Campus: CSU, Long Beach -- March 28, 2001

6 Students at California State University, Long Beach Receive $20,000 Teaching Fellowships from California Governor's Office

Six students at California State University, Long Beach are among the first to be selected for the Governor's Teaching Fellowship Program, a new program that supports persons preparing to teach in California's low-performing schools.

The six CSULB students honored include Lamine Boukris, Britt Coose and Mark La of Huntington Beach, Christopher Donahue of Redondo Beach, Brittney Lu of Westminster and Michelle Turley of Seal Beach.

Each student is awarded $20,000 to help pay education and living expenses while enrolled full time in a program accredited by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. A total of 250 fellowships were awarded statewide to students enrolled during the winter and/or spring terms of 2001.

As a condition of accepting the fellowship, students must commit to teach at least four years in a school that has scored in the bottom half of the Academic Performance Index.

"We are pleased to have six of our credential students selected for these competitive awards," said CSULB President Robert C. Maxson. "It's important to get more fully credentialed teachers into these low performing schools as quickly as possible and this component of Governor Gray Davis' education program is a big step toward that goal."

Boukris, who earned bachelor's and master's degrees in plant pathology from his native Algeria, has worked as a field naturalist with the Orange County Department of Education's "Inside the Outdoors" science program. He is enrolled in the CSULB Single Subject Credential Program and plans to teach life science in middle school or biology in high school.

"For years, I felt so sad that my promising science career had been cut short by the war in my country," Boukris said. "I am so thankful for the opportunity to use my strong science background in service to others. I feel like through teaching I've been given a second chance in life."

Coose, a 2000 CSULB graduate with a bachelor's degree in psychology, decided to go into teaching after spending time in her daughters' classrooms. She is enrolled in the Multiple Subject Credential Program and wants to teach second or third grade.

"I had planned on going into family counseling but I decided I could help children in a classroom as well as in a counseling office," Coose shared.

La, a 1999 graduate of UC Irvine with a bachelor's degree in environmental analysis and design, chose the teaching field after tutoring in Santa Ana schools. He prefers teaching children in grades three through five. La and his mother, a CSULB alumna with a bachelor's degree in accounting, are both enrolled in the Multiple Subject Credential Program.

"I like working with kids who are struggling because I had difficulties with school, too," La explained. "It wasn't until I had some really good teachers who took an interest in me personally and my learning that I began to enjoy school."

Donahue, who graduated from UC Santa Barbara in 1993 with a B.A. in English, is working toward a master's in English emphasizing literacy and composition as well as the Single Subject Credential. He plans to teach language arts at the eighth-grade level.

Turley earned a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Arizona in 1993. She is pursuing the Single Subject in physics with the goal of teaching either middle school physical science or high school physics.

Lu is a student in the Multiple Subject Credential Program. As a double major, she received her bachelor's degree from CSULB in 1996 in community health education and school health education. Lu is currently a health teacher with the Los Angeles Unified School District, and her future goal is to continue her teaching to help students at a low-performing school.

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