Congratulations! Tenure and faculty promotions for 2020-21

Praise hands

Provost Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval announced that the following faculty members have achieved tenure and/or promotions effective in academic year 2020-21. Following a rigorous review by their colleagues in their departments and colleges and by their deans and the provost, these faculty members have been awarded tenure and/or a new academic rank based on their teaching, scholarship and service to the University and the community.

Those who have earned tenure have demonstrated that they will be valuable and productive colleagues throughout their academic careers while those who have earned promotion from assistant professor to associate professor or from associate professor to professor have shown that they will assume the increased responsibilities and leadership inherent in the higher ranks.

Congratulations to all of these faculty members for their accomplishments!

Tenure and Promotion to Associate Professor

Melanie Hernandez, Department of English

Melanie Hernandez

Dr. Melanie Hernandez came to Fresno State in 2015 from Seattle, where she taught courses in American literature and composition at the University of Washington. She specializes in nineteenth-century U.S. literature, with an emphasis on comparative African American and Chicano Studies. Her ongoing research focuses on strategic racial performance, authenticity politics and social policing, and violent racial satire. Hernandez earned a Ph.D. in English and a certificate in public scholarship from the University of Washington (2013), a M.A. in English from CSU Dominguez Hills (2005), and a B.A. in psychology from New York University (2002).

Emily Mason, Department of Music

Emily Mason

Dr. Emily Mason teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in music education, and conducts the Fresno State University Singers. She holds degrees from Florida State University (Ph.D., Music Education), the Ohio State University (M.M., Vocal Performance) and Capital University (B.M., Music Education). An elementary general music specialist, Dr. Mason also has certification and training in several teaching pedagogies including the Kodály Method, Orff-Schulwerk Approach, and Dalcroze-Eurhythmics.   An active clinician and researcher, Dr. Mason has presented workshops and research at State and National conferences, and has been published in Update:  Applications of Research in Music Education, the Music Educators Journal,General Music Today, and the Choral Journal.  Her research interests include preservice teachers, music in early childhood, and community engagement.

Steve McKeithen, Department of Music

Steve McKeithen

Dr. Steve McKeithen directs the Bulldog Marching Band, Symphonic Band, and the Bulldog Basketball Band.  He recently completed a successful appointment as the Assistant Director of Bands at Northwestern State University. While at Northwestern State, he directed the Spirit of Northwestern Marching Band, Wind Ensemble, and Magale Symphonic Band, as well as teaching conducting classes and select music education courses. McKeithen completed his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Conducting at Arizona State University (ABD), earned a Master of Science in Music Education and Conducting from the University of Illinois, and a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from the University of Florida. He is an active designer, program consultant, clinician, curriculum consultant, conductor and adjudicator of concert bands and marching bands.

Rusty Robison, Department of Art and Design

Rusty Robison

Rusty Robison is a Central Valley native and former Fresno State student. After many years as a print graphic designer, her work now involves using technology and programming to create engaging user experiences. She is a dedicated instructor devoted to teaching artists how to code and harness the computer as an expressive medium. She earned her BA from Sarah Lawrence College and her MFA in Design and Technology from Parsons School of Design in New York.

James Rocha, Department of Philosophy

James Rocha

Dr. James Rocha has a Ph.D. in philosophy from UCLA, where he also completed his B.A. and M.A. degrees.  He currently serves as the coordinator of the Social Justice and Social Change certificate program at Fresno State. Dr. Rocha has published in Social Theory and Practice, Ratio Juris, Public Affairs Quarterly and the Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal, among other journals.  He has also contributed to a handful of philosophy and pop culture books including “The Wire and Philosophy,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm and Philosophy,” and others.

Promotion to Professor

Yolanda Doub, Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures

Yolanda Doub

Yolanda A. Doub is Professor of Spanish at California State University, Fresno, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on the Spanish American Bildungsroman, Borges, Mexican culture, the Spanish American “Boom,” and major Hispanic novelists. Her scholarship focuses on coming-of-age stories in Latin American and Latinx literature and film, as well as Southern Cone and Mexican literature, adaptation studies, and film studies. Her published academic work includes Journeys of Formation: The Spanish American Bildungsroman (Peter Lang, 2010), essays on Bernice Zamora and Luis Alberto Urrea in Latinos: Great Lives from History (Salem, 2012), and articles in Hispanic Review and Symposium. She has an entry on the Latino Bildungsroman forthcoming in Latino Literature: An Encyclopedia for Students (ABC-CLIO). She will be leading the CAH Honors Cohort in AY ’20-’21.

Partow Hooshmandrad, Department of Music

Partow Hooshmandrad

Partow Hooshmandrad holds a Ph.D. in ethnomusicology from the University of California, Berkeley.  She has done extensive research on the cultural heritage of the Kurdish Ahl-i Haqq (Yarsan) of Guran since 2000.  As a scholar and a musician she specializes in the devotional practices of the Ahl-i Haqq including the musical repertoire, the texts, and the rituals, as well as Iranian classical music.  As the Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute Endowed Faculty in Persian Language & Culture, she currently teaches at California State University, Fresno, Department of Music, and is actively involved in the development of the Persian Language & Culture and Middle East Studies programs.  Prior to joining the academic community at California State University, Fresno, Partow taught at the University of Kurdistan, Hawler, in the Federal Region of Kurdistan, Iraq.

Elizabeth Payne, Department of Theatre Arts

Elizabeth Payne she teaches costume design, costume history, theatrical makeup, and theatrical design. Additionally, she designs costumes and makeup for several productions at the University Theatre each season. She received her B.A. in Theatre and Art from Morehead State University and her M.F.A. in Design for the Stage and Film from New York University, Tisch School of the Arts. Before joining the Theatre Arts Department at Fresno State, she worked as a costume designer both regionally and off-Broadway where she collaborated on 4 world premieres for the NYC based theatrical company Waterwell.

Posted by

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.

2 thoughts on “Congratulations! Tenure and faculty promotions for 2020-21

  1. Not a single promotion in a field of study that has a positive long-term career projection. RIP the science and engineering fields.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.