Dr. Joy Goto, interim dean of the Division of Research and Graduate Studies at Fresno State, is one of 22 senior-level higher education professionals selected to participate in the 2022 Millennium Leadership Initiative, a leadership development program of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.

The program provides individuals who are traditionally underrepresented in the highest ranks of postsecondary education with the opportunity to develop skills, gain a philosophical overview  and build the network and knowledge needed to advance to a presidency position.

Since its inception 23 years ago, 694 participants have graduated from the institute. One-fifth of graduates have become a president or chancellor, and more than one-third have advanced significantly to other leadership positions within higher education, including at the state level. 

Goto was born and raised in Fresno. She joined Fresno State in 2007 and has taught and served as chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry for five years. She earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of California, Davis and a doctoral degree in chemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles. She was a John Douglas French Foundation postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School and a Beckman Institute Research Fellow at the City of Hope in Duarte, California.

Her research focuses on using fruit flies and human neuronal cultures to investigate neuronal function, oxidative stress and protein-protein interaction using biochemical, electrophysiological and locomotor behavioral methods. She has partnered with students through the Goto Laboratory and fellow faculty on her research. 

Last year, Fresno State administrators Dr. Xuanning Fu, interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, and Dr. Malisa Lee, associate vice president for Enrollment Management, were selected to participate in the leadership initiative.