An unexpected passing of Emmalee Wright

Christopher Gomez, Staff Writer

Emmalee Wright, 20, was a California State University, Bakersfield junior pursuing a career in psychology, with an emphasis in criminal justice, after transferring from Rio Hondo College in Los Angeles, CA.  

Wright served as a student assistant in the Office of Financial Aid and was an active member in the housing community and Black Student Union.  

She passed away on Feb. 23, 2023, due to a brief illness, leaving the community with grief. 

Marianne Wilson, a psychology lecturer, wrote in an email to CSUB psychology professors “Her passing is very sad. She seemed like a promising young woman. My prayers go out to her family and friends.”  

Wright had many colleagues and friends. Danielle Romero, a communications major and student assistant in Financial Aid, was a friend of Wright. Both worked in Financial Aid and spent time together after work.  

Victoria Chipres (Left) and Emmalee Wright (Right) working at Financial Aid office

Romero stated that Wright was “very loving, outgoing, smart and brought so much energy into the room. She made me become out of my shell; she was always there.”  

Wright was described as a great worker and had a positive impact while working in Financial Aid.  

Victoria Chipres, junior, and a child, adolescent and family studies program major, trained Emmalee in the Financial Aid office.  

Chipres stated “I helped train her; she was really on top of everything. She loved to laugh and was very bubbly.”  

One event that Wright loved to attend were CSUB basketball games. “She loved basketball and would go to every game,” said Romero. 

Romero and Chipres were often invited by Wright to join her and view the basketball games.  

One day, Chipres texted Wright to check on her and described that Wright was going through testing and felt bad for missing the game. 

“I talked to her that Monday, we were going to go to a basketball game, but she was in pain and was going to the emergency room,” said Chipres. 

Wright’s passing is devasting to the community. Wright left behind her family, friends and connections that she made a positive impact on. Wright brightened so many individuals’ lives and was truly a beautiful soul who cared deeply for those around her. 

Chipres stated “I want everyone to know that Wright was the sweetest, kindest, funniest person ever. She’s one of a kind.” 

Wright always expressed herself and encouraged others to live life to the fullest. Wright brought so much joy to the community and will be remembered for being positive and compassionate.