CSUMB’s Bryan Sierra-Rivera Receives CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement

September 11, 2018

CSUMB award winner, Bryan Sierra-Rivera with CSUMB President Eduardo M. Ochoa.

CSUMB award winner, Bryan Sierra-Rivera with CSUMB President Eduardo M. Ochoa.

SEASIDE, Calif., September 11, 2018 – CSUMB senior Bryan Sierra-Rivera has been awarded the 2018 California State University (CSU) Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement, the CSU’s highest recognition of student achievement. The 23 awardees, one from each campus in the CSU, were publicly recognized during the CSU Board of Trustees meeting in Long Beach on September 11, 2018.

This award is the CSU's highest recognition of student achievement and provides donor-funded scholarships to students who demonstrate superior academic performance, personal accomplishments, community service and financial need. Students receiving the awards have all demonstrated inspirational resolve along the path to college success and many are the first in their families to attend college.

“These student scholars embody the leadership, diversity and academic excellence the California State University is known for,” said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White. “They have traced unique paths to their goal of a higher education and serve as powerful examples to their families, communities and California. The awards will give these high‐achieving and deserving students even more opportunities to attain their academic and career goals.”

I am honored to be able to represent CSUMB, the CSU system, and first-generation college undergraduates aiming for a higher education."
— Bryan Sierra-Rivera
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CSUMB’s awardee, Bryan Sierra-Rivera, is a first-generation American citizen and first-generation college student majoring in Biology with a concentration in Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology, minoring in chemistry. He was born in Mexico City and raised in a small rural village more than 90 minutes from reliable healthcare before his parents moved the family to the U.S. in pursuit a better life in the year 2000.

The motivation to succeed in my educational pursuits comes from knowing the struggles my parents have gone through to give my sister and me the life we have today."
— Bryan Sierra-Rivera

At CSUMB Sierra-Rivera is an Undergraduate Research Opportunity Center (UROC) Scholar, Ronald E. McNair Scholar and a Louis Strokes Alliance for Minority Participation Scholar. His research experience at CSUMB involves electrochemistry and last summer he conducted antibiotic research at the University of Texas at Austin. During summer 2018 he conducted microbial ecology research at the University of Oregon.

“Being recognized by President Ochoa and the CSU Board of Trustee's to receive this scholarship is a one of a kind privilege that I am so grateful for,” said Sierra-Rivera. “This scholarship will help me to fund my endeavors as I apply for graduate schools. I am honored to be able to represent CSU Monterey Bay, CSU system, and first-generation college undergraduates aiming for a higher education.”

Sierra-Rivera plans to be the first member of his family to earn a Ph.D. and then plans to apply his knowledge and experience within academia to help other first-generation college students from underrepresented minorities pursue opportunities in education.

More than 340 students have been honored with the Trustees’ Award since the scholarship program was established in 1984 by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation. In 1999, the William Randolph Hearst Foundation partnered with the CSU Board of Trustees to supplement the endowment with contributions from CSU Trustees, CSU Foundation Board of Governors, and private donors.

Visit the CSU Trustees' Award for Outstanding Achievement website for bios on all 23 scholars as well as donor information.