Division of Research and Graduate Studies
Outstanding Theses and Projects 2022
Outstanding Doctoral Project: Student Author: Stephanie Soleil (Physical Therapy)
Title: Effects Of An 8-Week Virtual Functional Yoga Program on Fatigue, Oxygen Saturation, Motor and Non-Motor Symptoms in Individuals with Parkinson’s Disease
Project Chair: Monica Rivera
Outstanding Thesis Award: Student Author: Marian Pagduan (CSDS)
Title: Investigating Graduate Students’ Perceived Self Efficacy and Satisfaction Following Simucase and Teletherapy Clinical Experiences
Thesis Chair: Brooke Findley
Outstanding Project Award: Student Author: Natalya Khomutova (Kinesiology)
Title: Mindfulness and Self-Talk Training with a Women’s Community College Volleyball Team
Project Chair: Jenelle Gilbert
Outstanding Thesis Award: Student Author: Sitong Wu (Chemistry & Biochemistry)
Title: 5,7,20-0-TRIMETHYLSILYBINS as Anti-Prostate Cancer Agents
Outstanding Project Award: Student Author: Miguel Baza (Math)
Title: The Positively Realizable Groups of H8 and G3
Outstanding Thesis Award: Student Author: Laura Clark (Public Administration)
Title: The Adminstrator/Educator Influence on the Transition of Students, with IDEA Services, From K-12 to Postsecondary/College During the Covid-19 Pandemic
Thesis Chair: Dr. Lisa Bryant
Outstanding Project Award: Student Author: Danielle Quiroga (Criminology)
Title: Adversity Ally Training: Improving Access to Fresno State's Student Success
Project Advisor: Dr. Tinneke Van Camp
Previous Outstanding Theses & Project Awards
College of Arts and Humanities
Hector Manuel Tapía III, English (Literature)
"Lust in Translation: Rethinking Why the Hyena Laughs in Aelian, Aesop, Aristotle, and Others"
College of Health and Human Services
Brielle Migur, Kinesiology
“Mental Toughness and Attribution of Perceived Failure in Collegiate Athletes”
Outstanding Masters Project
David Imirian, Public Health
“Improving the Prior Authorization Process for Valley Regional Home Health, INC.”
Outstanding Doctoral Project
Ali Samii, Physical Therapy
“Effects of Transfer Education on Low Back Pain and Disability in Nurses: A Meta-Analysis”
College of Science and Math
Jaeyeong Lee, Physics
"Minimum Length in Quantum Gravity - Modified Commutator versus Modified Operator"
Shirisha Desai, Biotechnology
"Analysis of the Combinatorial Effect of Everolimus and Zoledronic Acid in Breast Cancer"
College of Social Science
Sarah Garcia, Criminology
"Students' Perceptions of the Role of Law Enforcement,
Police Use of Force, and Defunding the Police"
Rebecca Pauline Hiura, History
"Shades of WWI: Teaching a Global History of the Great War"
Craig School of Business
How Marine Scientists, Fishers, and Fisheries Managers can Effectively Collaborate to Manage United States Fisheries Sustainably in the Face of Climate Change. (Thesis Chair: Dr. Ida Jones)
Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology
Robert Herrell, Viticulture and Enology
"Investigating the Relationship Between Autonomic Responses and Perceptions of Pleasantness and Intensity in Response to Impact Odorants from Wine"
Kremen School of Education and Human Development:
Brandi Loera-Mendiola, HEAL Program
"Serving Sudent Parents in Higher Education: An Exploration of Policy and Practice"
Joseph McIntire, Educational Leadership (P-12)
"Effective Math Strategies for English Learners"
College of Arts and Humanities
Laura T. Hendrickson
Demonstratives and Determiner-Phrase Structure in Hidatsa Narrative Discourse: A Morphological, Syntactic, and Semantic Analysis
Thesis Chair: John Boyle
College of Health and Human Services
Transferring Juveniles to Adult Court: A Comparative Policy Analysis
Development and Initial Validation of the Coaching Athletes Purpose Scale
Thesis Chair: Wade Gilbert
Lisa Thomas Barile
Resuscitation Quality Improvement Program: Improving CPR
College of Science and Mathematics
Recombinant Expression of Epidermal Growth Factor in Pichia pastories and Escherichia Coli for Commercial Production
Project Chair: Cory Brooks
Mixed Igneous Origin and Large Range of Peak Metamorphic Pressure and Temperature Conditions of Blocks in a Melange: Possible Evidence for Sedimentary Mixing
Thesis Chair: John Wakabayashi
College of Social Sciences
The Cost of Desegregation: Busing, Racism, and Privilege in Fresno Unified School District
Thesis Chair: William Skuban
Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology
The Interaction Between Fusariam Oxysporum F. Sp. Vasinfectum and Rhizoctonia Solani: Two Important Fungal Pathogens of Cotton and Their Management Through Variety Selection and Fungicide Chemistries
Thesis Chair: Margaret Ellis
Graduate Student Ambassadors 2021-2022
Each year the Division of Research and Graduate Studies asks degree program coordinators to nominate one student ambassador from their program. This is a student who might lead through their character, integrity, and ability to inspire others.
Congratulations to the graduate student ambassadors for the 2021-2022 academic year!
Peter Robertson embodies the values of the Ed.D. Program and lives his calling for equity and social justice. The title of 'honoree' could not be more fitting for Peter Robertson, as he will not only represent our graduate program this year, but in the many years to come as a proud alumnx of the Ed.D. in Educational Leadership.
Ignacio Hernández (Program Coordinator)
Hailey is the DPT Graduate Student Ambassador because she represents numerous characteristics of the department’s mission including dedication, passion, and a desire for life-long learning. Hailey is enthusiastic and eager to begin her career in physical therapy and aspires to work within the pediatric rehabilitation setting after graduation.
Jennifer Roos (Program Coordinator)
Educational Specialist Program
Kati is an excellent student and an exceptional intern. Ms. Kochevar has worked at comprehensive sites and programs for students with severe disabilities, assignments which require functional assessment skills and knowledge of classroom and behavior management. Kati developed an in-service for the teachers on behavior tips and techniques that she was asked to share throughout the county.
Marilyn Wilson (Program Coordinator)
Master's Degree Programs
|Syakirah is an outstanding student across all aspects of our graduate program She excels in classes, in her practicum placement working with children on the autism spectrum and their families, and is also the president of our student led ABA Club. She always volunteers for community outreach events and is dedicated to helping those around her. - Marianne Jackson (Program Coordinator)|
Born in Zacatecas, Mexico and raised in the small agricultural community of Cutler, CA, Blanca received her BA in Art from the California State University Fresno in 2019. Blanca is a DACA recipient and the first in her family to pursue an MA degree. She will graduate with distinction in May of 2022. Blanca's Project Exhibition, "Estamos Aqui," is informed by her own immigration status/journey and the impact the border/border crossing has had on countless survivors of the long journey across.
Stephanie Ryan (Program Coordinator)
Corie is an excellent ambassador for the MS in Athletic Training program and deserves to be honored. She excels in both the classroom and clinical setting.
Stephanie Moore (Program Coordinator
Elia is not only a promising young scientist but also an excellent mentor for undergraduate students. Her career plan is to become a college professor in Chemistry. She is a great example of the important role Fresno State is playing in fostering the next generation scientists in the Central Valley.
Qiao-Hong Chen (Program Coordinator)
Marina Lima has earned academic honors for outstanding GPA, showing character, devotion, and ability to inspire others. She is a graduate fellow at the Fresno State Transportation Institute (FSTI), ITE Student Chapter President, and has led the K-12 Railroad Model Competition, which was featured at the TRB 102nd Annual Meeting in Washington D.C.
- William Wright (Program Coordinator)
Christina is a passionate advocate! She is involved in our student association, RCSA, as the appointed secretary providing a great opportunity to display leadership and advocacy skills. She is an engaged student who enjoys helping others. She has a positive sense of character, integrity, and her own ability to inspire others as a role model.
Yuleinys Castillo (Program Coordinator)
|Karina is passionate about student success and helping others to the best. She is actively engaged as a student ambassador. She helps run the school counseling social media page and helps with student outreach and advising prospective students. She has assumed leadership responsibilities during events such as student orientations, faculty job talks and student interviews. - Gitima Sharma (Program Coordinator)|
Samantha is currently working as the AANAPISI Work-Based Learning Experiences Project Coordinator at Fresno State. She has a genuine interest and passion to serve students. Samantha is developing into an equity-minded student affairs educator who has the counseling skills to support the holistic development and success of students from diverse backgrounds.
- Soua Xiong (Program Coordinator)
Katharina is an outstanding graduate student in every sense of the word. Not only has she excelled academically, but she has taken the time to get to know her peers with the goal of fostering a true sense of support and friendship, which is such an important component of the graduate student experience. The Department of Criminology at Fresno State is very lucky to have her!
Dr. Jordan Pickering (Program Coordinator)
|Jade Muñoz graduated with honors from the Liberal Studies program and is currently completing the Fresno Teacher Residency Program while earning her master’s degree. Jade is a proud and highly collaborative Bulldog who is passionate about supporting all of her peers and her primary grade students to facilitate their success! - Carol Fry Bohlin (Program Coordinator)|
Jimena Castañeda exemplifies the Master of Arts in Education, Option, Multilingual Multicultural Education Program due to her advocacy in bringing about change for linguistically and culturally diverse students in today’s classrooms. Her writing strongly models her efforts by educating teachers in, “what’s in a name?”
- Teresa Huerta (Program Coordinator)
|Clarissa (Claire) Johnson is an exceptional student in the Reading/Language Arts Master's program. Claire is a model for all students through her deep analysis of course content. She continually engages in thoughtful literacy practices with depth and nuance, and always takes an ethical stance. The literacy faculty applaud her for her outstanding work in the program and in the public schools and hope she goes on to pursue a doctorate. - Monica Billen (Program Coordinator)|
I am very pleased to submit this nomination for Mr. Armando Lua on behalf of the M.A. in Educational Leadership and Administration faculty. He is very well respected and loved by all his peers and faculty. Dedicated and meticulous, Mr. Lua has the ability and competence to manage tasks efficiently. We believe it is his personality, which is built on honesty, professionalism, intelligence, trust, and self-motivation that allows him to communicate and lead so effectively.
Jessica Hannigan (Program Coordinator)
Sade Johnson is an exemplary student and leader. She shares important perspectives and experiences that help the HEAL community and cohort grow. As a HEALer, Sade represents the best qualities of our program - a thoughtful, authentic, and committed professional who cares deeply about the work and who supports community members. Sade is just starting her journey into becoming an impactful higher education leader and we are excited to support her.
Varaxy Yi Borromeo (Program Coordinator)
|Fatemeh Samavati stands out for her pursuit of original research and her service in the department. She presented research on Persian phonology and syntax at three national conferences and taught introductory in Persian and Linguistics. Fatemeh has been accepted to the Linguistics PhD program at UC Davis this Fall. - Chris Golston (Program Coordinator)|
|Marissa joined Fresno State in Fall 2020. She will graduate this semester and has been admitted to PhD programs at UC Merced and UC Denver. Marissa always brings important ideas and thoughts in class discussions and to research meetings. She is developing into a mature mathematician and scientist. Marissa is involved in increasing the representation of mathematicians, exemplifying what it means to be a resilient mathematician in a field that has historically excluded minorities and women. - Oscar Vega (Program Coordinator)|
|"Working with Jordan Pulido you immediately recognize his strength of personality, musicianship, character and desire to become the strongest musician possible. His natural leadership and dedication to the choral area and the music department is unparalleled. He is positive, hardworking and among the top all-around students I have been privileged to teach." (Dr. Cari Earnhart, Music)|
|Sarah is a top-notch student - her GPA is 3.92. She is also an excellent researcher, presenter, and Teaching Associate, as her student evaluations show. Sarah stands out in her dedication to all students, including her MS colleagues. Several faculty members have commented on hearing her name come up in conversations with our graduate students, always in a very positive context. She is held in high regard by faculty members and fellow students alike - the model of an all-around "good" student. - Gerardo Munoz (Program Coordinator)|
|Zena’s work at a faith-based organization allows her to deliver services to culturally diverse underserved populations. She is quick to provide a helping hand to those who need it and her patient nature will allow her to continue in her path of servant leadership to improve the health of those fortunate enough to meet her. - Miguel A. Perez (Program Coordinator)|
A first generation Mexican-American born in Tulare, César González-Aguilar received in 2019 his B.A. in Spanish with Magna Cum Laude at Fresno State. As a TA, César experienced the harsh realities of being an educator during the pandemic and cherishes the lessons he learned on resilience and the power of education. With his MA focusing on class, race, and gender, César hopes to continue teaching Spanish Literature and Language to help other Latinx students reconnect with their Hispanic heritage.
Gloria Medina-Sancho (Program Coordinator)
Student Ambassador Archives
|Athletic Training: Megan Salinas||
Megan is a valued addition to our graduate program. She is proactive and brings a positive attitude to the classroom and clinical setting, serving as a respected example for other students. In addition to her studies and clinical hours, Megan serves as an officer in the Sports Medicine Club.
- Stephanie Moore
|Biology: Cha Thao||
Cha Kong Meng Thao is a first-generation Hmong American college student who is passionate about becoming a conservation veterinarian. Cha is a current mentor in the Fresno State MENtorship program while balancing his personal life, work, and his research on the thermal ecology of the federally endangered Blunt-nosed leopard lizard.
- Hwan Youn
|Business: Emily Regan||
Emily has engineering background, paralegal and finished coursework in 3 semesters (with all prerequisites while holding full time employment). Currently, she's completing her thesis. Emily is extremely driven and will, no doubt, be moving mountains in her career and achieve huge success.
- Harry Xia
|Chemistry: Crystina Ciula||
Crystina has an innate ability for the sciences and the curiosity and drive to dive deep into her research. Her computational research on BMAA, an environmental neurotoxin, shows her creativity and independent ability to investigate a challenging project. She abounds with enthusiasm and a love of chemistry and biochemistry.
- Qiao-Hong Chen
|Civil Engineering: Mary Church||
Mary Church exemplifies every aspect of what a graduate student should be. She is motivated, intelligent, and applies herself to a learning process that connects knowledge. A skill she has perfected as a full-time mother, full-time employee with the City of Madera, and a full-time graduate student.
- William Wright
|Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling: Hannah Perez||
In her first year, Hannah has been active within the program through RCSA, assisting with CACREP accreditation, and as an upcoming co-presenter at mental health conferences. She supports fellow classmates and works effectively to become a successful counselor. She is positive and passionate about helping people with disabilities.
- Yuleinys Castillo
|Communication: Brandon Velasquez||
Brandon Velasquez was born in Fresno, CA, and is a first-generation college student. His passions include education, uplifting others, and specialty coffee. In 2019, he received his B.A. in Communication from Fresno State, and has since returned to the M.A. Communication program. He is proud as an (FGCS) to have built positive relationships both on and off-campus; these have impacted him as a student and member of the Fresno community. His goal is to apply his skills to foster healthy communication approaches by consulting workplaces in the Central Valley.
- Shane Moreman, PhD.
|Computer Science: Marissa Palos||
Marissa Palos has been the president of Computer Science Club and showed her leadership on conducting many helpful events for students in the computer science department. Her efforts included providing a bridge between our students and local industry and alumni who work in the Bay area software industry. Marissa has also contributed to the community of women in technology.
- Jin H. Park
|Construction Management: Pablo Cabrera Arreola||
Born and raised in Mexico, Pablo moved to the U.S. at an age of 16. He faced many challenges. However, his passion for construction led him to finish his BSCM at Fresno State with a 3.67 GPA. He is now a full-time field engineer and a 1st-yr MSCM student.
- Yupeng Luo
|Criminology: Danielle Quiroga||
It is a true joy to have Danielle as a student in our graduate program! She is dedicated to achieving academic success in and outside the classroom while also supporting her peers and advocating for their successes as well. Her research has wide-reaching potential for the university community and the field of Criminology. We cannot wait to see what she does next!
- Dr. Jordan Pickering
|Curriculum & Instruction: Dalton Graham||
Dalton is an inspiring educator who is earning a mathematics teaching credential along with his master’s degree. A former mechanical engineer, Dalton is a passionate teacher who has a gift for motivating students to strive for success. His positive attitude, self-motivation, love of learning, and strong work ethic make him a wonderful role model for his students!
- Dr. Carol Fry Bohlin
|Early Childhood Education: Courtney Berk||
Courtney Berk works as a Site Supervisor and Teacher at a rural Head Start early childhood education (ECE) program. She serves on a statewise advisory group as a member of the ECE CalTPA Design Team, helping create a teaching performance assessment for early educators. I see an authentic leader in Courtney who is making a deep impact and contribution to the ECE community.
- Dr. Feiyan Chen
|Educational Leadership (Doctoral Program): Corrine Folmer||
Corrine Folmer is a member of the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership's Face-to-Face Cohort 12, class of 2021. Corrine is a leader among her peers and a wonderful representative of our doctoral program. Professionally, Corrine is the Associate Superintendent of School Leadership at Clovis Unified School District.
- Ignacio Hernandez
|Educational Leadership (P-12): Laura Silva||
It is with great pleasure that the Educational Leadership Faculty recommend Mrs. Laura Silva for this role. Mrs. Laura Silva is a recent graduate from our program and exemplifies all characteristics of a model student and alumna. Mrs. Laura Silva advocated for herself and fellow classmates throughout her time in the program in order to gain the most out of her educational experience. Laura is active in her field and connected to other educators in the Central Valley. Mrs. Silva exhibits strong communication and relationship skills that will help her in whatever role she chooses to engage in. Based on Laura's skill and desire to represent her community we are proud to have her continue to represent our program in this capacity.
- Jennifer Moradian Watson
|English: Alexander Flores||
Dr. Lisa Weston notes that Alex is “one of the most stellar scholars we have enjoyed” in our program. His work leading the Students for English Studies Association and organizing its yearly symposium is impressive. He has presented his work at several conferences, including the most important in his field.
- John Beynon
|Fine Arts Creative Writing: Jer Xiong||
As a creative nonfiction writer, Jer is a student leader in promoting greater access to opportunities within publishing and literature. She co-founded the student organization Hmong American Ink and Stories, and her thesis is a poignant series of essays that centers the complexities of the Hmong American identity and experience.
- Steven Church
|Geology: Francisco Mata||
While pursuing demanding Master’s research, Francisco Mata has been an outstanding TA, won awards, e.g. Clay Science Education and Dana Geology scholarships, and served the community, e.g. judging the Central California Science and Engineering Fair and the STEM symposium, helping the Fresno Gem & Mineral Society at the Fresno Fair.
- Christopher Pluhar
|Higher Education Administration & Leadership (HEAL): Komalpreet Sangha||
Komalpreet is a wonderful emerging higher education and student affairs professional. She is a steady presence in classes and her commitment to equity and social justice gives us hope for the future of our profession. Komalpreet consistently seeks out opportunities to grow as a professional. She is enthusiastic and gracious, always striving to better serve and support students. The HEAL faculty celebrate her brilliance.
- Varaxy Yi Borromeo
|Industrial Technology: Kory Gilman||
Kory is a stellar student in our program who while pursuing his graduate studies, continues to work full time in Tulare as Farm Irrigation and Fertilizer Systems supervisor and also assists faculty with research and laboratory sessions. Kory does not let obstacles slow down his life or educational plans. He turns them into opportunities to learn, adapt and improve. Kory also volunteers his time to lead the Future Farmers of America Field Day for students from across the state of California.
- Balaji Seth
|Kinesiology: Miu Yee Mimi Ho||
Mimi has demonstrated commitment in her scholarly pursuit by her active engagement with peers and faculty, and also in the application of knowledge in her field of work. During her time in the program, she combined her passion for education and ability to lead others in the role of the women's assistant golf coach at Fresno State. She is currently working at the Hong Kong Golf Association to continue in her pursuit to inspire and mentor the next generation of local golfers.
- Jenelle Gilbert
|Linguistics: Reem Saleh||
Reem Saleh is an international student from Jordan, part of the Palestinian diaspora that can't return to its homeland for political reasons. She is working on the grammar of her native Palestinian dialect of Arabic—in exile—and presented her work at a confererence with international attendance (WECOL 2020). She does this all as a mother of five, who raises her children on her own. She recently interviewed for the PhD program at UCSD.
- Chris Golston
|Mathematics: Samuel Cleofas||
Sam, who graduates this semester, has been one of our TAs for a couple of years now, and is a staple at, pretty much, all events our department has organized for years. Also, he likes to help students (peers and not) and he is always a source of positive energy. His love for math is easy to see, and now he will follow his passion for math and for helping others by getting into the credential program to become a High School math teacher.
- Oscar Vega
|Multilingual Multicultural Education: Raul Gonzalez||
Raul Gonzalez is viewed as a leader in the Master of Arts in Education, Option, Multilingual Multicultural Education Program due to his ability to articulate his thoughts and opinions on issues confronting the schooling experiences of linguistically and culturally diverse learners. Both his professional and personal experiences have served him to bring fresh ideas into this program.
- Teresa Huerta
|Music: Micah Byers||
Micah Byers’ passion for music-making and storytelling is evident in his career as a composer, educator, and performer as he aims to inspire others’ creativity and help tell stories through original music. In addition to pursuing his MA degree, Micah teaches at Fort Miller Middle School in Fresno, CA.
- Donald Henriques
|Physical Therapy (DPT): Karina Angouw||
Karina is a compassionate leader and representative for the Physical Therapy Department. She exemplifies many attributes that represent the programs mission and values such as empathy, selflessness, integrity, advocacy, and service to others. She will undoubtedly make a positive impact on the profession as she enters the healthcare workforce. Congratulations!
- Jennifer Roos
|Plant Science: Ranvir Tung||
Ranvir Tung is from Selma, CA where he is involved with almond and grape production on the family farm. Ranvir’s thesis research examines the physiological responses of pistachio grown under saline conditions, working with Dr. Gurreet Brar and scientists at the USDA-ARS lab in Parlier. Ranvir hopes to pursue a career in farm management.
- Sharon Benes
|Psychology: Mehak Kaur||
Mehak is an excellent student and researcher. Her ambitious thesis work is looking at how self-deception may reduce stress brought on by economic inequality. She is always engaged in discussions during our weekly class seminars and puts extra effort in helping and encouraging other students in the program.
- Martin Shapiro
|Psychology ABA: Abril Lopez Cervantes||
Abril excels academically and contributes to a positive and supportive educational environment. She has been instrumental in the provision of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services to Spanish-speaking families and her thesis focuses on the important differences between interpretation and translation in the provision of ABA services to individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families. I have no doubt she will go on to be a positive force for change in the world of ABA.
- Marianne Jackson
|Public Health: David Imirian||
Friendly, dedicated, sensitive, thoughtful, and responsible are among the adjectives used to describe David Imirian, the MPH's nominee for Student Ambassador for academic year 2020-2021. Davis is highly respected by both faculty and students who admire his dedication to academic excellence and his willingness to help others along the way. He continues to promote public health in his role as Office Manager at the Valley Regional Home Health. Congratulations on this well earned kudos David.
- Miguel A. Perez, Ph.D.
|Reading & Literacy: Claire Johnson||
Claire Johnson, third grade teacher in Fresno's South Valley, and graduate of Fresno State’s multiple subject credential program has demonstrated her work ethic, analytical insight, and commitment to her learners through several high quality original research studies conducted during her first year in the Literacy MA program.
- Maria Goff
|School Counseling: Diana Moron Guzman||
Diana was the recipient of many awards and honors and has a strong school counselor identity. She truly exceeds the expectations for the program, and her work ethic is unmatched. Diana has since become a Program Ambassador and has advocated for her peers. She has transformed our recruitment platforms. Diana has advocated for her peers and made the program aware of the needs and wants of her colleagues, and made recommendations for the program.
- Dominiqua Griffin, PhD, NCC
|School Psychology: Natalie Pena Marquez||
Natalie’s sincerity and dedication to becoming a school psychologist who can serve children and families from culturally, linguistically, and economically diverse backgrounds is conveyed in class discussion, papers, and fieldwork evaluations. She will be part of a minority in our field of school psychology as a first generation college student, Hispanic, and bilingual. Natalie was our program representative to our local professional organization, CVA-CASP.
- Marilyn Wilson
|Spanish: Germán Cervantes Ledesma||
A dedicated graduate student and TA, Germán Cervantes Ledesma has shown his leadership and mentoring skills in multiple ways. For the past two years, Germán has been president of two student clubs, ¡Hablemos Español! and Club Austral, in which he has organized events to promote Spanish language and culture throughout our campus. He has also been tutor for Spanish in the Learning Center. Currently, Germán is working on his thesis and teaching elementary Spanish to University High students.
- Gloria Medina-Sancho
|Special Education: Randi Parkinson||
Randi Parkinson is not just an exceptional student in the Special Education MA program at Fresno State, she is also an exceptional human being. She is bold without being brash, has a great sense of humor, and she fiercely goes where others fear to tread. She is also the recipient of a LARCS Scholarship and member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM).
- William Garnett
|Speech/Language Pathology Aysia James||
Aysia is creative and friendly; a natural leader with a history of service to others. She served as a peer mentor and President of our student organization (NSSLHA), and has a history of helping others, whether on campus or in the community. She is a shining star and an inspiration!
- Fran Pomaville
|Student Affairs & College Counseling: Jose Medina III||
Drawing from his extensive background, knowledge, and expertise in student affairs, his insights during classroom discussions has greatly enhanced the learning of his peers. Outside of the classroom, Jose has been engaged in on-going efforts to build a sense of community among SACC students to thrive and succeed.
- Soua Xiong
|Viticulture & Enology: Jeremiah Lloyd||
Jeremiah Lloyd has been the first student to enroll in the restarted MS in Viticulture and Enology. He has worked on his project tirelessly and with great passion. His sense of humor has helped cementing the relationships between the students and contributed to restart of the program with a positive note.
- Luca Brillante
|Art: Carolyn Zutler||
Carolyn Zutler has been an excellent graduate student, life-long learner, and role model for other students in my seminar, regardless of massive challenges in her life. Her GPA is perfect (4.0). For community service, she was project manager for three semesters on the Fresno City College and Fresno State collaborative mural that was painted on a 250+ foot long wall at Lafayette Park by more than 60 students, faculty, and community members. She will be an exemplary ambassador who inspires many.
- Stephanie Ryan
|Biology: Jason Thomas||
Jason Thomas, a first-generation college student, has a perfect GPA of 4.0 and has excelled in a microbiology research lab – 4 published papers and 7 conference presentations. Jason has been actively helpful to fellow students. Jason is married with children and understands the challenges associated with balancing research and family.
- Hwan Youn
|Biotechnologoy: Dawn James||
Dawn exemplified the outsomes we hope for our students: developing professional skills, contributing quality science to the Biotechnology field, and helping build community within our program.
- Jason Bush
|Chemistry: Christopher Dillon||
Chris is a true leader who embodies the most important qualities in sciences: curiosity, integrity, and persistence. By holding himself to the highest standards he is an inspiration to me and other students in the lab (Thesis Advisor: Dr. Hubert Muchalski).
|Civil Engineering: Gabriela Bonilla||
Gabriela’s interest in the sciences led her to pursue a career in engineering with the expectation that her future actions must produce vital benefits for society. Her research topic explores the benefits of using shallow subsurface systems to provide efficient groundwater recharge without impacting agricultural practices, water quality, and land resources.
- William Wright
|Curriculum and Instruction: Lauren Twohey||
Lauren Twohey is passionate about empowering and networking fellow middle grades science teachers, particularly those who teach in professionally isolated areas. In partnership with the Library , Kremen School, and CSM faculty, she conceptualized/delivered a 2-day STEM workshop and developed a website containing regional resources for science teachers: http://bit.ly/LaurenNGSS4MS
- Carol Fry Bohlin
|Early Childhood Education: Andrea Cervantes||
Andrea Cervantes undertakes substantive projects that helps connect our program to the broader ECE community. She contributed to our program by serving as President of the ECE Club where she also mentored undergraduate students. I see an authentic leader in Andrea who will continue to make a deep impact in her community.
- Heather L. Horsley, PhD
|Electrical and Computer Engineering: Calvin Smith||
Calvin is a high achiever, academically and socially. He is considered among the very top of his class. The faculty members also speak highly of his critical thinking skills. He is a very good communicator and he speaks highly of the value of graduate education. He certainly can be a role model for other students in the program. In addition to excelling in his education, Calvin also has field experiences that make him a well-rounded individual with a mature outlook.
- Nagy Bengiamin
|Fine Arts (MFA): Anthony Cody||
Former U.S. Poet Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera, says Anthony Cody, 2020 MFA Dean’s Medal Nominee, “is a groundbreaking artist of the 21st century.” His first book, Borderland Apocrypha, won the 2018 Omnidawn Open Book Award; his thesis, The Rendering, incorporates voice sculptures, photographs, climate change research and Dust Bowl narratives.
- Steven Church
|Geology: Amalie Larsen Van Vleet||
Ms. Larsen is an outstanding student and teaching assistant, informally volunteers her time and energy for Dept needs, and demonstrates 99th percentile positivity & can-do mentality. Her degree is a direction change into a geology career from her theater arts background, accomplished while co-raising a family of three. Her skills in performance have made her a dynamic teaching assistant, a superlative communicator, and lend themselves well to selection as the EES Outstanding Student Ambassador.
- Christopher J. Pluhar
|Higher Education Adminstration and Leadership (HEAL): Stephanie Alvarado||
Stephanie is a kind and thoughtful leader in the classroom. She is also a consummate professional. We are impressed with her character and integrity. She offers important insights to her colleagues through the lens of her own experiences and leads by example in navigating complex issues. She is a wonderful representative and emerging leader in our field.
- Varaxy Yi Borromeo
|Industrial Technology: Saylee Kerure||
Saylee has a perfect 4.0 GPA and she has been in the top 1% of many classes in the graduate program. Saylee is very dedicated and makes sincere effort to not only obtain good grades but also get a firm grasp and thorough understanding of the technical concepts and their practical significance. Saylee is truly a model student!
- Arun Nambiar
|Kinesiology: Alexandria Young||
The Kinesiology Graduate Program chose Alexandria Young as she excelled as a student, Marketing Team member, Graduate Assistant, and emerged as an effective leader. She has a growth mindset, and has accomplished, and will continue to accomplish great things!
- Jenelle Gilbert
|Linguistics: Laiylaly Mandujano||
Laiylaly Mandujano is conducting original research, including the documentation and preservation of Crow, an endangered north American Indian language, and the project of linguistic/science communications. She is also a teaching assistant for ESL classes at local adult schools.
- Jidong Chen
|Mathematics: Erica Sawyer||
Erica is is one of our TAs. An out-of-state student, she was our 2019 graduate ambassador, and she also won our department’s outstanding TA award last year. She is currently doing research in Data Science, and has presented her work at various conferences.
- Oscar Vega
|Music: Emily Johnson||
It is our privilege to nominate Emily Johnson for Graduate Student Ambassador. Emily
is currently in her fourth year of teaching in Clovis Unified School District and
second semester of graduate study in music education. Emily’s M.A. project examines
existing research and resources on string pedagogy, and includes the creation of a
new method book specifically for beginning elementary string students.
|Multilingual Multicultural Education: Sandy Gonzalez||
Sandy Gonzalez is our chosen Outstanding Student Ambassador for the master's program option, Multilingual Multicultural Education because of her strong dedication to the program and service to linguistically and culturally diverse learners. Sandy is self-determined, confident, intelligent, and equally, kind. As such, she is admired by her peers and others.
- Teresa Huerta
|Nursing: Dianne Benigno||
Dianne started her quest for higher education at California State University, Fresno, School of Nursing's Graduate Program (Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family) in Summer 2018. Since her admission into the program, Dianne has been able to maintained her 4.0 GPA all along while continues to work as a Registered Nurse. Diane has been courteous and very respectful to her instructors and peers. She takes in constructive feedback with learning enthusiasm.
- Dr. Kammi Sayaseng
|Physical Therapy (Doctoral Program): Myraelen Aguilar||
Myra is the Physical Therapy program Student Ambassador representative for 2020. Myra is an excellent collaborator, demonstrates humility and compassion for others, and supports the program through mentorship and volunteerism. She embodies what this program and profession represents. Congratulations from the PT program!
- Jennifer Roos
|Plant Science: Simarjeet Singh||
Sarah Sirota is one of our best and brightest graduate students. She developed her own creative idea for her master’s thesis research and was the first student in her cohort to complete and defend her thesis. Sarah was also an outstanding teacher for courses about methods and statistics.
- Martin Shapiro
|Psychology (ABA): Matisse Lovett||
Matisse is an outstanding student who supports her fellow students and inspires others to do the same. She served as the ABA Club president and led the team to organize a very successful Fresno State ABA Conference. She has become an excellent clinician in her practicum role with Focused Behavioral Services, where she works with individuals with autism and their families, and is currently conducting her thesis on teaching humor comprehension and joke telling to children with autism.
- Marianne Jackson
|Public Health: Cassie Valencia||
Cassie Valencia has employed her skills as a health educator to help others improve their health status. She is often described as being "encouraging, helpful, and gracious to others" and is often used as an example on how to translate theory into practice in the field of public health.
- Miguel A. Perez
|Reading/Language Arts: Shereen Sawalha||
Shereen Sawalha is a first year graduate student in the Reading/Language Arts MA in Education program. Shereen has a passion for learning and continues to develop her own teaching practice. As a classroom teacher, she is dedicated to supporting her students' literacy development.
- Maria Goff
|School Counseling: Cheechi Vang||
Cheechi Vang embodies a strong school counselor identity. She is active within the program, having presented at conferences, and serves students in the K-12 setting. She is an active member of Chi Sigma Iota and volunteers at events. Cheechi was a peer consultant and assisted students in their practicum course.
- Dr. Dominiqua Griffin
|School Psychology: Yesenia Sosa||
Yesenia Sosa is currently interning in Kings Canyon Unified. She has received the Michael Herrera scholarship in recognition of her dedication to Spanish speaking students and families. She has presented at our national conference twice and at CCRS. Yesenia is a board member of the local school psychology affiliate, CVA-CASP.
- Marilyn Wilson
|Social Work: Jesica Uriostegui Pavon||
Jesica was selected to represent Social Work because she exemplifies the values of Fresno State. Jesica fostered a sense of discovery with her passion for research. She embodies diversity through her inclusiveness towards others. Finally, she has served with distinction in her willingness to embrace bold ideas in her studies.
- Iran Barrera
|Spanish: Teresita Trujillo de Magana||
Having a large experience behind her as a teacher in her native Mexico, Teresita has been a very enthusiastic member of the Program since she started taking classes in Fall 2019. She has proved herself to be a very hard working and motivated member of the Program when organizing events and activities to promote culture in Spanish throughout campus. Teresita has collaborated with Revista Aztlán, the student club APCE, and the committee organizing the World Cultures Celebration event.
- Dr. Paula Sanmartín
|Special Education: Chrystal Swart||
Chrystal Swart defines dedication and service to others. She created a tech-based tool that greatly improved students' on-task behaviors and academic outcomes. With 10+ years of experience, Chrystal teaches upper elementary in Fresno Unified. She serves her community as a special education team lead, established a peer mentoring group, and distributes critically needed food, supplies, and smiles during the school closures amid the pandemic crisis.
- Sara Werner Juarez
|Speech/Language Pathology: Marian Pagaduan||
In addition to academic and clinical excellence, Marian demonstrates a positive attitude, leadership skills, professionalism, and a desire to serve others. As a Phillipino Immigrant who speaks several languages, she has excellent communication skills. Marian is a person of integrity who inspires others. She is a great representative for the department!
- Fran Pomaville
Biology: Evelin Munoz
Biotechnology: Braden Cardoza
Business: Katie Reilly
Chemistry: Candice Cortney
Chemistry: Quang Le
Civil Engineering: Jacob Lopez
Clincal Rehabilitation & Mental Health Counseling: Jessica Raygoza
Criminology: Jennifer Snell
Curriculum & Instruction: Jennifer Click
Early Childhood Education: Concepcion Garzon
Educational Leadership: Kim Bowman
English: Angel Garduno
Geology: Marcus Pacheco
Higher Education Administration & Leadership (HEAL): Erica Castanon
Industrial Technology: Prashant Dadas
Kinesiology: Robert Leija
Linguistics: John Simonian
Mathematics: Erica Sawyer
Music: Ashley Tremblay
Physical Therapy: Karissa Derousseau
Plant Science: Josue Diaz
Psychology: Andrea Weiman
Public Health: Mark Reece
Reading/Language Arts: Nicolet Diaz
School Psychology: April de la Cruz
Spanish: Maria Cristina Vasquez
Special Education: Kenneth Hortizuela
Speech/Language Pathology: Morgan Barker
Agricultural Science: Jacob Vazquez
Art: Sovannory (Nory) Setha
Biology: Fatima Hidalgo
Biotechnology: Sosse Kendoyan
Chemistry: Candice Courtney
Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling: Julayne Jorge
Criminology: Filomena DaSilva
Curriculum and Instruction: Stephanie Thiel
Early Childhood Education: Brooke Berrios
Educational Leadership: David Garza
Educational Leadership (Doctoral Program): Robert Pimentel
English: Megan Evans
MFA (Fine Arts): Matthew Kenerly
Geology: Magaly Perez
Higher Education Administration and Leadership (HEAL): Camerina Morales
History: Savannah Nakamura
Industrial Technology: William Pearson
Kinesiology: Stephanie Lee
Linguistics: Zachary Metzler
Mulitlingual/Multicultural Education: Patricia Bloodgood
Music: Lim Forgey
Physical Therapy (Doctoral Program): Joseph Terrill
Plant Science: Anthony Mele
Psychology: Alexandra Nottbohm
Public Health: Elsa Villagomez
Reading and Language Arts: Kathleen Gliannandrea
School Pyschology: Yaime Farias
Spanish: Maria Madrigal Piceno
Special Education: Rebecca Pings
|Agricultural Science: Emily Krage||Ms. Emily Krage is working on his MS degree in Animal Science researching meat safety (beef) in relation to Appendix A (inactivation of Salmonella). Emily is from Visalia and attended College of Sequoias before transferring to Fresno State. She completed her undergraduate degree in Animal Science with an emphasis in livestock business management in May 2016. In the Fall of 2016 she started her MS degree and served as the Assistant Coach for the Meat Judging Team. She has been an important part of the Department of Animal Sciences and Agricultural Education as she has been a critical person in helping organize the food booth at the Red Wave Classic Livestock Show as well as helping with the Red Wave Sheep and Goat Sale and Fresno State FFA Meat Judging Contest. She received a Jordan-Havery Scholarship and helps at the Fresno State Meats Laboratory. Additionally, she serves as a TA for several meat science based courses.|
|Art: Mehgan Cartier||Meghan Cartier is pursuing an MA in Art History. In her MA thesis, she argues that the pictorial language of Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican codices, or illustrated books, helped their creators unify a large, cosmopolitan, and multi-lingual empire. Meghan has given seven conference presentations on her research including, most recently, at the annual Comic Arts Conference in Anaheim. She served as a Perenchio Intern at Arte Americas, where she performed research and helped plan and present art exhibitions, and is currently serving as an Intern with the Center for Creativity and the Arts, where she helped organize the 2017 Symposium on California and Mesoamerican Native Art and Archaeology.|
|Biology: William Whalen||William is one of those rare students who really befriends the faculty. His transition from private sector to undergraduate to graduate student has been journey of growth and discovery. While his interest was originally towards medicine (physician assistant), I believe that he fell in love with the classroom. William has been one of our highly-prized TAs providing valuable service in a number of different courses. He was also poached to other duties in the community colleges and to Enology/Viticulture for his abilities. I am proud of his growth and his enthusiasm to teach. I think Will is a great ambassador for many of students who see the MS as a step towards a career in the classroom.|
|Chemistry: Jaideep Singh||Jaideep Singh completed his B.S degree in Chemistry at Fresno State and he is a 2nd second-year graduate student. He continues his passion for research from his undergraduate days and his current thesis project is the biophysical characterization of the anticancer peptide Lunasin. He is already a co-author on a peer-reviewed publication (Journal of Molecular Structure, 1131, 196-200, 2017) and a second manuscript currently under preparation. Jaideep is the recipient of Graduate Net Initiative research fellowship and is a teaching assistant in general chemistry. He is an exemplary of a creative and diligent graduate student in the chemistry program.|
|Communications: Elise M. Barba||Elise M. Barba is an M.A. candidate in the Department of Communications. Most recently, Elise presented her competitively selected research on instructional communication at the Western States Communication Association Annual Convention. In addition to her studies, Elise teaches Fundamentals of Public Communication and Group Discussion, and has been recognized as an outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA). She also earned the President’s Graduate Scholarship and was the Graduate Scholarship recipient for the Fresno Women’s Network. Elise is currently in the final stages of completing her graduate project, which considers how to prepare future GTAs, and will graduate with her Master of Arts this spring.|
|Counseling (MFCC): Diego Rodriguez Garcia||Mr. Garcia will be completing his M.S. in Counseling, Option in Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling in May 2017. Since beginning his program, he has been active in Chi Sigma Iota, the International Counseling Honor Society, where he currently serves as Treasurer. He is a member of the American Counseling Association, the Association for Child and Adolescent Counseling, the Association for Humanistic Counseling, the Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered Issues in Counseling, the Association for Specialists in Group Work, the Association for Play Therapy, and the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. He currently is completing his EMDR Level One Certification. After completing requirements for licensure in California, Mr. Garcia hopes to complete his Ph.D. in Counselor Education.|
|Criminology: Catherine Nakato||Catherine Nakato represents the hard work and dedication in the Department of Criminology graduate program. As an international student, Catherine has become an example for many students in our graduate program; she has adjusted well and continued her hard work despite the struggle to find housing, work, and other necessities. Catherine has spent the last 2 years working for us as a student assistant and has really facilitated so many aspects of the department’s teaching and research, as well as developing her own creative and outstanding research endeavors. Catherine’s research looks at policing and various issues of terrorism. Catherine is an extraordinary student and we are lucky to have her in our department.|
|Education: Curriculum & Instruction: Renee Kinman||Renee Kinman already holds an M.D. and a Ph.D. She was interested in pursuing an M.A. degree in Education-Curriculum and Instruction to become an even more effective and innovative medical educator. She also wanted to explore the parallels between medical education and K-12 education, and how these can intersect with public health. Renee’s graduate studies resulted in her being appointed as Associate Program Director of UCSF-Fresno’s pediatric residency program, which she has revamped to focus on community health, social justice, and advocacy. This important work, summarized in her thesis, includes partnering with local high schools’ health career pathways.|
|English: Guadalupe Remigio||
Guadalupe Remigio Ortega is a first-generation college student born in Sinaloa, Mexico. Her research focuses on the state of Latino/a students in higher education, specifically in writing courses. She writes to advocate for new pedagogical practices in the writing classroom that validate the experiences and identities of students from marginalized communities. She currently teaches writing at Fresno State and Reedley College. She has presented her research at various conferences and is currently working as a research assistant on a grant project and article publication that focus on bringing awareness regarding the barriers and challenges faced by undocumented students in the university.
|Fine Arts (Creative Writing): Ronald Dzerigian||
Ronald Lawrence Dzerigian’s poems primarily take refuge in the rural landscape of the great Central Valley and, within that space, tend to explore the transformative qualities of human nature. He received the C.G. Hanzlicek Fellowship while working on his MFA at California State University, Fresno, and has been a two-time recipient of the Academy of American Poets' Ernesto Trejo Memorial Prize in 2014 and 2015. His poems have recently been published by The Academy of American Poets, The Winter Anthology, Watershed Review, and Santa Ana River Review.
|Fine Arts (Creative Writing): Erica Hughes||
Erica Hughes is a first-year MFA student in Creative Writing, Poetry. She is a California native and spent the first half of her childhood in San Jose and the second half in Madera. She is a recent graduate of Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa. At Dordt, Erica majored in English Literature and participated in the Kuyper Scholars program, which is Dordt College’s honors program.
This year, Erica began teaching in the First Year Writing Program, working in the Graduate Writing Studio as a writing consultant, and blogging for The Twelve. During the 2016-2017 academic school year, she has published short essays like “Dear White Evangelicals” and “Poetry of the Body.” Later this summer, her poems “If You Choose,” “Divine Grief,” and “He Touches Us” will be published in HumanKind Magazine.
|Geology: Jessie Shield||Jessie Shields is in her second semester in the Earth and Environmental Sciences graduate program, but she has already shown an exceptionally high level of scholarship. She has a mature approach to research and has already developed the ability to formulate her own working hypotheses on complex geologic problems. Her understanding of petrology and geochemistry, as well as her petrographic (microscope) skills are exceptional. In addition to her fine scholarship, Jessie has an enthusiasm and dedication that is infectious and her excellence helps raise the level of scholarship among her fellow graduate students.|
|Higher Education, Administration, and Leadership (HEAL): Jessica Adams||Jessica Adams is a graduate student in the Higher Education, Administration, and Leadership Degree Pathway in the Department of Educational Leadership as well as the Coordinator for Gender Programs and Services at the Cross Cultural and Gender Center at Fresno State. Social justice has been woven into her work since earning her Bachelor’s degree in Women’s Studies and entering the professional world working in the field of domestic violence. She recently completed her thesis focused on White student affairs professionals’ engagement with students on the topics of Whiteness and White privilege. In Fall 2017, Jessica will begin her doctoral program in Education at Iowa State University.|
|Industrial Technology: Arthish Bhaskar||Arthish Bhaskar is a graduate student in the department of Industrial Technology, Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology pursuing working on research projects guided by Dr. Balaji Seth in developing modern Variable Rate Wireless Sprinkler technology for Precision Irrigation and farm automation (SmartFarm) funded by National Science Foundation. Arthish received a prestigious scholarship at 2016 Irrigation Association Show as E3 – Exposure, Education and Experience winner and also was the winner of best research award at ASABE CA/NV section meeting 2017. He is the student coordinator for Future Farmers of America Computer Applications contest of FFA State Finals at Fresno State. He also represented Jordan College at the World Ag Expo 2017.|
|Kinesiology: Sarah Pierce||Sarah has been able to maintain a 3.857 GPA as a graduate student while balancing family, work, school, and a daily 2-hr commute. Sarah works at a physical therapy office and a local gym, and volunteers to support both of her kids’ athletic programs. Her true passion and love for the field of Kinesiology is exemplified by her outstanding original thesis comparing the relative recruitment of mid-section musculature during the performance of planks to that of crunches. Her work will help professionals in the fitness and rehabilitation industry make evidence-based decisions regarding the prescription of abdominal strengthening exercises.|
|Linguistics: Reagan Clark||“Reagan Clark maintains a 4.0 GPA and volunteers weekly at the American English Institute at Fresno State and the Calwa Elementary. She is a member of the Graduate Net Initiative's cohort STRINGS and the Graduate Mentor of the Community ESL Teaching Assistants (CETA) project, which has 14 volunteers in the Fresno Adult School ESL classes at 10 different locations. This project has reached over 250 ESL students. Reagan recently helped organize a fundraising event to showcase its impact and presented the project at a CATESOL conference and to President Castro at Vintage Days on campus.|
|Mathematics: Nicholas Newsome||Nicholas Newsome has won the Department of Mathematics Outstanding Graduate Student Award, and he has been nominated for the CSM and University awards. He has excelled not only in his studies, but also in research, teaching, and service. Nick has presented his research at a professional conference, and he is scheduled to make more presentations this spring. In addition, he has submitted a research paper to a peer-reviewed journal, and he is currently working on a second paper. He serves as a Teaching Assistant for Math 1RA and actively participates in departmental outreach events such as Math Field Day. Next year, Nick will continue his education as a Ph.D. student at UC Riverside.|
|Music: Micah Davison||“Mr. Davison is a gifted musician who has honed his craft as a percussionist to a high level”, According to his mentor, Dr. Matthew Darling. As a scholar Micah has maintained a 4.0 GPA, and as a musician he won the 2017 Fresno State Concerto Competition. He performs with many University musical ensembles and also performs professionally with many local groups. He has volunteered for several state and local music educators associations, serving in several capacities such as coach, adjudicator, and manager.|
|Physical Therapy: Marissa Carranza||Marissa Carranza demonstrates attributes and actions that make her a true ambassador of the Doctorate of Physical Therapy program and Fresno State. Marissa has demonstrated tremendous growth throughout her time here at Fresno State. She has embodied the department mission of life-long learning, professional advocacy, and she has developed leadership skills which will enhance quality of life for all. Marissa’s involvement in the CA Physical Therapy Association (CPTA) Student Special Interest Group has been pivotal for all PT students across CA. Congratulations Marissa, you make us proud and we cannot wait for all of the exciting things your future holds. Welcome to the Fresno State Alumni Association…Go Bulldogs #BeBold!|
|Plant Science: Jacob Hurst||Jacob Hurst joined the Department of Plant Sciences graduate program in fall of 2014 following completion of his B.Sc. from Cornell University. Returning to his home state, Jacob expressed considerable interest in working on a project that addressed issues facing crop production in semi-arid climes. As he enrolled in our Department’s Plant Micropropagation course in 2009 as a University High Student he centered his research on the in vitro propagation of Opuntia indica, assessing the feasibility of this technology in graftage of salt tolerant rootstock and marketable-fruit producing scions. He completed his M.Sc. studies with distinction in December 2016.|
|School Psychology: Melina Ortiz||Melina began her graduate program with work experience as a behavior therapist and has continued to develop expertise in applied behavior analysis concurrently with her school psychology training, earning the Janet Cisneros Memorial Scholarship. She will complete the coursework and field experience for both, earning the Ed.S. degree and PPS credential this spring and the BCBA next year. Ms. Ortiz built on her work with children with autism and developed her project on Increasing Autism Awareness in the Central Valley Hispanic Community.|
|Social Work: Savannah Gomes||Savannah will receive her Masters of Social Work (MSW) this spring while completing a credential in Pupil and Personnel Services. Since 2014, Savannah has been a contributing member of the Valley Children’s Hospital staff, serving as a member on the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the protection of human subjects. As a teenage survivor of cancer, she became a trained mentor for other youth with cancer by providing social-emotional support and encouragement. Savannah has devoted lots of energy to Valley Children’s Hospital, including serving as the keynote speaker for Children’s 101 Philanthropist luncheons and Bravo Accomplishment dinners honoring staff, and participating as a panel speaker for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society.|
|Spanish: Jovana Lopez||Jovana’s graduate research project is devoted to studying the transnational writings of Caribbean women writers. Jovana has presented her research at the Fresno State Graduate Symposium and is the co-founder and past president of A.P.C.E. (Asociación para la promoción de las culturas en español), with which she organized multiple ASI-sponsored events on campus. Jovana has worked as a TA teaching Spanish to Fresno State and University High school students, and she has played an extraordinary service role for the Spanish-speaking community on campus as a reporter for La Voz de Aztlán, a co-facilitator for Entre Mujeres- Latinx Support group-, and an instructional staff and former peer advisor at C.A.M.P. (College Assistance Migrant Program), and a student lead coordinator at the Cross Cultural and Gender Center, where her services have been recognized with the “Cross Cultural Interaction Recognition Award."|