2017 Honorees and Awards

2017 President’s Medalist

Alexandra Gallo

College of Social Science

Alexandra GalloAlexandra Gallo, of Hollister, completed a B.A. in Political Science and a B.A. in Communication, with a GPA of 3.81.

Difficult family circumstances inspired Gallo, a first generation college student, to obtain a degree and help others. Gallo seized opportunities to serve and engage during her time at Fresno State. She studied abroad, was elected to student government, served as an ambassador for the Richter Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning, was as a Maddy intern with Congressman Jim Costa and worked with the League of Woman Voters.She’s a three time winner of the President’s Volunteer Service Award for completing 200 hours of service each year at organizations like the Every Neighborhood Partnership and the Ronald McDonald House. She also planned a camp for children with parents battling cancer.“The College of Social Science has taught me how to be a critical thinker, and how to apply leadership and theories to governmental agencies, jobs and community service work,” she said. After graduation, Gallo will intern in Washington, D.C., with Congressman Costa before applying to law school.

2017 University Graduate Medalist

Touyee Thao

Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology

Touyee ThaoTouyee Thao, of Fresno, completed his M.S. in Plant Science with a GPA of 4.0.

Growing up as one of 10 siblings from an immigrant family, Thao was fascinated by agriculture from an early age. His academic research on how to optimize irrigation scheduling is directly informed by the critical challenge of water management in California. This work is gaining widespread attention; Thao has presented at numerous local, national and international conferences.Beyond academics, Thao is also passionate about giving back. In addition to helping with college events and the Future Farmers of America, he volunteers an average of 12 hours a week in the Hmong community, serving as a mentor to youth. “My next goal is to share my agricultural knowledge gained at Fresno State with the many Southeast Asian farmers currently seeking assistance to improve their soil and water conservation practices,” he said.

2017 Deans' Graduate Medalists

Jamie Nakagawa Boley

College of Arts and Humanities

Jamie Nakagawa BoleyJamie Nakagawa Boley, of Visalia, completed her M.A. in Art with a 3.84 GPA. Boley’s path to an education was not easy: she faced struggles and sacrifices along the way. But today the mixed-media artist uses her art and experience to make a difference in the Central Valley. Inspired by the drought and environment, her landscapes are designed to raise questions about life, memory and spirituality. Boley collaborated to bring Native American artist James Luna to campus in 2016, and helped to create “Winyan Omnicha, The Gathering of the Women (the Shawl Project),” a collaboration between Lakota Native American elders, students and the community. In addition to teaching drawing at Fresno State, she led arts programs with Arts Visalia and the Owens Valley Career Development Center. She was also contracted by Sequoia National Park management to create six paintings and will continue her studies as an M.F.A. student at the School of Art Institute of Chicago, where she was awarded their dean’s scholarship.

Ben James Armfield

Craig School of Business

Ben James Armfield

Ben Armfield, of Grand Rapids, MI, completed his M.B.A. with a GPA of 3.9. Armfield currently serves as vice president of operations at Fresno Heart and Surgical Hospital, balancing a busy professional schedule with his graduate work as part of the Executive M.B.A. program. Armfield utilized the academic program to develop a business intelligence tool that integrates data and analytics to provide data-driven support in the decision making process. Created as part of a group project in an Information Systems course, the use of the tool has resulted in increased operational efficiency and improved departmental productivity. “Moving forward, I see myself continuing in the healthcare field with a dedicated focus on expanding access to care for patients in the Valley, as well as the development and retention of healthcare leaders in our community.” Armfield is also active in his community, working with a number of non-profit healthcare organizations in Fresno.

Suzanne M. Brandl

Kremen School of Education and Human Development

Suzanne M. BrandlSuzanne Brandl, of Clovis, completed her M.A. in Early Childhood Education with a GPA of 4.0. After working as an elementary school teacher, Brandl created a private preschool, which she has managed while attending graduate school, working as a student assistant, and raising her four children. “I continued to strive to exceed the expectations of my professors. I worked hard to excel in every class and pushed myself to reach beyond what was required to achieve my fullest potential,” she says. Passionate about literacy, Brandl engaged in action-research projects that demonstrated the positive effects of writing on a child’s emerging literacy. Brandl also developed an undergraduate Liberal Studies course as her master’s project, focused on cognitive, social, emotional and physical development from birth through adolescence and how developmental issues relate to teaching. Her goal is to teach child development and work with student teachers, in order to give back to the field that has enriched her life.

Vidya Sagar Reddy Gopala

Lyles College of Engineering

Vidya Sagar Reddy GopalaVidya Gopala, of Bangalore, India, completed his M.S. in Engineering, Computer Engineering option, with a GPA of 3.9. Gopala came to the United States to study at Fresno State and is the first in his family to pursue graduate school. Drawn to electronics from a young age, Gopala has worked on research projects with several faculty members, completing projects in the area of integrated circuits and systems. His research work in Very Large Scale Integrated circuits and digital systems testing and verification resulted in two peer reviewed publications, with another in the works. Gopala served as a peer mentor to fellow graduate students, instructional student assistant, supplementary instruction leader, and research assistant, experiences he says have broadened his thinking and problem solving skills. “Working as a tutor, providing guidance and clarifying doubts to students has helped me share my knowledge with fellow engineers. I see each student coming up with their own way of approach in solving a problem, which expands my expertise,” he says.

Katy Lee Hogue

College of Social Sciences

Katy Lee HogueKaty Hogue, of Fresno, completed her M.A. in History with a GPA of 4.0. In her second semester of graduate school, Hogue began a life-changing internship with the Fresno Historical Society. “I found my passion doing the important work of collecting, preserving and interpreting central San Joaquin Valley history.” That experience, along with research into the Great Diamond Hoax of 1872, which was presented at multiple symposiums, helped prepare her for a career in public history and archive work. She created an exhibit for Fresno City Hall about an unusual paddlewheel voyage on the San Joaquin River. The research from that project was the basis for an article in the Fresno Historical Society’s journal. Her internship with that organization ultimately led to full-time employment. In her current role as collections manager, Hogue wants to continue to partner with Fresno State, working with faculty on public history projects and mentoring graduate interns from the Department of History.

Sean Robert Hunt

College of Health and Human Services

Sean Robert HuntSean Hunt, of Visalia, completed his M.S. in Nursing – Primary Care/Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric, with a 3.9 GPA. Throughout graduate school, Hunt worked full-time as a staff nurse on the pediatric oncology unit at Valley Children’s Hospital, all while completing his clinical rotations and serving his greatest duty as a husband and father. Young children in medically fragile conditions inspired Hunt’s academic research. He found that there is a positive impact on improving access to health care and decreasing hospitalizations for this population. “The heavy and expensive burden of caring for medically fragile children does not only have to rest on the backs and shoulders of parents. There may not be an army of support but there are a dedicated few of us who will not stop looking for ways to improve the quality of life for all children,” he says. Hunt also volunteers as a camp nurse and is fundraising for Trillium Kids, a nonprofit to support children with life-threatening conditions.

Jamie A. Maturino

Student Affairs and Enrollment Management

Jamie A MaturinoJaime A. Maturino, of El Paso, Tex., completed his M.S. in Counseling – Student Affairs and College Counseling, with a GPA of 4.0. Growing up in a home where food and other resources were scarce, Maturino was determined to beat the odds. He came to Fresno State as an undergraduate student who struggled to find his niche, an experience that inspired Maturino’s dedication to help students develop a sense of belonging. As a graduate student, Maturino has served as a peer academic counselor, graduate adviser, and as a resident director with University Courtyard, a role that Maturino says brought him full circle. “When I first began my studies as an undergraduate, I lived in Baker Hall. I knew first-hand what it was like to be new to campus and not know anybody,” Maturino says. “My goal is to continue impacting the lives of others by sharing with them that anything is possible if they set their mind to it.” Maturino has accepted a position as residence director at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.

Carlos Ignacio Moreno

College of Science and Mathematics

Carlos Ignacio Moreno

Carlos Moreno, of Fresno, completed his M.S. in Computer Science with a GPA of 4.0. After graduating from Fresno State as a member of the Smittcamp Family Honors College, Moreno enrolled as a graduate student with a research focus on real-time streaming of Kinect based point cloud data. That research has already resulted in three published journal articles and presentations at multiple conferences. Known in his department as compassionate and caring, Moreno gives back to his college, campus and the community. He serves as a camp instructor in the department’s summer exploration program for middle and high school students and as a teaching associate helping undergraduate students. “I was able to connect with the students on a more personal level. This sense of comfort fostered a learning environment in the classroom that allowed students to ask more questions and explore their ideas and solutions,” he says. Moreno is also a member of Fresno State’s Symphony Orchestra.

2017 Deans' Undergraduate Medalists

Kendall Bailey

Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology

Kendall Bailey

Kendall Bailey, of Shafter, completed a B.S. in Child Development and a minor in Communicative Sciences and Deaf Studies with a 4.0 GPA. From her first days at Fresno State, Bailey was committed to work toward the well-being of children, saying it is her “central aspiration to see every child shape their future and thrive through the exceptional resources of our community here in Fresno.” Bailey has participated in a number of service projects, including an internship at a therapeutic horse ranch for at-risk youth and taking on a leadership role with Jumpstart, a non-profit organization that promotes early literacy. While balancing work and community service, Bailey joined the Youth Social and Media research lab, working with faculty to study the impact of social media on children. Active in her church, Bailey has also participated in mission trips to Brazil, England, Canada, Arkansas, Texas and Washington.

Christina Beaulieu

College of Health and Human Services

Christina BeaulieuChristina Beaulieu, of Kerman, completed a B.S. in Kinesiology with a GPA of 3.81. Despite a childhood marked by economic uncertainty, Beaulieu excelled in school. But after marrying and having three children, higher education was the furthest thing from her mind. However, after eight years of struggling to provide for her children, Beaulieu discovered the encouragement and newfound strength to pursue her degree. While studying at Fresno City College, Beaulieu discovered her passion to work with children in the area of physical education. She served as a physical education specialist with Fresno Unified School District and plans to earn a teaching credential in physical education. “I want to be a positive role model for my students. I want them to know they don’t have to give up, no matter what life circumstances they may be facing,” she says.

Eric Calderon-Phangrath

Kremen School of Education and Human Development

Eric Calderon-Phangrath

Eric Calderon-Phangrath, of Fresno, completed a B.A. in Liberal Studies with a GPA of 3.52. The child of first-generation Laotian-Americans who worked in the fields, Calderon-Phangrath started school in ESL classes. Yet he went on to graduate early from high school and today speaks three languages. Soon after enrolling at Fresno State, Calderon-Phangrath’s academic dream was put on hold when his eldest brother was injured in Iraq. After spending several years in Seattle caring for his brother, Calderon-Phangrath returned to the Valley and Fresno State. But once again his university work was delayed when he and his husband became foster parents, ultimately adopting three children, two with disabilities. In 2016 he was able to return to the classroom, and inspired by his children to work in Special Education. He credits his non-traditional path to his success. “I believe all the life lessons that presented themselves along the way helped shape me to be a better person, father, student, and soon to be teacher.”

Cathleen Fagundes

College of Arts and Humanities

Cathleen Fagundes

Cathleen Fagundes, of Fresno, completed a B.A. in Communication with a GPA of 3.91. Placed into foster care at age 8 after the death of a parent, Fagundes found respite in the classroom. “Through the difficult times moving from home to home, educational environments became my stability,” she says. After graduating valedictorian from Hoover High School, Fagundes came to Fresno State as a member of the Smittcamp Family Honors College. Driven to improve the lives of others, Fagundes completed an ethnography on homelessness as part of the McNair Scholars program. She also leveraged opportunities to explore the world, traveling to Europe and participating in two service-learning trips to Fiji. Fagundes is currently conducting an ethnography on how Azorean men communicate masculinity through public ritual. Her goal is to earn a master’s in education with a multiple subjects teaching credential and dedicate her life to sharing her love of education with others.

Caden Jones

Craig School of Business

Caden JonesCaden Jones, of Fresno, completed a B.S. in Business, emphasis in Management, with a GPA of 3.92. Jones started her journey at Fresno State as a student at University High School. Upon graduation she was accepted into the Smittcamp Family Honors College, with a goal to excel in business. Internships helped Jones develop her love for sales and business. “Our incredibly supportive campus and community have been critical to my success as I have discovered my passions, diversified my experiences, and distinguished myself as an exemplary Bulldog,” she says. Jones participated in the Entrepreneur Mentorship Program with the Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Harvard Summer Venture in Management Program, and the University of California Summer Institute for Emerging Managers and Leaders. Her service experience includes working with Feeding America’s Community Foodbank. After graduation Jones is moving to Chicago to begin an exclusive rotational program with PepsiCo.

Annabelle Lolinco

College of Science and Mathematics

Annabelle LolincoAnnabelle Lolinco, of Fresno, completed a B.S. in Biochemistry and a B.A. in Communication with a GPA of 3.87. Driven by a passion to engage the public with the world of science, the first-generation student combined the realms of science and communication in her studies. Early in her college career she got involved with faculty research of the chemical composition of particulate matter in the atmosphere and how it affects human health. Growing as a scientist and leader, she presented and was recognized in national chemical conferences. Lolinco also developed an active-learning classroom that empowers students and the way they study chemistry. Her work in communication research analyzed the rhetoric of science used in entertaining educational shows. Throughout her years at Fresno State, Lolinco’s dedication to science and her family kept her focused on her goal of pursuing graduate education. She will be attending Iowa State University in the fall to pursue her doctorate in Chemistry as she continues to make science more accessible to the public.

Timothy M. Ryan

Student Affairs and Enrollment Management

Timothy M. Ryan

Timothy Ryan, of Fresno, completed a B.A. in Political Science with a 3.93 GPA. Ryan is a President’s Scholar in the Smittcamp Family Honors College and is finishing his term as the ASI President for the 2016-17 academic year. During his time as a campus leader, Ryan established a student club dedicated to spreading awareness and education about the Syrian refugee crisis. While serving as the ASI Senator for the College of Social Sciences, Ryan created the Social Science Student Leadership Council. Additionally, Ryan participate in a service-learning trip in Fiji, studied abroad in London, and interned in the California State Senate through the Maddy Institute. Ryan says these experiences made a lasting impact on the way he sees the world. “My experience at Fresno State has helped to solidify my personal values, develop new convictions, and instill within me the value of service. I have had many amazing opportunities to get involved, and I thank Fresno State for providing me with these avenues for growth.”

Shervin Zoghi

Lyles College of Engineering

Shervin ZoghiShervin Zoghi, of Fresno, completed his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and B.A. in Economics with a 4.0 GPA. He has worked as an intern at Lyles Mechanical, supplemental instruction leader at the learning center on campus, and a research and development intern at Johnson and Johnson Medical Devices. A member of the Smittcamp Family Honors College, he is passionate about community service, volunteering with the Central Valley Children’s Hospital, Crescent Clinic and Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship. Zoghi has presented his work on fluid dynamics modeling of lumens, 3D-printed prosthetics, economic development, income inequality and healthcare access, at the J&J Healthcare Summit, Stanford Research Conference and CSU Honors Conference. He is also interested in the intersection between engineering, medicine, and entrepreneurship. “I’ve always been fascinated with medical technology startups that rapidly develop innovative products to improve the quality of life.” Zoghi has co-founded multiple organizations, including a recent startup that focuses on segmenting MRI scans and producing 3D-printable models. He plans to pursue a M.D./Ph.D. in Biomechanical Engineering.

Honorary Doctorate 2017

Mike McGarvin and Ernesto Palomino

Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro have conferred the honorary doctorates upon the authority of the California State University Board of Trustees in recognition of McGarvin’s service to the homeless and Palomino’s contributions to the arts.

Mike McGarvin“Mike McGarvin’s outstanding service to humanity at large, and Ernesto Palomino’s commitment to exploring the rich culture of the Valley through his arts, embody the ideals of the California State University,” Castro said. “Both serve as shining examples to our diverse student body, and speak to the human capacity to elevate others through service and artistic expression.”

McGarvin, who was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree, is the founder and fellowship director of the Poverello House in Fresno, whose mission is to serve the hungry, homeless and destitute. What started as one man distributing sandwiches in 1973, has grown to the Poverello House, which now serves three meals a day, 365 days a year, to anyone in need. The organization offers an array of services to the homeless, including free medical and dental care, showers, laundry, clothing, transportation and shelter. It also features a 28-bed residential alcohol and drug rehabilitation program, as well as a five-bed transitional home.

In 2004, Poverello House opened the Village of Hope, a temporary overnight shelter for homeless people who want an alternative to the streets. More recently, Poverello House collaborated with the City of Fresno to open a second village, called The Community of Hope. McGarvin has also participated actively in events and classes at Fresno State, speaking regularly to students about his passion and commitment to serving the poor.

Ernesto PalominoPalomino, who was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree, is a distinguished artist with a focus in Fresno and the San Joaquin Valley, where he was born and raised in southwest Fresno. Palomino’s artistic talent took him to the San Francisco Art Institute in 1954, before earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Fine Arts from San Francisco State University in 1965.

He returned to Fresno to explore through his art the indigenous roots of Mexican-Americans and life in the Mexican barrio. His mural of farmworker life in Fresno’s Chinatown in the 1970s, bronze Quetzalcoatl and recent collaboration with other local artists for a Mexican mural district in Selma are a few examples of his individual artistic contributions. 

A leader in the local arts community, Palomino spent years teaching at Fresno State and mentoring other artists. He was central in the establishment a community grassroots arts movement in Fresno in the 1970s known as “La Brocha del Valle” (The Valley’s Artistic Brush), which inspired a generation of young Mexican-American artists in Fresno. He also collaborated with many Fresno institutions to enhance the arts, including Fresno Unified School District and Fresno’s Juvenile Hall.

 

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