Welcome to FresnoStateNews.com -- Daily news updates from the California State University, Fresno campus

Click the FresnoStateNews logo to return to the home page

University Communications - 5244 North Jackson Ave. Fresno, CA 93740-8027 - 559.278.8595

May 15, 2009


Nine students named Graduate Medalists at Fresno State

Latest Commencement Headlines

African American Recognition Ceremony is May 23

Fresno State Commencement celebrates achievements of 5,349 students

Traffic, parking, seating (pdf)

Stroll through Fresno State

Migrant Student Graduation Luncheon is May 23

Deans' Medalists honored for excellence

Nine students named Graduate Medalists at Fresno State

Commencement portrait sittings available

Latino Commencement Celebration honors ABC News’ Quiñones

Ag's Woolf, music’s Bassett honored with doctorates

Nation’s first M.A. recipients in teaching American history

Nine top graduate students have been named Deans’ Graduate Medalists for the Class of 2009 at California State University, Fresno.

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 University Graduate Medal winner at the Graduate Degree Hooding Ceremony at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 22, in the Save Mart Center.

The Class of 2009 Graduate Medalists are:

  • Vanessa Bremer Blanch of Dinuba – Jordan College of Agricultural
    Sciences and Technology

  • Kristin A. FitzPatrick of Fresno – College of Arts and Humanities

  • Kirsten Lynn Years of Fresno – Craig School of Business

  • Sokunveary O. Siv of Fresno – Kremen School of Education and
    Human Development

  • Timothy Randel Schellenberg of Fresno – Lyles College of Engineering

  • Rose Le of Clovis – College of Health and Human Services

  • Steven Zook of Fresno – College of Science and Mathematics

  • Kori Ryan of San Diego – College of Social Sciences

  • Marissa Homburg of Fresno – Division of Student Affairs

Vanessa Bremer Blanch, Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, originally from Barcelona, Spain, completed her M.S. in Plant Science with a 4.0 GPA. Her thesis project is an assessment of a postharvest treatment of figs, which shows promise of having significant impact on the selection of crops to be grown in the Valley. Her presentation at the Plant Growth Regulation Society of America was recognized as the Outstanding Student Oral Presentation in Biosciences. She received a Fresno State Graduate Student Research Merit Award and has done research at the UC Kearney Agricultural Center. She was a teaching assistant, a Robert and Norma Craig Fellow and a member of the student Horticulture and SERA clubs. Upon completion of her studies, Bremer was hired as a research associate at Monsanto.

Kristin A. FitzPatrick, College of Arts and Humanities,
Kristin FitzPatrickcompleted her Master of Fine Arts with a 4.0 GPA. FitzPatrick, who is from Royal Oak, Mich., received a William Saroyan Scholarship and the Fresno Fiction Award. She was president and events coordinator for the San Joaquin Literary Association and taught workshops at the Young Writers Conference. Her fiction has appeared in the Colorado Review and her essays have appeared in other publications. In her professional life, she has been an editorial assistant for Hampton-Brown and a roving researcher for ESPN Productions Inc. She is completing her first novel. Her career goal is to teach college English and continue publishing more of her creative work.

Kirsten Lynn Years, Craig School of Business,
Kirsten YearsCompleted her M.B.A. with a 4.0 GPA. Years, who is from Fresno, received the Unilever Bestfoods Winners Circle Award in 2002. At Fresno State, she took the lead as CEO of the M.B.A. team that placed first in overall performance, report writing and stock market investing at the 2008 International Collegiate Business Strategy Competition. She has volunteered with Evangel Home, a shelter for women and children in crisis. She is managing partner of her family-owned and -run commercial real estate business. Years plans to use the skills she gained in school to expand her small business.

Sokunveary O. Siv, Kremen School of Education and Human Development,
Sokunveary Sivwhose hometown is Fresno, completed her Master’s of Education Administration with a 4.0 GPA. She was born in a Cambodian refugee camp in Indonesia and emigrated to Fresno with her family. During her senior year at Duncan Polytechnical High School, her father died and she began supporting her mother and younger sister financially. She earned a degree in liberal studies and a Multiple Subject Credential from Fresno State and was president of the Student Association of Fresno State’s California School Administrators Charter group. Her goal is to earn a doctorate in educational leadership and become a school principal.

Timothy Randel Schellenberg, Lyles College of Engineering,
Timothy Schellenbergearned his M.S. in Engineering (Electrical Engineering Option) with a 3.9 GPA. Before starting his graduate studies, he spent a year teaching English in Cambodia. Schellenberg, who is from Fresno, has worked as an intern for NASA at Kennedy Space Center and as an intern at Trex Enterprises in Hawaii while completing work on his graduate degree. He speaks English, German and Khmer. He has contributed his efforts to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and Engineers without Borders. Schellenberg plans to become a professional engineer.

Rose Le, College of Health and Human Services,
Rose Lecompleted her M.S.N. (Primary Care Option) with a 4.0 GPA. Her graduate project focuses on promoting the use of evidence-based medicine to enhance nursing education. She was selected for the Alice Peters Nursing Scholarship as an undergraduate and also for a Tylenol Scholarship in 2008. Le is an active member of the California Association for Nurses and has volunteered at the Tzu Chi Free Clinic, providing health care to poor families. She serves as a mentor and preceptor at the Burn Center at Community Regional Medical Center and is completing her clinical experience at Sierra Clinica, a community-based clinic that provides care to indigent and poor patients in the Valley.

Steven Zook, College of Science and Mathematics,
Steven Zookcompleted his M.A. in Mathematics with a 4.0 GPA. He received his bachelor’s degree from Fresno Pacific University, where he earned junior and senior honors. Zook has been involved in developing high school curricula and taught mathematics at Wellspring Academy in Reedley, a therapeutic boarding school for high school students that struggle with obesity, where he participated in two Western Association of Schools and Colleges accreditations. His graduate project covers an abstract topic, a combination of group theory and measure theory. Zook plans to become a mathematics educator.

Kori Ryan, College of Social Sciences,
Kori Ryancompleted her M.S. in Criminology with a 3.91 GPA. Her thesis deals with a controversial diagnostic tool in psychology and criminology, the MacDonald Triad, and she has presented her research at the prestigious American Society of Criminology. Ryan, whose hometown is Pelham, N.H., was a graduate assistant in the “Psychology of Crime” course. She has received the Research Merit Award and has worked as special projects coordinator for the Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma. She was a volunteer tutor at DeWolf Continuation High School. Ryan also worked on two grants related to elder abuse and domestic violence and this fall begins her pursuit of a doctorate in forensic psychology.

Marissa Homburg, Division of Student Affairs,
Marissa Homburgcompleted her M.S. in Counseling with a 3.84 GPA. Homburg, who is from Hanford, was the first in her family to receive a college degree. At Fresno State, Homburg worked within the Learning Center as a student supplemental instruction leader, then joined the staff as the SupportNet adviser. Her research project examines the impact of the university’s pilot early alert program, which identifies students who are struggling academically. Her research has helped Homburg develop a passion to pursue a career of coaching, training and developing students’ academic success.