Nine top graduating seniors have been named Undergraduate Deans Medalists for the Class of 2012 at Fresno State.
The medalists are chosen as the outstanding students in each of the university’s eight schools and colleges of academic discipline and the Division of Student Affairs.
The dean of each college/school selects an undergraduate medalist and a graduate medalist based on academic excellence, community involvement and other achievements.
One of the medalists will be named the President’s Medalist, the top academic honor, at the 101st Commencement ceremony at 9:30 a.m. May 19 at the Save Mart Center.
2012 Deans’ Undergraduate Medalists:
Tarilee Frigulti, Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology
Tarilee Frigulti, of Visalia, completed a B.S. in Plant Science with a 3.80 GPA. She effectively combined her classroom experience with work and volunteer experiences throughout her studies. She was secretary and president for the Students for Environmentally Responsible Agriculture and was involved in the annual FFA Field Days. In the community, Frigulti volunteered at the Expanding Your Horizons Conference, worked on a program to introduce young girls to science and math careers and assisted at events for students with cerebral palsy. Her academic adviser describes her as “a diligent and conscientious individual who has demonstrated excellent organizational skills.” Frigulti has been awarded a Harvey Scholarship/Jordan Assistantship to pursue her master’s degree in Plant Science at Fresno State. She is planning to continue her research in sustainable agriculture. Her career goal is to teach at the community college level.
Lucerito Salgado, College of Arts and Humanities
Lucerito Salgado, of Santa Maria, completed a B.A. in Mass Communication and Journalism (broadcast journalism and public relations) with a 3.93 GPA. Her minor is in Spanish. A first-generation Latina student, she is fluent in Spanish. Salgado served in numerous leadership capacities on campus and in the community. She is a College of Arts and Humanities Honors Program student and also a member of the Golden Key Honor Society, Phi Kappa Phi, National Hispanic Professional Organization, and Miss Nuestra Belleza Oaxaquefia. She volunteered with Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Central Valley, Educational and Leadership Foundation, Bulldog Pantry and American Cancer Society. Salgado interned with Univision, Radio Bilingue and KFSR . She plans to complete her graduate studies in International Relations at UCLA and pursue a diplomatic career.
Theresa Voecking, Craig School of Business
Theresa Voecking completed a B.S. in Business Administration with a 4.0 GPA. A native of Germany, she worked as a high school student to earn the funds necessary to come to Fresno State and then studied to improve her English when she arrived. She was a student assistant in two Fresno State offices and worked with the Fresno Grizzlies to implement fundraising opportunities for the student human resources organization in the Craig School. Voecking volunteered with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and the annual asthma health fair for the Early Childhood Asthma Program, and she conducted a research project for the Community Food Bank. She is a member of the International Honor Society, Beta Gamma Sigma and Phi Kappa Phi. Voecking plans to work in the business community before pursuing a graduate degree, possibly earning a doctorate and undertaking a career in higher education.
Patricia Sandoval, Kremen School of Education and Human Development
Patricia Sandoval, of Chowchilla, completed a B.A. in Liberal Studies with a 4.0 GPA. During high school, she enrolled in independent studies so she could help care for her terminally ill father. A first-generation college student, she was encouraged by her husband to pursue her dream of being a teacher. She commuted from Chowchilla to attend Fresno State and maintained employment for seven years as a field representative for the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Sandoval also helped staff a summer church camp, volunteered at the Community Food Bank and was a team parent for both her son’s and daughter’s athletic teams. While at Fresno State, she worked as a student assistant in the Center for Economic Research and Education of Central California. She has begun working on a Multiple Subject and Special Education dual credential.
Christopher McComb, Lyles College of Engineering
Christopher McComb, of Pinehurst, has completed a double major in Mechanical Engineering and Civil Engineering with a 4.0 GPA. He was an intern at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Brooks Ransom Associates and the California Department of Transportation. His work at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory culminated in a research publication and presentation at an international conference in Brazil. MCComb also worked on research projects with faculty mentors. He is a member of the Tau Beta Pi Engineering and Pi Tau Sigma Mechanical Engineering Honors societies, and was awarded a $10,000 scholarship by Tau Beta Pi. He volunteered with the Lyles College of Engineering’s MES A program, Sierra Foothill Conservancy and at Kids Day fundraisers. MCComb was a student ambassador for the Jan and Bud Richter Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning. He plans to pursue a Ph.D. and then start his professional career in a federal Department of Energy laboratory.
Nancy Lopez, College of Health and Human Services
Nancy Lopez, of Bakersfield, completed a B.A. in Communicative Disorders and Deaf Studies with a 3.78 GPA. Her minor is in Art. Emigrating from Mexico with her parents and siblings, she bought and sold chocolate bars and cookies and worked in the fields to raise money for her education. Lopez, a volunteer in the community helping Spanish-speaking parents of deaf and hard of hearing students, has become a trilingual, tricultural mediator for the deaf, Hispanic and other communities. She was a member of and held leadership positions in several clubs. Lopez volunteers with the nonprofit Colors of Languages, translating educational videos for deaf children and their families into Spanish. She plans to earn a doctoral degree, ultimately establishing a free school for deaf and abandoned children in a Spanish-speaking country.
Katherine Urabe, College of Science and Mathematics
Katherine Urabe, of Livermore, completed a double major in Mathematics and Linguistics with a 4.0 GPA. Her minor is in Spanish. A Smittcamp Family Honors College student, she has a passion for mathematics. Urabe has received numerous awards, including President’s Honors, and Bertha and John Garabedian, McClatchy and Provost’s Study Abroad scholarships. She is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society and a scholar for the National Alliance for Doctoral Studies in Mathematics. Urabe has presented her undergraduate mathematics research at national and regional conferences. One poster presentation earned Outstanding Undergraduate Poster Presentation at the joint meeting of the American Mathematics Society and the Mathematics Association of America. Urabe has been a math tutor for the Learning Center on campus. She has also volunteered at the Bulldog Pantry and worked with kindergarteners to help them improve reading and math skills. She plans to earn an M.S. degree and a teaching credential in mathematics at Fresno State, prior to working on a Ph.D.
Samantha Peel, College of Social Sciences
Samantha Peel, of Fresno, completed a B.A. in History with a 4.0 GPA. Her minor is in Mathematics. She is a Smittcamp Family Honors College scholar and member of the Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Alpha Theta honor societies. An accomplished researcher, her senior honors project was a paper on women’s political role in the United States during the 1790s. Peel volunteered with the Fresno Historical Society at the Civil War Revisited re-enactment and the Historic Home Tour, and also with the Fresno County Office of Education as a judge of the History Day competition. Peel also volunteered at Bulldog Pantry, served as a middle school soccer coach and tutored high school students in algebra, statistics and U.S. history. She has been accepted into the Fresno State graduate program in the History Department. Her goal is to teach.
Selena Farnesi, Division of Student Affairs
Selena Farnesi, of Fresno, completed a double major in Anthropology and Philosophy with a 3.85 GPA. She has served Fresno State students as a senator, executive vice president and, most recently, president of Associated Students, Inc. A Smittcamp Family Honors College scholar, she received the Achievement Award from the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Farnesi was the lead researcher for a textbook study that advised the campus technology committees on how the university should proceed in adopting electronic textbooks. Her thesis for the College of Arts and Humanities Honors Program stemmed from her research on civic education. She presented her research at four conferences. Dedicated to community service, Farnesi was honored with the President’s Community Service Award. In the fall, she will attend law school on a full scholarship.