FSAA welcomes new experience and perspectives to its board of directors

By ESRA HASHEM, Student Writer

Seven new faces recently joined the Fresno State Alumni Association Board of Directors for the 2015–16 academic year.

Terance Frazier, Carole Goldsmith, Justin Holland, Ryan Kirkpatric, Eric Mayu, Arthur Montejano and Associated Students, Inc. President Abigail Hudson were welcomed to the board at its first meeting on August 29 at the Smittcamp Alumni House.

Board member Julie Small was also introduced as the new vice president for recognition.

“They’re a great group and we’re happy to have them,” Board of Directors President Adam Stirrup said. “Their own individual experiences bring to the board new insights that we hope will help the alumni association Board of Directors continue to grow in its mission.”

New board member Eric Mayu is a first generation U.S citizen whose father came to America through Fresno State. Mayu earned his bachelor’s degree in real estate and urban land economics in 2000. He is now a mortgage broker specializing in residential and commercial lending.

“[This is an] opportunity to give back to the community, get colleagues and alumni back to the university and experience the school’s new innovations,” Mayu said. “When I speak at local schools and various community-based organizations, my big push is for higher learning and promoting Fresno State.”

A strong passion for the Fresno State community was commonly expressed by the new board members.

“I came to Fresno State not growing up in the area,” said new board member Justin Holland. “I was welcomed into the community and was given so much from the university. I was fortunate enough to be a part of the Smittcamp Family Honors College program, and the Craig School of Business helped put me on a great career track. I feel so thankful for all of these things and want to work in any way I can to give others the same experience.”

Holland graduated in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, accountancy. He is currently a senior manager at accounting firm Baker, Peterson, Franklin, CPA.

Holland said his favorite thing about Fresno State is the sense of community pride. He and his wife, Corinne, can be found at Fresno State football games with their two-year-old-son, who is always decked out in as much Fresno State gear as possible.

Ryan Kirkpatrick, the new student director for the alumni association board, said his favorite things about Fresno State is the diversity of the students and faculty, and the monuments and buildings on campus that share the culture and history of people all over the world.

Kirkpatrick is a sophomore studying agricultural education. He is president of the Poultry Club, a student ambassador for the alumni association’s Discovery Program and a resident advisor for the campus dorms. He can be seen walking around campus donning Fresno State polos, or with a small Bulldog paw pin attached to his shirt.

“I am a first generation college student that only dreamed about going to Fresno State,” Kirkpatrick said. “I am extremely excited to be serving as the student director of the alumni association Board of Directors. I am truly grateful that my college dreams are becoming a reality.”

For long-time board member Julie Small, thinking positively of the university is in her blood.

“I come from a long line of Bulldogs,” Small said. “Both my parents graduated from [Fresno] State, my husband, my three brothers, my two daughters and numerous nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles.”

Small graduated in 1978 with a bachelor’s degree in speech communications. She is a retired teacher and library media coordinator who worked for Sanger Unified School District for 25 years.

Small started volunteering with the Fresno State Alumni Association when her husband was the president of the board years ago. She was asked to join the board in 2010, after she retired.

“My favorite thing [about Fresno State] has to be the community pride,” Small said. “Even people who never went to college identify with Fresno State.”

“Everybody comes to the board with their own experiences and for their own reasons,” Stirrup said. “And it’s that group of people who all care about Fresno State — but are all here for different reasons — that help us do good things because they bring different ideas from different perspectives …The [new board members] are a good group of people and I look forward to working with them.”

For a full listing of board members, click here.