Campus: CSU Fullerton -- May 31, 2002

President's Associates Honor Graduates for Academic Excellence and Service in Community

In recognition of their scholastic excellence and dedication to the university and community, two graduating seniors and a graduating master's student from the Class of 2002 will be honored during Cal State Fullerton's 43rd annual commencement activities.

The President's Associates university support group sponsors the awards, which will be presented on the eve of commencement at the annual Honors Convocation, Friday, May 31.

Each honoree will receive a $1,000 cash award and commemorative plaque.

Michele Louise Cairella of Fullerton, an M.F.A. candidate in art, is receiving the President's Associates Graduate Student Award for top scholastic achievement and leadership involvement at the university. Her concentration is in design, specifically in exhibition design; in addition, she is earning a certificate in museum studies.

Cairella's M.F.A. project exhibition, "Recasting the Past: Beneath the Hollywood Tinsel," featured prominent contemporary artists from the 1990s who examined the role of Hollywood in contemporary culture. The exhibition received positive coverage in the Los Angeles Times and Orange County Register and, according to Mike McGee, associate professor of art and chairman of Cairella's graduate committee, "brought many students to the gallery who had never stepped foot in the Art Department."

Her on-campus involvement includes the role of president of the Society of Museum Associates, where she was active in developing and organizing lecturer visits and collaborating with the Grand Central Art Center and the Artist in Residence Program to expose visiting artists to the
campus community. She collaborated with the president of the Art History and Culture Club,
which she helped revive, to increase membership and improve event coordination. As a result, membership grew significantly.

Her volunteer work has benefited such local and international groups and institutions as Raid Projects, a Los Angeles-based, artist-run curatorial organization; Museum of Fine Arts in Santiago, Chile; Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice; Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Dept.; and Latinos Anonimos, an international, bilingual Web-based network of Latin American artists.
Cairella's future plans are to "work in the gallery or museum environment, whether as a free-lancer or full-time permanent curator/exhibit designer. My primary interests lie in exposing art that involves the influence of technology and popular culture."

Darla Hagge of Anaheim is receiving the President's Associates Service Award for her commitment to leadership/service activities and scholastic achievement. The communicative disorders major is coordinator of the university's Communicative Disorders Peer Mentor Program, for which "she has made substantial contributions to the quality of life for so many of our communicative disorders students, and she has helped to establish a student support component in the College Advisement Center that is, from my perspective, outstanding," noted Toya A. Wyatt, associate professor of speech communication and faculty undergraduate adviser to the Communicative Disorders Program.

Hagge is a volunteer assistant for an adult communication recovery group at St. Jude Medical Center; speech aide at Anaheim Hills Speech and Language Center; and parent educator on the subject of speech and language disorders for community groups and organizations, including a parent group in the Vietnamese community and the Dayle McIntosh Center for the Disabled.
She is a wife, and mother to two children - one with specialized speech and language needs - and has maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.96, plus a GPA of 4.0 in her major. Her honors include membership in the Phi Kappa Phi Honor and Golden Key International Honor societies. Hagge's future career plans are to pursue a master's degree in communicative disorders from CSUF, complete a clinical fellowship at the Anaheim Hills Speech and Language Center, earn a doctorate and teach at the university level.

Erin M. Ulloa of Fullerton will be honored with the President's Associates Scholastic Award for her proven top academic achievements and leadership involvement in university activities. She will graduate summa cum laude with a bachelor's degree in chemistry and minor in business administration.

Ulloa is a President's Scholar, the highest honor accorded to incoming freshmen, who receive a four-year scholarship for undergraduate studies. She also is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and University Honors Program and has received several honors, including the General Chemistry Award, Lyle Wallace Service Award and American Chemical Society Award.
As a President's Scholar, Ulloa served on the planning committees for Adopt-a-Family, Boys and Girls Club, and Ronald McDonald House service events - where she organized the latter's Thanksgiving project.

With chemistry professor Patrick Wegner, she published ChemHelp for Mastering Chemistry, a supplementary text for general chemistry. Additionally, Ulloa is a teaching assistant and designer/editor of the annual Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Alumni Newsletter.
In his recommendation letter, chemistry professor Richard L. Deming said of Ulloa, "She has demonstrated the highest levels of scholarship in her studies in our difficult major, and she has excelled in her service to the university and community. Only rarely does one see these qualities developed so fully and applied so effectively. Erin's academic accomplishments have been among the highest I have seen in my 25 years of teaching at three universities."
Outside of campus, Ulloa serves as a Spanish-language translator for physicians at UCI Family Health Center and is active on her church leadership team.

She is currently applying to medical school and hopes to pursue a career as a physician serving in an economically depressed area or underserved community.

Photos: Images of the honorees can be downloaded from the campus Web site at

Media Contact: Gail Matsunaga, Public Affairs, (714) 278-4851 or

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