Honors College Faculty
Our Honors College faculty is selected from among the most talented and dedicated professors on campus. Not only do they teach their Honors courses with enthusiasm and creativity, but they also set an example of serious scholarship for the students to emulate. These professors are excited about developing research projects through innovative course design and then sharing the results of their research with future students in their courses and with the larger scholarly community in books and articles. They also encourage President's Scholars to produce research that goes well beyond the bounds of normal undergraduate work. Through interaction with our faculty, President’s Scholars gain insights and skills that prepare them well for graduate studies in all disciplines.
Dr. Chapman (B.A., Classics, 1984, Stanford; Ph.D., Classics, 1998, Stanford) is an associate professor of Classics and Humanities and has served as Coordinator of the Classics program since 2002. She helped organize the College of Arts and Humanities Honors Program in 2006 and taught its first cohort. She has offered lower and upper division courses in the Smittcamp Family Honors College since 2005. Dr. Chapman became Director in July 2009.
As part of an international group of scholars who work on the first-century Jewish historian Josephus, she is the co-author with Steve Mason of Flavius Josephus: Translation and Commentary, vol. 1a: Judean War 2 (Brill, 2008). Her other recent publications include “Josephus,” in ed. A. Feldherr, Cambridge Companion to Roman Historians (Cambridge, 2009); “Titus Flavius Josephus,” in ed. J. Marincola , Companion to Greek and Roman Historiography (Blackwell, 2007); “María Magdalena y las tradiciones del Santo Grial,” in ed. Isabel Gomez Acebo, María Magdalena (Desclée De Brouwer, 2007); “Masada in the 1st and 21st Centuries,” in ed. Z. Rodgers, Making History: Josephus and Historical Method (Brill, 2006); “Paul, Josephus, and the Judean Nationalistic and Imperialistic Policy of Forced Circumcision,” in ’Ilu 11 (2006); and “Spectacle in Josephus’s Bellum Judaicum,” in eds. J. Edmondson, S. Mason, and J. Rives, Flavius Josephus and Flavian Rome (Oxford, 2005). She has appeared as an expert on Josephus in a History Channel documentary and on local television and radio shows.
Dr. Chapman has twice been nominated by students for the Provost’s Excellence in Teaching Award and twice by the Provost for the CASE U.S. Professor of the Year Award; she was the recipient of the Provost’s Award for Promising New Scholar in 2006. Prior to her arrival in 2002, she taught at both Stanford University and Santa Clara University.
Dr. Attar received his undergraduate (B.S.) and graduate (M.S. and Ph.D.) degrees in chemistry at the University of Nevada, Reno. He spent three years at UC Davis as a Postdoctoral Research Associate where he taught organic chemistry courses and performed research in different areas of organic and inorganic chemistry before taking his current faculty position at Fresno State in 2000. Dr. Attar currently teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in organic chemistry including CHEM 128A, 128B, 129A, 129B, and 230. As a current faculty member of the Smittcamp Family Honors College he teaches CHEM 10H ("Chemistry & Society"), a GE course for non-science majors. In addition, Dr. Attar directs both graduate and undergraduate research in the area of synthetic organic/organometallic chemistry. Finally, he is a university designated Pre-dental advisor.
Dr. Botwin has been a member of the Psychology Department at Fresno State since 1990. He received his undergraduate degree from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, and obtained his Ph.D. in personality psychology from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Before coming to Fresno State, Dr. Botwin was a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Postdoctoral Fellow in Quantitative Psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign. He serves on a number of university boards and committees representing the faculty on a wide variety of campus concerns. Currently, he chairs the Academic Senate, which is essentially the legislative branch of university governance. Dr. Botwin conducts research in many areas including human mate preferences and the basic structure of personality.
Dr. Clune's primary area of historical research is Cold War America. She holds an M.A. from New York University and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis. She is currently working on a book manuscript based on her dissertation "Executing the Rosenbergs: A Transnational History."
Dr. Dyer’s current research explores attachment cognitions of toddlers in relation to sleep and family history. The unifying theme of her research agenda is an interest in parenting practices pertaining to infant sleep and how those strategies (such as co-sleeping and sleep training) are related to attachment and emotional development. In addition, she conducts evaluation research to explore the effects of a developmental pediatric intervention called “Healthy Steps” at a local medical clinic.
Kristi Eastin grew up in the heart of the central San Joaquin Valley of California in the small farming town of Reedley. In 2001 she earned a B.A. in English Literature with a Minor in Latin from California State University, Fresno. The following year she was accepted into the graduate program in Comparative Literature at Brown University and received her Ph.D. in 2009. Her dissertation, Virgil and the Visual Imagination: Illustrative Programs from Antiquity to John Ogilby (1654), examines the Virgilian illustrative tradition with emphasis on the Georgics.
Dr. Eastin’s work on illustrated editions of Virgil won her a Research Grant from the Friends of the Princeton University Library (2006-2007) to work in the exceptional Junius S. Morgan Virgil collection at Princeton. She has recently written an essay on seventeenth-century illustrations of Virgil’s Aeneid entitled, “The Aeneas of Virgil: A Dramatic Performance Presented in the Original Latin by John Ogilby”, to be published in the forthcoming Companion to Virgil, eds. Joseph Farrell and Michael J. Putnam (Blackwell 2010).
Alex Espinoza was born in Tijuana to parents from Michoacán and was raised in suburban Los Angeles. After working a range of retail jobs, selling everything from eggs and furniture, to rock T-shirts and body jewelry, he earned his Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) from the University of California in Irvine. His first novel, Still Water Saints (2007) appeared simultaneously in English and Spanish and was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. His nonfiction and book reviews have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times Magazine and Salon. Espinoza was a 2009 fellow in fiction at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and is also a frequent participant in Sandra Cisneros’ Macondo Writers Workshop. He currently teaches English and Creative Writing at Fresno State in California and is completing his second novel, about a Mexican actor in Hollywood tentatively titled, The Other Stranger (Random House, 2012).
Dr. Fraleigh has taught at CSU Fresno since 1990 and currently serves as chair of the Department of Communication. He has co-authored six books in the fields of freedom of expression and public speaking. His scholarship has focused on diverse topics including online expression, government surveillance and control of information, academic freedom, and university speech codes. Current research interests include the potential of social media to circumvent government censorship, and the balance between government secrecy and the public's right to know. Before joining the faculty at Fresno State, he taught and coached debate at Cornell, CSU Sacramento, and UC Berkeley. He earned a J.D. Degree from UC Berkeley in 1980 where he served as associate editor of the California Law Review.
Dr. Gibson received her Ph.D. in Theatre History and Performance Studies from the University of Pittsburgh. She has taught at Fresno State since 2000 and is currently the chair of the Theatre Arts Department. Her research areas include contemporary American and British theatre and historiography. She has published in various journals and anthologies and serves as the book review editor of Theatre Journal. Dr. Gibson is also a regular lecturer at theatre conferences, giving presentations across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Poland.
Dr. Hall teaches physics and critical thinking courses for the Smittcamp Family Honors College. Additionally, Dr. Hall recruits students who are interested in Fresno State’s physics program and works with public schools on science presentations. His research efforts have led to Fresno State becoming an official collaborating institution at the prestigious Fermi National Laboratory. Fresno State participated in a 500-member collaboration that utilizes the world’s most powerful particle accelerator to explore the mysteries of particle physics. As a member of this team he played an important role in the discovery of the fundamental particle, the “top quark,” in 1995.
Dr. Holyoke teaches courses and conducts research on national politics, specializing in interest group politics and education policy. He also teaches courses in research methodology and statistics. He has published over a dozen articles on interest group politics, education policy, and banking policy in scholarly journals including the American Journal of Political Science, Political Research Quarterly, Education Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Educational Policy, and the American Journal of Education.
Dr. John Karr graduated with a Bachelor's of Music Education from the University of Montevallo
in 1979, a Master's of Music Education from the University of Louisville in 1985 and a Ph.D. in
Musicology from the University of Kentucky in 1997. He has published articles on fifteenth century
topics including improvised polyphony, reviews for the Renaissance Quarterly, and entries
in the Reader's Guide to Music. Dr. Karr is an editor whose works include two volumes of
eighteenth-century Tuscan motets and his current project, a three-volume edition of fifteenth century
psalms from Italian manuscripts, the first volume of which has been published by the
Institute of Medieval Music in Ottawa. He has also read papers ranging in subject matter from
chant in the 15th century to The Temptations and Motown. Currently, he is teaching music history
at Fresno State University. Dr. Karr has sung as a baritone (and occasionally countertenor) soloist
with the Louisville early music ensembles Timechange and the Louisville Collegium Musicum. For
the latter ensemble he sang solos in the Clérambault and Charpentier Te Deums, Clérambault’s
cantata Amor e Baccus and Carissimi’s Jephte. He sang the baritone solos in the Kodaly Budavari
Te Deum and Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb for the Louisville Choral Arts Society. More recently
he has sung baritone solos for the Fresno Community Chorus performances of Rossini’s Petite
Messe solenelle and Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and directed and performed a program of 12thcentury
music for the Orpheus New Music series.
Dr. Schreiber received his B.S and M.S. in Zoology and Physiology from Northern Illinois University and his Ph.D. in Insect Pathology from Ohio State University. He has taught about 25 different courses since coming to Fresno State in 1973. He has held appointments in both the Plant Science and Biology Departments. He has served as the Biology Department chair from 2000-2004 as well as a member of numerous university committees and task forces.
While his graduate students have studied a range of problems in entomology, his main area of research is with Dr. Elaine Backus at the USDA lab in Parlier. This work studies insect feeding behavior and plant pathogen transmission by recording a small electrical current that runs through the insect and plant.
Dr. Shapiro’s interests include animal behavior and neuroscience. He studies issues of learning and choice behavior in animals, and he also conducts research with an electroencephalogram investigating how certain brainwaves change when humans perceive time and make decisions. Dr. Shapiro also has a particular interest in global trends and teaches a course for the Smittcamp Family Honors College on global citizenship.
Dr. Timothy Skeen earned a Ph.D. in Creative Writing from the University of Nebraska in 1993. He specializes in 20th Century American poetry. Dr. Skeen joined the faculty at California State University, Fresno, in Fall 2004. His most recent collection of poems, Kentucky Swami, won the John Ciardi Prize for Poetry in 2001. The book was published by BkMk Press at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Dr. Skuban is an expert in Chilean and Peruvian history and culture, having conducted research in both countries on many occasions. He has published several articles and essays about the region, including the book, Lines in the Sand: Nationalism and Identity on the Peruvian-Chilean Frontier (New Mexico, 2007). He is currently researching the relations between the Catholic Church and the modern state in twentieth-century South America. He is a five-time winner of the College of Social Science’s “Research and Creative Activity Award” and also received the University’s Provost Award for Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity. Dr. Skuban served as the first assistant director for the Smittcamp Family Honors College in 2006-2007.
Dr. Mark Somma received his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Iowa in 1992. His research work focuses on environmental politics and policy. Dr. Somma works in collaboration with state and local agencies on a variety of local environmental projects. Many of his students are directly involved with these research and service activities. He teaches an environmental service-learning course, PL SI 071H, for the Smittcamp Family Honors College.
Dr. Thornton has authored several books and is a frequent guest on radio talk shows across the United States. He also appeared regularly on ABC’s Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher. He is the author of numerous essays and reviews on Greek culture and civilization and their influence on western civilizations; he also writes on contemporary political and educational issues.