Fall 2020 Recipients

School of Business


Heather Aceves | Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration: Organizational Leadership
Heather leads a team of four employees in human resources for the City of Fresno. In addition to working full time and being a mom, she still maintained a 4.0 GPA. Heather demonstrated a desire to succeed, make real-world applications and improve her professional and personal leadership skills.


Akio Lopez | Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration: Accounting
Akio completed his internship with national CPA firm Moss Adams during summer 2020 and secured a full-time offer to start working upon graduation. Although he had hardships during his academic career at FPU, Akio did not give up and instead excelled academically and personally.

School of Education


Marcus Zellous | Master of Arts in Teaching
A thoughtful elementary music educator, Marcus is committed to growing in his profession, bringing respect and justice to all his students and creating a classroom where they feel safe and appreciated as budding musicians. His Christian faith is evident through his kindness, humility and positive attitude.


Myron Smith | Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction
When Myron began instructing paramedics he found materials limited, so he decided to get his master’s so he could design curriculum. He recruited faculty from a private ambulance service and a community college to create instruction not based on memorization. Retention rates increased dramatically, and Myron now instructs many first responders.

School of Humanities, Religion and Social Sciences


Kayla McCalvy | Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies
Kayla maintained academic excellence while serving the FPU community. She was a peer mentor, switchboard operator in the Information Center, vice president of a Bible study club and member of the Delight ministry club for women and Alpha Chi. She also led mediations with the Victim Offender Reconciliation Program (VORP).


Cinthia Palomino | Bachelor of Arts in Criminology
When Cinthia Palomino—a first-generation student born in Mexico—struggled on her first assignment, she met with faculty to learn how to do better. Her work steadily improved and she graduated at a high standard. Cinthia managed this remarkable achievement while juggling full-time work as a single mother.

School of Natural Sciences


Chandler Maciel | Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology: Exercise Physiology
Chandler arrived at FPU as a Paragon Scholar and maintained a high academic standing through his career. He has an outstanding work ethic and was also a leader among his peers and as a student-athlete. He conducts himself with integrity and is very kind and pleasant.


Taña Leon-Toscano | Master of Science in Nursing
A skilled and experienced registered nurse, Taña was a dedicated and driven student who is now an advanced practice nurse and leader in the health care community. Her calming presence makes her a natural leader. She will serve this Valley well; she is joyful, funny, humble, accountable, engaged and reliable.

Spring 2020 Recipients

School of Humanities, Religion & Social Sciences

Nzashi Seya Lumeya

Nzashi Seya Lumeya | M.A. in Peace Studies
Seya has deepened his Christian commitment and character in both his studies and his restorative justice work. When the Center for Peacemaking was without a permanent director, Seya ensured all programs operated smoothly and continued to develop relationships with other leaders.

Samantha Witt

Samantha Witt | B.A. in Biblical and Religious Studies
Samantha demonstrated her prophetic Christian faith when she served as president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and by serving Syrian Muslim refugees via Fresno Interdenominational Refugee Ministry and Neighborly Faith, a Christian organization committed to improving Christian-Muslim relations.

School of Natural Sciences

Catherine Jalomo

Catherine Jalomo | B.S. in Chemistry
A Paragon Scholar, Catherine majored in chemistry and was accepted with full funding to Ph.D. studies. She is a Hispanic first-generation college student who was highly engaged in campus service.

Kelsey Lowrey

Kelsey Lowrey | B.A. in Math
Kelsey’s leadership and service experience included being president of the FPU Student Government Association during her senior year. Very involved with her Mexican heritage, she plans to teach and get a Ph.D. in mathematics.

School of Business

Jenny Godinez

Jenny Godinez | MBA
Jenny was a bright student and is working with her husband to one day own their own lawn service business. She always has a positive attitude and is not afraid to ask questions from an appreciative perspective.

Adam Sabourin

Adam Sabourin | M.A. in Leadership Studies
Adam is a military veteran who studied at the Visalia campus. He manages an irrigation company and operates Vets With Wings, a nonprofit that empowers veterans struggling with combat-related conditions.

School of Education

Riley Fox

Riley Fox | M.A. in Special Education
After Riley graduated in 2013 with her B.A. in Liberal Studies, she completed a mild/moderate education specialist credential and now works as an education specialist at Aspen Valley Prep Academy, a Fresno charter school.

Nelson Vasquez

Nelson Vasquez | M.A. in School Counseling
Nelson combines a kind and even temperament with a hunger for knowledge. He devoted additional time at his fieldwork site to learn about career technical education, financial aid, college admissions, academic planning and student success.


Karina Hernandez

Karina Hernandez | M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy
Karina is an insightful clinician with an intuitive awareness of others’ needs. Self-motivated and courageous, she has a strong desire to learn and to apply her learning to her profession. Karina has impressive Scriptural knowledge and sees counseling as a ministry.

Brad Isaak

Brad Isaak | M.Div.
Brad showed his belief in interdisciplinary learning by taking courses from many areas of the seminary. As youth/small group pastor at Prodigal Church, Fresno, he combines his intellect with a desire to help contemporary, secular people find Jesus.