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Actress Kirsten Vangsness sings with Cal State Fullerton students and Steve Miller at the university's Front & Center 2010 event. Photo by Karen Tapia

On "Criminal Minds"

Actress Kirsten Vangsness Helps Solve Cases on Television Show

April 13, 2010

Actress Kirsten Vangsness, who served as the university's Front & Center master of ceremonies this year, is one of the stars on the CBS hit drama series "Criminal Minds."

Vangsness, who portrays the flirty computer ace Penelope Garcia on the television program, is a theatre and dance major from Cal State Fullerton's Class of 1996.

Her Los Angeles theater and performance artist work have garnered her the 15 Minutes of Fem Best Actress Award, the Los Angeles Drama Critics Award for Best Emerging Comic Actress and the coveted Golden Betty Award.

Her theatre credits include numerous West Coast premieres of original plays including "A Mulholland Christmas Carol" (L.A. Weekly Award), "Book of Liz," "Fan Maroo," "Perfuct" and "Steaming City." In 2007, she starred in the West Coast premiere of Neil LaBute's "Fat Pig" at the Geffen Playhouse.

Vangsness' short plays have appeared in the Los Angeles Times Magazine as well as in theaters throughout L.A. She is a member of Theatre of NOTE in Hollywood.

Her television credits include "Phil of the Future." She has appeared in the feature film "A-List," the independent film "Shooting Blanks" and the soon-to-be released "In My Sleep."


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