Arts and Humanities faculty ovations: June and July 2020

Praise hands animated

Faculty ovations are a regular series that allows us to applaud our faculty for their achievements in the College of Arts and Humanities at Fresno State. Their hard work and accomplishments directly impact our students, college, university, and the wider community. 

We ask that you join us in giving a round of applause to:

Andrew Fiala, Ph.D., for his book “Nonviolence. A Quick Immersion,” published by Tibidabo Publishing, Inc. The book offers answers to the questions of what nonviolence is, how and why it ought to be used, and who ought to employ it. It discusses examples of successful nonviolent social protest, from twentieth-century movements for civil rights and colonial liberation to the Arab Spring and contemporary Black Lives Matter protests, and considers recent research that explains the power of nonviolence. It also explores philosophical and religious sources of nonviolence, while discussing key historical figures including Leo Tolstoy, Mohandas K. Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama, and Malala Yousafzai. 

Image of the book cover. "Nonviolence. A Quick Immersion" What is nonviolence and how does it work? This book shows how nonviolence empowers us to build a just, truthful, and loving world. By Andrew Fiala
Book cover

Dr. Devendra Sharma for his publication  “Community, artistry, and storytelling in the cultural confluence of Nautanki and Ramlila,” in Asian Theatre Journal, a peer-reviewed publication by the University of Hawai’i Press. The essay illuminates cultural resonances between two widely viewed forms of theatre over the last century in North India, Nautanki and Ramlila. It explores some of their common elements, relating to presentation style and narrative content, ones that are common to many other regional forms of Indian theatre.

Venita Blackburn for her essay “American Refugee” published in the Paris Review. Also published the crossword story “In the Counselor’s Waiting Room with No Wi-fi” in the journal Diagram.

Steven Church for his essay “Memory Yards” published in the web magazine How We Are. Also, his previously published essay “Lag Time” will be included in the forthcoming anthology, “The Best of Brevity: Twenty Groundbreaking Years of Flash Nonfiction,” from Rose Metal Press.

Ronald Dzerigian for his poem “Sourcing a Memory of My Brother While My Family and I Clear Brush Before the Rupture of the Oroville Dam” published in Mayday Magazine. Also, performed a version of the same poem for the #FresnoWriters at Home series on the Fresno State MFA YouTube channel.

The Gay Revolution: The story of the Struggle by Lillian Faderman book cover.

Lillian Faderman (English faculty emerita) — her nonfiction book “The Gay Revolution” was named by Fortune magazine as one of “10 Books on American History that Actually Reflect the United States.”

Howard V. Hendrix for his essay “Apprehensions, Comprehensions, SARS-CoV-2: Conspiracy Theory vs. Scientific Method in a World Gone Viral” published in the magazine Academe, from the American Association of University Professors.

Melanie Hernandez for earning tenure and promotion to the rank of Associate Professor at Fresno State, as announced by the university provost’s office.

Alison Mandaville for being recognized by Fresno State’s Campus Advisors Network with a 2019-20 Outstanding Advisor Award, for her work advising English Education undergraduates and Single Subject Teaching Credential in English post-bac students.

Brynn Saito for her poem “Ordinary Animal” published in the Atticus Review Annual, originally published online in November 2019 as part of the magazine’s Fresno Poetry issue. Also, interviewed for the “Process Profile” series in the Lantern Review, about her previously published poem “Dinuba, 1959.”

Tim Skeen for his poem “Lifting Weights at 60” published in the Atticus Review Annual, originally published online in November 2019 as part of the magazine’s Fresno Poetry issue.

Mai Der Vang for her essay “To Hmong Americans, on Racial Justice and Patriarchy” published in the magazine The Margins, for the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. Also published the poem “In the Year of Permutations” on, for the Academy of American Poets.

Did we miss your accomplishments? Submit this short form or email Benjamin Kirk at

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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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