5241 N. Maple Avenue
m/s TA 120
Fresno, CA 93740/8027
Physical Location and Phone Numbers
Thomas Building, Room 107
Chris Fiorentino, Director
Chris has worked with Fresno State’s community engagement programs since the early 1990’s. His leadership of the center includes general management and support for staff members and programs. Chris teaches Community Service 101 and provides guidance to faculty members incorporating service-learning into their course curriculum. He also works closely with community partners looking to access the resources of the university and is happy to meet with students looking for volunteer opportunities in the community.
Taylan Bennett-Parker, Special Projects Coordinator
Taylan joined the Richter Center in 2016 and serves as the S.E.R.V.E. Committee advisor. As the Special Projects Coordinator, Taylan helps coordinate the development and implementation of the Fresno State Blood Drives, one-day service events, Kids Day, and the Holiday Gift Project. Taylan also co-advises the Reflection Facilitators program and the Service-Learning Coaches. Taylan is happy to talk to students looking for one-day service opportunities or students looking for ways to get more involved with the Richter Center Leadership teams.
Deborah Brewer, Administrative Support Coordinator
Deborah is often referred to as the “glue that holds the Richter Center together.” Deborah has worked with the center since 2001, and in addition to supporting the entire staff she maintains the center’s budget and accounts. Deborah is happy to guide students, staff, faculty, and community partners to the Richter Center service that will most benefit them.
Neil Dion, Jumpstart Fresno Senior Site Manager
Neil started with Jumpstart in 2003 as an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) and has continued with the program to help it grow and expand. As Director of the program, Neil hires, trains, and manages work-study students serving as tutors to pre-school children in the Fresno area. He also works with a Jumpstart student volunteer coordinator to organize volunteer projects for Jumpstart employees and other Fresno State students.
Mellissa Jessen-Hiser, Assistant Director
Mellissa joined the Richter Center team in 2008 and serves as the advisor of the Richter Center Ambassadors. She is an instructor of Community Service 1 and enjoys helping students identify service projects that will provide them with opportunities for personal and professional growth. Mellissa coordinates the university's Alternative Break program. She also co-advises the Richter Center Reflection Facilitators and Service-Learning Coaches and manages the center’s online presence including the website, the Epicenter e-newsletter, and social media.
Grizelva Sanchez, Jumpstart Fresno Site Manager
Grizelva started as a Site Manager with Jumpstart in 2014, but she previously served as a Jumpstart Corps Member, Team Leader, and Program Assistant as a student. She focuses on program partner communication, creating and facilitating training, and leader Team Leader meetings. Having been a part of the program as a student, Grizelva has extensive knowledge on the curriculum that Fresno State students implement in the preschool classrooms.
Trisha Studt, Community Partnerships Coordinator
Trisha has worked with the Richter Center since 2002 and her main focus is to be a link between the campus and Community Benefit Organizations. She helps nonprofit agencies recruit student volunteers to support their mission and the positive work they do in our community. She is happy to talk to students looking for community service opportunities, to nonprofit agencies looking for students, or to staff and faculty looking for more information on how they can be better connected in the community in which they live and work. The best way to contact Trish is via email.
Mai Xiong, Reading and Beyond at Fresno State Coordinator
Jessica Alejandre, Special Projects Student Assistant
Jessica Alejandre is a Psychology student at Fresno State. She has been involved in the Richter Center Student Leadership program since August 2016, serving on the S.E.R.V.E committee. As a Special Projects Student Assistant she assists with planning projects such as campus blood drives, Kids Day, one-day service events, and the Service Recognition Reception. She spends her spare time outdoors, going on runs and hiking. She enjoys volunteering at local community benefit organizations and has worked as an intern with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Claire Copher, Student Assistant
Claire is new to the Richter Center team; she joined in 2017 as one of two student assistants for the program. Claire welcomes students and guests into the office, and informs those who are interested in the program on how to get involved. She loves talking with students and encouraging them to volunteer, because she is a volunteer herself and has enjoyed all of her experiences.
Janet Medel, Student Assistant & Richter Center Ambassador
Janet joined the Richter Center team as an Ambassador in the Fall of 2016. As an Ambassador she helps promote and support the campus culture of service. Additionally, we works as a tutor through the Reading and Beyond at Fresno State program and has served the community through Alternative Breaks. She is happy to assist students looking to volunteer and get more involved through service.
Lilliana Toste, Graduate Assistant
Lilliana served as a Richter Center Student Leader (RCSL) from 2013-2017 as an Ambassador, Reflection Facilitator, and a Service-Learning Coach. She continues to serve the team in a new capacity as graduate assistant beginning in Fall 2017. Lilliana assists in the development of the Epicenter e-newsletter, supports the staff with RCSL trainings and responsibilities, and promotes the Richter Center's work on campus and in the community. She is a strong advocate for service and service-learning, and has served a variety of agencies in Fresno. Lilliana is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology at Fresno State.