Meet the 2022-23 Dean’s Council Scholarship recipients

Dean's Council Scholarship recipient headshots: (top row) Cameron Baber, Faith Van Hoven, Halle Phonesavanh, (middle row) Hannah Leece, Karla Sanchez, Lucca Lorenzi , (third row) Luis Granados Torres, Patricia J. Flores Yrarrázaval, and Valadez Marcus.

The Dean’s Council Annual Fund supports students across the College of Arts and Humanities every year through the endowed scholarship. Your contribution plays a direct role in funding these students’ tuition, freeing them to focus on their studies. As these students graduate and find their place in the community, they are destined to elevate our environment and become an inspiration for life.

We proudly present some of this year’s Dean’s Council Endowed Scholarship recipients.

Faith Van Hoven stands on a sidewalk in a residential neighborhood.

Faith Van Hoven

Philosophy B.A.

Faith Van Hoven is a sophomore at Fresno State majoring in Philosophy with an emphasis in law. She currently works at a nonprofit, Break the Barriers, teaching kids of all abilities taekwondo. Faith also works as a teaching assistant for Dr. Howard, the endowed Jain and Hindu Chair in the Philosophy Department. Through Fresno State, she attended the Oxford Consortium for Human Rights, and she is currently pursuing her passion for advocacy as a member of the Title IX Task Force Subcommittee for Policy. At Fresno State, she is on the Board of the Mock Trial team and a member of the Philosophy club. After graduating, Faith hopes to attend law school and then practice law in the Army as a Judge Advocate General. 

“The pursuit of higher education has always been limited by a person’s financial means and I am so thankful to receive monetary support from my parents, but this scholarship allows me to make my own way. I would like to thank the scholarship committee, my professors, and the school for the allocation of these funds.”

Hannah Leece stands in front of a hedge with flowers.

Hannah Leece

English B.A.

Hannah Leece is an English-literature major at Fresno State who plans to graduate in 2024. She says the Dean’s Council Scholarship will help her pursue her college education and hopefully work in publishing or a similar field by giving her the funds to afford necessities like travel and food while in school. She is thankful to the Dean’s Council for awarding the scholarship and says those funds will be put to good use in obtaining her degree. 

“I am incredibly grateful to the people who are awarding me this scholarship. It is greatly appreciated.”

Halle Phonesavanh in a Fresno State T-shirt

Halle Phonesavanh

Communication B.A.

Born and raised in Merced, Halle Phonesavanh is a third-year Communication major. She chose Fresno State because of her love for the Valley. After graduation, she plans to get her credentials to become an elementary school teacher. 

“The generous scholarship provided by The College of Arts and Humanities will help me further my education comfortably and stress-free!”

Luis Granados Torres looks off with trees in the background.

Luis Granados

English M.A.

Luis Granados was born in Guanajuato, Mexico. He is in the literature option of the M.A. program and obtained his B.A. in English in 2020. He plans on pursuing a doctorate after graduation and achieving his career goal of becoming a university professor. His research interests are Critical Race Theory and punk rock. 

“I feel extremely honored to have been a recipient of the Dean’s Council Scholarship. Thanks to this generosity, I will be able to dedicate more time towards conferences, academic service, and preparation for my academic future.”

Lucca Lorenzi headshot

Lucca Lorenzi

Media, Communications and Journalism B.A.

Lucca Lorenzi is a Fresno State student majoring in public relations and minoring in multimedia arts. In 2017, he founded “Pack It Up For Packard,” an art supply and book drive for Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital-Stanford that, to date, has donated over 7,000 supplies and books (both in English and Spanish) in efforts to restock their art therapy program and children’s library. In addition, he is a Fresno State Smittcamp Family Honors College Scholar and has worked with organizations such as the Red Cross, ABC30 Youth Council, Fresno State Transportation Institute, Valley Children’s Healthcare, Maddy Institute, UC Davis CoLab and Art of Life Cancer Foundation. Lucca is pursuing a career in both public relations and graphic design while promoting the healing power of creativity.

“Receiving the Dean’s Council Scholarship is not only an immense honor, but it is also incredibly exciting! This scholarship encourages me to adventure academically and pursue my goal of earning a degree in public relations.”

Karla Sanchez stands in front of a brick wall.

Karla Sanchez Parra

Media, Communications and Journalism B.A.

Karla Sanchez Parra is majoring in Media, Communications and Journalism with an emphasis in multimedia production. After taking a gap year from 2018-2019 in Mexico, she returned to Fresno to begin her college journey during the COVID-19 pandemic. She discovered a passion for telling stories and writing during her third year when she wrote and directed her first short horror film, “A Love So Structural,” in her Narrative Filmmaking course. She says professors Aaron Schuelke and Jes Therkelsen have greatly impacted her journey and pushed her to create projects she never imagined possible. She plans to obtain a master’s degree in Directing. 

“I am incredibly honored and grateful for this aid. I hope to pursue a master’s degree and this aid helps me put money away for that. I love my community and to see that there are people willing to lend a hand to local young minds is heartwarming. Go bulldogs!”

Cameron Baber in a tuxedo with an oboe.

Cameron Baber

Music Education B.A.

Cameron Baber is a senior at Fresno State majoring in instrumental music education. He participates in the Fresno State Bulldog Marching Band, Fresno State Wind Orchestra, Fresno State President’s Quintet, Wind Symphony of Clovis and Valley Quintet. He is a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and is dedicated to serving his community through the power of music. He instructs at Clovis High School as a music and visual staff member for the marching band and also privately instructs several young musicians from all around the Central Valley. Cameron hopes to one day become a high school band director in the Central Valley and continue to enrich the lives of his students through the world of music.

“I am beyond thankful for the opportunity to receive the Dean’s Council Scholarship. Both my family and community have offered me tremendous support throughout my life, and this scholarship now allows me to give back to them. All I can say is: Thank you.”

Patricia J. Flores Yrarrázaval with a big smile.

Patricia J. Flores Yrarrázaval

English M.F.A.

Patricia J. Flores Yrarrázaval is a Cuyuteca trans femme/two-spirit writer, activist, and scholar raised in Santa Ana, California, with roots in Tecolotlán, México. She is currently attaining an M.F.A. in creative writing at Fresno State, with a concentration in fiction. As a storyteller, Patricia weaves together genres such as magical realism, speculative/science fiction and historical fiction. She is currently writing a novel taking place in a future, dystopic Fresno, centering trans femmes and two-spirit people in the fight for liberation and Indigenous sovereignty. In all her work, Patricia is dedicated to building bridges between Indigenous communities and communities of color in defense of the water, land, and air that we all call home. 

“Thanks to the support of the Dean’s Council Scholarship, I am able to focus on my classes and writing my novel, rather than worrying about whether I’ll be able to pay tuition on top of my living costs. For much of my time in the master’s program, I’ve had to work full-time to pay for my studies and to support myself and my family; receiving this scholarship has allowed me to shift to part-time this semester, which has greatly improved the quality of my writing and participation in class. I’m incredibly thankful to have been chosen for this award, and I am excited for all I will accomplish with this support.”

Valadez Marcus headshot

Marcus Valadez 

English B.A.

Originally from Visalia, Marcus Valadez is an English education major with an emphasis in creative writing and a minor in theatre arts. He is passionate about teaching English and theater because he thinks both areas allow us to make a lasting impact in students’ lives by giving them a way to explore the human condition.

“I am very grateful for the Dean’s Council Scholarship because it has given me confidence in my ability as a student. The scholarship has helped me immensely by awarding me with resources that have funded the research for my honors thesis and given me the opportunity to volunteer my time and acquire service learning hours within Fresno Unified School District.”

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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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