A Message From The Dean

Jordan College Fall-Winter 2016-17 Newsletter

Dean Sandra Witte

Greetings! As we start a new year, I have paused to take time to reflect on a memorable 2016 – where we started and where we are now. I had to give up making resolutions for a new year since I always seemed to disappoint myself. Instead, my year-end reflections give me food for thought on the priorities for the new year.

In the process of this reflection, one thing just kept coming up – and that was all of you! I am in awe of all that our alumni and friends do for the Jordan College. You serve on advisory boards, provide student internships and support students and programs directly or by establishing endowments. You engage and partner with us in very visible and transformational ways. You help spread the word about all the great things our students, faculty and staff do, you are the ‘wind beneath the wings’ of the Jordan College. This past year has provided so many examples of your support.

Each of our programs now has an advisory board in place. For all of our programs together, we have almost 200 industry and community volunteers serving us by sharing their experience and expertise. Thanks to you, our student internship opportunities have more than tripled. You have endowed one of our collegiate teams, allowing them to have the support needed to compete nationally. You have given horses to support our equine program. You have given us irrigation equipment. You have given us saplings. You have connected us to international opportunities for our students and faculty. You have given us superior stock for breeding. You have brought your research needs to us, giving valuable experiences for faculty and students. You have mentored our students – and they love it! You have come into our classrooms to share your stories and you have hosted our students at your businesses. You have attended our events and supported our cause.

You are fabulous – yes, you really are! We no longer get the financial resources from the State of California needed to keep us in the forefront of agriculture higher education. That will not stop us on our journey to greater things. Together, with all of you, we are greater than we have ever been in the Jordan College and we are only getting started.

This semester we welcomed nine new faculty members – Dr. Jason Liang in Agricultural Business; Dr. Avery Culbertson in Agricultural Leadership; Dr. Katie Tarrant in Poultry Science; Dr. Kyle Thompson in Dairy Science; Dr. Rhett Billen in Family Science; Dr. Andrea Roach in Family Science; Dr. Shabnam Pooya in Nutrition; Dr. Sara Shinn in Culinology; and Dr. Gureet Brar in Plant Science. They joined our two new faculty from last year, Dr. Serhat Asci in Agricultural Business and Dr. Jake Wenger in Entomology, and together these eleven faculty are already making a very positive impact in the Jordan College.

Our enrollment this fall has held strong at 2,447 students. As the University implemented impaction due to the limited resources made available by the State of California this year, we are pleased to be maintaining this impressive number of students. With our new faculty hires and our advising center opening last year, these students are achieving higher levels of success by engaging in high-impact experiences to promote their success and timely graduation at Fresno State. Those high-impact experiences include internships, mentoring, international experiences and research! We have you to thank for helping our students succeed.

So what will our priorities be for 2017? Certainly you will continue to be one of our priorities. Your support of the Jordan College, whether it be time, talents, or treasures, means so much to us and we are so thankful for you. As always, I welcome your visits, your calls and your emails (sorry but I don’t Tweet, Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat). I love sharing the Jordan College with you whether it be a farm tour, a visit to the Jordan Agricultural Research Center, or just a chance to talk about the wonderful things our students and faculty are doing. As we move toward greater things, I am so glad you are on the journey with us.

I sincerely wish you and your family a healthy and wonderful new year!


Sandra S. Witte

Dean, Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology.