Campus: CSU Fresno -- April 12, 2002

Fresno State Student Wins Prestigious Mellon Fellowship

California State University, Fresno graduate student Salvador Diaz has been named one of 95 winners in the United States of the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowships in Humanistic Studies.

Diaz is the only student in the 23-campus California State University system to win a Mellon Fellowship this year.

The fellowships are awarded for first-year doctoral studies and are designed to help exceptionally promising students prepare for careers of teaching and scholarship in humanistic disciplines such as history, English literature, comparative literature, cultural anthropology and classics. The fellowship covers graduate tuition and fees for the first year of graduate study and includes a stipend of $17,500.

Diaz, who will complete his master's degree in history (emphasizing early modern European studies) this summer, will start Ph.D. studies next fall. He has been accepted to doctoral programs at Cambridge University, the University of Chicago and Princeton University.

The fellowship is one of several awards Diaz has earned in recent years. In 2000 he was selected as a McNair Scholar at Fresno State, and in 2001 was named a California Pre-Doctoral Scholar and received a Graduate Equity Fellowship.

"I am incredibly proud of what Sal has been able to do as a student and scholar here, and to have this be recognized by a prominent and national award is just wonderful," said Dr. Vivian A. Vidoli, dean of the Division of Graduate Studies at Fresno State.

"He is deserving of it because of his talent, and I can't think of a better person for something so good to happen to. I am also excited about the reflection that his receipt of this award places on the strength of our program and the faculty who are mentoring our graduate students," Vidoli said.

Diaz, 29, grew up in Tulare (Tulare Western High School, '91) and earned his undergraduate degree in history from Fresno State.

"I am very honored to have received this fellowship and to represent Fresno State for such a prestigious recognition," said Diaz.

"After having had the great fortune of being accepted to Princeton, Cambridge and Chicago, I have gained a greater appreciation for my education at Fresno State and for the personal attention that I have received from the faculty, from my advisers and from the McNair, Graduate Equity and Pre-Doc programs."

Diaz's faculty adviser, classics professor Victor Davis Hanson, praised the fellowship recipient.
"Sal Diaz has combined innate talent, rigorous training in four ancient and modern languages, and old-fashioned hard work to become a scholar with unlimited potential," said Hanson.

"I am sure that we will be hearing a lot from him in the decades to come as he excels among the best students of history in the country."

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