Fresno State’s eight schools and colleges, along with the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, each selected an outstanding student to honor as part of the class of 2020 Undergraduate Deans’ Medalists.
The deans selected an undergraduate and graduate medalist based on academic excellence, community involvement and other achievements. Fresno State’s Graduate Deans’ Medalists will be announced later this week.
In mid-May, one medalist from the group below will be announced as the President’s Medalist, the University’s top academic honor for an undergraduate student.
This year’s medalists are:
Hunter Sansom, Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management
Hunter Sansom, of Fresno, completed her B.A. in communication with a 4.0 GPA. Her grandfather worked for the Fresno State Police Department and introduced her and her twin sister to the University. Sansom was a varsity member of the Barking Bulldogs debate team and was recognized as a summa cum laude academic scholar by the Cross-Examination Debate Association. She received the Anthony J. Perella Scholarship and served as an Associated Students Inc. senator for the College of Arts and Humanities. Sansom was a front desk assistant and tutor at the Learning Center, but her work at the Student Health and Counseling Center was a true labor of love. There, she was president of the Peer Ambassador of Wellness Program in which members develop activities that address stress, anxiety, depression, nutrition, physical activity, alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, food security and basic needs. Sansom plans to apply to graduate school and become an instructor of communication.
Kameron Hurst, Lyles College of Engineering
Kameron Hurst, of Sonora, completed her B.S. in electrical engineering in fall 2019 with a 3.99 GPA. Her interest in technology started when she observed the wireless key fob devices that opened the houses that her realtor mother showed. Hurst served as vice president of the Fresno State chapter of the Society of Women Engineers and was a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Hurst worked at the Toyota Technical Center in Michigan and Gardena on multimedia systems, cockpit electronics and hydrogen fueling systems. She facilitated an innovation lunch that led to a United States patent and contract work that she performed through the end of her junior year and during her senior year at Fresno State. Hurst is currently employed by Cisco Systems, Inc. She plans to work for a few years then apply to graduate school and earn a master’s degree in electrical engineering.
Hlee Thor, Kremen School of Education and Human Development
Hlee Thor, of Fresno, completed her B.A. in liberal studies with a 3.95 GPA. She is the first in her family to earn a bachelor’s degree and takes pride in the fact that her experience navigating higher education can help guide her younger and older siblings who want to earn a degree. Thor’s passion for teaching started with her third grade teacher who helped her get into an after school program for extra support. An internship as a teacher assistant for English Language Development students in the Fresno Unified School District helped carve out her career path. During her four years at Fresno State, Thor participated in the Para Academy teacher pipeline program with Fresno Unified. She worked full time to support herself through college and also took classes at Fresno City College to stay on track and graduate in four years. Thor was accepted into the Fresno Teacher Residency Program. She hopes to become a teacher in Fresno Unified.
Danielle Richman, College of Social Sciences
Danielle Richman, of Manhattan Beach, completed a B.A. in political science, a B.A. in history and earned a certificate in legal studies with a 4.0 GPA while a student-athlete on the Fresno State women’s golf team. Her interest in politics and history led her to an internship the summer of her junior year with the U.S. Department of Education in Washington D.C. and a course at George Washington University about leadership styles through the prism of the American presidency. Richman was a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship for international study at the University of Oxford, England — Fresno State’s first-ever finalist. She is a Smittcamp Family Honors College scholar and winner of the Outstanding History Undergraduate Award 2020. Richman plans to pursue a master’s degree in philosophy in politics and international studies or in international peace and security at a university in England.
Bagieng Keophimphone, College of Science and Mathematics
Bagieng Keophimphone, of Fresno, completed a B.S. in biochemistry with a 3.93 GPA. Keophimphone is the youngest child of Laotian immigrant farmworkers. He struggled with English as a child and found chemistry and biology to be challenging — but interesting. Keophimphone was a student leader for the Laotian American Community of Fresno and president of the American Chemical Society Fresno Chapter where he worked to highlight the importance of higher education. He was also involved with the UCSF Fresno Academic Research program, Tzu Chi Clinic and the Community Care Clinic. Keophimphone worked with Dr. Khampha Thephavong at the Community Care Clinic where he saw firsthand the medical disparities and experiences of underserved communities. His work with Thephavong, who is also Laotian, inspired him to pursue a career in medicine.