Thumbs up to Dr. Juan Bautista, a former Fresno State walk-on, for helping the post-football careers of his more famous ex-teammates take off running. Bautista, who practices family medicine in Fresno, helped Orlando Huff and Dante Marsh get their degrees from Fresno State this month. Like many pro ball players, the two left for the big leagues just a few units shy of their degrees. Now that it’s time to look for jobs beyond football, dropout status was getting in their way.
For the last three years, the Bautista Foundation has awarded more than $40,000 in scholarships to Fresno State students. In January, Bautista and a couple other ex-Bulldogs founded Unfinished Business, a nonprofit created to assist former Fresno State football players complete their degrees. That is a major assist from a teammate.
Thumbs up to Fresno State Professor Candace Egan’s fall multimedia class for its award-winning studio production of the children's Christmas opera, "Lucinda y las Flores de la Nochebuena." The production has received a 2017 Communicator Award of Distinction, judged by the Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts, an invitation-only group consisting of top-tier professionals.
The original opera, by composer Evan Mack and librettist Joshua McGuire, was recorded in a special performance on campus last December and aired on CMAC's educational channel for Christmas. The 45-minute production, directed by Dr. Anthony Radford, Fresno State music professor, is based on a Mexican folktale about the spirit of giving at Christmastime and the use of poinsettias for the holiday.
Thumbs up to David and Marilyn Britz of Fresno for providing a $250,000 gift to the University of California, San Francisco – Fresno Medical Education Program. The money will be used by faculty physicians at UCSF’s campus in Fresno who are conducting research into the causes, prevention and treatment of lung diseases.
With this contribution the school will establish the David and Marilyn Britz Lung Disease Research Grant Program, according to Dr. Michael W. Peterson, associate dean.Lung disease is the overall term for many conditions impacting the lungs such as asthma, cystic fibrosis, lung cancer, pneumonia and tuberculosis.
David Britz and his wife, Marilyn, live in the Fresno area and have been married for 46 years. They have two children and six grandchildren.
Thumbs up to Quady Winery in Madera, for its prize-winning vermouth. Vya Sweet Vermouth was honored with the Vermouth Trophy at the 2017 International Wine Challenge in London this month, an award which highlights its recipient as the best of all vermouths at the competition. Cheers!
Thumbs up to Shirley Melikian Armbruster, associate vice president for University Communications at Fresno State, for receiving the 2017 Jim Tucker Media Service Award presented by the Department of Media, Communications and Journalism for her journalistic and communications accomplishments.
Armbruster is Fresno State’s chief spokesperson and leads a 15-member, award-winning communications team that tells the university’s story through social media, media relations, graphic design, photography and videography.