University marks Columbia shuttle anniversary on two coasts
Friday, Feb. 1, was the fifth anniversary of the space shuttle Columbia disaster that took the life of alumnus Col. Rick Husband (left front in photo) and his six crewmates. Two events on campus marked the anniversity. Engineering faculty, students, AFROTC cadets and others gathered in Engineering East Room 120 to watch the NASA memorial in Florida. A noon memorial wreath presentation ceremony was held in the Engineering East lobby. The Fresno State contingent at NASA’s Cape Canaveral ceremony to hear a keynote address by Col. Husband’s widow, Evelyn Husband-Thompson, were President Welty, Peter Smits, vice president for advancement, and alumnus Sam Iacobellis, an aerospace icon.
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Madden Library project heads toward early 2009 opening
President John Welty, Provost Jeri Echeverria and Vice President for Student Affairs Paul Oliaro were among those getting their first look at construction progress inside the new wing of the Henry Madden Library on Jan. 25. The $105 million library is on schedule for opening early in 2009 to become what Welty told news reporters will be “the intellectual heart” of the campus. Click here for details.
Biomedical research funds won by Fresno State
Fresno State is one of 19 U.S. universities to receive a grant from the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities to develop a state-of-the-art biomedical research facility. The five-year, $4.5 million award funds the Research Infrastructure in Minority Institutions program, which will be directed by Lynnette Zelezny, chair of the Department of Psychology. Krish Krishnan and Alam Hasson (Chemistry), Amanda Mortimer (psychology) and Alejandro Calderon-Urrea and Jason Bush (Biology) are leaders and researchers in the program. Click here for details.
Welty looks for substantial challenges with state budget crisis
President John D. Welty told the Spring Assembly, “Our mission of achievement is firm and our region will become stronger and better because of the work that takes place on this campus.” The state budget crisis and associated difficulties are in the immediate future, Welty said, “but the key is how we respond and what we learn from them.” Welty said Athletics is moving forward with a report due soon from the Gender Equity Task Force, recommendations being implemented from the President’s Commission on Athletics Finances and the release soon of a strategic plan. Click here to read the speech.
Centennial Committee begins work toward 2010-11 celebration
Fresno County Superior Court Judge Robert Oliver will chair the newly appointed Centennial Committee, composed of faculty, staff, students and community members. Faculty appointees are Mike Botwin (Psychology), Dan Cady (History), Michael Caldwell (Music), Carolyn Coon (Student Affairs), Candace Egan (Mass Communication and Journalism), Maria A. Lopes (Chicano and Latin American Studies), Ken Shipley (Academic Affairs) and President John Welty. Staff representatives are Shirley Melikian Armbruster (University Communications), Leticia Reyna Cano (Advancement), Tom Ebert (Library, Emeriti), Thomas Gaffrey (Administrative Services), Tammy Lau (Madden Library), Terry Lewis (Madden Library), Rosie Tapia (President’s Office) and Steve Weakland (Athletics). Oliver is also Chair of the California State University, Fresno Foundation Board of Directors.
Auernheimer receives President’s Award of Excellence
Brent Auernheimer (Computer Science/Digital Campus), considered a leader in ensuring full access to technology for students and faculty, received the 2008 President’s Award of Excellence presented by the University Advisory Board. The award was presented at the Spring Assembly in recognition of integrity, leadership and commitment to the university and the community. Ethelynda Harding (Teaching, Learning and Technology) said in nominating Auerenheimer, “His scope of knowledge is truly astounding. He is continually learning and is eager to share new information with others.” Click here for details.
‘Ascención’ premier on campus Feb. 24
‘Ascención,’ the work of Benjamin Boone and Helene Joseph-Weil (Music) gets its world premier at 3 p.m. Feb. 24 in the Concert Hall. Boone composed the music and Joseph-Weil wrote the book and lyrics for what is billed as a “dramatic ethnohistorical cantata for mezzo-soprano, piano, chorus, indigenous Instruments and the bells of Mission San Juan Bautista.” Joseph-Weil will sing and Hatem Nadim (Music) will play piano, with the Fresno State Chamber Singers and the women of the Fresno State Concert Choir under Anna Hamre (Music). Click here for details.
Virginia Tech police chief visits Fresno State
Fresno State hosted law enforcement officials from numerous jurisdictions to hear from Police Chief Wendell Flinchum of the Virginia Tech Police Department. Flinchum led his officers last spring when a student killed 32 students, faculty and staff before taking his life. At the invitation of University Police Department Chief David Huerta, Flinchum reflected on what happened and lessons learned from the tragedy, including the need for collaborative action among law enforcement agencies.