Campus News - February 2015
California State University, Fresno - Campus News

Features | Around Campus | Events | Recognition | Service

We’ve renamed our newsletter
Our faculty and staff newsletter has a new name - Fresno State Campus News. A new masthead for the former University Journal debuts at the top of the page with this issue. The change was among recommendations to University Communications in a campus survey. At a later date we will be redesigning the entire newsletter for a fresher look. But you can start connecting now with news and events by reading Campus News. If you'd like to offer content suggestions for Campus News, please email at

President's Message

Campus News

Our spring semester is off to a great start! As I reported at the Faculty and Staff Spring Assembly in January, we are making great strides on many fronts. The DISCOVERe tablet program is an unqualified success, our Food Security program made an immediate impact in helping students, the $30 million electrical infrastructure work began and there is increasing evidence that academics and athletics are boldly rising together. There is one other message that I hope you will remember from my Assembly speech: I continue to insist that everyone matters and every voice matters. If my actions – or those of my Cabinet – do not demonstrate this every day, please let me know. And let's always strive to be known as a great university because of the quality of our programs and the way we do our work! So, Be Bold, Be Nice, Be Proud…Be Fresno State!


BKBurger King is a love connection for the Castros
Valentine's Day holds special memories for President and Mrs. Castro. It all began at a Burger King restaurant in Hanford, where he worked during the holiday break as a freshman at UC Berkeley. "I remember the first time I walked in for the job, and I saw Mary across the Burger King," he said. "I was struck by her, by how beautiful she was. She was animated and talking with people. So I was definitely interested. Then I began to figure out more ways I could spend more time with her." See more.

DISCOVERe tablet program off to great start
Students and faculty participating in the DISCOVERe inaugural semester in the fall semester express high satisfaction levels with the new tablet program. “It’s a game changer. It’s a life changer,” says professor Mary Paul of the English Department. See more.

Around Campus

Join Bulldog Groups via LinkedIn to share your interests
The Staff Assembly Executive Committee announces the start of Bulldog Groups on campus to help faculty and staff share common interests via LinkedIn. The idea for Bulldog Groups came directly from President Castro’s BOLD Ideas Challenge.  Currently, there are four active groups: Bulldog Foodies (sharing recipes and cooking tips, and getting together to try different restaurants around town); Bulldog Book Club (sharing books, or reading through a book together and meeting once a month to discuss); Bulldog Sports (getting together to play pick-up games on or off campus, and attending sporting events together); and Core and Running Group (meeting most mornings at Woodward Park or Buchanan High School stadium for running and/or core workouts).  Bulldog Groups are open to any Fresno State employee, and any employee is welcome to start a Bulldog Group. A list of Bulldog Groups and their links to LinkedIn can be found here. For more, please contact Katie Williamson at

Financial aid totals $194.4 million for 2014-15
Following a record-setting fall semester financial aid distribution, Fresno State distributed another $92.7 million from various sources so far this spring semester, announced Dr. Frank Lamas, vice president for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. The disbursement brings the total for the 2014-15 year to date to a record $196.2 million to 18,772 Fresno State students.
First place winning team members (left to right): Ruby Royola,
Marianne Hamm, Nellie Lee, Michele Meza, Lisa Roberts
(seated), Stephanie Annett, Maria Madrigal, Mohammad
Saeed and Dirk Ruthrauf.

Thrive Across America promotes wellness
Fresno State's new employee wellness program, Thrive Across America, co-sponsored by Kaiser Permanente and the Office of Learning and Wellness, incorporates individual and team competitions to motivate participants to log at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day. At the conclusion of the program, 62 percent of those who registered actively participated throughout the program, and 52 percent of all participants reported an increase in activity levels and an increase in energy levels. The winning teams, led by Maria Madrigal Shafer, Melanie Harbin and Monica Acosta, will be honored at a luncheon. Also, congratulations to the Division of Student Affairs for having the highest participation rate of any division and Dr. Frank Lamas will be presented with the Wellness Award plaque for fall 2014. The spring Thrive Across America competition will kick off in March, so start forming your teams and registering this month. The winning teams and top division will be announced at STAR Day. If you have questions, please contact Katie Williamson in the Office of Learning and Wellness at 278.5330 or


RanaKeyboard Concerts presents organist Beatrice Rana Feb. 4
Beatrice Rana performs works by Bach, Chopin, and Ravel at 8 p.m., Feb. 4 in the Concert Hall. Named "One to Watch" by International Piano magazine just before her Cliburn appearance, the Italian pianist has already appeared in major halls in Europe, Asia, and the United States. General admission is $25, seniors $18, and students $5. For reservations and other information, call 278.2337.

Free admission, $100 gas card giveaways at Feb. 4 basketball game
Feb. 4 is Faculty and Staff Appreciation night at the men's basketball game vs. San Jose University. All Fresno State staff and faculty get free admission with university ID at the Save Mart Center box office on game night. In addition, all attendees are eligible to win $100 gas cards that will be given away every five minutes of game time.

Artist Invitational Exhibition presents four artists in February
The Department of Art and Design, the College of Arts and Humanities, the Center for Creativity and the Arts, and the Conley Art Gallery will present the works of four distinguished artists: Robert Dawson, Newton and Helen Harrison and Isabelle Hayeur. The 2015 Artist Invitational Exhibition is available in the Conley Art Gallery until Feb. 27. The artists offer unique visual strategies for engagement with issues of water in our times, approaching water from a wide range of perspectives, including aesthetic, cultural, economic and environmental.


bookJeff Cummins
(Political Science) new book, Boom and Bust: The Politics of the California Budget, was recently published. The book provides the foundation for understanding California’s budget and provides fresh insight and analysis on the state’s dominant issue of recent decades. Once regarded as a national model of policymaking, in recent decades, California’s reputation has deteriorated to a state more commonly associated with dysfunction. At the heart of this demise has been the state’s inability to manage its budget — a core function of any effective government. Through the lens of crisis budgeting, “Boom and Bust” traces the roots of the state’s budget problems and offers context for understanding California’s dynamic budget conditions.

Barlow Der Mugrdechian
(Armenian Studies) was elected as president of the Society for Armenian Studies (SAS), the international organization representing scholars and teachers in the field of Armenian Studies. The SAS was founded in 1974 and recently celebrated its 40th anniversary with a conference held in Yerevan, Armenia.


Think outside the box - Donate blood, save lives!
The first blood drive of the spring semester will kick off Tuesday, Feb. 3, at the University Dining Hall from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The drive will continue on Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 4 and 5, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at three blood mobile locations on campus: USU, Maple Mall and Kremen Education Building. Donors receive a free “Think Outside the Box” t-shirt and coupons for a free coffee at the campus Starbucks location, a free ice cream cone from the Rue & Gwen Gibson Farm Market, Paws-N-Go, a free bottle of water at the Student Rec Center, a buy one get one free coupon from Juice It Up (on campus), and 25 percent off one apparel item at the Kennel Bookstore. Donation takes about an hour. Donors must be in good general health, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be at least 17 years old. Photo ID and Social Security number are required. For more information, contact the Richter Center at 278.7079.

Still looking for more news?
For the latest university press releases, visit
For sports news, visit Find announcements, events, and more on BulletinBoard.
For the academic calendar, see the catalog. Find additional calendars through Academic Affairs.
A listing of season stage performances is available through Theatre Arts and music performances through the Music Department.

Campus News is the Fresno State employee newsletter published online the first day of each month – or the weekday closest to the first – from September through May. The deadline for submissions to the newsletter is 10 days prior to the first of each month. Please e-mail submissions to; include digital photos, video clips or audio clips that are publishable online. Phone messages, PDFs, faxes, and printed hard copies will not be accepted.
President, Joseph I. Castro
Vice President for University Advancement, Paula Castadio
Campus News is published by the Office of University Communications.