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Office of Community and Economic Development


Fresno State OCED's graduating seniors!



Andrea Marin Contreras

Andrea joined OCED as a communications intern in January 2020. In her current position, Andrea helps curate the Valley Harvest, a weekly newsletter by the Rural Development Center. She also helps with the creation of social media posts and the planning of OCED events.

What are you majoring in? What kind of degree?

I will be getting my Bachelor in Arts on Media, Communications, and Journalism with an emphasis on Print Journalism this May 2020.


What are your plans after graduation?

I am pleased to be attending the MFA Creative Writing program with an emphasis on Poetry at Fresno State in Fall 2020. I will also be doing freelance work for local newspapers while I get my master’s degree. 


Describe your senior year in 3 words

My senior year in 3 words is “emotionally crazy & successful.” I got a lot of opportunities during my senior year. I covered my first political event for the Visalia Times-Delta in early March; I covered Andrew Janz’s election night for Fresno mayor. I was also nominated for the Dean’s Medalist at Fresno State. Although I only got the “Student Recognition” nomination, I am grateful for my teachers and school for seeing my potential. I am also honored that three of my poems will be published in hais: a literary journal in May in their first issue ever. My internship with OCED has also been successful and fruitful as it has taught me to work with different communications programs and it has allowed me to work with great people. Finally, my senior year has been emotionally crazy because of the current pandemic. My graduation experience won’t be the same but knowing that I will get to go to grad school is motivating me every day. 



Marilyn Castaneda

Marilyn is a communications intern at OCED and helps create the weekly newsletter for the Rural Development Center, as well as the monthly OCED newsletter.

What are you majoring in? What kind of degree?

I will be graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in print journalism minoring in Spanish. 


Describe your senior year in 3 words

Adventurous, memorable, stressful


How would you describe your experience at Fresno State?

My experience at Fresno State was a bit tough but also exciting. Tough because I moved to Fresno my first year and the transition from being home to living on your own is hard. Also juggling between two jobs and school wasn’t always easy but definitely rewarding. However, I was able to make great friends working for the student newspaper that led me to be more involved with Fresno State. 



Daisy Diaz Ballin

Daisy is a call center representative for the department Fresno State Connect at OCED. She helps low-income families across the San Joaquin Valley receive low-cost internet and free Chromebooks. Daisy also helps families throughout California who are part of the CARE program to receive discounts on their Boost Mobile accounts.

What are you majoring in? What kind of degree? 

I am graduating with a business degree in Economics. 


How would you describe your experience at Fresno State?

I would describe my experience at Fresno State as challenging and rewarding. I moved from Monterey, Ca to Fresno right after high school, I was very young and ready to live on my own. College came with many challenges but I learned to embrace them and it has made me who I am today. I love that I was brave enough to move to a new city at such a young age and I can’t wait to do it again once I graduate this semester.


What is your favorite thing about Fresno State?

I love the diversity Fresno State has, I learned about so many different cultures and made so many different types of friends. I know if I would have stayed in my hometown and attended the college there I would have not had the same great experience as I did at Fresno State. 


Describe your senior year in 3 words

Unpredictable, exciting, challenging