Five women with Fresno State connections – one faculty member, the director of an institute and three alumnae — are among the Marjaree Mason Center’s Top Ten Professional Women for 2012.

All will be honored at a luncheon beginning at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 19 at the Fresno Convention Center Exhibit Hall.

This year’s Fresno State honorees are:

  • Dr. Julie Olson-Buchanan, who chairs the Department of Management in the Craig School of Business and is a model of meshing professional success with a fully involved family life and community service with Girl Scouts and the Community Food Bank.
  • Dr. Francine Oputa, director of the Central Valley Cultural Heritage Institute at Fresno State, works on a daily basis on women’s and children’s issues, while also helping the entire community fully appreciate the region’s rich cultural diversity.
  • Dora Westerlund, president and CEO of the Fresno Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, an alumna who helped launch the West’s only bilingual business incubator. She volunteers in support of education improvement and small business development.
  • Nancy Hollingsworth, president and CEO of St. Agnes Medical Center, who turned her Fresno State training in nursing into a career extending to the top echelon of health-care administration. She is a champion of innovative, safe, effective health care.
  • Dr. Matilda Soria, research and development director of Reading and Beyond, which helps children improve reading skills. She also teaches statistics and research classes at Fresno State, where she discovered a love of community service as a student.

Each year, the Marjaree Mason Center chooses 10 women and a business to honor women who are community role models of community service and professional achievement.

The center, which offers shelter to victims of domestic violence and also provides services to help the victims cope with legal, economic, psychological and other issues and family challenges.

The Marjaree Mason Center is named for a Fresno State student and active community volunteer who was 36 when she was raped and murdered as a result of domestic violence in 1978.

Tickets to the Top Ten Professional Women and Top Business Awards Luncheon cost $60 and are available through the Marjaree Mason Center website: