California State University, Fresno - University Journal
December 2011 Vol. 15 No. 4
Arts   |   FYI   |   Newsmakers   |   Service   |   Sports  


Fresno State revitalization effort helps the community

Over the summer, student concerns about the community surrounding Fresno State burgeoned into a revitalization effort that includes clean-up and community service. "Students are trying to get involved and get people involved that really haven’t been involved in the past," says Tara Powers-Mead, Associated Students Inc. coordinator.

See the full story with video.





FresnoState Magazine posts online
The latest edition of FresnoState Magazine will be available this month online featuring articles about the College of Arts and Humanities. Articles detail the connection between professors and their students, on the accomplishments of faculty, students and alumni in the Master of Fine Arts in Creating Writing program and an assessment by alumni of the value of a Fresno State education. Emerita Joanne W. Schroll shares thoughts about giving back to Fresno State and there are profiles of both Bulldog basketball coaches. Art and design professor Doug Hansen's "Tree portrait" illuminates mass communication and journalism professor Betsy Hays' favorite campus green space. The link to FresnoState magazine is available at



leavesFall colors embellish campus
A profusion of autumn colors are displayed on campus, with bright yellows, stunning reds, and magnificent oranges.The spectacle of fall in its resplendance has touched Fresno State with sumptuous grandeur. See the video by Randy Haar. See the photo gallery by Cary Edmondson.


Anne MurphyTeaching Fellows Program
makes a positive impact on the community

The Teaching Fellows Program is making a positive impact on the community by providing problem-based academic enrichment, literacy, mentoring, and tutoring activities that improve the educational development of young people. On the Fresno State campus since 1996, the program began as a way to give undergraduates — specifically those seeking a degree in teacher’s education — an opportunity to gain hundreds of hours of early field experience. But that purpose has broadened. See the full story with video here.



Give a GobblerGive a Gobbler drive helps people in need
during the holidays

In its fifth year, Fresno State’s Give a Gobbler drive gives holiday turkeys to struggling families through the Community Food Bank, Poverello House and now Bulldog Pantry, a student-run food bank serving university neighbors in need. "These are student-produced, student-raised Fresno State turkeys right here from our farm, and we are really excited to be a part of giving back to the community," says Ganesan Srinivasan, director of the university Agricultural Laboratory. See the full story with video.


library bookFirst library book returns home
The first book purchased for the Henry Madden Library back in 1911 has become part of the collection once again thanks to the wonders of the Internet and the generosity of a couple in the Midwest. It isn't the exact copy, but it is the same publication: The Successful Stockman and Manual of Husbandry, Andrew A. Gardenier, editor. The book will be on display in the Special Collections Research Center’s exhibit gallery throughout the spring 2012 semester. See the full story.


poinsettiasFresno State poinsettias bring holiday charm to the University House
This year the university farm is bringing holiday cheer to the University House by donating 50 poinsettias. Fresno State students have been growing poinsettias for more than 15 years as part of a crop project their senior year. See the full story with photo gallery.





Charitable Campaign a success
This year's California State Employees Charitable Campaign ended on Oct. 31. The campus had significant increases in total contributors (26%) and the total amount contributed (8.5%) compared to 2010. The generosity of faculty and staff helps the region and the community in continuing the Fresno State culture of giving back. Congratulations to University Advancement — winner of the President's Giving Award for the highest percentage of contributors — and to the Division of Academic Affairs who came in second.


Peach pomace tested as breakfast cereal ingredient
A Fresno State faculty-student research team specializing in extrusion technology has worked to benefit the region’s fruit processing industry by providing ingredients for a new, nutritious breakfast cereal. Former food science professor Dr. Gour Choudhury —now on the faculty at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo —and Fresno State graduate Preetam Sarkar led the work featuring the use of peach pomace as a base material for the cereal mix. See the full story.


Tomatoes undergo growth trials
Specially equipped "greenhouses" hosted a first-of-its-kind agricultural experiment on the Fresno State Agricultural Laboratory (campus farm) when carbon dioxide gas was applied to tomato plants to determine whether production can be enhanced. See the full story.


New CIT report confirms state's farmers apply water efficiently
Claims that California farmers are wasteful and inefficient in managing their water supplies are inaccurate, according to a new report released by the Center for Irrigation Technology at Fresno State. See the full story.


Department of Public Health project commended
United States Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis commended a Fresno State Department of Public Health project in Tulare County in a speech she gave last month at the Rosalyn Carter Institute for Caregiving Annual Summit. Headed by Public Health faculty, the project creates community health advocates in the rural areas. It is one of two national pilot projects that were issued as a special project of the secretary of labor. Read the secretary's speech.


All Campus Open Forum on Dec. 2
There will be an All Campus Open Forum with Goldstein and Associates, the Information Technology Strategic Plan consultant, at 9 a.m. on Dec. 2 in USU 312. The IT plan will enable the university to use technology to maximize the delivery of academic and administrative services and to support the full implementation of the Plan for Excellence IV.


Bookstore's holiday sale is Dec. 2 and 3
The Kennel Bookstore's 33rd Annual Holiday Open House Sale is 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2 and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3. Tent items will be 50-67 percent off. Holiday gifts and decorations are 50 percent off and clothing, supplies, gifts, general books, and Internet orders are 25 percent off. Gift boxes are free with purchase. Also, there will be prize giveaways. View the sale video.


Mexican folkloric dancChristmas in Mexico presents
folkloric dance Dec. 3

The Fresno State Mexican folkloric troupe Los Danzantes de Aztlán will headline its 24th annual Christmas in Mexico dance concert from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3 at the Satellite Student Union. Other participants are Los Danzantes de Aztlán Juvenil, the Chicano and Latin American Studies Beginning Folkloric class, the Clovis High School Marimba and Central East High School Danzantes de Tlaloc. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door and available from the Department of Chicano and Latin American Studies (Social Science Building, Room 211). See the full story.



Dual language conference to be held Jan. 13-14
The Kremen School of Education and Human Development is offering a dual language conference Jan. 13 (4-8 p.m.) and 14 (8 a.m. to noon) in the Satellite Union Building for students, teachers and community members. The conference hosts more 200 students and three keynote speakers in the field with workshops. Submit Conference Registration form.






First Book FresnoHoliday gift project fundraiser promotes literacy
The Richter Center for Community Engagement and First Book Fresno are calling on the generosity of the Fresno State community to give the gift of literacy this holiday season. A fundraising effort began Nov. 1 to raise funds for new educational books for children who benefit from the Reading and Beyond Program at El Dorado Park. A $10 donation can provide up to four books. One hundred percent of all financial donations will be used to purchase books. All donations are tax-deductible and receipts will be provided. Checks should be made payable to: “First Book Fresno” and mailed to the Richter Center, M/S TA 120. Donations must be received by Dec. 1 to be used for this project. For more information, contact Renee Delport ( or Trisha Studt ( at 278-7079.


service photo
Students learn about volunteer opportunities.

Spring Community Service
Opportunities Fair

The 9th annual Spring Community Service Opportunities Fair takes place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Jan. 25 in the Satellite Student Union. The event is sponsored by The Jan and Bud Richter Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning. During the Community Service Opportunities Fair students will have the opportunity to learn about volunteer, service-learning, internship and career opportunities offered through area community benefit organizations. Faculty and staff are encouraged to attend this event and send students who are interested in community service or who are required to do service as part of a class assignment. For more information, please contact Renee Delport at 278-7079.


Environmental service learning sets new records
Working with RiverTree Volunteers Inc., San Joaquin River cleanup programs achieved new records this year. With funding from the Bureau of Reclamation, the San Joaquin River Conservancy, The Tides Foundation and Fresno State, students cleared 45 tons of debris, including 1027 tires. The September “Great Sierra Rivers Cleanup” removed 17 tons of debris from the San Joaquin River with 162 volunteers participating. In addition to river cleanups, students removed approximately five miles of barbed wire fencing to enhance conservation land along the river. At Fresno County’s Environmental Education Center at Scout Island, Fresno State students cleared more than five tons of invasive species from a creek used to teach river and canoe skills to handicapped children. Students also planted over 100 native trees again this year and each of restorative vegetation areas is thriving. Under the direction of Dr. Mark Somma (Political Science and recipient of the Fresno State Spirit of Service Award in 2011), the program has received morethan $300,000 in research and service funding over the past three years, with an additional $400,000 of funding under consideration with various foundation and agencies. See the full story.




The TempestShakespeare storms onto the stage Dec. 2-10
Shakespeare's The Tempest, directed by Kathleen McKinley, takes the stage Friday, Dec. 2-10 in the John Wright Theatre. Shakespeare opens The Tempest with a violent storm at sea. Quickly he moves to the cell of Prospero (Terry Lewis), who has caused the storm with his magic. Prospero explains to his beautiful and unsophisticated daughter, Miranda (Kia Vassiliades), that the storm will help him regain his title, Duke of Milan, which has been usurped. The villains — Prospero’s sister Antonia (Kelsely Oliver) and her scheming companion Sebastian (Shawn Richard Pereira) — are in alliance with Alonso (Miguel Gastelum), King of Naples, who helped in the overthrow of Prospero 12 years before. Prospero has brought his enemies to the island to teach them a lesson; his servants, Caliban (Matthew Rudolf Schiltz) and Ariel (Ryan Christopher Woods), help him in executing his revenge.

Listed below are additional 2011-12 University Theatre productions:

  • Contemporary Dance Ensemble, Kenneth Balint, artistic director, Feb. 17-25, John Wright Theatre
  • Bronté 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

Performances begin at 8 p.m.; Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. 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


Piano majors perform Dec. 4
The Fresno State Department of Music presents piano majors in concert performing works by Beethoven, Schubert, Schumann, Brahms, Chopin, Bartok, Khachaturian, Schönberg, Piazzolla and others at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4 in the Concert Hall. Admission is $7 general, $6 seniors, and $5 for students. For more information, call 278-2337.


Fresno State Symphony OrchestraFresno State Symphony
performs Dec. 3

The Fresno State Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Dr. Thomas Loewenheim, will feature Fresno State's new full-time violin professor, Dr. Limor Toren-Immerman, in one of the cornerstones of the violin and orchestra literature, Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto. The concert is at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3 in the Paul Shaghoian Concert Hall (2770 E. International Ave., Fresno). Toren-Immerman has won numerous regional and national competitions and has appeared as soloist with orchestras throughout Russia, Israel, and the United States. Her concert career has additionally taken her through France, Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Spain, Egypt, the Canary Islands, Japan, and Canada. The orchestra will conclude the concert with Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5, which was written during the heavy rule of the Stalin regime. Admission:
$15 general, $10 faculty/staff/seniors, $5 students. Tickets are available on-line and at the door.





Entering the PictureJill Fields
(History), who edited the recently published Entering the Picture: Judy Chicago, the Fresno Feminist Art Program and the Collective Visions of Women Artists (Routledge Press/$42.95), lectured at the University of Southern California, where she is a visiting research scholar at the Center for Feminist Research. She will sign books at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, joined by Los Angeles City Councilmember Tom LaBonge. Another signing is scheduled at 3 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Los Angeles Convention Center during conference of the College Art Association, the nation's largest academic organization for art history and art professors.


Catherine G. R. Jackson
(Kinesiology) was recently interviewed by Melanie Cole, a Chicago-area media personality, for HealthRadio on the Sports Medicine and Fitness Show. Four podcasts were produced on the topic "Exercise Mythbusters."


Bruce Roberts
(Plant Science) and his wife, Amy Roberts, were featured in The Fresno Bee as winners in the Central Valley Landscape Awards with their home along the bluffs in north Fresno. Deciding against a pool, they broke up a large concrete slab and created a landcsape using stones and rocks they've collected on their travels, and added native, drought-tolerant plants. Dr. Roberts is the J.G. Boswell Chair of Agronomy. See the Bee article.


David SchecterDavid Schecter
(Political Science) and the Department of Political Science sponsored a student event, “Debt Busters: Our Congressional ‘Super Committee’ Works on the Budget,” in partnership with the Concord Coalition, a nonpartisan, grassroots advocate of fiscal responsibility. Nearly 100 Advanced Placement Government students from Fresno Unified high schools came to Fresno State Nov. 8 for a roundtable discussion and interactive session on the bipartisan Joint Congressional Super Committee trying to reduce the federal deficit. Students worked in small groups to develop strategies to lower the government’s projected deficits over the coming decade by selecting from dozens of policy options involving national security, regular domestic spending, the tax system, Social Security and Medicare.




sportsBasketball, swimming and diving on tap for December
If you’re a Bulldog basketball fan, there’s plenty to cheer about during December. And there’s a little something for swimming and diving fans, too. It all begins Thursday, Dec. 1, at 7 p.m. in the Save Mart Center when the Fresno State women tip off against Oregon of the Pac-12.  The Ducks feature an up-tempo offense directed by veteran Coach Paul Westhead. The only non-baksetball sports action at Fresno State this month occurs at noon Saturday, Dec. 3, when the Bulldog swimming and diving team host Western Athletic Conference rival Idaho. It’s an opportunity to see the new Aquatics Center in action and admission’s free. The rest of the December Fresno State Athletics schedule:

  • 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, men’s basketball vs. Utah
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, women’s basketball vs. Stanford
  • 7 p.m. Dec. 8, women’s basketball vs. Oklahoma
  • 7 p.m. Dec. 15, women’s basketball vs. CSU Bakersfield
  • 2 p.m. Dec. 17, women’s basketball vs. Pacific 7 p.m. Dec. 17, men’s basketball vs. Cal Poly. Free admission for every child with one paid admission; Teddy bear toss, with stuffed animals thrown onto court at halftime donated to a local charity.



santaThe origin of Santa

The cheerful figure of Santa Claus in his requisite red suit trimmed in fur seems to have its origin in Bishop Nicholas, who is believed to have been born in Patara, Lycia, between A.D. 260 and 280. Click here for the full story.



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