Humanics Alumni Network – Fresno

Exceptional Leaders. Enhanced Organizations. Enriched Communities.

OUR Mission

The Humanics Program Fresno State transforms lives and perspectives on leadership and philanthropy and positively impacts individuals, organizations, and communities.

OUR Impact

Our Humanics Program at Fresno State was founded in 1998, has been nationally recognized for excellence, and is known for exceptional project-based learning experiences.

  • Capacity Building Project:  Since 2009, Humanics consulting teams have worked with 33 CBOs to conduct organizational assessments, identify priority areas and implement recommendations, and evaluate the impact to enhance their capacity and long-term sustainability to better fulfill their missions and meet the needs of the San Joaquin Valley and beyond.
  • Students4Giving Project:  More than 300 students have awarded $116,000 to 29 different organizations from 2007-2016 and evaluated the impact of that giving. 
  • Grant Writing Project:  More than 270 students have been involved in researching and preparing grant proposals, resulting in over $2.4 million to our CBO partners (2006-16). 
  • Social Justice Advocacy Project:  More than 280 students have worked with over a dozen CBOs since 2003, ultimately—through ongoing work by other community individuals and organizations—resulting in the establishment of organizations, like Faith In the Valley-Fresno (PICO) (formerly Faith In Community), and various campus policy changes and city ordinances regarding divestment from fossil fuel companies, anti-human trafficking, vacant blighted properties, and the Office of Independent Review (Police Auditor). 
  • Alumni:  Since spring 2001, 222 alumni have earned the Humanics minor degree, certificate, or a special major in CBO Administration & Leadership.  Approximately 70% are employed with CBOs (70% of whom are employed locally) and 10% have become directors, executive directors, or CEOs.  All have completed at least 12 units of coursework and 300 internship hours to achieve competency in the following areas:  management, program planning and evaluation, board development & financial literacy, marketing/public relations, fundraising and grant writing, advocacy, volunteer administration, and human resource development and supervision.

Our HIstory

Under Provost J. Michael Ortiz, a delegation of three Fresno State faculty—Dr. Skip Sherwood, Dr. Lynda Harding, and Dr. Rich Berrett—were assigned to investigate the possibility of having Fresno State affiliate with American Humanics, Inc., a national alliance of universities and nonprofit organizations dedicated to educating and certifying individuals to strengthen and lead nonprofit, community benefit organizations.

After attending the American Humanics Management Institute in Denver, CO in January 1998, these three Fresno State faculty unanimously recommended affiliation with American Humanics, Inc. (headquartered in Kansas City, MO), and the effort to create a certificate program in “Nonprofit Administration” at Fresno State was born. President Welty accepted a position on the Board of Directors of American Humanics, Inc., and the College of Social Sciences at Fresno State hired Matthew Jendian in August 1998 as the ½ time director for the program to assemble the curriculum, recruit students, and develop community partnerships while forming an Advisory Council (the name of the local program was later changed to “Humanics”). In fall 1999, the first Humanics courses at California State University, Fresno were offered. In fall 2000, the American Humanics Student Association (AHSA) was formed. In addition, the first formal offering of the certificate had begun, which had been approved by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee at Fresno State. In January 2001, 8 students attended the American Humanics Management Institute (AHMI) in Orlando, the capstone experience of their training, and May 2001 saw our first cohort of graduates with the Humanics Certificate.

During the period 2002 through 2006, the Humanics Program at Fresno State experienced substantial growth, rapid expansion, and numerous awards. In 2007, the Humanics Students4Giving Philanthropy Project at Fresno State began. A small grant from Fresno Regional Foundation flourished to become part of a national initiative of Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund & Campus Compact. In addition, we received a Cohen Grant from American Humanics, Inc. during this time as well. In January 2008, Dr. Don Simmons joined the faculty as a Lecturer of Humanics, and our Program increased its stature and broadened its connections nationally. In September 2009, the Humanics Program launched its Sustainable Partnerships Project, which includes the Capacity Building and Technical Assistance component, intended as a culminating community-engagement experience for Humanics students and designed to enhance the capacity and long-term sustainability of CBOs to better fulfill their missions and meet the needs of the San Joaquin Valley. In 2013, the Humanics@FresnoState AFP Collegiate Chapter formed.  In May 2016, the minor degree in Philanthropic and Community-based Leadership was officially approved by the curriculum committees of the university and the Provost, and the first two minor degrees were awarded in December 2016.

Humanics@FresnoState has grown substantially and numerous awards—national & local—have been achieved, including Excellence in Leadership Development, Student Recruitment, & Civic Engagement & Community Service. Our program effectively provides students with innovative hands on approaches to service-learning and entrepreneurial approaches to sustainable community benefit organizations in the Central Valley.

Fresno State students seeking the Humanics Certificate are eligible to apply for the Harvey Milk Hope Award, a $2,000 annual scholarship established by the Bulldog Pride Fund, which was founded under the auspices of the Fresno State Alumni Association (see