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President's Message

As we prepare to close out the academic year, we have a wonderful opportunity to explore character development when New York Times columnist, author and cultural commentator David Brooks speaks at Fresno State on May 10. After reading his newest book, “The Road to Character,” I was deeply impressed by the theme of why selflessness leads to greater success. His stories that illustrate how character is developed helped remind me how we should all strive to build rich inner lives, marked by humility and moral depth. His speech is at 6:30 p.m. and will be followed by a question-answer time and book signing. There is no admission charge. The appearance is co-sponsored by the Ethics Center at Fresno State and The Fresno Bee. I hope you’ll join Mary and me!


Monique L. Bell: The business of taking imagination to reality
A background in English literature and language might not seem like the most logical place to start if you want to be a marketing specialist, but for Monique L. Bell, it was the perfect fit. See more.

Sandra Witte: Going from fork to farm
Sandra Witte’s journey from dietetics to ag college leadership is the story of a woman forging her own path. Starting out as a female interested in chemistry, she found that her career choices seemed somewhat limited. See more.

Kathleen Scott: Developing individual success
Recognizing excellence is key for Kathleen Scott, director of Administrative Operations and Organizational Excellence. At Fresno State for 3 1/2 years, she started as a project coordinator leading lean and continuous improvement efforts. That role expanded in 2013, when she took on responsibilities overseeing administrative operations and the division budget. See more.

photoTaco Casserole
Put a little taco style into your meals with a casserole that's easy to throw together. See more.




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Rose 1
by Professor Emeritus of Biology, Fred Schreiber

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Around Campus

Affordable Learning Solutions (AL$) cuts students' costs
The AL$ initiative is replacing costly textbooks with lower cost alternatives by using high-quality Open Educational Resources (OER), library materials, digital or customized textbooks, and/or faculty-authored materials. The program reduces CSU student course material expenses and allows more students to acquire the course materials they need to succeed. During the 2015-16 school year, 33 faculty participated in 41 courses, benefiting 1,255 students at a total savings of $131,043. At the end of spring 2016, the college with the most faculty participating — the Kremen School of Education and Human Development — was awarded $10,000. The campus partners for this initiative are the Madden Library, Academic Technology, Kennel Bookstore, Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) and a member-at-large from adopting faculty. If you are already using low-cost/no-cost materials or OER in your course(s), please contact Vang Vang at or 278.3037 to highlight what you've implemented in the Super AL$ Faculty Showcase.

March Match Up drive exceeds $50,000
The March Match Up campaign raised $106,435 for the Student Cupboard, a free food and hygiene pantry for students. This total includes the $50,000 seed donation by Fresno-based accounting firm Morse Wittwer Sampson, LLP that launched the drive March 1. Donations were received from individuals, organizations and businesses throughout the Valley. See more.

Clothing Closet helps dress students for success
Donations from the campus and community to the Clothing Closet help students obtain professional clothing for interviews, career fairs and first jobs. The new initiative, coordinated through the Career Development Center in the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, began receiving donations of professional clothing last semester and has a new location on campus, the Frank W. Thomas Building, Room 103. See more.

Veggie plants delivery available directly to your office
The vegetable planting season is a short one, and the Department of Plant Science is offering on-campus delivery of seasonal vegetable transplants. The Horticulture Greenhouses and Nursery grows a wide variety of vegetable plants — heirlooms and hybrids — both certified organic and conventional. Because the plants are grown here, they are acclimated to the environment and growing conditions. All of the plants are started by student assistants, most from seed, and are grown in the greenhouses at the Nursery on the Fresno State campus. Plant orders come with the extra service of delivery directly to offices on campus. Customers place their orders in the beginning of the week and receive delivery on Friday. Online payment is available, or you can provide a check made payable to Fresno State Ag Foundation on delivery. To be added to the list and receive the weekly availability, please email

New minor approved for Hmong Studies
The Academic Senate’s Undergraduate Curriculum Subcommittee has approved a new minor program in Hmong Studies starting in fall 2016. The minor will be the fifth such program in the nation and first in the western United States. The minor will be offered through the Linguistics Department in the College of Arts and Humanities.

Women’s Association seeking nominations
The California State University, Fresno Women’s Association is seeking nominations for its annual awards honoring women faculty and staff who have demonstrated exceptional leadership in their fields. This is the third year that the awards will be made. Honorees in 2015 were Dr. Jenelle Pitt (Counselor Education and Rehabilitation) and Martha Rodriguez (Continuing and Global Education). The nomination deadline is June 6. The award includes a $500 check. For more information and nomination forms visit the association’s website.

Graduation Initiative, Supplemental Instruction win national awards
The new Provost Graduation Initiative and the Supplemental Instruction program are recent recipients of national awards.
The Provost Graduation Initiative was selected the Academic Leaders’ Tool of the Year for 2016 by the Western Academic Leadership Forum and the Western Alliance of Community College Academic Leaders. The recognition in the four-year sector category was made at an awards luncheon last month in Missoula, Mont. The initiative provides sponsorships to students who are near graduation and have a demonstrated financial need. The initiative is managed by the Division of Continuing and Global Education under the direction of Dean Scott Moore and Executive Director Daniel Bernard.

Fresno State's Supplemental Instruction (SI) Program was chosen as this year's recipient for the Outstanding SI Program Award by the International Center for SI at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. This award is given biannually to SI programs that demonstrate exceptional evidence in promoting student success, student development and overall program excellence. This honor will be conferred at the 9th International Conference for SI in Kansas City May 25-27. The SI program is under the general direction of Tosha Giuffrida, director of the Learning Center. Mai Kou Vang is the program coordinator and Ruby S. Rico is the assistant coordinator. Last year, over 4,000 students attended SI for over 25,000 visits.

Search for dean of Research and Graduate Studies is underway
A search is underway for a dean of Research and Graduate Studies, a new position that reports directly to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. The position combines responsibilities currently in the Division of Graduate Studies and the Office Research of Sponsored Programs. Provost Lynnette Zelezny created the position upon the advice of a consultant who reviewed the Academic Affairs organizational structure and in consultation with the Executive Senate. She received unanimous support from University deans to move forward. The new dean will be responsible for creating a climate for obtaining external funding, leading and expanding the quality of graduate programs, and refining and developing policies and procedures related to these areas. The dean also will be responsible for overseeing curriculum development and assessment for all graduate programs and for overseeing jointly with the dean of Undergraduate Studies the program review efforts of the University.



Keyboard Concerts presents Yeol Eum Son on May 6
Yeol Eum Son performs at 8 p.m. on May 6 in the Concert Hall. Winner of the Silver Medal at the 2009 Van Cliburn and 2011 Tchaikovsky, she has performed with such noted orchestras as the New York Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, Israel Philharmonic, Tokyo Philharmonic, and Seoul Philharmonic. General admission is $25, seniors $18, and students $5. For reservations and other information, call 278.2337.

Symphony Orchestra features Anna Hamre in her last concert on May 7
The Fresno State Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Dr. Thomas Loewenheim, will present its final concert of the season on Saturday, May 7, at 8 p.m. in the Department of Music Concert Hall. The concert, titled "The Spotlight on the Students and Anna Hamre," will feature Dr. Anna Hamre in her last concert conducting the orchestra before her retirement from Fresno State. It will also showcase the orchestra musicians, the winner of the annual concerto competition, and the world premiere of a student composition. Tickets: General: $15; Employee: $10; Senior: $10; Student: $5

President’s Showcase of Excellence is May 5
The 2nd annual President's Showcase of Excellence is May 5, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., in the Satellite Student Union, It will feature a poster exhibit with nearly 90 exhibitors, remarks from President Castro, a toast to Excellence and the announcement of the 2016 Bold Idea Winners. The Showcase celebrates academic and administrative excellence, individual or team achievements, administrative process redesign and cutting edge programs and innovations.

Jordan Agricultural Research Center ribbon-cutting ceremony is May 13
The Jordan Agricultural Research Center ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held May 13 at 9 a.m. at the southeast corner of Woodrow and Barstow avenues. See more.

STAR Day is June 1
Staff Training and Recognition (STAR) Day is a campuswide opportunity for staff to participate in a multitude of development workshops, while being recognized for their achievement and contributions to the University. The day includes a breakfast kickoff, keynote speaker, concurrent workshops, a vendor fair, and the annual service awards luncheon. Events are held at the Savemart Center. The theme this year is Developing from Within.

Save the date:

May 20 - Convocations, Save Mart Center, Student Recreation Center, Satellite Student Union. See more.
May 21 - Commencements, Save Mart Center, Student Recreation Center, Satellite Student Union
June 1 - STAR Day, Save Mart Center


Lori Clune
(History) recently had her book, "Executing the Rosenbergs: Death and Diplomacy in a Cold War World," released by Oxford University Press. See more.

Robert Levine
(Psychology) had his book, "Stranger in the Mirror: The Scientific Search for Self," published this month by Princeton University Press. Read an interview with Levine here.

Bernardo Reynoso
(Student Affairs and Enrollment Management) was appointed to the position of project director for the Upward Bound programs. He specializes in providing educational opportunities to predominately first-generation, diverse and low-income students.

Fresno State participates in WASC Academic Resource Conference
The University was well represented at WASC Academic Resource Conference in Southern California last month. The sessions and participants included the following:

  • Opportunities for Students and Connections with the Community that Benefit All. Presenters: Melissa Jordine (History), Yoshiko Takahashi (Criminology), Gena Lew Gong (Anthropology).
  • Stimulating an Innovative Faculty Culture for the Public Good Mobile - technology for learning and teaching. Presenters: Mary Paul (English), Rudy J. Sanchez (Faculty Affairs).
  • Supporting Campus Decision Making Using Tableau Visual Analytics Dashboards. Presenter: Angel Sanchez (Institutional Effectiveness).
  • Contextualized Preprofessional Health Pathway. Lynnette Zelezny (Provost).
  • Measuring Information Literacy Achievement Gains Using the Standardized Assessment of Information Literacy Skills (SAILS). Presenter: David Tyckoson (Library).
  • Growing the Best Students: Promoting Global Understanding and Local Action in an Interdisciplinary, Team–Taught First–Year Learning Community. Presenters: Mara Brady (Earth and Environmental Sciences), Beth Weinman (Earth and Environmental Sciences), Madhusudan Katti (Biology,) Jai Pil Choi (Chemistry).
  • Fresno State Graduate Writing. Presenter: Chuck Radke (Graduate Studies)
  • Delivering the Public Good: Direct Transfer of Higher Education’s Expertise to a Region. Dennis Nef, Jesse Garcia - undergraduate student (Business Management), Gillisann Harootunian (Academic Affairs).
  • Fresno State Sustainability Institute: A Campuswide Collaboration to Build Community and Prepare Environmental Leaders. Presenters: Kassandra Hishida (alumna), Mara Brady.


Campus celebrates Service Stars at the Spirit of Service Awards Reception
Hosted by Dr. and Mrs. Castro, Fresno State’s Spirit of Service Awards were held on Wednesday, April 27. This event honors the significant commitments made by students, faculty, staff, and community partners involved in Fresno State’s community engagement and service-learning efforts. The event is a partnership between the Richter Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning, Humanics at Fresno State, the Community Service Scholarship Program, and Associated Students, Inc.

The 2015-16 Spirit of Service reception recognized students who participated in such campus programs as the Richter Center Scholars in Service, Richter Center Student Leaders, Humanics at Fresno State, Community Service Scholarship Program, Associated Students, Inc., and Alternative Spring Break.

Special awards were given to the following:
John D. Welty Award for Excellence in Community Service: Whitney Ferdinandsen
Student Volunteer of the Year: Lilliana Toste
Newman Civic Fellow: Navmit Dhesi
Don Romsa Community Partner Award: Community Food Bank
Special Recognition, Spirit of Service Award: Administrative Services
Outstanding Faculty: Bryan Berrett

photoCommunity Food Bank receives Don Romsa Community Partner Award
The Community Food Bank, which serves more than 200 agencies and 280,000 people every month throughout the Central Valley, recently received the Don Romsa Community Partner Award. The Don Romsa Community Partner Award honors Romsa’s 20-plus years of University-community partnership and service efforts.

Over the last decade, Community Food Bank has developed substantial and ongoing partnerships with Humanics at Fresno State, the Management Department, and with the Richter Center. Additionally, students from Nutrition and Dietetics, Marketing, Communications, Media Productions, the Community Service Scholarship Program, athletic teams and numerous clubs and organizations have volunteered at Community Food Bank. Through these partnerships, Community Food Bank has directly engaged our students in service that both meets the agency’s mission and helps our students develop personally, professionally and academically.

Additionally, the Community Food Bank has supported The Bulldog Pantry, the ASI Revitalize project, and, most recently, the Fresno State Student Cupboard.

Administrative Services Division receives special recognition
The Richter Center would like to acknowledge the contributions of the Administrative Services Division, which plays a critical role in ensuring stewardship of the University’s financial, physical and human resources. Under the direction of Interim Vice President Debbie Adishian-Astone, the staff of the division are committed to supporting the infrastructure that benefits our students, faculty and staff, including support for community engagement and service-learning. Below are a few examples:

  • Lisa Kao has the challenging task of directing the University’s risk management efforts. With over 5,000 students involved in service-learning activities each year, Risk Management is a major factor. Lisa has worked with the Richter Center staff and faculty members across campus to help manage and control risks associated with service-learning courses. As an example, she helped advise the Richter Center and students who developed a video on managing service-learning risks. This video and an associated risk management in service-learning document are now used by instructors and students across campus.
  • Among others, Debbie Guill and Marisol Martinez have supported the four Fresno State Blood Drives held each year, provided donations for various events, and assisted with the Community Service Opportunities Fairs.
  • Bob Boyd and his Facilities Management team have been partners on several one-day service events, offered unique resources and support to community partners, such as providing a much needed forklift and operator to Stone Soup earlier this year, and assisted with numerous on-campus community service and service-learning events. Also, Bob and his staff have been very supportive of the Fresno State Sustainability Project being coordinated by the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.
  • Astone and many members of her division have been integral in efforts to address food insecurity. They have supported the Fresno State Food Security program, including the “Catered Cupboard” and University Dining Hall Complimentary Meals programs.

Astone and her staff quite literally help to manage every corner of this campus. Their reach and impact are also felt by students, staff, faculty and community partners who are involved in numerous community engagement and service-learning efforts.

Dr. Bryan Berrett recognized as Outstanding Faculty Member
For nearly 15 years, Dr. Bryan Berrett has been instrumental in helping Fresno State realize the vision of becoming a nationally recognized leader in providing transformative educational experiences that prepare students to lead in our region and beyond. His work in service-learning began with his pioneering efforts to integrate a meaningful service component into University 1, Fresno State’s original First-Year Experience course.

Dr. Berrett developed and taught the first service-learning class in his department, CDDS 94S - American Sign Language IV; he has been integral in developing two additional service-learning classes in the Communicative Disorders and Deaf Studies Department, CDDS 136S, and the newly proposed CDDS 168S. Once the CDDS 168S course is formally approved, Dr. Berrett’s leadership efforts will make the Communicative Disorders and Deaf Studies Department one of only four departments at Fresno State that offer three or more S-designated courses.

Beyond his own department, Dr. Berrett has been an integral part in supporting the development of other service-learning courses across his college and the University. He has worked with and mentored faculty members in other College of Health and Human Services departments who are developing new service-learning courses. He was a founding member of the Service-Learning Subcommittee of the Academic Senate, where he helped shape service-learning policy and shape new service-learning courses. He was also instrumental in creating the online faculty service-learning modules that are widely used by faculty members across campus. Most recently, Dr. Berrett has been a leader and driving force in developing, researching and refining a set of Blackboard-based service-learning reflection modules. These modules are used by faculty as a tool for enhancing the academic, personal and professional outcomes students gain through service-learning.

His service-learning efforts have touched dozens of faculty members, thousands of students, and untold numbers of community members who ultimately benefit.

Lilliana Toste named University Student Volunteer of the Year
illiana Toste, a senior from Lemoore majoring in Communicative Disorders (Speech-Language Pathology) was honored as the 2016 University Volunteer of the Year by the Jan and Bud Richter Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning. She will receive a $1,500 scholarship from the Marc and Marjorie Radin Community Service Scholarship fund. See more.


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Campus News is the Fresno State employee newsletter published online the first day of each month – or the weekday closest to the first – from September through May. The deadline for submissions to the newsletter is 10 days prior to the first of each month. Please e-mail submissions to; include digital photos, video clips or audio clips that are publishable online. Phone messages, PDFs, faxes, and printed hard copies will not be accepted.
President, Joseph I. Castro
Vice President for University Advancement, Paula Castadio
Campus News is published by the Office of University Communications.