Great Valley Fellows Program
Class of 2004-05
DESIRREE MICHELLE ABSHIRE (Riverbank, CA)
Desirree Abshire, a first generation college student and graduate of University of California at
Berkeley, strongly believes that education and good government can act as a catalyst for social
change. Ms. Abshire spent the last three years as a Governor appointee to the statewide
California Community College Board of Governors and previously served as liason to the San
Francisco City College Homeless At Risk Student Program. While in college she assisted in two
San Francisco City College Board campaigns and studied California politics under former CA
Assembly member Johan Klehs. Ms. Abshire hopes to continue serving others on a larger scale
through good government, and one day scuba dive at the Great Barrier Reef.
CECILIA AGUILAR (Stockton, CA)
As a recent graduate of the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, Cecilia received her
Bachelor of Arts degree of Psychology. During her studies, Cecilia worked with the Martin
Gipson Center, teaching socialization skills to the mentally ill. She also worked with the Jacoby
Center, a local non-profit organization, in successfully improving the reading and writing skills
of elementary school children. Cecilia also spent time studying abroad where, she was exposed
to the living conditions of men and women from Mexico, Guatemala, and Chile. In the future,
Cecilia plans to pursue graduate studies in public policy and international relations.
TINA CHANG (Chico, CA)
Growing up in the East Bay of the San Francisco region, Tina Chang has never been too far from
the Central Valley. However, she has more recently come to realize how interconnected the
central region truly is with the rest of California, as well as with the nation and world. She is an
alumnus of UCLA, receiving her B.A. in International Development Studies and specializing in
the Middle East and East Asia. While at UCLA, Tina studied in Hong Kong, interned at a
prominent lobbying firm in Washington D.C., and devoted 18 months to an entrepreneurship
program where she managed her own business for a summer. She also avidly served on campus
non-profit and community service organizations such as UCLA’s Campus Events Commission,
Cultural Affairs Commission, Project Literacy and Project B.R.I.T.E. (Bruins Reforming
Education Through Education).
HEATHER FULTZ (Ripon, CA)
Heather Fultz has a passion for agriculture that stems from her roots on a small farm. She was
active in Future Farmers of America in High School. Ms. Fultz completed a B.S. in Agriculture
Business after three years of study with a 3.86 cumulative GPA. She was one of seven Fresno
State students in the 2003-04 Kenneth L. Maddy Institute intern-scholar class. In Fall 2003, she
studied European agriculture policy in England. In the summer of 2004, Fultz interned for the
Administrator of the United States Department of Agricultural Marketing Service in Washington,
D.C. She plans to earn a Ph.D. in Agriculture Economics.
GO FUNAI (Marysville, CA)
Palos Verdes native, Go Funai, attended UC Davis, where he majored in Community & Regional
Development with an emphasis in policy and community studies. As an undergraduate, Go
interned at Legal Services of Northern California and was involved in student government as a
senator and chair of the Environmental Policy and Planning Commission. Go was also involved
with the Educational Opportunity Program, Multiculturalism in Agriculture, Natural Resources
& Related Sciences, Cross-Cultural Center, and a research project in Kenya. Go is interested in
the sustainable development of communities through policy and community planning and will
pursue graduate work after the fellowship.
MAEGAN A. HOLLISTER (Fresno, CA)
Maegan Hollister, a native of Central and Southern Oregon, attended the University of Oregon in
Eugene where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies. During
college Ms. Hollister volunteered and worked in public schools with the focus of helping
Spanish-speaking and low-income students, and served as an associate director on the board of
Oregon Community Credit Union. Maegan’s career passion is in cross-cultural communication
and education. In 2003, she served as a Community Outreach Coordinator in rural Mexico,
working with both the Mexican and indigenous Otomi cultures. In her free time Maegan loves
spend time with her dog, travel, hike, and camp.
MOLLY HUCKLEBRIDGE (Davis, CA)
Molly Hucklebridge graduated with Phi Beta Kappa honors from UC Davis with Bachelor of
Arts degree in Sociology: Social Services and an Individual Major in Media & Culture. While at
UC Davis, Molly worked at a TV Station, created after school programs for under resourced
children, researched for a professor, and co-founded a community service organization. After
the Fellows program, Molly plans to attend graduate school in community development, student
affairs, social work, documentary film, or public policy. Molly’s ideal job is to make
documentaries on important social and educational issues. In her spare time, Molly enjoys
photography and traveling.
SERENA JOSEPHS (Visalia, CA)
Serena Josephs graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Colby College with a B.A.
in History concentrating in Health. Internships at the National Institutes of Health, the American
Hearth Association, and Discovery Creek Children’s Museum (an environmental education
center) stimulated her interest in the symbiotic relationship between environmental and
community health. While studying in Chile, she presented a bilingual thesis on Indigenous
Reproductive Health and the Environment. She looks forward to studying these and other
sustainable development interests as a Great Valley Fellow. Upon completion of this fellowship,
Serena intends to pursue a career in law and also hopes to engage in theater activities.
EMILY JOY PAPPAS (Sacramento, CA)
Emily Pappas, Sacramento native, recently graduated with highest honors from the University of
California, Davis with a degree in Political Science and minor in Communication. While at UC
Davis, she interned with the White House, the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington
D.C. and the Office of Senator Bruce McPherson at the State Capitol. As an undergraduate,
Emily completed her Senior Honor’s Thesis, worked for the Cal Aggie Alumni Association, and
served as the Cal Aggie Student Alumni Association President. After graduation, Pappas
interned at the United States Embassy in Paris, France and worked for a Sacramento lobbying
firm. Her future plans include attending graduate school in public policy or law.
JULIETTE READ (Redding, CA)
Juliette Read, was born and raised in Redding and was married in 2002. She has spent the past
years working full-time in retail, while earning her Bachelor of Arts in Social Science. She
graduated from Simpson University April 2004, Magna Cum Laude. Juliette has been a dancer
all of her life and thus has been a continual supporter of the arts in the area. She has volunteered
her time to tutor poverty youth and has recently finished teaching dance and drama for a local
high school group. She hopes to enter into a career of public service, possibly politics, where she
believes an honest person can make a difference.
HAGERENESH SOLOMON (Chico, CA)
Hagerenesh Solomon’s community and academic experiences have been combined in many
research-based projects. From attending Heart of the Community meetings in Vacaville, CA in
order to assess the need of the community, to gathering and analyzing data on the potential
economic development of Dixon, CA in it’s farming regions. Hagu has also been involved in
extensive research that dealt with the potential development of a level 4 biological containment
laboratory in Davis, CA; assessing all actors and community sentiment. Hagu’s future career
goals involve a combination between city planning and design that is based on understanding the
needs of a community and a cities economic and environmental well-being.
SHANE STARR (Bakersfield, CA)
Shane Starr was born and raised in Oroville, California, where he spent time on his family’s
orange and olive farm, playing sports and participating in the local 4H club. Mr. Starr attended
California State University, Chico where he earned a Bachelors of Art in History, served as
Secretary for the Lambda Pi Fraternity and published a paper in the "Chico State Historian." In
December of 2003, Shane earned his Single Subject Teaching Credential in social science. He
was then chosen to work as an exchange teacher in Dublin, Ireland. Mr. Starr plans to obtain a
masters degree in political science, as well as a PhD in political policy.
ROBERT TERRA (Winton, CA)
Robert Terra, born in 1982 in Merced County where he grew up on his family's dairy, obtained
his Bachelors of Arts degree in Political Science from University of California at Berkeley in
May of 2004. Mr. Terra was a member of Pi Lambda Phi International Fraternity all four years
at Cal and earned the lifetime distinction of Rex Emeritus. Robert plans to continue working in
agriculture in both the public and private sector, and will pursue masters degrees in business and
agricultural economics after completing the Great Valley Fellows Program. Mr. Terra places a
high priority on health and nutrition, and is an avid weightlifter.
Scott Trippel transferred from Fresno City College to attend the University of California in Santa
Cruz. He graduated with a literature degree in 1998 and returned home to work for the
University of California’s regional office in Fresno. After two years organizing collaborative
projects between the University of California and California Community Colleges Scott moved
to Seattle to work for a print and digital publisher and spend time kayaking, hiking, and writing.
In 2001 he returned to California to work as a founding member of UC Merced. Today Scott
Trippel is participating in the Great Valley Fellows Program where he is assigned to Sutter and
EDWARDO VALERO (Orosi, CA)
Born in Visalia and raised in Orosi, California, Edwardo Valero attended Cornell University
where he received a Bachelor of Science in Urban and Regional Studies with honors. While at
Cornell, Mr. Valero was inducted into the Golden Key International Honour Society, was
awarded the prestigious Cornell Tradition Fellowship, and received the Upstate New York
Chapter Association Certified Planners Book Award and the Charles H. Ferguson Scholarship
for Academic Excellence. He is a past fellow of the Public Policy and International Affairs
Program at Princeton University and studied abroad through the Cornell-In-Rome Program.
Edwardo has a broad range of interests and plans, particularly the advancement of educational
justice for the Chicana/o community.
SALOME KIM YU (Earlimart, CA)
Salome Kim Yu was born in Delano, California, and is the youngest of six children. Growing
up, she and her siblings helped her parents, Howard and Soo Yu, run the family-owned farm. A
graduate of Delano High School, Ms. Yu went on to University of California at Los Angeles
where she majored in Mathematics/Economics and minored in East Asian Languages at UCLA.
Through her trips abroad, she has grown to love languages and cultures. Ms Yu hopes to first
attain a master’s degree in Asian Languages then pursue a career in international business. In
her free time, she loves taking Taekwondo and Taebo classes, eating exotic foods, and playing