California State University, Fresno - University Journal
February 2009 Vol. 12 No. 6


Elisa Valdez

FEATURE STORY: Floral Lab arranges for a busy Valentine's Day

One of the most popular places at this time of year is Fresno State's Floral Laboratory. Faculty and staff like to avoid the hassle of hunting down flowers on Valentine's Day by purchasing gifts Quoteright here on campus. With all its balloons, carnations, roses, bears, candy, and other offerings, it's no wonder that the Floral Lab is sometimes crowded.

The Floral Lab is a full-service enterprise available for banquets, parties, holiday events, funeral services, and weddings. It serves the university and the Fresno community by providing exceptional values in its promotions and events. But the most important thing about the floral lab is the practical experience it gives the students in flower production, flower marketing, and the construction and marketing of floral compositions. more...



Chesley B. “Sully” SullenbergerFresno State library waives fees for hero pilot’s missing book
When pilot Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger’s jetliner wound up in the Hudson River on Jan. 15, so did a book from California State University, Fresno’s Henry Madden Library. Sullenberger’s skill in landing his crippled aircraft allowed all 155 people on board to survive. Days after receiving a hero’s welcome in his hometown, though, he did what any responsible library patron does: Told the library he didn’t have books he borrowed and asked for an extension to get them back or a waiver of overdue or replacement fees. Fresno State’s connection came through an interlibrary loan request that provided the book to a library near Sullenberger’s home town of Danville. Not only will Fresno State forgive the overdue and replacement fees, Library Dean Peter McDonald said he will replace the book and add a bookplate inside the cover dedicating the volume to Sullenberger. “Here is a national hero you would think would have more important things to worry about,” McDonald added. “The world now knows he contacted us almost immediately about the books he'd borrowed that were stuck in the hold of a downed plane. I'd trust my life to a man like Sullenberger. Of course we’ll waive the fee.” Sullenberger packed them into his luggage when he took off for the East Coast before the fateful flight. The luggage from Sullenberger’s aircraft was collected with other debris as part of the federal investigation of what happened to force the landing on the river between New York City and New Jersey. The general subject of the book Sullenberger borrowed? Professional ethics.President John D. Welty

President Welty discusses budget issues in Spring Assembly
President John D. Welty discussed the campus budget at the annual Spring Faculty/Staff Assembly, noting that the university faces a “daunting” situation that will bring “painful” moments. Welty said the current fiscal year still has many challenges, and he is focused on ensuring that “we can cover salaries and mandatory obligations in this constrained environment.” Even though the state halted funding for thousands of public works projects, including the Madden Library, Fresno State will be able to open most of the library, but with sparse furnishings, Welty said. Click here for more.

Dr. Dennis NefNef named interim provost
Effective Feb. 2, Dr. Dennis Nef, associate vice president and dean of Undergraduate Studies, assumes the position of interim provost. He succeeds Dr. Jeronima “Jeri” Echeverria, who has moved to the California State University headquarters in Long Beach to become associate vice chancellor for Academic Affairs for the 23-campus CSU system. Nef joined the university in 1983 as a faculty member in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology specializing in agricultural policy and resource economics and land and water economics. He has been serving as associate vice president and dean Undergraduate Studies since August 2005. Nef previously served as associate dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology and chair of the Department of Agricultural Economics. He holds a bachelor of science degree in business administration from Brigham Young University as well as an M.S. (Utah State) and a Ph.D. (Iowa State) in agricultural economics. Click here for more.

Torgerson named interim dean of Undergrad Studies
Dr. Colleen Torgerson has been named interim dean of Undergraduate Studies, effective Feb. 2. She will temporarily fill the position while Dr. Dennis Nef assumes the role of interim provost. Torgerson joined the university in 1999 as a faculty member in the Kremen School of Education and Human Development's Department of Counseling, Special Education, and Rehabilitation. She has been serving as the associate dean in education since 2004. Previously, she served as the program coordinator for Special Education and Multiple Subject credential programs. Click here for more.

Dr. Timothy StearnsEntrepreneurial educator wins President’s Award
Dr. Timothy M. Stearns, a state and national figure in entrepreneurial education, received the 2009 President’s Award of Excellence. Stearns is the Coleman Foundation Chair in Entrepreneurial Studies and executive director of the Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Fresno State. He was honored Jan. 20 at the Spring Assembly for faculty and staff. University Advisory Board chair Dr. Katherine Flores, a Fresno physician, and members James Shekoyan and Julie Tone presented the award. The President’s Award of Excellence was established in the fall of 2001 by the University Advisory Board to honor Fresno State President John D. Welty. The award recognizes a faculty member who demonstrates integrity, leadership and a commitment to the university and the community as exemplified by President Welty.
Click here for more.

Henry Madden LibraryLibrary ribbon-cutting ceremony Feb. 19
The campus community is invited to celebrate the opening of the new Madden Library with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 19. After a brief program, the library will be open for self-guided tours until 3 p.m. The library officially opens on Feb. 20. Click here for a Library Journal interview with Dean Peter McDonald.

Extreme Makeover photoFresno State helps local family build a home
Willing volunteers from Fresno State helped in the construction process for ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Fresno project. Fresno State students, faculty, and staff were among more than 2,500 volunteers who worked to build a house for Mary Ann Riojas and her four teen-aged children. Click here for more.



Be My Valentine Valentine's Day tips
This Valentine's Day, show your loved ones how special they are. Click here for more.

The Journal is published online by the Office of University Communications the first day of each month – or the weekday closest to the first – from September through May. The deadline for submissions to Journal is 10 days prior to the first of each month. Please e-mail submissions to You may include digital photos, video clips or audio clips that are publishable online. Phone messages, faxes or printed hard copies will not be accepted.
President, John D. Welty
Vice President for University Advancement, Peter N. Smits
Interim Assistant Vice President for University Communications, Shirley Melikian Armbruster
Director of Publications and Web Services, Bruce Whitworth
Managing Editor, Lanny Larson • Assistant Editor, April Schulthies
Web Coordinator, Kevin Medeiros • Editorial Assistant, Angel Langridge