2012 Awardees

John Butzer
Major: Political Science

"As my high school years were coming to a close, I found that the next step in my educational journey was unclear. I was certain that I wanted to continue my studies at a University, but the process on how to reach that goal was difficult to navigate. As a first generation college student, I turned to my high school guidance counselor for help. She remarked that I should be applying to quite a few Universities and scholarship programs. I heeded her advice, and applied to the President’s Scholar program at Channel Islands. When I received an invitation to interview for the scholarship, I visited the campus. The location and the beauty of the campus immediately struck me, and I just knew that I had to spend my next four years here. I returned to campus for the interview; armed with knowledge about the University and a strong desire to join this incredible group of scholars. I am honored not only to be a President’s Scholar, but to also be a member of the Channel Islands campus community. Channel Islands truly excels in its mission to be student-centered, and I am incredibly blessed to be a part of that mission."

Giovanni Colitti
Major: Business

"What really captured my interest in CI was not the male to female ratio, although that too was impressive, but the gentle, caring, and genuine demeanor that seemed to characterize every representative I met. “Are they always this nice?” I remember asking myself after touring the campus and asking a few staff members and students about the school. Everyone had a big smile and a welcoming hello. That was my first impression of the school. Beyond the aesthetics, which are likewise impeccable, the aspect of Channel Island’s pedagogy that intrigued me was more intrinsically than superficially based. I wanted substance. I wanted a jovial environment of like-minded, motivated people to work and grow alongside. And I got it. Building relationships at CI is easy. From the guys across the hall to your professor to President Rush, everyone here seems to have an aura of sanguinity. I cannot stress the positive CI environment enough. However, I think the atmosphere of Channel Islands works only to build the strong foundation upon which the quality of education, recreation, and stimulation blossoms and shines. CI has an extremely knowledgeable staff. Students work together. The food is great. Professors teach. The administration inspires and creates. And CI, from top to bottom, simply works. I look forward to being one of CI’s newest Presidential Scholars. I look forward to joining the MVS Business Club, playing intramural basketball, and participating in poetry readings. I am incredibly happy here at Channel Islands and deeply honored to represent CI through the President’s Scholars Program."

Matthew Fewel
Major: Mathematics

"CI was the first of seven colleges I visited on a trip up the California coast last summer. As I drove to the end of the entrance road and saw CI for the first time, I instantly fell in love with the calmness of the campus, its small size, the awesomeness of the surrounding foothills, and the cool Camarillo/Oxnard/Ventura area. I could immediately picture the benefits of a small school, where it's much more likely students can have great relationships with their professors and not get lost in a big crowd of students. Because I liked Channel Islands so quickly and so much on just a short first visit, I was actually a little worried as I headed to my second stop. I thought, "if every school's as great as Channel Islands, there's no way I'm going to be able to pick one!" But as I continued on my journey, I quickly realized that the other schools just weren't for me. As I did further research on CI, I was so impressed with the high honors of the Math department faculty, and the focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) majors, as I plan to major in math. Needless to say, I was ecstatic when I received my acceptance letter from CI and couldn't wait to begin my freshman year. As a President's Scholar, my involvement on campus and in the community has already started. I'm helping to reactivate the Channel Islands Surf Club, which will not only allow Channel Islands students to compete in surf contests put on by the National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA), but will also bring the CI community together as student surfers meet, get to know each other, and put another face of Channel Islands out in the community. As a former surf instructor, I also see it as a possible place for new surfers, both students and community members, to receive instruction on how to improve their surfing."

Nicholas Stern
Double Major: Computer Science & Applied Physics

"As I was getting ready to apply for colleges, my mom emailed me a list of colleges I might be interested in, among which was Channel Islands. The next day, my American Government teacher happened to ask me after class which colleges I was going to apply to. I had not made any definitive choices myself yet, so I recited my mother’s recommendations verbatim. Once I said Channel Islands, his face lit up and in his usual dry wit he said “Channel Islands? You should look up the history of that one. It would be perfect for you!” After finding out that it had been a mental institution and laughing at the jab of my teacher, this experience sparked a great interest in this school that was actually just as “perfect for me” as my history teacher had joked. The more I researched about it, the more I fell in love with the school. I had to visit it. I had been to college campuses before, but they always seemed so busy and distant from anything I would have considered an academic setting, but when I arrived here the first time, I was honestly amazed. The beautiful setting, the pristine landscaping, the Spanish architecture, this was distant only in that it seemed a utopian dream. Every time since then my mom and I have played a game where we count the pieces of trash we see on the grass on our lengthy walks around campus. Typically, neither of us can find even one bit of trash. I think we celebrated upon finding trash once, but it turned out to be a leaf. I thought that somewhere with such pristine design could not possibly have any money left for good teachers or student services, but I have never heard of a college so student-friendly, with so many opportunities, or with such a great faculty. This school is honestly too good to be true, and I could not be happier if I went to any college in the country. They say it’s a private school at public school price, but I invite any private school to try and compare itself to us. I assure you CI will be victorious. I could not be more grateful for this opportunity to be here as a President Scholar, I assure everyone it will not be wasted on me."


2011 Awardee

Taylor Moore
Major: Liberal Studies

"I first realized that I wanted to further my education at California State University Channel Islands in the eighth grade. I was young; moreover, that simple dream motivated me throughout the rest of my academic career to do my best. I have to say that I did have to work hard to get to the position I am in today, but it was worth every missed party and Friday night study session. I am a CSU Channel Islands President's Scholar. I had to write it just once due to the novelty of it; I still simply can’t believe that this is my new title and I am worthy of such a magnificent opportunity. I get to attend CI with its inspiring staff and friendly student body free of the burden of tuition. I am so thankful for this opportunity; thus, I am going to try my hardest to make my new CI family proud. I also hope to help my peers along their journey and guide others to the university path. At the end of my university road, I would like to shake President Rush’s hand at the commencement ceremony and know that again I did my best and my best was good enough. I am confident that this wish is going to become reality due to the amazing opportunities the President's Scholars Program has and is bound to open up for me."

2010 Awardees

Jillian Glassett
Major: Applied Physics

"I found out about CI from a college fair in San Diego at the end of my sophomore year in high school. It attracted my attention instantly, and it quickly became my first choice school the more I looked into it. What especially attracted me was the Applied Physics program. It seems to fit with what I want to go in my future career. What pulled me to CI more was the feeling of home and community from the school each time I visited it. I knew this school was perfect for me. The Presidential Scholarship seems to be an opportunity to not only help aid students financially, but also help students achieve more out of their experience at Channel Islands. Going through the interview process for the Presidential Scholarship and getting the call from President Rush still feels like a dream that I never want to wake from. It is a great honor to me already. I cannot wait to become a part of this amazing community."


Aline LaTurner
Major: Biology

"CI and its President's Scholars program has allowed me to fulfill my lifelong dream to learn and teach anything and everything about the world around us. However, CI and this program would not be complete without its caring staff dedicated to student success and the hands-on programs that allow eager students to interact with the world on a deeply profound level. Fortunately, it has all this, all set on a beautiful campus AND a five minutes drive from the Pacific Ocean. I have already met many delightfully kind and upbeat people on my adventures as a CI student, and I plan to make my pathway here to graduate school and my adulthood as an explorer of many fields a fantastic one. Good thing CI already makes it so easy to indeed have a great one!"


Sundee Olson
Major: Biology

"Most people were shocked to hear that I had only applied to one college. In all likelihood, this was one of the best decisions I have made in my entire life. From the moment I stepped onto Channel Islands soil, I knew that this was going to be my home for the next four years. I couldn't help but smile at the thought of becoming part of their close-knit community. I was ecstatic when I received the news that I had been accepted into the President’s Scholars Program. I truly feel as though the faculty and staff sincerely care about the success of each and every student. As a biology major, I cannot wait to begin this new and exciting chapter in my life!"


2008 Awardee

Danika Lindsay
Major: Mathematics

“As we were driving up University Drive, we saw a deer crossing sign, and then two deer! I knew then that I would love the school, as it was unlike any college campus I had ever seen. I live right by LAX, so I’m used to seeing building upon building and no open space. I was thrilled by the thought of waking up in the morning and having the mountains and farmland all around me. The one-on-one interaction with professors at CI offers the perfect learning environment for students. Since seeing the CI campus for the first time, I have visited several times and just can’t seem to get enough of it. I can’t wait to take advantage of every math class CI has to offer!”

2007 Awardees

Ryane Cox
Major: Biology

“I am a sophomore pursuing a degree in Biology with an emphasis in Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology. After I get my degree I plan on getting my Masters and then perhaps my Ph.D., depending on where I am at in my career and life. In the end I want to work with marine mammals in the conservation area. My experience as a President’s Scholar has been amazing. The opportunities it has opened up for me are endless and I know this will forever help me in attaining my goals.”

Brandon Dowling
Major: Political Science and Psychology

“The Presidential Scholarship Program in conjunction with all the other remarkable aspects of CI has made my college experience one I will never forget. The air of excellence that this school possesses is reflected not only by the multitude of services it offers, but also by the esteemed faculty and staff that rise above the occasion to make sure that our learning experience is of the utmost quality. I consider it a distinct honor to be at an institution where so many individuals are committed to student success. I could not ask for more.”

Brad Jashinsky
Major: Computer Science

“I fell in love with this campus as I saw the past, present, and future of the University during a tour of campus. I believe that everyone who attends CI has the ability to be an individual instead of a number, and to create a path of education that is right for them thanks to the support of the instructors and administrators who allow for individuality.” Jashinsky is a graduate of Santa Susana High School, where he carried a grade point average of 4.14. He has experience working for a Website design company and in software development. Jashinsky plans to pursue a degree in computer science with a minor in business to prepare him to achieve his career goals in the Internet industry.

2006 Awardees

Jacob Jones
Major: Psychology

“My experience as a President Scholar has been amazing. This scholarship is so much more than just a financial relief. The faculty at CI really go out of their way to make sure that my college experience is a memorable one. Some events that I have participated at CI are, building a dirt bike tract at Casa Pacifica with the help of Boy Scouts and the Seabees, helping package gifts for kids around the world with the organization Operation Christmas Child, and helping package food for needy kids with the organization Foodshare. I know that the scholarship and the opportunities that come with the scholarship will be even more meaningful in my next two years, as I continue to grow and find out what my future will be.”

Kimberly Tacke
Major: Chemistry

“Attending Channel Islands has been very rewarding for me! Last year I had the opportunity to work on a research project with my Organic Chemistry Professor, which, although it was not entirely successful, was a great learning opportunity. I was also able to go on a trip to Japan with one of my classes over last spring break. The trip was absolutely amazing and through it I made lasting friendships with other students. After having so many wonderful opportunities presented to me over the past year, I look forward to what my future holds at CI.”

2005 Awardees

Jennifer Bonsangue
Major: Mathematics

“As one of the founding President’s Scholars at CI, I have had the unique experience of simultaneously benefitting from, and helping to shape, a program designed for student success. During my time at CI, the faculty and staff have been extremely supportive and have invested time and energy ensuring that my education is top-quality. As I begin my senior year in the mathematics department and apply to graduate schools, I appreciate both the caliber of education that CI provides to all of its students, as well as the individual opportunities that I have had from being a part of this program.”

Melody Mattingly
Major: English

“The French author Anatole France once wrote that “nine tenths of education is encouragement.” As a President’s Scholar, I have been greatly encouraged to pursue my wide-ranging educational interests--from academic conversations in the classroom to campus involvement as the President of Student Programming Board. I am very excited for this school year because this will be my fourth year as a President’s Scholar. Upon graduating in the spring I hope to pursue a career in technical writing in the Ventura County area so that I can serve my community as an alumna of CI.”