Two Merced County students earn top academic honors for Fresno State class of 2023

Two students from Merced County were awarded Fresno State’s top academic honors for the 2023 graduating class.

Le Grand’s Joshua Heupel and Delhi’s Jonathan Moules were chosen from a group of eight Undergraduate Deans’ Medalists and nine Graduate Deans’ Medalists for the top awards.

“Hearty congratulations to Joshua and Jonathan, who elevated their academic endeavors to new heights in one of the most important industries in the Central Valley and across the world,” said Fresno State President Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval. “They are a prime example of the talented students studying at and graduating from Fresno State.”

Heupel was a finalist for the prestigious Rhodes Scholarship after earning dual bachelor’s degrees in agricultural business and political science with a 3.98 GPA. His hard work led to him being selected as the President’s Undergraduate Medalist.

Heupel will continue his graduate work at Princeton University where he will pursue a master’s of public affairs and hopes to earn a doctorate in the future.

Heupel was an intern for Congressman David Valadao and Congressman Jimmy Panetta.

His research on strawberry production allowed Heupel to work with the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. His political science project was on water rights, the drought and underserved communities.

Moules was selected as the President’s Graduate Medalist, Fresno State’s top honor for graduate students. Moules compiled a 4.0 GPA while earning a master’s degree in agricultural science.

Moules, who is a first-generation college graduate, plans on becoming an ag teacher.

Moules’ passion for teaching has shown during his time at Fresno State as he helped coordinate leadership conferences for freshmen throughout California and created ag lessons for K-8 students.

Moules received a $500,000 grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture within the U.S. Department of Agriculture to work with another student on a project that provides agricultural science curriculum resources and experiences for secondary agriculture teachers to meet the Next Generation Science Standards.

Heupel and Moules were recognized at the Jordan College Agricultural Sciences and Technology commencement ceremony on Friday at Fresno State.