Faculty & Staff Directory


Name Title and Area of Specialty

Anil Shrestha

Chair, Department of Viticulture & Enology and Professor, Weed Science

Dr. Shrestha joined the Department of Viticulture and Enology in the Fall 2018 semester as Department Chair where he provides leadership for administering, developing, and operating all academic responsibilities for the viticulture and enology program.  He works directly with the Viticulture & Enology Research Center (VERC) Director, the University Agricultural Laboratory (UAL) Manager, and the grape and wine industry.

Prior to joining the Department of Viticulture and Enology Department Dr. Shrestha taught in the Plant Science Department and was involved in several viticulture research projects at Fresno State.  His primary research area is integrated vegetation management. Particular research interests include vineyard ecology and weed management, weed biology and ecology, crop-weed competition, herbicide-resistance management, environmental aspects of vegetation management, agroecology, and organic farming. 

Fall Semester:  Viticulture 162T Vineyard Ecology and Organic Production

Stephan Sommer

Director, Viticulture & Enology Research Center (VERC).  

Dr. Sommer joined the Department of Viticulture and Enology as the Director of the Viticulture and Enology Research Center (VERC) in the Spring 2019 semester.  As Director of VERC, Sommer provides research and administrative leadership by planning, promoting, and administering all viticulture and enology research programs.  Responsibilities involve collaboration with other research centers within the Jordan College and university, the Department of Viticulture and Enology, other institutions, and the grape and wine industry.

Prior to joining Fresno State's viticulture and enology team, Dr. Sommer was the academic program director and an Assistant Professor of Fermentation Sciences at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. He also brings more than eight years of industry experience in various fields of beverage production including wineries, sparkling wine companies, breweries, table water production, and related fields including industrial flavor production.

Luca Brillante

Assistant Professor of Viticulture & Bronco Wine Company Viticulture Research Chair 

Wine grape production and vineyard management. Teaching:  In the areas of general viticulture, mechanized viticulture, and advanced grape and vine enterprise management in cooperation with the campus vineyard and winery management personnel; advises students, supervise student research projects, and engage in a rigorous scientific research agenda.   

Fall Semester courses: Viticulture 101 - General Viticulture I; Vit-Eno 199 Weekly Seminar Series

Sanliang Gu

Professor of Viticulture & Ricchiuti Chair of Viticulture Research

Fruit quality improvement, plant nutrition, plant-water relations, cold hardiness, cultivar evaluation, trellis systems and canopy management   

Miguel Pedroza

Assistant Professor of Enology  

Wine chemistry, sensory evaluation of wines  

Fall Semester courses: Enology 105- Advanced Sensory Evaluation of Wine; Enology 164 - Wine Analysis & Production

Qun Sun

Assistant Professor of Enology 

Food science with an emphasis on wine chemistry, chemosensory and viticultural studies of hybrid grape and resulting wines, food/beverage development, grape/wine aroma and flavor compound identification, the impact of viticultural practices on grape and wine quality, developing new analytical techniques for measurement of grape and wine components, determining the relationship between sensory attributes and wine composition  

Fall semester courses: Enology 15 - Intro to Enology; Enology 115 - Analytical Methods for Wine

Cliff Yu

Assistant Professor of Viticulture (Beginning August, 2021)

Wine grape production; primary research focuses include berry/wine flavonoid composition as affected by abiotic stress, vineyard cultural practices, vineyard mechanization, and precision viticulture. 

Fall semester courses:  Viticulture 106 - Winegrape Production; Vit 162T (Vit 15) Introduction to Viticulture

Sonet Van Zyl

Associate Professor of Viticulture 

Table and raisin grape production and marketing, cultivar development and evaluation, grapevine and rootstock breeding for improved quality and pest and disease resistance, industry focused research for California's table grape and raisin industries  

Fall semester courses:  Viticulture 103- Raisin Production; Viticulture 165 Grape Varieties and Rootstocks


 Teaching Faculty & Staff:


Teaching Faculty
Name Title and Area of Specialty

Sara Azevedo

Lecturer, Compliance and Regulations

Spring Semester course: Enology 140 - Regulations: Wine/Brandy

Britt Foster

Faculty, Henry Madden Library Subject Librarian for the Jordan College, Viticulture & Enology  

Information literacy instruction, reference and research, including viticulture and enology subjects and V. E. Petrucci Library collection

Kevin Smith

Lecturer, Winery Business & Marketing

Business and marketing lecturer, Manager of business and marketing operations for the Fresno State Winery

Fall Semester course: Enology 173  Wine Marketing

William Whalen

Lecturer, Enology

Biology, Fermentation

Fall Semester course: Enology 163 - Fermentation 


 Adjunct Faculty:

Adjunct Faculty
Name Title and Area of Specialty

Susan Rodriguez

Adjunct Faculty

Wine Microbiology, Sensory                                                                                      


Name Title and Area of Specialty
Geoffrey Dervishian

Instructional Support Technician - Jordan College of Ag

Works with faculty within the Jordan College of Ag to support their research programs within the Jordan Ag Research Center (JARC) building.  Provides leadership on safety issues.

Leah Groves

Vineyard Technician

Responsible for all aspects of grape production and vineyard operations of the university's vineyard.

Andrea Magdaleno

Administrative Assistant to the Chair 

Assistant to the Department Chair; responsible for providing support to faculty, staff, and students in the Department.

Stella Sommer

Instructional Support Technician - Jordan College of Ag

Provides academic support to faculty in the Jordan College of Ag, including viticulture and enology faculty working in the Graduate Laboratory on campus or requiring classroom support. 

Tom Montgomery

Winemaker, Wine production

All aspects of wine production, winery operations and management of the university's commercial winery.

Responsible for student supervision and training in the Fresno State Winery, and integrating instruction and research activities into the winery operations.


Viticulture & Enology Lab Technician

Responsible for providing research support to faculty, staff, students in the VERC labs

Mark Salwasser

Director, Ag Operations

Oversees all aspects of of the University's 1,000 acre farm laboratory, including the operations of the campus vineyards and winery.

Cynthia Wood

Viticulture and Enology Program Specialist

Serves as the Outreach and Events Coordinator responsible for promotion of the viticulture and enology faculty, staff, students; and VERC dissemination of research to the grape and wine industry

Cherisse Villareal

Library Assistant, V. E. Petrucci Library 

Responsible for the day-to-day operations of the library collection, and for providing assistance to students, staff, faculty, and patrons.

Rebecca White

Admin Assistant - Accounting Technician

Serves as Assistant to the Viticulture and Enology Research Center (VERC) Director; responsible for providing administrative support to VERC faculty, staff, and students, with an emphasis on research budgets and accounting 


Outreach & Events Coordinator Assistant - Part-Time



Name    Title and Area of Specialty           
Sayed Badr

Professor & Chair Emeritus, Plant Science Department and Professor Emeritus, Department of Viticulture and Enology

University Service:  1970 - 2005; Part time FERP 2005 - 2009

Viticulture, with an emphasis on table grape varieties, production and research


Barry Gump

Professor Emeritus, Chemistry and Adjunct Faculty of Enology, Department of Viticulture and Enology

University Service: Retirement in May 2007

Chemistry, brewing and wine analysis, Enology

James A. Kennedy

Professor and Chair Emeritus, Department of Viticulture and Enology; and Director Emeritus, Viticulture and Enology Research Center

University Service: 2010-2015

Served as Joint Department Chair and Research Director.

Wine Chemistry

Carlos J. Muller

Professor Emeritus, Enology, Enology Food Science & Nutrition and the Department of Viticulture and Enology

University Service: 1979 - 2004

Food chemistry and biochemistry, flavor development, vine physiology and defense mechanisms, wine quality, spoilage and stability, and the health aspects of wine

Robert L. Wample

Professor and Chair Emeritus, Department of Viticulture and Enology and Director Emeritus, Viticulture & Enology Research Center

University Service:  2000 - 2009

Served as Joint Department Chair and Research Director. 

Viticulture Effects of mechanical pruning, irrigation management, productivity and physiology including effects of nutrition, harvest date, pruning level and disease on cold hardiness of wine and juice grapes

Roy Thornton

Professor Emeritus, Enology, Department of Viticulture & Enology 

University Service:  2001 - 2016

Wine Microbiology


In Memoriam:

In Memoriam
Name    Title and Area of Specialty           
Ken Fugelsang

December 13, 1946 - February 20, 2017

University Service:  1971 - 2011; Part time FERP 2011 - 2016

Professor Emeritus of Enology 

Wine Microbiology, Wine Analysis and Production 


Vincent E. Petrucci

July 13, 1925 - December 27, 2016

University Service:  1948 - 1994

Professor Emeritus, Plant Science Department and

Director Emeritus, Viticulture & Enology Research Center

Viticulture Vineyard management and production, varieties