~ By Taylor Blaire Mosher, student writer for the College of Arts and Humanities

Jes Therkelsen, a Fresno State associate professor in Media, Communications and Journalism, was nominated by Fresno State Provost Lynnette Zelezny for the 2016 Ernest A. Lynton Award for the Scholarship of Engagement for Early Career Faculty, otherwise known as the Lynton Award. From a pool of 29 nominees from across the nation, Therkelsen was selected as one of only five national finalists.

Named after Ernest A. Lynton, one of the key developers of the Forum on Faculty Roles and Rewards sponsored by the American Association for Higher Education, the annual Lynton Award recognizes early-career faculty members that are committed to civic and community engagement. The award is granted to a university faculty member who connects their work to community engagement, involving the public in an inclusive, collaborative partnership in the pursuit of knowledge.

“It’s an honor to be nominated for this award, and even more so from a university so committed to service learning and community engagement as Fresno State. I’ve learned so much from colleagues here: Chris Fiorentino, Ben Boone, Candace Egan, Kim Morin, Betsy Hays and many other faculty members have been so generous of their time and knowledge. My students have also been incredibly supportive.”

Therkelsen received his M.F.A. in Film and Media Arts from American University in Washington, D.C., and his award-winning documentary work has been screened in international festivals and broadcast on regional television.

Before joining the faculty at Fresno State, he served as the first Filmmaker-in-Residence at the College of William and Mary in Virginia. Therkelsen has also worked as a photographer with National Geographic Student Expeditions, through which he has worked around the world including in the Galapagos Islands, the Australian Outback, the Great Barrier Reef, Tuscany, Iceland, the Indian Himalayas, the Namibian Safari, Bhutan and Bali.

He has won multiple awards in his career thus far, both for his work with Fresno State as well as his media and documentary work. In May, Therkelsen was one of two MCJ professors awarded the Spirit of Service award by Fresno State, recognizing exemplary commitment to community engagement. In 2015 alone, Therkelsen was the recipient of four awards including the Provost Award for Promising New Faculty from Fresno State and the Best of Festival (Social Tactics) award in the Las Vegas Festival of Media Arts.