2015 University Commencement – California State University, Fresno

2015 University Commencement – California State University, Fresno

October 10, 2019 0 By Stanley Isaacs


[ Music ] [ Applause ]>>Good morning. I am Moses Menchaca, President of the Associated
Students, Incorporated. Welcome to the 104th
Commencement Ceremony. At this time, I ask that
you stand for the signing of the National Anthem by graduating music
major Maelyn De Fede. [ Applause ] [ Silence ] [ Singing ] [ Applause ]>>Please be seated. [ Silence ]>>Good morning everybody! Welcome to the 104th
Commencement of California State
University – Fresno! I am Joseph Castro, President of California State
University – Fresno. I am very pleased to
welcome all of you who have earned degrees
today as well as our alumni and distinguished faculty. But before we go any further,
I’d like to ask our graduates to please join me in welcoming
your family and friends with a round of applause for supporting you
throughout your education. [ Applause ] I was raised by my mother
and grandparents in Hanford, so I know firsthand – I see
some Hanford folks here. Terrific. So I know firsthand
the vital role that elders play in our personal development
and I want to send a special thank you to
all the grandparents here today for sharing their wisdom and
their love with our graduates. [Applause] Today is my
favorite day of the year. I am pleased to be sharing in
the festivities with all of you. I can imagine the many
hours of hard work that each of you has put in to get to
this important milestone. I can imagine the many
sacrifices as well, whether it was writing a paper
or preparing for an exam before or after a job or trying
to navigate your studies with a child, or maybe more
than one child, a sibling, or a parent who also needed you. These are sacrifices
that so many of our students make
to get their degree. However, I know from personal
experience that the path forward as a first-generation
college student and for many other students as
well is especially challenging. Despite the challenges
each of you has faced, you have all accomplished
a great deal and have arrived at graduation. 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 staff at Fresno State
who helped you along the way. Will you join me in thanking
our faculty and staff. [ Applause ] As our newest graduates
of Fresno State, you are well positioned to
be among the next generation of leaders in our
valley and beyond. We desperately need talented
leaders with integrity in our society and you
have the opportunity and the responsibility to lead. Leadership will require you to
rise above your self-interest and focus on the
good of the whole. It will require an alignment
between the personal gifts that each of you
has with a career of challenge, meaning,
and service. This alignment, when it occurs, leads to extraordinarily
positive impact in your personal lives
and in our community. Think of the power that can
result if each of us finds that alignment and focuses
on the greater good. As you move forward,
I promise you that the path will neither
be smooth nor straight. You will have to navigate
the potholes of life. Sometimes you’ll
do so successfully, and sometimes the ride
will get a little bumpy. When it does, I urge you to stay
focused on applying your gifts. Finally, I ask you to stay
fully engaged with Fresno State. Our campus’s quest to
reach heightened levels of success requires that each
of us and our 200,000 alumni and millions of friends
work together. And by working together, we
can assure a bright future for Fresno State, the
Central Valley, and beyond. Please visit us often, join
the Alumni Association, and stay in close touch. And finally, for those
on Twitter and Instagram, follow me at josephicastro. I promise to follow you back. Congratulations, graduates! It’s a great day to be bold and it’s a great
day to be a Bulldog! Congratulations! [ Applause ] At this time, I’d like to
introduce Framroze Virjee, Executive Vice Chancellor
and General Counsel for the CSU Board of Trustees. [ Applause ]>>Good morning! I bring you greetings from the
California State University Board of Trustees. Today we salute you graduating
seniors and degree recipients as well as the faculty
and families and friends who supported you through
this academic career. On behalf of the trustees,
our thanks to President Castro and Congratulations
to the Class of 2015. [ Applause ] I now have the great pleasure 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, those areas
that embody the objectives and ideals of the
California State University. These degrees honor meritorious
and outstanding service to the California State
University system, to our campuses individually,
to the State of California, to our country, to our nation,
or even to humanity at large. They recognize men
and women whose lives and their significant
achievements serve as an example for the California State
University’s aspiration for our diverse student body. This year’s Honorary degree
recipient is California Supreme Court Justice Marvin Baxter. [ Applause ] Justice Baxter is a Fresno State
alum and a lifelong Bulldog. He’s the only lifelong San
Joaquin Valley resident to become an Associate Justice
of the California Supreme Court, and he actually grew
up on a farm not far from here in Fowler. Alright, Fowler! While earning a degree in
Economics at Fresno State, Justice Baxter was active
in student government. He served as the Fresno
State Student Body President and he was presented with an
Outstanding Seniors Award. And then he graduated from the
best law school in the country, because it’s where I
went to law school, at Hastings College of Law. And he began his legal career as a Fresno County Deputy
District Attorney in 1967, where he served for
two years before moving into private practice. Eventually, he became
a named partner in the Fresno law firm Andrews,
Andrews, Thaxter, Jones, and, of course, Baxter, where
he practiced civil law for 13 years. While practicing in Fresno,
Justice Baxter was active in the bar association
and its activities. He served on the
Board of Directors for the Fresno County
Bar Association, the Fresno County Young
Lawyers Association, the Fresno County
Legal Aid Services, and California Young
Lawyers, and he was president of the Fresno County Bar and
of Fresno County Young Lawyers. He also devoted considerable to
his alma maters, Fresno State and Hastings College of Law. He was a Board member
and president of the Fresno State
Alumni Association and its trust Council, and
he is a Director Emeritus of the Hastings College of Law. In 1983, the governor
came calling. He asked Justice Baxter to become his Appointments
Secretary – that’s Governor George
Deukmejian – and he was the Governor’s
principal advisor on all gubernatorial
appointments made to the executive and judicial
branches of government. He served in this capacity
for six years and during that time he helped
appoint more than 700 judges in the State of California. In December 1988, Justice Baxter
was appointed and confirmed as an Associate Justice
for the Court of Appeal for the Fifth District of
Appeals right here in Fresno, and he was elevated to serve
as the Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of
California in January 1991. He was reelected in 2002 and he retired just
this past January 2015. In recognition of
his achievements, his outstanding leadership, and enormous contributions
locally here in Fresno, regionally, and nationally,
the Board of Trustees of the California
State University and California State –
Fresno are proud to confer on Justice Marvin R.
Baxter the Honorary degree of Doctor of Laws. [ Applause ] [ Silence ] [ Applause ] [ Silence ]>>Well, I want to
express my great thanks to Vice Chancellor Virje
and President Castro for presenting me with
this great honor on behalf of the Trustees of the California State
University system. And none of this
would’ve been possible without the strong
recommendation of President Castro,
so a special thank you for the recommendation. [Applause] Fresno State
is the centerpiece of my life and my career. What I learned within and
outside the classrooms here at Fresno State prepared
me well for law school and my law-related careers. It is also where I
met my wife, Jane, a Fresno State graduate
and a master teacher. [Applause] We and our four
siblings are all Fresno State alums and I’m proud to say first
generation college graduates. [Applause] Finally, I want
to commend the Class of 2015 for achieving this very,
very important milestone. You are graduates of a
great university comprised of an outstanding
administration, a wonderful faculty,
and a dedicated staff. And congratulations to the
faculty members and the students who will receive
special recognition later in this program. I am really honored to be part
of your very, very special day. Congratulations. [ Applause ]>>Thank you, Judge Baxter. We’re honored that you’re
here today and we’re honored that so many of your family
members and friends are with us here at Save
Mart Center. Thank you all for being
here today to join in celebrating this
honor with Judge Baxter. For our graduates, today marks
the beginning of your careers or for some maybe the
continuation of your careers. At the same time, this
morning marks the ending 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. Will those emeriti
faculty and staff who have joined us please stand
so that we may recognize you and express our appreciation
for your years of dedication and service to California
State University – Fresno. Our best wishes to all of you. Emeriti faculty. [ Applause ] I am pleased now to introduce
you to Fresno State’s Provost and Vice President for Academic
Affairs, Dr. Lynnette Zelezny. [Applause]>>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 have been introduced. We recognize six
promising new faculty. Monique Bell, Assistant
Professor of Marketing. Mara Brady, Assistant
Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences. Lori Clune, Assistant
Professor of History. Frederick Nelson,
Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction. Jes Therkelsen, Assistant
Professor of Mass Communication
and Journalism. Kathy Xu, Assistant Professor
of Agricultural Business. And now for inspiring
contributions in Faculty Service, we
recognize: Kevin Ayotte, Associate Professor
of Communications, and Kathryn Forbes, Associate
Professor of Women’s Studies. For distinguished achievement
in Research, Scholarship, and Creative Achievement, we
recognize Kenneth Froelich, Associate Professor of Music. For excellence in Innovation,
we recognize Eric Person, Associate Professor
of Chemistry. My congratulations
to each of you. [ Applause ] And you may be seated. While each of these areas is
important to the central work of the university, 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. Anil Shrestha, Professor of Plant Science,
in the Jordan College of Agriculture Science
and Technology. Dr. Shrestha understands the
efficacy of hands-on learning. He uses humor and encouragement
to engage, attract, and motivate students to learn
about plant science, biometrics, and pesticide chemistry. He encourages students to
take advantage of workshops, writing labs, scholarships,
internships, campus programs, and research. Several of his undergraduate and graduate students have
co-authored peer reviewed papers with him and he has been an
outstanding mentor to students in the Plant Science Club. Dr. Shrestha contributed two
chapters to the book Principles of Weed Control in California,
which is used as a textbook in most California institutions,
and as a recommended study for the state Pest Control
Advisor licensing examination. I am pleased to present
Professor Anil Shrestha, the recipient of
the Provost’s Award for Excellence in
Teaching for 2015. [ Applause ]>>Thank you, Dr.
Zelezny, and thank you all, those who believed in me. It is a tremendous honor for me
to be speaking from this podium, but it is because of oyu
great students that I am here. This part would be meaningless
without great minds like you. I was born and raised in Nepal,
a country which is very much in the news in the recent days because of the devastating
earthquake. That tragey reminded me that
every moment in lie is precious, but there can be no other
precious moment than today. So welcome to that
precious moment. Fresno State believes
in diversity, discovery, and distinction, and
I think we live by it. A person like me from one of the least developed
countries speaking from this podium
is a living example of what Fresno State stands
for and that is diversity. Look around you. rarely will you find
this much diversity on any other campus
in the world. I would like to now take you
back in time and remind you of your first day of school. You may recall the tears in
your mother or father’s eyes when they put you on
that yellow schoolbus. The tears then were probably of
sorrow to be parting with you. little did you know that
this bus ride was going to be a really long one, a bus
ride called formal education. Well, for many of you, your
final bus stop is here. You have successfully completed
that long journey and look who is waiting for you, probably
the same teary-eyed people who dropped you off on
that bus several years ago. This time probably they also
have tears in their eyes, but they are tears of joy. There is no bigger
joy for a parent than seeing their child graduate
and you have made them proud. Moms, you may agree that
the gifts you got last week on Mother’s Day pales
in comparison to what you are getting today. [Applause] Education is not only about learning what other people
have discovered, but it is more about discovering who you are. So I ask all of you have
you discovered who you are and what you are
capable of doing. But do you realize that now your
responsibility is not just your backpack and your cell phone. You are now the hope
of three generations. I hope you will ably lead
your younger generation. I hope you will ably lead
your younger generation. I hope you will ably work
with your own generation in making this place
better than ever before. I hope you will ably
fulfill your responsibilities to the generation because
of who you are today. To me, ledership is not always about telling other
people what to do. It is more about
helping others thrive. I think we achieve this
distinction at Fresno State by learning to strive together,
which is a stark contrast from other educational
institutions where we are taught to be competitive and
leave everyone else behind. Lastly and finally, to
me, success is a measure between I am glad I did that
and I wish I had done it. So I ask all of you
aren’t you glad you did it. Yes, that is success. Congratulations to all of
you and keep on succeeding. Thank you. [ Applause ] [ Silence ]>>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 in the Honors College. President’s Scholars, will you
please stand and be recognized. [ Applause ] Thank you. You may be seated. 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 Fresno State. This year, 165 undergraduate
students have earned this distinction. Please stand and let us give
you a round of applause. [ Applause ] Thank you. You may be seated. The individuals I now ask to stand have accomplished
an even more remarkable feat, having compiled a perfect 4.0
straight A average for all of their work for the
baccalaureate degree. Will students who have earned
a 4.0 perfect GPA please also stand to be recognized. [ Applause ] Wow! Congratulations! You may be seated. [ Silence ] Mr. President, during the
2014-15 academic year, 5,135 students completed
the requirements for degrees and have been approved by our outstanding
faculty for graduation. This includes students
from 65 countries; 4,105 undergraduate candidates,
939 Master’s degree candidates, and 92 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 from their college or unit. As I invite the deans to
present their Undergraduate and Graduate Dean’s
Medal recipients, I ask that you hold
your applause until both medalists
have been introduced. Following the medalist
presentation, the deans will present
candidates for graduation. Will the deans now come forward. [ Silence ]>>Good morning. I am Sandra Witte, Interim
Dean for the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences
and Technology. Will Armando Guzman, our
Undergraduate Dean’s Medalist, and Sonia Rios, our
Graduate Dean’s Medalist, please step forward. [ Applause ] [ Silence ] Armando Guzman is one of six
boys born to Mexican immigrants who graduated as salutatorian
from Tulare Western High School and completed his Plant
Science Bachelor’s Degree with a 3.95 grade point average. He co-authored and
presented a research paper at the 2015 Weed Science Society
of America annual conference and was selected to attend
the annual joint conference of the American Society of
Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil
Science Society of America. His immediate goal is to become
a licensed pest control adviser and certified crop adviser. Sonia Inez Rios has earned
many distinctions along with her Master’s
Degree in Plant Science. She was first-author on 11 oral and 8 research poster
presentations and co-authored 3
peer-reviewed journal articles. She was selected as the
United States Department of Agriculture Graduate Fellow
in 2014 and was a recipient of the University of
California Milton D. And Mary M. Miller Plant
Science Award and the Bill and Jane Fischer
Vegetation Management Award. She is a subtropical
horticulture farm adviser with University of California
Cooperative Extension serving Southern California. The Jordan College of
Agricultural Sciences and Technology is proud to
recognize Armando Guzman and Sonia Inez Rios as the
2014-2015 recipients of College of Agriculture Dean’s Medals. [ Applause ] Will the faculty of the Jordan
College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology please stand. [Applause] Will the candidates
for the bachelor’s degree in the Jordan College
of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, their family
and their friends, please stand. [ Applause ] Mr. President, on behalf of the
faculty of the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences
and Technology, I present our candidates to you. [ Applause ] You may be seated. [ Silence ]>>I am Jose Diaz,
Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities. Will our Undergraduate Dean’s
Medalist, Joseph Bohigian, and our Graduate
Dean’s Medalist, Valentin Kovtun,
please step forward. Joseph earned a perfect 4.0
GPA, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Music with
an option in Composition and a minor in Armenian Studies. Joseph was a Finalist
for the 2014 Society of Composers International
Commission Competition and the 2014 American
Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers’ Foundation
Morton Gould Young Composer Award. The fall, he begins a course
of graduate studies leading to the Doctoral program
or Doctoral degree in Music Composition
at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Valentin Kovtun also
graduates with a 4.0 GPA, having earned a Masters
degree in Communication with an emphasis in
Organizational Communication. Born in the Ukraine,
Valentin’s family immigrated to the United States as Political Refugees during his
country’s turbulent transition to independence. He presented three times at the National Communication
Association convention and earned a Top Paper
distinction in 2014. He is a founding member
and CEO of The Well, a local non-profit organization
that fights against illiteracy, poverty, food insecurity,
and crime. I present to you
the College of Arts and Humanities Undergraduate
Dean’s Medalist, Joseph Bohigian, and
Graduate Dean’s Medalist, Valentin Kovtun. [ 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 College of Arts and Humanities, I present
our candidates to you. [ Applause ] You may be seated. [ Silence ]>>I am Jody Hironaka-Juteau,
Dean of the College of Health and Human Services. [Applause] Will Undergraduate
Medalist, Ms. Marine Vardanyan, and Graduate Medalist, Mr.
Nathan Lee, please step forward. [ Applause ] Marine Vardanyan graduates
with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health with an option
in Community Health and minors in Armenian Studies and Mass
Communication and Journalism. She made her mark on the
student radio station, the Armenian student newspaper, and in the college’s
Honors Program in Collaborative Leadership,
where she and her peers worked to address Central
Valley health concerns. She designed and implemented
campus health education programs as an intern with the County of Fresno’s Health
Awareness Campaign. Her passion to improve
the well being of others lets me know she will
make a significant contribution to the field of Public
Health and her community. Mr. Nathan Lee is graduating
with a Master of Arts in Kinesiology, Sport
Psychology option. His equestrian background
led him to his interest in studying the psychobiological
dynamics of equestrian performance and
he was recognized for his work on this subject with an
Outstanding Thesis Award. His academic achievements
and plans to serve and educate the community as a
Sport Psychologist, particularly in the area of LGBTQ
inclusion in sports, makes Nathan a prime example
of our college’s commitment to assure that Central
California lives well in mind, body, and spirit. I present to you the
College of Health and Human Services’
Undergraduate Dean’s Medalist, Marine Vardanyan, and the
Graduate Dean’s Medalist, Mr. Nathan Lee. [ Applause ] Will the faculty of
the College of Health and Human Services please stand. [Applause] Will the candidates
for the bachelor’s degree in the College of Health and
Human Services, their families and friends, please stand. [ Applause ] Mr. President, on behalf of the
faculty of the College of Health and Human Services, I
present our candidates to you. [ Applause ] You may be seated. [ Silence ]>>Good Morning. I’m Robert Harper, Dean of
the Craig School of Business. [Applause] Will Undergraduate
Medalist, Renan Rocha Lopes de Lima,
and Graduate Medalist, Narinder Pal Singh,
please step forward. [Applause] Renan de Lima,
a Smittcamp Honors Scholar with a 4.0 GPA, completed
the Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration
with an option in Finance. He has been active with positions the Collegiate
Entrepreneurs’ Organization, the student chapter of the Financial
Management Association, and served as vice president of the Student Managed
Investment Fund, a nearly $3 million dollar fund. After graduation, he
will begin his career as an associate financial
advisor for E&J Gallo and has future plans
for graduate studies. Narinder Pal Singh is our
Graduate Dean’s Medalist. With a 4.0, Narinder Par Singh
is completing our Executive MBA Program, which provides
a perfect complement to his undergraduate
Engineering degree. He is currently a Vice President
with Olam International and travels throughout the world to monitor plants
in his division. N.P. has been serving
the community by spearheading a Capstone
Engineering program at U.C. Merced which
provides training and help young engineers
in their profession. He is destined to become a CEO
in the not too distant future. I present to you
the Craig School of Business’ Undergraduate
Dean’s Medalist, Renan de Lima, and Graduate Dean’s
Medalist, Narinder Pal Singh. [ Applause ] Will the faculty from the Craig
School of Business please stand. [Applause] Will the candidates
for the bachelor’s degree in the Craig 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. [ Applause ] You may be seated. [ Silence ]>>Good morning. I’m Andrew Lawson,
Interim Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics. Will Undergraduate
Medalist, Jamie Chang, and Graduate Medalist, Yesenia
Thompson, please step forward. [Applause] Jamie Chang’s best
friend in high school suffered from a chronic lung
condition which inspired him to pursue studies in
Biology and Medicine. He finished his degree in
Biology with double minors in both Chemistry
and Mathematics with a perfect 4.0 GPA. As an active researcher, Jamie
co-authored a publication with Dr. Joe Ross which was
submitted to the Journal of Genetics and volunteered
as a research associate at Community Regional
Medical Center. He served as president of
the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics
at Fresno State and plans to attend medical
school to study and treat neurological
disorders. [Applause] Yesenia Thompson grew
up in a remote town in Mexico and today completes
her Master of Science in Biology with a 3.9 GPA. [Applause] Her research examined
the role of pesticide exposure in breast and prostate cancers in the Hispanic farmworking
community. She has presented her
research at both national and international conferences
and has had two manuscripts in preparation for publication. Yesenia also dedicates
time to tutoring and mentoring both high school
and college students as well as volunteering with the
Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer foundation. Please join me in welcoming
and congratulating the College of Science and Mathematics’
Undergraduate Dean’s Medalist, Jamie Chang, and Graduate Dean’s
Medalist, Yesenia Thompson. [ 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
families and their friends, please stand with them. [ Applause ] Mr. President, on behalf of
the faculty of the College of Science and Mathematics, I
present our candidates to you. [ Applause ] You may be seated. [ Silence ]>>Good morning. I’m Paul Beare, Dean of the
Kremen School of Education and Human Development. [Applause] Will Undergraduate
Dean’s Medalist, Elizabeth Olenchalk, and
Graduate Dean’s Medalist, Aide Navarro, please
step forward. [ Applause ] Elizabeth Olenchalk embodies
the bold spirit of engagement and caring at Fresno State. From volunteering
at Bulldog Pantry, to leading Alternative
Spring Break, to serving as Student
Director for Vintage Days 2015, Elizabeth has documented
well over 1,000 hours of service while
at Fresno State. Entering the credential program
in the fall, Elizabeth plans to pursue a career in
teaching elementary school. The school district lucky enough
to employ her will hire someone who is not only an outstanding
academic, but a teacher that is energetic, passionate,
and giving of herself. [Applause] For Aide Navarro,
college was never an option until a chance encounter with a Fresno State CAMP
counselor changed the direction of her life. That encounter ultimately
led her to a Master of Science degree in Student
Affairs and College Counseling. She has a passion for empowering
young people to pursue college, particularly those from
underserved populations. Through her leadership in
CAMP, the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation,
and the College Next Boot Camp, Aide has already made a
significant difference in the lives of many minority
youth in our community. I am extremely pleased to
introduce the 2015 Kremen School of Education and Human
Development’s Undergraduate Dean’s Medalist,
Elizabeth Olenchalk, and Graduate Dean’s
Medalist, Aide Navarro. [ Applause ] Will the faculty of the
Kremen School of Education and Human Development
please stand. [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. [ Applause ] You may be seated. Mr. President, I’d also like to
call to your attention the fact that many candidates here
have completed requirements for teaching credentials. Work done in a credential
programs is in addition to work in major fields and
provides students with the necessary preparation,
which they will apply in filling the various
roles in public schools. I congratulate them for
their accomplishments. [ Applause ]>>I am Luz Gonzalez, Dean of
the College of Social Sciences. [Applause] Will Undergraduate
Dean’s Medalist, Megi Hakobjanyan, and
Graduate Dean’s Medalist, Jennifer Gayle Leahy,
step forward. [Applause] Megi Hakobjanyan
completed a BA degree in Political Science with a 4.0
GPA and graduates with honors. She has travelled extensively. Her experiences include
undergraduate work with the American
Civil Liberties Union, the Armenian Embassy
of the Czech Republic, Charles University in Prague,
and a winter session in London. Megi’s remarkable
journey from Armenia in 2007 is remarkably unique
and filled with inspiration, determination, and
accomplishments. This fall, she will attend
Johns Hopkins University, where she will pursue a Master’s
degree in International Studies. Megi’s grandfather left
you a home in Armenia and your grandmother taught you
the rich culture of your people, and for that we are grateful. [Applause] Jennifer Gayle Leahy
completed a Master’s degree in Criminology with a 4.0 GPA. Her graduate project, “Women’s
Perceptions of Fear in Prisons,” earned her the College of Social
Sciences’ 2015 Outstanding Project Award. She presented her research
at the American Society of Criminology’s annual
conference, earned memberships in the prestigious Phi
Kappa Phi Honors Society, Golden Key International Honors
Society, the Western Society of Criminology, and the
American Society of Criminology. She is currently working with
Dr. Takahashi in the development of an online writing software and is pursuing doctoral
level work. Ladies and gentlemen, it is
my distinct honor to present to you the College of Social
Sciences Undergraduate Dean’s Medalist, Megi Hakobjanyan, and Graduate Dean’s Medalist,
Jennifer Gayle Leahy. [ 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 faculty of the College of Social Sciences, I
present to you our candidates. You may be seated. [ Applause ] [ Silence ]>>I’m Ram Nunna, Dean of the
Lyles College of Engineering. Will Undergraduate
Medalist, Kelsey Hoffman, and Graduate Medalist, Olga Jumbo Sanchez,
please step forward. [Applause] Kelsey Hoffman, a
member of the Lyles College of Engineering’s Honors Program, completed a B.S. degree
in Civil Engineering. She won the American Society of Civil Engineering’s
Outstanding Civil Engineering Student award and volunteered
for over 1,000 hours with several organizations, including the Fresno Community
Food Bank, Youth for Christ, the Mathematics Engineering
Science Achievement Schools Program. Kelsey worked as an
engineering intern at Chevron and will soon join Chevron as a full-time engineer
after graduation. She also plans to
pursue a graduate degree and possibly start her
own engineering company. Olga Jumbo Sanchez graduates
with a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering
and a perfect 4.0 GPA. Her graduate research
work has been in the areas of Signal Processing
and 3D Sonar Mapping. Born and raised in Ecuador,
Olga has been a dedicated mentor and instructor to incoming
engineering students, modeling leadership through her
involvement in the Institute of Electrical and
Electronics Engineers, the Society of Hispanic
Professional Engineers, the Society of Women Engineers,
Tau Beta Pi, Phi Kappa Phi, Eta Kappa Nu, and the ASI. She has accepted a
full ride scholarship to pursue the Ph.D. program
in Electrical Engineering at the University of Miami. Please join me in
congratulating the Lyles College of Engineering’s Undergraduate
Dean’s Medalist, Kelsey Hoffman, and Graduate Dean’s
Medalist, Olga Jumbo Sanchez. [ 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. [ Applause ] You may be seated.>>Good Morning. I am Carolyn Coon,
Associate Vice President for Student Affairs
and Dean of Students. Will Undergraduate
Medalist, Moses Menchaca, and Graduate Medalist, Rosendo
Iniguez, please step forward. [ Applause ] Moses Menchaca is
receiving a bachelor’s degree in Political Science with minors
in Animal Science and Business. His extensive list of contributions
includes serving two terms as student body president
and involvement in everything from Moot Court, to his
fraternity, to numerous honors, to politics, to agricultural
organizations. He has been a superior
role model and ambassador for Fresno State, starting
from his hometown of Patterson, California, all the
way to China. Especially important
to Moses is his role in setting an example
for his sisters. He has made a difference
to our community. Moses, thank you for
all you have given. [Applause] Rosendo Iniguez. Rosendo Iniguez came to Fresno
State from Hanford, California. He is graduating with a Master’s
in Public Health, and a passion to help underserved communities. At Fresno State, he has been a
constant presence in the lives of students from the College
Assistance Migrant Program and was also instrumental
in the development of the Drug & Alcohol Awareness
and Wellness Guide Program. Rosendo has served the
region’s diabetic population with educational
efforts that have reached from Kerman to Punjabi. He has and will continue
to make a difference in this valley and
to Fresno State. It is my honor and privilege
to present the Division of Student Affairs’
Undergraduate Dean’s Medalist, Mr. Moses Menchaca, and
Graduate Dean’s Medalist, Mr. Rosendo Iniguez. [ Applause ] Will the faculty and
staff from the Division of Student Affairs please stand. [Applause] At this time,
I wish to mention a group of undergraduate
students who are part of our ceremony this morning. Special Majors are designed
by individual students to meet specific
career goals not offered by any one department. Today, we have six
students who are graduating with special majors in the
Classics, General Kinesiology, Gerontology-Psychology,
Hospitality and Gastronomy, Occupational Therapy,
and Personal Trainer. Will the candidates for
the bachelor’s degree in Special Majors,
their families and friends, please stand. [ Applause ] Mr. President, I present
our candidates to you. You may be seated. [ Silence ]>>You’ve now 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 at 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 Yesenia G. Thompson from the College
of Science and Mathematics. [ Applause ] [ Silence ] [ Applause ] 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 rewarding task, and represents a truly
significant achievement because the competition,
as you can see, is so keen. I am very pleased to
announce the winner of the President’s Medal
for 2015 is Joseph Bohigian from the College of
Arts and Humanities. [ Applause ] [ Silence ] Congratulations again
to all of the medalists. We’re so proud of you. You may be seated. Thank you. [ Applause ]>>Mr. President, it
is now time to commence with the conferring of degrees! [Applause] The candidates
for 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, and
will the families and friends of the baccalaureate degree
candidates also please rise. [ Applause ] [ Cheering ] Mr. President, I am
very proud to ask that you now confer the
appropriate degrees on those who have met all of the
requirements for graduation.>>Are you ready? Okay! 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 ] You may now be seated. [ Silence ]>>Well, congratulations,
fellow graduates. Before I jump into my script, I did want to do something
I think is appropriate for our generation. I ask that President Castro
please join me at the podium for a quick selfie
with our graduates. [ Cheering ] [ Silence ] [ Cheering ] President Castro and I have been
having a Twitter competition ever since we both
took office to see who can have more
Twitter followers. So if you want to
see that picture, follow me at mosesrmenchaca. It is amazing to think that just
a few years ago we began our adventure as a Fresno
State Bulldog with this moment in our minds. When we started our
journey as college students, we did so with the ambitions
of being in this very spot as a college graduate. I am sure that many of our college experiences
are different; however, I think it is the similarities
that we share, both good and bad, that make this
moment even more special. We all understand what it
is like to wait last minute to begin studying or writing
that paper, going through pot of coffee after pot of coffee
studying for that midterm that we might’ve
forgotten about, constantly challenging what the
professors say when they tell us at the beginning of the course that the project is not one we
can wait till the night before to complete, the struggle of
waking up for that 8 a.m. class on a Thursday after a long night
of line dancing at Jimbo’s, and also the friendships
that we have made that will surely
last a lifetime, the bonds that we’ve
created with faculty, staff, administrators, and
mentors that helped us guide through our college careers,
and for those of us like myself that was able to find another
family by gaining brothers when joining Pi Kappa
Alpha fraternity. My mentor and my good friend, Arthur Montejano [phonetic]
always says you go to class to get your degree, but
everything you do outside of class is where you
truly get your education. And I think all of
these experiences that I have mentioned have truly
provided us with that education, regardless of what we’re
planning to do after graduation, whether that’s continuing
to further our education, going into the workforce,
serving and protecting this great
country, or, like myself, still trying to figure it out. By the way, as a side
note, if anyone’s hiring, you can see me after graduation. But regardless of
what we do next, we know that we will be
able to accomplish our goal because we’ve already proven it. That we can do it. And that’s exactly
what our degree stands for – that we can do it. It is now our responsibility to be the future leaders
of our generation. And that is exactly what I
think our next steps are, and I know that we can do
it and that we will do it. So, again, to all my brothers,
thank you all who are here to support, thank you
to the campus community, and thank you all for
this wonderful opportunity and experience. [ Applause ]>>Good morning. I’m 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, 1,031 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 Physical Therapy, Master of Science,
Master of Social Work, and the Educational Specialist. These candidates have 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? Alright! 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 ] You may now be seated. [ Silence ]>>Today we will also
be recognizing graduates from our three Fresno
State doctoral programs: the Doctoral Program in
Educational Leadership, the Doctorate in Physical
Therapy, and the Doctor of Nursing Practice
Degree Program. We are celebrating over 22 years
of offering doctoral level work for our students
at Fresno State. All of today’s doctoral
candidates received their hoods at ceremonies earlier this week. Will the Educational Leadership
doctoral candidates advance to the stage. Mr. President, this
is our sixth year of awarding doctoral
degrees to students from our independent
doctoral program in Educational Leadership. The candidates received their
hoods at last night’s ceremony. I ask Executive Vice Chancellor
Virjee and our Provost and Vice President for
Academic Affairs, Dr. Zelezny, to join us as we present our
33 Educational Leadership doctoral candidates. [ Silence ] 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
Education degree. [Applause] Tamara K.
Sherman [assumed spelling], Beverly Ann Martin
[assumed spelling], Evelyn Young Spath [assumed
spelling], Eugene Christmas, III [assumed spelling], Ann
Shirley [assumed spelling], Brandon Scott Duncan
[assuming spelling], Nicole Renee Walsh
[assumed spelling], Aaron Cobb [assumed spelling], Russell David Statham
[assumed spelling], Amanda Lopez Dorkson
[assumed spelling], John Hannigan [assumed
spelling], Vicki John Lohr [assumed
spelling], Linda Mae Lee Charlie
Vang [assumed spelling]. Will the Nursing Practice
doctoral candidates now advance to the stage. Mr. President, this
is the second year that we have awarded
doctoral degrees for the Nursing Practice program at California State
University – Fresno. The candidates received
their hoods and pins designed
earlier this week. Today, we recognize 27 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. Elizabeth Austin
[assumed spelling], Arlene Spilker [assumed
spelling], Sherry Rickman Patrick
[assumed spelling], Olga Labova [assumed spelling], Vanessa Ann Irwin
[assumed spelling], Christine Tarver
[assumed spelling], Ivy Tan [assumed spelling], Maria D. White [assumed
spelling], Lori Olvera [assumed spelling], Julia Chaw Chi Lee
[assumed spelling], Maria Gilbert [assumed
spelling], Rachel Napoli [assumed
spelling], Shawna Marie Miller
[assumed spelling], Susan Senzaki [assumed
spelling], Joanne Kristin Rhoads
[assumed spelling], Patricia Alvarez
[assumed spelling]. Will the Physical Therapy
doctoral candidates please advance to the stage. [Applause] Mr. President,
this is the first year that we have awarded
independent doctoral degrees for Physical Therapy program
at California State University. Today, we recognize 32
students from that 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. Ashley Van Artstan
[assumed spelling], Bryn Altamorano [assumed
spelling], Desiree Howam [assumed
spelling], Jessica Lee Thompson
[assumed spelling], Clarissa Carbolito
[assumed spelling], Chelsea Nicole Kates
[assumed spelling], Jessica Barrows [assumed
spelling], Alaine Sakito Keith
[assumed spelling], James Young Kuo [assumed
spelling], Jason Prestosa [assumed
spelling], Lang Yang [assumed spelling], Julian Alphonse Harris
[assumed spelling], Nicholas Carlson
[assumed spelling], Terese Ruffin [assumed
spelling], Miguel Vargas [assumed
spelling], Mike Ochoa [assumed spelling], Jeffrey Michael Mueller
[assumed spelling], Matthew Walter Zeldon
[assumed spelling], Sarin Nicholas Avenisian
[assumed spelling], Michael Armonde [assumed
spelling], Derek Michael Strong
[assumed spelling], Sarata Bird [assumed spelling],
Brent Jenson [assumed spelling], Owen Johnston [assumed
spelling], Kelvin D. Lam [assumed
spelling], Amand Gill [assumed spelling], Rosalie Avalov [assumed
spelling], Kevin Posey [assumed spelling],
Audrey Tan [assumed spelling], Jessica Patricia Gonzalez
[assumed spelling], Rebecca Olivia Garcia
[assumed spelling], Jeffrey Chan [assumed spelling]. Will all the doctoral
candidates please stand now. [ Applause ] Mr. President, I now ask that you confer upon all
doctoral candidates the degree which they have earned.>>Are you ready? Okay. 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, California State
University – Fresno, 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. [ Silence ] So we have a little
bit more work to do. Graduates, I am now happy
to invite you to participate in the turning of the
tassel, so – wait! This is a special commencement
tradition signifying your transition from student
to graduate. You may now shift your
tassel from the right side of your cap to the left. [ Applause ] Congratulations, Graduates! You are now alumni
of Fresno State! [ Applause ]>>Good morning, alumni! My name is Adam Stirrup
and like all of you I am a proud
graduate of Fresno State. As the president of the Fresno
State Alumni Association, I want to welcome you to California State
University’s Class of 3 Million. Each of you are now part of
more than 3 million proud alumni of California State
University worldwide. Congratulations to each of
you on your achievements. You are all now proud
Bulldogs for Life! [Applause] As you move on to
a new passage in your life, you will always remember your
experience at Fresno State. As alumni, you have been
gifted with an education that has prepared you well
for exciting opportunities and unknown adventures. Today, you have also been gifted
with your alumni pin and Class of 3 Million wristband, so that
you can show your bulldog pride, promote your alma mater,
and ensure the future value of your Fresno State degree. At the Fresno State
Alumni Association, we want to tell the world
how bold and great you are, so we ask that you
stay connected with us. We will always be your official
connection back to campus. Finally, the Fresno State
Alumni Association’s Board of Directors, members,
staff, and friends offer each of you sincere congratulations. Congratulations to Fresno
State’s 104th graduating class, the Class of 2015. [ Applause ]>>Thank you, Adam. We’re almost there, folks. As graduates, you are
now representatives of California State
University – Fresno. While you were with us, you
expanded your knowledge, developed your ideas, and
engaged in meaningful discourse with your professors and peers. Regardless of how you
began your education here – as a freshman right out of high
school, as a transfer student with part of your college
coursework already completed, as a new graduate student, or
as a mature adult returning to school after years
spent holding down a job and supporting a family
– I hope you’ve gained from sharing these
last few years with us, and we have benefited
greatly from your presence. As we send you forth today, we ask that you become
responsible alumni. Conduct yourselves honorably,
maintain high ethical standards, and give back to the community
that has supported you. As a citizen, graduate,
and now alumni of the California State
University, I encourage all of you to continue to support
your university and its mission. You will soon learn the real
benefits of earning a degree from the California State
University as you go out into the workforce. Continue to support the CSU
by helping those in need and let them know how to get
to college just like you did. Please show them the road ahead and how earning a college degree
can be the most important step toward a brighter future. Finally, as a graduate of Fresno
State, please be an ambassador for the California
State University system. Please let your friends,
colleagues, legislators, and community know how important
the CSU has 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 generations of students
coming along behind you, and the assurance that the value of your degree continues
to grow. My very best wishes
to all of you. Congratulations! [ Applause ] Please stand for the
singing of the Alma Mater by graduating music
major Lauren Aiken. After the Alma Mater, I ask the
audience to be seated and remain in your seats 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 meet their guests. Thank you all very much. [ Singing ] [ Applause ] [ Music ]