Provost's Awards Lecture Series
Spring 2021 Presentations

This lecture series is to honor and showcase each year's recipients of the Provost's Awards.

2:00 P.M. TO 3:00 P.M.

Click on the link to veiw the  Provost's Awards Lecture Series Presentations by Dave Goorahoo and Helda Pinzon-Perez .

Dave Goorahoo, Department of Plant Science
2019-2020 Excellence in Teaching

“My Nitrogen Cycle”

Nitrogen (N) is the most abundant element in the atmosphere and is the nutrient in greatest demand by plants. Because of the complex chemistry, the N Cycle is integral in all crop production and environment related courses taught by Dr. Goorahoo. In this presentation, he will discuss how over the years he has recognized the analogy between the cyclic nature of N and his own life. He will highlight how he has applied the N Cycle concepts to promote his teaching philosophies and to deal with the challenges and opportunities related to his research and international travel.


Helda Pinzon-Perez, Department of Public Health
2019-2020 Faculty Service

“My Service to You: How to Be Healthy When Using Computers For Extended Periods of Time”

In her presentation, Dr. Pinzon-Perez will discuss some recommendations provided by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and other Wellness organizations on how to protect your health when using computers for extended periods of time. She will also highlight some programs at Fresno State that exemplify the concept of “Service” and her work with them.



3:00 P.M. TO 4:00 P.M

Click on the link to view Provost's Awards Lecture Series Presentations by Blain Roberts & Ethan Kytle and Beth Weinman.

Passcode:  3VELA0M. (Please include the period in the passcode)

Blain Roberts and Ethan Kytle, Department of History
2019-2020 Research, Scholarship, and Creative Accomplishment

“When the Past Becomes the Present: Reflections on Doing History in and for the Public”

Drs. Roberts and Kytle will focus on the evolution of their scholarly careers, exploring how they gravitated toward writing history for the general public and on topics that speak as much to the present as to the past. They will also discuss the benefits—and challenges—of co-authorship (especially writing with one’s spouse!).


Beth Weinman, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
2019-2020 Innovation

“End-of-Semester Student Symposia to Scale and Assess High Impact Practices”

Since Kuh, O’Donnell, & Reed’s seminal publication in 2013 about the role of high impact practices (HIPs) and the need for taking them to scale, campuses have struggled to integrate HIPs into their everyday institutional practices.  Here, we’d like to share how end-of-semester student symposia can be used to improve student learning (Brandsford et al., 2006; Chi et al., 1994), while simultaneously advancing strategic priorities, HIPs awareness, HIPs coordination, and HIPs efficacy at the institutional scale.  Since 2018, Fresno State has encouraged faculty in new-faculty orientations and beginning-of-semester administrative addresses to have their classes participate in end-of-semester “HIPs Student Symposia.”  To date, >500 students participate each semester, sharing with the campus community their extraordinary problem-based, first year, internship, and course-based research experiences.  Faculty and student-peer assessments enabled during the event helps empirically capture student achievement, while also supporting a socially engaging opportunity for students, faculty, and other community members to come together and connect with one another.  In this series, we give examples of how we are using HIPs-related data from events like these to help develop faculty, to measure student learning, and get a clearer understanding as to where HIPs are--and are not--within campus curricula.  We also end speculating on the increased necessity of HIPs due to COVID’s recent shift to online learning, with “virtual” end-of-semester symposia ensuring that socially-engaging high impact practices remain enabled (and perhaps even growing) across our academic enterprises.  


3:00 P.M. TO 4:00 P.M

Click on the link to view Provost's Awards Lecture Series Presentations by Tricia Van Laar and Mariya Yukhymenko

Tricia Van Laar, Department of Biology
2019-2020 Promising New Faculty

“We Did Something Bad - Is this the end of the antibiotic era?”

Research in the Van Laar lab broadly focuses on all things bacterial. Of particular interest is antimicrobial resistance (AMR), one of the most urgent global health threats. We study how AMR occurs within biofilms and aim to identify molecular mechanisms of AMR evolution in important human pathogens.


Mariya Yukhymenko, Department of Curriculum and Instruction
2019-2020 Promising New Faculty

“Teaching with Purpose: Preparing Our Students for Success Beyond Graduation”

Traditionally, student success has been defined through GPA, retention, and graduation. Yet, “success” should also consider what happens to our students beyond graduation, because through their careers, our graduates can become productive and thriving members of our society. Drawing on findings from her research projects, Dr. Mariya Yukhymenko will discuss the importance of sense of purpose in life and other relevant constructs that are central to the academic success of students and the wellbeing of working adults.


3:00 P.M. TO 4:00 P.M

Click on the link to view Provost's Awards Lecture Series Presentations by Jessica McKenzie and Faith Sidlow

Faith Sidlow, Department of Media, Communications and Journalism
2018-2019 Promising New Faculty

“No Longer the Enemy of the People: Restoring Trust in the Media in the Post-Trump Era”

Professor Sidlow will discuss the damage caused by the deliberate and systemic attack on the media by the former president. She will outline some of the steps the media and others should take to restore public trust in journalism. 


Jessica McKenzie, Department of Child and Family Science
2018-2019 Promising New Faculty

“Psychological Continuity and Change in a Changing World: From Southeast Asia to the San Joaquin Valley”

Modern globalization has transformed the lives of young people around the world, rendering them members of local and global cultures whether or not they have traveled beyond their hometown. How do young people negotiate these—at times contradictory—local and global cultural values to construct their identities? Dr. McKenzie will address this question by drawing from her ethnographic research with adolescents growing up in rapidly globalizing northern Thailand. She will also discuss how these findings overlap with the ways in which bicultural young adults in the San Joaquin Valley manage multiple sets of cultural values, and the implications of her work for educators who teach and serve a multicultural student body.


Fall 2020 Presentations

This lecture series is to honor and showcase each year's recipients of the Provost's Awards. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

2018-2019 - Promising New Faculty
Juliet Michelsen Wahleithner, Department of Literacy, Early, Bilingual and Special Education

“What Bugs Me: Working to Improve the Teaching and Learning of Writing”

Students continually enter college not feeling confident as writers, while teachers throughout the K-12 system continually report feeling unprepared to teach writing. Drawing on findings from multiple research projects, Dr. Juliet Michelsen Wahleithner will explore reasons why this is. Additionally, she will discuss her current work at Fresno State, including with the San Joaquin Valley Writing Project, to develop teachers’ capacity to teach writing so that they feel better prepared and their students, ultimately, feel more confident as writers.


2018-2019 – Promising New Faculty
Melanie Hernandez, Department of English

“How Mexicans Became Brown: The Flipside of U.S. Whiteness Studies”

Dr. Hernandez will discuss her current research project, which situates U.S.-based Mexican racial formation within the context of whiteness studies. This project tracks the “browning” of Mexicans through the latter half of the nineteenth century as legal and economic processes working in tandem with seemingly-innocuous cultural ephemera that permeated all areas of daily U.S. life.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

2018-2019 – Outstanding Lecturer
Lisa Anderson, Department of Anthropology

"Cs Get Degrees (Comedy, Connection, Caring, and Currency) and Other Lessons I Have Learned From My Students"

For ten years, I taught in Fresno State’s First Year Experience (FYE) program. This program was designed to provide first-generation college students potentially at risk of not graduating, with extra mentoring and support. This program “allowed” me to spend more time talking to and getting to know my students on a deeper level than was typical of other courses. I am certain I learned as much from them as they did from me, and these lessons have made me a better teacher.


2019-2020 – Outstanding Lecturer
Kao-Ly Yang, Department of Linguistics

 “Teaching the Invisible and Learning Beyond Language”

Teaching the Hmong language has been an adventure, both exhilarating and challenging as there are very few adequate teaching materials -- the Hmong written tradition is still recent. In this presentation, Dr. Kao-Ly Yang will share her reflection which led her to the creation of teaching materials to support the learning of Hmong while enhancing students’ appreciation of their cultural heritage, and building a strong foundation in their language and culture in order for them to be more successful in the academic world. Also, she will talk about teaching practices that impact students’ heart and mind, and make them reconnect – academically and critically-- with their linguistic and cultural heritage.

Thursday, December 3, 2020

2019-2020 – Promising New Faculty

Vadim Keyser, Department of Philosophy

“Perspective and the Pandemic”

Dr. Vadim Keyser will present on various perspectival frameworks--from biology, philosophy, art, and transdisciplinary approaches. The aim of these frameworks is to "make sense" of the multi-tiered effects of the pandemic. 


2019-2020 – Promising New Faculty
Zhi Liang, Department of Mechanical Engineering

“Improvement of Cooling Systems on Microelectronic Devices”

Nanostructured semiconductor components are widely used in microelectronics such as CPUs and LEDs. The huge power density in modern microelectronics is far beyond typical cooling capabilities. This leads to local overheating and catastrophic failure of microelectronics. Hence, efficient cooling of microelectronics is one of the crucial challenges for further progress of the semiconductor industry. Dr. Liang will discuss the key problems in the improvement of cooling systems on microelectronic devices in this talk.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

2019-2020 – Promising New Faculty
Katherine Fobear, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

"Intersectional Failures: LGBTQ+ Asylum Seekers in the United States"

Dr. Katherine Fobear’s talk focuses on recent immigration and asylum policies in the United States and how those policies affect sexual and gender minority asylum seekers coming to the US/Mexico border. Changes to long-established refugee policies, as well as new procedures like the Migrant Protection Protocols (also known as Remain in Mexico), Asylum Transit Ban, and Family Separation have had a critical impact on the wellbeing and safety of asylum seekers coming to the United States. These changes have been particularly impactful on those fleeing persecution on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and HIV status. Sexual and gender minority migrants experience far greater precarity with many being brutalized and killed when seeking asylum.


2019-2020 – Promising New Faculty
Matin Pirouz, Department of Computer Science

“Towards a Complex Network Approach to Brain Modeling and Anomaly Diagnosis”

Complex networks supplemented with predictive analytic methods have potential to create a revolutionary framework for the study of collective behaviors of different brain disorders and eventually model the human brain. Dr. Pirouz’s talk will present an integrated network-centric approach to identify brain anomalies (Schizophrenia, Insomnia, Epilepsy, Autism, and Alcoholism) using innovative and non-invasive approaches involving signals and imagery, complex network analysis, and predictive analytics. Such a novel and original perspective as brain modeling is crucial and made possible with the advent of cloud computing platforms and big data algorithms.


Fresno State is committed to providing universal access to all our guests. Please contact the Office of the Provost at 559.278.2636 to request disability accommodations.