A graduate of Selma High School, Victoria Cisneros says she found her home and a place of belonging in the Communication Department. During her time at Fresno State, she has utilized her writing skills as a political reporter for the Collegian and a Communication Assitant for the Alumni Association.
“Victoria is one of the strongest writers I have ever encountered in the undergraduate program here at Fresno State. She earned a perfect score on one of the critical analyses in my rhetorical criticism course, and that is a very rare phenomenon for me as an instructor,” said Dr. Diane Blair, Department of Communication.
Her academic interest in communication reflects a passionate commitment to and advocacy on behalf of racial and gender equality, and she has sought to share her ideas with a wider public audience through publications in the Fresno Bee and the Collegian.
She recently presented at the Western States Communication Association Undergraduate Conference and will present at the Gender, Race, and Sexuality Undergraduate Conference on April 26th at Fresno State.
Cisneros is graduating at the top of her class and her letters of support from faculty affirm her superlative writing skills and excellence in her academic work.
“I have seen firsthand her ability to think critically about abstract concepts (e.g. ontology, axiology), build a connection between these rather abstract patterns of thought to the everyday experiences of individuals, and most notably write with great skill about these matters,” said Amin Makkawy, Ph.D., Department of Communication. “Her critiques and concise writing bring the complex aspects of the intermingling of our roles, routines, and rituals into focus for a more inclusive audience allowing all to benefit through reflection, imagination, and the associated deep level of understanding.”
Cisneros plans to continue her academic achievements by pursuing a graduate degree in Communication.
I am honored and humbled to be the Department of Communication’s nominee for Undergraduate Dean’s Medalist, and I believe that I possess the qualities, skills, and accomplishments that will aid me in also representing the College of Arts and Humanities.
As an undergraduate communication scholar, I remain actively engaged in my course material both inside and outside of class. This past semester, in consultation with both professors (Diane Blair and Tom Boroujeni), I took a paper from my Rhetorical Criticism course entitled “Kavanaugh’s Opening Statement as a Subject of Feminism Criticism,” revised, expanded, and edited it for my Advanced Forensics class, and submitted it to the Western States Communication Association’s Undergraduate Scholars Research Conference. My paper has been accepted, and I will attend the conference later this month to present my findings. In December of 2018, I submitted this same paper to Fresno State’s inaugural Gender, Race, and Sexuality Undergraduate Conference, and I have been selected as a presenter for the panel “Queer and Feminist Analyses of Gender-based Violence in News Media Reporting: Coercing Public Reactions in the Policing of Women’s Bodies & Identities.” My passion for these kinds of issues also motivated me to send a Letter to the Editor entitled “Me Too Must Reflect All Women,” published in The Collegian in November 2018 and The Fresno Bee in December 2018.
After graduation, I plan to further my commitment to academics by pursuing a Master’s degree in Communication at Fresno State. I believe that my lived experience and acquired knowledge as an undergraduate student will serve as a strong foundation for the rigorous and important work I will pursue as a graduate student. I am excited to continue learning from and working with the department faculty in an effort to delve deeper into the study of communication, remain involved in such an innovative scholarly community, and contribute to the larger body of academic knowledge.
During my time at Fresno State, I have been involved with on-campus organizations such as The Collegian and the Fresno State Alumni Association (FSAA). I became The Collegian’s first political reporter during my first semester as a transfer student, covering all Associated Students Incorporated (ASI) senate meetings. In my second semester, I became the Communications Assistant for the FSAA, a role in which I am responsible for actively engaging university alumni by creating and curating content for both the organization’s newsletter and web page. I have had the pleasure of meeting, interviewing, and writing pieces about successful alumni through the FSAA’s storytelling program. In fact, my story, “This Research is for the Birds,” highlighting science educator and College of Science and Mathematics alumna Jean Pennycook, was featured in the Fall/Winter 2018 issue of the Fresno State Magazine. Both my roles as a reporter and Communications Assistant have allowed me to effectively serve both the university and the community.
Again, I am very humbled to be considered for this honorable award, and I hope to be able to effectively represent the College of Arts and Humanities.