~ By Kathleen Schock, reprinted from FresnoStateNews.com

Seven of Fresno State’s schools and colleges, along with the Division of Student Affairs, select an outstanding student to honor as their Dean’s Medalist for the class of 2017, one each from the graduate and undergraduate level.

The deans selected the undergraduate and graduate medalist based on academic excellence, community involvement and other achievements. One medalist will be announced as the University Graduate Medal winner at the 106th commencement at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 20, at the Save Mart Center at Fresno State.

Here are the graduate and undergraduate Dean’s Medalists for the College of Arts and Humanities.

Graduate – Jamie Nakagawa Boley, Art and Design

170503Arts012Jamie Nakagawa Boley, of Visalia, completed her M.A. in Art with a 3.84 GPA. Boley’s path to an education was not easy: she faced struggles and sacrifices along the way. But today the mixed-media artist uses her art and experience to make a difference in the Central Valley.

Inspired by the drought and environment, her landscapes are designed to raise questions about life, memory and spirituality. Boley collaborated to bring Native American artist James Luna to campus in 2016, and helped to create “Winyan Omnicha, The Gathering of the Women (the Shawl Project),” a collaboration between Lakota Native American elders, students and the community.

In addition to teaching drawing at Fresno State, she led arts programs with Arts Visalia and the Owens Valley Career Development Center. She was also contracted by Sequoia National Park management to create six paintings and will continue her studies as an M.F.A. student at the School of Art Institute of Chicago, where she was awarded their dean’s scholarship.

Click here to read about the graduate Dean’s Medalists from other colleges in the University.

Undergraduate – Cathleen Fagundes, Communication

Cathleen FagundesCathleen Fagundes, of Fresno, completed a B.A. in Communication with a GPA of 3.91. Placed into foster care at age 8 after the death of a parent, Fagundes found respite in the classroom. “Through the difficult times moving from home to home, educational environments became my stability,” she says. After graduating valedictorian from Hoover High School, Fagundes came to Fresno State as a member of the Smittcamp Family Honors College.

Driven to improve the lives of others, Fagundes completed an ethnography on homelessness as part of the McNair Scholars program. She also leveraged opportunities to explore the world, traveling to Europe and participating in two service-learning trips to Fiji.

Fagundes is currently conducting an ethnography on how Azorean men communicate masculinity through public ritual. Her goal is to earn a master’s in education with a multiple subjects teaching credential and dedicate her life to sharing her love of education with others.

Click here to read about the undergraduate Dean’s Medalists from other colleges in the University.