Valley firms helping schools are recognized
Madera Agricultural Services and dentist Dr. Robert Brosi will receive the Crystal Tower Award for their exemplary partnerships with schools in Madera County at the 13th annual Business and Education Shareholders’ Luncheon on Aug. 30.
Valley State Prison in Chowchilla and Cyndy Dolph, retired member of the Madera County Compact, will also be recognized at the Compact-hosted event.
The luncheon will be at the Madera County Office of Education conference center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tickets are $30 per person or $240 for a table of eight. Business and community members are encouraged to attend.
For more information or to purchase tickets, call Kristi Winter at 559-662-3873.
Engineering academy wins kudos
Porterville Unified School District’s Academy of Engineering at Harmony Magnet Academy has been awarded the 2016 Sanford I. Weill Academy of Excellence Award as the top National Academy Foundation pathway program in the country.
West Hills student wins ag award
Alex Avalos, a West Hills College Coalinga student, placed second with his team at the California State Fair’s Statewide Apps for Ag Hackathon for his Sense and Protect app that uses IoT sensors to increase farm worker safety and productivity. This is Avalos’ second state-level Hackathon win.
Avalos and his team also competed at the Thought for Food Global Summit in Zurich earlier this year, and designed the Ag for Hire app that connects farmworkers and employers.
Local poets sought for Tulare project
The Tulare County Poet Project is looking for local published poets interested in teaching poetry at area schools.
Five poets will work during Poetry Week, Sept. 12-16, with poet-teacher John Oliver Simon to teach at elementary, middle and high school classrooms. A reading will conclude Poetry Week at 6 p.m. Sept. 15 at the Tulare County Office of Education administration building in Visalia.
NASA-based summer program winds up
A hands-on, NASA-based summer program provided to 80 Madera high school students at Fresno State has come to an end.
The Aerospace Academy Summer STEM program completed its two-week sessions in which students attended two classes per day, learning interactive curriculum.
The program is part of NASA’s Minority University Research and Education Project, which helps students develop technology skills and introduces them to careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
The Aerospace Academy is one of nine academies across the nation. Undergraduate students in the California Teaching Fellows Program assisted with the academy.
Former NASA educator and physics teacher Russ Billings served as director of the summer project.
Fresno State lauded for degree completions
The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities named Fresno State one of five finalists for its 2016 Project Degree Completion Award.
The annual prize works to identify, recognize and reward public universities across the country that employ innovative approaches to improve retention and degree completion.
The award includes a $15,000 prize given to the winning institution to further its efforts to improve student outcomes. The winner will be announced at the association’s annual meeting in November in Austin, Texas.
West Hills names new athletics dean
West Hills College Coalinga revealed Eric Mendoza will serve as the first associate dean of athletics at the college.
The Fresno native will begin his position in the fall and brings 18 years of experience, the college said. He has worked as director of student development and athletics at El Camino Compton Center in Los Angeles, as a Southern Coast Conference athletic director’s representative for women’s soccer, and as the director of student programs and athletics at Porterville College.
Agronomy Society honors Fresno State prof
The American Society of Agronomy presented Fresno State plant science professor Dr. Anil Shrestha with its Fellow Award and will honor him at an annual conference in Phoenix on Nov. 6-9.
Shrestha’s primary research is in vegetation management in agricultural and non-agricultural systems. He teaches plant health, plant science, biometrics, weed science, pest management and crop productivity at Fresno State.
Shrestha was also awarded President Barack Obama’s Volunteer Service Silver Award and Winrock International’s Volunteer spirit award earlier this year for his work in Nepal.
Forest Service hosts Intern Awards Ceremony
The USDA Forest Service’s Outreach, Recruitment and Workforce Diversity Organizations’ 20th annual Intern Awards Ceremony was Aug. 4 in Clovis.
The ceremony recognized the achievements of interns and congratulated more than 200 of them who successfully completed their internship with the Forest Service. Pacific Southwest Regional Forester Randy Moore was the keynote speaker and the ceremony highlighted other agencies including the Bureau of Land Management and the Youth Conservation Corps.
Edgar Hermosillo said his internship gave him professional skills and the hope to obtain a position with the Forest Service.
Resource officers head to Fresno middle schools
A partnership between the city of Fresno and Fresno Unified will deploy School and Neighborhood Resource Officers at Fresno Unified middle schools.
The resource officers are paid through a grant from the Department of Justice’s Community Oriented Policing Services and are in charge of improving campus safety as well as engaging communities around the middle schools. The new officers are expected to build trust among students, schools, community members and law enforcement officials.
Crime and quality of life in the community will also be addressed by the officers.
For more information on the new officers, call Sgt. Rodney Cancio at 559-457-3729.
3 students win ag scholarships
The Agribusiness Education Foundation awarded scholarships of $500 or more to 80 students, including five from the Valley: Marcos Amaro, Beatriz Garcia and Venissia Garcia, all Fresno State students, and Zachariah Peltzer and Andres Sanchez, both attending College of the Sequoias.
The scholarships were awarded July 28 at a luncheon in Fresno. The recipients had to write an essay on how agriculture can change the perception of its water conservation efforts. The Agribusiness Education Foundation awarded $107,500 in scholarships this year.