As the fall semester comes to a close, we would like to recognize our full-time and part-time faculty who are retiring this semester. Their dedication and commitment to teaching over the years has left a profound impact on our college and students – as well as the University! We invite you to leave your well-wishes for them in the comment section below.
Nancy Delich, Associate Professor
Department of Social Work Education
Passionate about people and providing human services to meet the needs of underserved populations, especially the Deaf and Hard of Hearing communities, Dr. Nancy Delich’s career as a licensed clinical social worker and school social worker focused on encouraging and supporting others to grow into the fullness of their being. Drawing from her experience in the fields of mental health, school social work, and social services, she taught graduate practice and research courses in the Department of Social Work Education.
Delich considers teaching a distinct honor and privilege. As she states, “It is without a doubt that working with my graduate students as their professor and field liaison have been my greatest source of joy and satisfaction. To have supported their development as future professional social workers who have and will continue to serve the Central California region is a deep source of pride for me.” As a professor living with a severe to profound hearing loss since 11 months old, Delich’s teaching expanded her graduate students’ knowledge and understanding of cultural diversity beyond the focus on ethnicity to include Deaf Culture. Of note, she received three departmental nominations for the Promising New Faculty Provost award.
During her first year of service, Delich was appointed by President Joseph Castro and former Provost Lynette Zelezny to several university committees. Other notable committee involvement included serving as a Senator of the Academic Senate, member of the Presidential Committee on Disability and Access, and member of College of Health and Human Services Executive Committee. She has also served on numerous departmental committees in addition to her role as chair of the Practice Sequence Committee.
Delich received tenure/promotion in Spring of 2020 which included four peer-reviewed articles, several grants, and 21 regional, state, national and international presentations. She was recognized as Best Presentation on her research in self-efficacy at an international conference in Paris, France.
Delich credits Fresno State for providing her, as a Deaf female faculty member, with the rare opportunity to break through the glass ceiling of working within a higher education department of “hearing” colleagues. Looking forward, Delich plans to continue Solowheeling with her husband, Dr. Stephen Roberts, developing an app as well as a children’s book based on their joint research in self-efficacy, maintaining her private practice as a spiritual director to support people on their spiritual journeys through life, and traveling abroad once the pandemic passes.
“I had the privilege of working with Dr. Delich these past 6 years in various capacities. She is one of our finest faculty in the Department of Social Work Education at Fresno State. No task is ever too big or too small for her in our efforts to support Student Success,” said Dr. Martha Vungkhanching, chair of the Department of Social Work Education
Stephen Roberts, Associate Professor
Department of Communicative Sciences and Deaf Studies
Dr. Stephen Roberts’ association with Fresno State began in the fall of 1980 as a part-time lecturer. Over the past 40 years, Roberts has been a dedicated and valued faculty member who has taught in both the Communicative Sciences and Deaf Studies Department, as well as the Counselor Education and Rehabilitation Department in the Kremen School of Education and Human Development.
In fall 2015, Roberts was hired as a full-time associate professor in CSDS where he says his utmost source of satisfaction has been working with his students. Whether it was teaching, advising, or supporting their development as future professionals in the fields of audiology, speech-language pathology, and deaf education – witnessing the students serve the Central California region in their respective professions has been an incredible source of pride for Roberts. During his career, he has authored 20 publications and made numerous presentations at regional, state, national, and international meetings.
Roberts brought his extensive experience to Fresno State from various positions he held in the public and private sectors as an audiologist, rehabilitation counselor, marriage and family therapist, certified life care planner, senior healthcare executive, and assistant clinical professor in the pediatric residency program at UCSF/Fresno.
As a former pediatric audiologist and healthcare executive at Valley Children’s Healthcare, Roberts served as the Interprofessional Education (IPE) Coordinator on the Fresno State CHHS/Valley Children’s Healthcare Interprofessional Education Collaborative. Of that initiative, Roberts said, “Working with both the CHHS faculty and my former colleagues at Valley Children’s Healthcare to bring interprofessional educational workshops for our CHHS students and healthcare providers at Valley Children’s Healthcare afforded a fantastic opportunity to bridge my two spheres of life-long employment.”
As an avid scuba diver instructor and Solowheel (electric unicycle) enthusiast, Roberts is looking forward to retirement with his wife, Dr. Nancy Delich, and spending time with family and friends at their homes in Fresno and Bainbridge Island, WA, as well as their family cabin at Lake Tahoe.
Don Freed, Professor
Department of Communicative Sciences and Deaf Studies
Dr. Don Freed has been a valued professor in the Department of Communicative Sciences and Deaf Studies at Fresno State for nearly 25 years, where his research and work focused on adult language and motor speech disorders associated with aphasia. In this 2015 blog, Freed talks more about the aphasia group that he helped implement on campus for local community members, which was also an outlet to give graduate students majoring in speech-language pathology a chance to learn and have exposure to stroke patients.
“So much of clinical learning is controlled with a lot of input from supervisors which can get a bit overwhelming. This program allows students the chance to figure out problems and gauge situations and problem solve. It’s a way to let them spread their wings and fly, learning through trial and error,” Freed said.
Prior to joining the faculty in CSDS, Freed worked as a speech-language pathologist in acute care and rehabilitative medical facilities; and also as a research speech-language pathologist for three years at the Portland VA Medical Center in Oregon. He also has authored, co-authored, and co-edited a number of textbooks on motor speech disorders, assessment of adult communication disorders, and aphasia.
Freed says of his time teaching at Fresno State, what he’s enjoyed most is working with and motivating bright students as they progressed through the CSDS undergraduate and graduate programs.
“Prior to coming to Fresno State as an assistant professor, I had the pleasure of having Dr. Freed as an undergraduate advisor and graduate instructor. As a student, his immense knowledge of our field brought course content to life. His guidance and encouragement were key factors that lead me to pursuing my doctoral degree. Working with him as colleagues the last two and a half years has been a pleasure,” said Dr. Brook Findley, assistant professor in the Department of Communicative Sciences and Deaf Studies.
As he looks ahead to retirement, Freed said he looks forward to “puttering around the house”.
Part-time faculty retiring include Scott Browar (School of Nursing, lecturer), Frankie Freitas (Social Work Education, lecturer) and Linda Launer (Public Health, lecturer). Colleagues and students share their well-wishes below!
“Happy Retirement Scott! Thank you for all you have done for the nursing program and your community. Your dedication and expertise truly shines. CNSA wishes you a wonderful retirement! You deserve it!” – California Nursing Students’ Association, Fresno State Chapter
“Frankie’s relationship with the department began as a student, then as an adjunct lecturer, and to a full time lecturer position in May 2012. I had the privilege of working with Frankie for more than a decade. Teaching has been a central part of her life. Her valued contributions to the department and to students include teaching, field liaison, Title IV-E Child Welfare programs, and departmental committees.
Frankie has been invaluable in our efforts to support Student Success and Child Welfare workforce development. Her retirement will undoubtedly leave a void in our students and the department.” – Dr. Martha Vungkhanching, Chair, Department of Social Work Education
“Linda has done an amazing job with our Environmental, Occupational Health and Safety internship program. She has met with preceptors and she has increased our number of internship sites since 2013. The way she cares about our students and their success truly shines through in her work. She will be so very missed!” – Dr. Kara Zografos, Chair, Department of Public Health