Two students to be honored at CSUSB’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Commencement
Office of Strategic Communication
Cal State San Bernardino’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences will recognize Alana Muller as its Outstanding Graduate Student and Melody Robinson as its Outstanding Undergraduate Student during the college’s commencement ceremony at Toyota Arena (formerly known as Citizens Business Bank Arena) in Ontario on Saturday, June 15, at 8 a.m.
Muller, who lives in Riverside and will be graduating with her master’s degree in psychological sciences, is completing her degree with a 4.0 grade-point average. She has made numerous academic presentations at conferences such as the Society for Neuroscience, the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, the Western Psychological Association and the CSUSB Meeting of the Minds. She is a member of Psi Chi – the International Honor Society in Psychology – the Golden Key International Honour Society, and Phi Kappa Phi. In addition, in 2018, she was selected for the campus-wide Outstanding Student Employee Award.
She said the university has been very supportive of her academic career, mostly through the internal grants that helped support her research – her master’s thesis topic is titled “Neurological correlates of the Dunning-Kruger effect” – which include the Culminating Project Grant and Innovative Scholars Fund, and the ASI Travel Grant. She’s also been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Student-Faculty Research Fellowship, Peer Lab Leader Fellowship and Peer Lab Consultant Fellowship.
“The school has really helped a lot in being able to fund my projects,” Muller said. “I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the funding.”
She also expressed appreciation for the faculty, in particular, assistant professors of psychology Joseph Wellman and Richard Addante.
“Both Dr. Wellman and Dr. Addante have shown me the expectations that people have in graduate school, as far as reading articles every week, making sure you keep up with research in your lab, and come every day and work consistently on your projects,” Muller said.
Muller was accepted into three doctorate programs – UC Davis, UC Riverside and the University of Arizona. After being highly recruited by well-respected and renowned faculty members at Arizona, she will be starting her doctoral studies in the fall at the University of Arizona.
Eventually, she would learn how to autonomously run a lab and then teach, hopefully at CSUSB. “I have a lot of pride for my soon-to-be alma mater,” Muller said. So I would love to come back and hopefully have a faculty position here, and give back to students the way I’ve received here.”
The Outstanding Undergraduate Student, Melody Robinson, who also lives in San Bernardino, will graduate with her bachelor’s in psychology. Robinson has received various honors including the Dean’s Honors List, the Joanna Worthley Excellence in Psychology Fund, and the Research Club Scholarship.
Since September 2018, Robinson was a member of assistant professor of psychology Manijeh Badiee’s research group – the Dare to Research, Empower, And Make the world better (DREAM) Team. She has received three internal research grants. And, beginning in January 2018, she worked in the Psychology Peer Advising Center and the CSBS Writing Lab.
She has made four academic presentations at the Western Psychological Association; for two of these presentations she was the first author. She made two presentations at the Southern California Writing Centers Association Tutor Conference.
Robinson was an intern at the Mountain Counseling & Training, Inc.; a volunteer at the University Center for Developmental Disabilities at CSUSB; a special advocate for Foster Youth, Court Appointed Special Advocates of San Bernardino; and a reading and writing mentor at Crafton Hills College. She is the student editor for the OSR Journal of Student Research; she is a member of Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology.
“At CSUSB, I found a passion for conducting psychological research,” Robinson said. “It is exciting knowing my research contributions could one day broaden the field of psychology. Hopefully, this major will give me the skills to transform the lives of others, like it has done for me.”
While she has been surrounded by dedicated, inspiring and supportive faculty and fellow students, Robinson said Badiee was one person who has inspired her the most. “Of all the supportive individuals throughout my education, my mentor Dr. Manijeh Badiee has inspired me to become an empathetic, motivated, and honest student,” Robinson said. “She has encouraged both my research abilities and my self-care so I could succeed in all areas of my life. She embodies the caring professor and mentor I dream of becoming.”
Robinson has been accepted into CSUSB’s master of arts program in psychological science for fall 2019. She plans to earn her doctorate, then “I would like to find a program with accessible and caring faculty like those within our psychology department.”
For more information about the June 2019 Commencement ceremonies, visit the Commencement website. All of the ceremonies at Toyota Arena will be livestreamed.
Visit the College of Social and Behavioral Science website at csbs.csusb.edu to learn more about its programs.