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2015 John Brock Scholarship Recipients

Oscar Alvarez

Oscar AlvarezOscar Alvarez is a junior majoring in Economics with a 3.9 overall grade point average.  Oscar is the first in his family to go to college.  Upon graduation from Arvin High School, he was accepted into the prestigious Chevron Students Training for Achievement, Reward and Success program, called “STARS.”  The Chevron STARS Program provides talented interns various experiences with departments of Chevron throughout their four year undergraduate education.  Oscar has also assumed leadership roles as an Officer Alumni for the Future Farmers of America (FFA) Kern Section and as a two year member of the CSUB ASI Board of Directors.

When asked about one of the most important things he has learned while attending the School of Business and Public Administration, Oscar states that he has developed confidence in himself and learned to minimize the extent to which other’s negative opinions affect his thoughts.

Oscar states that growing up in a less affluent community did not “chain him down” but rather “fuels his determination” to make a future for himself.   Regarding his Economics studies, he states that he really enjoys learning economic theory from the professors and has really strengthened his ability to apply micro and macroeconomics.

Upon graduation, Oscar is planning on attending law school and specializing in water resource policy and law.


Chandler deGraaf

Chandler deGraafChandler deGraaf grew up in Bakersfield and attended Frontier High School.  Chandler attended Bakersfield College and received her Associate’s Degree.  She indicated that she was frustrated with her education and could not really determine what she wanted to do.  Chandler took a year off from college believing that she could do great in school once she found her passion.

When Chandler enrolled at CSUB BPA, it is evident from her performance that she has a renewed commitment for education.  Currently, Chandler is a senior pursuing a BS in Business with a concentration in Marketing.  While continuing to work more than 20 hours per week, Chandler has attained a 3.6 grade point average at CSUB.

Chandler also serves as a public relations intern for the CSUB Athletics Department and is responsible for taking photos and videos at Roadrunner athletic events and posting them on the website and on other related social media. 

Chandler stated that some important lessons she has learned while attending BPA is to view issues from other people’s perspectives and the importance of diversity.  Chandler has learned much from talking to her professors.  She states, “Professors were students once and students should talk to them, ask for help, and recommendations.”

Chandler never wavered from her commitment to leadership and community service.  For many years, she has performed substantial volunteer work for multiple organizations including the American Red Cross, Stockdale and Golden Valley High School Swim Teams, and the Greenfield Baptist Church.


Lorena Matias

Lorena MatiasLorena Matias is from Delano and transferred to CSUB from Bakersfield College.  She is pursuing her Business Administration Degree with a concentration in Accounting.   She is currently a senior with an overall 3.8 grade point average and has made the Dean’s Honor list every quarter at CSUB.  Lorena has sustained these academic achievements while working over 30 hours per week to support herself and her education.

To balance her work and studies, Lorena has been involved for several years as a dancer and a volunteer for the Public Announcement Dance Group.  The Dance group competes in various modern dance competitions. 

Lorena indicated that one of the most important things she has learned while attending BPA is the importance of time management.  Lorena credits one of her accounting instructors, Dr. Ji Li, for keeping her motivated by constantly telling her to “keep at it” and that “she can do it.”

When asked what advice she would give to other CSUB BPA students, Lorena indicates that one should remember why you chose your major, personalize your learning to fuel your passion, find your motivation, and run with it!  

Upon graduation, Lorena has secured permanent employment with a local CPA firm and plans on passing the CPA Exam and earning her CPA license.


Julia Miller


Julia MillerJulia Miller graduated from Garces High School and enrolled in CSUB as a freshman.  Since her freshman year, Julia has made the Dean’s Honor list every quarter.  Julia is currently a senior and has achieved a 3.83 grade point average as a Business major with a concentration in Accounting and Finance.  She is currently a member of the highly selective CSUB Helen Hawks Honors Program.  Julia is also a member of the University Accounting Association (UAA) and will be serving BPA as an Accounting Tutor beginning this Fall.  She also is the Campus Ambassador for the Becker CPA Exam Review.  

Julia stated that one of the most important things she has learned while attending the School of Business and Public Administration is that hard work pays off.  When asked about what advice she would give other BPA students, Julia indicated that “students should take advantage of networking opportunities” and “that if you are passionate about something, don’t let “naysayers get in the way of pursuing it.”

Upon graduation, Julia plans to work in public accounting, pass the CPA Exam, and earn her CPA license.





Minnie Nguyen


Minnie NguyenMinnie Nguyen was born in Viet Nam and immigrated to the United States when she was 5 years old.  When she attended kindergarten, she did not know how to speak English.  She worked and studied very hard during her formative years and graduated high school 13th in her class with a 3.9 GPA. 

After high school, Minnie left her home and came to Bakersfield to live with a family member and start a new life adventure.  She attended Bakersfield College and then transferred to CSUB to continue her dream of earning a college degree.  Minnie is currently a senior at BPA with a 3.66 overall grade point average.  She is majoring in Business with a concentration in Accounting.

Minnie said that she is very grateful for the opportunities available in America. 

Three important lessons Minnie learned at BPA are work priority, time management, and endurance. 

When asked what advice she would give other students, Minnie said that you should walk into class with an open mind.  Even if other students say a professor is hard, or you can’t get an A, be positive and do your very best and it will have a positive effect on your performance.

Minnie was very grateful for the CSUB BPA job website.  One day after she applied for a job listed on the site, she was called for an interview. That interview led to a position in accounts payable with Kern Machinery. Minnie plans to work full time for Kern Machinery after graduation.


Paisley Stidham


Paisley StidhamPaisley Stidham grew up in Shafter and is currently a second year graduate student in the School of Business and Public Administration’s MBA Program.  Paisley’s undergraduate degree is also from BPA where she was awarded a BS in Business with a concentration in Human Resource Management.  As an undergraduate, Paisley achieved a perfect 4.0 grade point average and graduated “Summa Cum Laude.”  Paisley was also recognized as the outstanding student in the Human Resources concentration for the undergraduate class of 2014. 

In addition to her academic achievements, Paisley served in several officer roles for the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) student organization. She also was part of the SHRM’s team that participated in the Pacific North West Regional Case Competition. Paisley has volunteered at the Shafter Women’s Club and currently volunteers at the Shafter Leaning Center.

Paisley stated that one of her most important experiences at BPA was the interaction and value of working in groups.   She stated that “teamwork and collaboration” has been an important skill to learn because “so much in business is about working with others to accomplish a common goal.”  Paisley credits BPA professor Tom See for his motivation and guidance throughout her academic and professional career.

Paisley currently works in the Human Resource Department for a local engineering company.  After completing her MBA, she hopes to continue working and possibly teach at the college level.  In the distant future, she is considering obtaining her Phd and becoming a full time university professor.

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