Tania Sanchez, 2022 Graduate Dean’s Medalist

a portrait of tania sanchez in her cap and gown

Tania Sanchez is the 2022 Graduate Dean’s Medalist for the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. She is graduating with her master’s degree in school counseling and a pupil personnel services credential.

Sanchez is a first-generation student and the first in her family to receive a graduate degree.

Born and raised in Fresno, Sanchez graduated from University High School in 2016 and then earned a Bachelor’s in psychology and a minor in communication from Fresno State in 2020.

“I chose to attend Fresno State because of the community, the diversity, and the opportunities available to everyone,” Sanchez said.

“That really spoke to me, and I really wanted to be a part of it. I wanted to embrace the culture. I wanted to leave my own mark, that way I’m able to inspire future students and those that are currently attending.”

Sanchez attributes her inspiration for wanting to become a school counselor to her mentors in the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP), John Lor and Judy Clements.

“Judy was my first counselor at Fresno State…and meeting her changed my life forever…After meeting Judy and seeing how she helped me, I wanted to be like her. She’s been my biggest inspiration, really, [for going into] counseling.”

As an undergraduate, Sanchez served as an EOP peer mentor and as the president of the Students Organizing for Success Club. She was also nominated for the 2020 Undergraduate Dean’s Medal for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.

“Although I wasn’t selected, being nominated was a big deal to me…And I want [students] to know even though something may not go the way they’re expecting, there’s nothing wrong with that. I don’t want them to feel discouraged, because everything they experience makes up their success story.”

Sanchez was awarded the Benjamin and Marion Kremen Scholarship upon entering her second year of her Master’s program

As a graduate student, Sanchez has remained very involved on campus—serving as a school counseling ambassador to provide outreach to prospective students, a student representative on the university’s Student Academic Petitions Committee, an intern with the Summer Bridge Program, and a counseling intern with EOP. As a counseling intern, Sanchez helps first and second year students adjust and navigate college life and take initial steps to prepare for life after graduation.

“I have a lot of involvement on campus. I love making new connections with people on campus as well as supporting students while they’re here at Fresno State.”

Sanchez hopes to have a career as a counselor in higher education or a K-12 setting. After a few years of experience, she would like to return to Fresno State for a Doctorate in educational leadership and eventually become a faculty member in the counseling program, so that she can teach future counselors how to effectively serve all students and push them towards success.


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