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CSUF Grad from Zimbabwe Aims to Improve Access to Mental Health Services

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Psychology grad Joshua Bhasera, an advocate for mental health, found his calling at Cal State Fullerton, diving into psychology while becoming a force for positive change.

Bhasera is the 2024 recipient of the CSUF Alumni Association’s Outstanding Senior Award for his exceptional academic achievements and community service.

Originally from Kadoma, Zimbabwe, Bhasera moved to the United States to pursue college. He began his college career at Fresno City College. When it was time to transfer to a university to continue his education, he chose Cal State Fullerton for its strong academic reputation and diverse campus.

Motivated by his parents’ commitment to service, Bhasera discovered his passion for helping others.

“My choice to pursue psychology wasn’t inspired by a single, defining moment,” he shared. “It was the byproduct of the many moments my siblings and I spent with parents serving the community, my interest in mental illness, and the intersection of human behavior and biology.”

Bhasera’s dedication to research under Lisa Mori, Cal State Fullerton professor of psychology, has been instrumental in addressing mental health disparities among college students. This includes examining mental illness and mental attitudes among ethnic and marginalized college students. 

“These findings could help to inform culturally appropriate treatments and cultural sensitivity on college campuses serving ethnically diverse students,” he said. 

One of the opportunities Bhasera found at Cal State Fullerton was the Titan Scholars Program, which prepares underrepresented community college transfer students for graduate school.

“I’ve benefited immensely from the program. It’s one of the many initiatives at Cal State Fullerton geared toward students’ long-term success,” Bhasera said.

Bhasera aims to become a clinical psychologist to advocate for equal access to mental health care.

“The university will always hold deep significance in my life, and I’m incredibly thankful for the privilege I’ve had to be part of the Titan family,” Bhasera said.