Pay It Forward - Pay It Forward Luncheon


  • Pay It Forward Save The Dates Cover
  • Picture of engaged students

Pay it Forward luncheon series brings together Fresno State students and community professionals. Each luncheon is led by a different leader, from or with strong ties to the Central Valley and Fresno State. This event acts as a forum for dialogue, explores in-depth issues, and allows for impactful networking.



Registration Now Open:  

Karin Huebner
Historian and Academic Director for the University of Southern California (USC) Sydney Harman Academy for Polymathic Studies
October 10,2019
Satellite Student Union
11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

The term polymath describes a person whose expertise spans a significant number of subject areas and who can combine them in unique ways to solve problems. Leonardo da Vinci is one of the most notable known polymaths for his ability to combine his deep knowledge and experience in the arts, science, engineering, architecture and anatomy.  In a world of constant and extreme change, where versatility and resilience are prized characteristics, being able to approach  critical issues in numerous ways can provide exponential value. Our

October Pay it Forward Speaker is historian, Dr. Karin Huebner, the Academic Director of Programs for the USC Sydney Harman Academy for Polymathic Studies. The Academy was founded in Spring 2011 to foster integrated interdisciplinary conversations, discussions and action regarding critical issues of our time (local and global) with faculty and students.

Originally from Fresno, Dr. Huebner received her Ph.D. in history from USC in 2009, her M.A. in history from USC, and her B.A. in history from UCLA. She received the W. Turrentine Jackson Prize from the  Pacific Historical Review for the best essay submitted by a graduate student for her article, “An Unexpected Alliance: Stella Atwood, the California Clubwomen, John Collier, and the Indians of the Southwest, 1917-1934,” which appeared in the  PHR  August 2009 issue.  As a graduate student, she received the USC University Excellence in Teaching Award in 2005. In 2012, she received the  USC Remarkable Woman Award,a  campus-wide recognition for achievements in scholarship, contributions to USC, commitment to students and women’s issues, community involvement, and professional excellence.

Prior to Dr. Huebner’s career as a historian, she competed on the Women’s World Tennis Tour and in the US Open, French Open, and Wimbledon. She also captained the UCLA women’s tennis team to its first national championship in 1981. Dr. Huebner identifies as an aspiring polymath-lete.

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Upcoming Speakers: 


Ben Runyon and Becca Cartier - November 12, 2019

Ben Runyon and Becca Cartier
Co-Founders of Hermetia.Pro, a Sustainable Agricultural Solutions Provider (and graduates of the Lyles College of Engineering, Fresno State)
November 12, 2019
Satellite Student Union
11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.


Our November Pay it Forward speakers both graduated from the Lyles School of Engineering at Fresno State, have impressive engineering careers working in diverse industries, co-founded a sustainable agricultural solutions company, and are married!  You won't want to miss these individual and shared journeys! 


Ben Runyon is Co-Founder and Senior Director of Engineering at HermetiaPro, a sustainable agricultural solutions company. Prior to starting HermetiaPro, Ben attended Fresno State and graduated from the Lyles School of Engineering with a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering, as well as minors in Mathematics and Physical Science.  While at Fresno State, Ben co-led a team that participated in NASA’s Reduced Gravity Flight Opportunities Program along with teams from Yale, Purdue, and Dartmouth. After graduation, Ben gained automotive engineering experience with Hyundai and Kia at the California Proving Grounds in California City, California, project management experience with the California High Speed Rail Project and the Fulton Mall Renovation at the City of Fresno in Fresno, California, as well as production engineering and manager experience at Pressed Juicery in Dinuba, California.


Becca Cartier is Co-Founder and Senior Director of Engineering at HermetiaPro. Prior to starting HermetiaPro, Becca graduated from the Lyles School of Engineering with a Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a minor in Physical Science.  While at Fresno State, Becca lead a team that submitted multiple research projects to NASA’s Reduced Gravity Flight Opportunities Program. Becca also participated in the American Society of Mechanical Engineering Human Powered Vehicles Competition for four years where she and her team competed against both national and international universities. After graduation, Becca gained renewable energy engineering and production experience with General Electric in Tehachapi, California, aerospace flight test engineering and supervisor experience with Jacobs Technology at Edwards Air Force Base in California, as well as medical device production and quality audit experience while working at Sunrise Medical in Fresno, California. She also earned her Green Belt in Lean Six Sigma while working for General Electric.


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