Dr. Annette Levi, professor of agricultural business, was selected for Fresno State’s 2022 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. Steve Blumenshine, professor of biology — Research, Scholarship and Creative Accomplishment Award
  • Dr. Amila Becirbegovic, assistant professor of modern and classical languages and literatures — Faculty Service Award
  • Dr. Mark Baldis, Department of Kinesiology and Dr. Janine Nkosi, Department of Sociology — 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. Luis Fernando Macías, assistant professor of Chicano and Latin American studies
  • Dr. Kimberly Stillmaker, assistant professor of civil and geomatics engineering
  • Mai Der Vang, assistant professor of English
  • Dr. Ettore Vitali, assistant professor of physics
  • Dr. Varaxy Yi Borromeo, assistant professor of educational leadership

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 an event at 3 p.m. Thursday, May 12, in the North Gym, Room 118. 

Excellence in Teaching

Annette Levi Dr. Annette Levi (agricultural business) has taught in a variety of subject areas for the Department of Agricultural Business since she joined Fresno State in 2008. She integrates work experience and scholarly activities to create professional learning environments for her students. Her biggest impact in the department is integrating high-impact teaching practices into the program. She has worked with the Richter Center to develop a service-learning course to have students engage with local nonprofits. She was assigned an internship course where she developed a list of ag business majors and alumni and sent them notifications about professional opportunities. And Levi organized and offered study abroad programs to China and Chile so students could learn how food grown in those areas get to tables around the world. She later developed service-learning study abroad programs to Africa.  

Research, Scholarship and Creative Accomplishment Award

Dr. Steve BlumenshineDr. Steve Blumenshine’s (biology) work is in fish ecology and bioenergetics, aquatic habitat analysis, water quality and watersheds. He has received more than $1.5 million in research funding since 2013, has a strong record of publications in peer-reviewed journals and over 100 presentations in conferences. In 2018, he received the College of Science and Mathematics Outstanding Faculty Research Award and has received two U.S. Fulbright awards, one for research in Germany and the other in Thailand. His approach and success includes the integration of students into his research group and working with external collaborators to increase exposure of applied research and implementation in the classroom. Blumenshine, who started at Fresno State in 2001, was recently appointed director of the California Water Institute Research and Education Division.

Faculty Service Award

Dr. Amila BecirbegovicDr. Amila Becirbegovic (modern and classical languages and literatures) is a German language specialist who is one of the lead researchers, translators and writers on the president’s Task Force to Review the Naming of the University Library. She is helping to read documents that are in German to root out secrets and to build empathy and acceptance so we do not live in fear of the past. She is a genocide survivor, having escaped the concentration camps in Bosnia. Her expertise is in how visual media affects the memory of genocide. Becirbegovic has served on many University committees, including as chair of the library subcommittee working to ensure that faculty have a voice in the library’s collections and practices. She serves on the executive committee for the College of Arts and Humanities and was chosen as the college’s honors cohort leader and will design a course around her research on genocide, memory and trauma.

Outstanding Lecturer Award

Dr. Mark BaldisDr. Mark Baldis (kinesiology) has been a lecturer in the Department of Kinesiology for more than 21 years teaching in the areas of exercise science, athletic training, general kinesiology and physical education. He has taught full courses in the Department of Physical Therapy and he is routinely a guest instructor in the Departments of Biology, Public Health, and Food Sciences and Nutrition. Baldis has served as the exercise science option coordinator and director of the Human Performance Laboratory for more than 10 years. He is instrumental in guiding and coordinating the exercise science curriculum. He received the College of Health and Human Service’ Faculty Mentor Award and the University’s Campus Advisor’s Network Outstanding Advisor Award. Baldis holds nine professionally-related certifications and/or licensures and has done thousands of hours of professional continuing education. He has incorporated these certifications and training into the courses he teaches creating opportunities for exercise science students to also obtain their own professional certifications.