Dr. Luz Gonzalez' journey from fieldworker to educator was not easy. She experienced extreme poverty and prejudices, and yet was able to find the courage and persistence to achieve a college education. Today, Dr. Gonzalez is the Dean of the College of Social Science at California State University, Fresno. There are several programs, projects, and events of distinction that Dean Gonzalez has taken the leadership role to develop at Fresno State, but none compare to her work with the Cesar Chavez Monument, and the Annual Latino Commencement Celebration.
"My gratitude and respect for the good work of the co-founder and President of United Farm Workers of America, Cesar Chavez, inspired me to make sure that Fresno State had the distinction of being the first university in the country to unveil the first life-size monument of the late leader in the Peace Garden in March of 1995."
"Over the last 18 years, the Latino Commencement Celebration grew under my leadership from a modest event held at the Amphitheater at Fresno State, to the largest event of its kind in California and the nation. In May of 2012, 675 Latino graduates brought to the Save Mart Center more families members and guests than the official University's 101st Commencement. Approximately 10,000 Latino families and guests attended the 36th Annual Latino Commencement Celebration. I have had the distinction of coordinating this event with a handful of volunteers and the Nu Alpha Kappa Fraternity (NAK) and NAK Alumni for nearly two decades and I am proud that Fresno State is the first university in the country to say that we have the largest Latino Commencement Celebration in the nation."
Dr. Juan-Carlos Gonzalez, a native of Los Angeles, California comes from very humble beginnings. Today he is currently an assistant professor in the Educational Research and Administration department; he has been a Fresno State faculty since 2009. He earned his Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy. His research interests include: multicultural and Latino educational issues, Chicano pedagogy, issues in international higher education, and educational policy and history. His most current projects include the Boys and Men of Color Project, and as a skilled professor and scholar he holds positions in several committees throughout the university including a three-year appointment in the President's Commission for Human Rights and Equity, where he collaborates with colleagues on creating a diversity plan for the university.
Dr. Juan Carlos Gonzalez serves on multiple editorial boards for peer-reviewed journals and as a proposal reviewer on a national level. He is an enthusiastic participant in the Kremen School of Education and the university as a whole.
Alex Espinoza was born in Tijuana, Baja California, and raised in suburban Los Angeles. He earned his MFA (Master's in Fine Arts) from UC Irvine. His first novel, Still Water Saints (Random House 2007) appeared simultaneously in English and Spanish and was selected for Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers. His nonfiction and reviews have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Salon, and the American Book Review. He was a 2009 fellow in fiction at the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and is also a frequent participant in Sandra Cisneros' Macondo Writers Workshop.
He currently teaches in the English Department at California State University, Fresno and just completed his second novel, The Five Acts of Diego León, which will be published by Random House in March of 2013. As a distinct scholar, Alex has taken many leadership roles at Fresno State, he serves on multiple campus committees and his most current appointed is Special Advisor to the Provost. He has also taken the lead on developing the Literatures Arts and Cultures of the Americas Project (LACA), a program developed for Americanists to come together, share ideas and collaborate on projects at Fresno State.
The Henry Madden Library at California State University, Fresno is proud to house the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning) collection center. The Arne Nixon center, has acquired nearly 500 LGBT themed books. Donations from several well-known librarians have resulted in quick growth for this genre within the Center's collection, making it the largest such collection of LGBTQ books for young readers in any library of the nation. As quoted through the Henry Madden Library, "At a time when harassment, bullying, suicides, issues about gay marriage and "Don't ask, don't tell" are affecting all of our communities but more prevalently the LGBTQ youth community, these books offer hope and understanding that "It gets better."
Asao B. Inoue was born in Inglewood, CA, and raised in Las Vegas, NV by a single mother. Despite being designated as a remedial reading student in elementary and junior high school, he eventually earned his Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition from Washington State University. His research and publications deal mostly with the ways writing assessments of various kinds (re)produce and affect various racial formations in universities and colleges. He has co-edited a collection, Race and Writing Assessment (2012), the first collection to focus on the ways writing assessments affect race and racial formations in higher education. He has published articles on validity theory; assessment-based, classroom writing pedagogies; teaching writing assessment as rhetoric; among other related topics. He expects to finish a manuscript on the writing assessment as technology in the summer of 2013. Inoue has been elected and served on the Executive Committee for his discipline's national organization, the Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC).
Currently, Inoue serves as the Special Assistant to the Provost for Writing Across the Curriculum and teaches courses in the English Department. He has been the Co-Director for the campus' First-Year Writing Program, and continues to be its Writing Assessment Coordinator for the writing program. Inoue was given the Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching for 2011-12, an award he is most proud of. In the future, he hopes to help and encourage more students of color, and those deemed "remedial" by the institution, to find themselves through the labors of writing and self-assessment.
Dr. Marnel Niles Goins was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA. She
earned her Ph.D. from Howard University in Washington, DC in Organizational and Small Group Communication. She began teaching at Fresno State in 2007 and is currently Associate Professor in the Department of Communication. Dr. Niles Goins also serves as the Department's Graduate Coordinator, webmaster, and one of the Teaching Associate Coordinators. In addition, she is the curator for TEDxFresnoState, an independently organized TED event. Dr. Niles Goins has published several journals and book chapters and recently published a book about the experiences of faculty women of color in the academy.
Dr. Niles Goins is the coordinator for the African American Edge Initiative, a program that began on Fresno State's campus in 2010 under the guidance of the Provost and Associate Provost. She created the name "Edge" because the term recognizes that African American students often have more difficulty in the college environment but with resources tailored toward them, can succeed academically.
Edge provides a number of opportunities for African American students on campus. The program includes mentoring of its students, or Edge scholars, by faculty and staff, networking opportunities, advising, guest speakers, and financial assistance. Dr. Niles Goins is excited about the program and hopes that the retention and graduation rates of African American students on campus continue to grow because of it.
Dr. Hong Ni was born and raised in eastern China in a family of high school teachers. By family decision, she became a sociology major and eventually an assistant professor of sociology in Nanjing University, China. When she found her true passion?working with children, she pursued an Ed.S. and a Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in school psychology and developmental psychology. After graduation, she became a school psychologist in Iowa. She has been an assistant professor of psychology at Fresno State since 2009.
She teaches undergraduate and graduate classes that are designed to further expand students' experience in the field of psychology in general and specifically in school psychology by incorporating field practices. She transformed a graduate topic class to a service-learning class in multicultural psychology, which expands students' understanding of culture and enhances their cultural sensitivity and awareness. She collaborates with local community agencies on projects that target academic success of high-risk youth. She also extends her service to China, where school psychological services are weak. She collaborates with scholars and educators in Nanjing, China to help establish systems for prevention and intervention purposes.
Ni's research interests include multicultural issues in American school systems, beliefs and perspectives of teachers, parents, and students, and international school psychology. As a Co-PI, she received, with Dr. Wilson, a $1.1 million five-year federal grant from the Department of Education to enhance school psychology graduate students' ability to work with at-risk children and adolescents , including homeless and foster children, migrant and immigrant children, and children who are incarcerated.
Dr. Ni currently serves as a proposal reviewer for Division 15 Educational Psychology of American Psychological Association, and is the treasurer for Association of Chinese Helping Professionals and Psychologists?International.
Dr. Adrian Ramirez was born and raised in Fresno, CA, attending Clovis Unified schools and graduating as Salutatorian. He was first in his family to attend college and was unfamiliar with the college enrollment process. As a result, Adrian decided to enroll at Fresno City College with the intent of attaining a four-year college degree. After completing sufficient units, he transferred to Fresno State, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing. He was strongly encouraged by caring faculty (Drs. Skip Sherwood, Reza Motameni, Peter Simis, Don Stengel, and Jia Wang) to continue his education and complete a Master of Business Administration. After graduation, Adrian worked for private and public sector organizations in a variety of roles, including a Marketing Specialist, Analyst, and Grant Writer. He was also recruited as adjunct faculty teaching Marketing and Information Systems courses for the Craig School of Business at Fresno State.
In August 2006, Adrian joined the Fresno State community as a Career Development Counselor for Career Services. For the 2006-07 academic year, he was recognized for his student impact with an "Outstanding Advisor Award" from the Campus Advisor Network. In fall 2007, Adrian enrolled in the inaugural cohort for the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.) at Fresno State. In May 2010, Adrian was the first doctoral graduate. He continued to work diligently, eventually publishing his dissertation in the Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, assessing the academic impact of the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP), a support program for students with migrant farm worker backgrounds. Adrian is an adjunct faculty at Fresno City College teaching Business Administration and Counseling courses. He actively participates on a number of campus committees, including the Graduation Rate Initiative Team and Student Success Taskforce. Adrian serves as an advisor for the multi-cultural sorority, Sigma Omega Phi. His research interests include first-generation college students, historically under-represented groups, student services program interventions, and assessment and evaluation.
Currently, Adrian serves as Project Director for a five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Title V - Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). The purpose is to support faculty in creating innovative and optimal learning environments, and preparing students with the academic, professional, and career skills and resources in order to graduate and succeed.