Dr. Lynnette Zelezny, a Fresno State alumnae and veteran academic administrator, is the University’s new Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, effective June 1, 2014.

President Joseph I. Castro announced the appointment on March 17. The provost is the University’s chief academic officer and serves as its leader when the president is away from campus.

Zelezny joined the Fresno State faculty in 1988. During her 25-year service at Fresno State she has served as professor of Psychology, chair of the Department of Psychology, associate dean for the Craig School of Business, dean and associate vice president for Continuing and Global Education, and associate provost. Zelezny also served as a visiting professor at the University of Stockholm in Sweden, an American Council of Education Fellow at Towson University in Maryland, and as a Fulbright scholar in Germany.

“Lynnette Zelezny is a perfect fit for this key leadership position at this important time in Fresno State’s history,” said Castro. “She has a depth of experience as a professor, researcher and administrator at Fresno State and has earned the respect of the academic community. In addition, she has unquestioned integrity and a collaborative working style that has been embraced by our faculty, staff and students.”

Zelezny is also chair of the University committee that is implementing Castro’s new tablet initiative, called DISCOVERe@FresnoState. She co-chaired and implemented the IT strategic plan and leads the University’s Western Association of Schools and Colleges accreditation process.

“I am ecstatic to have the opportunity to serve alongside President Joseph Castro as the next Provost at Fresno State,” said Zelezny. “It’s an honor to have been selected from among our extraordinarily talented and mission-driven faculty at Fresno State. I’m humbled and eager to get to work on challenging issues to better serve our students and the Central Valley.”

Zelezny is an applied social psychologist who has published research related to the environment, health, leadership and student success for underrepresented students. Her numerous teaching, research and mentoring awards include Carnegie U.S. Professor of the Year nominee.

Zelezny is the principal investigator on a five-year $3.18 million Title V Hispanic Serving Institutional grant to improve Hispanic graduation at Fresno State. She is also the co-PI on a National Institute of Health (NIH) grant to develop competitive minority students for cancer research careers, the former co-Director of a $4.5 million NIH grant to improve research infrastructure (biomedical and behavioral) at a minority-serving institution (RIMI), and is the past recipient of a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) five-year Career Opportunities in Research (COR) grant to place competitive minority undergraduates in doctoral programs.

She is a member of Fresno Rotary and serves on numerous community boards, including United Way. She was named one of the 2011 Top Ten Professional Women by the Marjaree Mason Center in Fresno.

“Lynnette has a proven track record of dedicated leadership at Fresno State,” said Dr. Susan Elrod, dean of the College of Science and Mathematics. “She knows the University, its faculty, staff, students and community. She is passionate about our mission and I know she will bring the vision and energy we need to take Fresno State to even higher levels.”

Dr. Kevin Ayotte, vice chair of the Academic Senate and associate professor of Communication, said: “I have had the pleasure of working with Dr. Zelezny on the Fresno State Tablet Task Force, the Accessible Technology Initiative and other projects, and in every instance she demonstrated a genuine interest in addressing faculty and student concerns for the issue at hand. Dr. Zelezny has modeled the collegial working relationship between administration and faculty we’ve seen with President Castro’s leadership. I think the university will be very well served by Dr. Zelezny’s leadership in Academic Affairs.”

Zelezny earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Psychology from Humboldt State University, a Ph.D. in applied social psychology from the Claremont Graduate University and an M.B.A. with distinction from the Craig School of Business at Fresno State. In addition, she has professional certificates in management from Harvard University and in executive leadership from the Wharton School of Business.

Zelezny is married to John Zelezny, senior vice president of Community Medical Centers, and the mother of Serena, Reed and Stephen Zelezny.

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