NASPA Latinx/a/o Knowledge Community’s 2018 Outstanding Faculty Award

Congratulations to Dr. Ignacio Hernández!

Dr. Hernández, Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership, received the Latinx/a/o Knowledge Community Outstanding Faculty Award by NASPA.

Dr. Hernández received this award because he has contributed significant research and publication that promote the understanding of Latinx/as/os in higher education. He also has the desire to learn in graduate and professional development environments and has served as a role model to Latinx/as/os in the higher education community.

“The awards committee identified your nomination as exemplifying extraordinary contributions to the field of higher education through your leadership and service in NASPA and in the Latinx/a/o Knowledge Community.” – LKC Awards Committee

NASPA Conference Logo 2018

The NASPA Annual Conference, held in Philadelphia, PA from March 3-7, is the largest conference of its kind for student affairs professionals to learn about advancement, health, and sustainability for their profession. Dr. Hernández attended the conference with Dr. Susana Hernández, also from Department of Educational Leadership in the Kremen School of Education and Human Development. They attended the NASPA Annual Conference with graduate students from the Master of Arts in Education, Higher Education, Administration and Leadership (HEAL) pathway program.

Dr. Hernández was actively involved at the conference in many ways. He participated in the following educational sessions:

The Role of AANAPISIs in Advancing Hmong Student Success

28576735_10216183269438239_941021937231743589_n-smallFresno State’s Ignacio Hernández, Ph.D., assistant professor, Susana Hernández, Ph.D., assistant professor, and John Yang, HEAL graduate student, presented on the role of AANAPISIs in advancing Hmong student success. It is anticipated that Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) college student enrollment will increase by 35% over the next ten years. Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution’s (AANAPISI) are uniquely positioned to lead in advocating educational attainment for AAPI students.

Issues Impacting the Success of Latinx Student Affairs Professionals in Community College

Dr. Hernández, along with student affairs leaders from Suffolk County Community College (NY), Tarrant County College (TX) and Shoreline Community College (WA), spoke about the experiences of Latinx student affairs professionals’ experiences within community colleges. Latinx student enrollment is the second highest of all racial/ethnic groups and about half of Latinx students enroll in community colleges. Together the panel analyzed why Latinx professionals are crucial to our nation’s college completion goals and how practitioners can be transformational not only to student success, but to the academy.

Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions


Making the most of their trip, our Fresno State faculty and HEAL students visited the Penn Center for Minority Serving Institutions. CMSI director, Dr. Marybeth Gasman, along with Associate Directors Carolyn Nalewajko and Paola “Lola” Esmieu, graciously hosted Fresno State’s HEAL students. The visit included a tour of the center, a question and answer session, and was topped off by a pizza lunch! HEAL faculty and graduate students are very grateful to Dr. Gasman and her staff.

Developing the Knowledge of Teaching Writing

Teachers from all grades and all subjects encounter writing in their classroom. Whether it is writing a formal report, research, note taking or a story, writing is present in all classrooms. But which teacher is responsible for teaching writing? Are teachers prepared to teach students how to write?

Dr. Juliet Wahleithner

Dr. Juliet Wahleithner, Co-Director of the San Joaquin Valley Writing Project and Assistant Professor for the Kremen School of Education and Human Development at Fresno State, is dedicated to preparing educators to teach writing.

Dr. Wahleithner did not have a traditional path to becoming a teacher. She was an English major with a passion for studying literature. Early in her teaching career, she realized that she didn’t know how to teach writing. Nor did she have any formal preparation on how to teach writing instruction.

Student’s need of having proficient writing skills is increasing. As technology becomes more dominant in the workplace, individuals need to be experienced writers. According to Writing: A Ticket to Work or Ticket Out (2004), “Writing is a threshold skill for both employment and promotion. Two-thirds of salaried employees in large American companies have some writing responsibility.”

San Joaquin Valley Writing Project

The San Joaquin Valley Writing Project (SJVWP), hosted at Fresno State, is making significant strides in its effort to educate teachers on the art of teaching writing. The SJVWP offers a variety of programs available to teachers, schools and students in the Central Valley. These programs provide professional development that serve educators at all grade levels, primary through university, and in all subjects.

One of the SJVWP programs is the New Teachers Writing Collaborative (NTWC). The NTWC, an annual two-week (eight day) workshop, is designed for participants to develop a deeper understanding of different genres of writing and how to teach those genres. In this workshop, SJVWP Teacher Leaders and teachers from the Central Valley, explore the idea of writing as research-based inquiry and think about how writing standards can translate to engaging classroom practice.

“The New Teachers Writing Collaborative taught me strategies to get creative with my instruction, empower my students with and through writing, and integrate inquiry and movement into various learning experiences. It reminded me that my students are capable of taking risks, and that I am capable of guiding them.”
– ELA Teacher, 2016 Participant

At the end of the workshop, participants are eager to teach writing in their classrooms. They are equipped with new strategies, rigorous and aligned lessons, and activities to lead their students to embrace the role of writer. Teachers come away with the understanding of the importance of teachers writing with their students and sharing their own writing with their class.

Sign up for the 2018 New Teachers Writing Collaborative here.

Questions? Contact Jackie Smith at

Fresno City Councilmember Congratulates The Hannigans

Fresno City Councilmember, Paul Caprioglio, recognized Drs. John and Jessica Hannigan at Fresno City Hall on February 8th.

Don't Suspend Me

Drs. John and Jessica Hannigan, Principal of Ronald W. Reagan Elementary and Assistant Professor at the Kremen School of Education and Human Development,  have written “Don’t Suspend Me!”. This best seller is a tool-kit for alternative discipline methods. Written by practitioners for practitioners, this book helps educators comply with new legal requirements, create meaningful change in the behavior of at-risk students, and helps educators ultimately develop more productive and empathetic citizens.

Councilmember Caprioglio congratulated the Hannigans on the success of their book. Stating his appreciation of the work they have done to further people’s understanding of effective instruction methods.

Learn more about the book here.




Compassion For The Street Children of India

Nayantara Rodrigues, Adjunct Faculty for the Department of Counselor Education and Rehabilitation, was born in India and traveled to the U.S. at a young age. Every year she returns to India to visit family and every year she is moved by the ‘Street Children of India’. These children are homeless and in dire need of basic resources. They travel the streets begging for money or food and are often the outcome of devastating situations.

India-Nayantara Rodrigues
Nayantara Rodrigues

Nayantara traveled home and decided that something needs to be done. Soon her and her husband started a group – Namaste for Compassion.

“Our mission is to partner with our local community and organizations who share our vision. We hope to empower and support Street Children in India, inspiring compassion in all who are touched with this purpose. Our group started our search to find a small organization which we could help; an organization which works to offer hope and change for the Street Children in India. Our search led us to Bal Pushpa Home in Mumbai, India.” – Nayantara Rodrigues

Nayantara first visited the orphanage to meet with Sr. Dharma Rodrigues (pictured below on the far left in all white). Sr. Dharma started the orphanage and has tirelessly supported children from ages 0 to young adults. Sr. Dharma hopes that one day the children will dream of better lives.

Sr. Dharma informed Nayantara of the food, medical and educational needs they had. Nayantara returned home and held fundraisers to raise money for the Bal Pushpa Home orphanage. In January of 2018 Nayantara returned to the orphanage where she delivered supplies and the money for their needs.


“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.”― Pema Chödrön
If you would like to donate towards the Namaste for Compassion efforts, visit their GoFundMe page.
You can also stay connected by joining their Facebook Group.

1967 – A 10-Year-Old Boy and His Teacher

Being a teacher has many meanings. Educator. Mentor. Artist. Philosopher. Coach. Historian.

Every single day teachers are making a difference in someone’s life. Whether that be a small effect on one child or making an impact on an entire community. Teachers are the force that prepare the leaders of tomorrow.

Dr. Paul Beare, Dean of the Kremen School of Education and Human Development, was enjoying a Saturday morning when he received an email. The email was from a man he had never met before. A man that was once a student of Dr. Beare’s mother.

January 21, 2018

Dear Dr. Beare,

I am Keith Martin, an art teacher in Bartlett, Tennessee. In 1967 I was a fifth-grade student in Mrs. Virginia Beare’s class at Frank P. Tillman Elementary School in Kirkwood, Missouri. This morning I was reflecting (in thanks) on my influences and searched for information about my favorite school teacher of all time. It was with sadness this morning that I realized and acknowledged that she is no longer alive.

This message is sent in hopes that you are another person who was influenced by the same teacher. … please understand that her teaching and the climate of learning in her classroom had a profound effect on me.

Fifty years later I am still grateful to her for the contribution she made to the life of a ten-year-old child.

Keith Martin
Art Teacher, Elmore Park Middle School
Bartlett, TN

Mrs. Virginia Beare
Mrs. Virginia Beare

Over the years, we grow up thinking of who our favorite teachers were. Repeating those few favorite memories over and over in our head. Feeling the happiness and strength those teachers helped us gain. Mrs. Virginia Beare made an influence on Keith that lasted a lifetime.

Being a teacher is so much more than going over a curriculum or handing out tests and grades. It is about making a difference in students’ lives.

Every day counts. Every decision counts.



‘Voices of Resistance’ Co-Edited by Dr. Laura Alamillo

Voices of ResistanceA new children’s literature book edited by three Fresno State professors, Associate Dean Laura Alamillo being one of the editors, seeks to address social transformation in the wake of efforts to eliminate Chicano Studies programs. The book focuses on a study of children’s and young adult literature by and about Chicanos.

The book presents a rigorous collection of essays that critically examine issues of race, gender, feminism, literacy, art, and language, among many other themes, within the context of Chican@ children’s literature. The collection makes the case that children’s literature is a space and catalyst for social transformation, said Mercado-López, who also is a children’s book author.

Read more here.

Kremen Night at Men’s Basketball Game

On November 30, 2017 the Kremen School hosted the Men’s Basketball game at the Save Mart Center. The night was full of activities, recognition and fun.

Dr. Ignacio Hernandez, faculty in the Department of Educational Leadership, was our honorary coach for the evening. He joined the team in the locker room and sat with them during the game!

Dr. Luz Herrera, faculty in the Department of Literacy, Early, Bilingual, and Special Education, shot the ball during half-time!

View all photos from the event here.