A campus memorial for public health graduate student Ana Tapia of Fowler will be held on Friday, Dec. 5th at 6:00 p.m. in the Satellite Student Union. Ana, who was in her first year of the Masters of Public Health program, passed away on Friday, Nov. 7, 2014. She previously received her bachelor of science degree in public health (community health) in spring 2014. The memorial will be coordinated by the Department of Public Health and the student club EsTuDios. Ana was the recipient of the full-ride Alice E. and Paul J. Sr. Vincent Memorial Scholarship for the bachelor’s degree she earned in May, as well as the graduate program she started in the fall. EsTuDios is also planning a public memorial Mass at 6 p.m., Friday, Dec 19 at the St. Paul Newman Center (1572 East Barstow Ave.).
Cynthia Benzler, a former gerontology student, passed away on October 25, 2014. She graduated from Fresno State in spring 2009 with a bachelor of science degree in Criminology and a Certificate in Gerontology. After graduation she founded and was the executive director of Castle Keep Elder Abuse Prevention, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing elder abuse awareness and assisting older adult victims regain their dignity and safety. Her interest in elder protection was sparked after she began providing care for her mother. She became keenly aware of how aging increases vulnerability, and she also realized how many older adults lack advocates. From that moment on she dedicated her life to serving the needs of older adults. She was a supporter of the Gerontology Program, firmly believing that older adults are best served by professionals who have a solid background in gerontology.
“I had the distinct privilege of working with her and her organization and will remember her as an exceptional student, a colleague, and a friend,” said Helen Miltiades, associate professor in the Department of Social Work Education and Gerontology.
A memorial for Cynthia will be held at the Central California Social Welfare Evaluation, Research and Training Center on Friday, Dec. 5th from 4:00-5:30 p.m. The Center is located at 1625 E. Shaw (Ste 106), Fresno 93710. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. Memorial donations may be made at castle-keep.org.