The College of Liberal Arts Equity Scholars

Since the fall semester of 2021, the Equity Scholars Program has supported one graduate research assistantship per academic year (or two one-semester assistantships) for every CLA department offering a graduate degree (13 in total). The goal of this support of $7000 per student per year (or up to a maximum $3500 each for two students per semester, pending budget) has been to recruit promising students into the Humanities and Social Sciences. Recruitment of first-generation, historically underrepresented, and/or low-income graduate students is strongly encouraged. This recruitment initiative was designed to promote excellence in research and to support enhanced accessibility to the mentorship and research training of the Liberal Arts graduate experience. 

The EQS initiative offers the following benefits:

  • Creating a preferential pathway for our talented CSULB undergraduates seeking graduate degrees, as well as an opportunity for local, regional, and state residents seeking to retrain or upskill;  
  • Encouraging graduate role models for first-generation and historically underrepresented undergraduate students;
  • Enhancing the intellectual life of the college and uplifting the graduate community; 
  • Contributing to a faculty pipeline for state education; 
  • Building in and contributing to future access and equity;
  • Serving as a vital springboard to build partnerships, including with the city of Long Beach, locally-based corporations, and businesses in order to support career pathways for first-generation, historically underrepresented and/or low-income students.

For more information, contact CLA Director of Graduate Studies Sarah Schrank or EQS Co-ordinator Mariya Mileva.

Please meet our community of Equity Scholars below!

2023/2024 Equity Scholars Cohort

Spring 2024

Fall 2023

2022/2023 Equity Scholars Cohort

Motto “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

Spring 2023

Fall 2022

2021/2022 Equity Scholars Cohort

Motto “Redefining Possibilities”

Spring 2022

Carlos Diaz Gallardo (History)
Darius Garrino (Linguistics)
Chavva Olander (Philosophy)

Meet Chavva Olander! She's a first-year graduate student in the Philosophy MA program. Chavva received her BA in Philosophy from California State University, Fullerton in 2021 after a long hiatus from higher education. Chavva works as an educator and curriculum development specialist, and is a solo parent to two teenagers who have been homeschooled for the last seven years.

What excites you most your selection as an Equity Scholar?

I’m looking forward to opportunities for mentorship and receiving feedback on my research.

What are you most looking forward to in your graduate program?

The Philosophy MA program at CSULB has already been an outstanding learning experience. I anticipate becoming more adept at research and writing, along with gaining experience in the field of philosophy through participation in conferences.

What are your future goals or career plans for life post-grad?

After earning my MA, I plan to pursue a PhD in Philosophy. I look forward to teaching and mentoring college students, particularly those who have taken a non-traditional academic path.

What’s your best advice for students looking into graduate school?

Graduate school might be a great idea if you think it will open up opportunities for you to contribute meaningfully in your field of interest. Learning is always valuable, regardless of whether it takes place in a classroom.

Aesha Mahmoud (Political Science)
Julie Cera Gomez (Spanish)

Fall 2021