About Humanics

The Humanics Program Fresno State transforms lives and perspectives on leadership and philanthropy and positively impacts individuals, organizations, and communities.

Over 20 Years of Teaching

Known for exceptional project-based learning experiences! 

Since 2009, Humanics consulting teams have worked with 39 Community Benefit Organizations (CBOs) to conduct organizational assessments, identify priority areas and implement recommendations, and evaluate the impact to enhance their capacity and long-term sustainability to better fulfill their missions and meet the needs of the San Joaquin Valley and beyond.

Under Provost J. Michael Ortiz, a delegation of three Fresno State faculty—Dr. Skip Sherwood, Dr. Lynda Harding, and Dr. Rich Berrett—unanimously recommended affiliation with American Humanics, Inc. (headquartered in Kansas City, MO), and the effort to create a certificate program in “Nonprofit Administration” at Fresno State.

President Welty accepted a position on the Board of Directors of American Humanics, Inc., and the College of Social Sciences at Fresno State hired Matthew Jendian in August 1998 as the ½ time director for the program to assemble the curriculum, recruit students, and develop community partnerships while forming an Advisory Council (the name of the local program was later changed to “Humanics”).

In fall 1999, the first Humanics courses at California State University, Fresno were offered. In fall 2000, the American Humanics Student Association (AHSA) was formed. In addition, the first formal offering of the certificate had begun, which had been approved by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee at Fresno State. In January 2001, 8 students attended the American Humanics Management Institute (AHMI) in Orlando, the capstone experience of their training, and May 2001 saw our first cohort of graduates with the Humanics Certificate.

During the period 2002 through 2006, the Humanics Program at Fresno State experienced substantial growth, rapid expansion, and numerous awards. In 2007, the Humanics Students4Giving Philanthropy Project at Fresno State began. A small grant from the Central Valley Community Foundation flourished to become part of a national initiative of Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund & Campus Compact. In addition, we received a Cohen Grant from American Humanics, Inc. during this time as well.

About US

Our Story

In January 2008, Dr. Don Simmons joined the faculty as a Lecturer of Humanics, and our Program increased its stature and broadened its connections nationally. In September 2009, the Humanics Program launched its Sustainable Partnerships Project, which includes the Capacity Building and Technical Assistance component, intended as a culminating community-engagement experience for Humanics students and designed to enhance the capacity and long-term sustainability of CBOs to better fulfill their missions and meet the needs of the San Joaquin Valley. In 2013, the Humanics@FresnoState AFP Collegiate Chapter formed.  In May 2016, the minor degree in Philanthropic and Community-based Leadership was officially approved by the curriculum committees of the university and the Provost, and the first two minor degrees were awarded in December 2016.

Humanics@FresnoState has grown substantially and numerous awards—national & local—have been achieved, including Excellence in Leadership Development, Student Recruitment, & Civic Engagement & Community Service. Our program effectively provides students with innovative hands on approaches to service-learning and entrepreneurial approaches to sustainable community benefit organizations in the Central Valley.

Fresno State students seeking the Humanics Certificate are eligible to apply for the Harvey Milk Hope Award, a $2,000 annual scholarship established by the Bulldog Pride Fund, which was founded under the auspices of the Fresno State Alumni Association (see www.bulldogpride.org).



Instructors and lectures

Keystore Courses


Our Impact


Capacity Building Project

Nonprofit Organizational assessments, identify priority areas and implement recommendations, and evaluate the impact to enhance their capacity and long-term sustainability to better fulfill their missions


Students4Giving Philanthropy Project

Over $125,000 has been awarded to local nonprofits. Scholars identify organizations supporting Central Valley communities.


Grant Writing Project

Scholars research and prepare grant proposals in partnership with local CBNOs, resulting in over $2.7 million to our CBO partners (2006-18)


Social Justice Advocacy Project

Scholars work with CBOs resulting in the establishment of organizations, like Faith In the Valley-Fresno (PICO) (formerly Faith In Community), and various campus policy changes and city ordinances regarding divestment from fossil fuel companies, anti-human trafficking, vacant blighted properties, and the Office of Independent Review (Police Auditor).



Over 320 alumni have earned the Humanics minor degree, certificate, or a special major in CBO Administration & Leadership.  Approximately 70% are employed with CBOs (70% of whom are employed locally) and 10% have become directors, executive directors, or CEOs.  


Our Administration


Dr. Matthew Jendian

Professor & Chair of Sociology at Fresno State, and Director of the Humanics Program

Contact: Email

Distringuished Lecturer

Dr. Don Simmons

Contact: Email


What Alumni Say

“I am hooked; I am convinced that I found my path through the Humanics Program. I have learned that I have specific gifts to share that can change the world and I plan to use those gifts to connect and learn with others.

Melissa Noriego

Humanics Scholar and Studio Art Major at Fresno State University

This program gave me confidence in the difference I can make. Through Humanics at Fresno state, I found a career path that perfectly compliments my skills and education.

Andrea Galdamez

Full-time Student