Education Buzz for Sunday, Feb. 28

Ridgeview Middle School in Visalia as seen in an artist’s rendering.
Ridgeview Middle School in Visalia as seen in an artist’s rendering. Special to The Bee

Visalia Unified adopts name for new middle school

Visalia Unified School District’s newest school has a name: Ridgeview Middle School.

The board of trustees voted 6-0 Tuesday to adopt the name. The mascot is the Raptors and the school colors are purple and white.

The name reflects the environment around the school and the view of the Sierra Nevada foothills from the second floor of the academic building, the school district said.

Located in northwest Visalia near Akers Street and Riggin Avenue, the new school will open in August. It is the district’s fifth middle school.

Apply to West Hills Scholars Program

The deadline for applications to the West Hills College President’s Scholars Program is Tuesday.

The program provides students free tuition and $250 a semester for books for four semesters. All qualified students are accepted.

To qualify, students must graduate from a California high school with a 3.5 grade point average and California Scholarship Federation eligibility.

Last fall, 135 students enrolled at West Hills as President’s Scholars.

Collegian wins 13 awards in contest

Fresno State’s The Collegian won first place for best website in a statewide journalism competition on Feb. 20.

At the California College Media Association awards banquet in Studio City, the newspaper also took home 12 other first-, second- and third-place awards in categories like best headline portfolio and best newspaper column, and two honorable mentions.

A total of nine current and former Collegian staffers won awards for their work, competing against the University of Southern California, UC Berkeley and other colleges.

The newspaper also took home best in show at the Associated Collegiate Press conference, where it competed against schools from across the United States and parts of Canada.

The Collegian has been serving Fresno State students since 1922.

New kinesiology degree options

Two new Fresno Pacific University graduate programs that can be completed entirely online will begin in May.

Master’s programs in athletic training and sports administration will each be 30 units and take 13 months to complete.

Both programs were included in the kinesiology program but have expanded to separate degrees.

The kinesiology program began in 2005, and more than 250 students have completed master’s degrees. Around 80 are enrolled as of this month.

To learn more about Fresno Pacific University graduate kinesiology programs, visit

Benefit set for nursing program

West Hills College Lemoore will host a Wine and Wellness gala on March 11 to benefit its associate degree in nursing pinning ceremony and the Nursing Foundation Fund.

Tickets are now on sale for the annual event, which will feature wine, food, a drawing and entertainment and will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the Golden Eagle Arena.

Tickets are $40 and can be purchased by calling 559-925-3490.

Humanics grants offered

Three $5,000 grants were announced by the Humanics Students4Giving Philanthropy Project at Fresno State on Thursday.

The grants are advocacy and public policy, professional development for board members and/or staff, and volunteer administration program development.

For more information, contact Don Simmons at 559-246-9970 or

Porterville College gets donation

Family Housing for Education has awarded Porterville College $130,000 to fund endowed scholarships for working students with children at home and for those who have aged out of the foster care system.

One or two scholarships will be given each year in an amount covering tuition and books for both the fall and spring semesters.

Fresno student engineers win

Fresno student Cinthya Mendez helped her four team members and mechanical engineering students from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo win the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers 2015 Applied Engineering Challenge.

The team competed nationally in January in Orlando, Florida, winning the top prize of $2,000. This year’s event challenged students to design a portable structure that could be quickly assembled in the field to treat heat-induced illness, including heat stroke and exhaustion.

Creativity center coordinator named

An art historian and scholar was named the new coordinator of Fresno State’s Center for Creativity and the Arts.

Cindy Urrutia will oversee management of the center, which is dedicated to engaging communities in artistic and intellectual discovery in the Central Valley. Her expertise is in 20th century American and African American art.

Before coming to the center, Urrutia taught art history at several colleges, worked as a private art procurer and curated art shows.

Urrutia earned her doctorate from the University of California, Irvine, in visual studies.