Master’s Thesis Earns
Two Major Awards for Alumnus
by Dave Reid
from Dateline (February 27, 2003)
Steve Larson, an alumnus now pursuing
a law degree at UC Davis, has scored honors twice with his graduate
thesis on developing and quantifying chemical breakdown products
of amino acids – research important to hospital patients.
The thesis recently won the top prize awarded by the
Western Association of Graduate Schools, an organization representing
more than 90 institutions of higher education in 12 western states
and several western Canadian provinces.
Larson, who earned a master’s in chemistry in
June 2001, also was awarded the Giles T. Brown Award for the outstanding
Cal State Fullerton graduate thesis produced in the 2001 academic
The recent graduate, who worked full-time at a research
firm in Irvine while pursing his master’s degree, praised
Cal State Fullerton and his graduate adviser, Scott Hewitt, professor
of chemistry and biochemistry.
“The quality of teaching is very high and Dr.
Hewitt was very flexible in allowing me to pursue my research subject,”
he said. “Cal State Fullerton is great because of the research
opportunities students have and the outstanding teaching offered.
“At some other campuses, teaching is
secondary, something they feel they have to do rather than want
to do,” Larson noted.
Hewitt, a member of the faculty since1991, has advised
many outstanding students, including astronaut Tracy Caldwell. In
addition to Hewitt, thesis committee members included Harold Rogers
and Christopher Meyer, associate professors of chemistry and biochemistry.
The latest award, which carries a $1,000 honorarium,
will be presented in March at the annual meeting of the Western
Association of Graduate Schools in Salt Lake City.
Larson’s wife, Laura, also is an alumna, earning
her master’s in chemistry in 2001. The couple recently celebrated
the birth of their first child.
A former Fullerton resident, Larson plans to return
to Orange County with his family following completion of his law
degree in 2004. He hopes to use his scientific background in a law
« back to Awards & Honors