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West Fresno Campus Celebrates ‘Monumental Moments’



An artist's rendering of the West Fresno Campus in southwest Fresno. (State Center Community College District)
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Check out my other School Zone columns at Nancy Price’s School Zone Facebook page.

Artist Teresa Flores is leading community engagement events that will give residents the chance to share West Fresno stories that could be the inspiration for art for the fountain on the new Fresno City College West Fresno Center now under construction at Church and Walnut Avenues in southwest Fresno.

The first was Friday afternoon and featured a recording booth to share stories, photo sharing, and drawing and writing stations.

The second event will be 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13 at the Fresno City College Art Space Gallery, in the Art and Home Economics Building next to the main fountain on the college campus on McKinley Avenue. College students, faculty, and staff with a connection to West Fresno can gather to write, draw, and speak their stories and visions, which will be incorporated in the water feature’s artwork. Light refreshments will be provided.

RSVP’s are encouraged through Eventbrite. For more information, contact Flores at artista@teresafloresstudio.com or West Fresno Center Project Manager Danielle Rawers at Danielle@ridgerunnereng.com.

Also in School Zone: 

  • Clovis North students win big scholarship with drought science project.
  • Fresno State recognizes its newest class of President’s Honors Scholars.
  • West Side Ivy League Project gets a grant.
  • The number of Fresno Unified candidates is close to average.

Drought Remedy Science Project Scores Another Big Scholarship

Fresno siblings John Benedict and Pauline Victoria Estrada keep racking up prizes for a science project that should be near and dear to all of us — analyzing plants during drought with an eye toward water conservation.

Their latest award was a $25,000 scholarship as one of the 2022 Davidson Fellows. Only 21 students were recognized as scholarship winners.

Last year John Benedict, 17, snagged one of the major prizes in the 2021 Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair, the Gordon E. Moore Award of $50,000 for Positive Outcomes for Future Generations.

He and Pauline Victoria, 15, both Clovis North students, teamed up in this year’s Regeneron fair with a redefined version of their science project, which uses artificial intelligence to detect drought stress in plants. and won a $5,000 prize.

Meet New Class of President’s Honors Scholars

At least 50 incoming freshmen at Fresno State won’t have to worry so much about repaying student loans someday — so long as they keep their grades up.

They are the 24th class of President’s Honors Scholars at the university’s Smittcamp Family Honors College, and their scholarship includes a $6,000 scholarship for each of their undergraduate years and an optional credit for on-campus housing.

Through the program the students take a series of specially designed honors courses, participate in a weekly colloquium, and have access to educational, scholarly, and social activities.

To keep their scholarships, they’ll need to maintain a grade-point average of 3.25 in their freshman year, 3.35 as sophomores, and 3.5 as juniors and seniors, which shouldn’t be hard: To qualify for the scholarship they needed to be in the top 10% of their high school graduating class or have a minimum 3.8 GPA.

They come from as far north as Stanislaus County and as far south as Kern County: Mina Abdelmessih (Clovis West), Ali Ahmed (Central), Alyssa Askins (San Joaquin Memorial), Caleb Bahne (Kingsburg), Devynn Brown (Redwood), Andres Cardenas (Dinuba), Makayla Cawley (Sierra Pacific), Gurmannat Chalotra (Lemoore Middle College), Christopher Court (Golden West), Dakota Dean (Clovis), Eduardo Garcia (Edison), Emily Gonzalez (Dinuba), Andrew Gray (Central East), Padouachi Heu (Clovis East), Conor Youhei Hustedde (Fresno), Cameron Ivy (Golden Valley-Merced), Emma Jensen (Sierra), Eliana Kahn (Bullard), Catherine Joy Laserna (Sierra Pacific), Guadalupe Lopez Trejo (Parlier), Brenda Manyvanh (El Diamante), Emily Medina-Delgado (Reedley), Alyssa Melton (University High), Hannah Mettee (Kingsburg), and Itzel Michel-Carrillo (Hanford).

Also, Noah Miranda (University High), Praise Okoli (University High), Evelyn Ornelas (Dinuba), Paige Ounesavath (Edison), Zachary Patton (Sanger), Daniel Remington (Edison), Kate Richardson (University High), Daniela Rodriguez Arellano (Woodlake), Anneliese Roth (El Diamante), Aran Saini (Buchanan), Camalah Saleh (Sanger), Alina Sheikh (Buchanan), Kavan Singh (Buchanan), Isabella Soto (Selma), Mallory Sutherland (Frontier), Emma Tripp (North-Bakersfield), Allison Vang (University High), Emily Vang (Sanger), Liana Vangyi (Buchanan), Shireen Virk (Clovis East), Danielle Vu (Enochs-Modesto), Lily Wilkin (Kingsburg), Lilian Yang (Sanger), Joshua Young (Central East), and Mia Zamora (Clovis North).

Also College Bound

The West Side Ivy League Project got a big boost recently with a $30,000 grant from the Kashian Foundation that will be used to underwrite campus visits for 40 ninth graders from the westside communities of Kerman, Tranquillity, San Joaquin, Firebaugh, Mendota, Huron, Avenal, and Coalinga.

The Ivy League Project strives to give high schoolers, who would be the first generation in their family to attend college, help in wading through the college application process as well as a boost to their confidence to apply to highly selective Ivy League schools such as Harvard and Yale.

More Candidates Than Usual?

School Zone spotted a news story recently that said the California GOP is encouraging candidates to start their political careers by running for school boards (which ostensibly are nonpartisan seats), which has boosted the ranks of candidates statewide.

There are multiple candidates running in some Fresno-area trustee races, but is it more than usual? At least so far as Fresno Unified races are concerned, this year is pretty typical, School Zone discovered by checking elections going back to 2004 and then averaging the races with more than one candidate.

In 2004, there was an average of 4.25 candidates in contested races, compared with 2.5 candidates in 2006, 2.67 in 2008, 2 in 2010, 3.67 in 2012, 2.67 in 2014, 2 in 2016, 3 in 2018, 3.5 in 2020, and 3.25 this year.

Don’t forget to vote!

Nancy Price is a multimedia journalist for GV Wire. A longtime reporter and editor who has worked for newspapers in California, Florida, Alaska, Illinois and Kansas, Nancy joined GV Wire in July 2019. She previously worked as an assistant metro editor for 13 years at The Fresno Bee. Nancy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her hobbies include singing with the Fresno Master Chorale and volunteering with Fresno Filmworks. You can reach Nancy at 559-492-4087 or Send an Email