CSU Los Angeles -- October 15, 2003

Three Cal State L.A. Students Selected as Office of Naval Research Scholars

Three Cal State L.A. civil engineering undergraduate students have recently been selected as Office of Naval Research (ONR) Scholars. They are Valerie Nevarez (Los Angeles resident), Jonathan Janer (Covina resident), and Michael Soto (Temple City resident).

Neveraz, Janer and Soto were chosen to participate in an ONR Research and Education grant project conducted by Cal State L.A.'s civil engineering professor Mark Tufenkjian (Pasadena resident). Over the next three years, the ONR Scholars will assist Tufenkjian and engineers at the Naval Facilities Engineering Service Center (NFESC) in Port Hueneme, California, with research topics in Seafloor Engineering. A reception honoring the ONR Scholars was recently held at Professor Tufenkjian's home in Pasadena.

All three selected students graduated from San Gabriel Valley high schools with high academic achievements and have maintained at least a 3.3 G.P.A. as civil engineering majors at Cal State L.A. Despite their busy academic schedules, the ONR scholars are actively involved with campus and community activities. Nevarez is a group leader for the Orientation Program at Cal State L.A., Janer devotes time to coaching Little League Baseball in Covina, and Soto is a member of the Cal State L.A. Track and Field Team.

The objective of the ONR Scholar program is to further the education of undergraduate students by scholarship and participation in the research process. The students enter into the program as freshmen or sophomores and continue through their senior year. The students will receive a salary as well as a stipend to cover tuition, books and research-related travel. A ten-week summer internship at NFESC is included.

The Office of Naval Research coordinates, executes, and promotes the science and technology programs of the United States Navy and Marine Corps through schools, universities, government laboratories, and nonprofit and for-profit organizations. It provides technical advice to the Chief of Naval Operations and the Secretary of the Navy and works with industry to improve technology-manufacturing processes. This year ONR awarded 11 Research and Education grants. Professor Tufenkjian is the only grant recipient from the Western U.S. and the only professor from the Civil Engineering discipline. The award of $594,253 is the largest grant ever received by Cal State L.A.'s Department of Civil Engineering.

Contact: Carol Selkin, Media Relations Director (323) 343-3044

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