Audia Dixon and Steven Hensley named 2022 President’s Medalist

Undergraduate Dean's Medalist Steven Hensley, Dr. Honora Chapman, and Graduate Dean's Medalist Audia Dixon are wearing their commencement regalia and wearing their Dean's Medals in front of the rose garden with blooms of white, pink, yellow and red.

On Saturday, March 26, the College of Arts and Humanities top students, their parents, faculty, staff, and supporters gathered in the Phebe Conley Art Gallery courtyard to announce the Dean’s Medalists and celebrate the students of distinction from each department. Earlier in the week, the students of distinction were introduced during a virtual ceremony as COVID-19 was still a concern. The announcement of the Dean’s Medalists happened live in the courtyard – the first live Arts in Motion in three years. 

At the event, Audia Dixon was named the graduate Dean’s Medalist. Dixon’s parents initially accepted the award as she was not present, but soon thereafter she was able to receive her award and say a few words. Steven Hensley was named the undergraduate Dean’s Medalist.

“Audia and Steven together represent the gifts of the arts and humanities: vision, passion, intellect, and grit. They will each make our Valley a much better place by creating beauty and justice for everyone through their future endeavors,” said Dr. Honora Chapman, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities.

Then on Thursday, May 19 in a small ceremony in the Concert Hall, Fresno State President Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval announced both Hensley and Dixon as the President’s Medalists — the top honor a student can receive at the university. Read more about all of our medalists and student of distinction below.

2022 College of Arts and Humanities Dean’s Medalist and 2022 President’s Medalists

Student of distinction: Audia Dixon

Audia Dixon, 2022 Graduate Dean’s Medalist and President’s Medalist

Audia Dixon is the graduate Dean’s Medalist from the Department of Art, Design, and Art History. With her master’s degree, Dixon wants to continue to paint and keep working as an artist and strive to teach art. 

“Without Art, I don’t know how my life would turn out. For it gives me purpose, discipline and constant self-discovery. Your words of encouragement, advice and critique have shaped me to become what I am today, and I am very grateful.” ~ Audia Dixon

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Student of Distinction: Steven Hensley

Steven Hensley, Undergraduate Dean’s Medalist and President’s Medalist

Steven Hensley is the undergraduate Dean’s Medalist for the College of Arts and Humanities. He studied in the Department of Philosophy and earned a B.A. in philosophy, pre-law option and a B.A. in political science.

““Very few people have survived prison and worked their way into a position to apply to law school. Knowing that grim reality, I choose to serve as a voice for a severely underrepresented population in the law school community.” ~ Steven Hensley


2022 Arts in Motion Presentation and Program

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Arts in Motion Program

Download the Program (PDF)


Graduate Student Honorable Mentions

Student of Distinction: German Cervantes Ledesma

Graduate Honorable: Germán Cervantes Ledesma

Germán Cervantes Ledesma is the graduate student of distinction from the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures with an Honorable Mention who graduated with an M.A. in Spanish Literature. His plan for the future is to keep teaching Spanish in Higher Education.

“As a long-term goal, later in the future, I will pursue a Ph.D. in Mexican and Latin American literature and teach in a four-year university, hopefully, Fresno State.” ~ German Cervantes Ledesma 

Student of Distinction: Sho Akamine

Graduate Honorable Mention: Sho Akamine

Sho Akamine is the graduate student of distinction with an Honorable Mention from the Department of Linguistics. He plans to investigate the mechanism of multimodal language comprehension and production in conversation through video-conferencing software. 

“After fostering my continued development and my ability to contribute to the field of cognitive and psycholinguistics in the Ph.D. program, I desire to achieve my goals of becoming both a researcher and an educator charged with communicating to students the fascination of the associations between language and the mind.” ~ Sho Akamine

Undergraduate Standard Bearers

Andrea Ramirez Arana

Undergraduate Student of Distinction: Andrea Ramirez Arana

Andrea Ramirez Arana is the undergraduate student of distinction Standard Bearer from the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures with a B.A. in Spanish. Her future plans include obtaining her teaching credentials and a M.A. degree in Spanish.

“I see myself teaching in a dual-immersion classroom, helping kids and parents who don’t know English. That would be one of the ways in which I would love to give back to the community.” ~ Andrea Ramirez Arana

Student of Distinction: Tony Salazar

Undergraduate Student of Distinction: Tony Salazar

Tony Salazar is the undergraduate student of distinction and Standard Bearer from the Department of Media, Communications and Journalism (MCJ) with a B.A. in Mass Communication and Journalism with an emphasis in journalism and a minor in criminology.  He is also working to obtain his meteorology certificate.

“I would like to come back to Fresno and continue my news reporting career, as this is where everything started for me. Nonetheless, what’s essential for me is that I want to give a voice to the voiceless and give back to my community.” ~ Tony Salazar


Students of Distinction

Department of Art and Design

Student of Distinction: Isabella Gonzalez

Undergraduate Student of Distinction: Isabella Gonzalez

Isabella Gonzalez is the undergraduate student of distinction from the Department of Art and Design with a B.F.A. in Graphic Design. She has worked on various graphic designing projects, displaying her dedication to getting professional experience in her field while giving back to her community.

“My goals after graduation are to be employed through a design agency as a graphic designer, and to continue to create art in the future.” ~ Isabella Gonzalez

Department of Communication

Student of Distinction: Laura Trickett

Undergraduate Student of Distinction: Laura Trickett

Laura Trickett is the undergraduate student of distinction from the Department of Communication. 

“When I accidentally became a communication major, I thought I was signing up for four years of education. I didn’t know that it would lead to meeting amazing peers turned life-long friends, intentional professors turned life-long mentors, and a simple internship turned a life-long career.” ~ Laura Trickett

Student of Distinction: Lauryn Flores

Graduate Student of Distinction: Lauryn Flores

Lauryn Flores is the graduate student of distinction from the Department of Communication. She’s the only M.A. student chosen for the prestigious summer 2021 Rhetoric Society of America workshop on Legal Rhetoric.

““As I prepare to complete my master’s degree and move on to law school, I have certainly seen the ways in which our words – our commitment to communication that uplifts and protects, create a more beautiful world for the people around us.” ~ Lauryn Flores 

Department of English

Student of Distinction: Janette Lopez Villalobos

Undergraduate Student of Distinction: Janette Lopez Villalobos

Janette Lopez Villalobos is an undergraduate student of distinction from the Department of English majoring in English Education. Janette has a mission to bring the benefits of education to serve underprivileged children in the Central Valley, teaching them to uplift themselves effectively.

“The amazing English faculty, my peers, the Writing Center, and most importantly, my family have made this one of the most meaningful and treasured experiences in my life journey.” ~ Janette Lopez Villalobos

Student of Distinction: Mary Sosa

Graduate Student of Distinction: Mary Sosa

Mary Sosa is the graduate student of distinction from the Department of English. After graduation, she hopes to continue her work at the city college level.

“Working to support one another and fostering a sense of agency, be it in formal or informal learning contexts is intrinsic to humanity.” ~ Mary Sosa 

Student of Distinction: Carolina Vasquez Mata

MFA Student of Distinction: Carolina Mata Vasquez

Carolina Mata Vasquez is a graduate student of distinction from the Department of English. She graduates this Spring with a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. She plans to query her current collection and to start her next manuscript.

“After graduating, I plan to teach at the college level and to continue work as an editor and start my own literary journal that focuses on experimental genre fiction from BIPOC, queer, fat and disabled communities.” ~ Carolina Mata Vasquez 

Department of Linguistics 

Student of Distinction: Kiana Reyes

Undergraduate Student of Distinction: Kiana Reyes

Kiana Reyes is the undergraduate student of distinction from the Department of Linguistics with a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Language Studies. After graduation, she hopes to work for an institution where she can assist those struggling in communication due to language barriers.

“I hope to be a bridge for those who need a multilingual channel of communication as an interpreter, translator, or teacher for students learning English.” ~ Kiana Reyes 

Department of Music

Student of Distinction: Peyton Esraelian

Undergraduate Student of Distinction: Peyton Esraelian

Peyton Esraelian is the undergraduate student of distinction from the Department of Music with a B.A. in music education, instrumental emphasis. After graduating from Fresno State, her next course of action is to continue teaching and performing in the Fresno area.

“The ultimate goal for my career is to earn a position with a full-time professional symphony orchestra while working with a wide variety of students.” ~ Peyton Esraelian

Student of Distinction: Amanda Steinhauer

Graduate Student of Distinction: Amanda Steinhauer 

Amanda Steinhauer is the graduate student of distinction from the Department of Music with an M.A. in Music with a music performance option. After graduation, she will be pursuing a career in private music teaching and planning to live and teach abroad in Luxembourg, Europe.

“I will be teaching lessons virtually to students in Selma and around the Valley. Down the road, I will continue furthering my academic career, but for the time being, I am excited to see what path I can create with the invaluable education I have received at Fresno State.” ~ Amanda Steinhauer

Department of Theatre and Dance

Student of Distinction: Lauren Heard

Undergraduate Student of Distinction: Lauren Heard

Lauren Heard is the undergraduate student of distinction from the Department of Theatre and Dance with a B.A. in theatre arts, design/tech option. Heard’s honors thesis explores how costume designers of Star Wars define narratives through costuming.

“This is what I pursue: storytelling through design. Currently, I am applying to production design internships, intending to later pursue a master’s degree with the goal of becoming a production designer and arts educator.” ~ Lauren Heard 

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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.

One thought on “Audia Dixon and Steven Hensley named 2022 President’s Medalist

  1. Dear Dr. Chapman, Dr. La Porta, Benjamin Kirk and all in the College of Arts and Humanities at Fresno State.
    Thank You! “Grazie Mille!” for an outstanding Opening Presentation and for the entire Arts in Motion Program this week. Sincere congratulations for to all students recognized today for their achievements and inspirational stories. You should be very proud of all you have accomplished. Your future is bright and most promising; you are a very special gift to all of us. We are proud of you and will continue to be your cheerleaders. “Congratulazioni a tutti!”

    Like

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