Outstanding undergrads named 2013 Undergraduate Deans Medalists

Nine top graduating seniors have been named Undergraduate Deans Medalists for the Class of 2013 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 102nd Commencement ceremony at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, May 18 at the Save Mart Center.

2013 Deans’ Undergraduate Medalists:

Lindsey-LewisLindsey Lewis, Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology

Lindsey Lewis, of Lancaster, completed a B.S. in Agricultural Education with a 3.976 GPA. Complementing her academic success is a long list of work experience, leadership and community service activities. She received numerous awards, including membership in the Smittcamp Family Honors College, Lockheed Martin Leadership Association Scholarship and the California’s Teachers Association Scholarship. In the Animal Science and Agricultural Education Department, she served as the FFA Field Day Food Committee chair and as historian of the Poultry Science Society. She also spearheaded the annual Farm Clean-up Day. She is active in service work with her church, serving as a youth leader and dedicating time to missionary work to assist needy communities in Mexico and Ecuador. Her career goal is to work in the poultry industry to ensure a high quality product for consumers and a high quality of life for animals.

ShelbyShelby Art, College of Arts and Humanities

Shelby Art, of Twentynine Palms, completed a B.A. in Theatre Arts with a 3.97 GPA. A Smittcamp Family Honors scholar, she is also an actor, director, choreographer, playwright, and costume and makeup designer. In her four years at Fresno State, she performed in 12 plays and was nominated for the American College Theatre Festival competition based on a performance in Talking With …, in which she handled a “terrifyingly real” snake as part of her role. Her original play, Undergrad, was chosen for performance by the Experimental Theatre Company last fall, and she served as both as director and choreographer. Despite her active production schedule and heavy course load, she served on the student board of directors of the Experimental Theatre Company and organized student volunteers for the department Open House. Recognized by her fellow students for her leadership skills, she was elected to represent the students at faculty meetings. She is a member of Totarct, a Rotary-sponsored service organization for young people. Art has auditioned for professional theatre companies, conservatories, and M.F.A. programs in acting and directing at major institutions, receiving second interviews at seven schools.

Jesse-LownsburyJesse Lownsbury, Craig School of Business

Jesse Lownsbury, of Oakhurst, completed a B.S. in Business Administration with a 3.95 GPA. Last year, he was named volunteer of the year for his innumerable hours working with the local Little League. He is a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. A transfer student from Reedley College, he is a member of the 2012-13 Craig Honors Program where he is conducting research for his thesis on how personality and job status affect social media content. His aim is to provide a greater understanding of the implications of posting content on social media sites. Before returning to school to earn an M.B.A., his immediate plans are to study for the CPA exam before starting with joining PricewaterhouseCoopers in September. His dream is to teach at the university level.

Diana-LopezDiana Lopez, Kremen School of Education and Human Development

Diana Lopez, of Clovis, completed a B.A. in Liberal Studies and a minor in Urban Civic Education with a 4.0 GPA. Her parents are immigrants from Mexico who did not have the opportunities for education that have been afforded her, but her close-knit family instilled in her respect for the opportunities an education could provide. At Fresno State she was active as a mentor, both at the university and in local schools. She has directed service learning projects, tutored across grade levels and subjects, and has volunteered for many philanthropy events. Lopez also volunteers for the Clovis Area Recreation Center Toddlers’ Program and for the Highway City Community Development After-School program. Her exemplary scholarship was recognized with admission to the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Sigma Alpha Lambda, Golden Key International Honour Society and Phi Kappa Phi. Her goal is to become an elementary school teacher.

Michael-AdamMichael Adam, Lyles College of Engineering

Michael Adam, of Clovis, completed a B.S. in Computer Engineering with a 3.816 GPA. Born into a military family, he spent his early years traveling between bases as his father changed roles. He has been active in robotics since elementary school. Today, he is the director of Central Valley Robotics, the organization that runs one of the largest regional LEGO robotics competitions in the U.S. He is a recipient of the Husband-Boeing Honors Scholarship and a member of the Lyles College of Engineering’s Honors Program. As an intern at Schneider Electric, he has expanded his knowledge in embedded systems and proven to be a very valuable resource to the company. Next year, he plans to return to Fresno State to earn a master’s degree.

Kristin-RowdenKristin Rowden, College of Health and Human Services

Kristin Rowden, of Fresno, completed a B.S. in Nursing with a 3.5 GPA. Her university and community service includes mentoring and tutoring, organizing and selling newspapers for the annual “Kids Day” event, and coordinating a student team for the Multiple Sclerosis Walk. While in her fifth semester of the nursing program, Rowden created a blood pressure screening tool in English and Spanish to educate the public. She was accepted into the Veterans Administration Hospital’s VALOR Nurse Externship program, a highly competitive program which provides an opportunity for outstanding students to develop competencies in clinical nursing. She will complete 400 hours in the Intensive Care Unit, working under the supervision of a registered nurse. Her goal is to complete a master’s degree in nursing and ultimately, to teach nursing students.

ArturoArturo Gasga, College of Science and Mathematics

Arturo Gasga, of Fresno, completed a B.A. in Chemistry with a 3.72 GPA. Coming to the United States from a poor neighborhood in Mexico at the age of 15, he is a scribe at the emergency room at St. Agnes Medical Center and a chemistry tutor for the Health Careers Opportunity Program. For the past two years, he worked with Dr. Melissa Golden on the organic synthesis of BMAA, a compound that may be involved with ALS (“Lou Gehrig’s disease”) and Alzheimer’s disease. For this work, Gasga won an award from the American Chemical Society at the SACNAS symposium and he presented at the national American Chemical Society meeting. Gasga has served as a volunteer screener for clinical research trials at UCSF-Fresno/Community Regional Medical Center and tutored high school students in chemistry. His goal is to become a physician and return to the Central Valley to care for underserved people in the Latino community as a bilingual primary care doctor.

HeatherHeather Donat, College of Social Sciences

Heather Donat, of Clovis, a President’s Scholar in the Smittcamp Family Honors College, completed a B.A. in History with a 4.0 GPA. Donat volunteered her time and efforts to the Bulldog Pantry, the Community Food Bank, and Northside Christian Church, where she was a Bible study and youth leader. She served as a History Day judge and on the Associated Students Inc. (ASI) Student Court for three years. Donat is currently serving in her second year as secretary of Phi Alpha Theta (PAT), the National History Honor Society. She is currently enrolled in the Social Sciences Teaching Credential Program, and also plans to continue her studies by entering a master’s program at Fresno State next year.

Tamar-KarkazianTamar Karkazian, Division of Student Affairs

Tamar Karkazian, of Fresno, completed a B.S. in Business Administration with a 3.83 GPA. With a focus on sports marketing, she worked on an undergraduate thesis about how various marketing techniques appeal to different college basketball fans. Her sophomore year, she became the Spirit Coordinator for USU Productions and this past year served as director. Part of the Craig Honors Program, she took a leadership role in the Student Involvement Office, served as president of the Armenian Students Organization for the 2010-2011 term and as editor for Hye Sharzhoom. Karkazian’s co-curricular experience includes involvement in Fresno State Week and Fresno State Talks. She also helped found, and is currently president of, the American Marketing Association, Collegiate Chapter. She has a passion for basketball and wants to pursue a career as a business professional with the NBA.

Lindsey Burgess

written by

Senior Writer/Editor, University Communications
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