News Release| 2013 Mesoamerican Symposium; Cal State L.A.

May 2, 2013

Note to editors and news directors: For information regarding covering the competition, including arranging access to specific student presentations, please call Cal State L.A.’s Public Affairs office in advance at (323) 343-3050 or email the contacts listed above.

12 students to represent Cal State L.A. in statewide research competition

Research to focus on lost settlements, robotics, railway history, fuel cell, more

Los Angeles, CA – Covering research topics ranging from adolescent methamphetamine exposure to supersonic rocket design, 12 Cal State L.A. students will represent the University at the 27th Annual CSU Student Research Competition at Cal Poly Pomona on May 10-11, 2013.

Sponsored by the California State University (CSU) Office of the Chancellor, the statewide competition will consist of 10 discipline categories in the undergraduate and graduate levels. Each student will have 10 minutes to present an oral presentation to an audience and jury, who will then have five minutes to ask questions.

The following Cal State L.A. students, who were recently selected from the Cal State L.A. Symposium on Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity, are competing in the research competition:

Robert Brown (Los Angeles resident; political science major) - mentored by Professor Emily Acevedo. Title: “The Path to Insurgency: A Comparative Analysis of Afghanistan, Colombia, and Angola.”

Wendy Dorenbush (Glendale resident; anthropology major) - mentored by Professor James Brady.  Title: “Lost Settlements: Rediscovering the Maya Settlement and Landscape of Cahal Pech, Belize.”

Garth Herman (Alhambra resident; electrical engineering major) - mentored by Professors Charles Liu and Helen Boussalis.  Title: “Hybrid Routing Algorithms for Navigation Control of a Semi-autonomous Robotic Platform.”

Andrea Herrera (Alhambra resident; biology major) - mentored by Professor Katrina Yamazaki.  Title: “Determining the mechanism of inhibition of mitochondrial Ca2+ overload by the cocoa flavanol (-)-epicatechin as a means of conferring cardioprotection during ischemiareperfusion.”

Michael Martinez (Long Beach resident; chemistry major) - mentored by Professors Krishna Foster and Matthias Selke. Title: “Identification of Benzo[a]pyrene Diones as Net Sensitizers of Singlet Oxygen.”

Krystal Messer (Los Angeles resident; history major) - mentored by Professors Choi Chatterjee.  Title: “Taken for a Ride: How General Motors Drove the Pacific Electric Railway Out of Business.”

Azizkhan Pathan (Victorville resident), Joseph David Wells (Baldwin Park resident) and Benjamin Liu (Temple City resident) - mentored by Mechanical Engineering Professor Darrell Guillaume.  Title: “Experimental Sounding Supersonic Rocket Design.”

Usama Tohid (Los Angeles resident; mechanical engineering major) - mentored by Professor Arturo Pacheco-Vega. Title: “Parametric Analysis of a Direct Methanol Fuel Cell in Single-phase and two-phase Regimes.”

* Kathy Trang (Garden Grove resident; psychology/biology major) - mentored by Professor Houng-Wei Tsai.  Title: “Alternative Splicing: Sexual Differentiation at the Transcriptive.” (CSULA’s 2013 Phi Kappa Phi Travel Award of $500)

* Tony Ye (Los Angeles resident; psychology major) - mentored by Professor Alicia Izquierdo. Title: “Cognitive Inflexibility After Adolescent Methamphetamine Exposure.” (CSULA’s 2013 Phi Kappa Phi Travel Award of $500)

The CSU event each year follows the annual Cal State L.A. Symposium on Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity. The aim of the campus symposium is to encourage all CSULA students—undergraduate and graduate in every discipline—to showcase their papers, projects and research endeavors. It also provides them an opportunity to network with administrators, faculty and peers. For information about the symposium and its 11 student delegation, call the Office of Research and Development at (323) 343-3798.

For more details on the CSU Student Research Competition, go to

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