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Alumni Awards

Outstanding Graduates

Outstanding Graduates are recognized for their academic achievement, Christian character, leadership potential, service to others and embodiment of the Fresno Pacific Idea. Outstanding Graduates become a permanent part of a select group of FPU graduates and retain their distinction as an FPU Outstanding Graduate for life.

Fall 2023 - Spring 2024

School of Graduate and Professional Studies

Photo of Adam Hendrix

Adam Hendrix | M.A. in Ministry, Leadership and Culture

By 40, Adam had served at three of America’s the largest and most influential churches: Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago, Life Church in Oklahoma and Menlo Church in the Bay Area. He was also a favorite as a campus pastor at Menlo. He now serves as lead pastor of The Highway Community in Mountain View, CA. Adam has a reputation among his fellow students for being humble, inclusive, kind to everyone and deeply souled. He has often been considered the most human and prayerful pastor on staff at megachurches, with a sense of humor and a joyful spirit.

Photo of Bobbi Evans

Bobbi Evans | M.A. in School Psychology 

Bobbi’s Christian character, spirit of servant-leadership and commitment to faith and community are evident in her church activities, such as GriefShare and summer Bible study. She embodies fruits of the Spirit, particularly love, kindness and faithfulness, helping others heal and grow spiritually. Her academic focus on school psychology, coupled with her experience as a parent of a child with a learning disability, positions her to contribute to the well-being of students and families. Bobbi also demonstrates alignment with the Fresno Pacific Idea through dedication to Christian higher education, commitment to cultural diversity and inclusivity, and engagement in peacemaking and reconciliation.

Photo of Adrienne Barraza

Adrienne Barraza | M.S. in Nursing 

Adrienne’s Christian commitment shapes her character and guides her decision-making to prioritize integrity and moral values. Combining that faith with a caring passion will help her promote a holistic healing approach and evidence-based practice that provides compassionate care with empathy and ethical conduct. A nurse since 2006, she knows the impact of diversity on health care and learning. Adrienne plans to nurture an environment of awareness, cultural competence and inclusivity to address health care's social and economic disparities. She looks forward to a career in advanced practice and continuing as a clinical instructor, helping students develop into their future roles.

Photo of Jasmine Rodriguez

Jasmine Rodriguez | B.A. in Social Work

Jasmine delivers clear, concise and well-thought work that demonstrates social justice, inclusivity, the dignity and worth of individuals and communities while elevating social work service and practice. In addition to academics, Jasmine is vice president of the Social Work Honor Society, where she practices servant-leadership, creativity and organizational skills. Outside FPU, she interns at Sanger Unified Resource Center, educating, advocating and managing cases to promote healthy outcomes among migrant Hispanic students and families. Jasmine also directs the Children’s Sunday School at her church where she develops curriculum, plans activities and collaborates to promote knowledge, faith and character development.

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Daniel Devore | B.A. in Business Administration – Marketing

Daniel DeVore demonstrates his belief that everyone should be seen and heard in ways as seemingly small as saying hello to everyone he walks past, whether he knows them or not. Examples of his leadership include starting the Birdhouse, at student fan section to support Sunbird teams at home games. Daniel combined leadership with service as a resident assistant by persuading his 10 freshman boys, five of whom were from different countries and cultures, to participate together in Mock Rock. Friendly and engaged in class, Daniel is quick to volunteer for community events such as the American Ambulance Christmas Banquet.

Photo of Elizabeth Naranjo

Elizabeth Naranjo | B.S. in Kinesiology – Pre-Physical Therapy/Occupational Therapy

Elizabeth came to FPU with scholarships in both academics and athletics as both a President’s Scholar and a member of the women’s track and field team specializing in the hammer throw. She helps others as an academic coach and chemistry tutor for the Academic Success Center and is secretary/treasurer for the Alpha Chi National College Honor Society. Elizabeth’s success is a testament to her intelligence, desire to learn, work ethic, discipline and determination. Respected by faculty and peers, she is both conscientious and professional and also kind and thoughtful. This makes Elizabeth an excellent model for other students. Elizabeth will be attending Fresno State’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program in the fall.

School of Arts & Sciences

Photo of Paola Guadalupe Gonzalez Mendes

Paola Guadalupe Gonzalez Mendes | B.S. in Applied Mathematics

Paola has done an extraordinary job of tutoring and managing labs, as well as holding multiple leadership positions. An Alpha Chi Member, she has won both the university’s Outstanding University Scholars Program award and the chapter’s Patricia Williams Outstanding Chapter Member award and has been elected president of the FPU chapter. She is the only student to be on all three of the university’s Collaborative Research teams. A first-generation scholar, Paola often spends weekends helping her family in the fields. Anyone who has had her in class knows that her comity, humor and engagement leaven the experience for everyone.

Photo of Ceceli Guzman Vega

Ceceli Guzman Vega | B.S. in Nursing

Ceceli stood out from her first moments on campus—or on Zoom, as she started during the pandemic shutdown. Taking on extra class projects, she used her artistic gifts to make study guides for other students, even though her COVID living situation was difficult and she was majoring in nursing. Ceceli built her academic strength by adding a history minor, giving the student research keynote speech at the Fall Honors Banquet and being the only student to take part in the spring Association of Core Texts and Courses Conference every year since it began on campus.

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 Elizabeth Munoz | B.A. in Liberal Studies

Since her sophomore year, Elizabeth Munoz has worked in the Undergraduate Admissions Office. She calls prospective students, gives campus tours and helps with events. In summer 2023 she became a peer mentor and a member of the FPU Cheer Team. She belongs to the First-Generation Student Honors Society as well as the Alpha Chi National College Honor Society. Elizabeth will start her credential program this summer and has been accepted into the university Fresno Teacher Residency Program, allowing her to earn a multiple subject credential while co-teaching at Fresno Unified School District in the fall and spring.

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Mark Smith II | B.S. in Biology – Human Health 

Mark is a Dean’s Scholar, Gregory Scholar and a member of Tri-Alpha, the honor society for first-generation college students. He has participated in track and field and the Student Government Association, serving as president in 2023-2024. Among his contributions while in student government are the Outdoor Learning Lab (currently under construction) and the soon remodel of the SCC Lounge. Mark plans to go to medical school to become an interventional radiologist.

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Natalie Kisling | B.A. in Liberal Studies – Math 

Natalie does everything related to academics with excellence, serving as a member of Alpha Chi. She is also a student-athlete on the water polo team and swim teams and has worked at the campus fitness center. In her faith life, Natalie has been part of Delight Ministries, FPU’s women’s Bible study, and the worship team at her congregation, Legacy Christian Church. During the summers, she has worked as a nanny and at Stoller Family Estate, a winery and wedding venue. Following graduation, Natalie plans to substitute teach for a year in Oregon before becoming a middle school math teacher.

Spring 2023

School of Business

Rachel Berry

Rachel Berry | M.A. in Strategic and Organizational Leadership

Rachel is a top student and exemplary researcher in all areas. She comes to class prepared and ready to engage in activities and discussions. She is thoughtful and articulate in the work she submits, demonstrating a high level of critical thinking. She has a heart for serving others and a desire to continue growing in her walk with God. She looks for opportunities to connect with others, hear about their lives and establish relationships. As captain of the FPU Women’s Basketball Team, she models hard work, toughness, optimism, perseverance and strong ethics for her teammates. She leads by example and is not timid in using her voice to speak into the lives of others. She does not separate her faith from the rest of her life. As a future leader and educator, she cares deeply for cultural diversity, peacemaking, justice and reconciliation.

Leann West

Leann West | B.A. in Business Administration: Organizational Leadership Emphasis

Leann emulates the characteristics of the fruits of the spirit and strives to be a soldier of Christ walking in the footsteps of Jesus. She demonstrated leadership in her class, assisting/supporting others. She was quick to connect to her faith when discussing prayer requests and often provided moral and prayerful support for other students in need. She is active in many community activities, including serving as vice president and executive board member of California School Employees Association Chapter 92. 

School of Natural Sciences

Rosemary Chapman

Rosemary Chapman | B.S. in Kinesiology: Pre-Physical Therapy/Occupational Therapy

Rosemary is an exceptional student in a challenging program. Her academic work has remained exemplary as she has been a leader on both the FPU Women’s Water Polo and Swimming and Diving teams. Her academic achievements are a testament to her intelligence, but also to her work ethic, discipline, determination and desire to learn. She conducts herself in a very conscientious and professional manner but is also a kind and thoughtful person. She is highly respected by both faculty and peers and is a joy to be around. She is an excellent example for other students to follow. She will be attending Fresno State’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program in the fall, and she will one day become a credit to the physical therapy profession.

Jeffrey Mcphetridge

Jeffrey McPhetridge | B.A. in Mathematics

Jeffrey is well prepared in his goal to teach students mathematics. He has been working in the Academic Success Center, helping his peers understand and work through complex problems since he transferred to Fresno Pacific—he is always willing to help those that need it. He completed his research in cryptography using number theory and abstract algebra. While quiet at times, his peers can always count on him for sage advice, wise guidance and a good laugh. He has completed all of this while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. His humility, insight into novel teaching strategies and willingness to face challenges are impressive. Jeffrey plans pursues his teaching credential, here at FPU. He will make an excellent addition to the School of Education.

School of Education

Gabriel Vasquez Salinas

Gabriel Vasquez-Salinas | B.A. in Liberal Arts – Science Concentration

Gabriel is a natural born leader and lifelong learner. He is currently a substitute teacher working with middle school students in the South Valley. During his time in the Liberal Arts program, he has provided guidance to his classmates and served as the cohort representative. As a student he actively seeks constructive criticism from his professors and uses it to help him become stronger in the subject area he is learning. He says he is finishing the liberal arts program feeling “more confident, closer to God, and eager to pursue all His dreams.” 

Stephanie Villarreal

Stephanie Villarreal | B.A. in Liberal Arts – Science Concentration

Stephanie has been an exemplary student in FPU’s Liberal Arts Program. She currently works as a full-time kindergarten instructional aide in Visalia. She has demonstrated outstanding scholarship during her time at Fresno Pacific. Her motivation and initiative have shined through her academics. After graduating she hopes to pursue a multiple subject credential and teach second grade soon after. She has valued the faith-based courses at FPU which she states have taught her to analyze the Gospel and helped bring her closer to God. 

School of Humanities, Religion and Social Sciences

Elizabeth Davis

Elizabeth Davis | B.A. in English: Secondary Teaching and Theater

Elizabeth has been an excellent student. She is unfailingly kind, cheerful, thoughtful, quick to listen and her work is creative and highly polished. Although COVID hit during her second semester at FPU, she lit up Zoom with her presence and came back strong to become a leader of the English department. She is currently the editor in chief of The Green Light Literary Journal, where she has served on past volumes as copy editor and reader. She has also held leadership roles on campus as a first-year peer mentor, an officer of the Literary Club and a member of both the Alpha Chi Honor’s Society and the newly formed Tri-Alpha Honors Society for first-generation college students. Her scholarly work creatively combines her interests in literature and drama, with an emphasis on the material history of the stage. 

Danya Gonzalez

Danya Gonzalez | B.A. in History

Danya is a President’s Scholar, Highest Honors recipient and Alpha Chi Honor Society member. She has been active in the Academic Support Center and student government, where she served as vice president last year and president this year. She has done research presentations in an extraordinarily broad range of topics and attended the Alpha Chi Convention twice. Of her service accomplishments, one that stands out is the addition of Aunt Flo products to women's restrooms. Her leadership talks to the scholarship cohorts have been, from student comments, some of the most moving. Her writing about her care for her family and the influence of her abuela has been inspirational. Her infectious enthusiasm is a source of light and support in all the communities in which she moves.


Lisa Basile

Lisa Basile | M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy

Lisa has demonstrated high academic achievement throughout her student career. She has consistently been a creative, energetic, inquisitive, well-prepared and well-respected member of her classes. She has engaged her peers and her instructors with authenticity, vulnerability and respect. She has sought, through her personal life, her ministry, her coursework and her practical MFT experience to pursue Christian faith and psychology integration. She maintains an active engagement in various creative and innovative forms of ministry in Fresno and beyond. She has demonstrated a high value for the church, the Gospel and Christian ministry even while also seeking to grow in her understanding of faith and being willing to examine her call on the church to lean into its areas of weakness. 

Mitchell Ross

Mitchell Ross | Master of Divinity and M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy

Mitchell has distinguished himself to those he meets and serves as the embodiment of a truly pastoral orientation. He displays solid academic skills, is graduating with a rare double-master’s degree and has done more academic and vocational training than nearly all seminary graduates do. He exemplifies a healthy integration of Christian faith and psychology, commitment to Jesus’s Kingdom and holistic human flourishing. He has a positive and encouraging spirit with his fellow classmates, a God-given gift for communicating and takes wise oversight of God’s people in need as the Care Pastor at Northwest Church in Fresno. His capacity to express himself in personal relationships and in exploring academic material—to act as a professionally trained partner in ministry—is welcome, unusual and engaging. Academically, spiritually and interpersonally, he epitomizes the best of the Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary.

Fall 2022

School of Business

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Gerardo Lemus | M.B.A.

Gerry serves the Visalia Unified School District as a Director of Business Services supervising a staff of 20 colleagues. He is active in leadership and cabinet meetings focused on decision-making that ensures all school district students and staff are equipped with the resources needed to succeed. He is actively involved at his church, serves on multiple committees at the school where his children attend, and participates in weekend and after-school prayer services and activities. He continuously aspires to make Christ-centered moral and ethical decisions in both personal and professional life and does so by serving as a role model for his children and community. 

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Matthew Martinez | B.A. in Business Administration: Emergency Management emphasis

In addition to being a student, Matthew works as a fire engineer with the Hanford Fire Department. He and his fire department therapy dog support other first responders and community members who struggle with job-related stress by providing stress diffusion services. He has planned and coordinated fire prevention and fire safety events for the community, has served on the board of the Safe Kids of Kings County, and has coordinated and volunteered at Safe Kids Day events. He coaches youth football, focusing on underprivileged youth and is an active member of his church. He consistently uses his talents and passion for living and loving Jesus to be an example to as many people as he can.

School of Education

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Jeremiah Ruesch | M.A. in Mathematics Education

Jeremiah is an encourager, and this shows in how he is seen among his peers as a leader and someone whose thoughts are immediately sought after. His insights are often profound and deeply personal. He is unafraid to bring a sense of vulnerability and humility to his interactions with his fellow students and the faculty. He does this while simultaneously being consistently strong in his academics, writing, research and mathematical understandings.

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Staci Copley | M.A. in Administrative Services

Staci began her teaching career in 1989 in the Tulare City School District. In 2003, she moved to the State of Washington where she taught and served as instructional coach in the Moses Lake School District. She returned to Tulare in 2017, where she now serves as vice principal of Alpine Vista School, a K-8 school of 1400 students. Staci’s passion for teaching is evident as she explores ways in which school leaders can support student learning through facilitating a professional culture characterized by trust, teacher voice, empowerment and collaboration.

School of Humanities, Religion and Social Sciences

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Amanda Hansston | B.A. in Studio Art and Biblical and Theological Studies

Amanda is a double major and has consistently maintained a very high GPA impressing faculty with the high caliber of her academic work. As a studio artist, she demonstrates a willingness to challenge herself, exploring the creative process in a variety of mediums. She was not only quick to join the Theta Alpha Kappa Honors Society but was also quick to assume leadership, serving both as secretary and then later as president. As a non-traditional student, she has not shied away from finding ways to engage in the life of the university. Her demonstration of kindness and patience exemplify her desire to embody Christ in all her pursuits.

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Luke Colvard | B.A. in Pre-Law

Luke has an excellent academic record and has served both in student government and on committees throughout his time at FPU. As an Alpha Chi member, he was selected to present his tax policy research at the 2022 Alpha Chi National Convention. Luke also presented research into tribal banking at our Spring 2022 Research Night and was awarded best Social Science presentation. Beyond his stellar academic career, he has served on a local community committee that crafted a bond measure which successfully raised over $300 million to create a new education center. He has also served as a Fellow in the Elizabeth Warren for President campaign and as a Field Organizing Intern for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. Further, he embodied our ideal of global citizenship by living and studying in Guatemala. 

School of Natural Sciences

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Cecilia Ceja-Lopez | B.S. in Biology: Human Health

Cecilia is highly recommended by every professor who has taught her. She has made special efforts to help her peers better understand topics in statistics and has performed exceptional undergraduate research about how to improve doula-provided healthcare during childbirth. She has also been a valuable and conscientious laboratory coordinator assistant.


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Marie Celine Roque | M.S. in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner

Marie has been a dedicated graduate student during her journey at FPU. She has shown strength, faith and motivation as she navigated working as a registered nurse while completing her academic and clinical program requirements. She was proactive in her learning and clinical patient care during the intense graduate program. Her kind heart, positive outlook and friendly smile were evident during class and in her interactions with peers, faculty and preceptors.

Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary

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Crystal Shipley | M.Div.

Crystal, brimming with winsomeness, has helped to create a learning environment where all of her classmates feel accepted, and even more, are personally encouraged in their unique callings. Her passionate faith has brought an extra flavor to all of the classes she has taken. A gifted communicator, she has demonstrated the positive fruits of what happens when a student gives everything they have to their studies. We are confident that she will be an asset to the Kingdom of Jesus in her ministry as a chaplain.

Spring 2022

School of Business

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Caroline “Lum” Lumnwi | M.A. in Strategic and Organizational Leadership

Lum, originally from Cameroon, is a top student whose joy and gentle spirit are contagious. Her personal testimony of perseverance through challenging circumstances while growing up in Cameroon is an amazing witness to her faith in the Lord. She is planning to build an employment agency in Cameroon to link employers to ethical employees and training resources. The agency would match graduating students with mentors and potential job opportunities. Her hope is to offer ethical and sustainable leadership strategies in a country dear to her heart, but plagued with nepotism and bribery.

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Joshua Newfield | B.A. in Business Administration: Business Management Emphasis

Joshua is a top student who clearly demonstrates a Christian character rooted in the fruits of the Spirit. He desires to have his faith reflected in his work and personal life and wants his own relationship with Christ to inform his values—hard work, integrity and loyalty. He is active in his church and community, and works to improve motivation, mentoring, coaching and empowerment among his employees. He demonstrates leading through service as he participates yearly in a Thanksgiving meal ministry to needy families in the Bakersfield community.

School of Education

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Jannette Gardner | M.A. in Teaching

Jannette is an advocate for the needs of her students and her colleagues. She recognizes the power of teacher inquiry as a tool to not only empower herself and improve her teaching practice, but to create improved learning opportunities for all students at her school. Through the process of action research, she has come to reflect upon the connection between pedagogical knowledge and teacher content knowledge as connected to issues of social justice in classroom learning opportunities for her students. Her current work has focused on how to best support mathematical fluency in relation to the developmental needs of her students. Through this work she has made impactful changes in her classroom.

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Megan Kate Sullivan Medeiros | M.A. in School Psychology

Previously a special education teacher, Megan Kate is now a school psychologist in the Lemoore Union High School District. Her faith has been a driving force in her desire to be of service and to provide compassionate care and guidance to special needs students. She embodies the Fresno Pacific Idea as she understands learning to be an ongoing journey for herself, her peers and her students. She prays for them, encourages them and supports them through their challenges and celebrates their successes.

School of Humanities, Religion and Social Sciences

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Liliana Becerril | B.A. in Graphic Design

Liliana is a high achiever who aims for success. Her graphic design work demonstrates an excellent level of technical skill along with creative and innovative design. In addition to working as a graphic design intern for FPU’s Campus Life Office, she has already established her own graphic design social media consulting business. She is also a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and does exceptional work in all her classes. She pays attention to detail, goes above and beyond what is asked of her, always exceeding other students in the quality of her work. She is friendly and polite and a pleasure to be around. A true quiet achiever, she will most definitely make a successful, positive impact on the world.

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Veronica Mendez Garcia | B.A. in History and Social Work

Veronica is an Alpha Chi Student who has won multiple conference awards, and she also took part in an ACTC Conference. She is leading the first Alpha Chi Collaborative Research team from our chapter. She has been HRSS Representative, Clubs Coordinator and President of the SGA, and is a double major in social work and history with a sociology minor, who has also found time to be an excellent USP TA. She gave the student address at this fall’s Honors Banquet. She plans to start her MSW next fall—her internship this spring is working 25 hours a week with the Fresno Police Department Chaplaincy. She also works in the fields several days a week to help support her single mom. 

School of Natural Sciences

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Callen Moon| B.S. in Pre-Health Sciences, Pre-MD/DO/DDS/D.Pharm Emphasis

Callen has always been an impressive student in all his courses through his demonstrated initiative and skills in problem-solving and critical thinking. He is sharp, diligent, communicates well and is willing to accept guidance and also to recognize when to seek it out. He earned one of the highest scores in FPU’s history on the standardized exit exam in biology. He is also always willing to kindly lend a hand to his fellow classmates and brings a positive attitude to whatever he does. 

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Chloe Sharp | B.S. in Kinesiology: Exercise Physiology

Chloe is an exemplary, top student in a challenging academic program while also being an exceptional athlete on the FPU Track and Field Team. She is a conscientious and dedicated person with a tremendous work ethic, high level of integrity and a genuinely kind personality. She is highly thought of by peers, faculty and professionals she has interned for. She has been a pleasure to have as a student and will be an asset in her future career.

Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary

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Jireh Mukawa | M.A. in Community Leadership and Transformation

Jireh has the rare quality of being a scholar/practitioner, someone with sharp skills in critical thinking, as well as a strong inclination toward application, influence and service. He has one foot firmly planted in ministry at On Ramps Covenant Church in downtown Fresno, which is working with Lowell Neighbors in transformative work. His other foot is in the City of Fresno’s department of transportation, also known as Fresno Area Express (FAX), where he works part-time, serving low- and moderate-income residents in making transportation more accessible. Both feet are required to walk his commitment to seek the shalom of the city, a discipline he adopted while completing his degree. He also serves the health and well-being of youth through activities sponsored by community benefit organizations in creative and participatory events, such as highly popular and joyful African drum circles.

Shellie Warren

Shellie Warren | M.A. in Marriage and Family Therapy

Shellie is an exceptional student with a thirst for learning that goes far beyond required coursework. She is a naturally gifted counselor with remarkable skill in empathizing with suffering people and has supplemented this gift with skillful development of theory and technique. She demonstrates creativity and resourcefulness, as exhibited in worship leading and in Bible teaching and storytelling for children and adults. Her dedication is also evidenced in courageously shifting career goals to train to be a therapist at this point in her life. Throughout her rigorous study program, she has continued to be actively engaged in church life and in agency work, especially in TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors). She is a public speaker, a writer, a blogger, a worship leader, a marathon-completer!

Fall 2021

School of Business

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Jose Luis Madrigal | B.A. in Business Administration: Organizational Leadership emphasis

Jose is a top student who regularly speaks to how his faith and Christian focus help him in his job as a firefighter and in everyday life. He is a leader in and outside the classroom and has a desire to both grow within his profession and lead like Jesus. He often speaks of how, in his profession, he enjoys serving his community and other communities, not just putting out fires, but comforting, supporting and encouraging those who have been displaced, injured or otherwise traumatized. He clearly demonstrates the heart of a servant leader.

School of Education

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Desiree Stumpf |M.A. in Special Education

Desiree is a lifelong Sunbird, and her thesis is: "Lived Experiences of Special Education Teachers of Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders." Her study addresses immediate concerns within the special education community, particularly special education teacher attrition. She enjoys helping new teachers in the field of social-emotional education. With her master’s degree in hand, she expects to move into a position within her school district to reach many more teachers and increase our Emotional and Behavior Disorders (EBD) teachers' longevity and quality of life.

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Anthony Segura | M.A. in Reading and Language

Anthony has demonstrated outstanding scholarship and a passion for teaching literacy. He is collaborative, supportive and encouraging to those around him and embodies joy, peace and goodness. He recognizes that literacy is a powerful tool for students to connect to and navigate the world around them. He also recognizes that the role of teacher is more than just aligning instruction to standards: it is to motivate students to become lifelong readers and writers who participate fully in the world. His work centered on providing access to literacy through students’ own stories and personal experience, and he focuses on what is within his power to improve.

School of HRSS

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Olivia Pacheco | Individualized Master of Arts Program

Olivia was an extraordinary undergraduate who stretched her colleagues and her professors through her interdisciplinary interests, and she has been equally exemplary in her graduate program, even as she worked to find her true calling in her professional career. Her thesis is some of the best-researched work submitted at FPU. She has done a remarkable job of finding sources, using them well and synthesizing large amounts of material into a compelling, articulate and very readable thesis. Her work has been profoundly thoughtful and impressive in every way, and it is of such caliber that it has the potential to be published in the future. 

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Gillian Lehman | B.A. in Liberal Studies: Spanish Emphasis and B.A. in Spanish

Gillian is an incredibly responsible student, dedicated to gaining as much as she can out of every class. She has a lovely sense of humor and a desire to get to know her classmates. Outside of class, she dedicates a lot of time to serving in her church’s children’s ministry. She has a heart for serving children and plans to obtain a multiple-subject teaching credential with either a bilingual authorization or an added Spanish credential. She is a lifelong learner that operates out of her own passion for learning that is evident in the deep questions that she offers in her interaction with others. Her Spanish thesis is an exemplary model of the union of both of her majors and her passion for bilingual education.

School Natural Sciences

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Hannah Weaver | B.S. in Biology: Environmental emphasis

In addition to strong academic performance on tests and assignments, Hannah has significantly contributed to Fresno Pacific academic and spiritual life in and out of class. She excels in peer teaching and well-crafted presentations that are engaging and insightful. She has also used her organizational, interpersonal and communication skills to give strong leadership to the Shalom Club, the campus club dedicated to issues of environmental and justice concerns; this has had a significant impact helping students with these values have a sense of belonging on our campus.

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Caesar Angulo | B.S. in Environmental Sciences

Caesar is an intellectually gifted student who typically places at the top of the class academically, but his other contributions to Fresno Pacific are also notable. Kindness, respect and helpfulness to others in and out of the class characterize his personal interactions. He has been a very strong contributor and positive influence in athletics with professional sports potential, but his post-baccalaureate career goal is in environmental stewardship; this suggests his positive influence will continue into the future.

Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary

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Jorg Letkemann | M.A. in Community Leadership and Transformation

Jorg has a passion for pursuing the transformation and shalom of his city through innovating new structures that incorporate the strengths of both business and non-profit/community benefit institutions. Using what he learned in seminary, he has been a champion for small business development in the rural communities of the Valley and has served the social enterprises at Fresno Area Community Enterprises (FACE) which provide employment for men coming out of prison and with other barriers to employment. He combines excellence in academics with practical application in the community, for the common good.

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Blong Yang | M.A. in Theology

Some people’s study of theology focuses on themselves—a way to address questions or explore new ideas. Blong studied theology for others. That is not to say he did not grapple with personal questions nor pursue topics of interest, but his primary orientation was toward others—his family, church and ethnic group. His passion to think about theological themes through the lens of his Hmong experience was a gift to other seminary students and professors. His commitment to think of better ways of communicating to Hmong people the Gospel and a vibrant theology centered on Jesus Christ has been a gift. He displayed persistence and discipline as he completed his degree over a number of years while balancing schoolwork, a full-time job, family and church commitments.

Spring 2021

School of Humanities, Religion & Social Sciences

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Marvin Santos Aquino, Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, Pre-PT/OT emphasis

Marvin excelled in academic performance in all classes, where he is both intellectually inquisitive and a critical thinker. He was the first to volunteer to serve when asked and actively participated in the ALAS program. He also served as a peer mentor and participated in research projects and many other assignments. He embodies the ideal student that the Spanish program, the School of Humanities Religion and Social Sciences and the university at large aspires to form in each student.

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Kassandra Klein, Bachelor of Arts in English: Secondary Teaching and Intercultural Studies: TESOL

Kassandra is a leader among her peers in and out of the classroom. As an honors student, she had her paper selected for the Alpha Chi convention last year. She has been one of the editors on the Green Light, FPU’s annual student literary publication, for the past two issues and is one of the main contributing writers and copy editor for the Syrinx student newspaper. She is a pleasure to work with, and her work demonstrates sharp critical thinking, rigorous engagement with scholarship and criticism and a keen awareness of issues of social justice.

School of Natural Sciences

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Joshua Jones, Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology, Pre-PT/OT emphasis

Joshua is an excellent student, earning top grades in courses such as anatomy, physiology, chemistry, physics, biomechanics and exercise physiology courses while serving as a freshmen peer mentor for three years. He is very respectful, responsible, and a genuinely nice person. He has been accepted into Fresno State’s Doctorate of Physical Therapy program for fall 2021.

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Brittany Nielsen, Bachelor of Art in Pre-Health Sciences

Brittany has earned high grades, displaying focused discipline. Her path has been somewhat non-traditional, completing an associate degree in business and now aiming at an M.D./Ph.D. in psychiatry. She has a big heart to help the sick and the needy and has already served as a health scholar at Adventist Health and volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House. She demonstrated care and teaching ability as a peer mentor for transfer students, a science tutor at the Academic Success Center and as an EMT instructor.

School of Business

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Matthew Wilfong, Bachelor of Science in Management and Bachelor of Arts in Contemporary Christian Ministries

Matthew is a hard-working and dedicated student representing a mature Christian faith in his sojourn as an undergraduate. He has an excellent academic record and, in numerous class encounters, has been a joy to work with as he consistently displays a positive attitude filled with a beaming love and joy for Christ. He is respected highly and valued deeply by all in the FPU community.

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Clint Harris, Master of Business Administration

Clint is a top student in the MBA program and has consistently shown care and a high quality in his work. His Christian character and leadership have been on display with his positive attitude and supportive manner as his cohort transitioned to online studies because of the pandemic. His faith has guided him on his journey, and he has taken a steady course and an optimistic attitude that impacts those around him.

School of Education

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Byan Younes, Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts

Byan is a role model for all educators and students who have a passion to be of service to others. She is compassionate and has served her fellow students by helping to create a safe and loving community within her cohort during the pandemic. She has proven her intellect and resilience as a bilingual student who has experience in the U.S. as well as in the Middle East. She exemplifies the Fresno Pacific Idea, embracing the ideals that will not just change her life but the lives of others for years to come.

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T.J. Ryan, Master of Arts in Administrative Services

T.J. is a dedicated educator who puts the students and staff around him first. He is a learning director for Woodlake Unified School District and has a desire to continue to grow as an educator in order to move students and staff to success. He is equipped with the tools to dig deeper into issues and work toward new outcomes that will ensure success for students, staff and the community.

Biblical Seminary

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Connie Nicholson, Master of Arts in New Testament

Connie came to seminary as a skilled and experienced pastor. She grew up in a charismatic tradition and is now serving in an Anabaptist Mennonite Brethren congregation. Her academic work is stellar, and her ministry skills have been amply demonstrated in the pastoral work she continues to do alongside her seminary studies. She models a life of prayer and dependence on God’s Spirit and encourages those around her.

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Pam Yang, Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy

Pam is committed to offering accessible, culturally sensitive and culturally competent therapy to underserved and underprivileged populations. She evidences a keen intellect, a love for the Lord, steadfast commitment to prayer and strong leadership. Her passion for the pragmatic application of her learning is evidenced in the self-initiated workshops and seminars she has developed and taught regarding the Hmong community. She actively applies what she learns to her personal and family life, to her church, to her therapeutic work with clients and to enriching the Hmong community.

Fall 2020

School of Humanities, Religion & Social Sciences

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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).

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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

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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.

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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.

School of Business

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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.

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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

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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.


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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.

Spring 2020

School of Humanities, Religion & Social Sciences

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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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 | 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.

Biblical Seminary

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 | 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.

Distinguished Alumni

The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes alumni who have contributed significantly to their community and exemplified the mission and values of Fresno Pacific University.


Athletics Hall of Fame

The Sunbird Athletics Hall of Fame pays tribute to the achievements of student-athletes, coaches, faculty and staff. 


  • 1973 Men's Track and Field Team
  • 1984 - 1985 Men's Soccer Team
  • Tracy Ainger
  • Denise Ainley
  • Dennis Anderson
  • Ben Bogdanof
  • Bill Braun
  • Annie (Sippel) Bruce
  • Anna Butz
  • Dana Coates
  • Edgardo Contreras
  • Rafael DeCicco
  • Karl Dewazien
  • Jim Farmer
  • Elden Fast
  • Lin Gao
  • Lloyd Gardner
  • Chrisie Gregory
  • Donald Gregory
  • Steve Hardison
  • Jim Hartig
  • Donnie Johnson
  • Teresa Kamps
  • Don Knaak
  • Dennis McCave
  • Scot Patterson
  • Rick Penner
  • Randy Pfost
  • Jaime Ramirez
  • Joel Ramirez
  • Peter Sena
  • Pakisa Tshimika
  • Roger Trujillo
  • Kelly Watney
  • Qin Wen
  • Ge Xin
  • Lorena Zuleta


  • Ron Adams
  • Jerry Huhn
  • Dennis Janzen
  • Gary Nachtigall
  • Ben Norton
  • Diane Wiese

Meritorious Service

  • Ken Isaak

Legacy Award

  • Ed Nachtigall