Dr. Kenneth Froelich, professor of music, was selected for Fresno State’s 2021 Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, announced Dr. Xuanning Fu, Fresno State’s interim provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.
Dr. Kenneth Froelich (music) has served as the principal instructor and academic adviser for the music composition studio since he arrived at Fresno State in 2005. He has transformed the composition area into one of the leading music composition programs in the state, and his students regularly receive honors from the University and national awards for their work. Froelich has composed more than 25 commissioned works since 2005 and received a number of awards. In 2016, he was honored with the Provost’s Award for Research, Scholarship and Creative Accomplishment. Froelich is working on a new project to create compositions for flexible middle and high school ensembles addressing issues that music educators face due to COVID-19. He believes students learn by doing and his goal is helping students become self-sufficient learners capable of envisioning a project and following through a design process to completion.
Tanya Nichols, Department of English — Outstanding Lecturer Award
Tanya Nichols (English) teaches first-year writing, literature and creative writing, and a graduate-level seminar in fiction writing. She also took on a last-minute assignment to teach English 166: Literary Publishing and Editing, which includes the publication of “Spectrum,” the annual anthology for the Young Writers’ Conference. The conference, which fosters writers from area high schools and gives them a university forum to showcase their work, is in its 41st year, with Nichols serving as coordinator since she joined Fresno State 16 years ago. Nichols published three novels while teaching at Fresno State and has guided students on their journey to publishing books. Nichols has incorporated technology into her teaching, making the switch from in-person to virtual during the pandemic easier.
Dr. J. Ashley Foster, assistant professor of English — Promising New Faculty Award
Dr. J. Ashley Foster (English) has gained national and international recognition as an expert in digital humanities, peace studies and British modernist literature. She joined Fresno State in 2017 and has expanded digital humanities on campus and incorporated it into her courses. That resulted in “Mapping Cultural Circulation in Modern and Contemporary British Literature,” a collaborative student project, and “Surveying Utopias,” a standing exhibition in the Henry Madden Library with digital components curated by Foster and her students. She is working to create a fully immerse extended-reality modernist virtual exhibition in collaboration with the Digital Transformation and Incubation team through Technology Services. In addition, Foster also works on digital initiatives with other universities nationwide, introducing and allowing Fresno State faculty and students to collaborate.
The Provost’s Awards also honored the following faculty:
- Dr. Kathleen Dyer, professor of child and family science, and Dr. Thomas Holyoke, professor of political science — Faculty Service Award
- Dr. Jennifer Randles, associate professor of sociology — Research, Scholarship and Creative Accomplishment Award
- Dr. Frederick Peinado Nelson, associate professor of liberal studies — Innovation Award
- Dr. Leece Lee-Oliver, assistant professor of women’s, gender and sexuality studies – Promising New Faculty Award
- Dr. Jiaochen (Jason) Liang, assistant professor of agricultural business – Promising New Faculty Award
- Dr. Patricia López, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction – Promising New Faculty Award
- Dr. Jennifer Miele, assistant professor of finance and business law – Promising New Faculty Award
The Provost’s Awards were established in 1993 to recognize the outstanding teaching, research and service that is central to the mission of Fresno State.
Honorees provide students with a stimulating environment that fosters learning and affirms the University as an intellectual and cultural leader in the Central Valley.