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Organizational Excellence

2020 Bold Ideas Recap


  • 96 Bold Ideas were submitted.
  • 72 faculty and staff members (CAIFE alumni) reviewed and ranked the ideas and provided feedback to the Cabinet.
  • 6  ideas were selected as winners, and 6 projects will be pursued as part of the CAIFE (Creativity and Innovation for Effectiveness) initiative.  
  • 73 ideas are being sent to departments/schools/colleges for review.
  • 6 ideas are currently in progress; 7 ideas were not feasible.

2020 Winners

Dear Colleagues,

In January, we launched the fourth Bold Ideas Challenge. This program has become a Fresno State tradition, designed to harness the many bold and creative ideas of staff and faculty for making our University even stronger. 

At that time, I invited faculty and staff to submit ideas to improve services for students, teaching and learning or to identify solutions for inefficient processes.

Today, I am pleased to share the results of this year’s challenge. Ninety-six innovative ideas were submitted. In addition, a team of 73 faculty, staff and mangers participated in a thorough review process of all of the ideas submitted, and earlier this week, the Cabinet selected the final six winners.

The first winning idea was submitted by a collaborative team.


Congratulations to: Ruby Sangha-Rico, director of the Learning Center; Eric Person, Professor of Forensic and Analytic Chemistry; Tony Losongco, Academic Support Specialist; William Hardaway, Academic Support Coordinator; and Mai Kou Vang, Supplemental Instruction Coordinator.

Their idea proposes technology-based solutions to allow student scheduling for high-impact course-specific resources known to improve learning and academic progress.

I love the collaboration on this idea!

The second winning idea was also submitted by a team — this one was led by Roseann Rodriguez, Transfer Admissions Coordinator and Bernadette Nelson, Administrative Analyst in Admissions, and supported by the Admissions team.

Rodriguez and Muscat

The collaborative team’s goal is to shorten the number of steps it takes for students to accept their admission offer and register for Dog Days. I am looking forward to this process improvement!


Our third winner is Jaime Arvizu, Director of the Advising Resource Center for the College of Science and Mathematics.

Jaime’s idea includes developing a new academic early-alert system for first-time freshmen in the College of Science and Mathematics. The Cabinet is excited to expand this bold vision to look at early advising for all first-time freshmen.

Jaime Arvizu

The fourth winner is Theresa Taliaferro, Administrative Support Coordinator in the Graduate Studies Office.

Theresa Taliaferro
Theresa envisions a mentoring program that matches academically challenged underrepresented and underserved African-American or biracial students directly with staff and faculty. This model has great potential for increasing retention rates and lessening disparities that exist between student groups.

Our fifth winner is Earvin Balderama, Assistant Professor of Mathematics.

Dr. Balderama has proposed a Teaching Observation Program to improve teaching through self-reflection and peer observation. This program will be voluntary for any faculty who seeks confidential, informal, objective and formative feedback to improve their teaching effectiveness.

Earvin Balderama

Our sixth, and final, winner is Monique Bell, Associate Professor of Marketing and Logistics.

Monique Bell

Dr. Bell’s idea seeks to enhance cross-disciplinary scholarship among women faculty. She envisions a program she has called (mPOWER) Multidisciplinary Perspectives of Women in Education and Research.


We are excited to see this idea and the others take shape next academic year. This fall, we will announce next steps and appoint teams to explore each of these ideas further.

Thank you to everyone who submitted an idea and to the entire campus community for your commitment to innovation!

Please note that many of the ideas submitted were department-specific and will be forwarded to the appropriate vice president, dean or department manager for consideration. 

A complete listing of the 2020 bold ideas submitted will be posted at

Thank you, and congratulations to our winners!



Joseph I. Castro, Ph.D., M.P.P.