Skip to main content Skip to main navigation Skip to footer content

Organizational Excellence

Bold Ideas Challenge & CAIFE Initiative

At Fresno State, we are committed to improving efficiencies, eliminating waste and administrative burden (e.g., long and arduous processes), building organizational capacity, improving individuals and systems, and fostering organizational excellence. Our focus is on strengthening organizational structures to support the improvement of campus morale. The Bold Ideas Challenge and the CAIFE (Creativity And Innovation For Effectiveness) Initiative reflect our dedication to a thriving and productive workplace, high functioning teams and the university's ability to initiate, manage and navigate change. 


Bold Ideas Challenge

The Bold Ideas Challenge engages the entire campus community in an ideation process in order to inspire conversations on innovation and improvement. The Challenge first launched in 2014 with an all-campus call from former President Castro seeking ideas to improve services to students, teaching, and learning, or to fix an inefficient process. Since 2014, there have been three Bold Ideas Challenges with over 375 Bold Ideas submitted. All ideas were reviewed by the President's Cabinet, and thirty ideas have been given to CAIFE teams for further review and explanation. The remaining ideas were passed to specifc departments for review and consideration, and many have become reality.


CAIFE (Creativity And Innovation For Effectiveness) Initiative

The CAIFE Initiative engages faculty, staff and administrators in the process of institutional transformation in order to harness and embrace a lasting culture of innovation and creativity. Following the selection of winners from the Bold Ideas Challenge, the President's Cabinet hand selects faculty, staff, administrators and sometimes students from across campus to participate in teams and make recommendations on implementing a specific Bold Idea. The CAIFE initiative is a twelve month commitment, and team members participate in monthly team meetings and professional development trainings focused on innovation, process improvement, and navigating and and leading change. At the conclusion of the program, teams present their recommendations to the President's Cabinet and at the President's Showcase of Excellence.

Below is a list of past CAIFE teams and their projects.


2014 - 2015 CAIFE Teams
Project Title Description Team Members (Team Lead and Bold)
Bulldog Trails Create a culture of fitness and wellness by improving the infrastructure of campus and install sign posts that mark walking trails called  Bulldog Trails. Katie Williamson, Scott Sailor, Derek Walters, Jason Clay
Financial Aid App Create an app students can use to quickly view the status of their admission, financial aid to-do list and balance owed. Robert Guinn, Holly Baum, Charah Coleman, Hank Delcore, Mary Sauceda
International Transfer Center Establish an International Transfer Desk in the International Student Services and Programs (ISSP) office with staff trained in the DARS processes and can proactively  process transfer credit prior to international students' arrival. This will improve services to international students, provide faculty advisers with appropriate tools for quality advising and promote Fresno State as a caring institutio Dennis Nef, Kathy Dunbar, Sheila Gllagher-Price, Paul Hofmann, Stephanie Ingvaldson, Emil Milevoj, Marcee Varela
ISEE Create an Institute of Sustainable Education and Engagement (ISEE) on campus as a central hub for all things related to sustainability. Mara Brady, Beth Weinman, Bob Boyd, Rick Finden, Michelle Gaither, Jacob Ward, , Criss Wilhite
Leadership Conference for Valley High School Students Create a valley wide leadership conference for all high school and community college student body leaders. Chris Fiorentino, Jaime Arvizu, Luz Gonzalez, Susana Hernandez, Eddie Hughes, Breanne Scogin, Phong Yang
"Magic Band" Create a solution where students swipe their ID every time they participate in a campus activity. This data could be incorporated with student success records. Brad Barker, Paul Ladwig, Dennis Nef, Gerry Elizondo, Maria Madrigal, Cher Travis-Ellis
Social Network Student Roadmap Create an online social network organized by majors and academic programs designed for learning collaboration. Dmitri Rogulkin, Anne Burkholder, Mike Pronovost, Blair Smittcamp, Dawn Truelsen, Debbie Young
Employee Onboarding Process Improve the new faculty & staff orientation process by having different departments come to one event to share their information.  Filomena Fagundes, Tom Gaffery, Carmen Chapman, Lor-Rae Raus, Diane Volpp
Solution Finder Create a "solution finder" to help students that don't know where to turn for help. Have a one-stop shop staffed with a university representative to direct students to the appropriate offices for support. Kim Cole, Tosha Giuffrida, Maxine McDonald, Janell Morillo, Adrian Ramirez, David Tyckoson
State & Foundation Forms Explore having state-side and foundation use the same program to create forms and include instruction sheet/FAQ for more information. Christina Modica, Angel Langridge, Clint Moffit, Mark Plattner, Christine Thibodeaux, John Wagenleither
Student Travel Process Create a single system for online forms, approval, and scheduling to improve workflow. Chuck Conway, Marie Cuningham, Melissa Ginotti, Lisa Kao, Tara Powers-Mead, Monica Shackelton
Touch the Community Contes Challenge every school and college to compete in an annual "touch the community" competition and showcase the best ideas/community contributions at Vintage Days. Fabiola Alvarez, Josh Edrington, Jacqi Glasener, Linda Hauser, William Rice, Jenny Toste

2016 - 2017 CAIFE Teams
Project Title Description Team Members (Team lead in bold)
Course Substitution Process Change course substitution process so required information can be entered electronically into the system by the individuals responsible for overseeing compliance with curriculum. Jenny Diaz, Erica Lassen, Lizbeth Avitia, Dolores Charest, Roseann Rodriguez, Xuanning Fu
Choice Architecture Nudges to Promote High Impact Practices Employ the concept of “choice architecture/nudges” to guide students and faculty into choosing to adopt high impact practices. Bernadette Muscat, Mike Pronovost, Debbie Young, Arthur Montejano, Matt Jendian, Martin Shapiro
Faculty/Staff Onboarding Develop and foster a tiered “Welcome to Fresno State ‘opt in’ ambassador program for faculty and staff new hires. Design a new faculty fellows program to provide training on the nuts and bolts of navigating the university and opportunities to share research with other cohort members. Bryan Berrett, Marylou Miller, Diane Volp, Brittany Isom, Keith Story, Katie Williamson, Kathleen Scott, Diana Ralls, Zhanna Bhagdasoro
Accessible Technology Center Create a high tech center focused on development of accessible instructional materials. Rima Maldonado, Tom Siechert, Jolynee Blake, Alicia Brown Becton, Michael Harding
Streamlined Accounts Payable Process Leverage automation to reduce physical paper flow and touch points in accounts payable in order to reduce time from invoice date to vouchers issued. Ben Hylton, Josie Almeida, Ann Paley, John Howell, Cher Travis Ellis, Denise Munoz, Antoinette Castanon, Kris Westcott, Cece McAllister
Enhanced Communication Create an application or online notification system to provide traffic updates, construction updates, emergency or other information on routine events taking place on campus. The Cabinet was inspired by this idea and would like CAIFE team to explore multiple communication methodologies to reach students, staff and faculty. Betsy Hays, Marcy Gatzman, Elise Rodriguez, Todd Graves, Mark Plattner, Kevin Ayotte, Mary Sauceda
Comprehensive Campus Calendar Create a calendar that highlights extracurricular programs, workshops, performances, etc. that are open to students, faculty, staff and community members. Yvette Angeles, Pawn Sayphengsy, Angel Langridge, Athena Niayesh, Erin Kent, Francine Oputa, Dawn Truelsen, Kim Morin, Paul Ladwig, Gerry Elizondo
On Campus Volunteer Opportunity Database Create a centralized volunteer management database to promote volunteer opportunities, train affirm, recognize and track volunteers serving on campus. Katie Adamo, Don Simmons, Trisha Studt, Jake Ward, T. Hasan Johnson, Tim Baker, Stephen Robertello, Filomena Fagundes
Business Resource Center Create a comprehensive business resource center that provides one stop consultation services with local businesses to help them solve real problems. Dana Lucka, Steven Koobatian, Mike Dozier, Tom Burns, Emil Milevoj, Helle Peterson

2018 - 2019 CAIFE Teams
Project Title Description Team Members (Team lead in bold)
Kids Locker/Diaper Bank Improve quality of life, increase opportunity, and improve sense of connectedness and belonging for student parent at Fresno State by supporting basic needs, specifically diapers and children’s clothing, that have strong implications for student parents’ finances, mental health, and academic outcomes.  Larissa Mercado-Lopez, Alicia Nelson, Brittney Randolph, Amber Crowell, Cecelia Ruesta
Clearninghouse for Undergraduate Research Transform student’s perception of the value of research in their undergraduate education by getting as many students as possible to engage in creative activities and research. Ulrike Muller, Rodrigo Gomez, Tamas Forgacs, Amanda Dinscore, Primavera Leal Martinez, Maribell Garcia
Graduate School at Fresno State Maximize the potential for graduate student success by transforming the student experience through the creation of the Graduate School at Fresno State. Chuck Radke, Jim Marshall, Tere Lopez, Malisa Lee, Amanda Eberlein, Alexandra Chavez, Caty Perez
iGaps Empower students in their decision-making so they graduate in a timely manner by providing a simple and easy mobile app which graphically shows progress toward degree. Terence Wan, Jenny Diaz, Ram Nunna, Paula Heuston, Max Tsai, Kathy Dunbar, Mike Pronovost, Elias Karam
Faculty/Staff Recognition Program Increase employee engagement and satisfaction by creating a system that recognizes employee skill sets & celebrates accomplishments. Outcome: High Five program and Staff Awards; coming soon: Faculty Service Awards Jon Biggane, Adrian Ramirez, Mary Bennett, Jonathan Castro, Nancy Kobata, Matt Doyle, Katie Williamson
Development for Student Assistants Develop, mentor & empower our student staff for success at both Fresno State and future employment by creating a standardized on-boarding process, continued training program and mentorship possibilities which support student success and employee development. Erin Boele, Sheila Galagher-Price, Gina DeYoung, Mark Salwasser, Mai Kou Vang, Mara Brady, Karla Moreno
Out at Fresno State Foster an inclusive and welcoming environment for LGBTQ+ staff, faculty and students and to inform prospective students and their parents about that environment by creating a series of short educational videos for the web social media & trainings about: Support services, the community, on campus, bystander intervention/”proactive allyship,” trans support, LGBTQ+ identities, homophobia, transphobia, & heterosexism. Esra Hashem, Peter Robertson, Kiana Medina, Deyanire Del Toro, Jonathan Pryor
Maker Space Inspire transformative learning and co-curricular experiences that foster creativity, innovation, collaboration, development, and student success by creating a signature space along with a network of resources for the Fresno State community (and beyond). Lars Newlander, Colin Stewart, Wei Wu, William Hardaway, Demi Wack, Balaji Sethuramasamyraja
Blended Arts Festival Provide a space for student-driven interdisciplinary artistic production and showcase by designing a cost-efficient and sustainable Blended Arts festival model that utilizes existing resources on campus. David Hembree, Faith Sidlow, Hunter Samson, Barbara Windmiller, Gina Sandi-Diaz, Jose ElaGarza, 
Bulldog Transfer Center Support transfer students in developing a sense of belonging and connection to Fresno State for the purpose of lifelong learning and career success by creating a distinct point of connection for welcoming new students. Tamera Pullins, Amanda Stewart, Jesse Farias, Erica Lassen,  Bernadette Muscat, Catherine Kuchar, Jordan Cody

2020 - 2021 CAIFE Teams
Project Title Description Team Members (Team lead in bold)
Improve Utilization of Course Specific Resources Resolve the issue of student scheduling conflicts that limit utilization of course specific resources known to improve learning and academic progress. Eric Person, Mai Kou Vang, Tony Losongco, Elia Manzo, Holly Baum, Carol Fry Bohlin, Debbie Donner
Shorten Admission Accept Process Shorten the steps for students to accept their admission offer and register for Dog Days Ken Ternate, Jenny Diaz, Selena Vidales, Bernadette Nelson, Michelle Perez, Dawn Truelsen, Marie Fernandez-Tongson
Early Alert System for Freshmen Develop an intrusive academic early alert system for CSM First-Time Freshmen. Matt Zivot, Joy Goto, Hernan Maldonado, Mandeep Kaur, Amye Leon, Frank Burns, Alam Hasson
Teaching Observation Program Create a Teaching Observation Program (TOP) to improve teaching through self-reflection and peer observation. Jes Therkelsen, Jenelle Pitt, Bryan Berrett, Katie Dyer, Varaxy Yi, Anabella Espana-Najera
Research Collaborative for Women Faculty Create a research collaborative for women tenure-track and tenured women faculty to develop, discuss and expand scholarly contributions (mPOWER). Britt Foster, Carolyn Cusick, Yoshiko Takahashi, Beth Weinman, Diane Volpp, Mara Brady, Larissa Mercado-Lopez, Monique Bell