2020 State of the College of Arts and Humanities

State of the College 2020 - Inspiration for Life

Interim Dean Honora Chapman and Interim Associate Dean Dr. Sergio La Porta delivered the State of the College on January 23 at the Smittcamp Alumni House. The presentation’s title slide features the art of Anabella Monzon.

We are Arts and Humanities

Theatre arts student Alexis Elisa Macedo rarely gets the chance to play characters that look like her. But now, Alexis plays the lead role in “The Super Cilantro Girl: Three Stories of Juan Felipe Herrera.” The play revolves around the lives of a family of migrant workers: 12-year-old Esmeralda, played by Alexis, her younger brother Juanito, Papi and Mamá.

Mission Statement

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, faculty and the community in collaboration, dialogue, and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate, and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.


The College of Arts and Humanities shall be known for the strength of its undergraduate and graduate degrees, for the excellence of its support to other majors throughout the university, and for its contributions to the quality of life in the region.

To realize this vision, the college will adopt the following priorities:

  1. Provide for our students an outstanding faculty and excellent facilities. The college sees itself fundamentally as part of a teaching institution and values, above all else, the individual intellectual exchange between student and teacher in the best educational environment possible.
  2. Encourage the continuous development of faculty through support of scholarly and creative activities. The college recognizes that a challenging and thoughtful education can best be provided by faculty who are themselves engaged in innovative scholarly and creative activities.
  3. Provide a learning environment which encourages the exploration of diverse ideas with academic rigor. The college accepts the responsibility for serving its region by educating citizens who are cognizant and respectful of cultural and ethnic diversity, and who are able to adapt to a changing environment wherever they are.
  4. Ensure access to our programs for all qualified students. To better serve the needs of the community and the university, as well as those of its own programs, the college intends to expand and improve its student recruitment.
  5. Provide programs that are rigorous and timely. The college recognizes the benefits of establishing ongoing processes to measure the impact of its academic programs on student learning, and to facilitate new degrees and improvements, when needed, in curricula.
Community Empowerment: K-12 Outreach, Public Impact, Partnerships

K-12 Outreach

  • The newly created Center for Opera for Children at Fresno State seeks to provide innovative and relevant operatic performances for children performed by university-aged students as part of their general college curriculum in opera.
  • FOOSA: Fresno State continues to partner with Fresno Summer Orchestra Academy which convenes some of the most prestigious instructors and performers in classical music and offers individualized lessons to Fresno State and local elementary, junior, and high school students. 
  • 2020 is the 62nd anniversary of the Peach Blossom Festival. The Festival was created to help young people realize the importance of reading literature aloud, to teach them about interpretation, performance, how to be an audience member and to give them an opportunity to visit a university campus. More than 5,000 students come to Fresno State each year and perform a poem, reading, or literary piece. 
  • The Mediator Mentors project at Fresno State is a university-public school partnership in which future teachers, counselors, social workers and school psychologists support the development of conflict resolution skills in school children. Teachers and students in the public schools receive 10-12 hours of communication and conflict resolution training and university students coach and mentor at lunch periods in elementary school or fifth period in middle school. More than 7,000 children and teachers have participated in the program! 
  • Theatre for Young Audiences: Adopt-A-School: Each spring, Fresno State students enroll in a course to bring children’s theatre productions to elementary and middle schools throughout the San Joaquin Valley. This touring company of student actors has been a tradition at Fresno State for over 50 years, and have toured more than 40 schools and over 16,000 children in a single season.
  • The Young Writers’ Conference provides a valuable opportunity for young writers to hear a professional author read his or her work and answer questions about the creative writing process and profession. On average 300 high school students attend this event from nearly two dozen area schools. Schools come from places as far as Mariposa County, Porterville, and Kings City participate this annual event.

The Dean’s Council Annual Fund

The Dean's Council - Elevating Lives: Impact, Growth, Future

Public Impact

Centers and Institutes



  • Arts and Humanities Advisory Board (AHAB)
  • Armenian Leadership Council
  • Italian Studies Committee
  • Portuguese Leadership Council
  • President’s Commission on the Future of Arts and Humanities

Stories of Impact

Student Support: Anabella Monzon, Mayan Monuments Exhibit

Transcending time and place, Anabella Monzon creates sculptures depicting deities found in the Mayan story of creation “The Popol Vuh Codex.” 

Faculty Support: Ashley Foster - "Surveying Utopias: A Critical Exploration"

Surveying Utopias: A Critical Exploration” exhibition examines what it takes to make a better world. The exhibition is the result of an extensive collaboration between the library’s Special Collections team and graduate students in the “Utopias: Literature, Technology, Archives” course in the Department of English. It is designed to introduce the question of ethical citizenship to Fresno. The exhibition primarily features the Topolobampo collection from Henry Madden Library Special Collections Research Center, which documents the failed 1890’s utopian colony founded in Sinaloa, Mexico.

Dean’s Council Growth

Dean's Council Growth - Donations are split evenly between the Dean's Council Scholarship Endowment and the Dean's Discretionary Fund

Vision for the Dean’s Council

  • Student Scholarships
    • The College of Arts and Humanities will set in place a systematic approach to utilizing the Dean’s Council endowment and scholarship funds. Each department will submit a student to be awarded the Dean’s Council Scholarship. The new system will ensure that each department will have a student which benefits from Dean Council funds.
  • Discretionary Account
    • By implementing a systematic approach to students scholarships, monies will then be freed-up to better serve the faculty which, in turn, will enhance the overall learning experience. Faculty support includes curriculum enrichment, research and travel funding, technological and artistic support, as well as the unique and unexpected needs of the college.

Day of Giving 2019

  • For the third year in a row, the College of Arts and Humanities received the most individual donors on Day of Giving.
  • The college raised a grand total of $70,692.74 in donations, challenges, and bonuses.
    • From $58,565.41 in 2018.
    • 20.7% increase over last year.
  • Total Individual Donors: 454
  • The College earned $22,149.54 in challenge and bonus gifts.
  • Over 145 Fresno State faculty/staff participated in D.O.G.

Fresno State MFA candidate Nou Her

“To my mother whose voice anchors deep”

Thank you! #InspirationForLife

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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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