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Cultivating Excelencia

Sep 23, 2020

The Example of Excelencia at the Graduate Level is the Cal-Bridge Program at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Dra. Michelle Espino Lira talks with Dr. Alex Rudolph, Professor of Physics and Astronomy and Director of Cal-Bridge, in addition to two Cal-Bridge Scholars, Katy Rodriguez Wimberly (doctoral student at UC-Irvine) and Rob Tejada Arevajo (doctoral student at Princeton University).

The Cal-Bridge Program was established in 2014 as a partnership across 9 University of California institutions and 16 California State University campuses to address the national shortage of underrepresented minority PhDs in the fields of physics and astronomy.

The Cal-Bridge program has four pillars: 

  1. Providing enough financial aid so that students can focus on their studies. 
  2. Mentorship, which consists of a two-year commitment from a mentor at their Cal State campus and one at a UC school. 
  3. Professional Development, which focuses on graduate school admissions processes, GRE test-taking, and vetting their list of potential graduate programs. 
  4. A summer research opportunity.

To learn more about the Cal-Bridge Program, go to

To learn more about the programs that accelerate Latino student success, please go to!