The College of Arts and Humanities’ Arts in Motion is the annual event that exhibits our students’ creativity and reminds us of how our College’s faculty provide an excellent education that transforms lives. Unfortunately, we could not hold this year’s celebration in person, but we are excited to acknowledge the achievements of our College’s most accomplished students. From the creative artists to the humanists, every scholarship winner and Student of Distinction reflects the experimentation, compassion, and inquisitiveness that Fresno State fosters.
The 2021 Dean’s Medalist are undergraduate Caleb Charles from the Department of Philosophy and graduate student Harrison J. Martin from the Department of English. Undergraduate Standard Bearers are Teya L. Juarez from the Department of Theatre and Dance and John H. Spankowski from the Department of Music. Graduate Student Honorable Mentions are Victoria A. Cisneros in the Department of Communication and Jer Xiong from the Department of English MFA program.
We invite you to watch the (virtual) 2021 Arts in Motion event and read about our wonderful Dean’s Medalists, Standard Bearers, Honorable Mentions and students of distinction from each of our nine departments.
2021 College of Arts and Humanities Dean’s Medalists
Department of Philosophy
Caleb Charles is graduating in Spring 2021, with a 4.0 GPA. Caleb plans to attend UC Berkeley School of Law after graduation to become a Civil Rights Attorney for the NAACP.
“From a young age, I have recognized the injustices found in society towards people of color, and this has provided the fuel for my ambition.” ~ Caleb Charles
Harrison J. Martin is graduating with a Master of Arts degree in Spring 2021, with a 3.96 GPA. After graduating, Harrison plans to pursue his lifelong goal of showing the joys of interconnected humanities to young minds through teaching.
“[I]t’s my lifelong goal to continue showing the joys of interconnected humanities to more future young minds in Fresno.” ~ Harrison Martin
Graduate Honorable Mentions
Victoria A. Cisneros is graduating with a Master of Arts degree in Spring 2021, with a 4.0 GPA. After graduating, she plans to pursue a career in marketing that is guided by a critical perspective and humanistic values.Victoria A. Cisneros is graduating with a Master of Arts degree in Spring 2021, with a 4.0 GPA. After graduating, she plans to pursue a career in marketing that is guided by a critical perspective and humanistic values.
“[M]y plans for the future include pursuing a career in marketing that is guided by a critical perspective and humanistic values.” ~ Victoria Cisneros
Jer Xiong is graduating in Spring 2021, with a 4.0 GPA. After graduating, she hopes to create a community and positive culture of supporting the arts and writers like her.
“For someone like me to be here, there was a lot of luck involved, my own hard work and persistence, timely opportunities, but most of all, the support from family and community. Their care and acknowledgement drive me.” ~Jer Xiong
Undergraduate Standard Bearers
Teya L. Juarez is graduating in Spring 2021, with a 4.0 GPA. After graduation, Teya plans to obtain a master’s degree in Theatre Arts, followed by a doctorate degree in Theatre Arts with hopes of one day becoming a professor of Theatre History or Dramatic Literature.
“Theatre has always captivated me in the way it holds up a mirror to society and tells the stories of the people within it.” ~ Teya Juarez
John H. Spankowski is graduating in Spring 2021, with a 4.0 GPA. After graduation, John plans to obtain his teaching credential and return to his hometown of Los Banos to teach music.
“No childhood experience left a more positive impression on me than my time in primary and secondary music classes. Music touches people in ways that no other subject does. It exercises our aesthetic being and explores inexpressible human emotions.” ~ John Spankowski
Arts in Motion
2 p.m. Saturday, April 10
2021 College of Arts and Humanities Students of Distinction
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.
Department of Art and Design
Sadie M. Gleason is graduating in Spring 2021, with a 4.0 GPA. Sadie plans to pursue an MFA in Creative Writing and aspires to teach at a university in the future to help guide a new generation of artists.
“[S]torytelling is so wonderful because it takes us on a journey with characters and places that are completely made up, yet by the end leaves us with a better understanding of the world and ourselves.” ~ Sadie Gleason
Erik Damien Escovedo is graduating with a Master of Arts degree (emphasis in Studio Art) in Spring 2021, with a 4.0 GPA. After graduating, he desires to enter the Ph.D. program in Native American Studies at University of California, Davis.
“As a human being, art has saved my life. As a student, art has given me a path to live that life.” ~ Erik Escovedo.
Department of Communication
Robert Ortega Jr. is graduating in Spring 2021, with a 3.94 GPA. Robert’s future goal is to pursue a career as an educator.
“This is the part of my parent’s dream that I never imagined. I am forever gracious that this is even a tangible reality.” ~ Robert Ortega
Department of English
Claudia F. Amador is graduating in Spring 2021, with a 3.87 GPA. Claudia’s future goal is to become a teacher so that she may inspire and encourage students to engage, learn, and enjoy education.
“I’ve made a future goal to inspire and encourage each of my students to engage, learn, and enjoy the education that they will be receiving in my classroom.” ~ Claudia Amador
Department of Linguistics
Dymond Q. Lowe is graduating in Spring 2021, with a 4.0 GPA. After graduation, Dymond will pursue a master’s degree in speech language pathology to assist individuals who have undergone traumatic speech hindering experiences. She would also one day like to teach English overseas.
“I will first apply this degree as the foundation for seeking a master’s degree in speech language pathology where I will assist individuals who have undergone traumatic speech hindering experiences.” ~ Dymond Lowe
Jeanette W. Yeboah-Amoako is graduating in Spring 2021, with a 4.0 GPA. Jeanette plans to teach in an intensive English program after graduation.
“After just one day of volunteering in a dual language classroom at [an] elementary school, an interest in teaching that up until then had been latent, suddenly woke up and exclaimed, ‘rise and shine!’” ~ Jeanette Yeboah-Amoako
Department of Media, Communications and Journalism
Noor Sabharwal is graduating in Spring 2021, with a 3.77 GPA. Noor’s future goal is to work with a non-profit organization in Fresno County. She also hopes to mentor and give back to Fresno State students.
“To ensure I succeeded in my academics and professional career, I went all-in with my schooling and community work and made the most of my fluency in four languages: English, Punjabi, Hindi, and Urdu.” ~ Noor Sabharwal
Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures
Meesha M. Ghedia graduated in Fall 2020, with a 3.80 GPA. Meesha plans to pursue an MBA with a career objective of becoming a global director for an international company.
“I faced many different obstacles. One of the biggest ones was culture shock and getting used to a new country.” ~ Meesha Ghedia
Raquel Romero is graduated in Fall 2020, with a 3.75 GPA. After graduation, Raquel was hired to teach high school Spanish. She is planning to obtain her teaching credential and then pursue a doctoral degree.
“As a graduate student I realized that I wanted to explore how immigration is represented in Mexican literature and for my thesis project I presented an analysis that focuses on the relationship between migration and identity.” ~ Raquel Romero
Department of Music
Jeffrey S. LaRose is graduating Spring 2021 with a 4.0 GPA. Jeffrey aims to enrich his middle school instruction, inspire his students to achieve their impossible, and embrace the opportunities to mentor new teachers who are beginning their journey.
“I aim to… inspire my students to achieve their impossible, and embrace the opportunities to mentor new teachers who are beginning their journey.” ~ Jeffrey Larose