CSUF student wins Nikon scholarship for her short films

by in News

Cal State Fullerton student Cassie Chang of Orange is one of 10 students to receive a $10,000 Nikon Storytellers Scholarship, a new program by Nikon Inc. designed to support future visual content creators.

Cal State Fullerton student Cassie Chang of Orange is one of 10 students to receive a $10,000 Nikon Storytellers Scholarship. (Photo courtesy of Cassie Chang)

The scholarship contest, based on academic achievement and creative portfolio submissions, received over 1,000 entries from students across the United States and Canada. The only other California winners were students from USC and Chapman University.

“By providing these 10 deserving recipients with academic scholarships, we can empower new generations to innovate through storytelling and content creation,” said Jay Vannatter, Nikon executive vice president.

Chang’s short films can be viewed on her YouTube channel.

Humanities undergrads with plans for doctorate get a boost

Four women are the inaugural scholars in the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship program.

Members of the inaugural class of Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellows are congratulated by CSUF President Fram Virjee. Students, from left, are: Vivian Ngo, Ileana Perez, Danielle Narciso and Daniella Camacho.(Photo courtesy of Cal State Fullerton)

Funded by a $444,319 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the program is designed to increase rigorous academic opportunities and provide financial support for students to pursue a doctorate in the humanities immediately after completing their bachelor’s degree.

The recipients are participating in summer programs, and will be paired with faculty mentors to develop research plans, initiate research and spend four weeks conducting research during their first academic year as fellows. They also will meet with top scholars, curators and archivists, community planners, and other humanities professionals to present their research and learn more about specific programs, centers and community needs.

The inaugural fellows — all sophomores during the 2017-18 year — are:

• Daniella Camacho of Fullerton, American studies• Danielle Rieza Narciso of Diamond Bar, linguistics• Ileana Perez of Rosemead, Spanish• Vivian Phong Ngo of Garden Grove, comparative literature

Rebuilt Titan race car finishes in middle of pack

The Titan racing team took 24th place in the Formula SAE in Lincoln, Nebraska, with its newly built formula-style race car.

This 2014 version of the Titan racing team’s formula-style race car was the school’s best competitor, but the team keeps redesigning its entry to make it faster and stronger. (Photo courtesy of Cal State Fullerton)

The collegiate competition June 20-23, presented by SAE International (formerly the Society of Automotive Engineers), drew 67 competitors from across the country and abroad.

About 50 students — engineering and business majors — are involved in CSUF’s year-round Formula SAE project, including many recent grads. The design competition gives students the challenge of applying classroom theories to a real-world engineering experience.

This is the 11th year CSUF students have entered the competition. The best finish for a Titan entry was 12th place overall out of 67 finishers in 2014.

The team’s faculty adviser is Salvador Mayoral, assistant professor of mechanical engineering.

Texas A&M took first place this year. California schools that bested CSUF were UC San Diego, USC, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, San Jose State and Cal State Northridge. Coming in behind the Titans were Chico State, Sacramento State, UC Irvine, UC Berkeley, Cal Baptist, UCLA, UC Riverside and San Diego State.

Rapping grad hired to coach entrepreneurs

Rachael Herzog, who rapped at the Mihaylo commencement ceremony, has been hired by CEO Coaching International in Newport Beach as project manager.

Herzog is the CSUF Alumni Association’s 2018 Outstanding Senior. She also was a President’s Scholar, the 2018 ASI Student Leadership Award winner and Mihaylo College Executive Council’s 2018 Outstanding Student. In 2017, she interned in Washington, D.C., with the Cal State DC Scholars program.

Herzog joined the company because she has a passion for entrepreneurship.

“I’m so excited to grow and learn about value creation, strategy, and leadership alongside the amazing coaches,” she said.

In other alumni news:

Cal State Fullerton grad Kevin Costner is back in the saddle again with “Yellowstone,” a series on the Paramount Network. (Photo courtesy of Paramount Television)

Kevin Costner, ’78, is back in the saddle again with “Yellowstone,” a 10-episode drama that premiered June 20 on the Paramount Network. In Parade magazine’s June 17 cover story, Costner is credited with “putting a modern twist on a time-honored genre that he personally revitalized.” Filming was scheduled in Utah this summer for the second season of the series.

  • Teri Spoutz has joined the Aerospace Corp. as chief of government relations. She will lead outreach to Congress, the executive branch, and state and local government officials, as well as conduct outreach activities for the company’s Center for Space Policy and Strategy. Spoutz received her bachelor’s degree from CSUF.  She earned the secretary of the Air Force’s Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service in 2011.
Cal State Fullerton grad Damon Bell has been named interim president for Ventura College. (Photo courtesy of the Ventura County Community College District)
  • Damon Bell has been selected as interim president for Ventura College, effective July 23, the Ventura County Community College District announced. Bell has 25 years of experience that includes Washington state and California college systems. Bell earned a doctorate in educational leadership with an emphasis in community college leadership from CSUF.


— Wendy Fawthrop