Stories of Impact: Melissa Fernandez

Ever since I was a little girl, I was curious about the world around me. You could always find me outside staring at ladybugs and butterflies, wondering how they are able to fly, or playing with the science kits I would beg my parents to buy.

I think this career path chose me because of my inquisitive nature. I believe curiosity is the foundation of science. Anyone can be a scientist if they have an open mind — even 8-year-old kids playing in their backyards.

Melissa Fernandez

I am currently majoring in biological science with a concentration in ecology and evolutionary biology. After I graduate, I plan on pursuing a career in the research field and earning my Ph.D. I would love to follow in the footsteps of my mentors and have a research lab of my own.

The Gayton Scholarship will help me financially support myself as I enter my final semester at Cal State Fullerton. With the help of this scholarship, I will not have to worry about paying for classes, books and supplies. It will also help pay for my graduate school applications.

Share Melissa's Story

I created the Gayton Scholarship at Cal State Fullerton in honor of my parents, Ann and Fred Gayton. My father, Fred, was an electrical engineer and encouraged others to study in the STEM fields. This scholarship endowment continues our legacy of championing higher education and supporting women and underrepresented students in the STEM fields.

Beth Gayton Bangert ’71 (B.A. history)

800 N. State College Blvd.
Fullerton, CA 92831-3599


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