College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

CAHSS Students

Welcome, CAHSS Students!  

student smiling

Caleb Robbins, 2023-24 CAHSS AS Senator


CAHSS welcomes Caleb Robbins as our 2023/24 Associated Students Senator for the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Caleb will be working closely with the Office of the Dean and the CAHSS Dean's Student Advisory Council on joint events and opportunities for all CAHSS students. Interested in joining this council?   Complete this google form to get started.  

Events With The Dean

Each semester, CAHSS Interim Dean James Hussar hosts a variety of events and opportunities for students to connect, engage, and plan activiities with the Dean's Student Advisory Council and our Associated Students Senator.  We look forward to seeing you!

Upcoming Events:

  • Monday, January 22, 10:00-10:30 am, World Theater Building 28:  Elevate & Engage Dean Speaker Series with Dean Hussar
    Topic: "Improving Your Academic Writing"
    Dean Hussar will discuss the rhetorical moves presented in "They Say, I Say," by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein. This lecture is relevant to students in any academic discipline, all are welcome.  Can't make this session?  A second event is scheduled for Wednesday, see below.
    RSVP on Myraft:
  • Wednesday, January 24, 1:00-1:30 pm, World Theater Building 28:  Elevate & Engage Dean Speaker Series with Dean Hussar
    Topic: "Improving Your Academic Writing"
    Dean Hussar will discuss the rhetorical moves presented in "They Say, I Say," by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein. This lecture is relevant to students in any academic discipline, all are welcome.
    RSVP on Myraft:
  • Wednesday, January 31, 12:00-1:00 pm, CAHSS 504-1001 Dean's Suite Conference Room: CAHSS Student Advisory Council Meeting Semester Kickoff
    All CAHSS Majors: We will be holding our first Student Advisory Council Meeting for the spring semester-it will be an open forum and we would like to hear about your experiences in the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. We encourage you to bring questions, concerns, and ideas for future student events-our new Interim Dean James Hussar wants to hear directly from YOU! Pizza will be served, so please do RSVP.
    RSVP on Myraft:


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CAHSS Student & Alumni Stories

Have News to Share?

Current students and alumni of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences with news to share: We want to hear from you! This form ( designed to make it quick and easy for you to keep us in the loop with your news. Received an award, presenting at a conference, accepted to grad school or other news? Have a new job or want to share information about your current job? Have a particular story, experience, or CAHSS memory to share with your fellow Otters, former professors and staff? We want to share the good news and look forward to hearing from you soon!  

In addition to the below stories, we're also excited to celebrate our students continuing their education.  Please visit our Graduate School Acceptances page for the list.

Annie Taylor poses with her Academy Award


CAHSS Alumni Stories: Annie Taylor, CART, Emmy Award Winner

Congratulations to Cinematic Arts & Technology alum and now Emmy-Award Winning Foley Editor Annie Taylor!  Annie received the Emmy for Outstanding Sound Editing for a Comedy or Drama Series (half-hour) and Animation-2023 for their work as a Foley Editor on The Bear (FX/Hulu).  The 2023 Television Academy Emmys was broadcast on January 15.  


CAHSS Alumni Stories: Evan Norbom, CART

Congratulations to Cinematic Arts & Technology alum Evan Norbom!  Evan was the lead designer for audio and video systems and project manager for upgrading the legendary Grauman's Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles.  The Egyptian held the first red carpet premiere in 1922.  As a historical building, the project held unique challenges to solve.  Read about Evan's experience on the project in the January 17, 2024, CSUMB article by Mark Muckenfuss.  Incredible work, Evan!

two women smile at camera, jasmyn is on the right

Jasmyn Ramirez (right) is shown with Tanya Olson, Monterey County Film Commission Board Member


CAHSS Student Stories: Jasmyn Ramirez, CART, $2,000 MCFC Scholarship Winner

Congratulations to Cinematic Arts & Technology major Jasmyn Ramirez, winner of the $2,000 scholarship in the 2023 Monterey County Film Commission (MCFC) Director Emeritus Richard Tyler Film Student Scholarship Award Program!  Congratulations are also in order for CART major Spencer Garcia, who was awarded $750 as runner-up!   The scholarships will be used to help fund the students' capstone films. 

The MCFC scholarship program was created in 2008 to provide financial aid and incentive to students of film and beginning filmmakers in Monterey County. For more information, visit the Monterey County Film Commission online.

Congratulations to Jasmyn and Spencer, we can't wait to see your capstone films in May.


Melanie Mena smiles at camera 2023 Trustees Award Winner

Melanie Mena, 2023 Trustees Award Winner | Photo by Brent Dundore-Arias


CAHSS Student Stories: Melanie Mena Recognized with 2023 Trustees' Award for Outstanding Achievement

Congratulations to Melanie Mena who was selected to receive this year's CSU Trustees Award for Outstanding Achievement for superior academic and personal achievement.  Melanie is a Visual and Public Art major and Psychology minor.  The scholarship award is the highest student distinction within the CSU system.    Read more in the article by Walter Ryce from University Communications.



students filming in woods

Cristian Vega, second from right, works with crew members on the filming of "What is a Boy?"

CAHSS Alumni Stories: Cristian Vega,'23 Cinematic Arts, has capstone film up for Oscar Award 

Cinematic Arts & Technology alum ('23) Cristian Vega's capstone film, "¿Que es un Nino?/What is a Boy" has been nominated for a Student Academy Award in the alternative/experimental category.  The 5 1/2-minute piece was filmed over three days on the CSUMB campus, in dorm rooms, the Otter Sports Center, and nearby Fort Ord, and is described by Vega as "a surrealist experimental narrative about gender identity."  Read the full article by Mark Muckenfuss.  

The Student Academy Awards ( is an international student film competition, established in 1972.  Each year, college and university film students from all over the world compete for awards and grants.  Past Student Academy Award winners include Pete Docter, Robert Zemeckis, Patricia Riggen, Patricia Cardoso and Spike Lee.  

Congratulations, Cristian!



Alejandro Gomez

Alejandro Gomez (aka Flaco el Jando)


CAHSS Student Stories: Alejandro Gomez (aka Flaco el Jando), MPA, Performs at NPR Tiny Desk Concert Contest Show

Congratulations to MPA Student Alejandro Gomez, aka Flaco el Jando! His work "Nadie" was selected for NPR's Tiny Desk Concert "On the Road" series. He performed at the series' sold out San Francisco Show on June 22.  Watch the "Nadie" video, recorded and filmed here at CSUMB in Music Hall, on his YouTube channel.  Read more in the full article by Marielle Argueza.

Ashley Wilson CART Alum

Ashley Wilson turned the subject of her disease into art in her capstone film project. | Photo by Katherine Divas Juarez


CAHSS Alumni Stories: Ashley Wilson,'23 Cinematic Arts, channels her lifelong illness into art, community 

Cinematic Arts alumna Ashley Wilson started a YouTube channel, Ashley’s Roses, and eventually earned a bachelor’s degree in cinematic arts and technology from CSU Monterey Bay, graduating in May. Being behind and in front of the camera also gave Wilson a platform and outlet to talk about her genetic disease, cystic fibrosis. The disease figures prominently in her capstone project film, “I Choose You.” Read the full article by Marielle Argueza.


Rosa Duran and Kimberly Smith photo


CAHSS Student Stories: Psychology Major Rosa Acevedo Duran and Collaborative Health & Human Services Major Kimberly Smith Win 2nd place at 2023 CSU Student Research Competition  

Congratulations to Psychology major Rosa Acevedo Duran and Collaborative Health & Human Services major Kimberly Smith were awarded 2nd place at the 2023 CSU Student Research Competition held at the end of April at San Diego State University.

The duo won the second place honors with their presentation "Understanding Youth Mental Health Needs Through Participatory Action Research" in the Behavioral, Social Sciences, and Public Administration section. Jennifer Lovell, Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology, notes, "It has been exciting to mentor and work with an interdisciplinary team, and with the community youth who led this project."

The California State University Systemwide Student Research Competition is an annual event that brings together scholars from the 23 campuses of our California State University system. The competition showcases undergraduate and graduate research, scholarship, and creative works by recognizing outstanding student accomplishments. Undergraduate and graduate student participants from all disciplines are judged by experts for their oral presentations and written abstracts. Students who compete in the CSU Student Research Competition can win $500 for first place and $250 for second place recognition in their session.

Grace Quinowski (Center) at 2023 Society for Personality Assessment Convention

CAHSS Student Stories: PSY Major Grace Quinowski Receives Honorable Mention for First-Ever Poster at Convention

Congratulations to Psychology major Grace Quinowski! Grace received an Honorable Mention Award for her first-ever poster presented at the 2023 Society for Personality Assessment Convention held in Austin, Texas, over spring break.  She is shown in the photo, center, with mentor and co-presenter Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology Dr. Danielle Burchett, left, and Nathan Victoria, CAE, Executive Director of the Society for Personality Assessment.  The poster presentation topic:  Examining the Initial Elevation Phenomenon with MMPI-2 and MMPI-2-RF Items Administered in a Forensic Inpatient Setting.  

Congratulations, Grace!


CAHSS Alumni Stories: CART Alum Eugenia V. Rentería's Film Strawberry Picker World Premier at Watsonville Film Festival

Congratulations to Cinematic Arts & Technology alum Eugenia V. Rentería on the sold-out world premiere of her film Strawberry Picker at the 2023 Watsonville Film Festival.  From a little boy growing up in labor camps and attending Watsonville schools to a world-class artist, Strawberry Picker is a documentary short film that looks at generations of struggle and resilience in the Chicano art community through the experiences of Juan R. Fuentes, whose work honors farmworkers.  

Eugenia is Co-Founder and Executive Director of Inspira Studios.  While the film is currently making its way through other film festivals, you can check out the teaser here at Inspira Studios:  Strawberry Picker — Inspira Studios (

Congratulations, Eugenia!


Hanna Fulton

Hannah Fulton


CAHSS Student Stories: Hannah Fulton, Japanese Language & Culture major, awarded Toshizo Watanabe Study Abroad Scholarship for 22-23 

Congratulations to Hannah Fulton, Japanese Language & Culture major and Visual & Public Art minor, who was recently awarded the Toshizo Watanabe Study Abroad Scholarship for the 2022-23 academic year.  Hanna will study at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan.  Upon her return from Japan, she hopes to complete her degree and apply for the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program (JET).  For more information on Hanna, the scholarship, and other awardees, please visit the U.S.-Japan Council's 2022-23 Watanabe Scholars (American Students) page.  Congratulations, Hannah!


Graphic of long road with Land of Milk & Honey above it, tinted green


CAHSS Student & Alumni Stories: Cinematic Arts & Technology Media Arts student work featured in MexiCali Biennial Series 

Congratulations to CSUMB students and alumni from the spring 2021 Cinematic Arts & Technology Environmental Media Arts class:

    • Ross Blackie
    • Katherine Divas-Juarez
    • Maritza Juarez
    • Ranulfo Martinez
    • Arturo Mejia
    • Victoria Simmonds
    • Maddy Willey with crop science research by Grace Hardy 

Their films will be featured in the MexiCali Biennial exhibition series. The first exhibition will open at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History on September 2 to be followed by an exhibition at the Cheech Marin Center opening on February 11. Three more exhibitions will be announced soon.   A poster in the exhibition will link to a program of their films, and a special screening of the films will take place at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History on October 16. August, 2022 Congratulations to all!  


screenshot of photoshop screen showing animation software

Screenshot courtesy of Professor Enid Baxter Ryce


CAHSS Student & Alumni Stories: Cinematic Arts & Technology Students featured on NASA Site

Congratulations to CSUMB students and alumni from the spring 2021 Cinematic Arts & Technology Visual Design class:

Maddy Willey, Katie Batura, Marco Chavelas, Jiya Day, Leonardo Diaz, Yasmeen Gonzalez, Nicholas Goodnight, Fiona Leahy, Austin Narayan, Ty Ortega, Emma Pearult, Paloma Ronquillo, Victoria Simmonds, Bailey Warner, and Isabella Wilkinson

Their artwork from the course is featured on the JPL-NASA Junocam Mission website.  Special congratulations to Maddie Willey, whose image has been curated into a special collection by NASA's Communication team.  For more information, please visit Professor Enid Baxter Ryce's page on the project.




graphic of a wave Let the Waves of Life Carry You Writing Waves Spring 2022 Edition 4


CAHSS Student Stories: Cynthia Vargas, Humanities & Communications major, celebrates first published work in Writing Waves 

Congratulations to HCOM rising senior Cynthia Vargas, her first poem, "Small Purple Flowers," was published in Volume 4 of Writing Waves.  Cynthia noted she enjoyed working with the team to make her dream come true. 

The Writing Waves Academic Journal is a compilation of multi-genre submissions from California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) students, and edited by upper-division students, with the goal of promoting student leadership, activism, and resume-building. Writing Waves publishes creative work, research essays, art, and everything in-between by students at CSUMB.  Dr. Kelly Medina López, HCOM Assistant Professor, serves as Associate Editor.