Class of 2017 commencement events celebrate diversity

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  • Manuel Perez, Diana Gomez, Karen Crozier and Malisa Lee

Class of 2017 commencement events celebrate diversity

  Fresno State celebrates the diversity of its student body this week with seven commencement events Saturday, May 20, including three keynote addresses.

An eighth event, the Educational Opportunity Program Graduate Recognition Celebration, was held May 12.

Crozier to deliver keynote at African American Recognition Ceremony May 20

Dr. Karen Crozier, director of faculty development and diversity at Fresno Pacific University will be the keynote speaker at Fresno State’s 33rd annual African American Recognition Ceremony at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 20, at the Save Mart Center.

Crozier earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1991. In 1995 she earned her master’s in education from Fresno State. She also earned her multiple subject teaching credential (1994) and cross-cultural language credential (1999) at Fresno State. In 2005 she received a master’s in religious education from Claremont School of Theology, where she earned a doctoral degree in practical theology a year later.

Crozier has served as an educator for Fresno Pacific University and Fresno Unified School District.

In 2016 Crozier received a writer’s retreat sabbatical grant from the Issachar Fund of Grand Rapids, Michigan, and was invited to serve as an affiliate research scholar at the University of Illinois.

Crozier is currently on sabbatical studying black activist Fannie Lou Hamer’s revolutionary practical theology for Urbana-Champaign’s Center for African Studies. She is also the producer and host of the television show “Perspectives on Faith and Culture” which can be viewed on local cable channel KNXT 49/38 or online.

When she returns from sabbatical in August, Crozier plans to lead the effort to document and curate the African American contribution to the Central Valley as the research consultant and liaison at the Fresno County Historical Museum of the Big Fresno Fair in collaboration with the African American Historical and Cultural Museum of the San Joaquin Valley.

For more information, contact Dr. Francine Oputa at 559.278.4435 or at francine@csufresno.edu.

American Indian graduation May 20 honors six

Six graduates will be recognized during the American Indian Graduation Celebration at 3 p.m. Saturday, May 20, at Fresno State’s O’Neill Park.

This event is part of the University’s American Indian Recruitment and Retention Initiative to foster a positive, friendly learning environment for indigenous people of North America. The initiative is part of the CSU Native American Initiative to better serve American Indian students.

Following the ceremony, family and friends of the graduates will give remarks about the graduates over dinner.

For more information, contact Dr. Vicki Krenz at 559.278.2684 or kennethh@csufresno.edu, or Katie Garcia at 559.278.2048 or kagarcia@csufresno.edu.

Asian-American and Pacific Islander Commencement May 20

Dr. Malisa Lee, Fresno State’s associate vice president for enrollment management, will be the keynote speaker at Fresno State’s Asian-American and Pacific Islander Commencement Celebration at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, May 20, at the Satellite Student Union.

Over 100 graduates will be joined by Dr. Lynnette Zelezny, Fresno State Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs. Tommy Tran, anchor and sports director for ABC30, will serve as the emcee.

A Fresno native born to a family of refugees, Lee graduated from Roosevelt High School and attended University Of California, Santa Barbra as a Gates Millennium Scholar. After earning her bachelor’s in sociology, she attended the University of Southern California were she earned a master’s in education in post-secondary administration and student affairs. She later earned a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Michigan.

Eight students from the California State University Asian American Pacific Islander Ambassadors program will be recognized at the event for their role as student leaders and peer mentors to other students on campus. The mission of the initiative is to improve college access and graduation achievements for students in underserved communities.

For more information, contact Phong Yang at 559.278.1164 or pyang@csufresno.edu.

Chicano/Latino Commencement to draw record graduate turnout May 20

A record 1,000 students have signed up for the 41st annual Chicano/Latino Commencement Celebration  at 6 p.m. Saturday, in the Save Mart Center.

Dr. Victor Torres, coordinator of the celebration, said the event is the largest Latino commencement celebration in the nation with an attendance last year of 13,640.

Manuel Perez, former Fresno State associate dean of student affairs, and Diana Gomez, Central Valley regional director for the California High Speed Rail Authority, will be presented with the Fresno State Bold Visionary Award. See Perez and Gomez bios: http://bit.ly/FS-CLCC.

The award was established to recognize an individual for distinguished achievement and contributions in education and community service, in particular to multicultural populations, said Torres.

Ernesto Palomino, honorary doctor of fine arts and former Fresno State faculty, will also be recognized. He was a member of the Chicano Faculty and Staff Association, forerunner to the Latina/o Faculty and Staff Association that co-sponsors the celebration founded in 1976. A video produced last year gives the history of the celebration: bit.ly/FS-CLCC40video.

Diana Gomez to speak at LGBTQ+ grad ceremony May 20

Diana Gomez, Central Valley regional director for the California High-Speed Rail Authority, will deliver the keynote address at the third annual LGBTQ+ Graduation Recognition Ceremony at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in the Peters Education Center (Student Recreation Center).

Gomez is the past national president of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and currently volunteers on the Fresno State Alumni Association Board of Directors. In 2015, she was named Outstanding Alumna for the Lyles College of Engineering by the Fresno State Alumni Association at its annual Top Dog Awards Gala.

The graduation ceremony is presented by United Student Pride, the Rainbow Alumni and Allies Club and the Cross Cultural and Gender Center at Fresno State.

For more information, contact Peter Robertson at 559.278.4669 or probertson@csufresno.edu.

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