Campus: CSU Fullerton -- May 27, 2003

Cal State Fullerton Student Embraces Internationalism Anaheim

Resident Cynthia Tran is this year's recipient of Cal State Fullerton's International Understanding Award.

"I take my education very seriously, and this is one way that I make my parents proud," said Tran, who is earning a bachelor's degree with a double major in French and child and adolescent development.

A future teacher, she maintained a high GPA and has been actively involved in the university¹s Multicultural Leadership Center, as well as such organizations as the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, EMBRACE, Student California Teachers Association, Golden Key International Honor Society, Phi Beta Kappa International Scholar Honor Society and the Finance Association.

In the community, Tran has volunteered at soup kitchens, homeless shelters, Olivecrest, elderly nursing centers and the Special Olympics.

"Ms. Tran has demonstrated strong leadership skills and a passion for educating others through the Educating Myself for Better Racial Awareness and Cultural Enrichment Program with the Multicultural Leadership Center," noted Andi Sims, center coordinator. "As an EMBRACE peer facilitator, she was committed to teaching her peers about the importance of diversity
appreciation," added Sims. "Moreover, her maturity, professionalism and cultural sensitivity led to her involvement with the Study Abroad Program, where she spent a semester in France."

" Having limited resources and facing many challenges while growing up, I have made the most of all that was possible, all the while accumulating a wealth of accomplishments and achievements," said Tran the youngest of nine children.

"Throughout her college career, Ms. Tran has demonstrated her commitment to scholarship, further reinforced by her participation in honors," said Ryan Alcantara, director of honors and scholars support services. "As an honors student, she pursued academic challenges by completing additional enrichment activities in many of her classes," he added.

She has worked in local elementary schools educating children about various cultures and sharing her experiences as a study abroad student, as well as offering guidance for students aspiring to study abroad while in college. She has worked more than 1,200 hours in grades K-6 as a mentor and teacher's helper. Additionally, she has assisted in special-education classrooms.

Tran noted that the highlight of her college career was "my year of studying and living abroad in France and being with CSUF President Gordon on a post- 9/11 television broadcast to further international understanding."

In the fall, Tran will return to her alma mater to begin the multiple-subject teaching credential program. Her long-range plans include earning a doctorate in reading, language and literacy and teaching at the university level.Tran will receive her award, which includes a cash prize of $300, at the university's May 30 Honors Convocation. She also will be recognized during commencement exercises Sunday, June 1.

Media Contact: Susan Katsaros, Office of Public Affairs, at (714) 278-4854 or<>

Photo: A high-resolution image of Cynthia Tran can be downloaded from the
university's website at

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