Four Chosen for Top Awards
May 20, 2004 :: No. 254
Four graduating Cal State Fullerton students
will be honored this month with President’s Associates awards
in recognition of their scholastic excellence, as well as dedication
to the university and community.
This year’s recipients are Martina Albers of
Corona, Kim Ann Guth of Fullerton, M. Alex Lopez of Santa Ana and
Sula Murad Safar of San Dimas. They will be recognized May 28 at
the university’s annual Honors Convocation, which is held
on the eve of commencement.
Each honoree will receive a $1,000 cash award, sponsored
by the President’s Associates university support group, and
a commemorative plaque.
Albers, a President’s
Scholar, is receiving the President’s Associates
Scholastic Achievement Award for academic achievement. A member
of the University Honors Society, she maintained a 3.97 GPA with
a major in public administration and a minor in business administration.
She arrived in America from the Czech Republic not
speaking a word of English. Her strong work ethic and willingness
to apply herself helped her secure valedictorian honors at Santiago
High School in Corona.
“The world opened up to me since I first came
to Cal State Fullerton,” she said. “With so many new
experiences, Cal State Fullerton was there by my side. The professors,
staff and fellow students helped guide me through, showing me the
pathway to success. Although I’m not there yet, Fullerton
has paved the way for a successful future.”
She has served as a community service officer for
the President’s Scholars, and helped to organize teams for
a variety of community events, including the CHOC Walk to benefit
Children’s Hospital of Orange County, the Ronald McDonald
House Thanksgiving Meal, the Boys and Girls Club bowling night and
multiple sclerosis walkathon.
Currently, she works as a transportation analyst and
hopes to serve as a transportation planner in the future. “I
aspire to improve the transportation infrastructures of the former
community countries in Eastern Europe, while applying an approach
of capitalism,” she noted. Upon graduation, she will continue
to work at RK Engineering Inc. prior to entering the MBA program
at UC Irvine in the fall of 2005.
Albers is a member of the Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society
and Golden Key International Honor Society. She has served on the
board of directors of the YWCA of North Orange County for two years
and earned a Student Leadership Institute certificate.
Guth is the recipient of the President’s
Associates Outstanding Graduate Student Award for her academic performance,
as well as her contributions to the community and the campus. Working
toward her master of science in nursing with an emphasis in nursing
administration, she has maintained a GPA of 3.98 and is active in
several campus organizations. She served on the Nursing Department’s
Graduate Curriculum Committee and was founding president of the
CSUF Nursing Honor Society. Under Guth’s leadership, the Nursing
Honor Society is preparing to become chartered as a chapter of Sigma
Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society. In addition, Guth
has represented the Nursing Department at various events, including
“Welcome to Cal State Fullerton Day,” career expos and
job fairs. Guth’s community involvement includes serving on
the Fullerton School District Board of Trustees (1996-2000).
A re-entry student, she graduated cum laude from Cal
State Fullerton with a bachelor’s degree in nursing in 2003.
Upon receiving her master’s degree, she plans to apply to
a doctoral program to continue her studies for a career in nursing
“Once I finished raising my family, I wanted
to step back into my career, and pursuing my degree seemed like
a logical step,” said Guth, a registered nurse. “I’ve
been very pleased with the support I’ve received at Cal State
Fullerton and look forward to helping others achieve their dream
of becoming nurses.”
The mother of four works as a prenatal educator and
lactation consultant at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange.
Lopez is being honored with the President’s
Associates University Service Award for his contributions to the
campus and community.
For the past two years, Lopez has served as one of
two students on the California State University Board of Trustees.
Representing 407,000 students from the 23 CSU campuses, he helped
oversee the management of $3.3 billion in property, facilities and
investments by the CSU and its campuses. He attended his last board
meeting this week and cast the lone dissenting vote against raising
student fees for the coming academic year.
As a business administration major, he established the Latino Business
Student Association while still a freshman and developed the Hispanic
Networking Breakfast. After serving as president of this group,
he joined the Associated Students Board of Directors, as a member
of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity.
Lopez was twice elected president of the Associated
Students Inc. During his terms of office, he established
the Titan Tusk Force — a program to encourage freshmen and
sophomores to make a connection with the university— and an
alumni mentor program. He also oversaw several other ASI initiatives,
ranging from enhancement of specific facilities to developing a
marketing plan. This year, Lopez also served as co-chair of Greek
“What was wonderful about my experience at Cal State Fullerton
is that so many people were willing to help me,” Lopez said.
“The administration and faculty always seemed to go out of
their way to provide advice and counsel. I really appreciated that.
Their support gave me the confidence to pursue new paths.”
Upon graduation, Lopez will continue to work for Allergan
Inc. as a territory manager and hopes to continue a path where he
can be of service to the community.
Safar, who was named a President’s
Scholar upon entrance to the university as a freshman, is receiving
the President’s Associates University Service Award, which
is presented to a student who demonstrates service to the campus
Safar arrived in America from Lebanon in 1985 as a
civil war tore apart the country. Seeing the suffering of her native
people instilled in her a desire to become a physician.
She is a biological science major with a minor in
law, politics and society. Not only did she earn a 3.89 GPA as a
student in the University Honors Program, she also served in a variety
of volunteer capacities. She has been active in the President’s
Scholars, has volunteered for CHOC, Ronald McDonald House, YWCA
and the multiple sclerosis walkathon, among others.
For 14 years, she has tutored children in special
education classes, and she also volunteers in the emergency department
at Pomona Valley Hospital and Medical Center. Because Safar is fluent
in Arabic, she often translates for the hospital’s Middle
Eastern patients. Safar also is an active member of St. John Maron
Church in Anaheim.
“In my family, going to Cal State Fullerton
has become a tradition,” she said. “My brother and sister
both went to Cal State Fullerton, so I was quite familiar with the
campus and pleased with the faculty and educations they received.
In fact, I chose this school over several other campuses because
the professors are very engaged with the students. You get a lot
of individual attention, especially in the honors classes. I loved
my classes, my classmates, and my experiences at Cal State Fullerton.
This has been the best five years of my life.”
Safar has been accepted to Western College of Osteopathic
Medicine in Pomona and will begin classes there in August.
||Valerie Orleans, Public Affairs
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