California State University, Fresno - University Journal
September 2011 Vol. 15 No. 1
Arts   |   FYI   |   Newsmakers   |   Service   |   Sports  



Looking forward to the next century

As Fresno State's second century begins officially on Sept. 11, President John D. Welty says he is confident of a second "century of excellence" because of the new campus strategic plan. See the full story with video here.




Kent ClarkClark appointed new AVP for development
Newly appointed associate vice president for development R. Kent Clark says he feels welcomed by the community on campus. Prior to coming to Fresno State, Clark worked for eight years in university fundraising at Utah State University. His challenge now is guiding the Campaign for Fresno State to achieving its $200 million goal. He knows it won't be easy with the difficult economy, but Clark says there never has been a time when private funding was needed more in California's public higher education system. See the full story with video here.


GeekEdGeekEd incites passion for pop culture
in higher education

Tyler Miller, assistant director of Housing, had a dream as a college student that he would attend Comic-Con, but he just couldn't afford it. Now, he's gone way past that dream by actually being part of the conference with his GeekEd panel, "Bringing Geek Back to Higher Education." Comic-Con, a pop culture conference that meets annually, started out as a comic convention and has grown exponentially from there, with an average attendance of 125,000. Being part of it was amazing, Miller says. "Steven Spielberg, Brad Pitt, and Angelina Jolie were there over the last two years, and Bruce Willis," says Miller. "Just to know that we were going to be panelists in the same vein was exciting. Just as a geek, as somebody who’s a purveyor of pop culture, I was really excited." See the full story with video here.


GeekEdFirst-time freshmen get a jump start
with Summer Bridge

Summer Bridge, a three-week program that supports the transition of first-time freshmen to the university, has had some extraordinary success this year, according to director Mui Vuong. "This is the first time Summer Bridge has had a commuter program serving 200 students — the largest commuter program in the history of EOP at Fresno State," Vuong says. See the full story with video here.


Walk through time
You can literally walk through Fresno State's first 100 years on the fourth floor of the Henry Madden Library. As the Centennial celebration was ending with the 100th Commencement, a timeline exhibit was installed in the south hallway of the Harold H. Haak Administrative Center displaying presidential portraits. In words and photos, the display takes visitors from the community pushing the Legislature to create a teachers college and the opening of Fresno State Normal School on Sept. 11, 1911, all the way through seven presidents, three campuses, more than 200,000 graduates and countless lives affected directly by Fresno State and by those who studied here. The timeline ends with the Commencement on May 21. See the video here.





kidsFall Assemblies mark start
of university’s second century

A new video featuring children who are relatives of faculty and staff members was presented at the Fall Staff and Academic Assemblies. The video, produced by University Communications, was coordinated by Angel Langridge and filmed by Randy Haar. Michelle Melikian, Staff Assembly chair, welcomed Fresno State employees. The assemblies also featured messages by the president, provost, and Academic Senate chair. Read them here:
President Welty’s message
Provost Covino’s message
Chair Michael Caldwell’s message




Fresno State dedicates maple trees as Japanese disaster reminder
Three donated Trident maple trees were installed June 8 near the Maple Mall at California State University, Fresno as a remembrance of the earthquake and tsunami disaster that devastated Japan this March. The trees were donated by Jon Reelhorn, a Fresno State alumnus and owner of Belmont Nursery in Fresno. Trident maples (Acer buergeranum) are drought- and frost-tolerant trees with a spectrum of fall color. They can grow to a height of 35 feet with a rounded shape that can extend to a 30-foot circumference. See the full story here.



Lynnette ZeleznyZelezny to serve as dean and AVP
for Continuing and Global Education

Lynnette Zelezny has agreed to serve as dean and associate vice president for Continuing and Global Education, for a two-year term, as of July 1. She has been assistant vice president for CGE since January. She replaces Berta Gonzalez, who retired after decades of accomplishment at Fresno State.

Professor Zelezny earned a Ph.D. in Psychology from the Claremont Graduate University and an M.B.A. with distinction from the Craig School of Business at Fresno State. In addition, she is an ACE Fellow and holds professional certificates in Management from Harvard University and in Executive Leadership from the Wharton School of Business. Professor Zelezny has served as associate dean in the Craig School of Business, chair of the Department of Psychology, and as the Chair of Chairs at Fresno State. She has been at Fresno State for 23 years, earning numerous teaching, research, and mentoring awards, including a nomination as Carnegie U.S. Professor of the Year.

PRSAUniversity Communications team wins regional awards
The University Communications office won nine awards and the Development Office won another in competition sponsored by the Central California chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA). The Image Awards program accepts entries from throughout the chapter’s service area in Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Tulare and San Luis Obispo counties. Entries were judged by members from the PRSA chapter in Tulsa, Okla. See the full story here.


Top Dog Awards
honor 15 accomplished Fresno State alumni

The Top Dog Alumni Awards Gala on Oct. 13 will honor Dr. Diana Meehan, the educator and documentarian who co-founded the Archer School for Girls in Los Angeles, as the 2011 Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Fresno State Alumni Association. The Gala also recognizes 13 other former California State University, Fresno, students from the university’s eight schools and colleges the Henry Madden Library, Athletics, Division of Graduate Studies and the Division of Student affairs for their post-graduate accomplishments. See the full story here.


RobertaRoberta Sumner, noted alumna and beloved teacher, passes away
Roberta Adelia (Beebe) Sumner was one of Fresno State’s oldest alumnae when she passed away on July 29. Before her death, Mrs. Sumner talked with the Journal about her life, especially her fond memories of what was then Fresno State Teachers College. After Mrs. Sumner’s death, her son-in-law Loren Buller filled in some of the details of her life. See the full story here.




Arthur Foston, professor emeritus of industrial technology, dies
Arthur Foston, professor emeritus of the Industrial Technology Department, died on June 22 in Fresno. He taught at Fresno State from 1968 to 1993. Before coming to Fresno State, he taught at high schools in Denton and Dallas Texas and was a professor at Prairie View A & M University. He was an alumnus of Prairie View A & M, North Texas State University and Colorado State University with degrees in electrical engineering, physics, and mathematics. He also consulted with Hughes Aircraft, IBM, and other corporations. He was a licensed radio ham operator.


Centennial Cuvee

Centennial wine released
Dr. John Welty attended the event in which the award-winning Centennial Cuvee was released by the Fresno State Winery. The wine's release preceded the May 14 Centennial Gala in the Save Mart Center and the 100th Commencement on May 21. The student-produced wine is a Bordeaux-style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec from the 2009 vintage.




Welty applauded for 20 years as Fresno State president
Faculty, staff and administrators and members of the greater Fresno community gathered on Aug. 24 to pay tribute to Dr John D. Welty as he began his 21st year as Fresno State's seventh president. Tributes came from Dr. Benjamin Quillian, the California State University executive vice chancellor and chief financial officer; Dr. Mike Ortiz, president of Cal Poly Pomona; Dr. Alexander Gonzalez, the Sacramento State president; and Dr. Jeri Echeverria, retired CSU executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer. All were administrators at Fresno State during Welty's tenure. See the full story here.


Authors donate children’s books to Arne Nixon Center
Globe-trotting authors Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy have donated more than 2,000 rare children’s books from their personal collections to the Arne Nixon Center for the Study of Children’s Literature. The books date from the 1950s to the 1980s and include nearly 200 titles written by one or both authors. See the full story here.


Woodward familyNew Woodward family
reading room unveiled

This summer the Library hosted a special event to celebrate the newly redesigned and renovated O. James Woodward III Family Special Collections Reading Room. In attendance were the evening’s honorees, O. James Woodward III and Judith Knapp Woodward and their children, Brent and Mark Woodward with his wife, Christine Woodward.  Many of the Woodward Family’s friends and associates were also present to help them celebrate not just the wonderful new, specially designed space but also their multi-generation connection to the Library. The O. James Woodward Family Reading Room is part of the Special Collections Research Center on the fourth floor of the South wing of the Henry Madden Library. The current exhibit in the reading room is “1911-2011: Celebrating 100 Years of Fresno State” available for viewing between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.  


New Women’s Campus Connection meets Sept. 9
A new group, Women’s Campus Connection, will have its inaugural event Friday, Sept. 9, a no-host “Five Dollar Friday” lunch from noon to 1 p.m. in the east wing of the University Dining Hall. All female staff, faculty and administrators are invited to attend. The Women’s Campus Connection offers women faculty, staff and administrators an environment in which to socialize and build connections that provide professional and personal benefits for support and success at Fresno State and beyond. Send RSVPs to Nina Palomino at by Wednesday, Sept. 7.


Contemporary fiber artist’s work at Conley Gallery in September
“Undocumented Borderlands,” an exhibition by contemporary fiber artist and weaver Consuelo Jiménez Underwood, will be mounted Sept. 8-30 at the Conley Art Gallery in the Phebe Conley Art Building. For more info, contact See the full story here.


Leonard Marcus to speak September 16
The annual meeting of ANCA, the Arne Nixon Center Advocates, will be held at the Henry Madden Library on Friday, Sept. 16, with a talk by Leonard Marcus, renowned author, children's book expert, and historian. This event will mark the opening of the Arne Nixon Center’s exhibition “Down the Rabbit Hole with Lewis Carroll and Leonard Weisgard.” The program will feature a 6 p.m. reception, followed by a talk at 7 Leonard Marcus, entitled “Revolution in 32 Pages: How Leonard Weisgard and Friends Re-Invented the American Picture Book.” Special guests will include Abby and Christina Weisgard, daughters of Leonard Weisgard, who are coming from their homes in Denmark to attend. Although there is no charge for admission, seating is limited and reservations are required, by calling 278-8116 or sending e-mail to





Fresno State community service again tops million hours
For the second straight year, the community benefitted from more than 1 million hours of service volunteered by California State University, Fresno, students, faculty, staff and administrators. During the 2010-11 academic year, ended June 30, the Fresno State community provided 1,053,481 hours of service. See the full story here.


Service photo

Physics made fun for kids
through outreach course

Physics can often seem dull and boring to the average kid, but a service-learning course, Physics Outreach, is changing that. Through a physics outreach program, Fresno State students perform road shows for local K-12 schools. Led by Assistant Professor Pei-Chun Ho and Lecturer Don Williams, Fresno State students describe the basic laws of Newtonian mechanics, electromagnetism, and thermal physics in concise and simple language to educate the general public.

Each week, Fresno State students travel to area K-12 schools to put on two to three one-hour "shows" for the students. The kids in these schools become excited when they can get involved in stimulating physics activities, which include lifting their teacher with one hand by mechanical advantage, learning about pressure by lying on a bed of nails, and enjoying ice cream made right before their eyes with liquid nitrogen.

By gathering the information about demographics, teaching styles, and types of questions asked by the kids, the physics-outreach students are gaining a better understanding of how to effectively instruct students at this level. These insights will help Fresno State service-learning students in their future careers as science educators.

For more information, email or, or call the Department of Physics at 559.278.3371.







TheatreUniversity Theatre season opens with T.I.C. Trenchcoat in Common
Season tickets are on sale for University Theatre's 2011-12 productions at Fresno State. The season begins in the John Wright Theatre Sept. 30-Oct. 8 with T.I.C. Trenchcoat in Common, a blog turned into a play by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, directed by J. Daniel Herring. The mordant comedy morphs into a murder mystery as a teenage girl’s blog leads to dangerous secrets. Lonely and miserable, she amuses herself by blogging about the oddball neighbors she observes through their rear windows. Unlike in the Alfred Hitchcock film Rear Window, which was one of Nachtrieb’s inspirations, the kid’s peeping tomism is aided by various computer-age recording devices. The deeper she goes, the more secrets emerge, and what begins as a lark becomes dangerous.

The listing below includes other 2011-12 University Theatre productions:

  • For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide, When the Rainbow is Enuf, by Ntozake Shange, directed by Thomas-Whit Ellis, Oct. 28-Nov. 5, Dennis and Cheryl Woods Theatre
  • The Tempest, by William Shakespeare, directed by Kathleen McKinley, Dec. 2-10, John Wright Theatre
  • Contemporary Dance Ensemble, Kenneth Balint, artistic director, Feb. 17-25, John Wright Theatre
  • Brontë, by Polly Teale, directed by Ruth Griffin, March 16-24, Dennis and Cheryl Woods Theatre
  • Assassins, music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by John Weidman, directed by Brad Myers, May 4-12, John Wright Theatre

Single tickets are on sale September 12. Performances begin at 8 p.m.; Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Season tickets: $75, general admission; $65, Fresno State faculty/staff, Alumni Association members, seniors (60+) and non-Fresno State students; $50, Fresno State students. Single-performance tickets will go on sale Sept. 13. ID must be presented to claim discounted tickets. Tickets can be purchased noon-4 p.m. Monday-Friday at the University Theatre Box Office at the north entrance of the Speech Arts Building, 278-2216. Ticket order forms and more information are available at


MamikonianKeyboard Concerts series features Mamikonian Sept. 18
Pianist Vardan Mamikonian opens the season with works by Bach/Busoni, Chopin, and Liszt on Sunday, Sept. 18 at 3 p.m. in the Concert Hall. Having performed to greatest acclaim in such prestigious venues as the Musikverein in Vienna, Carnegie Hall in New York, Wigmore Hall in London, and Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, prize-winning Armenian pianist Vardan Mamikonian returns to Fresno for another display of his rare talent. Admission to the concert is $18 general, $12 seniors, and $5 for students. For ticket reservations and other information, please call 278-2337.






FialaAndrew Fiala
(Philosophy) writes a twice-monthly ethics column for the Fresno Bee’s Faith and Values section.







Bob LevineBob Levine
(Psychology) was elected president of the Western Psychological Association. His official term now is "President Elect," with duties that began after the WPA conference this summer.





Phil LevinePhillip Levine
(English, emeritus) a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, has been appointed poet laureate of the United States. The announcement was made Aug. 10, by James H. Billington, the librarian of Congress. His legacy for readers includes “The Simple Truth,” the 1995 Pulitzer Prize-winner for poetry, and "The Bread of Time: Toward an Autobiography" (1994), "Don't Ask" (1981), "So Ask: Essays, Conversations, and Interviews" (2002) and “Breath” (2004). See the full story here.



Peter RobertsonPeter Robertson
(Alumni Relations) shared the “I am Fresno State!” student-produced video project with the Council of Alumni Association Marketing and Membership Professionals’ conference hosted by Arizona State on July 14th in Phoenix, Ariz. The conference was attended by more than 125 colleges and universities from throughout the nation. He also shared the "I am Fresno State!" project with the Kiwanis and the Skagit Valley College Foundation, both located in Mount Vernon, Wash. Robertson was featured in the Business Journal published on July 29. The full-page article highlighted the Bulldog Pride Fund, the “I am Fresno State!” project, and Fresno Reel Pride. Robertson recently became director of Alumni Marketing and Engagement with the Alumni Association. This fall, he will be honored with the “Arthur Safstrom Service Award” at the Top Dog Alumni Award Gala for “outstanding service to the Fresno State Alumni Association, Fresno State and the community at large.”





Bulldog administrators assume new roles
Fresno State administrators Betsy Mosher, Paul Ladwig and Dan McLean are assuming new responsibilities as the Bulldogs make minor adjustments to the Athletics Department and prepare for the transition to the Mountain West Conference.

Mosher, formerly Fresno State’s senior associate athletics director, will serve as the deputy director of Athletics and remain as the NCAA Senior Woman Administrator. In her expanded role, Mosher assumes formal oversight of all sport supervisors, greater supervisory capacity regarding student-athlete welfare issues, and is formally defined as the department’s top administrator in the absence of the director of Athletics.

Ladwig has been promoted to senior associate athletics director for external relations after joining the Bulldogs in 2005 as the associate athletics director for external relations and broadcasting. In addition to continuing his previous role as a department spokesperson and oversight of advertising, communications, marketing, merchandising, licensing, ticket sales, video services and web operations. Ladwig will assume shared oversight of the Bulldog Foundation. This reorganization allows for the integration and merging of all external communication and outreach under Ladwig’s direction.

McLean becomes the assistant athletics director for development. He replaces Coleman Barnes, who left Fresno State this month for an administrative position at the University of Alabama, Birmingham. McLean will manage the day-to-day operation of the Bulldog Foundation, including the annual fund, major gifts and sports clubs. He will also be the administration’s operational liaison with the BDF Board of Directors and assumes responsibility for the organization, which is in its sixth year of its current structure and continues to evolve.


SportsParking, transit options abound for Fresno State-Cal football
Fresno State fans traveling to the Saturday, Sept. 3, football game against Cal at Candlestick Park in San Francisco have several parking and transportation options, reports Bulldog Athletics. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Muni Express offers several ways for fans to get to Candlestick Park from any part of San Francisco, including the new T Metro Line. Private parties traveling in charter buses are asked to park in the bus parking lot (lot T) while Limos and RV's are asked to park in the RV lot (Lot V). The tailgating lots for limos, RV's and tailgate buses are $80. Cost for parking charter buses with no tailgating is $40. Details, maps:




SportsSportsSoccer, football, volleyball
on September schedule

Sports fans have plenty of Bulldog competition on campus to cheer during September, beginning at 1 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 4, when the Soccer dogs host Sacramento State’s Hornets. There’s no charge to attend and there will be face-painting and a postgame kick-around as extra attractions to the competition in Bulldog Stadium. Also on the September Athletics calendar:

  • 7 p.m. Sept. 17, football vs. North Dakota, Bulldog Stadium. The game will be the inaugural for the new field, which features a new surface and graphics.
  • 7 p.m. Sept. 22, volleyball vs, CSU Bakersfield, Save Mart Center. Free admission.
  • 1 p.m. Sept. 25, soccer vs. Pepperdine, Bulldog Stadium. Free admission, face-painting, scarf and Bulldog Shop coupon giveaway, postgame kick-around.
  • 4 p.m. Sept. 30 soccer vs. Idaho, Bulldog Stadium. Free admission, face painting.

Information about Bulldog Athletics is at

Tickets for pay-to-enter competition are available through the Bulldog Ticket Office, or 559.278.3647 (278-DOGS).


Carrousel horse
Video tour recaptures magic of recent Carrousel exhibit at Madden Library

If you missed the stunning exhibition of historic, hand-carved carrousel animals at the Henry Madden Library this summer, take the short video tour. The video captures some of the charm of the carrousel animals, plus a glimpse at displays on carrousel history, construction, and popular culture. Click here for the full story and video.



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
Associate Vice President for University Communications, Shirley Melikian Armbruster
Director of University Web Communications and Publications, Bruce Whitworth
Managing Editor, Lanny Larson • Editor, April Schulthies
Photographer, Cary Edmondson • Photography Intern, Madison Artist • Videographer, Randy Haar
Web Coordinator, Kevin Medeiros • Editorial Assistant, Angel Langridge