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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. Every semester two are chosen from each school and from the seminary.

Spring 2022

School of Business
Photo of Lumnwi

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.

Photo of Joshua Newfield

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
Photo of Jannette Gardner

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.

Photo of Megan Kate Medeiros

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
Photo of Callen Moon 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
Photo of Jireh Mukawa

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.

Photo of Anthony Segura

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. 

Photo of Gillian Lehman

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
Photo of Hannah Weaver

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.

Photo of Caesar Angulo

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.

Photo of Blong Yang

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
Photo of Marvin Santos Aquino

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.

Photo of Kassandra Klein

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.

Photo of Clint Harris

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.

Photo of Pam Yano

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.
 

Photo of Akio Insta

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.

Recipients

Athletics Hall of Fame

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

Student-Athlete

  • 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

Coach

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

Meritorious Service

  • Ken Isaak

Legacy Award

  • Ed Nachtigall