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Awards and Accolades: Six Professors Receive CSUPERB Grants

Six CSUSM biology professors are among 78 CSU faculty members who received COVID-19 Research Recovery Microgrant Program awards from the California State University Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB).

CSUPERB announced the awards on Oct. 7 as part of an “ongoing initiative to assist tenured/tenure track faculty researchers and their students across the California State University system as they restart, reinitiate and reengage in existing and established research activities after campus laboratory closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The CSUSM recipients are:

  • Elinne Becket: $1,500 for the proposal titled “Acquisition of DNA extraction and next-generation sequencing reagents to re-analyze samples due to expired materials.”
  • Julie Jameson: $1,500 for the proposal titled “Recovery of lost cell lines due to COVID-19 shut down.”
  • Carlos Luna-Lopez: $1,403 for the proposal titled “Cancer-associated adipocytes: Investigating the crosstalk between MD-MBA-231 and adipose.”
  • Bianca Mothé: $1,500 for the proposal titled “MHC Expression in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (IPSCs).”
  • Arun Sethuraman: $1,500 for the proposal titled “Deciphering the Evolutionary History of Dinocampus coccinellae (Hymenoptera:Braconidae).”
  • George Vourlitis: $1,500 for the proposal titled “Interactions between carbon type and nitrogen pollution on soil microbial activity and abundance.”


NAU honors communication professor

Communication professor Antonio De La Garza was named the Dr. Cliff Harkins Distinguished Citizen of the Year, presented by the Northern Arizona University Alumni Association to recognize distinguished service to nonprofit organizations; governmental assignments at the municipal, county, state or federal level; or other outstanding citizen service.

De La Garza received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Northern Arizona before attending the University of Utah for his Ph.D.



  • CSUSM is ranked 42nd for total bachelor’s degrees awarded in Hispanic Outlook on Education Magazine’s annual list of “Top 100 Colleges and Universities for Hispanics.” The university was also 78th for total enrollment among four-year schools and third in “Top 10 Schools by Major” in the category of “Family and Consumer Sciences/Human Sciences Degrees.”
  • The nursing program is seventh out of 36 schools in Nursing Schools Almanac’s 2021 rankings of prelicensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs in California.

Media Contact

Eric Breier, Public Affairs Specialist

ebreier@csusm.edu | Office: 760-750-7314