Rod Janzen to pioneer Distinguished Scholar program at Fresno Pacific University

Rod Janzen, Ed.D.
Professor of History

A respected teacher, author and administrator will lead a new effort to encourage scholarship at Fresno Pacific University.

Rod Janzen, education and history faculty, has been appointed FPU's first Distinguished Scholar. The five-year post allows Janzen to split his time evenly between writing/research and teaching.

"Scholarship is the coin of the realm in higher education, and universities serve society as an educational resource," said FPU President D. Merrill Ewert. "We want people to turn to our faculty for research-based answers to difficult questions."

Janzen already has a record of research. His most recent books are The Rise and Fall of Synanon: A California Utopia, andThe Prairie People: Forgotten Anabaptists.

A faculty member since 1989, Janzen works across the university. His current activities include serving as acting dean of the graduate school and as a consultant for Teaching American History, a project designed to use technology to improve the teaching of history. The program is a partnership between FPU, Clovis Unified School District, the Fresno County Office of Education, Microsoft and the Library of Congress.

Teaching duties include American history, social science education and curriculum studies in both the graduate and traditional undergraduate schools. Janzen earned a doctorate from the University of Southern California, a master's from the University of California Santa Barbara and a bachelor's from Fresno Pacific University.

Ewert called Janzen a good person to initiate this tradition. "We anticipate this program will grow in the years ahead. Rod was appointed because of his record of scholarship—the research he has done, the books and articles he has written and the leadership he is taking in his field."


Wayne Steffen
Associate Director of Publications and Media Relations