Wonderful Public Service Graduate Fellow – 2018
Jenna Chilingerian is pursuing a Master’s in Community and Regional Planning, with a specialization in Community Development and certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Oregon. Jenna received her B.A. in Political Science from University of California, Los Angeles in 2013, where she also minored in Civic Engagement.
In July 2014, Jenna chose to return to the San Joaquin Valley after working for a series of nonprofits in Cleveland and Washington, D.C. She served as Program Manager for the Office of Community and Economic Development at Fresno State for nearly three years where she managed the Community and Regional Planning Center, as well as the San Joaquin Valley Housing Collaborative.
In February 2017, Jenna joined the Downtown Fresno Partnership as a Program Manager to support economic development and community engagement within Fresno’s central business district, while serving as the Executive Director of the organization’s nonprofit entity, Downtown Fresno Foundation.
After graduate school, Jenna plans to return to the San Joaquin Valley to further her career in place-based community and economic development. She’s particularly passionate about “place making” and “public space activation” and would like to do her part in facilitating better public space, design, and use to promote greater economic development in Valley communities.
Wonderful Public Service Graduate Fellows – 2017
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 dedicated to Valley agriculture.
Upon graduation from UCLA, she plans to return to serve the community with the knowledge gained through her graduate studies.
Currently, Irene is an intern with the Greenlining Institute’s Bridges to Health Program where she is investigating community benefit investments from hospital systems and how to increase opportunities for girls and women of color. She is also a Roselyn Lindheim Awardee, given for her Masters project aimed at increasing the capacity of local residents to better advocate and integrate place-based initiatives and investments into Stockton’s low income communities. Irene is also a Gates Millennium Scholar, helping mentor and inspire others from first-generation/underrepresented backgrounds advocate for social justice.
Irene graduated from Stanford University with a BA in Human Biology focused on health in underserved communities. She has worked in rural India with the Comprehensive Rural Health Project, as well as in Stockton with Fathers & Families of San Joaquin and Reinvent South Stockton Coalition.
Upon graduation, Irene will work in city planning with an eye toward improving public health in the Central Valley.
Prior to arriving to Bakersfield, Randy’s family lived in a small apartment in Santa Ana, California. While growing up in Bakersfield, Randy has mentored youth, been 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 a positive impact.
Wonderful Public Service Graduate Fellows – 2016
Gilbert Felix, is currently working toward a Masters in Public Policy at University of Southern California. His projected graduation date is June 2018.
In the Summer of 2017, Gilbert interned with the Office of Community and Economic Development at California State University, Fresno.
A Central Valley native, Gilbert earned his undergraduate degree in political science from California State University, Fresno. Prior to attending USC, he worked for elected officials at the state and local government levels throughout the Central Valley. Additionally, he has worked in community and labor organizing, political campaign management, and philanthropy.
Gilbert is dedicated to returning to the Fresno area after graduation to focus on regional economic development and serve in elected public office.
Edgar Garcia, is currently enrolled in the Masters of Public Policy (School of Social Ecology) program at UC Irvine. He is projected to graduate in June 2018.
He interned in the Summer of 2017 with the City of Modesto’s Community and Economic Development Department.
Prior to graduate school, Edgar served as the Vice President of Legislative Affairs for the California State Student Association (CSSA), representing over 460,000 California State University (“CSU”) System students, acting as the spokesperson and lead liaison on higher education legislation that impacts CSU students. He has also interned in Governor Jerry Brown’s Office of Legislative Affairs, working directly with legislative secretaries on education, public safety, and transportation policy issues.
Edgar graduated with a double major in Political Science and Criminal Justice from CSU Stanislaus in Turlock, California. He is originally from Firebaugh, California.
Following graduation, Edgar hopes to be a City Manager to help develop a more effective and equitable community in the Central Valley.
Wonderful Public Service Graduate Fellow – 2015
Upon graduating, Kristine has accepted employment as a Program Officer for Central Valley Enterprise Community Partners.
Kristine Williams was the first Wonderful Public Service Fellow and graduated in May 2017 with her Masters of City Planning from the University of California, Berkeley. Kristine is now the Central Valley Program Officer for Enterprise Community Partners, a nationwide nonprofit organization that seeks to expand sustainable, affordable homes though investment and advocacy work. With Kristine’s help, Enterprise recently opened an office in Stockton to better serve the housing needs of the San Joaquin Valley. She currently focuses her work on expanding the impact of the state’s Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program in the Valley. You can learn more about the work Kristine at enterprisecommunity.org. You can reach Kristine at firstname.lastname@example.org.