Mentors

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Dean Meyer

Dean Christopher R. Meyer

Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics

Dr. Christopher R. Meyer is the new Dean of the College of Science and Mathematics at California State University, Fresno (July, 2017). Prior to this, he was a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at California State University, Fullerton, serving as Chair of the department from 2010-2015. His NSF funded lab at Fullerton focused on the regulation of carbon metabolism and the generation of biodegradable and renewable carbon sources. In 2008-2009, he served as a rotating Program Director at the National Science Foundation(NSF)in BIO MCB where he convened review panels, helped manage a large and diverse research portfolio, and participated in policy discussions on interdisciplinary, collaborative, and transformative research, and broader impacts. He also participated in Working Groups across directorates, including Engineering and Undergraduate Education, as well as with other funding agencies. He returned to NSF as a rotating Program Director in the Division of Biological Infrastructure (DBI) in August 2015 where he participated in management of the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program, served as lead for the Research Coordination Network (RCN) for Undergraduate Biology Education (UBE) program, as well as the BIO representative for the NSF I Corps, HBCU UP, and INCLUDES (Inclusion Across the Nation of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science) programs. In addition, he participated in the Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP), the NSF Research Traineeship (NRT), Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) programs, and the IUSE (Improving Undergraduate STEM Education) program. 

B.S. in Chemistry from California State University, Chico

Ph.D. in Biochemistry from University of California, Riverside

Postdoctoral Scholar Michigan State University

Visiting Research Assistant Professor at Michigan State University

Dr. Jones

Dr. Constance Jones

Chair and Professor of Psychology

During her postdoctoral work at the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Constance (Connie) Jones worked with the Intergenerational Studies. Begun in 1929, these studies detailed the development of children – including physical, cognitive, social, and psychological aspects – through adolescence, then early, middle and late adulthood. Connie’s first federal grant, from the National Institute of Aging, explored intraindividual differences in personality change.  Her research at Fresno State has been supported in part by grants from the National Institute on Aging and the National Institute of Mental Health.  Since 2011 she has served as Chair of the Department of Psychology. In 2013 she was awarded Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America.  Connie's research reflects an openness to fresh methodological perspectives (including the collection of multivariate, replicated, single-subjects, repeated measures data and the innovative use of archival datasets); an embrace of novel statistical techniques (including P-technique factor analysis, finite mixture modeling, and longitudinal hierarchical linear modeling), and a focus on normal human development across expansive portions of the lifespan.

Connie takes pride in working with both undergraduate and graduate students at Fresno State, an Hispanic-Serving Institution. She has served as primary mentor for 3 McNair Scholars and 11 Psychology Honors students.  She has also served as the chair for 32 Master’s theses in Psychology (including 5 awarded Psychology’s “Outstanding Thesis of the Year”).

B.A. in Psychology from University of California, Berkeley

Ph.D. in Human Development and Family Studies from The Pennsylvania State University, University Park

Postdoctoral Scholar at the Institute of Human Development, University of California, Berkeley

Dr. Donnelly

Dr. Dermot Donnelly

Assistant Professor of Chemical Education

Dr. Dermot F. Donnelly is an Assistant Director of the Science and Mathematics Education Center (SMEC) and the President of the Untenured Faculty Organization.  Dr. Donnelly specializes in the role of instructional technologies to support enhanced student ownership and understanding of scientific concepts.  Such instructional technologies include simulations, virtual labs, and online science learning environments.  Other research interests include curriculum development and evaluation, professional development of teachers, and power dynamics in science classrooms. 

Dr. Donnelly teaches physical science classes to elementary pre-service teachers, general chemistry classes to non-chemistry majors, and laboratory teaching techniques to graduate students.  Dr. Donnelly is also a Faculty Advisor to the Chemistry Club at Fresno State.  He has participated in the DISCOVERe Mobile Technology Program at Fresno State, has reviewed Learning Management Systems (LMS) as part of a faculty learning community, and has integrated several Affordable Learning Solutions in his courses. He continually seeks innovative ways to make science accessible and engaging for all students through his research and teaching.

B.S. in Physical Science Education from University of Limerick, Ireland

Ph.D. in Chemical Education from University of Limerick, Ireland

Postdoctoral Scholar at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand and University of California, Berkeley

Dr. Walter

Dr. Emily Walter

Assistant Professor of Biology

Dr. Emily Walter is the Assistant Director of the Science and Mathematics Education Center (SMEC) at Fresno State. 

Her research focuses on key elements of scientific literacy (in particular, evolution education), evidence-based instructional practices in postsecondary STEM education, professional development of faculty and graduate students, and retention and persistence of women and underrepresented groups in STEM.

Her current course offerings at Fresno State include General Education Biology, Earth, Life and Environmental Science for future elementary teachers, and a graduate course in College Science Teaching.

B.S. in Biology from Iowa State University

M.S. in Biology from Western Illinois University

Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from University of Missouri

Dr. Tague

Dr. Jenna Tague

Assistant Professor of Mathematics

Dr. Tague was born in Columbus, Ohio and has lived in the Central Valley for three years. She was chosen as an Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators (AMTE) STaR Fellow in 2016. She was also nominated for the Promising New Faculty award at Fresno State.

Dr. Tague has mentored several undergraduate and graduate students through mathematics education research projects and readings. She has co-authored many peer-reviewed publications, and anticipates having several in the next year with her students. Dr. Tague also created a course for Teaching Associates in the Mathematics Department, and helps mentor them to become better teachers. She uses her training in mathematics education to contribute to the literature around improving content courses for future elementary teachers, understanding how students think about rate of change, and retaining underrepresented minority students in STEM disciplines. Her research has been supported through many grants, including grants from the NSF, California Teacher Credentialing Association, and MAA.

B.S. in Mathematics from Bucknell University

M.S. in Mathematics from Colorado State University

Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from Ohio State University

Dr. Goto

Dr. Joy J. Goto

Chair and Professor of Chemistry

Dr. Goto was born and raised in Fresno, California. She is the recipient of the UCLA Alumni Association distinguished dissertation year award and a Collegium of University Teaching fellowship. She was a John Douglas French Alzheimer’s Foundation research fellow at Harvard Medical School and a Beckman Senior Research Fellow in the Neurosciences Division at the City of Hope.

She has mentored and trained 40 undergraduates and 15 graduate students in her research laboratory. She has co-authored 10 peer-reviewed publications, including seven with her students. Many of these students have gone on to work in the biotech industry, and to attend Ph.D. programs, or medical, dental or pharmacy school. Dr. Goto uses her training in bioinorganic chemistry and neuroscience to contribute to the understanding of neurodegenerative diseases, oxidative stress and metal homeostasis. Her research has been supported by University and College grants, including co-authored grants from the NIH, NSF, USDA, and private foundations totaling ~$3.5 million.

She was awarded the 2016 Fresno State Women’s Association Faculty Leadership Award and was a 2017 Fresno State Talks – Discovery speaker, by student nomination. She has served on the President’s Commission on Human Relations and Equity (PCHRE) and is a Fresno State representative for the CSU Asian American and Pacific Islander Initiative. She is currently Professor and Chair of the Chemistry Department at Fresno State.

B.S. in Chemistry from University of California, Davis

Ph.D. in Chemistry from University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Shapiro

Dr. Martin Shapiro

Associate Professor of Psychology

Dr. Martin Shapiro is a Professor and the Graduate Coordinator in the Psychology Department. He specializes in neuroscience, animal behavior, and theories of decision-making. He teaches courses in biopsychology, motivation and a special class on global challenges in the Honors College. Over the past several years, Dr. Shapiro has helped to develop new interdisciplinary courses around the theme of Global Challenges including a lower-division course on critical thinking, an upper-division course on multiculturalism, and a course for a short-term study abroad program. In 2017, he supervised a group of students in a study abroad program in Fiji where service learning was a key component. Dr. Shapiro is the chair of the University Taskforce on High-Impact Practices and is particularly interested in project-based learning, undergraduate research, service learning, and using technology in classes.

B.S. in Biology from California Polytechnic, San Luis Obispo 

M.A. in Biology from California State University, Humboldt 

M.A in Psychology from University of Hawaii, Manoa 

Ph.D. in Psychology from University of Hawaii, Manoa 

Postdoctoral Fellowship at Oxford University

Dr. Ulrike Muller

Dr. Ulrike Müller

Professor of Biology

Dr. Müller is a Professor in Biology.  Her research focuses on ‘how organisms move (in) water’.  Her most recent research studies prey capture in aquatic carnivorous plants.  She has mentored three external PhD students, more than 100 undergraduate research projects, and more than 20 Master students.  She has published more than 30 scientific articles (h index 20).  She teaches courses in physiology, anatomy, scientific writing, peer mentoring, and cultural competency.  She has participated in and led many educational and curricular initiatives, including a new professional development program for STEM educators.  She teaches by blending learning, research, and service – in her courses students conduct authentic scientific research, complete projects that support curricular innovation, and/or serve our community. 

She won awards for her teaching and research at Wageningen University and Fresno State.  She teaches courses on high-impact science writing, peer review, and proposal writing at graduate schools worldwide, leveraging her experience in authoring high-impact publications, as an associate editor and editorial board member of three journals (including Proceedings B of the Royal Society), and as a successful writer and regular reviewer of federal funding agencies from multiple countries.  Her work has been supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Japanese Society for the Promotion of  Science (JSPS), and the Dutch Research Organization (NWO) (totaling ~ $2.5 million).

She is also the host of a monthly radio program and has a strong interest in science communication and outreach.

Post-docs at Cambridge University, United Kingdom; Wageningen University, The Netherlands; Chiba University, Japan

Ph.D. in Marine Biology from University of Groningen, The Netherlands

M.S. in Biology from Bielefeld University, Germany

B.S. in Biology from Saarland University, Germany

Dr. Rajee Amarasinghe

Dr. Rajee Amarasinghe

Chair and Professor of Mathematics

Dr. Rajee Amarasinghe was named the 2004 faculty recipient of the Jan & Bud Richter Award for Excellence in Education for Liberal Studies at California State University, Fresno. He also received the 2000 Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Indiana University.

Currently, he serves as a professor and the department chair of the Department of Mathematics at California State University, Fresno and is Co-PI of the San Joaquin Valley Mathematics Project. During his time at Fresno State, Rajee has received over $13 million grant funding in collaboration with school districts and other departments at Fresno State. He has directed professional development workshops for teachers locally and internationally and directs the Summer Academy in STEM workshops to enhance mathematics education for children in the Central Valley. He has co-authored three books in mathematics and mathematics education.

B.S. in Mathematics and Physics from University of Colombo, Sri Lanka

M.S. in Mathematics from Purdue University

M.S. in Computer Science from Purdue University

Ph.D. in Mathematics Education from Indiana University

Dr. Joseph Ross

Dr. Joseph Ross

Assistant Professor of Biology

As an evolutionary geneticist, Dr. Ross is intrigued by the diversity evident in the world around us and strives to understand how changes in DNA sequences facilitate variation. His laboratory’s recent work using the worm Caenorhabditis briggsae has focused on understanding the genetic and molecular basis for a decrease in fitness, protracted development, and temperature adaptation evident in certain wild strains and their hybrids. Broadly, this research program relates to how species form and to understanding the extent to which genetics can help predict the ability of organisms to adapt to climate change.

Aside from having an intellectual inclination toward evolutionary genetics and genomics, Dr. Ross is also passionate about teaching and mentoring. He is an inaugural faculty fellow in Fresno State’s DISCOVERe program, through which faculty are trained in the effective classroom use of mobile technology and then augment their courses with mobile technology to engage students and improve their digital literacy skills. Through his efforts in this role, he has received the Provost’s Award for Innovation, become an Apple Distinguished Scholar, and been a faculty cohort lead in the Course Redesign with Technology program, helping faculty across the CSU system incorporate various types of technologies into their courses to improve student success. He has presented on digital pedagogy at various conferences across the country and host a widely-read blog on best practices at tabletpedagogy.blogspot.com.

B.A. in Biochemistry from University of Oregon (magna cum laude and Departmental Honors)

Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology from University of Washington

Dr. Rosa Toro

Dr. Rosa Toro

Assistant Professor of Psycholgy

Dr. Rosa I. Toro was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley of Southern California and is the daughter of Mexican immigrants.  She has mentored and trained 18 undergraduate and 3 graduate students in her research laboratory.  Many of the students she has mentored have gone on to graduate programs in Developmental Psychology, Social Work, Counseling, School Psychology or Forensic/Legal Psychology.  Dr. Toro’s research focuses on understanding how the multiple and dynamic contexts in which immigrant children and families are embedded influence their development.  Specifically, she has examined filial responsibilities in Latino young adults, acculturation differences between immigrant parents and children, and acculturative family distancing in young adults.  The goal of her research is to contribute to the understanding of the lived experiences of immigrant children and families outside of the country of origin.  Currently, she is a Principal Investigator on a grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), which focuses on examining longitudinally parent-child acculturation gaps among immigrant Latino families and its impact on family functioning and adolescent development.  She has presented her research at various national conferences and, recently, was part of an invited Special Collaborative Session on the Mental Health Needs of Immigrant, Refugee and Asylum seeking Women and Girls in the U.S.A, at the 145th American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual meeting.

B.A. in Psychology from University of Southern California

Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from University of California, Riverside

Postdoctoral Scholar with the MacArthur Foundation at Tufts University

Dr. Mara Brady

Dr. Mara Brady

Assistant Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences

As a sedimentary geologist, Dr. Brady’s research focuses on identifying and accounting for variations in the quality of sedimentary records across space and time.  Her research integrates field-based sedimentological and paleontological data to develop a better understanding of the controls on the preservation of geologic and fossil records. In her nearly six years at Fresno State, Dr. Brady has enjoyed mentoring six graduate and 15 undergraduate student research collaborators, many of whom have presented at international and national conferences and won regional professional society awards for their theses. She enjoys teaching earth science courses because they provide a unique opportunity to engage students in the interconnectedness of humans and the natural word and evidence-based decision making. By viewing challenges, different perspectives, and collaboration as opportunities for learning and growth, Dr. Brady has successfully implemented a variety of campus initiatives and course-redesign projects that go beyond her primary research interests in the geosciences. These efforts range from creating student learning opportunities through engagement in campus planning and sustainability goals, re-designing earth science courses to better prepare future teachers, to leading a team of faculty and staff in implementing a first year learning community in the College of Science and Mathematics.

Dr. Brady was awarded 2015 Provost’s Award for Promising New Faculty and was a 2017 participant in the Project Kaleidoscope STEM Leadership Institute. Having experienced multiple different university settings (from small liberal arts college, research-intensive university, to a regional primarily undergraduate institution) and participating in professional development opportunities (on campus and across the country), she appreciates being at an institution that prioritizes student success and values the diverse perspectives and experiences Fresno State students bring to the classroom. In the classroom, she empowers students to use their own skills, knowledge, and the resources around them, including peers, to engage with course topics and ideas.

Ph.D. in Stratigraphy and Paleobiology from The University of Chicago

B.A. in Geology (minor in Biology; Magna Cum Laude) from Macalester College

Dr. Laurent Dejean

Dr. Laurent Dejean

Associate Professor of Chemistry

Dr. Dejean joined the chemistry faculty at Fresno State in 2011. The focus of his research is to understand how Bcl-2 family proteins link cell death, mitochondrial physiology and energy metabolism; and how imbalances in these connections may be caused by or possibly lead to diseases. His current research combines both cell biological and biochemical techniques; and aims to define the molecular mechanisms of the co-regulation of apoptotic signaling and fuel metabolism by the proto-oncogenes Bcl-2 and Bcl-xL.

Since the beginning of his career, Dr. Dejean has co-authored more than 30 peer-reviewed publications in reference journals in his field such as Journal of Biological Chemistry or Cell Death and Differentiation. He has also mentored one postdoctoral fellow, one PhD student, 10 graduate students, and 30 undergraduate students during this same period of time. His former Ph. D student, Dr. Yolanda Camara, is now an Assistant Professor in Biochemistry/Cell Biology at the Vall d’Hebron Research Institute in Barcelona (Spain). Dr. Dejean is fluent in Spanish and is a strong advocate for the inclusion of under-represented students into the research enterprise in the United States. To reach this particular goal, he has participated in a mentoring group for Hispanic students at the NYU College of Dentistry for 2 years (2009-2011). He is also a regular member of the SOBLA (Sociedad de Biofisicos Latino Americanos : Latin American Biophysical Society), the hispanic sub-group of the Biophysical Society, since the year of 2009.

Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from the University of Bordeaux, France

Post-doctoral Fellowship at University of Barcelona, Spain

Post-doctoral Fellowship at NYU College of Dentistry

Assistant Professor at NYU College of Dentistry