Two students selected for university’s highest academic honors
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Two students selected for university’s highest academic honors

Jul 04, 2023

Joshua Heupel and Jonathan Moules were awarded Fresno State’s top academic honors for the class of 2023.

Both from the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Heupel and Moules were chosen from a group of eight Undergraduate Deans’ Medalists and nine Graduate Deans’ Medalists. They were surprised with the honor during the President’s Recognition Reception on May 18.

“Hearty congratulations to Joshua and Jonathan, who elevated their academic endeavors to new heights in one of the most important industries in the Central Valley and across the world,” said Fresno State President Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval. “They are a prime example of the talented students studying at and graduating from Fresno State. We are excited to celebrate their accomplishments and to follow their journey as Bulldog alumni.”

The two students will be recognized at the Jordan College commencement ceremony at 2:45 p.m. Friday, May 19.

Heupel, of Le Grand, was selected as the President’s Undergraduate Medalist, the University’s top honor for an undergraduate student. He earned dual bachelor’s degrees in agricultural business and political science with a 3.98 GPA, was a finalist for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship, and is continuing with his graduate work at Princeton University.

Moules, of Delhi, was selected as the President’s Graduate Medalist, Fresno State’s top honor for a graduate student. He earned a master’s degree in agricultural science with a 4.0 GPA. While his family has long grown crops, Moules found his passion in teaching and will inspire the love of agriculture in the classroom. He was featured in a recent issue of Fresno State Magazine for his work on the university farm.

Joshua Heupel, President’s Undergraduate Medalist

A Smittcamp Family Honors College Scholar, Heupel double-majored in agricultural business and political science. His honors thesis for the Jordan College was titled “California’s Pesticide Regulation Policy Future: A Case Study on 1,3-Dichloropropene in Strawberry Production.” His research allowed him to work with the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. His political science project titled “California’s Water Rights: A Challenge to the State’s Mitigation of Water Needs” was on water rights, the drought and underserved communities. Heupel was an intern for Congressman David Valadao and Congressman Jimmy Panetta. He participated in the Public Policy and International Affairs Junior Summer Institute at Carnegie Mellon University this past summer. He was a supplemental instructor, served on the Camp Kesem coordinator board, volunteered during the Fresno State FFA Field Day and was a finalist for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship. Heupel will attend Princeton University to pursue a master’s of public affairs and hopes to earn a doctorate in the future.

Jonathan Moules, President’s Graduate Medalist

Moules is a first-generation American and college student whose parents immigrated from the Azores. While the family had agricultural roots in growing crops and raising livestock, Moules found his passion in teaching agriculture. He helped coordinate leadership conferences for freshmen throughout California and created ag lessons for K-8 students. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Moules was a graduate student lecturer and laboratory aid and started student teaching. He received a $500,000 grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture within the United States Department of Agriculture to work with another student on a project that provides agricultural science curriculum resources and experiences for secondary agriculture teachers to meet the Next Generation Science Standards. In addition, Moules lived and worked in the University Agricultural Laboratory Sheep Unit. He spearheaded the university’s inaugural Animal Science Academic Quadrathlon team, coaching four undergraduate animal science students to compete nationally.