The eight schools and colleges in Fresno State, along with the Department of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, have each selected an outstanding student to honor as part of the 2022 Graduate Class.
The Deans selected a graduate and an undergraduate medal based on academic excellence, community participation and other achievements. The Fresno State Postgraduate Deans were announced on April 27th.
In mid-May, a medal from the following team will be announced as the Postgraduate Master at the University, Fresno State’s top academic distinction for a graduate student.
This year’s Olympians are:
Joseph Calcagno, Craig School of Business
Joseph Calcagno, of Coarsegold, won the Executive Master of Business Administration with a GPA of 4.0. He previously had a master’s degree and a degree in biomedical engineering from California State University in San Luis Obispo. Calcagno was looking for an MBA executive to prepare him for leadership roles in orthodontics and prosthetics. Calcagno pledged to get out of his comfort zone when the pandemic struck to make sure he and his colleagues could have the best possible experience in the virtual accelerated graduate program. He collaborated with others in his cohort, formed study groups and led group projects resulting in meaningful relationships and a successful academic experience. He did all this while working full time and had recently welcomed a new baby into his family. Calcagno is looking forward to using his new knowledge to have a deeper impact on his organization and the community. He is excited to have more time to spend with his growing family and plans to pass on business knowledge to his sons, starting a small family business in his spare time.
Tania Castillo, College of Social Sciences
Tania Castillo, from Fresno, earned her degree in criminology with a GPA of 4.0. She previously had a degree in criminology from Fresno State. Castillo came to the United States from Mexico seven years ago to pursue higher education and better life opportunities. It aspires to serve and give back to the community. Her exposure to criminal justice systems in other countries and her impact on vulnerable populations led her to study criminology. In the state of Fresno, Castillo serves as president of Alpha Phi Sigma, a criminal justice organization that honors criminal justice by participating in social service events, academic conferences, and providing networking opportunities to its members. He volunteered for the Fresno Citizens’ Public Safety Advisory Committee and serves as a full-time immigration liaison at the Mexican Consulate. Her goal is to become a professor of criminology and conduct research that is informed by informed policy.
Joey Contreras, College of Science and Mathematics
Joey Contreras, from Selma, earned her bachelor’s degree in physics with a GPA of 4.0. He previously had a degree in physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. When Contreras started at Fresno City College, his son was diagnosed with Stage 4 liver cancer. . His son recovered and transferred to UC Santa Barbara to complete his degree. Contreras returned to Fresno to be closer to his son and family and entered the postgraduate program in physics guiding for a doctoral program. He participated in quantum gravity research, published an article in a journal and lectured on his research. Contreras has also served as a teaching assistant in various laboratories, including introductory astronomy, physics, and science. After graduation, Contreras will teach a summer course at Fresno State. He will then pursue a PhD in physics at the University of California, Merced.
Audia Dixon, College of Arts and Humanities
Audia Dixon, from Fresno, earned its Master of Arts degree in December with a 4.0 GPA. She previously earned her bachelor of arts degree from Fresno State as a graduate student at Fresno City College. Originally a liberal arts foreman, Dixon changed the art and called it the best move she could make. Dixon was inspired by black contemporary artists and prompted by the late Professor Paulette Fleming to express her own views on black identity. At Fresno State, Dixon designed covers and posters for the African American Commencement Ceremony program and collaborated on murals promoting black empowerment and injustice. Her first mural was the Lift Every Voice Mural Tour, organized by Dulce Upfront, a multimedia arts collective, in response to George Floyd’s protests. She was then asked to design another mural created by black women artists in Central Valley. He intends to continue working as an artist and would like to teach art. Her goals include finding a home for research and applying to a Master’s of Fine Arts program.
Saúl Pamatz Melgarejo, Kremen School of Education and Human Development
Saúl Pamatz Melgarejo, from Fresno, earned his master’s degree in Multilingual Multicultural Education with a GPA of 3.9. He previously earned a degree in Spanish and a minor in communication sciences and deaf studies from the State of Fresno. Melgarejo is a first-generation and undocumented student, immigrant and English student who is dedicated and dedicated to helping linguistically, culturally diverse students and their families succeed. As a new dual immersion teacher, he saw the need in the K-12 system for students to have mentors with whom they could relate. During his postgraduate studies, he learned critical analysis skills to better understand the holistic elements behind culture and the importance of work for accessibility and equality. He demonstrated these skills in a research paper entitled “Undocumented Travel: Pathways to Higher Education in Uncertain Political Times”. Melgarejo received the Rutherford B. Gaston Family Sr. Scholarship Award. to assist in his studies.
Jaklin Rowley, Lyles College of Engineering
Jaklin Rowley, from Exeter, earned her civil engineering degree with a GPA of 4.0. She previously holds a degree in civil engineering from Fresno State. Rowley’s work in engineering aligns with her family of builders and developers. She hopes to one day join their efforts, but before that, Rowley wants to gain know-how in her field while continuing her passion for teaching. He was a teaching associate in the State of Fresno and a student assistant, and also worked as a trainee engineer in the town of Visalia. Her postgraduate research focused on structural health monitoring with an emphasis on the application of vision-based detection. He participated in leading and student clubs and organizations. Received the 2020 All-University Leadership Award for Outstanding Club President. Rowley was offered a full-time job as an engineer in Visalia after graduation. He intends to pursue a doctorate in civil / civil engineering, preferably abroad, in order to gain global experience.
Tania Sanchez, Department of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management
Tania Sanchez, from Fresno, earned her degree in counseling, elective in school counseling and a student service accreditation with a GPA of 4.0. He previously earned a bachelor’s degree in communication psychology from Fresno State. Sanchez is the youngest of four children born to Mexican immigrants and the first to pursue higher education. Her passion for helping students and families in the community fuels her academic journey. Serves as a trainee counselor in the Educational Opportunities Program working with first-generation low-income students. Sanchez also serves as ambassador for the School Counseling Program as the first recipient of the Dr. Scholarship. Benjamin and Marion Kremen. Help facilitate the EOP Connect Day Campus Tour and Special Programs’ event for incoming students. Sanchez has completed a postgraduate research program that promotes the safe and responsible use of digital technology. After graduating, she hopes to work in higher education or in K12 as an academic or school counselor. She would like to pursue her doctorate in educational leadership and become a mentoring teacher to help create the high-performance mentors of tomorrow.
Cameron Standridge, Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology
Cameron Standridge, from Hanford, earned his master’s degree in agricultural science, the certificate of one subject and the certificate of specialist in agriculture with a GPA of 4.0. He previously earned his bachelor’s degree in agricultural education at Fresno State and was the Deans’ 2020 Undergraduate Medal for Jordan College. Standridge is passionate about creating effective learning experiences for students. He was part of the Jordan College Honors program and a recipient of the Jordan Harvey Graduate Assistantship. He was co-director of two Ag Kids’ summer facilities working with peers, teachers and staff to create two interactive weeks of ag lessons. He also developed a virtual Ag Discovery Program for high school students across the country and partnered with the school to develop an agricultural career readiness certification program for students across the country. Standridge served as a teaching associate for the pig production laboratory and was a student teacher at Central High School and Madera South High School. He hopes to continue to have an impact on students and to develop new ambitions that will support agricultural education.
Rebekah Weimer, College of Health and Human Services
Rebekah Weimer, from Fresno, earned her master’s degree in kinesiology with a choice in sports psychology with a GPA of 4.0. He previously earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology, majoring in human development, from the University of California, Davis. Weimer began her trip to Fresno State in the fall of 2020, when classes were still online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Her dissertation was a case study with a community college football team in which she explored the extent to which athletes can learn specific mental skills and use them in training. There have been many setbacks due to the pandemic. One group (the control group) withdrew from the study and the group that completed the intervention changed the data collection period twice, requiring Weimer to make changes to the format of its case study. Weimer is a teaching assistant in two kinesiology courses, is active in the Sport Psychology Club and is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. He also works as a permanent director for Fresno State Student Housing. Weimer plans to pursue a second postgraduate course in clinical rehabilitation and mental health counseling. Her goal is to become a certified mental performance consultant.
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