Janette Lopez Villalobos is an undergraduate student of distinction from the Department of English majoring in English Education.
“Janette is a wonder and a marvel: the word that best describes her is ‘ardent.’ She is impassioned and energetic, yet always shows care and respect for others. With deep roots in the Central Valley, Janette is an advocate for the transformational power of education,” said Steve Adisasmito-Smith, associate professor of comparative and world literature, Department of English.
Like many first-generation students Lopez Villalobos and her parents immigrated from Mexico. They settled in the small town of Firebaugh.
“[They] sacrificed the world they knew to give my sisters and I a better life,” said Lopez Villalobos. “Having dropped out of school at an early age, my parents are strong advocates of education and have been the propelling force in my educational journey.”
“Always humble and clear-eyed about learning as a lifelong endeavor, she is wonderful to have in class. Her intellectually generous and thoughtful engagement in new ideas, her collaborative and kind work with peers who, these past two years, were often struggling, and her willingness to be honest about her own challenges make her someone everyone wants to be in class with,” said Dr. Alison Mandaville, MFA, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of English.
Lopez Villalobos received many scholarships from organizations like Adelante Mujer, the Bernard Osher Program, the Crankstart Foundation, and the Professor Emeritus Eugene Zumwalt English Scholarship. Additionally, she was on the President’s List at Fresno State and graduated with Summa Cum Laude honors. In Spring 2021, she was also awarded the “Most Distinguished Presentation” at the HIP Symposium for her service-learning research project “How Identities Enhance Literacy Development.”
Lopez Villalobos has a mission to bring the benefits of education to serve underprivileged children in the Central Valley, teaching them to uplift themselves effectively.