Fresno State News

by Eddie Hughes

Prestigious U

2017 rankingsFresno State’s approach to student success was again ranked among the nation’s best at combining academic excellence with economic opportunity. Washington Monthly, a D.C.-based magazine known for its annual rankings of colleges and universities, placed Fresno State No. 17 on its list of the top universities in the United States.

Fresno State was selected alongside six Ivy League institutions, six University of California campuses, MIT and top-ranked Stanford University on the list.

Washington Monthly has been ranking colleges and universities for 12 years with what it calls “a different kind of college ranking,” focusing on three pillars: social mobility, research and service. The rankings measure “what colleges do for their country,” recognizing universities that “produce research, train the next generation of scientists and Ph.D. [candidates] and instill graduates with an ethos of public service.”

Fresno State was also the No. 1 school in the national university category in commitment to spending federal work-study funds on public service.

Fresno State, as a University that enrolls many first-generation college students and helps them graduate, was cited for its “stellar graduation rate relative to other colleges with a similar admissions profile.” The magazine also says Fresno State’s “net price of attendance (what students pay after scholarships are deducted from tuition) is among the very lowest nationwide.”

“These national rankings are further proof that Fresno State’s commitment to boldly educate and empower our students for success is taking the University’s academic profile to new heights,” University President Joseph I. Castro says. “Our faculty and staff are supporting and engaging students in exciting new ways, and the University is working as one with the community to develop partnerships that can be transformational for our region, where more than 80 percent of our alumni choose to stay and work.”


Washington Monthly 2017

Top 30 National Universities:

  1. Stanford University
  2. Harvard University
  3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  4. Texas A&M University
  5. Georgetown University
  6. University of California, San Diego
  7. University of Pennsylvania
  8. University of Washington
  9. University of California, Davis
  10. Yale University
  11. Princeton University
  12. Duke University
  13. Utah State University
  14. University of California, Berkeley
  15. University of California, Los Angeles
  16. Columbia University
  17. California State University, Fresno
  18. University of Florida
  19. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  20. University of California, Irvine
  21. University of California, Riverside
  22. University of Notre Dame
  23. University of North Carolina
  24. Washington State University
  25. Purdue University
  26. University of Wisconsin
  27. Dartmouth College
  28. Syracuse University
  29. Brigham Young University
  30. Illinois Institute of Technology


‘Help Clear the Air’

Clear-AirFresno State and the other 22 California State University campuses are now tobacco, smoke and vapor free. The University’s “Help Clear the Air” campaign is educating students, employees and campus visitors about the new CSU systemwide policy.

State law already bans smoking from workplaces and all buildings accessible to the general public throughout the state as well as within 20 feet of buildings.

The new CSU policy, which will be in effect at all times, applies to all University property, including buildings, athletic venues, residence halls, parking lots, vehicles and grounds.

“We are sensitive to what this change will mean for our campus community, so we want to do as much as we can through educational programs, communication and resources,” says Debbie Adishian-Astone, Fresno State’s vice president for administration. “To support this goal, the ‘Help Clear the Air’ educational campaign will create awareness of the change and invite cooperation as we move toward creating a healthier campus environment.”

For help with smoking and tobacco cessation, visit


The Future of Transportation

speaker at fresno stateFresno State announced the opening of its new Transportation Institute one year after the Fresno Council of Governments Policy Board approved the use of nearly $3 million in Measure C New Technology Reserve funds. The institute opened this fall in a temporary space adjacent to the Engineering East building.

The Fresno State Transportation Institute is a collaboration between the 15 cities within Fresno County and Fresno State’s Lyles College of Engineering, Craig School of Business and College of Social Sciences.

Funding will support students and faculty researchers as they address topics such as air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, safety, energy, congestion and advanced transportation technologies, and also will enable them to seek federal and state transportation grants.

“The Fresno County Transportation Authority is excited about the research and educational opportunities that will be provided to students at Fresno State to explore the challenges that face our Valley, state and nation as new technology is introduced to change the way we move people and goods throughout the world,” says Lynne Ashbeck, Fresno County Transportation Authority board member.

Dr. Aly Tawfik, assistant professor of civil engineering at Fresno State, will serve as the institute’s founding director.



Partnering for City Planning

Fresno State students can now earn a degree in city and regional planning thanks to a partnership with McCaffrey Homes to provide students with hands-on experience in design and infrastructure through a case study class on the Tesoro Viejo development, a 1,600-acre site at the foot of Little Table Mountain.

Jointly owned by the McCaffrey and Lyles families, the new Tesoro Viejo community is located off Highway 41 in Madera County’s designated growth area, Rio Mesa.

Students will learn broad planning skills and gain specialized knowledge pertaining to Valley issues such as transportation and water resource planning. They will also have access to a wide range of internships and experiences through on-site visits and guest lectures that will make them optimal candidates for jobs in our growing region.

“We commend the efforts of Fresno State to deliver a city and regional planning degree program that will go far in serving the needs of our region,” says Brent McCaffrey, president of McCaffrey Homes. “We are thrilled to invest in the higher education of students in an area that is of critical importance for the future of our community.”

The University received support from corporations like PG&E, as well as scholarship funds donated by McCaffrey Homes, Bonadelle Homes, Granville Homes, Penstar Group and Silkwood Ventures.


A Legacy of Caring

in the labDoris Sullenger cared for others her whole life.

One of seven children, and the daughter of Chinese immigrants, she became a caretaker for her younger siblings at age 9.

By the time she was college-aged, Mrs. Sullenger helped at her parents’ restaurant, earning little more than a dollar an hour to put herself through Fresno State. Though her parents didn’t want her to pursue an education, she persevered, earning bachelor’s degrees in both chemistry and microbiology in 1976 — joining the small but increasing population of women pursuing science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers at that time.

For 39 years, Mrs. Sullenger continued caring for those around her. As a clinical laboratory scientist at Community Medical Centers, she supported health and wellness in the Central Valley.

girls in the lab“My wife loved to give back what she got,” says Matt Sullenger, Doris’ husband. “I remember twice a year, she would give her whole paycheck to charity.”

Now, even after her untimely death in March, Mrs. Sullenger continues her legacy of caring.

She left $200,000 in her will to provide scholarships to students in the College of Science and Mathematics at Fresno State who are studying microbiology, chemistry or mathematics. Such a gift is especially critical at a time when 80 percent of Fresno State students need financial assistance, and women continue to be underrepresented in STEM fields.

“She wanted to make it easier for the next generation,” Matt says. “You can’t take [the money] with you when you go, so why not give it back?”

Inspired by his wife’s caring nature, Matt, a retired contractor, also left funds in his will to support vocational education in the Central Valley.

“I’d give all my money back to have another day with her,” Matt says tearfully. “But I can’t — and there are a lot of people working, trying to get their degrees. Our goal was to make each generation easier and better.”

To leave a legacy and enhance the education of students for generations to come, contact the office of Planned Giving at 559.278.4038.



CSU Outstanding Student Scholar

moshier_shelby-paigeShelby Paige Moshier, a Fresno State senior biology student from Tollhouse, was one of 23 students chosen by the California State University to receive the 2017 CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement.

Moshier is a member of the Smittcamp Family Honors College and the Fresno State chapter of Phi Kappa Phi. She also works as a lab manager and conducts research on Californian birds in a conservation biology lab.

The scholarship program was established in 1984 by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation, which partnered with the CSU Board of Trustees to supplement the endowment with contributions from CSU Trustees, CSU Foundation Board of Governors and private donors.

The awardees, one from each of the 23 CSU campuses, receive donor-funded scholarships for their superior academic performance, personal accomplishments, community service and financial need.

“I think it is important to be good stewards of the land and our natural resources, which is why I am passionate about learning about conservation biology.”

Shelby Paige Moshier



Bilingual Speech Clinic

The Fresno State Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic launched a new bilingual clinic for clients age 3 and up who have difficulty in their primary and/or secondary language. With meetings twice a week throughout the academic year, clients will receive comprehensive evaluations and individual treatment designed to be culturally and linguistically reliable. Graduate students facilitate the clinic, which is under the supervision of a licensed speech-language pathologist and includes 22 to 24 sessions (35 minutes each) for $250. Call 559.278.2422 for more information.


160512Event119Fresno State men’s basketball coach Rodney Terry is now the Mountain West representative on the National Association of Basketball Coaches Division I Congress. The position was previously held by San Diego State’s Steve Fisher, who retired in April. “I have so much respect for Coach Fisher, and I’ll do my best to advocate for our coaches, student-athletes and sport in this role.” Terry, who has led the Bulldogs to back-to-back postseason appearances, is in his seventh season as Fresno State’s head coach. The congress meets monthly via conference call in addition to an annual in-person meeting.

Quite the Vieweclipse-2017-08-21

Physics professor Dr. Frederick Ringwald traveled to Metolius, Oregon, to get the full experience of the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21. The town was near the path of totality for the eclipse, meaning the duration lasted more than 2 minutes. Ringwald snapped plenty of photos on his trip, including the above.

Water, Ag, Energy Start-ups

The Valley Ventures Accelerator at Fresno State announced 11 start-up companies will receive venture capital direction and support in the water, agriculture and energy technology industries. The three-month program will provide professional guidance on growing sales, company value and profitability for the emerging companies from primarily California, as well as Brazil, Chile and Malaysia. Companies accepted into the program demonstrated the potential to have an economic impact in the region and the ability to improve the efficient use of scarce resources.

National Trademark Licensing Award

The Fresno State Trademark Licensing Program, under the leadership of Clarence Chiong, was recognized as the national collegiate licensing program of the year, earning the 2017 Synergy Award from the International Collegiate Licensing Association. The Synergy Award is given annually to a university or other collegiate organization that demonstrated extraordinary commitment to collegiate licensing and contributed to the betterment of the industry and the institution or organization. Fresno State receives royalties from the sale of officially licensed merchandise produced by licensed vendors. The royalties from about $12 million in retail sales of officially licensed Fresno State merchandise last year was used to support various student programs on campus.