Helda Pinzon-Perez_Web800_smDr. Helda Pinzón-Perez, professor in the Department of Public Health and School of Nursing, was recognized with the 2020 Provost’s Award in Faculty Service, announced by Dr. Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval, Fresno State’s provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, 

Pinzón-Perez has been a faculty member at Fresno State for 20 years, ten of which she has served as a tenured professor. In addition to teaching in the area of community health, Perez took on the role of director of the Doctor of Nursing Practice Northern California Consortium in the School of Nursing. She has taught at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral level in both areas, and has been influential in its program accreditation and curriculum development. Her dual involvement with both departments within the college is just one example of Pinzón-Perez’s collegial spirit. 

“Dr. Helda Pinzón-Perez epitomizes the notion of a ‘servant leader;” said Dr. Jim Marshall, interim dean of the College of Health and Human Services. “Whether it’s serving our students, her fellow faculty, members of the community, or her own family, she freely shares her expertise, her experience, and her passion. She serves with her whole heart.”

Marshall and Pinzón-Perez are currently collaborating on the Alliances for Graduate Education and the Professoriate program, in partnership with the College of Science and Mathematics, which is a mentoring program involving doctoral students from U.C. Merced, U.C. Santa Barbara and CSU Channel Islands. Students from these university’s are paired with faculty members from the CSU system, helping them acquire skills to teach in the CSU. This shows that Pinzón-Perez’s collaborative nature extends far beyond the campus of Fresno State, as her service touches the Central Valley and beyond. 


Pinzón-Perez credits much of her servant leadership to her mother and her family.

“My mother, with only a third-grade level of education, became a very successful business woman in Colombia, my native country,” Pinzón-Perez said. “She taught me that a leader couldn’t grow unless their collaborative/workers grow. Servant leadership allows for personal and community growth. By serving others, each of us can become more effective leaders.”

Pinzón-Perez’s collegiality within the college is strong. Some of those inter-college and cross-university work include:

  • Two translations from English to Spanish of “The Silent Garden” manuscript, a guide for Deaf and Hard of Hearing parents and families (in collaboration with the Department of Communicative Sciences and Deaf Studies)
  • Development of an international health teleconference with the Department of Physical Therapy
  • Implementation of the Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP) Initiative with the Departments of Recreation Administration, Social Work Education, Kinesiology and the College of Science and Mathematics. 
  • Planning of a community health workers program for Project Rebound, a program within the College of Social Sciences. 

Pinzón-Perez was the recipient of two highly competitive Fulbright teaching and research awards. As a result, she completed international service in the Dominican Republic and Peru, where she worked within the academic sector and studied the relationship between diabetes and obesity (also known as diabesity). 


On campus, Pinzón-Perez has been involved in a number of organizations and committees, including the Latino/a Faculty and Staff Association, University Library Committee, University Cross-Cultural Task Force, CHHS Personnel, Curriculum and Executive Committees, and was most recently a member of President Joseph Castro’s COVID-19 Incident Response Team.

Her servant leadership extends to the community as well. She has been a proud member and advisor with the West Fresno Family Resource Center, American Cancer Society, and Nursing Leadership Coalition, among others. She received the West Fresno Family Resource Center’ “Community Champion” award in 2014 and the Fresno State Alumni Association Top Dog Award in 2005 for her contributions to health and human services. 

The Provost’s Awards were established in 1993 to recognize the outstanding teaching, research and service that is central to the mission of Fresno State.

Honorees provide students with a stimulating environment that fosters learning and affirms the University as an intellectual and cultural leader in the Central Valley.


Learn more about the Provost’s Awards and read about this years honorees at FresnoStateNews.com