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President’s Scholar Embodies Four Pillars of Leadership

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“I felt confident in my decision to come to Cal State Fullerton. Since then, I’ve tried to make the most out of my experience at CSUF by getting involved in various programs and organizations.”

— Lina Elasmar, nursing student

At my high school, if you decided to go to a CSU, it was probably Cal State Long Beach since I lived in nearby Lakewood. But, for me, the choice of Cal State Fullerton was an easy one.

The chance for admission into the direct entry nursing program and President’s Scholars program were amazing opportunities. After visiting the campus on Welcome to CSUF Day and speaking to Titans from both groups, I felt confident in my decision to come to Cal State Fullerton.

Since then, I’ve tried to make the most out of my experience at CSUF by getting involved in various programs and organizations.

In the summer of 2017, I was an orientation leader. I enjoyed the experience of working in Outreach, Recruitment, and Orientation, so much that I joined the staff as a Titan Ambassador for the 2017-2018 academic year and loved it. Being around big groups is nothing new to me since I’m the middle child in a family of eight, my mom, dad, and five siblings.

In the summer of 2019, I was a student coordinator and helped train and mentor the new orientation leaders for that year. I am also involved in the University Honors Program on campus, and I am currently working on my senior honors project “Flutters of Hope: Documenting the Dreamer Experience.”

Through this project, I hope to provide a platform for Dreamers to tell their stories through a series of anonymous vignettes. My goal is to compile them into a digital magazine and hopefully use that to generate funds for scholarships for the Titan Dreamers Resource Center.

During the 2018-2019 academic year, I was chosen to be a BridgeUp Scholar. I gained valuable leadership and communication skills through workshops meant to empower young female leaders. I was also able to receive mentorship and guidance from the BOLD scholars and support from the other BridgeUp scholars.

As a President’s Scholar, I work with my fellow scholars to embody the four pillars of our program: Academic Excellence, Community Engagement, Leadership, and Mentorship.

To start, I’ve worked hard to maintain my GPA and have been lucky enough to be on the Dean’s list for the College of Health and Human Development every semester of my college experience. I attend nursing clinical rotations twice a week and have never missed a clinical day to ensure that I’m learning even more outside of the classroom than I am inside, accumulating over 1300 hours of experience in the hospital.

In regards to community service, I have had the opportunity of completing over 150 volunteer hours through service events throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties, working with organizations like OC United, the Ronald McDonald House, and Giving Children Hope.

I’ve worked to exemplify the pillar of leadership by leading some of the service events in our program and by holding an executive position on the board of CSUF’s Nursing Student Association.

Lastly, I have been a peer mentor for three years through the President’s Scholar program and was able to serve as a lead mentor for one year, selecting and supporting the next group of peer mentors. I am a very passionate individual, so I tend to throw myself wholeheartedly into every project I undertake, and I feel as though I have done that with my college experience.

This campus and the individuals who work and learn here have provided me with a supportive and engaging environment to develop into the leader I feel I’ve become, and I’m so grateful for all of the opportunities I’ve been given as a Titan.

Lina Elasmar is a nursing major and is expecting to graduate in spring 2020. Lina’s involvement at Cal State Fullerton has given her the opportunity to lead others.