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Outstanding Thesis/Project Award

CSUSB Outstanding Thesis/Project Awards

Dr. Caroline Vickers and Jason Jung at the OTA Awards
Dr. Caroline Vickers and Jason Jung at the 2018 Outstanding Thesis Awards

The Outstanding Thesis Award is given annually to recognize those students who have shown exceptional scholarship and dedication in developing and writing their master’s thesis or project. Two awards are given annually: one student is awarded in the Humanities, Education, Business, and Social Sciences category, and one in the Math, Computer Science, Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Life Sciences category. Awardees receive a cash award, a glass trophy, and are recognized at one of Graduate Studies' fall events.

Nomination Process

Each program may nominate one thesis or project for submission; submissions are judged for their originality, significance, quality, and outcomes. A call for nominations is sent to faculty during the spring term and winners are announced the following fall.

There are two categories:

  • Outstanding Thesis/Project: Humanities, Social Sciences, Education, and Business
  • Outstanding Thesis/Project: Biological Sciences, Computer Science and Technology, Mathematics, Physical Sciences, and Life Sciences.
  • One student will be awarded in each category.

The 2023-2024 Nomination Deadline is July 18. Submissions are judged over the summer and awards are announced in fall semester. 

See the Call for OTA Submissions for details.


Hall of Frame

2022-2023 Outstanding Thesis/Project Awardees


Congratulations to our latest Outstanding Thesis/Project Award Recipients: 

  • James Burns, M.S. in Earth and Environmental Sciences: Geology, for his thesis, Late Holocene Slip History of the Central Garlock Fault, Mojave Desert, California,
  • Raeven Jones Sanchez, M.S. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, for her thesis, Authenticity, Support, and Identity Management in the Workplace for Transgender Employees

Their outstanding work is available on CSUSB ScholarWorks


Previous Outstanding Thesis/Project Award Winners

Thesis, projects, and dissertations are available on CSUSB ScholarWorks.


James Burns
Master of Science in Earth and Environmental Sciences: Geology
Late Holocene Slip History of the Central Garlock Fault, Mojave Desert, California

Raeven Jones Sanchez
Master of Science in Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Authenticity, Support, and Identity Management in the Workplace for Transgender Employees


Diana Ramirez
Master of Social Work
Barriers to the Use of Palliative and Hospice Care among the Latino Population

Chelsea Schweer
Master of Arts in Mathematics
Verifying Sudoku Puzzles


Jolon Koppmann
Master of Science in Information Systems and Technology
Overcoming the Challenges of Big Data Analytics Adoption for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in the Manufacturing Industry

Randy Lucio
Master of Arts in English Composition, Applied Linguistics and TESL,
Critical Period Controversies for Second Language Acquisition: Implications for Language Teaching


Evan Snyder
Master of Arts in Mathematics
Minimal Surfaces and The Weierstrass-Enneper Representation

Rebecca Waring-Crane
Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art
Stories I'm Telling Myself


Bryan Castillo
Master of Science in Earth and Environmental Sciences
Ages of Prehistoric Earthquakes on the Banning Strand of the San Andreas Fault, Near North Palm Springs, California

Alana Muller
Master of Arts in Psychological Science
Neurological Correlates of the Dunning-Kruger Effect


Jason Jung
Master of Science in Biology
Redescription and Phylogenetic Analysis of the Materials Assigned to the Taxon “Captorhinikos” chozaensis

Dorris Kamiya Stewart
Master of Arts in Psychology
Losing Control: The Consequences of Individual- and Group-Based Social Exclusion on Latina Women’s Self-Regulation of Unhealthy Eating


D'Angelo Bridges 
Master of Arts in English Composition
Revising Rhetorical Theory in My Bondage and My Freedom: Narrativizing and Theorizing a Rhetoric of Blackness 

Nelson Membreno 
Master of Science in Biology
Effects of Eggshell Removal on Embryonic Skeletal Development in the American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)


Alicia Davis 
Master of Science in Biology
Characterization of Influenza Nucleoprotein Body Domain as Antiviral Target

Daniel Gray 
Master of Arts in Education: Holistic and Integrative Education
The Creative Warrior, A Holistic Approach to Health and Longevity


Stacy Nerkowski 
Master of Science in Biology
Microsatellite Analysis of Population Structure in the Santa Ana Speckled Dace

Susan VanAllen
Master of Social Work
Overcoming Barriers to Mental Health Service Utilization among Justice-Involved Youth 


Rosyli Reveron 
Master of Science in Biology
Gliobastoma Multiforme Utilizes System Xc¯ for Survival under Oxidative Stress and Promotes Chemoresistance

Stacy Bush 
Master of Arts in Criminal Justice
Drone Effects: Structural Change in Al Qa’ida Communications


Stephen Anderson 
Master of Arts in Criminal Justice
International Cocaine and Heroin Drug Trafficking: A Social Network Approach

Jennifer Wacan 
Master of Arts in General Experimental Psychology
Backward and Forward Continuity as a Predictor of Wellbeing
among Mexican American Respondents: Scale Development


Laughing Bear Torrez Dulgeroff
Master of Science in Biology
Elucidating the Role of Bone Morphogenetic Proteins and B-Lymphocyte Maturation
Protein 1 During Primordial Germ Cell Specification

Matthew Tracy
Master of Arts in Criminal Justice
Identity Theft; A Problem of Complex Systems or Moral Panic?


Bronson Lim
Master of Arts in Mathematics
Symmetric Generation of M22


Heather Fickas
Master of Social Work
Outcome Evaluation of HIV/AIDS Outreach Project at Malmesbury
Prison in South Africa


Ken Noriega
Master of Science in Biology
Digital Reconstruction of a Ceratopsid PES


Adam Huttenlocker
Master of Science in Biology
Comparative Osteohistology of Hyperelongate Neural Spines in Basal Synapsids
(Vertebrata, Amniota): Growth and Mechanical Considerations


Keri Maher
Master of Science in Biology
A Geographically Constrained Molecular Phylogeny of Panamanian Aechmea Species (Bromeliaceae, subfamily Bromelioideae)


Michael Davidson
Master of Public Administration
Institutional Structures for Equitable and Sustainable
Water Resource Management in the Middle East


Lucy Jun
Master of Science in Biology
Thyroid Hormone-Regulated Skeletal Muscle GLUT4 Glucose Transporter Trafficking
During Fasting in Diet-Induced Obesity and Insulin Resistance


Frank Marfai's
Master of Arts in Mathematics
Hyperbolic Transformations on Cubics in H2


Kimberly Belvedere
Master of Arts in Criminal Justice
Why do They Resist?:
Exploring Dynamics of Police-Citizen Violence During Arrest Encounters


Dwayne Clarke
Master of Arts in Mathematics
The Cyclic Cutwidth of Mesh Cubes


Anshumala Ram
Master of Social Work
Effects of Head Start Participation on Cognitive and Social Functioning
of Children in the United States