Prof. Matthew Jendian Receives Trailblazer Award


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FRESNO — Dr. Matthew Ari Jendian was honored along with eight other community leaders at the third Annual Trailblazers for Prosperity Awards Luncheon by the Southeast Fresno Community Economic Development Association (SEFCEDA) on November 12, at the Fresno Fairgrounds.

Each year the Board of Directors of SEFCEDA nominates and selects individuals that have opened the trails for the prosperity of future generations and for the benefit of others.

Recognized for their leadership in Education and Training, this year’s recipients were: in addition to Jendian, Dr. Katherine Flores, Retired Counselor Diana Rodriques, Sunnyside High School Principal Tim Liles, Roosevelt High School Principal Bryan Wells, founder-owner of The California Advocate Les Kimber, community advocate Chue April Vue, and posthumous recognition for Fresno Police Sergeant Salvador Mosqueda.

Each of the recipients was introduced by KFSN-ABC 30 News Anchor Graciela Moreno who served as master of ceremonies, and SEFCEDA Board President Dr. Nellie Neri and CEO Jose Leon Barraza presented the awards.

Several of Dr. Jendian’s former students were in attendance to honor and congratulate him, including Estela Acebedo-Gonzalez (Graduate Student in Social Work), Kelvin Alfaro (Program Officer at Fresno Regional Foundation), Bertha Dominguez (Education Director at UC San Francisco), Raymundo Gonzalez (Hospitality Manager at Fleming’s), Brenda Noriega (Hispanic Ministry Coordinator at the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno), and Jose Ramirez (Urban Planner Associate at Sigala, Inc.).

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Jendian is a tenured full professor and chair of sociology at California State University, Fresno and founding director of Fresno State’s Humanics Program. Humanics@FresnoState transforms lives and perspectives on leadership and philanthropy and positively impacts individuals, organizations, and communities.

He was born and raised in Fresno and received his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and minor degrees in psychology and Armenian Studies from Fresno State (1991) and his PhD from USC (2001). He wrote Becoming American, Remaining Ethnic (LFB Scholarly Publishing, 2008) and was honored in Menk, an encyclopedia of biographies of prominent Armenian scholars.

Jendian is the recipient of several honors, including the 2012 President’s Award of Excellence presented by the University Advisory Board at Fresno State in recognition of integrity, leadership and commitment to the university and community; the 2008 “Provost’s Award for Faculty Service”; the 2007 “Social Action Award” from Temple Beth Israel; and the 2007 “Amigo Award,” presented by Vida en El Valle to a non-Latino individual or Organization that has worked tirelessly on behalf of the Latino community. He was nominated for the 2009 “California Campus Compact Cone Award” for Excellence & Leadership in cultivating Community Partnerships and has written and received national and federal grants to develop curricula that engage university students in capacity-building work with Community Benefit Organizations (CBOs) in Central California.

Jendian has served as a board member for several CBOs including Nonprofit Leadership Alliance (formerly American Humanics, Inc.), Buchanan Babe Ruth Baseball Association Inc., Fresno Nonprofit Advancement Council, Fresno Housing Alliance, and Relational Cultural Institute and as an external evaluator with local and multinational CBOs, including Porterville College and the Armenian General Benevolent Union.

Jendian is a lifetime member of Alpha Kappa Delta International and an ordained Deacon of the Armenian Church. He and his wife, Pam, reside in Clovis with their sons, Joshua and Nicholas.




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