Press Release / Announcing the 2017 Wonderful Public Service Graduate Fellows

Mark Keppler, Executive Director
The Maddy Institute
Program Recognizes Two Scholars for their Significant Achievements 
in Public Policy and Social Work
Fresno, CA (May 1, 2017) – Now in its third year of investing in the next generation of San Joaquin Valley leaders, The Wonderful Company and The Maddy Institute announced the winners of the 2017 Wonderful Public Service Graduate Fellowship today with awards made possible by a generous gift totaling $112,000 from Lynda and Stewart Resnick, co-owners of The Wonderful Company.
This program provides financial assistance for Valley students to obtain an advanced degree from a top graduate program and then return to apply what they have learned to help make the San Joaquin Valley a better place to live, work, and raise a family.
The nominating process involved three levels of review. It began with the Maddy Institute seeking recommendations and accepting applications from universities, think tanks and honors programs throughout the United States. All applicants had to have achieved a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, been accepted into a graduate degree program in the field of Public Policy, Public Affairs, Public Administration, Social Welfare, Urban Planning, or MBA program with a focus on public management for the Fall 2017 and participate in two panel interviews.
For more information on the Wonderful Public Service Graduate Fellowship visit here.
Introducing our 2017 Wonderful Public Service Graduate Fellows
Nanki Bhullar, B.A. (Double Major) in Women’s and Gender Studies (concentration in Power, Rights and Society) and Philosophy (Emphasis: Ethics and Prelaw) at Santa Clara University. She will be a candidate for concurrent Masters in both Social Work and Public Health at UCLA.
Nanki was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, and moved to Fresno, California when she was two weeks old. Although she attended college in northern California, her heart remains deeply connected with the San Joaquin Valley as a Sikh American daughter of immigrant almond and raisin farmers who have dedicated their lives and livelihoods to Valley agriculture. Upon graduation from UCLA, she plans to return to serve the community with the knowledge gained through her graduate studies.
Randy Villegas, B.A. Political Science (Emphasis: American Politics) at CSU Bakersfield. He will be pursuing a Ph.D. in Politics at UC Santa Cruz.
Prior to arriving to Bakersfield, Randy’s family lived in a small apartment in Santa Ana, California. Since growing up in Bakersfield he has been mentoring youth, a percussions instructor to several high schools and middle schools, written several op ed pieces for the Bakersfield Californian and worked as an activist on behalf of vulnerable communities.
Randy will be the first member of his family to graduate from college. Upon graduation he wants to return to Kern County and the Central Valley to make positive impact.
About The Maddy Institute
The Maddy Institute was established to engage, prepare and inspire the next generation of government leaders and civil servants. Activities primarily focus on Citizen Participation, Policy Analysis and Leadership Training. Leadership Training programs consist primarily of an extensive government intern program for college students throughout the Valley, as well as the Wonderful Public Service Graduate Fellowship.
To learn more about The Maddy Institute, visit or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
About The Wonderful Company
The Wonderful Company is a privately held $4 billion global company dedicated to harvesting health and happiness around the world. Its iconic brands include FIJI Water, POM Wonderful, Wonderful Pistachios & Wonderful Almonds, Wonderful Halos, Teleflora, JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery, and Landmark Wines.
The Wonderful Company’s connection to consumers has health at its heart and giving back in its DNA. The company has a long-standing commitment to corporate social responsibility, including more than $120 million invested in environmental technologies and sustainability research, $45 million in charitable giving and education initiatives every year, $30 million toward the construction of a new charter school campus in California’s Central Valley, and innovative health and wellness programs, including two new, free primary care clinics for employees and their dependents.
To learn more about The Wonderful Company, its products and core values, visit or follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.