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Faculty Mentors

Are you interested in becoming a faculty mentor to a McNair Scholar? Please complete the McNair Faculty Interest form.
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For questions, comments or concerns please email McNair@csulb.edu

Faculty Mentors 2017-2018

Name

Contact

Research

Selena Nguyen-Rodriguez, PhD
Department of Health Science

Selena.Nguyen@csulb.edu

Dr. Nguyen-Rodriguez's research interests lie in improving health outcomes for minority populations, based on the principles of health psychology.  She believes that to attain healthy outcomes, peoples' minds and bodies must both be addressed.

M. Keith Claybrook, PhD
Department of Africana Studies

M.Keith.Claybrook@csulb.edu

Dr. Claybrook specializes in the following areas:

  • History of Black Liberation Movements
  • History of African Americans in Higher Education
  • African Liberation Movements
  • Caribbean Liberation Movements
  • African and African Diasporic Spirituality
  • African Indigenous Pedagogy
  • History of the African Diaspora
  • History of African American Reparations Movement
  • History of Hip Hop   

Kim Phuong Vu, PhD
Department of Psychology

Kim.Vu@csulb.edu

Dr. Vu specializes in the following areas:

  • Human cognition
  • Human Performance
  • Human factors
  • Human-Computer Interaction

 

Barbara Grossman-Thompson, PhD
Department of International Studies

Barbara.Grossman-Thompson@csulb.edu

Her dissertation research focuses on the gendered implications of social change and economic development in Nepal. Her secondary research interest concerns the political economy of migration and diaspora. The growing number of Nepali women migrating abroad for work poses numerous questions about the gendered nature of migration, migration policy and remittances. Current research projects focus on migration as a process shaped by both local and global forces as well as historically dominant and emergent ways of thinking about gender and mobility.

Samar Needham, PhD
Department of Psychology

Samar.Needham@csulb.edu

Behavioral Neuroscience and Learning & Behavior

Caitlin Fouratt, PhD
Department of International Studies

Caitlin.Fouratt@csulb.edu

Dr. Fouratt’s book project Flexible Families: Transnational Migration in Costa Rica and Nicaragua explores the intimate connections between Nicaraguan migrants in Costa Rica and their families in Nicaragua in order to understand how economic crisis, environmental pressures, and failed government policies contribute to the reconfiguration of care and kinship among transnational families. Dr. Fouratt’s other research interests relate to refugees and forced migrants within Central America, and with state responses to shifting regional migration dynamics. She is actively involved in the Red de Jovenes Sin Fronteras, a youth association based in Costa Rica that advocates for and with refugee and migrant youth.

May Ling Halim, PhD
Department of Psychology

Mayling.Halim@csulb.edu

Her research spans two broad areas. The first is social identity development in children of different cultures. The second is the effects of group discrimination on health and well-being. Her research papers have been published in national academic journals such as Child Development, Developmental Psychology, and Health Psychology. Her work has also been written about in the popular media, such as on NPR and in Psychology Today.

Oliver Wang, PhD
Department of Sociology

Oliver.Wang@csulb.edu

Popular culture/music, race and ethnicity, identity and community formation.

Bradley Weisz, PhD
Department of Psychology

Bradley.Weisz@csulb.edu

Dr Weisz’ interests center on understanding how stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination contribute to disparities between advantaged and disadvantaged social groups in academic achievement and health, and how social-psychological interventions can reduce these disparities

Ruth Chambers, PhD
Department of Sociology

Ruth.Chambers@csulb.edu

Dr. Chambers research interests are focused in three primary areas: child neglect and its relationship to poverty, child welfare services and family outcomes, and service integration.

Pitiporn Asvapathanagul, PhD
Department of Civil Engineering and Construction Engineering Management

Pitiporn.Asvapathanagul@csulb.edu

Dr. Asvapathanagul’s research focuses on using molecular tools to understand microbial activities and resolve problems in biological water reclamation processes and in the environment. She developed several molecular primers and probes for bacterial detection in water reclamation plants. Dr. Asvapathanagul is also interested in developing a novel system for sewage highly containing fat, oil and grease.

Aftab Ahmed, PhD
Department of Electrical Engineering

Aftab.Ahmed@csulb.edu

A theme of Dr. Ahmed's research centers around the design and development of new devices and methods based on light-matter interactions at small length (nano-, meso-, micro-) scales. His motivation is to advance physics and engineering of optoelectronic devices, and to utilize this knowledge to tackle real-world problems in medical diagnostics, photonics, sustainable energy, and optical/microwave communications. His research goals include integration of unique capabilities of hybrid plasmonic nanostructures and the wealth of design guidelines and techniques in the microwave regime leading to next generation optoelectronic and all-optical devices. Such devices will not only lead to new paradigms but will also overcome existing inefficiencies in cost, speed and size.

Claudia Lopez, PhD
Department of Sociology

Claudia.Lopez2@csulb.edu

Dr. Lopez’s research interest are Global migration, displacement, citizenship, gender, race, class, critical urban studies, collective memory, social movements, and Latin America.

Praveen Shankar, PhD
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Praveen.Shankar@csulb.edu

Dr. Shankar has collaborated with researchers from NASA and Air Force Research Laboratories on several projects and authored many conference and journal papers in the field. He is the recipient of the AIAA Foundation Orville and Wilbur Wright Graduate Award for his contributions to research in aerospace engineering. At Arizona State University, he developed a simulation tool for teaching Aircraft Dynamics and Control which has received significant attention from education and technology magazines. Dr. Shankar is a Senior Member of AIAA and has served as a reviewer for journals and conferences from AIAA, ASME, IEEE, IMechE and ASEE.

Christopher Warren, PhD
Department of Psychology

C.Warren@csulb.edu

Dr. Warren’s research are within Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

Jiyeong Gu, PhD
Department of Physics and Astronomy

Jiyeong.Gu@csulb.edu

  • Condensed Matter Experiment
  • Thin Films
  • Nanomagnetism
  • Superconductivity

Maythee Rojas, PhD
Department of Sociology

Maythee.Rojas@csulb.edu

Dr. Rojas’ research specializations include ethnic American literature and issues of gender and sexuality.

Robert Schug, PhD
Department of Criminal Justice

Robert.Schug@csulb.edu

Dr. Schug’s interest include: 

  • Schizophrenia
  • Psychopathy
  • Mental illness and crime, violence, and antisocial behavior
  • Homicide, including serial killing and other forms of multiple murder
  • Sexual offending
  • Integrative biological, psychological, and psychosocial approaches to understanding criminal and violent behavior
  • Forensic psychology, particularly neuroscience applications to the forensic arena (dangerousness/risk assessment)
  • Competency to Stand Trial and restoration to competency
  • NGRI defense
  • Correctional psychology (assessment and treatment of mentally ill offenders)

Bradley Weisz, PhD
Department of Psychology

Bradley.Weisz@csulb.edu

Dr Weisz’ interests center on understanding how stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination contribute to disparities between advantaged and disadvantaged social groups in academic achievement and health, and how social-psychological interventions can reduce these disparities

Chuhee Kwon, PhD
Department of Physics and Astronomy

Chuhee.Kwon@csulb.edu

Dr. Kwon’s research interest include:

  • Condensed Matter Experiments
  • Materials Science
  • Superconductivity
  • Biophysics

Faculty Mentors 2018-2019 

Name

Contact

Research

Amy Cabrera Rasmussen, PhD
Department of Political Science

Amy.Rasmussen@csulb.edu

Her scholarly work examines policymaking processes, discourse, and impact.  Substantively, she grounds her work in various aspects of public policy that involve health and identity, specifically issues such as environmental health, health disparities, and reproductive and sexual health.  Her research utilizes interpretive methods and a theoretical framework that emphasizes the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, and nation.  Current research includes a study of environmental health policy making as it affects and is affected by the local Long Beach community.

Praveen Shankar, PhD
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Praveen.Shankar@csulb.edu

Dr. Shankar has collaborated with researchers from NASA and Air Force Research Laboratories on several projects and authored many conference and journal papers in the field. He is the recipient of the AIAA Foundation Orville and Wilbur Wright Graduate Award for his contributions to research in aerospace engineering. At Arizona State University, he developed a simulation tool for teaching Aircraft Dynamics and Control which has received significant attention from education and technology magazines. Dr. Shankar is a Senior Member of AIAA and has served as a reviewer for journals and conferences from AIAA, ASME, IEEE, IMechE and ASEE.

Robert Blankenship, PhD
Department of Romance, German, Russian Languages & Literature

Robert.Blankenship@csulb.edu 

Dr. Blankenship’s scholarship is concerned with nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first century German literature and cinema, and he is especially interested in East German literature. He is the author of the book “Suicide in East German Literature: Fiction, Rhetoric, and the Self-Destruction of Literary Heritage.” Dr. Blankenship sees teaching as a war against apathy, and students in his classes may find themselves discussing, collaborating, writing, translating, staging dramatic productions, performing close readings, fruitfully disagreeing, and generally flexing their imagination.

Mahdi Yoozbashizadeh, PhD
Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

Mahdi.Yoozbashizadeh@csulb.edu

Dr. Yoozbashizadeh's research focuses on Automation, Additive Manufacturing, 3D-Printing of Metals, Product Development, Design of Experiments, and Process/Product Improvement and Optimization. The last three years working at CSULB, he has conducted four industry funded research projects in the fields of Automation in Aerospace (funded by Boeing), Plasma Treatment of Composite Structures (funded by Northrop Grumman), Sealant Flow Process Control and Optimization (funded by Boeing), and Metal-Ceramic Composite Manufacturing by 3D Printing.

Gino Galvez, PhD
Department of Psychology

Gino.Galvez@csulb.edu

Dr. Galvez examining complex issues that affect ethnic minority populations within organizational contexts.  For example, some of my research has examined the intersection of intimate partner violence, culture, and employment outcomes among Latino men. Additionally, I maintain an active research line in program evaluation in which a range of methods (e.g., surveys, interviews, and focus groups) are used to evaluate programs (e.g., student training, community services), interventions (e.g., HIV, public health), and organizations. I am an investigator and program evaluation consultant for several grant-supported research projects (e.g., NIH BUILD, HSI STEM) and community-based organizations.

Danielle Kohfeldt, PhD
Department of Psychology

Danielle.Kohfeldt@csulb.edu

My research program focuses on formal and informal learning environments (broadly defined) and how these environments facilitate or hinder individual and collective empowerment and human thriving. I take an ecological approach that considers the structural, cultural, political, and institutional contexts of empowerment. In addition to examining how settings shape beliefs and behavior, I investigate how people alter settings to make them more conducive to human thriving. Most of my research is developed in collaboration with community groups and organizations. I am particularly interested in arts-based research methods and the role of the arts in fostering community development, identity, and empowerment

Joseph Kalman, PhD
Department of Mechanical & Aerospace

Joseph.Kalman@csulb.edu

His research focuses on combustion of solid fuels and energetic materials (solid composite propellants) for propulsion and defense applications with an emphasis on non-intrusive diagnostic. His work seeks to understand the underlying physics and chemistry of how these materials ignite, decompose, and deflagrate.

Rebecca Nash, PhD
School of Criminology

Becky.Nash@csulb.edu

Dr. Nash’s research interest include:

  • Crime Analysis via Social Network Analysis & GIS/Crime Mapping
  • Fraud and White-Collar Crime
  • Illicit Networks
  • Counter-Terrorism
  • Quantitative Methods

Gabriella Hancock, PhD
Department of Psychology

Gabriella.Hancock@csulb.edu

Dr. Hancock’s research interests consist of human performance under workload and stress (specializing in cognitive neuroscience methods and measures), and human-technology interaction. In order to facilitate and improve overall system performance, researchers must first identify the junctures at which human performance deteriorates or fails due to stressful environmental or task demands that exceed our natural physical or cognitive capacities. In these efforts, I concentrate on the study of individual differences (the psychological study of human similarities and differences in cognition, emotion, and behavior) as humans’ susceptibility and tolerances for certain stressors or workloads depend on such individual differences.

Faculty Mentors 2019-2020 

Name

Contact

Research

Yada Treesukosol, PhD
Department of Psychology

Yada.Treesukosol@csulb.edu

Dr. Treesukosol’s research takes advantage of animal models to ask questions related to how oral signals (e.g. taste, smell, texture) send information to the brain to control feeding and drinking behavior. BUILD scholars would be involved in experiments that use physiological procedures (e.g. injecting gut peptides, measuring contents in plasma) with behavioral measures (e.g. meal patterns, detection thresholds, preference). The conceptual questions address the relative contributions of oral stimulation, post-ingestive cues and reward-related mechanisms on eating behavior.

Selena Nguyen-Rodriguez, PhD
Department of Health Science

Selena.Nguyen@csulb.edu

Dr. Nguyen-Rodriguez's research interests lie in improving health outcomes for minority populations, based on the principles of health psychology.  She believes that to attain healthy outcomes, peoples' minds and bodies must both be addressed.

Perla Ayala, PhD
Department of Biomedical Engineering

Perla.Ayala@csulb.edu

Dr. Ayala's research focuses on developing therapeutic systems that promote optimal healing. Her research applies a multidisciplinary approach to create engineered tissues, and cohesive drug delivery platforms for applications in the clinic. During her graduate studies, Dr. Ayala developed bioengineered microstructures for cardiac repair that improve cardiac functional outcomes after a heart attack in the rat model. Recently, she engineered a stem cell laden composite tissue system for applications in tissue regeneration that promotes angiogenesis and modulation of the immune response.

Virginia Gray, PhD
Department of Family & Consumer Sciences

Virginia.Gray@csulb.edu

Dr. Gray’s research interests include:

  • Community nutrition
  • Nutrition in policy
  • School nutrition
  • Global issues in nutrition
  • Social and cultural influences on food habits and nutrition status
  • Curriculum development

Alfredo Carlos Marquez, PhD
Department of Political Science and Chicano and Latino Studies

Alfredo.Carlos@csulb.edu

Dr. Carlos’ research interests include:

  • Political Economy
  • Latino Politics
  • Urban Politics
  • Inequality
  • Racial and Ethnic Politics
  • Mexican
  • Chicano and Latin American Politics
  • Immigration​
  • Social Movements
  • Labor Politics
  • Economic Democracy
  • Democratic Theory
  • Politics of Development
  • Revolutions
  • Politics in Entertainment Media and Culture