HSU Alum Wins $3,000 CSU Award - Humboldt State Now

HSU Alum Wins $3,000 CSU Award

Humboldt State University graduate Victoria Munguia, a Los Angeles native from an immigrant family, is a winner of the $3,000 CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement 2013.


President Rollin Richmond called Munguia “an exemplary young woman and immigrant student who defied all odds to attain both a higher education and a high school degree—with honors—despite working 20 hours a week at a grocery store to pay for her secondary education She richly deserves the CSU Award, bringing distinction both to herself and to Humboldt State.”

Munguia graduated in May with a major in History and a double minor in English Literature and Teaching English as a Second Language. She says the $3,000 CSU Trustees’ Award is enabling her to finance her student teaching credential program this fall in Los Angeles. “I’m really excited I won’t have to take out any student loans.”

Munguia plans to take up a career as a history teacher when she completes her credential program.

Fascinated by history since childhood, Munguia focused at Humboldt State on modern American history. “I was in the third grade when I grabbed my siblings’ middle school history textbook and opened it to the section on George Washington,” she says. “I was captivated by it and have loved history ever since.” She says her three favorite history books most recently were the 19th century Harriet Ann Jacobs autobiography, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Written by Herself; Khaled Hosseini’s hit debut novel set in Afghanistan, The Kite Runner; and Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid’s critique of American foreign policy, Descent into Chaos: The U.S. and the Disaster in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia.

As for her own autobiography, Munguia grew up in a largely impoverished Latino community, where she and her family knew unremitting hardship. “I aspire to be an educator because, working with students who come from similarly debilitating socio-economic backgrounds like mine, I hope to instill in them a passion for learning. I hope to enable them to become educated and engaged citizens capable of making better choices for themselves.”

Active in civic work herself, Munguia coordinated HSU’s annual History Day, volunteered as a tutor and mentor at Eureka High School and interned on a Redwood National Park history archive project for the community of Orick. “I worked with Orick’s Cultural Resource Center to help organize and catalogue its collection on the controversy over the construction of the Redwood Bypass in the 1980’s.”

California State University names 23 CSU Trustees’ students each school year “who have overcame profound personal hardships” to obtain a higher education. They represent every campus in the system and are honored, not only for their academic accomplishments, but also for their service as mentors, researchers and leaders.

The CSU has honored hundreds of students since the award’s inception in 1974, funded by personal contributions from the CSU Trustees, staff, friends of the CSU and endowments.