Top students at Fresno State awarded Dean's Medals

The Fresno BeeMay 15, 2014 

Fresno State awarded Dean's Medals to nine 2014 undergraduates who are the top students from the eight academic disciplines and the Division of Student Affairs.

The deans of each college selected a medalist based on academic excellence, community involvement and other achievements. One of the winners will receive California State University, Fresno's top academic honor -- the President's Medal -- at graduation Saturday.

The winners and their colleges are the following:

• German Marquez Alcala, Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology

Alcala, of Tulelake, completed a bachelor of science in agricultural business with a 3.96 GPA. He received numerous awards for his extensive community service, which included organizing a carnival for patients and their families at Children's Hospital Central California. He will pursue a doctorate in agricultural economics at Purdue University.

• Brenda Garcia Lemus, Craig School of Business

Lemus, of Fresno, completed a bachelor of arts in economics with a 4.0 GPA. She is currently conducting research for her thesis on the reasons behind unemployment in Fresno. She will be attending graduate school at Duke University on a full-tuition scholarship.

• Nereyda Dominguez, Kremen School of Education and Human Development

Dominguez, of Woodlake, completed a bachelor of arts in liberal studies with a 3.9 GPA. She worked to improve the quality and availability of bilingual education in the Valley. She will pursue a multiple subject teaching credential at Fresno State and a master's in education.

• Kevin Piercy, College of Arts and Humanities

Piercy, of Clovis, completed a bachelor of arts in philosophy with a 3.77 GPA. He is a six-year Army veteran with 15 months spent in Iraq. He spent much of his time volunteering for various service-related organizations. He will be attending law school at University of California at Davis or University of Southern California.

• Kathryn Updyke, Lyles College of Engineering

Updyke, of Palmdale, CA, completed a bachelor of science in electrical engineering in the fall with a 4.0 GPA. She received a full-tuition scholarship from Husband-Boeing and multiple research grants during her college career. She is currently a telecommunications engineer at the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant in Avila Beach.

• Emily Bosh, College of Health and Human Services

Bosh, of Sacramento, CA, completed a bachelor of science in recreation administration in the fall with a 4.0 GPA. She was an intern and volunteer with various community organizations and plans to pursue a career in corporate event planning.

• Aroob Abdelhamid, College of Science and Mathematics

Abdelhamid, of Fresno, completed a bachelor of arts in chemistry with a 4.0 GPA. She participated in several research projects and contributed to three papers currently being considered for scientific journals. She plans to earn a doctorate in atmospheric chemistry.

• Maria Ortega, College of Social Sciences

Ortega, of Fresno, completed a bachelor of arts in political science and a bachelor of arts in sociology with a 3.89 GPA. She volunteered at a number of organizations dedicated to assisting the needy and was an intern with the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California. She will pursue a doctorate in sociology at Brown University.

• Sean Kiernan, Division of Student Affairs

Kiernan, of Santa Clarita, completed a bachelor of arts in political science with a 3.96 GPA. He ran a voter registration project that registered over 1,750 students and created Fresno State's first on-campus polling place. He also participated in a number of political campaigns and worked in the California Assembly Speaker's press office.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6015 or at

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