College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences

Senior thesis project on self-representation in the courts wins campus research competition

Genesis Gonzalez ('19) recently completed her senior thesis project on self-represented litigants in the courtroom. Her thesis sought out to examine the extent to which self-representation affected the success of people’s cases in the local court system. Genesis completed observational fieldwork during fall semester and presented her work this semester at the 7th Annual Cal Poly Pomona Research and Creative Activities Conference (RSCA).

Genesis Gonzalez CPP winner

Cal Poly Pomona’s RSCA Conference invites students from around the university to present their own original research in an all-day competitive event. Faculty judges select ten presentations to represent our campus at the California State University Student Research Competition. Genesis’ thesis project and presentation was selected as one of the ten winners.

Senior thesis is part of the department’s capstone program where students have to develop an original research project in their last year at Cal Poly Pomona. The department requires students to submit a 30-to-40 page paper, but also present their work in the department’s annual Senior Conference. Genesis was one of a handful of political science students who moved onto the campus RSCA Conference. Of the ten winners of the RSCA Conference to move onto the CSU Student Research Competition, only three were from the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences.

The CSU Student Research Competition was held this year at Cal State Fullerton on April 26-27. This year’s competition brought together the 22 CSU campuses where 275 students competed in 22 sessions. At Fullerton, Genesis presented her thesis project to a panel of faculty judges from around the system. Congratulations to Genesis for her hard work and recognition of an outstanding thesis project.


Mario Guerrero is the faculty advisor for Genesis’ senior thesis project.