Undergraduate Research Opportunities Center

CSU Pre-Doctoral Program, Sally Casanova Scholarship

Open to all CSUMB students, the California Pre-Doctoral Program is designed to increase the diversity of the pool of potential faculty by supporting the doctoral aspirations of CSU students who have experienced economic and educational disadvantages. Winners will be designated as Sally Casanova Scholars, as a tribute to Dr. Sally Casanova, for whom the award is named. With the aid of a CSUMB Faculty Sponsor, Sally Casanova Scholars are exposed to unique opportunities to help prepare them to succeed in doctoral programs. This award is open to all CSUMB undergrad and graduate students.

The program provides travel funds to visit doctorate-granting institutions, options for summer research internships, and funds for other doctoral program related activities.

Eligibility: Must be matriculated upper-division or master's degree students who are enrolled at CSUMB as of Spring 2024 and who will also be enrolled at CSUMB for at least the fall semester of the academic year 2024-2025.

two awardees pose for a picture  at SF State Pre Doc Orientation.

Award: $3000

Number Awarded: 70-75 total , includes undergrad/graduate.

Application Due: February 2024.

Application Opens: December 2023. 

Application Review: Meet with a campus coordinator to determine eligibility and review of application before receiving access to submit an application.

Campus Coordinators

Myrsha Garcia, Administration Support Coordinator, Academic Affairs

Natasha Oehlman, Writing & Professional Communication Associate, UROC

Image: CSUMB Sally Casanova Scholars Elisabeth Carrillo & Julio Martinez at the PreDoc Orientation, San Francisco State University

Steps to Apply

  1. Contact a Pre-Doc Campus Coordinator to determine your eligibility for the scholarship.
  2. Contact a faculty sponsor (CSUMB Faculty in your field/discipline--an assistant, associate or full professor, preferred) who knows you well and is willing to support you as an applicant and serve as a mentor during the award year. Request a strong letter of recommendation.
  3. Revisit a Pre-Doc Campus Coordinator to create a personalized and individualized application timeline to chart your writing process for the essay portion of the application. Note: To ensure timeliness, steps 1-3 should be done by February 1, 2024, to ensure submitting a competitive and complete application that has been reviewed multiple times.
  4. See CSU Pre-Doctoral Site, Instructions for Submitting--for more detailed information on the full process.
  5. CSUMB Internal Deadline: February 2024. Applicants must receive campus coordinator approval to submit an approved application. Once approved, the final application is due to the Pre-Doctoral Office. 

Campus Coordinators: For more information please contact Myrsha Garcia, Administration Support Coordinator, Office of the Provost or Natasha Oehlman, Writing & Professional Communication Associate, UROC, at predoc@csumb.edu.

CSUMB Sally Casanova Award Recipients & Honorable Mentions

2024~Laura Flores, Psychology; Saba Shah, Human Development and Family Science, Koret Scholar; Samantha Ulloa, Psychology, McNair Scholar; Yeritzi Victoria , Psychology and Spanish Language & Hispanic Culture, McNair Scholar; Alyssa Walter, Marine Science, UROC Scholar -- all Sally Casanova Scholars.

2023~ Kimberly Smith, Collaborative Health and Human Services, McNair Scholar; Rosa Acevedo Duran, Psychology, McNair Scholar; Ramsha Iqbal, Social & Behavioral Science; Jianshan Chen Khalsa, Master's in School Psychology -- all Sally Casanova Scholars.

2022~ Nikole Babcock, Psychology, Sally Casanova Scholar; Spencer Winter, Human Development and Family Sciences & Molecular Biology, Sally Casanova Scholar; and Kimberly Smith, Collaborative Health and Human Services, Honorable Mention. 

2021~ Jesus Orozco, Humanities and Communication, McNair Scholar; Lily Amador, Humanities and Communication, McNair Scholar; and Mariana Duarte, Computer Science, McNair Scholar, Honorable Mention.

2020~ Selina Espinoza, Psychology & Statistics, McNair Scholar; Mariana Duarte, Computer Science, Honorable Mention, McNair Scholar.

2019~ Selena Velasquez, Psychology & Statistics, McNair Scholar.

2018~ Jordin Simons, Environmental Science, UROC Scholar; and Jorge Cabrera, Psychology, UROC Researcher.

2017~ Robert Castro, Biology, McNair Scholar; Jacob Green, Marine Science, McNair Scholar; Heriberto Marquez, Social and Behavioral Sciences, McNair Scholar; and Julia Barnett, Psychology. All four were also awarded additional funds for summer 2018 research.

2016~ Karina Ruiz, Human Communication, McNair Scholar.

2015~ Julio Martinez, Biology; Avery Micheal, Marine Science, McNair Scholar; and Elisabeth Carrillo, Biology, McNair Scholar; Megan Golbeck, Mathematics, Honorable Mention.

2014~ Lilyana Gross, Mathematics; Jenny Brown, Biology; April (Makukhov) Garrett, Marine Science; and Alexis Ingram, Human Communication; Joshua Smith, Marine Science, Honorable Mention--all UROC Scholars.

Please see full database of Sally Casanova recipients by award year.