Dr. Kenneth Froelich, professor of music, was selected for Fresno State’s 2021 Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, announced Dr. Xuanning Fu, Fresno State’s interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.

The Provost’s Awards also honored the following faculty:

  • Dr. Kathleen Dyer, professor of child and family science, and Dr. Thomas Holyoke, professor of political science — Faculty Service Award
  • Dr. Jennifer Randles, associate professor of sociology — Research, Scholarship and Creative Accomplishment Award
  • Dr. Frederick Peinado Nelson, associate professor of liberal studies — Innovation Award
  • Tanya Nichols, Department of English — Outstanding Lecturer Award

Five faculty members were selected for the Promising New Faculty category of the Provost’s Awards in recognition of their exemplary achievements in teaching, research, creative activities and/or service among non-tenured, tenure-track faculty. The honorees are:

  • Dr. J. Ashley Foster, assistant professor of English
  • Dr. Leece Lee-Oliver, assistant professor of women’s, gender and sexuality studies
  • Dr. Jiaochen (Jason) Liang, assistant professor of agricultural business
  • Dr. Patricia López, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction
  • Dr. Jennifer Miele, assistant professor of finance and business law

The Provost’s Awards were established in 1993 to recognize the outstanding teaching, research and service that is central to the mission of Fresno State.

Honorees provide students with a stimulating environment that fosters learning and affirms the University as an intellectual and cultural leader in the Central Valley.

The awardees will be celebrated during a virtual celebration from 3 to 4 p.m. Thursday, May 6

Excellence in Teaching

Dr. Kenneth Froelich

Dr. Kenneth Froelich

Dr. Kenneth Froelich (music) has served as the principal instructor and academic adviser for the music composition studio since he arrived at Fresno State in 2005. He has transformed the composition area into one of the leading music composition programs in the state, and his students regularly receive honors from the University and national awards for their work. Froelich has composed more than 25 commissioned works since 2005 and received a number of awards. In 2016, he was honored with the Provost’s Award for Research, Scholarship and Creative Accomplishment. Froelich is working on a new project to create compositions for flexible middle and high school ensembles addressing issues that music educators face due to COVID-19. He believes students learn by doing and his goal is helping students become self-sufficient learners capable of envisioning a project and following through a design process to completion.

Faculty Service Award

Dr. Kathleen Dyer

Dr. Kathleen Dyer

Dr. Kathleen Dyer (child and family science) was elected chair of the Student Ratings Committee in 2018 to examine student rating options and create an instrument for evaluating teaching effectiveness. Dyer presented detailed research, the advantages and what the process would entail. The result was the adoption of a scientifically sound instrument to improve teaching, which proved even more helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dyer has also served as chair of the Department of Child and Family Science since 2015, overseeing the department’s move from one college to another, new faculty hires, revision of the curriculum and more. In addition, she serves as chair of the Council of Chairs, where department chairs from across campus meet to share common issues and discuss policy. 

Dr. Thomas Holyoke

Dr. Thomas Holyoke

Dr. Thomas Holyoke (political science) has served for almost 15 years on the Academic Senate, where he has become a strong voice for faculty. He led the Senate through some of the University’s toughest challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, a debate on academic freedom and free speech, and new ethnic studies requirements. He was scheduled for a yearlong sabbatical this year, but postponed it in order to stay on as senate chair to help guide the University through the pandemic. Holyoke joined the University in 2005 as a political science professor and has served on several committees within the college and across the campus. He continues to earn high teaching ratings in his courses and has published peer-reviewed books and articles. Holyoke has also become the media’s go-to expert on local, state and national politics. 

Research, Scholarship and Creative Accomplishment Award

Dr. Jennifer Randles

Dr. Jennifer Randles

Dr. Jennifer Randles (sociology) arrived at Fresno State in 2013 and has since written 20 articles and book chapters and two books on topics that not only matter to sociologists but also to the general public. Her research on the challenges that poor mothers face trying to afford diapers for their children appeared in the American Sociological Review and was featured in The New York Times this spring. In addition, Randles regularly publishes essays and blog posts, speaks to community groups and consults with social welfare organizations about her research on parenting, childhood and anti-poverty programs and policies. She founded and serves as the faculty adviser for Fresno State’s Diapers for Degrees diaper pantry, became chair of the Department of Sociology in 2019 and serves as chair of the University Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects.

Innovation Award

Dr. Frederick Nelson