Fifty high-achieving high school graduates from throughout California make up the 17th class of President’s Honors Scholars in the Smittcamp Family Honors College at Fresno State. The Smittcamp Family Honors College was established in 1998 with a $1 million gift from the late Earl and Muriel Smittcamp and their family, a prominent agribusiness family and longtime supporters of Fresno State.

The Honors College selected the 50 freshmen from more than 500 applicants, said Dr. Saeed Attar, director of the Honors College. Applicants must score 1800 or above on the SAT (or 27 or above on the ACT), be in the upper 10 percent of their graduating class or have a minimum 3.8 GPA in college-preparation classes.

The 50 new scholars were welcomed to Fresno State at a reception hosted by University President Joseph I. Castro and Provost Lynnette Zelezny on Aug. 19. Each scholar will receive an annual President’s Honors Scholarship for their undergraduate degree program up to a maximum of eight semesters. Scholarships cover in-state registration and an optional credit for standard (double occupancy) University housing.

The Honors College is unique in the California State University system because President’s Scholars are admitted as a cohort, take a series of specially designed honors courses, participate in a weekly colloquium with guest speakers and discussions and interact in educational and social activities.

Each President’s Scholar is required to volunteer a minimum of 70 hours of community service through his/her junior year. To remain in the program, a student must enroll in at least 12 units and earn a minimum 3.25 GPA in the first and second years, and a minimum 3.5 GPA in the third and fourth years.

More than 90 percent of Honors College scholars graduate in four years, mostly with summa cum laude (3.9 GPA or higher) or magna cum laude (3.7 GPA or higher) distinctions.

The 2015 cohort of President’s Scholars (high schools, hometowns) are:


  1. Michael Albertson (Clovis North High, Fresno)
  2. Andrew Arballo II (Bullard High, Fresno)
  3. Mia Bentzien (Hanford High)
  4. Jocelyn Boe (Yosemite High, Oakhurst)
  5. Cadence Calvert (Clovis North High, Fresno)
  6. Evan Cameron (San Joaquin Memorial High, Fresno)
  7. Maya Castellanos (Tokay High, Stockton)
  8. Chemyn Cortez (Buchanan High, Clovis)
  9. Dalia Dull (Bullard High, Fresno)
  10. Robert Duyst (Bullard High, Fresno)
  11. Judson-Scott Ervin (Lemoore High, Lemoore)
  12. Roshanak Farshidpour (Clovis North High, Fresno)
  13. Kylee Feist (Edison High, Fresno)
  14. Marina Flores (East Union High, Manteca)
  15. Christine Fry (Chowchilla High)
  16. Katlyn Grootendorst (Clovis West High, Fresno)
  17. Kaylee Gutierrez (Central High West, Fresno)
  18. Kori Gutierrez (Corcoran High)
  19. Jackson Hadden (Buchanan High, Clovis)
  20. Katelyn Hobbs (Clovis North High, Fresno)
  21. Nathen Holley (Buchanan High, Clovis)
  22. Tess Irving (Bullard High, Fresno)
  23. Megan Kalomiris (University High, Fresno)
  24. Ravinder Kang (Central High West, Fresno)
  25. Elias Karam (Buchanan High, Clovis)
  26. Lisseth Lauri (University High, Fresno)
  27. Theresa Lopes (Ceres High, Modesto)
  28. Kyle Lyman (Central High West, Fresno)
  29. Michael Mayfield (Hanford High)
  30. Michael Merzoian (Harmony Magnet Academy, Porterville)
  31. Ahmed Mohamed (Clovis West High, Fresno)
  32. Theresa Monreal (San Joaquin Memorial High, Madera)
  33. Athena Niayesh (El Diamante High, Visalia)
  34. Alyssa Nishikawa (Bullard High, Fresno)
  35. Marian Joy Pagaduan (Oakdale High)
  36. Jacob Perry (Golden Valley High, Merced)
  37. Maria Pita (Fowler High)
  38. Brooke Poore (Sierra High, Tollhouse)
  39. Emily Ramirez (Clovis East High, Clovis)
  40. Carly Robinson (Buchanan High, Clovis)
  41. Annie Rubio (Golden West High, Visalia)
  42. Audrey Savage (Murrieta Valley High, Murrieta)
  43. Kelsi Stieler (Yosemite High, Coarsegold)
  44. Abu Tahir Taha (Sanger High)
  45. Montanna Tilton (Clovis East High, Clovis)
  46. Nicholas Tregembo (Los Banos High)
  47. Benjamin Warmerdam (Mt. Whitney High, Visalia)
  48. Reina Warnert (Clovis East High, Clovis)
  49. Tyler Wilfong (Clovis High)
  50. Choua Yang (Edison High, Fresno)

For more information on the Smittcamp Family Honors College, visit