Chris Fiorentino, whose passion for volunteerism has fueled Fresno State’s nationally recognized community service program, is the recipient of the university’s 2013 President’s Award of Excellence.
Fiorentino, a Fresno State alumnus, has been a lecturer and staff member since 1993. He is the director of the university’s Jan and Bud Richter Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning.
He was honored Wednesday, Jan. 14, at the Spring Assembly for faculty and staff. The award was presented by Sandy Brown, chair of the University Advisory Board, Julie Tone, vice chair, and members Mike McGowan, Jim Shekoyan, Roxanne Stephenson and Allysunn Walker-Williams.
The President’s Award of Excellence was established in 2001 by the University Advisory Board to honor Fresno State President John D. Welty. The award recognizes a faculty or staff member who demonstrates integrity, leadership and a commitment to the university and the community as exemplified by President Welty.
University Advisory Board members, community leaders who consult with the president, select the recipient and donate money for a $10,000 award that accompanies the honor.
Fiorentino was recognized for building service-learning into an integral part of Fresno State’s engaged university status. In addition, he has been the conduit in connecting students, faculty and staff with community partners to meet community needs, and personally has contributed thousands of volunteer hours.
Fresno State has logged more than 1 million volunteer hours by students, faculty and staff each of the past three academic years. The Corporation for National and Community Service and the U.S. Department of Education repeatedly have honored Fresno State’s community service efforts.
In 2011-12, service hours totaled 1,129,004. The volunteer work was done by 16,405 people, most of them students. According to philanthropic standards, the estimated economic impact of Fresno State’s community service was more than $28.5 million.
Fiorentino received his B.A. in Psychology and his M.A. in Education Counseling from Fresno State. He started working for the university as a lecturer in 1993. He authored a textbook supplement titled “Cornerstones for Learning through Service,” one of the first texts of its type. He has published several articles related to engaging students in learning through service and has presented numerous workshops related to community service-learning.
Fiorentino has served as a Peer Mentor with the National Youth Leadership Council, worked with colleagues throughout the CSU system, and has helped found several local nonprofits. In 2000, California Campus Compact presented him with the distinguished “Richard E. Cone Award” for excellence and leadership in cultivating community partnerships in higher education.