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The four years of undergraduate work at Cal State San Bernardino – two of them in the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program – paid off for Fernando Sanchez.

This fall, he is in the San Francisco Bay Area, a Ph.D. student in the University of California, Berkeley’s Department of Near Eastern Studies – one of the oldest (founded in 1864) and most distinguished in its discipline in the country.

Sanchez also is the recipient of the prestigious Eugene Cota-Robles Fellowship, a four-year scholarship. Named in honor of one of the first Mexican American professors on the UC system, it is highly competitive and presented only to top admitted doctoral students.

Sanchez, who graduated from Canyon Springs High in Moreno Valley, credits the foundation he received at CSUSB as playing a major role in getting into the Berkeley program. “It helped me immensely, in more ways that I can say.”

CSUSB is celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month 2021 from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15. The monthlong celebration features a multitude of events at both the San Bernardino and Palm Desert campuses to highlight the accomplishments, heritage and culture of Hispanics and Latinx populations with roots from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America. The objective of Hispanic Heritage Month is to provide students with the chance to explore and become immersed in Hispanic and Latinx culture via different points of reference that will improve their education, socialization and capacity to become mature global citizens.