Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval immigrated to California as a young child and grew up tending the family farm as a bilingual and bicultural individual. He received his Ph.D. in Spanish and Portuguese from the University of California at Irvine and participated in Cornell University's School of Critical Theory summer program.
He believes that it is in the Arts and the Humanities that creativity meets eloquence of thought, a commitment to social engagement takes flight, and a vision for a greater understanding of our shared humanity comes into view. Indeed, the vision for a comprehensive and dynamic university education stems from advocating for a multifaceted curriculum: one that produces a nursing major who is influenced by artistic expressions that are imbued with empathy; an engineer who understands our inherent appreciation for painting; or the business major who has internalized the ethical lessons philosophy espouses.
As a scholar, Jiménez-Sandoval studies poetic discourses, Mexican literature, and Lusophone cultural productions. His research is influenced by deconstructionist and post-colonial theories, as these afford a theoretical and metaphorical space in which to explore the being-in-process that is unconstrained by a stagnant ontology. As he has seen first-hand the transformative power of learning, he envisions an integrated society nurtured by the quest for self-empowerment through education.
Rajee Amarasinghe received his Ph.D. in mathematics education from Indiana University, an M.S. in computer science from Purdue University and M.S. in mathematics from Purdue University. He earned his B.S. in mathematics and physics from University of Colombo, Sri Lanka and is a graduate from the Kotelawala Defense University, Sri Lanka. He was the 2004 faculty recipient of the Jan & Bud Richter Award for Excellence in Education for Liberal Studies Faculty at California State University, Fresno and the recipient of the 2000 Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Indiana University.
Currently he serves as a professor and the department chair of the Department of Mathematics at California State University, Fresno and Co-PI of the San Joaquin Valley Mathematics Project. During his time at Fresno State, Rajee has received over $13 million grant funding in collaboration with school districts and other departments at Fresno State. He has directed professional development workshops for teachers locally and internationally and directs the Summer Academy in STEM workshops to enhance mathematics education for children in the Central Valley. He has co-authored three books in mathematics and mathematics education.
Dr. Xuanning Fu is the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, at California State University, Fresno. Dr. Fu obtained his doctorate degree in 1994 from Brigham Young University, and his research interest includes inter-racial marriage, education and social class, and meaning of work. He has published two books and 30 peer- reviewed journal articles on inter-racial marriage, divorce and on meaning of work. Dr. Fu has taught in four U.S. universities, including UC and CSU, and also worked as a statistician and researcher in the field of educational outreach. He is intimately familiar with California’s systems of higher education and pathways for student success. His most recent research focused on graduation and time to degree in higher education institutions.
Mr. Woodward is an attorney with Sagaser, Watkins & Wieland PC, the largest locally- owned employment law firm in the Central Valley. He is a Fresno native and graduate of Bullard High School. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley, and his law degree from San Joaquin College of Law.
Mr. Woodward advises employers on labor law compliance and litigation prevention measures, and represents employers in pending litigation. He has extensive experience handling a wide variety of cases in the courtroom, including jury trials, bench trials, and administrative law proceedings. Mr. Woodward also has extensive experience handling appellate matters, including briefs in over 20 cases in the Court of Appeal, several of which involved oral argument.
Mr. and Mrs. Woodward are the parents of seven children, two of which are graduates of University High (’18 and ’22).
Dr. Nichole Walsh comes to the UHS Board of Directors with 20+ years of experience in the field of education. Dr. Walsh’s experience includes teaching, leading, and consulting in elementary and secondary settings across the Central Valley and throughout CA. Currently, Dr. Walsh is an Associate Professor for the Department of Educational Leadership with a focus on K-12 educational administration and is a core faculty member in the Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership Graduate Group. She also serves as chair of the Fresno State University Policy and Planning Committee and as a Faculty Senator. She is proud to be a three-time Bulldog graduate as well as a former drum major of the Fresno State Marching Band.
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