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people news in Clovis, CA, 2015
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Fresno State’s 2015 Undergraduate Deans’ Medalists
Published May 12, 2015

These Fresno State’s top graduating seniors have been named Undergraduate Deans’ Medalists for the class of 2015. The medalists are chose as the outstanding students in each of the University’s eight schools and college of academic discipline and the Division of Student Affairs. The dean of each college and school selects an undergraduate medalist and a graduate medalist based on academic excellence, community involvement and other achievements.

photo of Joseph M. Bohigian of Clovis, CA Joseph M. Bohigian, College of Arts and Humanities, of Clovis, completed a B.A. in Music Composition with a 4.0 GPA. An exceptionally talented young composer, he has been playing music since age 5. He is a Smittcamp Family Honors Scholar and a member of the College of Arts and Humanities Honors Program; he has received numerous academic and music scholarships. In addition to his impressive list of accomplishments throughout his undergraduate career, he is president of the Fresno State Composers’ Guild and founder and president of the New Music Ensemble at Fresno State. His original compositions have been performed in international venues in Armenia, Germany, Portugal and Brazil, in addition to venues across the U.S. Of particular note, he curated and performed in a concert for the Composer’s Voice Concert Series in New York City in 2014. He also composed a work to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide which was performed in Fresno and Los Angeles. After graduation, he plans to pursue graduate studies in music composition at Stony Brook University in New York, where he has been awarded a Graduate Council Fellowship.

photo of Kelsey Hoffman, Lyles College of Engineering, of Fresno Kelsey Hoffman, Lyles College of  Engineering, of Fresno, completed a B.S. in Civil Engineering with a 3.78 GPA. A member of the Lyles College of Engineering’s Honors Program, she exhibits academic excellence, leadership and service. Hoffman has been a model student throughout her four years at Fresno State. One of her accomplishments was leading the planning and implementation team that hosted the American Society of Civil Engineers Mid-Pacific Civil Engineering competitions in 2014, which attracted more than 1,000 guests. Her awards include the Outstanding Civil Engineering Student of the Year. She also has volunteered with several organizations, including Fresno Community Food Bank, Campus Life Leadership, Youth for Christ, the Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement (MESA) Schools Program, and a dance marathon fund raiser. She worked as an engineering intern at Chevron in Bakersfield and at the Kiewit Treatment Plant in San Bruno. She will join Chevron as a full-time engineer soon after graduation and plans on pursuing a graduate degree and possibly starting her own engineering company. After graduation, she plans to pursue an MBA.

photo of Marine Vardanyan, College of Health and Human Services, of Fresno Marine Vardanyan, College of Health and Human Services, of Fresno, completed a B.S. in Health Science, Community Health Option, with a 3.97 GPA. Born in post-Soviet Armenia, she encountered numerous obstacles in adapting to life in the United States, but used those obstacles as opportunities for growth. She was selected for the College of Health and Human Services’ Honors Scholars Program in Collaborative Leadership in 2014. She served as editor and writer for Armenian student newspaper Hye Sharzhoom, which sparked her decision to minor in Mass Communication and Journalism. She was heavily involved with USU Productions as a coordinator and helped organize “Just Roll With It: An Evening with the Walk and Roll Foundation,” an organization dedicated to raising awareness of spinal cord injuries. She also regularly volunteers her time to host the KFSR radio show, Hye Oozh. In addition, she completed an internship in Armenia at Civil Net News Agency as a writer, translator and researcher. She volunteered more than 300 hours at Community Regional Medical Center in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, the Burn Unit and others. Her goal is to attend graduate school and study epidemiology or occupational therapy.

photo of Jamie Chang, College of Science and Mathematics, of Fresno Jamie Chang, College of Science and Mathematics, of Fresno, completed a B.S. in Biology, with a 4.0 GPA. He has a double-minor in Chemistry and Mathematics. Raised by parents who emigrated from Taiwan, he became interested in his field because his best friend in high school suffered from a genetically-based congenital lung condition. A hard-working, self-motivated individual who is dedicated to biology, math and clinical research projects, he is noted for his leadership role in the lab, assisting other students with their activities and projects. He has presented the results of his research twice at the Central California Research Symposium and at the CSU Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology. He serves as an academic research associate at Community Regional Medical Center, where he is assisting in a toxicology study regarding treatment regimens of Tylenol overdose. He volunteered with the Overseas Chinese Affairs Council as an English teacher, the STARTER Program at the Discovery Center in downtown Fresno and the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement program. In addition, he was a four-year member of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. He plans to attend medical school to specialize in the field of neurosurgery.

photo of Megi Hakobjanyan, College of Social Sciences, of Fresno Megi Hakobjanyan, College of Social Sciences, of Fresno, completed a B.A. in Political Science, with a 4.0 GPA. Born and raised in Armenia, she immigrated to the United States in 2007. She is a member of the Smittcamp Family Honors College and the College of Social Sciences Honors Program. With support from grants and scholarships, she attended the European Student Conference at Yale, spent a semester at the Charles University in Prague and served as an intern at the Armenian Embassy of the Czech Republic, among other activities. She is working with Dr. Bradley Hart to translate the Mitrochin Archives from Russian to English. Her volunteer work includes passing out food at the Bulldog Pantry and participating in Relay for Life and March for Babies, as well as the Greek Festival. Hakobjanyan credits her many campus involvements with her work since 2012 at the University Student Union reservations desk, where her supervisors encouraged her to be active both on and off campus. Her internship was with the American Civil Liberties Union. This fall, she will attend Johns Hopkins University, where she will pursue a Master of Arts in International Affairs.

(Source: Fresno State, May 12, 2015)

Fresno State's 2015 Deans' Graduate Medalists
Published May 15, 2015

Each of Fresno State’s eight schools and colleges, along with the Division of Student Affairs, have selected an outstanding graduate student to honor as its Dean’s Graduate Medalist for the class of 2015.

Each dean selects an undergraduate medalist and a graduate medalist based on academic excellence, community involvement and other achievements. One medalist will be announced as the University Graduate Medal winner at the 104th Commencement at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 16, 2015, at the Save Mart Center.

Two Deans' Graduate Medalists are from Clovis and one Medalist from Fresno.

photo of Valentin Kovtun, of Clovis Valentin Kovtun, College of Arts and Humanities, of Clovis, completed an M.A. in Communication with a 4.0 GPA. Born in Kiev, Ukraine, he immigrated to the United States as a political refugee when he was 10 years old. Learning English as his third language, he was a high school salutatorian and graduated summa cum laude with his B.A. in Communication from Fresno State. He distinguishes himself as a communication scholar. His paper titled “A Fight for Freedom: Theoretical and Practical Strategies for Aiding Protests in the Ukraine” won the Top Paper Award at the 2014 National Communication Association meeting in Chicago. In addition to his impressive list of accomplishments, he is a National Academy of Sports Medicine certified personal trainer and is seeking certification as a professional certified coach from the International Coaching Federation. He contributes his time and talent to mentoring, coaching, consulting and training. He also serves at nonprofit organizations throughout the San Joaquin Valley. Since 2014, he has taught at Fresno City College as an adjunct professor in Communication Arts. Valentin plans to apply to graduate school for a Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience, with further plans to continue coaching and lecturing.

photo of Narinder Pal Singh of Fresno Narinder Pal Singh, Craig School of Business, of Fresno, completed the Executive M.B.A. program with a 4.0 GPA. Singh has more than 19 years’ experience across the food and agriculture industries in India, Brazil, Argentina and the U.S., and currently is working with Olam Americas as vice president for engineering. He’s responsible for global operations for Olam Spices and Vegetable Ingredients. He devises and implements engineering strategies, oversees large global capital budgets, energy sourcing and management and oversees a large team of directors and managers in the spices and vegetables division. He travels throughout the world to monitor plants in his division and participates in executive roundtables with international corporations. He has been serving the community by spearheading Capstone Engineering programs at UC Merced that provide training and that help young engineers in their profession. Before joining Olam, he worked with Pepsi and Joyco (Mars group of companies). His long-term career objective is to manage a large global business.

photo of Aide Navarro of Clovis Aide Navarro, Kremen School of Education and Human Development, of Clovis, completed an M.S. in Counseling with a 4.0 GPA. A first-generation college student, she demonstrates the transformational power of a Fresno State education. As an alumnus of the College Assistance Migrant Program and the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, she developed a passion for empowering young people to pursue higher education. During her graduate education, she was actively involved with the College Next! Boot Camp, Chi Sigma Iota mentoring program, volunteered as a career ambassador with Career Services and served as a volunteer and mentor for high school students at the Clovis Unified School District Latino Student Success Conference. She is recognized by numerous honor societies, including the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, Psi Chi National Honors Society and Chi Sigma Iota, where she served as treasurer during the 2014-2015 school year. In April, she received the Outstanding Professional Counseling Student award presented by Chi Sigma Phi Chapter of Chi Sigma Iota. She plans to earn a Ph.D. in Higher Education and Student Affairs. Her ultimate goal is to become a dean of students or a vice president of student affairs at a Hispanic-Serving Institution.

(Source: Fresno State, May 15, 2015)


people news in Clovis 2015 Fresno State alumnus Levy Randolph Wins National Farm Bureau Competition

Fresno State alumnus Levy Randolph was honored as national champion of the American Farm Bureau Federation and Young Farmers and Ranchers Collegiate Discussion Meet at its annual conference in Nashville, Tennessee on Feb. 15, 2015.
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people news in Clovis 2015 Dr. Zoldoske Honored as State’s Irrigation Person of the Year

The California Irrigation Institute recognized Dr. David F. Zoldoske as its Person of the Year at its 53rd annual conference on Feb. 2-3, 2015, in Sacramento.
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people news in Clovis 2015

Pronovost Earns U.N. Recognition for Technology Innovation
Mike Pronovost, Fresno State alumnus and project manager for the University’s DISCOVERe tablet program, was recognized last fall by the United Nations as one of the world’s top entrepreneurs under age 35.
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