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Cal State San Bernardino's Palm Desert Campus names 2019 outstanding graduates

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Cal State San Bernardino’s Palm Desert Campus has named Michael Muela as its Outstanding Undergraduate Student and Nicole Phillips as its Outstanding Graduate Student for 2019.
Both will speak at the campus’ commencement ceremony on Thursday, June 13, at The Show at Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa in Rancho Mirage.
Muela, who lives in La Quinta, will receive a bachelor’s degree in nursing and will graduate cum laude, or with honor.
“School was a struggle from an early age and I hated it,” said Muela, but years later seeing his father struggle through the complex nature of the healthcare system, while dealing with serious medical problems, inspired him to pursue a career in healthcare.
As a Palm Desert Campus undergraduate student, Muela serves as a reservist in the United States Air Force. He has completed more than 200 hours of community service by participating in a number of service activities that include Coyote Nurses of the Desert, Flying Doctors and California Care Force. He was also asked by the director of the CSUSB nursing program to serve as a peer tutor for nursing students at the PDC Student Success Studio. Muela said that this experience has prompted him to consider continuing his education with a master’s degree in nursing education.
Earlier this year, Muela travelled with fellow PDC nursing students to Eulji University and Seoul Women’s College of Nursing in South Korea to present research findings related to the issue of incivility and its effects on the educational experience of nursing students.
Muela says that, “Having CSUSB here in the Coachella Valley – where my wife and children are and where I work – made it possible for me to integrate education into my life.”
Phillips, who lives in La Quinta, will receive a master’s degree in special education, as well as a teaching credential, and is graduating with a 4.0 GPA.
She first came to the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus in fall 2013 as a member of the campus’ first freshman class. When she received her bachelor’s degree in 2017, she was named the Outstanding Undergraduate Student. She remained at PDC the following two years to pursue graduate work.
Phillips is currently a second-year special education teacher at Cathedral City Elementary School, where she teaches a 4th grade mild/moderate special day class with students with varying disabilities; some of which include autism, specific learning disabilities and traumatic brain injury. She says that she is grateful for her job and feels that she is making a difference in these students’ lives.
Phillips is the recipient of many honors and awards, including The Mary Stuart Rogers Scholarship, The Oliphant Scholarship, The Cal State University Associates Scholarship, The Lou Fernandez Palm Desert Campus Undergraduate Scholarship, The Eva Mae Merchant Endowed Scholarship, The CSUSB Outstanding Emerging Leader Award, The CSUSB Outstanding New Student Organization Award and The CSUSB Dean’s List of Distinguished Students. She is also a member of the Golden Key International Honour Society, California State University, San Bernardino Chapter and the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.
Phillips continues to work as a special education teacher. “I feel that I will be making a positive impact on future generations by guiding, teaching and being a positive role model for students with special needs.” 
The CSUSB Palm Desert Campus offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees, a doctorate in educational leadership, and teacher credentials and certificates. With more than 1,400 students, it is the Coachella Valley’s four-year public university and plays a vital role in educating and training the region’s growing population.
For more information about the CSUSB Palm Desert Campus, contact Mike Singer in the Office of Public Affairs at msinger@csusb.edu or (760) 341-2883, ext. 78107, or visit the campus website at pdc.csusb.edu.

TAGS:Palm Desert Campus, Michael Muela, Outstanding Undergraduate Student, nursing, veteran, Coyote Nurses of the Desert, College of Natural Sciences, Nicole Phillips, outstanding graduate student, commencement, College of Education, special education, teaching credential, Class Of 2019, Top Stories

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