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President's Message

As we approach this special time of year, I’d like to pause to reflect on all that we have accomplished together in 2015. With student success as our highest priority, we have continued to accomplish great things. Our successes range from a 10-point improvement in the graduation rate … to a thriving and successful DISCOVERe tablet program … to an expanded Student Cupboard … to an outdoor lighting upgrade … and on and on.

I am also thankful that the CSU system received full funding from the Legislature and Governor for the first time in many years. We dedicated most of our new state funding to you -- the faculty and staff -- in the form of base salary increases and equity adjustments while maintaining our robust benefits program.

My heartfelt thanks for your passionate dedication to making a positive difference in the lives of our students and our community. Your bold, collaborative efforts each day make a significant impact in our mission to provide a transformative educational experience that prepares students to serve and lead the Central Valley, the state and beyond.

I hope you enjoy the upcoming break and return refreshed for a new year of serving our students. I am confident that 2016 will be our best year yet!

Mary and I wish you Happy Holidays!



photoPluralism can be an asset for California
In a day when controversy is popular, Vincent Biondo, professor of philosophy, is trying not to be controversial. Instead, he is attempting to build consensus. It may not be popular today to step away from a desire for competitive fracas, but Biondo is doing just that through the California Pluralism Project. Funded by National Endowment for the Humanities, the project is designed to shape the multicultural landscape through tolerance. See more.

'Valley girl' Pilar De La Cruz-Reyes
named to State Nursing Board

Her high school counselor told her not to follow her dream of entering the nursing field, but Pilar De La Cruz-Reyes decided not to listen. Perserverence paid off, and she was recently appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to the California Board of Registered Nursing after more than 47 years as a registered nurse. Raised in the Sanger/Reedley area, she has been at the University since October 2013. “When I decided to retire, I am a Valley girl, so I decided to come back to the Valley,” she said. See more.

photoFavorite holiday recipes
Katie Williamson (Learning and Wellness), Fatih Yenin (University Communications) and Lynnette Zelezny (Provost's Office) share favorite Christmas/holiday recipes. See more.



Camp Kesem spreads magic
for children impacted by cancer

Courtesy of Hannah Poore
For one week every summer, kids whose parents have suffered from cancer get to enjoy the magic of Camp Kesem, a free overnight camp for campers ages 6–16. "Kesem" means magic in Hebrew. Camp Kesem is a nationwide organization whose mission is to support children through and beyond their parents’ cancer. See more.

Mentor programs support aspiring campus leaders
As part of Fresno State's commitment to leadership development for both academic and administrative personnel, the University recently launched two mentor programs — one for faculty and one for staff. The offices of Faculty Affairs and Learning and Wellness are collaborating with Dr. Kenneth Magdaleno, director of the Mentoring Institute, to coordinate these programs. See more.


Around Campus

photoWinery offers Winter Special Sale
The Fresno State Winery is offering discounts to faculty and staff on winter friendly wines, hand-picked to pair well with holiday cuisines. Support student winemakers on campus while stocking up for the holidays. Available wines include a 2012 Sauvignon Blanc for less than $8. Also available are a 2011 Tempranillo, 2011 Zinfandel, 2011 Sangiovese and 2008 Saviez Syrah, each for less than $10. Save even more with a mixed case for $60. Sales prices are available only at the Fresno State Winery or online at (Mixed cases prices are only available at the Winery.) For online orders, wines can be shipped or picked up at the Winery. Wines can also be shipped as a gift. For gift orders, allow at least one week if the shipment is within California and two weeks if out of state. For out-of-state orders, call the Winery at 278.4867.

Orozco, Woodward inducted into MCJ Hall of fame
Two respected Valley media professionals — Ron Orozco and Bill Woodward — were honored at the Mass Communication and Journalism Hall of Fame and Scholarship Reception Nov. 12. See more.

University recognized as Phi Kappa Phi Chapter of Excellence
The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi — the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines — recognized the Fresno State chapter of Phi Kappa Phi as a Chapter of Excellence, the highest commendation a chapter can receive. This is the third consecutive year Fresno State has earned the award. See more.

Alumnus establishes scholarship endowment
Los Angeles-based law firm Panish Shea & Boyle LLP donated $100,000 to the Fresno State Foundation to establish the Ana G. Tapia Memorial Endowment Fund. Tapia was in her first year of the Master of Public Health program at the University when she died from a car accident on Nov. 7, 2014. See more.

'Mr. Bulldog' Bob Duncan dies
Bob Duncan, who co-chaired the fundraising drive for the $100 million Save Mart Center, died in November. He was a devoted friend, fundraiser and donor to the University. He was an emeritus member of Fresno State's Foundation Board of Governors and recipient of the Foundation Service Award. He also served for many years on the University Advisory Board. See more.


Basketball game on Dec. 3 is staff and faculty appreciation night
All Fresno State staff and faculty are invited to a special men's basketball game on Thursday, Dec. 3, at 7 p.m. for staff and faculty appreciation night at the Save Mart Center. Special staff and faculty members will be spotlighted throughout the game. As a thank you to the campus community, there will be free admission to any staff or faculty member with valid ID on game day at the Save Mart Center box office. Want free tickets for your family as well? The first 100 Fresno State employees to email Allison Thurner will receive free tickets for their family to enjoy the game as well. Do you want to see a co-worker honored during the game? Email Allison Thurner with recommendations.

Department of Music presents Fresno State piano students in concert Dec. 6
Fresno State piano students perform in concert at 7 p.m., Dec. 6, in the Concert Hall. All seats are $5. For reservations and other information, call 278.2337.

University Theatre 2015-16 season continues
The University Theatre season includes the following:

  • Really Really, by Paul Downs Colaizzo, Dec. 4-6 and 8-12, John Wright Theatre
  • Contemporary Dance Ensemble, artistic director Kenneth Balint, Feb. 12-14 and 16-20, John Wright Theatre
  • Malpractice, or Love’s the Best Doctor, adapted from The Comedies of Moliére, March 11-13 and 15-19, Dennis and Cheryl Woods Theatre 
  • Blue Willow, by Pamela Sterling, May 6-8 and 10-14, John Wright Theatre 

Tickets are $17 for adults, $15 for Fresno State faculty, staff, alumni, seniors citizens and military, and $10 for students and are available at


Fresno State Concert Schedule
To see the entire concert and recital schedule visit the website. Tickets prices are subject to change.

  • Jazz Winter Concert - Wednesday, Dec. 2, 8 p.m., Concert Hall
  • Symphonic Band Concert II - Thursday, Dec. 3, 7:30 p.m., Concert Hall
  • Clendenin Brass Quintet – Fall Recital, Friday, Dec. 4, 8 p.m., Concert Hall
  • Community Chorus with Fresno Philharmonic - Saturday, Dec. 5, 7:30 p.m. William Saroyan Theatre, Home for the Holidays.  Tickets: through the Fresno Philharmonic
  • Choir Holiday Concert - Sunday, Dec. 6, 2:30 p.m., Concert Hall, General: $8, Employee: $5, Senior: $5, Student: $5
  • Chamber Music with Strings - Tuesday, Dec. 8, 8 p.m., Concert Hall, General: $15, Employee: $10, Senior: $10, Student: $5
  • Horns Across the Valley - Saturday, Dec. 12, 10 a.m,. Music 127 Rehearsal Hall
  • Flutes at Fresno State - Saturday, Dec. 12, 10:30 a.m., Music 183, Wahlberg Recital Hall

Save the date:

Dec. 4 - Red Friday, University Student Union Pavilion, 9 a.m.
Dec. 5 - Annual Christmas in Mexico Show, Satellite Student Union, 4 p.m.
Dec. 8 - Women's basketball, Save Mart Center, 7 p.m.
Dec. 12 - Women's basketball, Save Mart Center, 2 p.m. Men's Basketball, Save Mart Center, 5 p.m.
Dec. 16 - FirstNet TownHall, Education Building 140, 1 p.m.
Dec. 16 - Men's basketball, Save Mart Center, 7 p.m.
Dec. 17 - Motley Crue, the Final Tour, Save Mart Center, 7 p.m.
Dec. 20 - Men's basketball, Save Mart Center, 1 p.m.
Dec. 27 - Men's basketball, Save Mart Center, 1 p.m.


Jonathan Hernandez
(Communication) was ranked fifth in the nation as a U.S. university professor for 2014-2015 on the ranking site He says he learned the value of education from his parents, who are educators. See more.

Ethan Kytle
(History) had his article, "Ben Carson's Not the First Politician to Draw Ridiculous Parallels to Slavery," published in the Huffington Post and was asked to become a regular contributor. See more.

Florence Cassel Sharma
(Plant Science) was selected as one of the 2015 Irrigation E3 Program leaders by the Irrigation Foundation. Founded in 2012, the E3 program provides students and faculty with exposure, experience and education in the irrigation industry. To qualify to apply for Irrigation E3 Leader status, an instructor must teach irrigation-related coursework at a North American institution of higher learning. See more.


Students raise money for a Make-A-Wish girl
Fresno State students are helping Make-A-Wish Central California grant a 7-year-old girl’s wish to go to Walt Disney World and meet the Princess from the movie "Frozen.” Summer was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at the age of 6. Nancy Mohamed, a biology and graphic student, and Kelli Lowe, a kinesiology student, are coordinating the fundraiser using GoFundMe. For more information, contact the Richter Center at 278.7079.


In case you missed it:

Message from President Castro on campus safety
President Joseph I. Castro discusses the response to the campus threat made on Yik Yak, an anonymous social media site. See more.

Chancellor visits Student Cupboard
Dr. Timothy White, CSU Chancellor, visits the Student Cupboard, a food and hygiene pantry for Fresno State students. See slideshow.

The Face of Fresno State
Great views of the signs on Fresno State campus. See slideshow.

Community Forum in Visalia
President Joseph I. Castro reached out to Visalia in a Community Forum on Nov. 11. See slideshow.

Veterans Commemoration
Campus remembered veterans and their service to our nation. See slideshow.

Slideshow photos by Cary Edmondson and courtesy of University Communications.




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.