Public Affairs

CSU to Send Hundreds to SACNAS

From genetics to ecology to forensic entomology, students to present research at national conference advancing Chicanos and
Native Americans in science

Media Contact

Sean Kearns (707) 826-3338 or Michael Uhlenkamp
(562) 951-4800

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(September 29, 2010) – Presenting research findings in biotechnology, environmental engineering, mathematics, chemistry, psychology and other realms, hundreds of California State University students will make their national scientific debuts this week at the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) annual meeting, to be held Sept. 30 through Oct. 3 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

With its theme “Science, Technology & Diversity for a Sustainable Future,” the SACNAS conference, held in conjunction with the Society of Mexican American Engineers and Scientists (MAES), is expected to attract 4,000 participants. Students and teams from 17 CSU campuses (listed below) will present 98 research posters, some representing multi-institution and multi-nation collaborations. Nearly 1,000 research posters will be presented by university students. Five CSU students will make oral presentations.

SACNAS presents the poster sessions to help students prepare for science careers and the rigors of discipline-focused professional conferences. The sessions will be from 3:15 to 5:45 p.m. on Friday and from 9 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday. The public is invited to attend the Saturday session and discuss research with the students.

According to Laura Robles, interim dean for the College of Natural and Behavioral Sciences at CSU Dominguez Hills, “Hundreds of CSU students have the opportunity to participate in this important conference because of a deeply ingrained commitment to research-mentoring among CSU faculty. These teachers know that a student’s ultimate success as a scientist is often rooted in early, strong guidance from professors who clearly care about the student’s future.”

The conference, said Robles, a former member of the SACNAS board of directors, also helps students establish contacts and mentors beyond their own campus by deliberately interspersing the poster presentations among exhibits from major universities, research institutions, and potential employers.

“The students make fantastic connections,” she said. “They meet professional scientists. They meet other students like themselves, with similar backgrounds and pursuing similar goals.”

Also at the meeting, CSU faculty will serve on panels addressing a variety of topics, including efforts to produce food with genetically modified crops, biodiversity in the sea, exploring the universe, math in games and puzzles, creativity in chemistry, the convergence of geography and biology, and opportunities for career support. Other CSU professors reviewed the students’ abstracts in biology, chemistry, environmental science and social/behavioral sciences.

At last year’s SACNAS conference, held in Dallas, CSU students presented about 100 research posters.

This year, research will be presented by students from the following CSU campuses (* indicates 10 or more presentations):

  • Bakersfield
  • Channel Islands
  • Dominguez Hills*
  • Fresno
  • Fullerton*
  • Humboldt
  • Long Beach
  • Los Angeles
  • Monterey Bay*
  • Northridge
  • Pomona
  • Sacramento
  • San Diego*
  • San Francisco
  • San Jose*
  • San Marcos
  • Stanislaus

Media contacts and sources:
For assistance reaching CSU participants or a list of CSU student research abstracts, contact Sean Kearns, Science Communications Advisor, 707-826-3338 or

For conference media credentials, other on-site assistance or SACNAS information, contact Kelli Williams, SACNAS Director of Communications, 831-459-0170, ext. 225, or After Sept. 28, contact SACNAS conference-site office at 714-703-2201 or 714-703-2202.

Possible news sources on fostering undergraduate research:
(for cell phone numbers and other assistance, see media contacts above)
Corey Garza
Assistant professor, Division of Science and Environmental Policy, and principal investigator, Marine Landscape Ecology Laboratory, CSU Monterey Bay
Office: 831-582-3024

Laura Robles
Professor and Interim Dean, College of Natural & Behavioral Sciences, CSU Dominguez Hills; former member of SACNAS board of directors
Office: 310 243-2547

Maria Elena Zavala
Professor, Department of Biology, CSU Northridge; former president of SACNAS
Offices: 818-677-3342, 818-677-4563

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About California State University
The California State University is the largest system of senior higher education in the country, with 23 campuses, approximately 433,000 students year round and 44,000 faculty and staff. Since the system was created in 1961, it has awarded nearly 2.5 million degrees, about 90,000 annually. The CSU is renowned for the quality of its teaching and for the job-ready graduates it produces. A recent economic report found that the CSU supports more than 150,000 jobs statewide, annually. The engine driving job creation is more than $17 billion in economic activity that directly results from CSU-related spending that generates $5.43 for every dollar the state invests. The mission of the CSU is to provide high-quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of the people of California. With its commitment to excellence, diversity and innovation, the CSU is the university system that is working for California.

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