Student of Distinction: Noor Sabharwal

Noor Sabharwal

Undergraduate, B.A. in Media, Communications and Journalism, emphasis in Public Relations

As the Creek Fire ripped through the local foothills and the Sierra Nevada mountains, Noor Sabharwal, who was interning for the American Red Cross, stepped into high gear. She volunteered to track, measure and evaluate social media feedback from the community. She also created content and built processes to strengthen the communications team.

“In her role, she provided guidance and support to colleagues two or even three times her age with the grace and ease of a seasoned professional,” Regional Communications Director

American Red Cross of Central California Nicole Maul said. “Nearly two months after her internship ended, I still have meetings with my team, and it is a common occurrence to hear, ‘Noor taught me how to do this’ or ‘Remember what Noor said about that?’ That is the mark of someone who has made a positive impact.”

For her service, Sabharwal received the prestigious Red Cross Ambassador award.

The Red Cross is just one of the many non-profit and government organizations Sabharwal has helped with to during her time at Fresno State. In all, she has contributed over 400 hours to the Red Cross, the Down Syndrome Association of Central California, the Central California Blood Center, the Labrador Retriever Rescue of Fresno, and the City of Kerman.

In a recent story on the College of Arts and Humanities blog, Sabharwal talked about her educational history, split between India and the United States, along with her family’s influence in her decision to major in public relations. Because of her unique background, she is fluent in English, Punjabi, Hindi, and Urdu.

“I believe that both her hard and soft skills will set her up to be one of our student success stories,” said Assistant Professor Nancy Van Leuven, Ph.D. “Noor has the charismatic personality to engage audiences but also the hybrid attributes of a diverse communicator due to her family heritage.”

In addition to her community service, Sabharwal served as president for the Fresno State Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) and grew the membership even during the pandemic. She served as the Executive Director for the student-run PR firm class TALK, where she received the Social Media+ Star award and the Greatest of All Time (GOAT), PR writing awards. During the Fall of 2020, she managed the Department of Media, Communications and Journalism’s social media accounts and raised over $2,700 during Day of Giving.

She is currently working on her College of Arts and Humanities Honor’s Program thesis on experiences of parents belonging to cultural minorities while raising children who watch Walt Disney productions.

Sabharwal has received multiple certificates and scholarships including the Fresno Advertising Foundation Scholarship, the Bernard A. Shepard Journalism Scholarship, the James L. Melikian Scholarship and the Dean’s Council Scholarship.


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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