Fifty high-achieving high school graduates from throughout California make up the 22nd class of President’s Honors Scholars in Fresno State’s Smittcamp Family Honors College, now in its third decade of service to the community.

Established in 1998 with a $1 million gift from the late Earl and Muriel Smittcamp, the founders of a prominent family agribusiness and longtime supporters of Fresno State, the honors college has also been supported by other donors from the Fresno area as well as alumni from the honors college.

The freshmen were selected from a pool of more than 500 applicants, said Dr. Saeed Attar, director of the honors college. High school seniors must meet one of the following three criteria in order to be eligible to apply: earn a score of 1200 or above on the SAT (or 27 or above on the ACT), be in the upper 10% of their graduating class or have a minimum 3.8 GPA in grades 9 through 11.

The scholars were welcomed to Fresno State during a virtual reception (via Zoom) on Aug. 21 hosted by University President Joseph I. Castro and Provost Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval. Each scholar receives a President’s Honors Scholarship, up to a maximum of eight semesters, for their undergraduate degree program. Each scholarship also covers an optional credit for standard University housing.

The honors college is unique in the California State University system because President’s Scholars are admitted as a cohort, take a series of specially designed honors courses, participate in a weekly colloquium with guest speakers and discussions and interact in educational, scholarly and social activities.

In addition, President’s Scholars are required to volunteer a minimum of 70 hours of community service. To remain in the program, a scholar must enroll in at least 12 units each semester and maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.25 in the first year, 3.35 in the second year and 3.5 in the third and fourth years. More than 90% of the President’s Scholars graduate in four years, mostly with the summa cum laude (3.9 to 4.0 GPA) distinction.

The 2020 cohort of President’s Scholars and their high schools are:

Hodda Alazani (Central East)

Deanne Angeles (Clovis North)

Aaron Joshua Asparin (Clovis East)

Sara Beberian (San Joaquin Memorial)

Yazmine Bedolla (Reedley Middle College)

Nancy Campos Ledezma (El Diamante)

Sandra Carranza (Mission Oak)

Hannah Chand (Harmony Magnet Academy)

Aaron Chhun (Clovis)

Alexandra Cota (Clovis North)

Ali Dadawalla (University)

Arya Desai (Clovis North)

Jasmin Diaz (Golden West)

Sierra Evans (Clovis)

Madelyn Fernandes (Mission Oak)

Isabella Garcia (San Joaquin Memorial)

Isaiah Gonzalez (Dinuba)

Liam Goss (Redwood)

Julian Guzman (Hoover)

Kortney Hamilton (Tulare Union)

Lillian Hammerstrom (Clovis)

Allee Her (Clovis)

Lea Racquel Hernandez (Clovis)

Payten Hobbs (Liberty)

Saneh Kahlon (Kingsburg)

Gurneet Kaur (Sunnyside)

Larry Lam (Clovis East)

Grace Maly (Edison)

Hailey Moore (Clovis West)

Destiny Ortiz (Golden West)

Ajmeet Pama-Ghuman (Kingsburg)

Srushti Patil (University)

Keyara Piri (University)

Laiba Qamar (Clovis North)

Alyanna Marie Quisado (Clovis East)

Galilea Ramirez (Fresno)

Colton Redfern (Sierra)

Regina Fatima Rivera (University)

Carissa Scheuerman (Buhach Colony)

Savera Sheikh (Buchanan)

Cassandra Siechert (Clovis)

Megan Siechert (Clovis)

Kaylen Situ (Buchanan)

Nathan Theng (Clovis North)

Mary Topoozian (Bullard)

Omar Tortoledo (Washington Union)

Deanna Trieu (Western Sierra Academy)

Ahsan Wahab (Kerman)

Haidyn Washburn (Sanger)

Sofia Zubacz (University)