President ~ Dr. Jenelle Pitt
Dr. Jenelle S. Pitt, C.R.C. is an Assistant Professor in the Kremen School of Education and Human Development. She was born in Toronto, Canada and grew up in Southern California. She closely identifies with Caribbean culture, as her parents are from Trinidad and Tobago. Dr. Pitt received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of California, Riverside, and her master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Michigan State University. Her doctorate is also from Michigan State University in Rehabilitation Counselor Education. Her research interests include (a) cultural diversity and multiculturalism, (b) rehabilitation counselor preparation, and (c) organizational behavioral practices in state vocational rehabilitation agencies. Dr. Pitt has provided service in numerous capacities on the nominations, awards, and scholarship committees of the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association (ARCA), the National Association of Multicultural Rehabilitation Concerns (NAMRC), and the National Rehabilitation Association (NRA). She is presently serving on the Disability Advisory Commission for the City of Fresno.
Vice President ~ Dr. Juan Carlos Gonzalez
Juan Carlos Gonzalez was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. His bachelor’s degrees are from California State University, San Bernardino, in Spanish Literature and Philosophy, with a minor in History. As an undergraduate he spent a year studying philosophy and history abroad in Madrid, Spain, at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. His master’s is from The Ohio State University in Higher Education , and his Ph.D. from Arizona State University in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. Presently he’s an assistant professor at California State University, Fresno in the Department of Educational Research and Administration. His research interests include: educational policy and history, multicultural and Latino educational issues, and higher education faculty. And his teaching interests include: visual ethnography, the education of Chicanas/os, critical theory in education, and qualitative research methods. Presently, Juan Carlos is working on a research project to document the lives of Latino males in Fresno Country. Juan Carlos’ life pursuits are to be a successful and productive academic, mentor students, and make an intellectual contribution to the Chicana/o movement and scholarship.
Historian Reporter ~ Dr. Victor Olivares
Victor B. Olivares was born and raised in Fresno , California. He is one of nine children, born to parents whose origins are from Mexico. He worked along the side of his family harvesting the fields surrounding Fresno. His bachelor’s degree is in Criminology and he has earned a Masters’ in Social Work, while working full time for California State University, Fresno. Later, he earned a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. His work history includes helping implement an innovative university recruitment program that focused on increasing the number of women and ethnic minority applicants to the campus. Later, the program became the model for the CSU system. He has worked in Career Services, served as the ASI advisor, the University Judicial Affairs Officer, Special Assistant to the Dean of Students and Director of the past Title V grant. Currently, he is the Coordinator of the Summer Bridge Program, where he is playing a major role in developing a model for Early Start Initiative. Also, he is the advisor for the Hispanic Business Student Association, and serves on a variety of campus committees and is on the Board of Directors for the Fresno Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Encourage Tomorrow and is the Vice-President of the Fresno State Latino Faculty and Staff Association. His research and remediation models --hybrid curriculums that use traditional teaching methods and technologyÑused with low income students have earned him state, national and international awards. He has made presentation on his models to the CSU Chancellor’s Office Proficiency Conference and his worked has been included for CSU Trustees Meetings, featured in the Fresno Bee, earned the Practices with a Promise Award, Featured in the Lumina Foundation National Magazine and earned the International Level-Impact Learning Award. In addition, one of his programs was selected to be included in Time magazine, and he has been invited to make presentations to the California League of High Schools, Fresno County Office of Education Principals Roundtable and to employers at the National Hispanic Business Association Conference. His interests and goals include serving as a mentor to students, developing partnerships with the business, educational institutions, and community based programs to create a network of experts for researching and improving student preparedness for college, retention and graduation from college.
Research/Lecture Series co-Chairs ~ Dr. Francine Oputa
Francine Oputa is the director of Fresno State’s Center for Women and Culture which houses the Central Valley Cultural Heritage Institute and the Women’s Resource Center. She also serves as the director of the campus’ National Coalition Building Institute Team. Prior to this appointment she was the coordinator of the Women's Resource Center for over 15 years. She also teaches periodically in Africana Studies and Women Studies. Her areas of interest include diversity issues, cultural competency, and intersections of ethnicity, socioeconomic status, faith, and gender identities.
Francine began her professional career with the Fresno Department of Social Services. She has also worked in management for the Kings County Community Action Organization, Associated Center for Therapy, and Rape Counseling Services of Fresno. Francine is an accomplished performer and sought after storyteller, motivational speaker, and organizational consultant. She presents on a variety of topics including male/female relationships, cultural competency, ending violence against women, and non-profit board development. Francine and her husband, Rev. Henry I. Oputa, Ed.D. have developed an urban ministry that works with children, youth, and their families in Downtown and West Fresno. She has a B.A. in Speech Communication; a Master’s in Mass Communication, and is currently completing a doctorate in Educational Leadership.