who have demonstrated academic excellence, economic or educational disadvantage, and commitment to a career in teaching and research at the college or university level.
Students receive a $3,000 stipend to explore PhD/doctoral programs and prepare to succeed in their chosen field of study. The California Pre-Doctoral Program is designed to increase diversity in the pool of potential faculty by supporting the doctoral aspirations of students in the CSU.
Ruzanna Gasparyan was born in Armenia and grew up in Los Angeles. She received a BA in History from SSU in 2015, returning Fall 2022 for an MA in History. During both her undergraduate and graduate programs, Ruzanna says that she benefited from incredible mentorship and support; she loves the field of history; and most enjoys being a part of a vibrant academic community. Ruzanna is exploring PhD programs in Soviet history and plans to enroll after she completes her MA studies.
Ismael Lopez is a first-generation college student who grew up primarily in Rohnert Park. He started his college years as a student at Santa Rosa Junior College, transferring to SSU in the Fall of 2021 to pursue a BA in Sociology, with a minor in Criminology/Criminal Justice Studies. After he graduates from SSU, Ismael plans to pursue a PhD in Sociology, hoping to conduct research, write, and publish as a professor in higher education. Ismael says that what he enjoys most about Sociology is understanding how people make connections, and how, in turn, those relationships change the people in them over time.
Sally Casanova Scholars work closely with CSU faculty sponsors to prepare for enrollment in a doctoral program, including making site visits to campuses, participating in research symposia, and developing a plan of study. Scholars also have the opportunity to apply for a fully-funded summer research experience, if they are not already enrolled in a PhD program by the fall after their scholarship year.
For more see: Sally Casanova Scholarships