Beth Weinman, Ph.D.
Earth and Environmental Science (EES) Department, Co-PI
Dr. Weinman's interest mainly lie in understanding how our soils, aquifers, and groundwaters physically and chemically evolve over time, in order to supply many of our needed yet vulnerable natural resources. In Southeast Asia, she worked on understanding how aquifer age and depositional history explains seemingly random patterns of groundwater arsenic. In New Idria, California, she is looking at the fate of mercury at abandoned mines. In the Southern Central Valley, she is looking at the source of natural uranium in the groundwaters. In Feather River, she is looking at soil formation and how chemical weathering potentially biases the Zr and/or REE provenance signature in sedimentary systems.
Why she got involved and believed in the program differ quite a bit than her involvement and thinking today. Originally, she got involved because of the opportunity to work at a "higher" level for the university, in that she would be working with other departments and components of the university specifically to help students. While that's something that's often intrinsic in what faculty do, it's not always something that is well defined or explicitly intentioned. For her, it was the first time in all of her years at a university really seeing faculty and staff working together towards a common goal of increasing the likelihood of our students finishing.
Mara Brady, Ph.D.
Earth and Environmental Sciences (EES) Department, Co-PI
Dr. Brady's research interests investigates ancient sedimentary environments. Based on field-collected data, she aims to better understand how sea level, tectonics, and sedimentation rates influence the preservation of the sedimentary and fossil records. Current research focuses mostly on Devonian (~375 million year old) tropical marine limestones and invertebrate fossils. Ongoing and developing projects aim to investigate modern depositional environments (and their shallow sedimentary and fossil records) to establish historical baselines that can inform current restoration and conservation efforts.
Dr. Brady values the diverse perspectives and experiences Fresno State students bring to the classroom and empowers students to use their own skills, knowledge, and the resources around them, including peers, to engage with course topics and ideas. I especially enjoy working with students in their first year in college as they get to know each other, senior students, faculty, and campus. She wants to make sure all students feel welcome in our College and prepared to tackle the challenges of College. The interactive, small group discussion based courses in BOND allow her to get to know students differently than other classes she teaches. She enjoys collaborating with faculty, students, and staff to make the BOND program successful each year. Dr. Brady has been involved in designed and implementing the CSM BOND program since its first year and is excited to be teaching CSM 10 and CSM 15 for the third cohort in the program.
Amber Reece, Ph.D.
Dr. Reece's research focuses on college student learning in the sciences. She has evaluated curriculum changes such as the use of virtual laboratories in college science courses. She has also worked with STEM retention programs that included undergraduate research, seminar courses, and mentoring programs. Currently, she is identifying factors that influence retention and graduation of biology majors at CSUF. She is also leading a curriculum reform project for the non-majors biology at CSUF.
She believes the program can help students make connections with faculty and their peers at an early stage in their college career. Her hope is that these bonds can help students persevere during the difficult first year of college. She thinks the small class size of CSM 10/15 combined with the focus on group work and critical thinking make a fun environment for learning and teaching.
Nalong Joi Thomas Mekdara, M.S.
CSM BOND/NSF FLOCK Coordinator
As coordinator of the program, Nalong's main responsibility is to monitor the program from a research aspect and in response to the well being of all involved with the program. Whether it be students or faculty. Another important that he plays is the connection of the College of Science and Mathematics to all the underlying departments and other department entities both in the college and within the university as a whole. His role can be seen as a major support role, since he monitors every aspect involved with the program.
Nalong sees value in the program as an opportunity for all involved to grow and prosper. For incoming freshmen, it is an opportunity to get to know the College, create connections with faculty and upperclassmen that have either completed the program or have been a peer mentor in the program, and build a network of success as they move forward in their scientific careers. As for faculty, it is an opportunity to coach and mentor many different teachings in the College of Science and Mathematics.
Jaime Arvizu, Ed.D.
Co-PI, Advisor Lead
Dr. Arvizu supervises and coordinates ARC advising staff to provide advising and student support services to CSM BOND students and to CSM students at large. He provides leadership that incorporates College support services into the summer and first year experience. His role is central to the coordination of Student Success Services and provides staff support for the summer experience when needed.
He believes that the BOND program is important because it helps incoming freshmen transition into their first semester at Fresno State and continues to support students while they are in their first year. Through the CSM 10/15 courses offered in the fall and spring, the program provides the foundational skill set - critical thinking, problem solving, and team skills - that students need to be successful in all their STEM courses. These are skills that most employers look for in potential application candidates, so this program attempts to ensure that all students will be successful in their undergraduate studies and beyond.
From the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Matt has helped to evaluate the impact of the BOND program through analyzing institutional and demographic data along with survey responses of the students in the BOND program.
Spring 2017 Instructional Student Assistants (ISAs)
Jessica first joined the CSM BOND program as a summer peer leader in 2015. She chose to become an ISA because she really enjoyed engaging with students during the summer as a peer leader and she wanted to continue to work with students in the classroom. She has always wanted to work with students in some way and the ISA position provided her the opportunity to help STEM students grow in the college setting, while also giving her the chance to develop as a student leader.
She feels that this program is important because its primary focus is to help students in STEM succeed in their first year of college. The cohort aspect of the program creates a support system and allows students to engage in communication not only with those of their major but of other STEM majors as well. The BOND program also strives to help students prepare for their future academic career by offering opportunities to conduct and present research as a freshman; a unique experience to have as an undergraduate student. Jessica is blessed to work with a program that works towards student success and she is thankful that Fresno State has a program like CSM BOND.
Chrisionna chose to be an ISA because she was a part of the first year cohort. Being in the first cohort, she experienced first-hand how helpful and beneficial being in the program was towards her first year at Fresno State. She wants to spread the knowledge that she gained with other first year students in the College of Science and Mathematics.
Earth and Environmental Science, junior
Christopher is a part of this semester's BOND program because he believes that it is a great learning experience for students.
Alfredo joined CSM BOND and became an ISA because lending a helping hand is the single, most easiest thing in life that can make a difference and have a momentous impact. Additionally, he wants to encourage others to make a positive impact in the community.
Computer Science, sophomore
Karla is proud to say that she is not only a current ISA but an alumna of the BOND program. CSM BOND is an incredible program that brings all math and science majors together to brainstorm ideas for a more sustainable campus. This program allows its students to practice their skills in critical thinking, team building, public speaking, problem solving and more. Every incoming freshman in CSM would benefit in all aspects from participating in this program. She knows she left the program feeling more in tune with the university, her ideas about sustainability and her role as a student on campus. Being an ISA could only provide more of an amazing experience with its own set of challenges and responsibilities.
Previously being part of the CSM BOND program has helped Rebhia expand her mindset and set her up for future professional expectations and success. The program introduced her to research and aided in feeling comfortable to be involved with research. The experience she was granted in BOND made her want to come back to the program and lend a different point of view and offering her own experiences in the program. She wants to be there for students and show them what the program could lead to and how important it is to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity in their freshman year.