By Edward Singleton
Psychology major Jose Luna’s poster on pedophilia and abnormal sexual behavior won first place at the 12th Annual Honors Transfer Council of California Student Research Conference for California Community Colleges.
The event was hosted by UC Irvine in March. More than 34 community colleges participated.
Participants competed in three categories: oral presentation, group presentation and poster presentation. “I couldn’t find my poster anywhere…they didn’t even tell me I won. When I told my mom, she was in tears,” Luna said.
Luna is the first East Los Angeles College student to have won this award. Luna said that he chose pedophilia and abnormal sexual behavior as a research subject because he wanted something different.
“Recently teachers have been taking advantage of children in elementary schools, and I thought pedophilia and abnormal sexual behavior would make for an interesting subject. I stumbled upon stories of castration, which was used on pedophiles back in the ‘60s and ‘70s. It was unique and controversial in the sense that we don’t like to talk about it. Pedophilia is an attraction to prepubescent children and any attack on children is sensitive.”
Cathy Cleveland, Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience and full-time professor said, “Jose did one of the best jobs. (His poster) was intriguing, interesting and timely. The number one quality that’s going to make him successful in academia and in life is his strong work ethic. He is reliable, he gets it done and he’s passionate.”
Luna also submitted an entry for his honors sociology class on homosexuality in the Latino and Black community. Luna, an honors student, also serves as chief justice in ASU. He plans to get his doctorate in psychology at UCLA and open his own practice.
He wants to concentrate on relationships with an emphasis on human sexuality.
Luna’s poster will be up for display at the Psychology Department next week in F7-316.