2016 University Commencement – California State University, Fresno


[ Music ] [ Screaming ]>>Good morning. [ Applause ] Good morning. My name is Abigail Hudson, and I’m the President
of the Associated Students, Incorporated. Welcome to the 105th Annual Commencement ceremony. At this time, I ask that you
stand to honor America as the Fresno State Air Force ROTC presents
the colors, and remain standing for the singing of the National Anthem by
graduating music major Kaylene Clark. [ Screaming ]>>Oh, say, can you see, by
the dawn’s early light. What so proudly we hailed at
the twilight’s last gleaming. Whose broad stripes and bright
stars through the perilous fight. Oh, the ramparts we watched,
were so gallantly streaming. And the rockets’ red glare, the
bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night that our flag was still there. Oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave. Oh, the land of the free and
the home of the brave. [ Applause ] [ Screaming ]>>Please be seated. Good morning everybody. [ Screaming ] Welcome to the 105th Commencement of
California State University, Fresno. [ Screaming and clapping ] I am Joseph Castro, and I serve as your President. [ Screaming and clapping ] Thank you. I am delighted to welcome all of
you who have earned degrees today, as well as alumni, distinguished
faculty and staff. I’m also delighted to ask our graduates to join me
in welcoming your family and friends with a round of applause for supporting
you throughout this journey. [ Applause ] Thank you. Today is my favorite day of the year. And I am so pleased to be with you. I know that each of you has put in many hours
of hard work to get to this important milestone. You’ve made many sacrifices, whether it was
preparing for an exam before or after a job or trying to write a paper while tending to
a child, a sibling or parent who needed you. And I also know that the reward,
your degree is worth it. [ Applause ] Today is a time of joy and celebration. It is also a time of gratitude. Gratitude to those who came before us,
whose hard work established the foundation for your current and future success. And gratitude to the faculty and the staff
at Fresno State who helped you along the way. Please join me graduates in
thanking our faculty and staff. [ Applause ] As our newest graduates of Fresno State, I
see leaders in each and every one of you. And as you pursue your career, I want to ask you
to please keep in mind that being a leader comes with a responsibility to think
about and serve others. As an emerging leader in California and
beyond, I believe you have a responsibility to be involved with the community. A community where you live and
to give back to that community. Just last week, we heard a speech on campus
by New York Times writer David Brooks, who urges us all to consider the “resume
virtues,” and “eulogy virtues,” in our lives. As a leader, you will want to
further develop both virtues. The resume virtues include very important
technical skills that you mastered in your Fresno State education, written
and oral skills, critical thinking skills, the ability to collaborate with others, and
content skills connected to your specific major. These are skills that receive the
most attention in our society. Along with your resume virtues, I urge you
to spend time developing your eulogy virtues. These include honesty, integrity, loyalty,
respect for others, and humbleness. They are the types of virtues
that you will be known for throughout your life among
your family and your friends. I believe eulogy virtues are
necessary to be an effective leader, even a transformational leader
in whatever field you choose. And as emerging leaders, you have a unique
responsibility to conduct yourselves honorably and to think about what is best for the
greater good of our community and our society. As you move forward, I ask
you to remember Fresno State. I ask you to stay fully engaged with Fresno
State and join our 220,000 alumni and millions of friends who are working to
make the world a better place. And by working together, we
can assure a bright future for Fresno State, the Central Valley, and beyond. Please visit Fresno State often, get involved with
a campus advisory group, attend athletic events and cultural events, and support the Fresno
State Alumni Association and your University. Congratulations graduates. It’s a great day to be bold and a
great day to be a Bulldog for Life. [ Applause ] At this time, I would like
to introduce Hugo Morales, Trustee of the California State University. [ Applause ] [Foreign Language], Dr. Castro. Those are very wise words and
thoughts and something that all of us should remember, not just graduates. [Foreign language], good morning. I bring you greetings from the California
State University Board of Trustees. Today we salute you graduating seniors and
graduate degree recipients as well as the faculty, families and friends who supported
you throughout your academic career. On behalf of the trustees, our thanks to you Dr.
Castro, and congratulations to the Class of 2016. [ Applause ] I am now pleased to award this
year’s Honorary Doctoral degree. Honorary doctoral degrees are
awarded in recognition of excellence and extraordinary achievement in significant
areas of human endeavor that embody the objectives and ideals of the California State University. These degrees honor meritorious and outstanding
service to the California State University, collectively, or to its campuses, individually,
to the State of California, to the United States, or the community humanity at large. And our recipient today embodies all of that. They recognize men and women whose lives and
significant achievements should serve as examples of the California State University’s
aspirations for its diverse student body. This year’s honorary recipient, degree
recipient is Juan Felipe Herrera. [ Applause ] Juan Felipe as we know is the son of
migrant farm workers, a [inaudible] native and former state professor [inaudible] was named
as the United States’ 21st Poet Laureate in 2015, the first Latino to be named as
such, and he’s going to do an encore. He was educated by his papa and
mama and elementary school teachers who discovered his incredible voice. He went on to study at UCLA and
Stanford University and received his MFA from the University of Iowa Writer’s Workshop. Herrera was California’s Poet Laureate from
2012 to 2014 and was elected Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2011. He won the Hungry Mind Award of
Distinction, the Focal Award, two Latino Hall of Fame Poetry
Awards, and a PEN West Poetry Award. His honors include the UC Berkeley
Regent’s Fellowship as well as fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference,
and the Stanford Chicano Fellows. He has also received several grants
from the California Arts Council. He taught here at California State
University, Fresno from 1990 to 2004, where he was chair of the Chicano and
Latin American Studies Department. He recently retired as chair of
the creative writing department at University of California, Riverside. His author’s list numbers 28 books
of poetry, novels for young adults and collections of childrens books. Most recently, Portraits of
Hispanic American Heroes (2014), a picture book showcasing inspirational
Hispanic and Latino Americans. His most recent book of poems
is Senegal Taxi 2013. Herrera is also a performance artist
and activist on behalf of migrant and indigenous communities and at-risk youth. His creative work often crosses genres,
including poetry, opera and dance theater. His children’s book, The Upside Down Boy
published in 2000, was adapted into a musical. His books for children and young adults have
won several awards, including Calling the Doves in 2001, which won the Ezra Jack Keats
Award, and CrashBoomLove in 1999, a novel-in-verse for young adults,
which won the Americas Award. His book Half of the World in Light was a finalist for the National Book Critics
Circle prize in 2009. In recognition of his achievements,
his outstanding leadership, and enormous contributions locally,
regionally, nationally and internationally, the Board of Trustees of the California State
University and California State University, Fresno are proud to confer upon Juan
Felipe Herrera the honorary degree of Doctor of Doctorate of Letters [ Applause ]>>Thank you. I appreciate it, [foreign language]. Thank you so much, President
Castro, Hugo Morales, Mary Castro, Board of Trustees, I want
to say thank you, everyone. Thank you to my wife, Margarita and my children,
all my children, 13 grandchildren that are going to be calling on me and the
Department of Chicano Latino Studies. You know, I really want to acknowledge my
parents that came to the United States. My father in the late 1800s, my mother in the
early 1900s without anything in their pockets. My father jumped a train at the age of 14 to
come to Denver, Colorado, and he learned words by buying them for a penny. And my
mother went to the third grade and always loved poetry and stories and songs.
And she was always reciting those stories and always seeing those songs, those
[inaudible] Mexico, the revolution Americana and sayings and riddles and proverbs. And I was just soaked and illuminated
and inspired by the stories and words. They have knowledge, they were pioneers. I used to think they were poor. I used to be ashamed of being without all the
resources, just in my father’s one-room built up wooden trader that he built
on top of a car he found. But they were not poor, they were pioneers. Like all your families, like all of our
ancestors, so I want to thank them today. They, the inspiration bought me here. [ Applause ] Thank you. [ Applause ] Thank you so much. Thank you so much. This is a beautiful moment for you and for me. I’m happy to be here with you in this
beautiful moment and just to remind you that your voice is most important. To remind you that this degree I have
been honored with is really for you. It is really for you. Everything I receive is for you. That’s what brings happiness, that’s what
brings change in a way, in very deep ways and that’s I believe is why you are also
receiving your degree to give it to others, to share it with others in these times we are
living in right now, which need your wisdom and insight and kindness and compassion
and great deep knowledge and consciousness. So I think you and I think everyone once again. Muchos Gracias everyone and made
light shine on your beautiful road. Thanks so much. [ Applause ]>>Thank you, Poet Laureate and Dr. Herrera. And hello to Margarita and all
of the family up in section 108. All right. [ Applause ] We’re truly honored to have
you here today, Dr. Herrera. For our graduates, today marks
the beginning of your careers. At the same time, this morning marks the end of
the prime teaching careers of a number of faculty and administrators who are retiring, and who are
being honored by the conferral of emeritus status. Please join me in giving a round of
applause to those emeriti faculty and staff and express our appreciation for
their years of dedication and service to California State University, Fresno. [ Applause ] Our Best Wishes go out to
each and every one of them. I’m now pleased to introduce you to Fresno
State’s very talented Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Lynnette Zelezny. [ Applause ]>>Thank you, President Castro. Good Morning.>>Good morning.>>It is an honor for me to introduce the
recipients of this year’s Provost’s Awards. Each has far surpassed the standard
of excellence expected of all faculty. I ask them to stand, and audience, I ask you to hold your applause until
all awardees are standing. We recognize seven promising new faculty awardees. Lisa Bennett, Assistant Professor of Literacy,
Early, Bilingual and Special Education. Florence Cassel Sharma, Assistant
Professor of Plant Science. David Lent, Assistant Professor of Biology. Larissa Mercado-Lopez, Assistant
Professor of Women’s Studies. [ Applause ] Bhupinder Singh, Assistant
Professor of Physical Therapy. [ Screaming ] Aly Tawfik, Assistant Professor of
Civil and Geomatics Engineering. Cathy Yun, Assistant Professor of Literacy,
Early and Bilingual and Special Education. [ Applause ] For outstanding lecturer, we recognize Timothy
Baker, Lecturer, Department of Accountancy. For Excellence in Innovation, we recognize
Joseph Ross, Assistant Professor of Biology. For distinguished achievement in Research,
Scholarship and Creative Accomplishment, we recognize Carmen Caprau,
Associate Professor of Mathematics. And for inspiring contributions in
Faculty Service, we recognize Una Mjurka, Associate Professor of Art and Design. My congratulations to each of you. [ Applause ] Awardees, you may be seated. While each of these areas is important
to the central work of the university, the core mission of Fresno State,
none is as critical as teaching. It is an honor for me to introduce this year’s
Provost’s Award winner for overall excellence in teaching, Dr. Thomas Loewenheim,
Professor of Music. [ Applause ] Dr. Loewenheim is a teacher,
mentor, and innovator, who inspires and challenges his students to
exciting levels of achievement. He has brought important national and
international recognition to Fresno State, creating unparalleled educational
opportunities for students. Described as a modern renaissance man, he is a
unique musician who has toured internationally, and whose work is broadcasted worldwide. He hosts the annual International
Cello Festival at Fresno State, where world renowned cellists offer master
classes for our students and they perform for the University and other orchestras. He is also the director and conductor
of the Youth Orchestras of Fresno. Dr. Loewenheim has cultivated relations with
major donors, resulting in scholarship endowments for the department’s String and orchestra
programs and funding for Concert Hall renovations. He truly represents the best of the faculty
and what we as an engaged University offers. It is my sheer delight to present
to you Professor Thomas Loewenheim, recipient of this year’s Provost’s
Award for Excellence in Teaching. [ Applause ]>>Thank you. Ladies and gentlemen, thank you, Provost Zelezny
and President Castro for this distinguished honor. But even more so, thank you for your
continuous encouragement and support of all the ideas I brought in
front of you over the past years. I would also like to thank our current
dean of the College of Arts and Humanities, Dr. Saul Jimenez-Sandoval as well as
our past deans and all associate deans for their ongoing support and help with all the
concerts, cello festivals, orchestra academies, and for supporting my vision of engaging
our community through music at Fresno State. But above all, I would like to recognize
my colleagues at the Department of Music, who gave meet the unique opportunity
to come to Fresno and build and conduct the Fresno State Symphony Orchestra. The success of the orchestra is a testimony
of their continuous excellence and hard work with our students and I’m very humbled
to have the opportunity to combine all of their efforts into this musical group. People ask me why I work so hard all
the time, why I dedicate so much time and energy to teaching and conducting. My answer has always been, world peace. When my students say that for
the first time they all laugh. But by now after many years in which
they witnessed the power that music has to bring people together, they became more
convinced that I’m quite serious about it. Many believe that music is the highest form
of expression, an international language that has the ability to break many barriers and
thus have the ability to bring people together. I witness this on a daily basis and making music
has become something I cannot live without. But music and the skill it requires to be
performed on the highest level are represented that all skills start at the University in
order for a person to have a successful career. Discipline, mental, physical, and emotional
control, eye hand coordination, memorization, the ability to perform in front of a large
audience, creativity, and the ability to work with others to achieve a common goal of all
skills that will accompany you in your lives, no matter what profession you will choose. I view and orchestra as the model of society. For an orchestra to be successful each member
needs to be responsible for their own actions. Then they have to learn to become a member of
their own section, similar to being a citizen of a city, then be a part of an instrumental
groups such as the strings, winds, brass and percussion representing their country. And ultimately recognize how all of the above
fit in with the entire orchestra, the world. Today’s a special day of celebration. All of you have accomplished an
important milestone in your careers and you should all take the
time to recognize that. But as my teacher and mentor, Professor
Yanu Stackner [phonic] kept telling us, the smart ones do not celebrate very long. They immediately turn around and keep working
towards the next goal and keep improving and aiming towards the next level. Viktor Frankl in his book, The Meaning of
Life, reminds us that we should not concentrate on what we expect from life, but
rather on what life expects from us. And that one can only answer to life
by answering through their own life, to life we can only respond by being responsible. We have to strive for self-fulfillment. On one hand allowing each individual to
find their own path and meaning of life. On the other hand, educate and detect
the link attaching people together, the spilling up a domain, harmonious,
peaceful, better world to live in. I would like to ask each and every one of you
to take a moment, close your eyes and think where you would like to be in
the next ten, 20, 30 years. Imagine what will be your contribution to this
world and what will be your dream to fulfill. Now I ask you all to open your eyes and
start envisioning the root to make it happen. Good luck. [ Applause ]>>I would now like to recognize students who have
exemplified academic excellence at Fresno State. The Smittcamp Honor’s College President’s
Scholars serve as ambassadors of the university, performing hundreds of hours of community service
each year throughout the greater Fresno area. President’s Scholars are identified
by a green sash worn over their robes. They receive the largest individual undergraduate
scholarships awarded by the University, as well as two years of funding
for two graduate students. Honors College President’s Scholars,
please stand and be recognized. [ Applause ] Thank you. We’re very proud to you. To receive the designation of
“summa cum laude,” on a diploma, a student must earn a grade point average
of 3.9 or better in all work taken at California State University, Fresno. This year, 178 undergraduate
students have earned this distinction. Please stand, and please give
them a round of applause. [ Applause ] Thank you. The individuals I now ask to stand have
accomplished an even more remarkable feat, having compiled a perfect 4.0 or “straight A”
average for ALL of their baccalaureate courses. Will students who are graduating with
a perfect 4.0 grade point average, please stand and be recognized. [ Applause ] Wow. Congratulations. Mr. President, during the 2015, ’16 academic
year, 5,475 students completed the requirements for degrees and have been approved
by the faculty for graduation. This includes students from 51
countries, 4,444 undergraduate candidates, 952 Master’s degree candidates
and 79 doctoral candidates. Among this year’s class of graduation candidates,
each dean has identified one undergraduate and one graduate Dean’s Medalist, earning the
highest level of distinction for their college. As I invite the deans to present
their Undergraduate and Graduate Dean’s Medalists recipients,
I ask that you hold your applause until both medalists have been introduced. Following the medalist presentations, the
deans will present candidates for graduation. Will the deans now come forward. Good morning. I am Sandra Witte, Dean of the Jordan College
of Agricultural Sciences and Technology. [ Applause ] Will Kelli Williamson, our Undergraduate
Dean’s Medalist, and Andrew Beebe, our Graduate Dean’s Medalist, please step forward. [ Applause ] Kelli Williamson will be graduating
with a Bachelor of Science in Enology, a Bachelor of Science in Food Science and
Nutrition Sciences and a minor in Chemistry with an overall grade point average of 3.82. In high school, she was involved in the
National Future Farmers of America Organization. She continued as a volunteer
into her college years assisting with the California FFA State Convention. Kelli was a member of the Viticulture
Club throughout her time at Fresno State and served as the President her senior year. She was also a member of the Enology
Society which she also held offices. She will be entering the Master’s Program
in Food and Nutrition Science in Fall 2016. Andrew Beebe is likely motivated by
his deep passion for scholarly work. While in graduate school he has already
presented four papers at national conferences and at the 2015 American Society of Agronomy
Poster Competition he tied for first place. His research focused on effects of different
pruning systems and deficit irrigation on vine performance, production,
water use efficiency and fruit quality in Merlot grapevines during times of drought. He is currently nearing completion of a manuscript
to be submitted for a peer reviewed journal. Andrew has already begun working at the UC Davis
Cooperative Extension at Oakville Research Station in Northern California as a junior specialists. The Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and
Technology is proud to recognize Kelli Williamson and Andrew Beebe as the 2015, ’16 recipients
of The College of Agriculture Dean’s Medals. [ Applause ] Will the faculty of the Jordan College of
Agricultural Sciences and Technology please stand. [ Applause ] Will the graduates for the bachelor’s degree
in the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, their families
and friends, please stand. [ Applause ] Mr. President, on behalf of the faculty of
the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, I present our graduates.>>Thank you.>>You may be seated. [ Applause ] I am Saul Jimenez-Sandoval, Dean of
the College of Arts and Humanities. Will our Undergraduate Dean’s Medalist, Jacqueline
Alvarez, and our Graduate Dean’s Medalist, Natalia Tomasello please step forward. [ Applause ] Jacki is a double major in Philosophy and Women’s
Studies and serves as a Biology SI Leader. The preponderance of her work focuses
on race, gender, and sexuality. She is both a McNair Scholar and Moore
Undergraduate Research Program Scholar. She is also president of the
Philosophy Club, Diversity Caucus, and Radical Feminists Against Sexual Assault. She received the John Dixon Award and the Hubert
Phillips and Craig Edward Gatson scholarships for exceptional academic merit
and community social action. Through her feminist scholarship and activism she
proposed gender-neutral restrooms and resources for LGBT plus students and survivors
of sexual assault at Fresno State. Jacki will pursue a Masters in Philosophy
at San Francisco State University this fall. Jacki represents philosophical thought put
into action and the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom in the service of society. Natalia Tomasello is a versatile musician who has
studied music education and saxophone performance. As a saxophonist and vocalist
Natalia has participated in several of Fresno State’s elite ensembles,
including the wind and jazz orchestras. Natalia is also very active
as a musician and pedagogue and has performed in ensembles she cofounded. Natalia is a superbly talented artist
could choose multiple professional paths, but she will follow her passion for music
education and its power to transform the world as a middle school band teacher
in Firebaugh this fall. Natalia represents the generosity inherent in art,
artists create so that others can enjoy, dream, and learn about themselves and the world. I present to you the College of Arts and
Humanities Undergraduate Dean’s Medalist, Jacqueline Alvarez, and Graduate
Dean’s Medalist, Natalia Tomasello. [ Applause ] Will the faculty of the College of
Arts and Humanities please stand. [ Applause ] Will the candidates for the bachelor’s
degree in the College of Arts and Humanities, their families and friends, please stand. [ Applause ] Mr. President, on behalf of the
faculty of the great College of Arts and Humanities, I present our candidates to you.>>Thank you. [ Applause ] Please be seated. [ Applause ]>>Good morning. I am Jody Hironaka-Juteau, Dean of the
College of Health and Human Services. [ Applause ] Will the Undergraduate Medalist Lilliana Toste, and Graduate Medalist, Bessie
Yang please step forward. [ Applause ] Lilliana Toste graduates with a
4.0 GPA as a President’s Scholar in the Smittcamp Family Honors College and
the college’s Honors Program, with a 4.0. She is receiving her bachelor’s
degree in Speech-Language Pathology, crediting her two younger brothers
with autism for inspiring her passion of helping children with communicative disorders. Lilliana embodies the spirit of service-learning,
traveling to Fiji and locally promoting literacy to children at Lowell Elementary
and Reading and Beyond. Lilliana served as a student
leader with the Richter Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning. The nearly 600 hours of service-learning she
accumulated earned her the 2016 University Volunteer of the Year award. This Fall, Lilliana will return to the Fresno
State Speech-Language Pathology program as a graduate student. Bessie Yang — [ Applause ] Bessie Yang exemplifies our desire to foster
leaders in the health and human services field. As first in her family to receive her
master’s degree in Health Promotion, Bessie Yang’s educational pursuits have
inspired her family and redefined a culture. Bessie’s passion includes researching the racial,
ethnic and cultural disparities that exist in our communities, which led to her
master’s thesis focusing on the element of transcultural nursing and how that can
positively strengthen the health care workforce. Bessie served as a Peer Health Educator through
the Student Health Center and was involved in the UCSF Pre-Health Scholars Program. She currently works as a Fresno County Department
of Public Health, where she utilizes her passion for helping others as a Health
Education Specialist. I present to you the College of Health and
Human Services’ Undergraduate Dean’s Medalist, Lilliana Toste, and Graduate
Dean’s Medalist, Bessie Yang. [ Applause ] Will the faculty for the College of
Health and Human Services please stand. [ Applause ] And will the candidates for the bachelor’s degree
in the College of Health and Human Services, their families and friends, also please stand. [ Applause ]>>Great group. [ Applause ]>>Mr. President, on behalf of the
faculty of the College of Health and Human Services, I present
our candidates to you. You may be seated.>>Thank you. [ Applause ]>>Good Morning. I am Robert Harper, Dean of
the Craig’s School of Business. Will Undergraduate Medalist Nicole Warmerdam, and Graduate Medalist Amanda
Moore please step forward. Nicole Warmerdam, graduating with 4.0 in
accountancy, is a Smittcamp Family Honors Scholar, is completing her thesis as part of
the Craig’s School Honors Program, and was part of the Lyles Center
Entrepreneur Mentorship Program and a student association for Sustainability. At the annual meeting of Beta Alpha Psi,
the honor society for accounting students, her team won a case competition
called Project Run With It. Nicole has had internships with KPMG in London
and Price Waterhouse Coopers in the Bay Area, and has traveled to Fiji for a
Richter Center service project. Nicole somehow also found
time to co-found, organize, and participate in the Fresno State
Women’s Redwave Volleyball Club. Upon graduation, Nicole will begin her
professional career with Price Waterhouse Coopers. Amanda Moore has been selected as the Graduate
Dean’s Medalist for the Craig School of Business. With a 4.0 GPA in her graduate program, Amanda has excelled academically while
successfully embarking on a professional career. As a first generation student,
Amanda had to take a break from her undergraduate studies due to illness. Fortunately though, she was able to return and
complete her undergraduate degree and be persuaded by a faculty mentor to consider her MBA. Amanda has a passion for entrepreneurship
that started in her undergraduate studies, where she participated in and received an
award in the Lyles Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Mentor Program. As a graduate student, she spent a semester
coordinating the program and continues to mentor students and volunteer with the program. I’m pleased to present to you the Craig’s School of Business Undergraduate Dean’s
Medalist Nicole Warmerdam, and Graduate Dean’s Medalist Amanda Moore. [ Applause ] Will the faculty from the Craig’s
School of Business please stand. [ Applause ] Will the candidates for the bachelor’s
degree in the Craig’s School of Business, their families and friends, please stand. [ Applause ] Mr. President, on behalf of
the faculty of the Craig School of Business, I present our candidates to you.>>Thank you.>>You may be seated. [ Applause ]>>Good morning. I am Andrew Lawson, Interim Dean of
the College of Science and Mathematics. Will Undergraduate Medalist, Irina Boginski and Graduate Medalist, Yvan
Mendoza please step forward. [ Applause ] Irina Boginski immigrated with her family
from the Ukraine just 15 years ago, having to learn English, assimilate
to a new culture, plus care for her younger siblings
while she pursued her academic career. Irina graduates Summa Cum
Laude with her Bachelor’s of Science in Biochemistry and a 3.97 GPA. She conducted research with Dr. Maitra
developing small organic molecules to modulate a specific protein, which may be
beneficial for Alzheimer’s disease therapy. She has served as chemistry tutor in the Health
Careers Opportunities Program, a calculus tutor, a supplemental instruction leader for Chem
1A and Irina was Chemistry club officer. She has volunteered at the neonatal pharmacy
unit at Regional Community Medical Center, as well as at her church and
with Animal Rescue of Fresno. Irina intends to pursue graduate school,
continuing her work in Alzheimer’s research, eventually obtaining her PhD in Chemistry. Congratulations. [ Applause ] As a child, Yvan Mendoza moved back and
forth between the United States and Mexico where his parents traveled
as they followed farm work. Being the first in his family to earn a high
school diploma inspired Ivan to pursue a degree at Fresno State where he completed
his bachelor’s degree in Geology, and then enrolled in the Masters program in
Geology finishing today with the perfect 4.0 GPA. [ Applause ] His thesis work involved complex
geologic mapping work. His skills and knowledge in the discipline
were recognized by Chevron selecting him with a highly competitive summer internship
which aligns well his career goals of working in the petroleum industry, focusing
on environmental responsibility in the extraction and production of petroleum. Yvan is a member of four professional
organizations, has worked as a teaching assistant and volunteered for many undergraduate
field trips in the department. Please join me in congratulating
the College of Science and Mathematics Undergraduate
Dean’s Medalist Irina Boginski, and Graduate Dean’s Medalist, Yvan Mendoza. [ Applause ] Will the faculty of the College of
Science and Mathematics please stand. [ Applause ] And will the candidates for the bachelor’s
degree in the College of Science and Mathematics, their family and their friends, please stand. [ Applause ] Mr. President, on behalf of the
faculty of the College of Science and Mathematics, I present our candidates to you.>>Thank you. [ Applause ] You may be seated. [ Applause ] Good morning. I am Paul Beare, Dean of the Kremen
School of Education and Human Development. [ Applause ] Well, Undergraduate Dean’s
Medalist Serenity Hansen, and Graduate Dean’s Medalist
Jessica Miguel please step forward. [ Applause ] Serenity personifies the bold spirit of
engagement and caring at Fresno State, overcoming multiple obstacles in
becoming an exemplary graduate. Her many achievements include being a part
of our Honors program in Liberal Studies, a member of the Physics Outreach Team, the Music
Director of youth ministries at her church, and a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. She obtained a 4.0 GPA while raising three
children, maintaining full time employment, and commuting here from Coarsegold. [ Applause ] Entering the teacher credentialing
program Monday as part of the prestigious Fresno
Teacher Residency Program, Serenity plans to pursue a multiple subject
teaching credential, a foundational certification to teach math, and a master’s degree
in Curriculum and Instruction. [ Applause ] Jesica Miguel received her Bachelor of Arts
degree in International Development Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles
before pursuing her Master of Arts in Education with an option in Multilingual
Multicultural Education at Fresno State. Jessica is a gifted and passionate
educator who gives of herself every day. Jessica served two years in the Peace
Corp, stationed in the Philippines and worked three years in the lab school at UCLA. She’s completed numerous research projects. The most interesting on children with disabilities
served in the dual immersion preschool programs and presented widely including in
South America and Washington DC. She currently works for the Clovis Unified School
District working with students who have autism and emotional/behavioral disorders and is
a Graduate Assistant in the Kremen School. Jessica will continue her education in the fall, pursuing a doctorate at UC,
San Diego on a full ride. [ Applause ] She represents the best of the [inaudible]. And extremely pleased to introduce
the 2016 Krugman School of Education and Human Development’s Undergraduate
Dean’s Medalist, Serenity R. Hansen, and Graduate Dean’s Medalist Jessica Miguel. [ Applause ] Will the faculty of the Kremen School of
Education and Human Development please rise. [ Applause ] Will the candidates for the bachelor’s
degree in the Kremen School of Education and Human Development, their
families and friends, please stand. [ Applause ] Mr. President, I present to you the
candidates from the Kremen School of Education and Human Development.>>Thank you. [ Applause ] You may be seated.>>Mr. President, I would also
like to call attention to the fact that many candidates here today have completed
requirements for teaching credentials. Work done in a credential program is in addition
to work in major fields and provides students with the necessary preparation they will apply in
filling their various roles in the public schools. I congratulate them on their accomplishments.>>Thank you. [ Applause ] Good morning. I am Michelle DenBeste, Interim Dean
of the College of Social Sciences. [ Applause ] Will Undergraduate Dean’s
Medalist Ryan Ditchfield, and Graduate Dean’s Medalist Melody
Downie-Dack, please step forward. [ Applause ] Ryan Ditchfield completed a B.S. in Criminology
and Political Science with a 4.0 GPA. Ditchfield graduated from
Clovis High School after moving to the United States from Ruwa, Zimbabwe in 2007. When he was 9 years old in 2002, a group
of militia violently forced their way into the Ditchfield family home and
shot his grandfather in the leg. This experience fueled Ryan’s desire
to study forensic behavioral science and research eyewitness identification. Ditchfield has been accepted into a Ph.D. program
in Social Psychology at Iowa State University and intends to pursue a career in
research and teaching in higher education. [ Applause ] Melody Downie-Dack is graduating with
her M.A. in History with a 4.0 GPA. While pursuing her master’s, Downie-Dack
taught social studies and AP history full-time at Lemoore High School while
coaching forensics before giving birth to her first child in spring 2015. She also has a master’s degree in teaching. Her thesis on the Cursillos movement
and its relevance to the Catholic laity in southern Spain during the1960’s was nominated
as the top thesis in the History Department. After graduation, she plans to apply for
adjunct college faculty positions in the Valley. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the College
of Social Sciences Undergraduate Dean’s Medalist, Ryan Ditchfield, and Graduate
Dean’s Medalist, Melody Downie-Dack. [ Applause ] Will the faculty of the College
of Social Sciences please stand. [ Applause ] Will the candidates for the bachelor’s
degree in the College of Social Sciences, their families and friends, please stand. [ Applause ] Mr. President, on behalf of the
college and the faculty of the College of Social Sciences, I present
our candidates to you.>>Thank you.>>You may be seated. [ Applause ] Good morning. My name is Ram Nunna, I’m the Dean
of the Lyles College of Engineering. Will the Undergraduate Dean’s Medalist
Alan Suarez please step forward.>>Yay Alan. [ Applause ] Alan Suarez is completing his BS
degree in Mechanical Engineering. He’s the first generation college
student and migrated to the United States from Mexico when he was four years old. His father worked in the fields, and
his mother worked as a housekeeper. Alan’s story is a great example of how education
can lead to upward social mobility for thousands of individuals and their families whose
circumstances are similar to Alan’s. During the three years at Fresno State Alan
has conducted research on prosthetic knees, and has designed, analyzed, and
manufactured a prosthetic knee. Alan has presented and published his
research findings in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Conference
on Smart Materials. After graduation, Alan will
begin working at GE Healthcare as a design engineer pursuing his passion
for engineering solutions for healthcare. Ladies and Gentlemen, I am pleased
to present to you the Lyles College of Engineering Undergraduate
Dean’s Medalist, Alan Suarez. [ Applause ] Will the faculty of the Lyles
College of Engineering please stand. [ Applause ] Will the candidates for the bachelor’s
degree in the Lyles College of Engineering, their families and friends, please stand. [ Applause ] Mr. President, on behalf of the
faculty of the Lyles College of Engineering, I present our candidates to you.>>Thank you. [ Applause ]>>Good morning.>>Hey, good Morning.>>Thank you. I am Carolyn Coon, Associate Vice President
for Student Affairs, and Dean of Students. Will our Undergraduate Medalist
Michael Bowlin please join me. Our Graduate Dean’s Medalist Lucia
Ramirez-Munoz was not able to join us today. Michael Bowlin is receiving a Bachelor of Science
degree in Mechanical Engineering with a 3.94 GPA. He is a member of numerous student
organizations, including the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Phi
Kappa Phi Honor Society, Pi Tau Sigma Mechanical Engineering Honor
Society where he once served as president and Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society. Michael has contributed to our student success
initiatives via work in the Learning Center as a Supplemental Instruction
leader and tutor in physics, as a New Student Orientation
Leader and Dog Days Freshman Coach. His track record for helping
his peers achieve their dream of earning a college degree has touched the
lives of many students and their families. Michael will join NAVAIR as a
full-time mechanical engineer and plans on pursuing a graduate degree in the soon future. It is my honor and privilege
to present the Division of Student Affairs Undergraduate
Dean’s Medalist, Mr. Michael Bowlin. [ Applause ] Will my colleagues in the division of Student
Affairs and Enrollment Management please stand. [ Applause ]>>Thank you.>>At this time, I wish to mention
a group of undergraduate students who are part of this ceremony this morning. Special Majors are designed by individual students to meet specific career goals not
offered by any one department. Today, we have 26 students who are graduating
with special majors in the following areas. General Studies, Classics, Gerontology, Child and
Victim Service Counseling, Cultural Competency and Psychological Development, Humanities
and Classics, Mechanized System Management and Precision Agricultural Technology,
Social and Ethical Aspects of Technology, Environmental Studies, Pre-Occupational Therapy,
Pre-Public Health, Track and Field Coaching, General Kinesiology, Nutrition Psychology and
Science, Engineering with an Industrial Option, Human Services Administration, and
Plant and Breeding and Genetics. Will the candidates for the
bachelor’s degree with Special Majors, their families and friends, please stand. [ Applause ] Mr. President, I present our candidates to you.>>Thank you. You may be seated. You have been introduced to all
of today’s Dean’s Medalists. Now we will recognize the undergraduate and
graduate recipients of the two University Medals, the highest honors given to a
graduating student of the university, in recognition of extraordinary scholarship, leadership and service during
the student’s career. From among the nine graduate students,
a committee selected one student to receive the University Graduate Medal. The rigorous selection process for this esteemed
award included evaluating students on scholarly and creative excellence in their discipline as
well as achievement in leadership roles or service to the university and the community. This year’s University Graduate
Medal recipient is Jessica Miguel. [ Applause ] [ Silence ] [ Applause ]>>This was a complete secret,
so I’m a little shocked. I want to thank my parents. I’m also the daughter of immigrants. My father’s from Oaxaca, my mother
from [inaudible] and miraculously of my mother coming here she met my father and
gave birth to me and my other two siblings. I was born and raised in South East Fresno, went
to schools all in Fresno and I am just so honored to be up here representing
everything that’s been given to me. Thank you. [ Applause ]>>Congratulations Jessica. From among the nine Undergraduate Dean’s
medalists, with input from a committee, I have selected the student to receive the
President’s Medal, recognizing academic and leadership qualities, as
well as contributions to the life of the university and the community at large. This selection is both a difficult
and a rewarding task, and represents a truly significant
achievement because the competition is so keen. I am pleased to announce the winner of the
President’s Medal for 2016 is Lilliana Toast. [ Applause ] [ Silence ]>>Wow. [ Applause ] Crazy, God, wow. This is a beautiful moment. [ Applause ] Thank you. Thank you Dr. Castro for [inaudible]
me and the entire committee. Oh my goodness, this is such an honor. I have so many people to thank. It’s such a testament to all
the love that I received at my time at Fresno State and even before. Thank goodness my grandparents immigrated
here all those years ago and my parents that worked so hard to get me here. I will love you so much. Thank you to the Smittcamp Scholarship donors. Without you I would not be standing here. All the folks in the Richter Center
community engagement service learning, I’m so blessed for them. My Smittcamp family, all you out there with
the green [inaudible] oh, I love you forever. [ Applause ] Oh, just thank you so much each and
every one of you for being here. What a beautiful moment. I think like Dr. Herrera said, having a voice, knowing your voice is one of
the most important things. So as a speech language pathologist, I hope to
serve others and help clarify their voices here in Central Valley for years to come. Thank you. [ Applause ] Congratulations again to all
of the medalists today. You may now be seated. Thank you so much. [ Applause ] Mr. President, it is now the time to
commence with the conferring of the degrees.>>Yeah. [ Applause ] The candidates for the baccalaureate degrees,
as recommended by the faculty of their colleges and schools, have been presented by the deans. Will ALL the baccalaureate degree candidates
please stand to receive your degree. [ Applause ] And will the families and friends of the
baccalaureate degree candidates also please rise. [ Applause ] President Castro, I ask that you now confer
the appropriate degrees on those who have met and earned all of the requirements for graduation.>>Are you ready? [ Screaming ] Okay. Let’s do this. Upon the recommendation of the faculties, of
the deans, and of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and by the authority vested
in me by the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees of the California State University,
I take great pleasure in conferring the appropriate baccalaureate degree
upon all candidates listed in the official records for these exercises, and of admitting you to all
the rights and privileges pertaining thereto. Congratulations. [ Applause ] Please be seated. [ Screaming ]>>Wow, when they said they would be of
a lot of people here, they weren’t lying. I am so honored and to be
honest a little bit nervous to be speaking in front of all of you today. I had to think about what I could say that
anyone would care about, especially after sitting in the Save Mart Center for a few hours. While I have learned plenty of meaningful lessons
in college, inside and outside of the classroom, there is one thing that has been
able to guide the way I live my life. Good the enemy of great. This quote has inspired me to take
risk, step out of my comfort zone and attempt to be better every single day. Without following this I never would have been
AIS president or accomplish half the things that I’ve been so blessed to be able to. The only piece of advice I think I’m qualified
to give is that you should never settle for being good and always strive for greatness. It can be very tempting to see
something good and just accept it. I encourage all of you in
whatever you do to be great. Whether that’s going on to graduate
school, getting a job, starting a family or right now your future is unknown, make
sure you continue to seek out greatness. If you don’t know what you want
to do, knowing that you should try to be great will always lead you to success. Put all of your effort into anything that you do. What is also important is recognizing the
people that helped push you there to greatness. For me it has been my mom and my dad, the rest
of my family, my boyfriend, my Kappa sisters. [ Screaming ] My classmates, my colleagues at ASI, the rest of
my friends, the faculty staff and administrators at Fresno State and all of my mentors. These people have truly nudged
me forward day after day to make sure I was making the most of my life. A great person always has a village of people
behind them, whether that’s [inaudible] for providing support or just being a cheerleader. So make sure to thank all the
cheerleaders in your life. They have been and will continue to be so
instrumental in helping you achieve greatness. This room is pretty large, but I actually think I
know quite a few of the people graduating today. If you know me well or pretty much at all, you know that my hero is Ell
Wood’s from Legally Blonde. She’s intelligent, fearless, honest and funny. So in the words of Ell, congratulations
class of 2016. We did it. [ Applause ]>>Thank you, President Hudson. It’s been an honor to serve with you this year. Thank you so much.>>I am James Marshall, Interim Dean
of the Division of Graduate Studies. Graduate degrees signify the completion of
a period of advanced study and research. The candidates are recommended
by their departments and schools and have met the requirements for the
Division of Graduate Studies and the Trustees of the California State University. Although all are not present today, 1031 students
have completed graduate studies this year. [ Applause ] Will the candidates for the
master’s degree please rise. [ Applause ] Mr. President, it is my privilege to present
to you the candidates for the degrees of Master of Arts, Master of Biotechnology, Master of
Business Administration, Master of Fine Arts, Master of Public Administration, Master
of Public Health, Master of Science, Master of Social Work, and
the Educational Specialist. These candidates received their hoods during their
college and school ceremonies held yesterday. I now ask that you confer upon them the
degree for which they have qualified.>>Are you ready?>>Yeah.>>Okay. Upon the recommendation of the
graduate faculties, the Dean of the Division of Graduate Studies, and the Provost
and Vice President for Academic Affairs, and on the authority vested in me by
the Chancellor and the Board of Trustees of the California State University, I hereby
confer upon you the graduate degree appropriate to your field of learning, and with the
greatest pleasure admit you to all the rights and privileges pertaining thereto. Congratulations. [ Applause ] Please be seated.>>Today we will also be recognizing graduates
from our three Fresno State doctoral programs. The Doctoral Program in Educational
Leadership, the Doctorate of Nursing Practice and the Doctorate in Physical Therapy. All of today’s doctoral candidates received
their hoods at ceremonies earlier this week. Will the Educational Leadership
doctoral candidates advance to the stage. The candidates received their
hoods at last night’s ceremony. I ask Trustee Morales and our Provost and Vice
President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Zelezny, to join us as we present our 24
Educational Leadership doctoral candidates. Kate Bays. [ Applause ] Kashmir Korsingh. [ Applause ] Lisa Harrington. [ Applause ] Aaron Terrece Dolan [ Applause ] Kone Cha. [ Applause ]>>You’re the next group. Haven’t gotten to you yet.>>Mr. President, on behalf of the faculty
at this university, it is indeed a pleasure to present the candidates for
the Doctor of Education degree. Thank you. [ Applause ]>>Will the Nursing Practice doctoral
candidates now advance to the stage. Thank you. The candidates received their
hoods and pins earlier this week. Today, we recognize 25 Doctor
of Nursing Practice candidates. Mr. President, on behalf of the faculty at this
university, it is indeed a pleasure to present to you the candidates for the
Doctor of Nursing Practice. Gail Haggerty McLaughlin. [ Applause ] Karen Gossege. [ Applause ] May Lavente Devonne. [ Applause ] Jean Bodine. [ Applause ] Beauleah Irragu. [ Applause ] [ Silence ] Will the Physical Therapy doctoral
candidates please advance to the stage. Today, we recognize 30 students from this program. Mr. President, on behalf of the faculty at this
university, it is indeed a pleasure to present to you the candidates for the
Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.>>William Lauter. [ Applause ] Ross Bennett Shea. [ Applause ] Brent D. Little. [ Applause ] Kevin William Wilde. [ Applause ] Steve Overstreet.>>Congratulations. [ Applause ]>>Chatwick E. Olivera [ Applause ] Julie Elaine Simonian. [ Applause ] Justin Chase Hoff.>>Congratulations. [ Applause ]>>David D. Koseriff. [ Applause ] Christopher Norton Cousins.>>Congratulations. [ Applause ]>>Jeremey Laxson.>>Congratulations. [ Applause ]>>Garrett Yang.>>Congratulations. [ Applause ]>>Haley Arlene Barker. [ Applause ] Dena Patel.>>Congratulations. [ Applause ]>>Chow Lai Kno. [ Applause ] Michelle Donovan. [ Applause ] Kaylee A. Jarvis. [ Applause ] Harneet Sandu. [ Applause ] Erica Christine Garcia. [ Applause ] Hoi Vo. [ Applause ] Mallory Grace McGowan. [ Applause ] Shannon Lehey.>>Congratulations. [ Applause ]>>Veronica Maddox. [ Applause ] [ Silence ] Will all the doctoral candidates please stand now. Mr. President, I now ask that you confer
upon our doctoral candidates the degree which they have earned.>>Upon the recommendation of the faculty for
the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership, the faculty for the California State
University, Northern Consortium Doctor of Nursing Practice Program, and the faculty
of the Doctoral Program in Physical Therapy, and on the authority vested
in me by the Chancellor, and Trustees of The California State University,
I hereby confer upon you the degree of Doctor of Education, Doctor of Physical
Therapy, and Doctor of Nursing Practice and with the greatest pleasure admit you to all
the rights and privileges pertaining thereto. Congratulations. [ Applause ] You may now be seated. Graduates, I am now happy to invite you to
participate in the turning of the tassel. You ready?>>Yeah.>>It’s a special commencement
tradition signifying your transition from student to graduate. So now you may shift your tassel from
the right side of your cap to the left. Congratulations Graduates. [ Applause ] You are now alumni of Fresno State. Whoo. [ Applause ]>>Good morning alumni. Come on, you can do better than that. Good morning alumni. [ Applause ] I am Adam Stirrup, a proud
graduate of Fresno State. As the President of your Fresno State Alumni
Association, I have the very distinct pleasure to be the first person to greet you as
official alumni of this great university. Congratulations alumni. [ Applause ] As you begin this new chapter of your life, you will always remember your
experiences at Fresno State. The education you received has prepared you for
exciting opportunities and unknown adventures. As alumni, you are charged with the
task of showing your Bulldog pride. By doing this, you promote your alma mater, and
ensure the value of your Fresno State degree. I invite you to give back. Give of your time, your talent, and your
treasure to Fresno State, your alma mater. As your Fresno State Alumni Association, we will
always be your official connection back to campus. The Fresno State Alumni Association’s
Board of Directors, members, staff and friends offer sincere
congratulations to each of you, Fresno State’s 105th graduating
class, the Class of 2016. [ Applause ] We want to invite all of you,
your family and your friends to continue the celebration immediately
following this ceremony at the Bulldog For Life Graduation Celebration,
sponsored by Fresno Lexus. It’s going to be out on the south lawn of the
Save Mart Center, we will have photo walls, food, music and we will continue this
great celebration, so please join us. Finally, on behalf of the more
than 230,000 alumni worldwide, I welcome you to your Fresno
State Alumni Association and congratulate each of you on your achievements. You are now proud Bulldogs for Life. [ Applause ]>>Thank you, Adam. As graduates, we’re almost done folks. As graduates you are now representatives
of California State University, Fresno. As we send you forth today, I
encourage all of you to continue to support your university and its mission. Please help others learn how to get to
college and shine a light on the reality that earning a college degree can be an
important step toward a brighter future. Finally, as a graduate of Fresno State,
please be an ambassador for your alma mater and the California State University system. Please let your friends, colleagues, legislators
and community know how important Fresno State and the CSU have been to you
and how they can join you in keeping the doors of opportunity
open for others. Your continued commitment will help
us prepare the way for the generations of students coming along behind you and it assures
that the value of your degree continues to grow. Best wishes to all of you. Congratulations. [ Applause ] One more thing. [ Applause ] like to invite you to please stand
for the singing of the Alma Mater by graduating music majors
Cameron Mendez and Vivian Santos. After the Alma Mater, ask the audience to
remain seated until the President’s Party and the faculty have exited the arena. After the faculty have exited,
we ask that all guests sitting in the lower levels exit up the stairs. Graduates will then exit the arena by going up
the stairs and outside the arena to the Bulldog for Life Graduation Celebration on the
South Lawn of the Save Mart Center. Congratulations everybody. [ Applause ] [ Singing ] [ Applause ] [ Music ]

1 thought on “2016 University Commencement – California State University, Fresno

  1. Hello, Could you please upload the Craig School of Business 2016 Convocation that held May 20th, 2016 at the Save Mart Center. Thank you in advance.

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