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Fresno City College Names Dean Medallion Winners and Commencement Speaker
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By News
Published 3 weeks ago on
May 8, 2024

Meet Fresno City College's seven Deans Medallion awardees. (GV Wire Composite/David Rodriguez)

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Fresno City College has announced the seven graduating students chosen by their division dean for a Dean Medallion and also the alumnus who will be this year’s commencement speaker.

The seven students will receive their medallions at a ceremony at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Old Administration Building, Room 251.

The award is bestowed each year to Fresno City College students whose academic achievements, service to the community, and general excellence have brought honor to the College and distinction among their peers.

Each recipient will receive a $500 scholarship. One of the students will also receive the Tony Cantú President’s Medallion and an additional $500 scholarship. This honor is named for former FCC President Tony Cantú who passed away in 2015, FCC President Dr. Robert Pimentel makes the selection from the group of recipients.

They are:

  • Juan Portillo of Fresno, Respiratory Care Practitioner (associate of science), Allied Health, Physical Education and Athletics Division
  • David Kglyan of Fresno, Mathematics for Transfer, Physics for Transfer, and Architecture, Applied Technology Division
  • Lakesha Smith of Fresno, Business Administration, Business Education Division
  • Vanessa Marie Lopez of Fresno, Human Services: Pre-Social Work Option, Counseling and Guidance Division
  • Ja’rae Thiessen of Madera, Studio Arts for Transfer, Fine, Performing and Communication Arts Division
  • Gavin “Gavino” Garza of Fresno, English for Transfer, Humanities Division
  • Rafael Sebastian Gomez of Fresno, American Indian Studies and Social Justice Studies, General for Transfer, Social Sciences Division

Commencement Speaker

Lance Truong

This year’s Commencement speaker and Distinguished Alumnus Award recipient is Dr. Lance V. Truong, a 2012 graduate and Dean’s Medallion Award recipient.

Dr. Truong earned a bachelor’s degree in entomology from UC Davis and in 2020 a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree from Touro University Nevada. He then embarked on residency training in Anatomical and Clinical Pathology at Brown University/Rhode Island Hospital amid the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and earned the position of chief resident physician with clinical, administrative, and teaching responsibilities.

The Fresno native, who was once told he was not “college material,” will begin his one-year subspecialty fellowship training in Pediatric Pathology at Harvard University/Boston Children’s Hospital in July and later, Forensic Pathology at the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory in 2025.

He will eventually practice as likely the only physician-entomologist in the world, and board-certified in pediatric pathology, forensic pathology, and forensic entomology.

The Nicaraguan and Vietnamese American is fluent in Spanish and, as he puts it, has functional knowledge of Vietnamese. He is also an avid insect collector and aquascaper.

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