Campus: CSU Channel Islands -- May 9, 2005

California State University, Channel Islands Announces 1st President's Scholars Awards

Two outstanding Southern California high school students have been chosen as the first President’s Scholars of California State University Channel Islands.

Melody Grace M. Mattingly of Oxnard, a senior at Channel Islands High School, and Jennifer Bonsangue of Yorba Linda, a senior at Lutheran High School of Orange County, will each receive a four-year scholarship that covers full tuition fees at the University.

In addition, the CSUCI President’s Scholars Program awarded a $1,000 University scholarship to Jennifer Tyra of Anaheim, a senior at Katella High School. The scholarship is renewable each of four years, based on academic performance.

“Melody Mattingly and Jennifer Bonsangue, our first President’s Scholars, are exceptional students,” said CSUCI President Richard R. Rush. “I am impressed with their academic achievements and the energy and commitment they bring to their goals. We feel privileged to offer them a special kind of educational experience here, and to play a part in their success as students and members of our community.”

The CSUCI President’s Scholars Program was created to attract high-caliber students who will benefit from the CSUCI student-centered learning experience. President’s Scholars must have a 3.75 grade point average and a minimum score of 1200 on the SAT-I or 26 on the ACT tests. Once accepted into the program, they must continue to demonstrate academic excellence and provide at least 15 hours of University and community service per semester.

Mattingly is a member of the National Honor Society, California Girls’ State, Who’s Who Among American High Schools, and the Global Young Leaders Organization. In addition to being involved in a number of school activities, including sports, student government, and youth ministry, she has maintained two jobs to help support her family.

Mattingly intends to become a teacher in her hometown of Oxnard, perhaps at Channel Islands High School. “I first realized my passion for teaching during my sophomore year while helping younger students at basketball clinics and tutoring for the National Honor Society,” she said. “I hope that as an educator, I will inspire the students of Oxnard, most of whom are from ethnic minorities, to rise above their circumstances and to achieve their greatest potential.”

Bonsangue is a member of the National Honor Society and the California Scholastic Federation, and has been active in sports, community service, and particularly music. She plays a number of instruments and has performed with school bands in such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall and the Sydney Opera House.

She intends to pursue master’s and Ph.D. degrees, and also plans to become a teacher. “Teaching is not just a job; you give the gift of education to a willing student that will last a lifetime,” she said. “I hope that with the help of scholarships, I can pass on the education I receive at CSUCI to future generations.”

The CSUCI President’s Scholars Program received most of its initial funding from the Pierre Claeyssens family endowment. The University is currently seeking other contributions for the program, with the goal of awarding several scholarships each year.

Media Contact: Richard Suenaga, 805-437-8940

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