2017 Outstanding Leadership Award Recipients  


Dr. Carmen Caprau from Mathematics Department  

Dr. Marnel Niles-Goins from Communications Department  

Dr. Caprau’s research in mathematical knot theory is intriguing and as complicated as the knots themselves. The Awards Committee was impressed by her success in publishing this research in peer-reviewed journals, especially papers that were co-authored with students.  As well as mentoring graduate and undergraduate students at Fresno State Dr. Caprau has been very active in promoting mathematics to high school and middle school students through long-term organization of Math Field Days and current programs targeting girls.  Her outreach is providing an invaluable service by exposing these students to the challenges and excitement of mathematical exploration.   Her work has been recognized on campus with her receipt of the 2016 Provost’s Award for Distinguished Research, Scholarship or Creative Accomplishments. 

Dr. Marnel Niles-Goins’ research in examining the role of women in Communication Studies is an important contribution to broadening this area of study.  Her willingness to participate in the leadership of organizing professional conferences and conventions is extremely beneficial in maintaining cohesion within the discipline.  Moreover, her organizational skills in co-editing an academic book, “Still Searching for Our Mother’s Gardens” are even more impressive. This is an arduous task but the result was worthwhile as reviews of this book speak to its importance in not only bringing to the fore the experiences of women of color in academic settings but also providing ways to cope with obstacles that arise. Her rapport with both graduate and undergraduate students is exceptional and she has shown her concern for their educational development through mentoring and organizing workshops.   Coordinating the African American Edge Initiative for seven years has benefited both the students and the university.  



Maria Pena from the Henry Madden Library

 Ms. Pena’s leadership of the team that assisted in developing the Library’s next generation library services platform (ALMA) impressed the Awards Committee. Her work not only at Fresno State but for the CSU system-wide consortium in participating in the initial test phase of the project was vital to its success.  In addition her assistance in the monumental task of digitizing many of the university’s public documents has meant that they are now readily available to the public – a true benefit to the entire community


We congratulate Dr. Caprau, Dr. Niles-Goins and Ms. Pena on their awards. We thank everyone who participated in the process.  The university is fortunate to have such a wealth of talent in its midst.