Honors awarded to more than 500 students

By Sam Robinson
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Lucy Gates, a Kinesiology major, receives the Outstanding Senior Scholar-Athlete Award presented by CSUMB Athletic Director Kirby Garry(right). “Lucy is everything you want a student athlete to be,” he said. Gates is a member of the Women’s Water Polo team and will graduate with Magna Cum Laude Honors.

“You are our best,” said President Eduardo Ochoa, at the May 5 Honors Convocation. “We expect great things from you. Keep in touch.”

The top students for all of CSUMB’s colleges received gold cords to wear with their regalia at Commencement, as their academic achievements were honored at the event.

“The Latin designations of honors (Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, and Summa Cum Laude) connect our high-achieving students today at CSUMB to the rich heritage of higher education,” said Provost Bonnie Irwin. “We are proud of our students who have worked so hard to earn these prestigious designations.”


Grade Point Average requirements for Honors:
Cum Laude: 3.5 to 3.74
Magna Cum Laude: 3.75 to 3.89
Summa Cum Laude: 3.9 to 4.0

One student who earned the highest honors, Summa Cum Laude, is Karina Salas, a Biology major from Prunedale, California.

“It is exciting [to be here],” she said. “When you start college you feel like it is never going to end. But, the closer you get to it [graduating] the scarier it gets.”

Salas said when she started at CSUMB she set the goal to get all A’s, and she did. She accredits taking Advanced Placement (AP) classes in High School with preparing her for the rigors of college work.

Salas said when she first started it was school, school, school, but this year she has had the opportunity to serve as a Teaching Assistant for a Chemistry professor. She has found the experience to be very rewarding.

Salas plans to take a gap year, and then she will apply to the Master’s programs in Forensic Science. She would like to be a Forensics specialist with law enforcement.

“I think my parents are proud,” she said. “My dad washed my car as my reward!”

Another student in the crowd, Jordan Leininger, took a less traditional route to earning his degree.

“I hated school growing up; I almost didn’t graduate High School,” Leininger said. “Taking 10 to 12 years off, going back [to college] at 29 helped. I would not have been as successful if I had gone earlier.”

Leininger, who is a Social and Behavioral Science major with a concentration in Social History,  said, “It still hasn’t sunk in [that he is graduating]. It will be better once Capstone Festival is over, then I can relax.”

The Chino native said he did not plan to be an Honors student, but “then I started getting all A’s and kept doing it.”

He plans to continue working for the City of Monterey, where he was recently promoted and is the Artifact Specialist.

In addition to the Honors cords that were awarded to students, the recipients for the University’s top students awards were announced. See pages 8-12 for profiles on these outstanding students.

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