Kremen Alumni to honor four for contributions to Valley education
Four outstanding friends of education will be honored at the Kremen School of Education and Human Development Alumni Chapter’s annual Noted Alumni Dinner at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 21, at the Fresno State University Dining Facility.
Honored this year will be:
- Jacques Benninga, Ph.D. – Chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in Fresno State’s Kremen School of Education and Human Development and director of the Bonner Center for Character Education and Citizenship;
- Katherine Flores, M.D. – Director of the UCSF-Fresno Latino Center for Medical Education and Research;
- Patty Martin – Business development officer for the Educational Employees Credit Union;
- Dot J.B. Powell – Director of SALT Fresno, publisher of SALT Magazine and retired Fresno Unified School District principal.
Don Beauregard, president of the Kremen Alumni chapter, said the honorees were selected for making significant contributions to the field of education.
“Each honoree is clearly outstanding and deserves recognition for making such great contributions to enhance the quality of education in our Valley,” Beauregard said.
The banquet is open to the public. Tickets are $40 and available at the Kremen Dean’s office, 559-278-0234.
More about this year’s winners:
|Jacques Benninga, Ph.D.Benninga, professor and chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, joined the Fresno State faculty in 1983 and has directed Fresno State’s Bonner Center for Character Education and Citizenship since its founding in 1997. His academic interests have focused on children’s moral development and their character education. His research has focused on how moral understanding and character education impact schools’ structuring of a safe and welcoming environment.Benninga has published one book on moral development and character education and more than 40 journal articles. For the last 26 years, he has directed the Bonner Center for Character Education which sponsored an award program to recognize excellence in character education in the Central Valley, and co-sponsors the Kremen School’s annual Conference on Character and Civic Education, now in its 29th year. In 2012 he was awarded the Sanford N. McDonnell Award for Lifetime Achievement in Character Education by the Character Education Partnership, Washington, DC.
|Katherine Flores M.D.Dr. Flores, a family practice physician in Fresno, was born into a family of migrant farm workers in Fresno and recalls working in the fields and orchards as a four-year-old. Because of the inequities she observed as a child, she made an early commitment to make a difference. While at Stanford University, she began working with national and state Hispanic organizations with the goal of increasing the role of Hispanics in the health professions.Dr. Flores established two programs to encourage disadvantaged students to pursue careers in medicine: the Sunnyside High School Doctor’s Academy and the middle school Junior Doctor’s Academy. These programs provide academic support and health science enrichment to young people who might not otherwise be successful in their educational experiences. Promising students are enrolled in a four-year program of intensive math, science and English preparation. They are assisted by faculty and pre-medical student mentors from Fresno State and participate in research at area schools and hospitals.
|Patty MartinPatty Martin has worked for Educational Employees Credit Union for 28 years and for the past ten years has served as a business development officer. She works with educators and their families and represents the Credit Union at more than 250 community functions annually. For many years, she has been actively involved with the Fresno County Office of Education’s Academic Decathlon and Educator of the Year Awards Program.Martin coordinates EECU’s “Wise Up” events, which since its inception in 2009, has served over 18,000 students throughout the Valley. She oversees sales activities and events that promote membership, loans and financial education. Martin was named Employee of the Year in 1994 and has reached thousands of students, educators and community members during her career with EECU.
|Dot PowellAfter retirement as an elementary school principal in Fresno Unified, Powell served as Executive Director of the nonprofit, READFresno, which focused on community-wide literacy in a region of high poverty and illiteracy. She saw dire consequences in the lives of non-readers and wanted to do something about it, recruiting hundreds of volunteers to read to young students. Her influence in education has had a significant impact on teachers and students throughout Fresno County.Powell is also co-founder and executive director of the nonprofit, SALT Fresno, and has also served as a magazine publisher and author. She advocates for children with great passion and also mentors nine Hmong girls in developing life skills and building academic success from primary grades through college.