Dr. Jody Hironaka-Juteau, interim dean of the College of Health and Human Services, is the new chair of the President’s Commission on Human Relations and Equity at Fresno State. President Joseph I. Castro also named two vice chairs: English Professor Alex Espinoza and Dr. Francine Oputa, director of the Central Valley Cultural Heritage Institute at Fresno State and president of the Fresno State Black Faculty/Staff Association.

“Dr. Hironaka-Juteau was an American Council on Education fellow in 2012-13 and used the year to advance the implementation of Fresno State’s strategies on diversity, respect and inclusion,” said Castro, in an email to the University. “I remain committed to maintaining a campus known for its integrity, civility, equity, respect and ethical behavior. This commission leads our efforts and advises me on necessary steps to ensure that our University is safe and inclusive.”

The commission supports acceptance and fairness at all levels of the University. It developed a comprehensive plan to make sure this commitment is understood across the campus. As a result, Fresno State received the 2014 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity award from “INSIGHT Into Diversity” magazine, one of the nation’s largest diversity-focused publications in higher education. Hironaka-Juteau replaces former commission chair Dr. Cynthia Teniente-Matson, who left Fresno State in January to become president of Texas A&M-San Antonio.

I am very excited about the opportunity to work with the Commission and to partner with Dr. Francine Oputa and Mr. Alex Espinoza to strengthen and advance efforts that create a welcoming and inclusive environment for students, staff and faculty,” said Hironaka-Juteau. “I am very much looking forward to it.”

Hironaka-Juteau was appointed interim dean of the College of Health and Human Services in July 2013, having served as associate dean since 2010. Since arriving at Fresno State in 1999, she has moved through the ranks from assistant to full professor in the Department of Recreation Administration and served as chair from 2007 to 2010.

Hironaka-Juteau regularly presents at regional, national, and international conferences on topics such as culture and diversity, inclusion, cause-related fitness and wellness, experiential education, and action research. She has established an active record of service resulting in the Provost’s Recognition for Achievements in Service in 2001 and 2006. In 2003, Hironaka-Juteau was awarded the Outstanding Educator Award by the California Park and Recreation Society Therapeutic Recreation Section.

As an active member on campus, Hironaka-Juteau has served in the Academic Senate, the President’s Task Force on Internationalization, the President’s Committee on Disabilities, the University Budget Committee and the Gender Equity Task Force as well as on numerous other campus committees.  She is recognized for her expertise and experience in the areas of diversity and inclusion training and collaboration.

Outside of the academic setting, Hironaka-Juteau has over 20 years of experience as a certified therapeutic recreation specialist working with children, teens, and adults in hospital and community-based settings. She has worked in the areas of physical medicine and rehabilitation, mental health, sensory impairment, and developmental disability. She even hosted a regular segment promoting fun family activities for the KVPT Valley Public Television parenting show 0-5 in 30 Minutes.

Hironaka-Juteau earned a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and Change from the Fielding Graduate University, and a master’s degree in Education and bachelor’s degree in Recreation Administration from Fresno State. She has attended the Institute for Women in Higher Education offered by HERS and the Harvard Graduate School of Education Management Development Program. She is also an alumna of the Leadership Fresno Program and the American Council on Education (ACE) Fellows Program.

For more information on the President’s Commission on Human Relations and Equity, please click here.