16 students present at Honors Symposium


Sixteen students in the College of Arts and Humanities Honors Program presented the projects resulting from their research on Friday, May 12, before an audience of family members, friends and faculty mentors in the Music 160 lecture hall.

Dr. Honora Chapman, associate dean of the College of Arts and Humanities and director of the Honors Program, spoke to the broad range of subject matter covered by the students’ presentations:

“The 16 Arts and Humanities Honors students from seven departments produced projects ranging from discussions of the performance of identities in the Hmong and Azorean cultures to literary investigations, historical and applied media analyses, musical compositions (including a full-scale musical), animation, sculpture and painting exhibits, and personal essays on motherhood. Their faculty mentors clearly set the bar very high for them, because this was a superb collection of projects and oral presentations.”

The Honors Program is designed to provide upper division students with outstanding scholarly and creative achievements the opportunity for advanced interdisciplinary studies and interaction with a community of their intellectual peers in the Arts and Humanities.

The program consists of nine to 10 units of coursework, beginning with the Arts and Humanities Honors Seminar, AH 100H (3 units, with Dr. Andrew Fiala). Each participating department then provides a course or an independent study option for honors students during the student’s senior year, culminating in the student’s completion of a research/creative project.

A three-unit Honors Symposium, AH 101H (with Dr. Veena Howard), serves as the culminating experience for students to complete, present and discuss their research/creative projects.

This program encourages students to cross disciplinary boundaries through discussion with faculty and fellow students in different departments while working closely with a faculty mentor toward the completion of a research or creative project of the student’s choice.

Here is a listing of the Honor Students who presented at the May 12 Honors Symposium, their project titles and their faculty mentors:

Department of Art and Design

  • Kaitlynn Webster, “Soliloquy.” Faculty Mentor:  Edward Gillum
  • Caitlyn Cardoza, “Exploration in Animation.” Faculty Mentor:  Paula Durette
  • Monica Orona, “Art and Perception.” Faculty Mentor:  Keith Jordan

Department of Communication

  • Cathleen Fagundes, “Discourses of Azorean Men: How Masculinity is Communicated Through Public Ritual.” Faculty Mentor:  Shane Moreman
  • Christy Nou Xiong, “Reclaiming Hmongness Through Women’s Participation in Rituals: A Performance Theoretical and Critical Ethnographic Communication Understanding.” Faculty Mentor:  Shane Moreman

Department of English

  • Melissa Villegas, “Pride and Prejudice: Not Romance, but Reality.” Faculty Mentor:  Ruth Jenkins
  • Jenna Wilson, “Voice.” Faculty Mentor:  Ruth Jenkins
  • Robert J. Breuer, “Modernizing Heroism.” Faculty Mentor:  Chris Henson
  • Bonita Jewel Hele, “Book of Remembrance: A Collection of Essays. A Student-Mother’s Reckonings.” Faculty Mentor:  John Hales

Department of Media, Communications and Journalism

  • Tarryn Rennie, “American and British Media Portrayals of Robert Mugabe from the Civil War to 2010.” Faculty Mentor:  Bradley Hart
  • Alexis Govea, “Women in Sports Media.” Faculty Mentor:  Faith Sidlow
  • Charis Calvert, “Music Speaks.” Faculty Mentor:  Candace Egan
  • Erika D. Castanon, “Connected: A Strategic Communication Plan to Promote the College of Arts and Humanities.” Faculty Mentor:  Betsy Hayes

Department of Music

  • Danielle Fisher, “Forgotten Places.” Faculty Mentor:  Kenneth Froelich

Department of Philosophy

  • Arjun Mann, “Absurdism: A Philosophically Honest Approach to Coping with Death in a Medical Setting.” Faculty Mentor:  Andrew Fiala

Department of Theatre Arts

  • Daniel Townsend, “Ghostlight: The Making of an Original Musical.” Faculty Mentor:  Melissa Gibson

14656366_1670254946637709_6487148617181623677_nThis year’s cohort of Honors students received a new medallion to wear during graduation, pictured at right. Designed by art Professor Doug Hansen, the medal depicts the Fresno ash leaf. The nine leaves represent the nine departments of the College of Arts and Humanities, while the stem represents the Armenian Studies Program, Fresno State.



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The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

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