Fresno State News Briefs

Madden Library Celebrates

Julie H. Young still remembers the musty smell of the old library, the way the floors would creak and the confusing book stacks.

“Call numbers would end and they would resume on another floor or several feet away,” says Young, a student assistant supervisor for research services. That all changed 10 years ago this past February when the “new” Henry Madden Library opened to the public.

More than 12 million people have passed through the Madden Library doors in the past decade. Its many services and activities have made it a focal point for all who work and study at the University. With exhibitions, guest speakers and activities routinely open to the general public, the library has reached thousands in the community, providing a place for local residents to experience cultural and educational programs free of charge.

Thanks to generous donors including Table Mountain Rancheria and its $10 million gift, Fresno State’s goal of housing one of the top academic libraries in the nation became a reality. To honor Table Mountain Rancheria’s transformational gift and celebrate the Native American culture prominent in the Central Valley, Madden Library architects thoughtfully wove traditional Native American patterns into the design of the building itself.

The signature design element is the elliptical entry tower that evokes Native American forms using steel, zinc and wood woven together in a style similar to basketry created by the region’s Mono Indians.

— Jessica Piffero

Bold Gives Back

Carrs Award Scholarship

After receiving what he calls a “blessing” from prominent Fresno State alumni Derek and Heather Carr, Juan “J.J.” Lino feels empowered to become the first person in his family to earn a degree.

At the Bulldogs’ Oct. 13 football game against Wyoming, Lino, a Fresno State freshman, was announced as the first-ever recipient of the Derek and Heather Carr Scholarship, an award renewable for up to four years upon qualifying for support. The Carrs’ gift will allow him to focus on pursuing a bachelor’s degree in viticulture without having to work full-time while going to school.

“We have been blessed in so many ways, and now we want to give other students an opportunity
to get an education and make their dreams come true at Fresno State.”


carr“The Carr family has given me the greatest award I could ever think of,” Lino says. “God placed it in their hearts to reach out and touch the lives of young people, and I could not be more thankful.”

While Derek Carr, the record-setting Fresno State quarterback from 2009-13, couldn’t attend the presentation because he was preparing for his game with the Oakland Raiders, his wife, Heather, and sons, Dallas and Deker, met Lino and his family on the Bulldog Stadium field and presented him with an autographed Raiders’ Carr jersey.

“We have been blessed in so many ways, and now we want to give other students an opportunity to get an education and make their dreams come true at Fresno State,” Derek Carr says.

At Fresno State, 68 percent of undergraduate students, including Lino, are the first in their families to attend a four-year university.

Fresno State relies on private support to bolster the scholarship funding and resources it needs to empower students for success.

“Juan grew up with a lot of obstacles, and yet he still had a positive attitude to make a difference in his life,” Heather Carr says. “Derek and I appreciate that, even with all the challenges he faced, Juan was true to himself. He played sports in high school, participated in community outreach and decided to go to college with a goal to open his own business someday.”

— Eddie Hughes

Bold Gives Back

Trading Room Named for Alumnus

Stephen Heinrichs

Stephen Heinrichs

Four large screens cover one wall of the R. Stephen Heinrichs Trading Room, showing various market news and graphs. A stock ticker scrolls across the top of another wall. It’s like a stock market war room on the first floor of the Peters Business Building. But real money is at stake.

Under the guidance of Dr. K.C. Chen, students in the Finance 129 course oversee the Student Managed Investment Funds, which allow students to gain real-world investment experience by managing a portion of the Fresno State Foundation endowment funds portfolio.

“One of the huge advantages of this class” says Anthony Olmos, a senior finance major, “is that it’s hands-on and real world. It’s not traditional — you don’t just get standard content and a syllabus.”

trading roomThe fund has grown to almost $3.8 million since the late R. Stephen Heinrichs (1968) proposed the initial $1 million in seed money from the Fresno State Foundation in 2010 and another $1 million in 2013. A planned gift of $100,000 from Heinrichs, coupled with other endowment funds for a total of $570,000, established a second fund for students to manage.

On Dec. 13, Fresno State celebrated the memory of the man who made this vision a reality, renaming the room to honor Heinrichs, who received the Fresno State Alumni Association’s Top Dog Alumni Award for the Craig School in 2008.

— Lisa Maria Boyles

Bold Gives Back

Celebrating the Lyles Legacy

lyles - droneThird-generation engineer, local business owner and community member Dr. William “Bill” Lyles is leaving a legacy of education, hope and a chance for what he calls “upward mobility” for students attending Fresno State’s Lyles College of Engineering.

To ensure future generations of engineers in the Valley, in 2008, Lyles (who serves as CEO of Lyles Diversified, Inc.), his family members and their group of companies contributed generously to the college.

“You’ll hear me say we’ve never produced enough engineers in the state of California to meet our needs, and now in the technological age it’s even worse,” Lyles says.

Over the past 10 years, the college has made great strides in the expansion of engineering and construction management educational opportunities. By increasing outreach efforts to area K-12 schools and community colleges, the college has seen an increase in enrollment and, in 2017, it reached the highest enrollment in its history. Faculty and staff in the Lyles College celebrated the 10-year Lyles legacy at a luncheon following the college’s annual fall commencement ceremony in December.

“We are here to serve all students and students from groups who historically have not participated in a university education,” says Dr. Ram Nunna, dean of the Lyles College. “Our students are predominantly from the Fresno region and freshmen come to us from over 100 high schools in Central California. Many are first in their families to attend college. Our graduates are sought after by industry, and our alumni have made great strides in their careers.”

— Rebecca Was

Around the Fountain

Student Spotlight

A Children’s Book on Environmental Responsibility

Fresno State students Kelsi Stieler, Kaylee Gutierrez and Kristin Bonillas collaborated to write, illustrate and publish a children’s book, “The Tree Tales,” centered around environmental conservation and teaching kids what they can do to help.

“A large part of the book was the children decided to take action. Rather than the tree calling for them to make a change, they noticed that something was wrong so they took the motivation to go and make a change,” Gutierrez says. “That’s the message we want to inspire in our younger generation as well, to be proactive about effectively being able to contribute to helping the environment.”

Authors Stieler and Gutierrez said they were inspired to create the book while taking lecturer Tanya Nichols’ creative writing course. Both Stieler and Gutierrez were a part of the Smittcamp Family Honors College and proposed the book for their scholarship project. Their friend and roommate Bonillas, a graphic design major, was the illustrator.

— Rachael Stubbert

Club Hopping

Plant Science Club

The Fresno State Plant Science Club successfully defended its Presidents’ Trophy national title for its community outreach and agronomy education presentation at the Students of Agronomy, Soils and Environmental Sciences national speech contest. Student agronomy clubs from the University of Nebraska and Purdue University finished second and third place, respectively, in the 15-team field at the Nov. 3 contest in Baltimore.

Among the 12 Fresno State students who attended the conference, plant science club president Ignacio Mendoza (Salinas) delivered the club’s presentation on innovative problem-solving skills, fundraising activities, professional opportunities and industry and community partnerships.

— Geoff Thurner

Bold Gives Back

Chevron Fuels Innovation

A new gift from Chevron will help fuel the next generation of innovators in the Central Valley.
Chevron announced a $450,000 donation to Fresno State on Jan. 24 in support of a number

of key initiatives in several areas across campus to advance science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs.

“It is very exciting to see how our contribution will be implemented and will make a direct impact not only in the classrooms but also in the community,” says alumnus Marc Guzman, a reservoir supervisor with Chevron who represented the company at the gift announcement on campus at the Smittcamp Alumni House.

This marks the second consecutive year of major gifts from Chevron. In October 2017, Chevron gave a $450,000 donation in support of STEM programs in the Lyles College of Engineering and the Collegeof Science and Mathematics.

“Thousands of students’ lives have been transformed by Chevron’s generosity, which allows us to educate a new generation of leaders that is prepared to boldly address regional and national challenges,” says Fresno State President Joseph I. Castro. “With strong community partners like Chevron, we will continue to graduate innovative scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, teachers and researchers who help to elevate the Central Valley and beyond.”

The Fresno State initiatives receiving support from Chevron’s gift include the Community Mobile Health Unit that provides essential health care services for the underserved, control systems laboratory enhancements for engineering students, K-14 outreach programs for students interested in engineering and construction management and more.

— Lisa Maria Boyles

“With strong community partners like Chevron, we will continue to graduate innovative scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, teachers and researchers who help to elevate the Central Valley and beyond.”

President, Fresno State