May 2010 - Vol 1, Issue 1
Dean Rogerson Assoc. Dean Harmsen
Welcome to the
issue of our electronic newsletter - with its highly imaginative title 'The
Newsletter' (we are willing to change this and suggestions are
welcome!). We shall send this out every three months to inform you
happenings within the College of Science and Mathematics at Fresno
also invite you to send information our way - any news you would like to
with our alumni, emeriti and friends. In this way we aim to stay
all who have an interest in the College. In this edition we showcase
Diane Anderson (class of 1976) but we welcome future news or comments
recently retired graduates or faculty as well as friends of the College.
am about to enter third year as Dean at California State University,
I am helped by my experienced Associate Dean, Fraka Harmsen, who has
the University for 25 years. Much has changed within the last decade and
the College a major challenge is to ensure our graduates have the skill
succeed in tomorrow's technology-rich workplace. We are committed to
building a content-focused curriculum to provide students with the most
knowledge and highest level of skill in occupationally important areas.
this we must achieve two goals: (1) provide ample opportunities
for undergraduate student to have a hands-on research experience in the
or in the field and (2) build our research graduate programs.
value of university
research to the nation is enormous and the benefit to students is
question. As such, the College has added 44 outstanding new faculty
the past five years who are all committed to establishing productive
laboratories involving students. Last academic year the College
million in external grants and contracts and in just 6 months of the
year we have reached $4.3 million. To facilitate research success, the
recognizes the advantages of interdisciplinary research and has
several Centers or areas of emphasis.
faculty from across the College and University are involved in
biomedical research focusing on, for example, breast cancer and asthma. The biomedical facility is the consequence of a
(Research Infrastructure for Minority Institutions) award of $4.5
National Institute of Health to promote biomedical research and address
disparity in the region.
Autism Center provides Fresno students with training and experience in
behavioral treatment for children with autism. The Center conducts
autism and provides the community with outstanding behavioral therapy
Mathematics Education Center provides workshops, funds projects, and
scholarships and research experiences all designed to improve the
science and mathematics education in our regional schools.
High Energy Physics
group studies the properties of the most fundamental constituents of
using accelerator based experiments. Fresno State is the only CSU member
involved with the ATLAS program housed at the Large Hadron Collider at
facility, Switzerland. Typically, 5 students are involved in summer
programs at CERN each year.
Biotechnology Institute has recently secured donated space from APPL
Laboratories in Clovis and is offering a research experience to students
interested in molecular forensics.
Analytical Facility continues to provide centralized analytical
to support ongoing research within the College.
Institute of Climate
Change, Oceans and Atmosphere (ICCOA) is a partner on a $12.6 million
grant from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration to
range of topics such as air quality, satellite technology, and climate
The Institute recently partnered with the City of Fresno to produce the
comprehensive document on the implications of climate change on
water, air quality, and energy on the Fresno region.
Biology Assoc. Dean and
Fresno State wins $1.4
million grant for geosciences|
The National Science
Foundation has awarded a $1.4 million grant to California State
University Fresno for a project to increase diversity within the
academic disciplines that make up the geosciences, including geology,
environmental science, hydrology, air quality and atmospheric chemistry,
meteorology, and climatology.
The grant has created the
Geoscience Mentoring, Education, Teaching Research and Outreach (METRO) Center
at Fresno State. Fresno State Associate professor of Chemistry, Dr.
Alam Hasson, is directing the project. The center will involve
faculty members from three departments at Fresno State (Chemistry, Earth and
Environmental Science, and Geography) and two community colleges (Fresno City
College and Reedley College).
The center is providing
research opportunities within Fresno State Geoscience research laboratories to
undergraduate students. They also receive intensive mentoring and career
guidance to prepare them for graduate study and the workforce. The center
provides education and training resources to K-12 teachers and students. Fifteen
METRO students are currently working within the Center, which will be built up
to its capacity of 24 students by Fall 2010.
The grant is just one example of a concerted effort
across campus to address issues in the geosciences. The university has hired a
number of new faculty members in this area in recent years, and the newly-formed
Institute of Climate Change, Oceans and Atmosphere has been working to help
coordinate research and educational efforts in climate change, oceanography and atmospheric science.
The METRO Center is currently accepting applications
for the Fall semester. Application forms and more information can be found at:Geosciences Metro Center
The 2009-10 Biology Colloquium meets
every Friday at 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM in
Science II, Room 109.
Scott, Executive Director of National Center of Science Education recently presented on "Why
the Fuss about Darwin and Evolution." Dr. Scott is best known for
championing the teaching of evolution in the United States and for providing
leadership to the National Center for Science Education (NCSE). The National
Academy of Sciences recently selected Dr. Scott to receive its most prestigious
award, the Public Welfare Medal, awarded annually to honor extraordinary use of
science for the public good. The Consortium for Evolutionary Studies at Fresno
State presented this special lecture as part of the Sesquicentennial
celebration of the publication of Charles Darwin's "On the Origin of
Species", sponsored by the Tri-Beta Biology Honors Club, the Noyce
Scholars Program, the Natural Sciences Student Club, and Associated Students
The Department of
Biology, Consortium for Evolutionary Studies and Tri-Beta
Biology Honors Club also hosted UC San Diego protein chemist, evolutionary
biologist, and member of the National Academy of Science, Dr. Russell
Doolittle. Dr. Doolittle addressed the Colloquium on Step-by-Step Evolution of
Vertebrate Blood Coagulation. In other news
member, Dr. Larry Riley received a grant from the US Department of Agriculture,
Endocrine Control of Appetite and Growth during Stress in the Tilapia
. Tilapia is an increasingly important aquaculture
fish species worldwide and in the US, and Dr. Riley's research will be of
significant value to aquaculture in this species with regard to their stress,
appetite and growth.
Forensic Student Wins
The Society for Wildlife Forensic Sciences (SWFS)
recently named Michael Gonzalez, our first Hispanic forensic student, recipient
of the 2010 student prize for outstanding work in the wildlife forensic
sciences. Mike shares this award with a Ph.D. student in bioinformatics at the
Medical University of South Carolina. As you may know, the FBI sponsored the
presentation of Mike's work at an international symposium in Florida this past
summer. Mike will receive a monetary award and an invitation to present his
work at the inaugural meeting of the Society in Oregon this coming April. The
following statement was issued by the Deputy Director of the National Fish and
Wildlife Forensic Laboratory to Society membership about Mike's work:
"Michael V. Gonzalez, Masters student at California
State University, Fresno, is developing a computerized hair database for class
characters analysis which began in September of 2008 with hair specimens from the collection of the Biology Department at California State University,
Fresno. Currently, the database includes over 200 species of mammals from all
over the world. The results of this pilot work were presented at the Trace
Evidence Symposium in Florida held in the summer of 2009. The goal for this
computerized on-line database is to ultimately contain over 2,000 mammal
specimens and to provide a valuable digital resource for researchers and
In other news:
The president of our Chemistry Club, Steven Chabolla, has won one of 15
National Awards for Leadership awarded nationally by The American Chemical
Society. The award provided a stipend to attend a special conference in Fort
Worth in January, where he got to meet the Past President, current
president, and president elect of the American Chemical Society, which is
the world's largest scientific society.
2009 Comp-X Summer Camp
This is the second year that this
Computer Exploration (Comp-X) Summer Camp in Robotics has been offered by the
Department of Computer Science. A group of students between 12-17
years old had the experience to learn more how to build a robot, create
the code that operates the robot, as well as demonstrate it to others. The camp
was organized as half-day sessions for the month of July. Students were
equipped with Lego® MINDSTORMS® NXT style robotic kits and desktops. Robot
construction and graphical language as well as programming languages was
introduced along with individual (e.g., Balloon Buster) and team (e.g., Simon
Says via a wireless network) robotic projects. The ultimate goal was to motivate
students' interest in Computer Science by establishing creative robots and
realizing entertaining projects step by step. more details
and Environmental Sciences
Students, Professors presented at
National Geological ConferenceDr. John Suen was named Fellow of the Geological
Society of America.
Professors and students from the
California State University, Fresno Department of Earth and Environmental
Sciences presented 25 papers at the Geological Society of America's (GSA)
annual conference in Portland, Oregon.
The papers, 15 of which were co-authored by students, were presented and then published by the GSA. Topics
included the importance of water in the Central Valley, Fresno's air quality,
earthquakes in California and the formation of Yosemite National Park.
Once published by GSA, the papers
can be picked up by the world's industry-related journals.
"This is a great opportunity
for our undergraduate and graduate students to attend the conference, meet
professionals in the field, present their hard work and get published,"
said Dr. Fraka Harmsen, associate dean of the College of Science and
Harmsen said the Department of Earth
and Environmental Sciences has made an effort to encourage more published work
and research by undergraduate students.
"When students get the chance
to present their work, they are finally able to see the outcome of all their efforts,"
said Harmsen. "We strongly believe in giving undergraduates research
opportunities that will allow them to learn and grow in the field."
In other news:
Kerry Ford and Sue Bratcher led another successful 4-day EES 3 field trip to
Mono Lake and Mammoth Mountain for 50 students. Even the snow did not cool the
spirits of the students.
The Department of Mathematics is committed to meeting the needs of students in the
University with high quality mathematics education. The faculty are actively
involved in research and grant writing.
Their service component includes remedial mathematics courses,
general education courses and several courses for Liberal Studies majors. The
Department has more than 200 undergraduate mathematics majors and is now
offering an undergraduate research experience.
The Single Subject Credential Program (recently
approved by the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing) is producing
more than 20 highly qualified mathematics teachers per year.
The Master's Program is offering two degrees to an increasing graduate student
population: the traditional track and the teaching option. The NOYCE Foundation's grant is a
great opportunity for students who wish to enroll simultaneously in the
Master's Program and the Credential Program.
2008-2009 academic year was a busy and productive one for the Department of Physics. Dr. Yongsheng Gao, the leader
of the physics departments high energy particle physics program, was awarded a National Science
Foundation EPP grant of $460,000 to fund his work on the ATLAS detector at the
Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Geneva,
Dr. Gao has also been building a CSU wide high energy physics consortium with
the aim of sending students from around the CSU to Geneva during the summer to carry out
research on the ATLAS experiment. Last summer Dr. Gao sent 5 students to Geneva - 4 from Fresno and
one from Sacramento State University.
Last year also saw the acceptance of the Medical Physics program, headed by Drs. Amir Huda and
Charles Tenney, as an official major at Fresno State.
The Medical Physics program is the first undergraduate program of its type in
the country and has been supported through a $600,000 grant from National Institute of Health (NIH).
The department's condensed matter program had an active year. Dr.
Pei-Chun Ho received her funds from the Research Corporation Grant to do
research work on exotic superconductors. Two of Dr. Ho's students - Dulce Romero and Ulises Urbina -
gave talks on their research work with Dr. Ho at the APS CA-section meeting in
Monterey this past October.
Dr. Steve White continued to do an outstanding job in the area of outreach
through his running of the Downing Planetarium and Downing Museum, both of which had
daily visits by grade school and high school students for planetarium shows and
Dr. Fred Ringwald established the Sierra Remote Observatory which is a remotely
controlled research observatory in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
For examples of work by Dr.Ringwald and students go to http://zimmer.csufresno.edu/~fringwal/sro.html
Dr. Matthew J. Sharps recently released his new book, Processing Under Pressure,
Stress, Memory and Decision-Making in Law enforcement,
from Looseleaf Law Publications. Written in plain, accessible language,
this book should be of interest to officers, commanders, attorneys, scholars,
and anyone else involved in the worlds of law enforcement or forensic
News from Alumni, Emeriti and Friends|
Diane Anderson, a graduate from the
Department of Chemistry in the College of Science and Mathematics, is President
and founder of APPL Inc (Agriculture & Priority Pollutants Laboratories).
Located in a 20,000 square foot complex in Clovis, California, APPL, Inc. is an
analytical chemistry laboratory with over 25 years of experience with a variety of
projects, including remedial investigations, well monitoring, drinking water
analysis, irrigation runoff, and wastewater treatment plant influent/effluent
Ms. Anderson graduated in 1976 prior to the
proliferation of personal computers. "Fresno State taught me critical problem
solving techniques that I have used throughout my career. I have the ability to
solve problems that did not exist 30 years ago due to the skills I learned in
the College of Math and Science. Computers were not widely used then but the
basics were known and taught to us by the professors. The professors were well
prepared and well read. We learned from books and in the laboratories but also
from the examples set by the instructors. This information was easily
transferred to the outside world after graduation. I am very proud to say I am
a Fresno State graduate."
In October 2006, APPL Inc. was
awarded the 2006 Central California Excellence in Business Award, and in
2009 the company became the first Laboratory accredited by ACLASS for
Department of Defense (DoD) Environmental Laboratory Accreditation
Program (ELAP). APPL, Inc. has a
staff of over 55 employees, many of whom are
graduates from the College of Science and Mathematics. more info
Fresno State launched its Centennial
celebration on Friday, April 16, with a proclamation and then with
hundreds of students, staff, faculty, alumni and future alumni forgoing
lunch to gather in the campus amphitheater for a birthday photo op.
The festivities - part of the kickoff of the annual Vintage Days at
Fresno State - are an invitation to the community and alumni to return
to campus during the 13 months until the 100th Commencement in May 2011
to celebrate at one of numerous events planned for the Centennial. More information will follow soon.