MARC Grads 2024

The National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) aims to increase diversity in STEM by facilitating a five-year fellowship for students studying a range of scientific and engineering disciplines at universities across the country. This year, all five of San Diego State University’s awardees hail from a program under the umbrella of SDSU’s Center for the Advancement of Students in Academia(CASA). 

CASA’s mission is to promote the academic development of the next generation of underrepresented research scientists, health professionals and STEM educators. To achieve this mission, CASA provides students opportunities to participate in research, faculty-student mentoring, course enrichment workshops, travel to scientific meetings and to doctoral degree-granting institutions for future study, and research experiences at the National Institutes of Health, laboratories and other research institutions.

CASA operates nineteen distinct support programs that span the different departments in the College of Sciences and College of Engineering. These programs collaborate to provide students with opportunities to tailor their education and are as diverse as the students they serve. There are programs that provide support to students at all educational levels including transfer and graduate students, assisting all students in their academic and professional journeys.

Below are SDSU’s GRFP 2024 awardees along with their respective areas of study and CASA program(s). Two awardees are current students and three are alumni, with all five receiving guidance and support from SDSU staff member Maureen Gibbins Paolini, who has assisted students with NSF GRFP applications since 1997.

Chloe Sobolewski

Psychology – Social Psychology (SDSU Alumni)

Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD)

Polina Popova

Engineering – Environmental Engineering

Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC) 

California State University Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (CSU-LSAMP)

Ronnesha Johnson

Life Sciences – Cell Biology (SDSU Alumni)

Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD)

Kaylin Borders

Engineering – Aeronautical and Aerospace Engineering (SDSU Alumni)

Maximizing Access to Research Careers (MARC)

Alin Durazo

Psychology – Cognitive Neuroscience

Advancing Diversity in Aging Research (ADAR) Program

Learn more about the CASA programs on SDSU NewsCenter