First Summer Fellowship Program 2023 
Virtual Program 


June 5 – June 8, 2023 (9:00 am - 1:00 pm)
June 14, 2023 (1:00 – 2:30 pm)
June 28, 2023 (1:00 – 2:30 pm)
July 12, 2023 (1:00 – 2:30 pm)


The First Summer Fellowship Program (FSFP) is a hallmark experience for incoming Cal State University MMUF fellows in their first summer of the program. This program introduces new fellows to the nuts and bolts of undergraduate research in the humanities and what to expect in graduate school. By building a sense of community and support across the CSU campuses, this program models an inclusive and supportive space for fellows to pursue their scholarly and creative interests through engaged conversation from supportive graduate students and faculty alike.

Zoom Meeting ID: 879 2334 5561 

Email Dr. Sarah G. Grant for passcode or further information about the First Summer Fellowship Program


Monday, June 5

(9:00 am – 1:00 pm) 

  • 9:00 – 9:30 am – Welcome and Introductions of MMUF Faculty Coordinators and Personnel
  • 9:30 – 10:00 am – History and Mission of the MMUF Program
    • Dr. Sarah G. Grant, Cal State Fullerton
  • 10:15– 10:45 am – New Fellow Meet and Greet
    • Breakout Rooms Facilitated by MMUF Faculty Coordinators
  • 11:00 – 12:00 pm – Graduate School and the Hidden Curriculum: Funding, Fellowships, and Finding Your Way
    • The University as Organization, Dr. Jessica Stern, Cal State Fullerton
    • Funding and Fellowship Opportunities and Experiences, Jozef Callán Robles, UC Irvine
    •  Eloisa Amador-Romero, California Pre-Doctoral Fellowship (11:30 am join)
    • Comments from MMUF Faculty Coordinators
  • 12:15– 12:45 pm – Looking Ahead: Expectations, Logistics, and Day-to-Day Research Experiences in the MMUF Program
    • Comments from MMUF Faculty Coordinators
  • 12:45 – 1:00 pm – Open Q&A and Reflections


Tuesday, June 6

(9:00 am – 1:00 pm) 

  • 9:00 – 10:15 am – Developing a Research Project: Questions and Proposals
    •  Jason Araújo, UCLA
  • 10:30 – 11:20 am – Research Methods in the Humanities
    • Dr. Utitofon Inyang, Binghamton University
  • 11:30 am – 1:00 pm – Full Circle CSU Faculty Roundtable
    • Dr. Estela G. Ballón, Cal Poly Pomona
    • Dr. Analena H. Hassberg, Cal State LA
    • Dr. Donna J. Nicol, Cal State Dominguez Hills


Wednesday, June 7

(9:00 am – 1:00 pm) 

  • 9:00 – 10:15 am – Crafting a Personal Statement
    • Jason Araújo, UCLA
  • 10:30 – 11:20 am – Research Methods in the Humanistic Social Sciences
    • Dr. Phung N. Su, UC San Diego
  • 11:30 – 1:00 pm – Keynote Speaker
    • - Dr. Paul Michael Leonardo Atienza, Cal Poly Humboldt


Thursday, June 8

(9:00 am – 12:00 pm) 

  • 9:00 – 10:30 am – Research in Practice: Graduate Student Roundtable
    • Kevin Easley, UC Merced
    • Nicolette Lacy, UC Merced
    • Shani Tra, UC Riverside
  • 10:45 – 11: 45 am – Time Management: Planning for the Summer and Academic Year
    • Harmeet Kalsi, UCLA
  • 11:45 am – Closing Remarks


Additional Virtual Programming 

June 14 - Building a Successful Faculty-Undergrad Mentoring Relationship:  Dr. Susie Woo, Cal State Fullerton 
June 28 - Open Discussion and Q&A with CSU Consortium: MMUF Faculty Coordinators 
July 12 - Research in Practice: Faculty Experiences: Dr. Manny Galaviz-Ceballos, Cal State Fullerton 
GRE Prep Workshop Dates (Zoom, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm) 
June 21 - June 26 - June 28 
July 3 - July 5 - July 10 
FSFP Residential Programming (Cal State Fullerton) 
July 26 – 28, 2023 
Program Forthcoming 


Program Speakers and Participants  

Jason Araújo (UCLA) 

Jason is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Comparative Literature at UCLA. He is currently hard at work finishing his dissertation tentatively titled "Transatlantic Triangulations: Buenos Aires, Marseille, Paris. Cultural Exchange, Translation, and the Rise of Fascism, 1930-1946." The dissertation seeks to trouble the center/periphery binary by detailing the role Buenos Aires and Marseille played in the history of the Second World War. Using three magazines, two published in Argentina and one in Marseille, the dissertation contends that these peripheral locations were in fact centers of literary life and cultural resistance during a time of war and occupation. In addition to this academic work, Jason is also engaged in various translation projects including a forthcoming translation of a work titled "Rio de Agua Viva/Live Water River," with Taller California Press. Jason is a first-generation college graduate who has been working with undergraduate researchers, specifically Mellon Mays fellows, since 2017. He has received numerous honors including the Cota V. Robles Fellowship, EPIC Mellon Fellowship, the UCLA Dissertation Year Fellowship, and the 2021 UCLA Distinguished Teaching Award.  

Dr. Paul Michael Leonardo Atienza (Cal Poly Humboldt) 

Paul Michael Leonardo Atienza (any pronouns) is an immigrant, first-generation, queer Tagalog/Filipina/o/x/American appointed as assistant professor of Critical Race, Gender & Sexuality Studies at Cal Poly Humboldt. They teach classes in Asian/American Studies, transnational gender and sexuality studies, performance studies, media and cultural studies, and science and technology studies (STS). A multidisciplinary scholar, performer, and community advocate, Dr. Atienza's research interests coalesce in the study of mediated bodies in performance. Their current scholarship translates into multiple projects that amplify underserved Asian/American voices through ethnographic writing, drag performance art, and decolonial praxis in the classroom. Atienza focuses on Filipinos’ lives, cultural practices, and social issues in the homeland and the diaspora as they generate digital worlds. They also engage students and community leaders in reimagining how people learn together through collaboration that fosters a feminist ethic of care and solidarity.  

Dr. Estela G. Ballón (Cal Poly Pomona) 

Estela Godinez Ballón is a professor in the Liberal Studies Department at Cal Poly Pomona.  Her interests include Chicanas/os/x and Latinas/os/x and education; Latina PhD’s; first-generation and community college students; and active-learning pedagogies.  She is the author of the book, Mexican Americans and Education: El Saber es Poder (University of Arizona Press, 2015). 

Kevin Easley (UC Merced) 

Kevin Easley is a PhD candidate at the University of California, Merced's Interdisciplinary Humanities program. He also holds a bachelor's and master's degree in Sociology at California State University, Sacramento. He also teaches part time at various community colleges in the Sacramento area (Sierra, Sacramento City, Woodland Community College). Kevin's research is on hip-hop, particularly conflict between artists know as rap beef. His dissertation plans to examine the inside and outside factors that causes conflict as well the evolution of technology and how new media contributes to beef.  

Dr. Manny Galaviz-Ceballos (Cal State Fullerton) 

Manuel (Manny) Galaviz-Ceballos is an Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at CSU, Fullerton. He is also the Faculty Director for the College of Humanities and Social Science's Project upGRADS Pa'Lante Fellowship. He received his Ph.D. in Sociocultural Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin in 2020. Inspired by his personal experiences as a construction worker and undocumented youth in Southern California, his research focuses on the people and cultures of the United States-Mexican Borderlands. In 2021, he hosted the LM Voices Scholar Holler Podcast, which explored the experiences of first-generation graduate students and faculty. He is also an advisory board member for LibroMobile Arts Cooperative (LMAC) and Bookstore in Santa Ana, California. In his spare time, he enjoys riding rollercoasters at Knotts Berry Farm and gatherings with friends and family. 

Dr. Analena H. Hassberg (Cal State LA) 

Dr. Analena Hope Hassberg (known to her students as "Dr. Hope") is a scholar-activist, educator, and mother of two committed to organizing urban communities around food justice and environmental justice. She taught in the Ethnic and Women’s Studies Department at Cal Poly Pomona for 7 years before joining the faculty at Cal State LA in 2022. Dr. Hope earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in American Studies and Ethnicity from USC and her B.A. in Africana Studies from San Francisco State University. She was also a Community College transfer student and earned an A.A. at City College of San Francisco after completing high school. Dr. Hope is a Ford Foundation Predoctoral and Dissertation Fellow and an active member of several community-based organizations throughout LA County and the San Francisco Bay Area. Her multi-disciplinary research investigates and complicates notions of food security and food sovereignty, and situates food as central to freedom struggles and liberation movements. 
Utitofon Inyang (UC Riverside)  

Dr. Utitofon Inyang (Binghamton University)  

Utitofon Inyang holds a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from University of California, Riverside, a B.A. (English) from University of Uyo (Nigeria), and an M.A.(Literature-in-English) from University of Ilorin (Nigeria). She is a member of the African Studies Association Emerging Scholars Network Executive Committee and the Vice-Chair of the African Literature Association Graduate Student Caucus. Utitofon’s research interests intersects 20th Century to present day West African Anglophone literature and culture, Critical Theory, Global Anglophone Literatures, and Digital Humanities. She will be joining the Faculty of the Africana Studies Department at Binghamton University (SUNY) in Fall 2023. Her dissertation, “Like a Mask Dancing: Visuospatial Geographies in West African Anglophone Literature” uses a specific instance of West African indigenous culture –masquerade performance – as a critical framework to examine questions of space and subjectivity, epistemology, and cultural ecology in the works of contemporary African and Afro-diasporic writers like Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Teju Cole, and Chimamanda Adichie. This study draws insights from multiple disciplines to arrive at a reading methodology – visuospatiality – that attends to the textual atlas of black lifeworlds and accounts for the ways that writers distill visual and spatial networks from indigenous African thought into literary form. Overall, Utitofon’s work takes into serious account the worlding practices that underpin African literary archives and makes the case for centering African geographies, cultures, and subjectivities as the theoretical basis for reading African literature. 

Harmeet Kalsi (UCLA) 

Harmeet Kaur Kalsi (she/her/hers) is a third-year Ph.D. student at UCLA’s Higher Education and Organizational Change program. She is a first-generation community college transfer student who graduated from the University of California Merced with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. She also obtained her Master of Arts in Education during her first year in the doctoral program.  She is interested in researching first-generation community college transfer student populations and how institutions influence their graduate school aspirations and long-term career trajectories. Harmeet is also interested in exploring the experiences of first-generation Punjabi women in U.S. higher education institutions, particularly post-9/11. She utilizes asset-based frameworks such as Yosso’s Community Cultural Wealth theory to analyze quantitative and qualitative work. Harmeet has mentored both undergraduate and graduate students throughout her educational journey at community colleges and UC campuses. She is very excited to be able to share the hidden curriculum of research to support the CSU undergraduate population.  

Nicolette Lecy (UC Merced)  

Nicolette is a Chinese American adoptee, artist, and anthropologist. She holds a BFA in art education specializing in painting and drawing with history and museum studies minors from South Dakota State University (SDSU). After earning her K-12 art teaching credential and license, she worked within multiple museums and higher education departments, creating educational programming and coordinating various events. In May 2020, she finished her MA at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) in Sociocultural Anthropology, focusing on visual ethnography. She is now an Interdisciplinary Humanities doctoral candidate working under Critical Adoption Studies scholar Dr. Kit Myers at UC Merced. 

 Dr. Donna J. Nicol (Cal State Dominguez Hills) 

Dr. Donna J. Nicol is a professor and chair of the Africana Studies Department at CSU Dominguez Hills.  She earned her Ph.D. In Educational Studies from Ohio State University with a specialization in the history of African American education. Dr. Nicol is a product of the CSU having earned her BA in history and African American Studies from CSU Fullerton and MA in History from CSU Long Beach. Her research focuses on Black women’s educational activism history and conservative philanthropy in higher education.  Her forthcoming book, Black Woman on Board: Claudia Hampton, The California State University System and the Fight to Save Affirmative Action, 1974-1994 is slated for publication in fall 2023 through the University of Rochester Press.  

Eloisa Amador-Romero (Cal State Fullerton)

loisa Amador-Romero joined the California State University, Fullerton Graduate Student Center in April 2023. Her passion and commitment to serve students pursue their higher education goals have pushed her to pursue her career in higher education. Prior to joining the Graduate Student Center, she served as an Outreach and Recruitment Counselor at California State University, Fullerton. Eloisa is a first-generation college graduate, and she earned a Master's in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration from the University of Vermont; and a Bachelor's degree in Science in Human Services and a Bachelor’s Degree in Art in Ethnic Studies with an emphasis in Chicano/a Studies at California State University, Fullerton. Eloisa is passionate for equitable education and access to higher education to all students and she is very excited to be serving students achieve their academic goals.

Dr. Phung N. Su (UCSD) 

Phung N. Su is a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Sociology at UC San Diego. Beginning July 2024, she will begin her next position as an Assistant Professor of Sociology at UC Santa Barbara. She received her PhD in Sociology from UC Berkeley in 2022. Broadly, her research interests center on gender, globalization, and human mobility, with a focus on inter-Asia and Asian America. Concretely, she examines how gender shapes strategies for mobility at critical junctures of economic and cultural transformation. Her current book project, “Women Who Leave and the Men They Leave Behind,” is a comparative analysis of the outmigration of poor Vietnamese women who participate in international marriage migration, and those of the men they “leave behind” in rural Vietnam.  

Shani Tra (University of California, Riverside) 

Shani Tra is pursuing a Ph.D. in the Anthropology department at UC Riverside, with a designated emphasis on Southeast Asian Studies. As a first-generation college student, Shani received her bachelor’s degree at UC Santa Barbara. Shani’s research focuses on how gender inequality, social practices, and illness impact care in Southern Vietnam. Granted the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (GRFP), she hopes to use her research as a framework for analyzing how perceptions of illness can influence future and current healthcare policies. 

Dr. Susie Woo (Cal State Fullerton) 

 Susie Woo is an Associate Professor of American Studies at California State University, Fullerton. She received an MA in Asian American Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles and a PhD in American Studies from Yale University. Her book, Framed by War: Korean Children and Women at the Crossroads of US Empire (New York University Press, 2019), traces how Korean children and women became central to US involvement in the peninsula during and after the Korean War. She has written articles for the American Quarterly, American Studies Journal, Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History, and the edited volume, Pacific America: Histories of Transoceanic Crossings (University of Hawai‘i Press, 2017). At CSUF, she teaches courses on race and immigration. She has mentored Sally Casanova scholars and for the past three years has been a mentor for the Faculty/Graduate Student Mentoring Program. 


MMUF Faculty Coordinators 

Dr. Sarah G. Grant, Cal State Fullerton (  
Dr. Andrea Johnson, Cal State Dominguez Hills (  
Dr. José Muñoz, Cal State San Bernardino (  
Dr. Abigail Rosas, Cal State Long Beach (  
Dr. Mark Wild, Cal State Los Angeles (