Student of Distinction: Claudia Amador

Claudia Amador

Undergraduate, B.A. in English Education; Minor in Theatre Arts

When Claudia Amador was eight years old, she came to realize how dangerous her West Modesto neighborhood was when she found a bullet casing left by gang members the next street over. She said her neighborhood played a major role in her mindset of survival and success.

“Although my neighborhood seemed, and still seems, to be under attack every other week, it’s never hindered my dreams and goals in life and I haven’t done anything alone,” Amador said.

Amador is a first-generation college student whose parents made the treacherous trip from Mexico to the United States to work the fields in the Central Valley. She credits her parent’s high involvement with her education as a primary influence in her scholarship.

With plans to enter the credential programs and be a K-12 teacher in the neighborhood she grew up in, she hopes to be involved in her students and inspire them to strive for high places. In addition, Amador seeks to dismantle systems of oppression, including re-shaping curriculum to include underserved voices.

“Claudia has responded to her outer circumstances by leaning in the other direction, with energy, drive, and exuberance,” Associate Professor of Comparative and World Literature Steve Adisasmito-Smith said. “She is a force of nature and has bright prospects ahead of her. “

In the classroom and in extracurricular activities, Amador strives to excel.

“Of all the students I’ve taught since my arrival at Fresno State, Claudia is easily one of the most excited about her learning. It shows on her face when something is blowing her mind, and she wants to know more! She has a voracious appetite for learning,” English Department Professor and Chair Melanie Hernandez, Ph.D. said.

Amador has presented twice at the Undergraduate Conference for Multiethnic Literature in the Americas (UCMLA) as well as a piece titled “Valeria” at Fresno State’s Creative Writing Future Alumni Showcase.

Outside of the classroom, Amador has been a student coordinator for Vintage Days, recruitment officer for Trabajadores de la Raza and Vice President of the Resident Hall Association. In addition, Amador can often be found volunteering for events in the Fresno and Modesto communities.

Amador has received the College of Arts and Humanities Dean’s Council Scholarship, Eugene Zumwalt Scholarship, Local 270 Scholarship, Ronald E. McNair Scholarship, Northern California Laborers Scholarship, Northern California Laborers Scholarship, Parent Institute for Quality Education Scholarship, and the St. Jude Catholic Church Scholarship.

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The College of Arts and Humanities Students of Distinction represents the best of their department and will be honored at the Arts in Motion event at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 10 – the culminating event of the Arts in Motion Showcase week. From these students, one undergraduate and one graduate Dean’s Medalist will be selected. The Dean’s Medalists are then eligible to receive the President’s Medal, the university’s highest student honor.

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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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