Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro is one of three alumni from the Stanford Graduate School of Education chosen to receive the 2016 Alumni Excellence in Education Award. The honor recognizes graduates who are transforming the field, changing communities and influencing policies.

In addition to Castro, who graduated with a Ph.D. from Stanford in 1998, other winners include Haydee Rodriguez (M.A. 2002), a teacher at Central Union High School in El Centro, and Piya Sorcar (M.A. 2006, Ph.D. 2009), founder of nonprofit TeachAIDS.

Daniel Schwartz, dean of the Stanford Graduate School of Education, is scheduled to present the awards during a reception at Stanford Oct. 20. The ceremony kicks off Stanford’s reunion weekend.

“I’m very excited to celebrate the achievements of these three alumni,” Schwartz said. “Through the work they do and the dedication they bring, they are showing how education can bring hope to communities and lift up entire regions.”

Now in its second year, the Alumni Excellence in Education Award was created by a group of Stanford alumni to recognize excellence in research, instructional practice, innovation in addressing a challenge in education, policy leadership and dedication to underserved populations.

Alumni are nominated by their peers, and members of the faculty, alumni and Schwartz select the winners. Each winner will receive an honorarium.

Castro, who held several executive positions at the University of California, Berkeley and UC San Francisco before landing at Fresno State, is being recognized for, among other things, his focus on reducing barriers that deter potential students from enrolling in college and Fresno State’s pioneering efforts in confronting student housing and food insecurity.

“I am humbled and deeply honored,” Castro said upon learning he is a recipient of the award. “My four years of doctoral study at Stanford were among the most intellectually rigorous and rewarding of my life.”

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