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President's Message

In just a few days our campus will celebrate the most important day of the academic year: Commencement.

I have attended countless graduation ceremonies over the years, but they still excite me! Seeing the pride in the faces of students, parents, grandparents and loved ones is priceless. Many of our graduates have struggled and persevered to balance family obligations, work and study time in order to complete their classes. Many parents sacrificed greatly to see this day, and it may be the first time they’ve set foot on a college campus.

There are countless stories among our graduates but all have a common finale – they succeeded! 

This year’s Commencement is even more meaningful as the California State University celebrates reaching 3 million alumni worldwide! All alumni from the 23 campuses and the Class of 2015 are part of the special Class of 3 Million celebration.

I want to thank each member of the Fresno State community – faculty, staff and administrators – for your role in helping our graduates. Whether you are in Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, Administrative Services, Advancement, Athletics or Auxiliary Services, each of you contributed to the success of our new graduates. Each graduate is poised for greatness as part of the next generation of leaders in the Valley and beyond.

I hope you’ll join me at one or more of the Commencement celebrations and witness the fruits of our labor!


TeresaTeresa Huerta, a first-gen grad, receives 2015 Educator of the Year
Latino/a education is close to the heart of Teresa Huerta, associate professor, Literacy, Early, Bilingual and Special Education. Her efforts in education were recently recognized by the Association of Mexican American Educators (AMAE) when she received the 2015 Educator of the Year award. A first-generation graduate and the only member of her family to earn a doctorate, Dr. Huerta was born in Fresno and raised in Visalia. She earned her bachelor's degree and teaching credential at Fresno State, then spent the first couple of years of her teaching career teaching for Fresno Unified School District. See more.


Around Campus

Phi Kappa Phi recognizes faculty, staff
This April, Phi Kappa Phi awarded special recognition to Dr. Kenneth R. Magdaleno, director of the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership; Dr. Rudy Sanchez, associate professor of management in the Craig School of Business and director of Academic Technology and Innovation; Dr. Adrian Ramirez, director of the Title V – Hispanic Serving Institution grant; Michelle Nelson, longtime assistant to the president and currently administrator in Human Resources; and David Tyckoson, associate dean of the Henry Madden Library. Currently, more than 800 students, faculty and staff are members of the Fresno State chapter. See more.

Kevin Ayotte
Kevin Ayotte re-elected Academic Senate chair
Thomas Holyoke
Dr. Kevin Ayotte was re-elected chair and Dr. Thomas Holyoke was re-elected vice chair at the Academic Senate meeting on April 27. Ayotte is an associate professor in the Department of Communication and Holyoke is associate professor in the Department of Political Science. Members at large Rebecca Raya-Fernandez and Michael Jenkins were re-elected to the Executive Committee. New senators are as follows: Paula Durette (Art and Design), Qiao-Hong Chen (Chemistry), Chris Langer (Library), Alex Liu (Computer Science), Jes Therkelsen (Mass Communication & Journalism), Peter Garcia (Nursing), Bruce Roberts (Plant Science), Samendra Sherchan (Public Health), Nancy Delich (Social Work Education), Deborah Helsel (Sociology) and Elizabeth Waldman (Theatre Arts).

Re-elected senators are: Meta Schettler (Africana Studies), Barlow DerMugrdechian (Armenian Studies), Susan Schlievert (Curriculum & Instruction), John Wakabayashi (Earth & Environmental Sciences), Nancy Akhavan (Educational Leadership), Chris Henson (English), Magdalena Gilewicz (English), Athanasios Alexandrou (Industrial Technology) James Taylor (Information Systems & Decision Sciences), Patricia Turnbull (Marketing & Logistics), Michael Jenkins (Mechanical Engineering), John Karr (Music), Robert Maldonado (Philosophy),Michael Botwin (Psychology) and Rebecca Raya-Fernandez (Student Services Professionals-AR).

plantWater reduction efforts in the news
Fresno State's efforts to reduce water usage for campus landscaping were reported in a KSEE-TV news story on April 29. Rick Finden, director of Plant Operations, was featured in the story that recounted the various ways the University is reducing water usage. The University announced an aggressive water conversation plan over a year ago.


Bulldog Alert provides emergency text messages
Bulldog Alert is a new tool for emergency communication that will allow information to be sent to the campus community via text messaging. To ensure that you receive emergency text alerts from Bulldog Alert make your sure mobile phone number is listed and current in your MyFresnoState portal under personal information. For more information, contact Amy Armstrong at 278.8642.

President Castro signs food security commitment
President Castro has joined university leaders from the United States, Canada and Latin America in signing a Presidents’ Commitment to Food and Nutrition Security.  In signing the commitment, the leaders “acknowledge hunger, malnutrition, and food insecurity to be a critical threat to a sustainable world” and pledge to making food insecurity a priority moving forward. See more.


DouglasKeyboard Concerts presents Barry Douglas on May 3
Barry Douglas performs works by Schubert and Brahms at 3 p.m., May 3 in the Concert Hall. As artistic director of Camerata Ireland and the Clandeboye Festival, he continues to celebrate his Irish heritage while maintaining a busy international touring schedule. General admission is $25, seniors $18, and students $5. For reservations and other information, call 278.2337.


Engineering Projects Day May 5 spotlights 144 students
The 8th Annual Lyles College of Engineering Projects Day will be held from 2:30-6 p.m. Tuesday, May 5, in the Satellite Student Union. The event will showcase 144 seniors and graduate students presenting 60 projects demos and poster presentations. Many of the students worked on their projects under the supervision of their faculty and industry mentors for nearly a year. Project titles include:

  • Unmanned Aerial Systems
  • Site Selection Study for High Speed Rail Train Station and Surrounding Development
  • Sensor Fusion in a Mobile Robotics Platform
  • Solar Power Tracking Systems including Maximum Power Pointer Tracking Algorithm
  • Aerodynamic Simulations of the Bulldog Racing Formula SAE Car
  • Automatic (wireless) Line Leak Detection Irrigation System and Leak Locator Sensor in a Mobile Robotics Platform

Nominations accepted for outstanding staff, faculty
The Women’s Association is honoring women staff members who have demonstrated professional achievement and exceptional leadership in working for campus improvement within their department, school or college and the university. It is also honoring women faculty who have demonstrated academic achievement and exceptional leadership in working for academic improvement within their department, school or college and the university. Each award includes a $500 prize. Eligibility for staff: (1) open to all levels of women administrative and technical support staff and (2) staff should be employed by the university at least five years. Eligibility for faculty: (1) open to all faculty women, women librarians and coaches, (2) faculty may be tenured, tenure-track or adjunct, (3) faculty should teach at least six units per semester, and (4) faculty should be employed by the university at least five years. Nomination form plus supporting documents must be received no later than 4 p.m. on Monday, June 1. Send responses by mail to Awards Committee, California State University, Fresno Women’s Association, 5730 N. First Street, #105-414,  Fresno CA 93710-6251, or email    

Asian American and Pacific Islander Commencement Celebration returns
The Asian American and Pacific Islander Commencement Celebration, last held in 2002, returns to campus on Saturday, May 9,  at noon in North Gym 118. President Joseph I. Castro is the keynote speaker. Members of the Fresno State Asian Faculty Staff Association (AFSA), Asian American students and community members were instrumental in the return of the ceremony. The main University Commencement ceremony is Saturday, May 16, 10 a.m., at the Save Mart Center. Fresno State  celebrates diversity on campus with additional commencement ceremonies:

American Indian Graduation Ceremony
Friday, May 15, 5:30 p.m., Woodward Park Rotary Amphitheater

International Commencement Celebration
Friday, May 15, 6 p.m., Student Recreation Center

African-American Recognition
Saturday, May 16, 2 p.m., Save Mart Center

LGBTQ+ Graduates Recognition Program
Saturday, May 16, 3:30 p.m., Peters Education Center in the Student Recreation Center

Latino Commencement Celebration
Saturday, May 16, 6 p.m., Save Mart Center


Susana Hernández and Ignacio Hernández
(Educational Leadership) will represent the university at the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions' event, ELEVATE (Enriching Learning, Enhancing Visibility and Training Educators) in Philadelphia, PA. Held in June, ELEVATE is a three-day professional development opportunity, created specifically to address needs of early career faculty members at Minority Serving Institutions.

Mary Paul

Mary Paul and Rudy Sanchez
(English) and (Technology Innovations for Learning and Teaching; Management) were selected to present a workshop on“Mobile Learning Curriculum Initiating Improved Learning Outcomes for FYE Students” at the Teaching Professor Technology Conference, Oct. 23, in New Orleans.


Anil Shrestha

Provost's Awards honor faculty
Dr. Lynnette Zelezny has named Dr. Anil Shrestha, professor of plant science, as recipient of the 2015 Excellence in Teaching Award. Other faculty members received the following awards: Dr. Kevin J. Ayotte (associate professor of communications) Faculty Service Award; Dr. Kathryn Forbes (associate professor of women’s studies) Faculty Service Award; Dr. Kenneth Froelich (associate professor of music) Research, Scholarship or Creative Accomplishment Award; and Dr. Eric Person (associate professor of chemistry) Innovation Award. In addition, Dr. Zelezny named six faculty members as recipients of the Promising New Faculty Award. Read more.


serviceFresno State students serve community during spring break
For 32 Fresno State students, spring break consisted of face painting, power tools and hard hats. These students gave up four days of their spring break to be bold and make a difference in the community through the Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program. The first team conducted a kid’s camp, neighborhood clean-up, and put together a carnival and movie night at Yokomi Elementary school in downtown Fresno in collaboration with Every Neighborhood Partnership. The second team partnered with GRID Alternatives Central Valley to install solar panels for two local low-income families. The two ASB teams completed a total of 1,091 hours of service during spring break.


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.