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Campus News

President's Message

Dr. CastroFresno State is doing an outstanding job in conserving water and we’re going to continue to meet and exceed state standards with a few changes on campus. For example, we will no longer wash down sidewalks and we will reduce landscape irrigation. That means walkways may be a little dusty and the grass areas may not be as green as usual during the summer months. But these are necessary measures as we do our part to save this precious resource.

Also on the topic of water, as part of my response to the Commission on the Future of Agriculture last year, I created a campus/industry task force to consider how to redefine Fresno State as a recognized leader in the area of water technology, water resource management and policy. I am pleased to share that the Task Force has completed its work and provided me with a report that makes recommendations about our institutional structure, leadership, strategic planning, water related curriculum and engagement with the community. On May 8 we will host a water summit at which the report will be reviewed. I’ll share more on this in the weeks to come.

We will continue to Be Bold in this area and so many others. Happy Spring!



25Live25Live makes scheduling campus events and calendaring easy
Anne Burkholder (Scheduling Office) explains how to use 25Live, Fresno State’s official non-academic event request application. 25Live is the tool that allows events to be posted to various calendars, including the Campus Events and Activities master calendar, and the University Academic calendar. Selected events also appear on the University homepage
See more.


Grace Liu's Alaskan adventure: dog sled teams and a broken arm
Photo by Sharyn Gunter
Every March, Fresno State employee Grace Liu leaves her desk in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs to head north to the frozen rivers and tundras of Alaska. She goes to follow the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, a 1,000-mile race from Anchorage to Nome. Liu has been to Alaska to follow the Iditarod seven times now. On March 16, 2015, she went to Nome to cheer in those who finished the grueling race. "I try to cheer for as many dog teams as I can, even if it's in the middle of the night," she said. She says finishing the race deserves a warm reception.

On March 18, she entered an arm wrestling competition in The Breakers Bar. In her fourth match, she was matched against Aliy Zirkle, a much-beloved musher who finished fifth this year. After a few seconds, Liu's arm broke with a sickening crack. "Aliy snapped my humerous bone in my upper arm," she said." I have a spiral fracture."

The story of the famous musher breaking a tourist's arm in an arm wrestling competition quickly made its way around Nome. "I think I became as famous as the mushers who finished the race this year," she said. Liu now has her arm in a sling and will require six to eight weeks of recuperation. However, she is not taking off any time from work. If you see her around campus, please offer to carry something.

She is already looking forward to her trip north in March 2016. "I want to go back to Nome to thank everyone who helped me during this ordeal," she said. "And to hopefully cheer Aliy to her first Iditarod win." See more.

Around Campus

logo'It's On Us' video shows student commitment
to ending sexual violence

Fresno State has joined a national sexual violence education and prevention effort to dramatically change the way students think about and respond to sexual assault. The Student Involvement office produced a compelling video of Fresno State students expressing their dedication to the welfare of fellow students. President Castro has asked faculty and staff to view the video to show their commitment to this important issue. "Let's be a model for the campus and community by emphasizing the importance of education in this key area," said Dr. Castro. View the video.

North Gym remodeling underway
The first phase of renovation of the North Gym building is currently underway and should be completed in August 2015. The scope of work for Phase 1 will include:

  • Renovating the Air Force ROTC and Army ROTC offices and modernizing restrooms to be ADA compliant.
  • Upgrading of three lecture rooms – 154, 156 and 158 – with new lighting, flooring, paint and updated infrastructure for classroom technology.

Temporary modular buildings have been brought online to house some faculty, staff and classes impacted by this construction. These modular buildings are located on the north side of McLane Hall. In addition, some Athletic Department administrative personnel have been relocated to newly renovated offices in the Duncan Building.

Barricades and signage to redirect pedestrian traffic are displayed throughout the North Gym construction areas. Phase 2 will commence at the end of the spring semester.

Nominations for Provost's Awards due by April 10
Nominations are now being accepted for the Provost’s Awards for the 2014-2015 academic year. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to submit nominations of full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty. You will notice a few changes in the awards categories this year. The "Technology in Education,” “Distinguished Achievement in Assessment of Learning”, and “Graduate Teaching and Mentoring” awards have been retired, and a new ”Innovation Award” has been added.

Nominations may be submitted in the following categories:

  • Excellence in Teaching
  • Innovation Award (New)
  • Faculty Service
  • Distinguished Achievement in Research, Scholarship, or Creative Accomplishment
  • Promising New Faculty Award

Nomination forms and instructions are available online and in the Office of the Provost. All nominations must be submitted to the Office of the Provost on or before 5 p.m. on Friday, April 10.

Division of Student Affairs included in ‘Most Promising Places to Work’ list
The Center for Higher Education Enterprise at The Ohio State University named Fresno State’s Division of Student Affairs as one of the “15+ Most Promising Places to Work in Student Affairs 2015.” Dr. Frank Lamas, vice president of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, was featured with the Student Affairs unit in the Feb. 26 edition of Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. The purpose of the commissioned study was to examine the extent to which diversity and inclusion permeates aspects of various divisions of student affairs nationwide. Fresno State's "grades" included A's for commitment to diversity, climate toward diversity, bias monitoring, perception of leadership toward diversity, and professional development. "We have great colleagues within the division committed to student success and dedicated to serve the needs of our students, division, university and community," said Lamas. See more.


Kappa PhiKappa Phi memorabilia on display through April 6
A display of memorabilia from the Fresno State chapter of the Honor Society of Kappa Phi is on display in the Madden Library through April 6. For the past two years, Fresno State has been named a Chapter of Excellence, the highest commendation a chapter can receive from Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. The award is given to chapters that excel in recognizing and promoting academic excellence in all fields of higher education and engaging the community of scholars in service to others. The Chapter of Excellence distinction is a part of the society’s Chapter Recognition program, which acknowledged 29 chapters with the excellence designation. There are 316 Phi Kappa Phi chapters in North America and the Philippines. Founded in 1897, Phi Kappa Phi inducts annually approximately 32,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni. Membership is by invitation only to the top 10 percent of seniors and graduate students and 7.5 percent of juniors. Faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction also qualify. The Fresno State chapter's spring induction ceremony will be held April 15.

Employee Assistance Program offers free webinar on divorce and children April 15
A free webinar on children and divorce is available Wednesday, April 15,1-2 p.m. This webinar will discuss many issues affecting children and divorce, including how to tell children about the divorce, reassure children, and deal with self-blame. Topics covered include children's basic needs, how to achieve continuity while living in multiple homes, and helping children communicate. For information on how to register for the webinar, contact Kirsten Corey in Human Resources at

Keyboard Concerts

Keyboard Concerts presents pianist Eliso Virsaladze on April 17
Eliso Virsaladze performs works by Mozart, Schubert, Schubert/Liszt, Schumann/Liszt, and Liszt at 8 p.m., April 17, in the Concert Hall. Prize winner at prestigious international piano competitions, Virsaladze continues the tradition of great Russian pianism. During her sustained career, she has performed in major concert halls worldwide and collaborated with eminent conductors. General admission is $25, seniors $18, and students $5. For reservations and other information, call 278.2337.

Showcase of Excellence is April 17: poster entries due April 8
Entries will be accepted through April 8 for the President’s Showcase of Excellence, which will be held from 9-11 a.m. April 17 in North Gym 118. The showcase will celebrate innovation, best practices and success stories from academic, administrative and athletic units across the campus. The showcase will feature poster exhibits, brief remarks and a toast to excellence. Individuals and teams from curriculum, teaching, research, student affairs, administration, advancement and athletics are invited to create a poster and share their story of innovation or excellence. For more information and to register to participate with a poster please visit

Armenian Genocide Monument dedication is April 23
Dedication of the Armenian Genocide Monument will be held at 7:30 p.m. April 23 at the site near Thomas Administration Building on the Maple Mall. The unveiling ceremony is organized by the Armenian Genocide Centennial—Fresno Committee, an association of local organizations that is undertaking and promoting a series of events and activities in the Central Valley. Funds for the monument were raised from community donors. “The monument will serve not only as a symbol of the terrible tragedy of the Armenian Genocide, but also as a tool to educate future generations of Fresno and California residents, regardless of ethnic background,” said Dr. Sergio La Porta, president of the committee and professor of Armenian Studies at Fresno State.

MCJ Week set for April 20-24
Students in the MCJ 159S Public Relations Cases and Campaigns class will host the university's first-ever Mass Communication & Journalism (MCJ) Week April 20-14. Each of the department's five options will have its own day to showcase the program and reconnect with alumni. Monday is Multimedia Day, Tuesday is Advertising Day, Wednesday is Print Journalism Day, Thursday is Broadcast Journalism Day and Friday is Public Relations Day. Events will be held at various locations throughout campus, and everything is free and open to the public. MCJ Week is designed to provide added value for current MCJ students and encourage other Fresno State students to consider majoring or minoring in MCJ. In addition, the week will serve as an opportunity for MCJ alumni to reconnect with the department. For a full schedule and more information, see


Shirley Melikian Armbruster
(University Communications) and alumna Diana Bates Mock of Fresno Pacific University presented a workshop on "Effective Communications through Leadership Transition" at the District VII conference of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education on March 6 in Newport Beach. In addition, she was re-elected chair of the Advisory Council for Communications and Public Affairs for the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

Denise Biggert
(Management) was presented with the Officer Michael W. Scholl Citizen on Patrol Memorial Award by the Fresno Police Department. She was the first to receive this inaugural award in honor of Officer Michael Scholl, who passed away recently from cancer. The award was presented by Chief Jerry Dyer. Biggert was also presented with The President's Volunteer Service Award, Silver Award, 2014, for serving 431 hours to the Citizens on Patrol.

coverJoseph I. Castro
(President) was pictured on the cover and in a feature story in the Feb. 9, 2015, issue of Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education. Dr. Castro was recognized as a “homegrown leader," and the article focused on his recognition of the importance of agriculture in the Valley and his work in establishing the Commission on the Future of Agriculture at Fresno State. Hispanic Outlook is a leading Hispanic educational magazine for the higher education community.

Deven Cooper
(Communication) was presented the Unsung Hero Faculty or Staff during Fresno State’s Rosa Parks Awards as part of the African Peoples History Month observance. The award goes to a staff member who demonstrates a commitment to student success. Cooper, director of debate for the Barking Bulldogs debate team, encourages children and youth from inner-city schools to get involved with debate

Ethan Kyle and Blain Roberts
(History) had their essay on the history of the civil rights anthem "We Shall Overcome" published in the New York Times Sunday Review section.

Frank Lamas
(VP, Student Affairs) was featured in a NASPA - Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education blog posting "Opening doors: Latino/a Board Chairs share their stories and advice."

DanaDana Zupanovich Lucka
(Development, College of Health and Human Services) has passed the certification examination of CFRE International for the designation Certified Fund Raising Executive. CFRE International is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to setting standards in philanthropy through a valid and reliable certification process for fundraising professionals.

Ramos (right) receives
her award
Teresa Ramos
(Agricultural Sciences and Technology) was honored by the Sigma Alpha sorority with its Agriculture Advocate Award at its leadership seminar Feb. 28 in Reno, Nevada. A fourth-year adviser for the sorority, Ramos is in her 31st year with the University. The honor recognizes sorority alumni and advisers who make outstanding contributions to Sigma Alpha’s objective to promote members in all facets of agriculture and strengthen their bonds of friendship. Last year, Ramos was honored with a third-place National Advisor of the Year Award by the sorority. INFO:

RossJoseph A. Ross
(Biology) will have a poster presentation on the DISCOVERe program at the Gordon Research Conference on Undergraduate Biology Education Reform in July. The conference at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, brings together leaders in science education, policy and faculty professional development to advance their understanding of what it takes to more systemically and effectively improve biology programs, to synthesize new directions for research and to communicate a straightforward and unified message about the impact of undergraduate biology education research on student learning and success

Peter Smits
(emeritus, University Advancement), received the Tribute Award for career achievement at the District VII conference of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education on March 6 in Newport Beach.


ServiceSpring into Service a success
Spring into Service, a one-day volunteer event, took place Saturday, March 21, and provided 270 hours of service. More than 60 volunteers including Fresno State students, faculty, staff, and administrators completed large-scale service projects along with members of the community at large.  Projects were completed with three partner organizations at various locations. Volunteers serving with the Ronald McDonald House engaged in beautification projects. Bark was laid out in the front area of the house, the fence was painted, and students assisted with event preparation for an upcoming fundraiser. A team of 30 volunteers participated in a campus tree-planting project along Barstow Avenue, in front of parking lot P20, adjacent to the Margle Wright Diamond. Volunteers also completed preparation projects for the Earth Day event. Lastly, members of the Fresno State Army ROTC student organization volunteered with Sierra Foothill Conservancy. The members and other volunteers restored and cleaned existing trails at the McKenzie preserve. View the video showcasing volunteers: 

Kids Day sets records
The Fresno State distribution site raised nearly $45,000 for Valley Children’s Hospital. Almost 2,000 volunteers participated at the Fresno State site. The majority of the volunteers were students. Of those students, 97 clubs, organizations, sororities, and fraternities were represented. Each year, a friendly competition is held to recognize the top-selling organizations.  To add to this year’s record-breaking excitement, Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity is once again, the top-selling organization. Breaking their record from last year, they raised a total of $5,098.12. Fresno State Army ROTC came in second place with sales of $4,692.04 and Sigma Nu Fraternity came in third place with $2,500 in sales. For the small group category, Trabajadores de La Raza raised $1.261.66 in total sales. Attached to this email please find a list of each organization with its respective sales total. The Fresno State distribution site is coordinated by the Jan and Bud Richter Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning. Additionally, many campus offices contribute to the success of Kids Day. We extend our appreciation to Auxiliary Accounting, The Collegian, Enrollment Services, Facilities Maintenance, and University Police.


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.