Alumni Profiles

Cal State Fullerton alumni Gary Gallego (BS ’09), Rene Perez (BS ’02; MS ’09), and Oscar Castillo (BA ’02) reflect on how their NSM education has influenced their careers.

A graduation cap on a stack of books

Headshot of Gary GallegoChemistry alum Gary Gallego (BS ’09) worked in the lab of Christopher Hyland, assistant professor of chemistry and biochemistry, as an undergraduate researching the rearrangements of cyclopropane compounds in the presence of Lewis acids. Today, Gallego is a senior scientist working in Pfizer’s Oncology Medicinal Chemistry group. He attributes his career success to the education he received at Cal State Fullerton, especially the emphasis on research experience, which plays an important role in his career. Gallego advises current and future students to take full advantage of the learning and research opportunities available to them.

Headshot of Rene PerezCal State Fullerton’s Geology 2021 Alumni of the Year Rene Perez (BS ’02; MS ’09) credits his education for much of his career and enjoys giving back, in time and donations, to his alma mater. A licensed geologist and hydrogeologist in California, Perez followed his interests to become an expert in geographic information systems (GIS) and one of the first unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) pilots to be licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration as an undergraduate, Perez ran the GIS lab and helped compile data for the Mojave Water Agency. As an alum, he returns to campus frequently to help with student projects, share his expertise with students and faculty, and participate in the annual Fall Alumni Dinner.

Headshot of Oscar CastilloEighteen-year teaching veteran Oscar Castillo (BA ’02) claims getting his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Cal State Fullerton was one of the best decisions he’s made in his life. In addition to teaching mathematics at South El Monte High School, Castillo is involved in academic projects and extracurricular activities, including coaching several sports teams and the Academic Decathlon team. Many of Castillo’s students go on to attend Cal State Fullerton, inspired, no doubt, by stories of his positive experience. Castillo advises mathematics students to pursue their goals and assures them that a degree in mathematics will open many doors in their careers.

Recommended Articles