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 September 2012


I am pleased to be serving the College of Science & Mathematics (CSM) for the second year as its Interim Dean. As you know, the College has a vibrant group of faculty interested in high-quality teaching and research as well as service to the University and the community. Our students are doing outstanding work as well, succeeding in their classes, presenting their research in over 200 talks and posters last year at regional, national, and international conferences, being co-authors on 59 scientific publications (including The Journal of Experimental Biology, Chemical Physics Letters, Forensic Examiner, The Microchemical Journal, Physics Review Letters,and the Journal of the American Deafness and Rehabilitation Association, to name a few), providing service to the community through our service-learning courses, and moving on to jobs as well as graduate and professional schools. The University is strongly supporting our College, with six new faculty members joining us this Fall and a search for a permanent dean already underway. Our educational enterprise is also supported by a caring and committed staff. We also have excellent connections with many of our alumni and supporters in the community. We would love to see you. Drop by the Dean's Office in Science II room 301 and say hello!




Andrew Hoff, Interim Dean          James Prince, Assoc. Dean   

(559) 278-3936                           (559) 278-3936 


Dean Hoff

  James Prince















Proposition 30 would add a temporary sales tax increase of 0.25% for four years and an increase in personal income tax on individuals earning over $250,000 for seven years. 

Funds would be designated specifically for K - 12 education and community colleges.  There are no funds designated for the California State University.  However, if Proposition 30 does not pass, the California State University system would take a "trigger cut" of an additional $250 million.  Fresno State's share of this cut would be approximately $13 million.  

According to Fresno State President John Welty, this could lead to having 700-800 fewer students on campus, the loss of 40 - 50 staff positions, a reduction in the numbers of course sections offered, and possible reductions in programs offered.  If this happens, the overall loss to the CSU system since 2007-08 would be $1.2 billion per year, a 39% reduction in state support. 
If Proposition 30 does pass, then the trigger cuts to the CSU and Fresno State will be avoided.

We encourage you to become informed about this important proposition, register to vote, and vote your conscience.  For additional information about Proposition 30, go to the Secretary of State's election website at 




Bio 10 course redesign gains funding from Gates Foundation

Biology 10 course redesign has just gone national. The redesign team, under the leadership of Ellen Junn (former lead PI) and Rudy Sanchez (PI, Title V Academic Innovations and Course Redesign Coordinator), was just awarded funds within from the Gates Foundation Course Development Grant to lead a national team of universities and community colleges to re-define the curriculum for biology courses for non-majors. This national grant is coordinated by Michael Tanner, Vice President of the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. The Fresno biology team comprises John Constable, Paul Crosbie and Fred Schreiber, and is led by Ulrike Müller. Also part of the faculty leadership are Amie Voorhees (Fresno City College) and Bethany Bush (Reedley College). Campuses participating in this national effort are University of Kentucky, University of Massachusetts, Boston, and Bluegrass Community and Technical College. The first goal is to define learning outcomes for a new national curriculum.

The Bio 10 redesign was piloted by Ulrike Müller and Charlie Kronberg (Bio 10 lab coordinator) in spring 2011. Since then, grades have improved significantly and failure rates have halved across the entire student population. The redesign focuses on content delivery without compromising content, making peer review a core part of course.




The Micro eGuide, developed in 2003 by Biology faculty members Dr. Alice Wright and Dr. Lynda Harding, has been updated by Wright with assistance from Yosemite Consultants (Fresno, CA). The guide presents original material designed to provide students a first exposure to basic techniques used in the microbiology laboratory and contains photos, text, videos, and interactive features.  The Micro eGuide is used by people around the world, and instructors at 15 institutions have registered to track student use. At this time, the guide is ranked first by Google in 26 categories and in 2011 averaged 15,300 page views each month and 6,000 unique visitors each month. Most of the usage is at the beginning of the semester, when instructors request that students review the information on the web site before coming to laboratory classes; in September 2011 there were 39,358 page views by 3,684 unique visitors. You can view the website at


Cancer Research  

Metastatic breastcancer cells.  

Biomedical research is currently undergoing a massive transformation with rapid advances in the identification of disease-specific biomarkers to improve diagnosis, prognosis and to predict as well as monitor treatment efficiency. Ushering in the era of personalized medicine is predicated upon the use of 'omic' technologies and instrumentation for high-throughput profiling including genomic and proteomic technologies. Dr. Jason Bush's Cancer Biology Laboratory uses diverse workflows to tackle hypotheses related to cell biology in breast, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers. We take a data-driven approach to compare different conditions by proteomic profiling the complex molecular events of tumorigenesis, as well as those that control clinically important tumor behaviors, such as resistance to chemotherapy and metastasis with the goal to ultimately improve quality-of-life for patients fighting these diseases.

 Latina farm worker in the Central Valley

Some of our recent successes include:  

(1) the discovery of a new molecular mechanism by which a specific class of drugs given to women with metastatic breast cancer can actually inhibit the progression of the disease, (2) the finding that mutations in specific detoxifying genes in Latina farm workers correlated with pesticide exposure increases the risk for developing breast cancer, (3) the identification of a secreted protein associated with pancreatic cancer cells that could be used as a biomarker for detection in pancreatic juice, (4) in collaboration with UCSF-Fresno clinical partners, the finding that young African American woman have a higher incidence of triple-negative breast cancer, a notoriously aggressive form of breast cancer. 


24th Annual CSU Program for Education and  Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB)  Symposium 

Fresno State Biotechnology students at CSUPERB. 

The 24th annual CSU Biotechnology Symposium, CSUPERB, was held January 5th-8th, 2012 in Santa Clara, CA. The symposium was well attended by faculty and students from Fresno State. Sixty-four Fresno State students and their mentors presented 23 posters, including Biotechnology graduate students: Amish Karanjit, Andrew Norton, Nihal Pasumarthi, Joel Ramirez and Kyan Salehi.      

Amish Karanjit and Dr. Joy Goto
Dr. Jim Prince and Nihal Pasumarthi






Andrew Norton
Joel Ramirez
Kyan Salehi


Click on Biotechnology for more information 

CSU blog mentioning the CSUPERB meeting: Science & the CSU
Fresno State PSM facebook page: PSM Biotechnology Facebook Group


How flies stumble and plants become the fastest predators - biology students present at international meeting.  

Athena Goodarzi
The printers and projectors were running hot in the Biology Department over the winter break, when students were getting ready for their presentations at the Annual Meeting of the Society of Integrative and Comparative Biology, held this year in Charleston, South Carolina from January 3 to 7, 2012. Eight masters and two undergraduate students from the labs of Dr. Brian Tsukimura and Dr. Ulrike Müller were presenting or co-presenting four
Dr. Brian Tsukimura with the SICB plenary speaker, Dr. Margaret McFall-Ngai.
posters and three talks in seven different symposia and sessions ranging in theme from 'reproductive physiology' to'fluid mechanics' and 'neurobiology' to 'biodiversity' and 'novel methods in motion analysis'. The presentations had such tantalizing titles as "How flies stumble" and "Bladderwort, the fastest known suction feeder". The students presented on invasive species in the San Francisco Bay and the effects of environmental neurotoxins on fruit flies. It even got one student presenter a probing email from the news editor of Science magazine, which he dutifully discovered a week after the conference. And he learned from his mistake: Matt is now checking his email every day. Several projects were international and national collaborations with Tel Aviv University and UC Irvine, as well as collaborations on our campus with Dr. Joy Goto in the Chemistry Department. This conference is the largest meeting for organismal biology, and this year it attracted a record 1900 delegates, presenting over 1400 papers. The conference is known for its student support, career workshops and socials, all of which help our students to not only present their research but also build their scientific network and meet potential PhD supervisors. And next year, they will be back when the meeting will be held in San Francisco.  


David Ryan 


The students attending this year were: Matt Brown, Steven Gong, Guillermo Gonzalez, Athena Goodarzi, Danial Husain, Jerry Mekdara, Nalong Mekdara, Peerapong Puengyam, David Ryan, and Ana Soltani. Their abstracts are online at .






Impacts of Illegal Marijuana Cultivation in California National Parks  

CSM graduate scholarship recipient Daniel Jeffcoach, advised by Steve Blumenshine, has received a contract from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park to investigate the effects of chemical use in illegal marijuana cultivation in the national parks. They will be collaborating with law enforcement as well as NPS personnel to learn what effects the pesticides and fertilizers used in illegal grow sites may have on various components of the mountain ecosystems, such as water quality and the local flora and fauna. Very little is known about the problems these chemicals cause, and the results of the project can help the park service and legislators protect our public lands. The future of the project may include collaboration with law enforcement on an undercover sampling operation and the use of GIS to predict the locations of future grow sites.



Photo Credit: National Park Service


Chemistry Department Service Learning Initiative  

Dr. Joy Goto speaking to a group of
valley children about chemistry.   

Although still in its infancy, the service learning initiative in the Chemistry Department received a considerable helping hand this winter in the form of a grant from their work at the Engaged Department Institute for Sciences.  

With a $5,000 Engaged Department subgrant from the CSU Chancellor's office and matching funds from Fresno State's own Richter Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning for a total of $10,000, the Chemistry department has begun to reach out into the local community and spark a scientific fire in Valley children. Dr. Joy Goto, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, explained, "Our grant will allow us to connect the bridge between our own undergraduates' education and their ability to work with the community by inspiring and teaching school age children about the creative and fascinating areas of chemistry."


Dr. Melissa Golden teaching research skills
to a local elementary school student. 


Efforts have already begun to implement service learning projects into the current Chemistry curriculum. Many CHEM 1A and 1B students from Fresno State took complex scientific topics covered in their lecture courses and conveyed them to budding young scientists. With these creative hands-on activities made up of common household ingredients, Fresno State students could share what they are learning in the classroom with children at places like the Discovery Center in Fresno and local elementary and middle schools. These reusable kits allow for Fresno State students to continually work to increase the scientific literacy of children in the Central Valley. Dr. Melissa Golden, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, said, "Having our Chemistry students develop activity kits provides a wonderful creative outlet while sneaking in learning. The students are learning many research skills without always knowing that is what they are doing. They have to find a topic they want to study, do literature searches, trouble shoot the activity, and then write a paper recording their data and conclusions."  

Fresno State students collecting water samples at Scout Island

In CHEM 106 with Dr. Eric Person, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Fresno State students addressed the needs of Scout Island, an outdoor education center operated by the Fresno County of Education. These students conducted water quality tests for Scout Island's well water system. Their laboratory classroom went from the Science Building on campus at Fresno State to a local analytical lab, Agriculture & Priority Pollutants Laboratories, Inc. (APPL). Students were able to conduct these tests at APPL's facilities in Clovis, CA and then, by following their strict standard operating procedures, have the results certified by APPL labs.

Chemistry/Pre-Med Undergraduate Student Receives SACNAS Poster Award
During the last week of October 2011, undergraduate
Arturo Gasga presenting his chemistry research poster at the SACNAS national meeting.  

student Arturo Gasga attended The Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science's (SACNAS) national meeting held in San Jose, CA. While there, Arturo presented a poster titled "NMR Studies of Bis(O-ethyl-L-cysteinato) nickel (II)" detailing his undergraduate research in Chemistry with Assistant Professor Dr. Melissa Golden.  At the conclusion of the meeting, he was the recipient of a $250 award from the American Chemical Society for his poster. Dr. Golden commented, "This award was well deserved!  Only 100 of the approximately 3000 participants were recognized at the meeting.  Arturo was excited about doing so well because he was competing with schools such as Harvard and UCLA.  It proves that anything is possible when you set your mind to it."  Arturo is a BA Chemistry/Pre-Med major and will be applying to medical school this summer.    

The Society for the Advance
ment of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science, SACNAS, offers information about opportunities in the scientific field to students that come from underrepresented groups. SACNAS allows undergraduate and graduate students to present recent research while enhancing their oral presentation and research skills.  Students also benefit from the networking opportunities at SACNAS as representatives and mentors from many universities throughout the country attend the conference. These individuals offer information about their different undergraduate, graduate and summer programs. SACNAS also offers travel scholarships that cover room, food and additional travel expenses for students to attend the conference.

Computer Science

Dr. Lin and her Chinese collaborators during her visit to Nanjing University.


ATLAS Collaboration Initiated  

Professor Cui Lin of the Computer Science (CS) department has recently joined the ATLAS program. She is leading the new effort to build the first ATLAS Tier 3 cloud for US ATLAS. Dr. Lin was invited by Nanjing University, and initiated the new collaborations with CS faculty and Ph.D students from Chinese research universities and the Dell teams from both US and China.  




Earth and Environmental Sciences 

Spring Semester Means Field Work and Seminars for EES Students and Faculty

Modern geology research involves lots of high-tech laboratory analysis of rocks, water, sediment, and magnetism. The Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences utilizes many labs to conduct this kind of research, but we also do the same kind of work geologists have done for hundreds of years; we put lunch in our backpacks and hike out into the mountains and valleys to conduct field mapping and sampling.


The Spring 2012 semester was no different. Just about every weekend from February 4 through the first week of May, students piled into the University vans and headed out to study California rocks in their natural habitat. Some field trips had destinations close to campus. For example, Dr. John Wakabayashi took his Geomorphology class to Woodward Park and Friant Road to observe soil development along the San Joaquin River bluffs. Dr. Bob Dundas took the Advanced Field Methods students to the Panoche Hills on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley to learn field mapping techniques, while Dr. Keith Putirka guided his Igneous Petrology students on a trip to Mariposa along Highway 49 to examine the Guadalupe Igneous Complex. Kerry Ford and Sue Bratcher led a field expedition to Death Valley for 30 non-majors in early March, a perfect time to see the desert wildflowers in bloom. They visited Badwater, the lowest spot in North America, as well as examine active faults, borax mines, and explosive volcanic craters.  


Between weekends occupied by field trips, the Department hosted weekday visits by five candidates for two new faculty positions; one in Sedimentology, and the other in Hydrology. Also, the Department will hosted fourteen additional seminars presented by visiting scientists from off campus. Visitors came from the University of Texas at Austin, the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, and U.C. Davis, among other institutions.  


Students and faculty are continually engaged in field work in support of their research. Dr. Chris Pluhar spent many days in the field in the Walker Lane region of eastern California and western Nevada, Dr. Mathieu Richaud supervised student research in the Morro Bay region, and Dr. Luke Wang made many trips to Lemoore Naval Air Station to work on groundwater contamination projects. The tangible results of this research will first be presented at the Fall 2012 meetings of the Geological Society of America and the American Geophysical Union. Both international meetings are attended by dozens of Fresno State geology students and faculty, presenting the results of their work.







Six students participate in William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition 

On Saturday, December 3, 2011, six undergraduate students participated in the Seventy Second William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition. This annual competition is held across the US and Canada. Fresno State has been performing very well over the last couple years. We hope to continue this success.   




























The Mathematics REU

For eight weeks during the summer, 11 students from all over the nation have come to Fresno State to participate in a Research Experience for Undergraduates in Mathematics, a program funded by the National Science Foundation. The participants worked in small groups in two research areas: survival analysis, and finite geometry under the mentoring of Drs Vega and Wu. Student projects ranged from the analysis of the survival of Olympic records to characterizing various types of graphs, which can be embedded into finite affine and projective spaces. Students will present their work at the national joint meetings of the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America in San Diego, January 2013.  Along with the challenging academic endeavor, participants of the REU enjoyed some hiking in the Sierras, bowling and other social activities. The program is set to run for another two years, with potentially continuing on for another five years after that, with the renewal of the grant.  


 Left to right: (top) Ashley Klahr, Adam Zarn, Dr. Tamas Forgacs, Lin Han, Elaina Aceves, Elliott Hollifield, Dr. Ke Wu (bottom) Jim Steincipher, Jamie Peabody, Victoria Trevino, Ryan Vaughn, Jordan White, David Heywood, Dr. Oscar Vega

The REU would like to take this opportunity to thank Dean Andrew Hoff, Christine Thibodeaux, Sue Taing and Serena McTeer for their support of the program on so many levels in so many ways.



We have just been informed by NSF (although still unofficially) that a grant Tamas Forgacs - PI, and Oscar Vega - Co-PI submitted will be funded. This grant will allow us to do an REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) in mathematics at Fresno State for the Summers of 2012 and 2013. This grants are for about 100K a year.      



Oscar Vega 

1) Autotopism Groups and jj...j-planes: AMS/MAA joint mathematics meeting in Boston, MA.

January 05, 2012. Supported by our College's 2011-2012 Performance Awards.    

2) Autotopism Groups in Translation Planes: Mathematics Department Seminar. California State University, Fresno. October 18, 2011

Research with Students 
Oscar Vega 


1) Five undergraduate students are doing research under my supervision (Robyn McDonald, Megan Kuneli, Katherine Urabe, Jamie Peabody, Karen Willis), they are being supported by the 2011-2012 Undergraduate Research Grant (Dennis Nef).


2) These students presented posters at Boston conference. Supported by our college's 2011-2012 Faculty Sponsored Student Research Awards. Dr. Forgacs already sent a narrative, and pictures of their poster presentation.



Department of Physics hosts Fulbright Scholar from Kazan Russia and   

APS Indo-US research scholar from Kolkata, India
Pictured left to right are Dr. Sujoy Modak,
Dr. Douglas Singleton (host for both Drs. Modak and Sushkov), Denali Singleton and Dr. Sushkov on a weekend excursion to Yosemite Park

During fall 2011 the department of physics hosted two international scholars. First, Dr. Sergey Sushkov from Kazan State University in Kazan Russia came to the Fresno State department of physics though a 2011-2012 Fulbright scholars grant. During his time here Dr. Sushkov completed three research papers (one which has already been published in Physical Review D - Phys. Rev. D84:124026 (2011)). Dr. Sushkov also gave a colloquium talk at the physics departments Friday afternoon colloquium series, gave an interview on wormholes in Einstein's theory of gravity to a morning news shows KMPH 26, and gave a talk "Cosmological Model in Non-minimal Derivative Coupling"at the APS CA-section meeting in Stanford in November 2011. The second international visitor was Sujoy Modak from the S.N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences in Kolkata, India. Dr. Modak's visit was supported by an APS Indo-US research grant. During his visit Dr. Modak gave a talk at the California State University, Fresno Friday afternoon physics colloquium and he gave the talk "Phase transitions: from liquid-vapor to black holes -- a unified picture" at the 2011 APS CA-section meeting in Stanford. 


Physics Department MS student to attend conference in Buenos Aires 

Mike Duncan giving a talk at the APS CA-section meeting held in Stanford in November of 2011.


MS student Mike Duncan received an NSF grant to attend a 10-day conference in Buenos Aires. The conference is entitled "PASI2012 - Exploring the Terascale and Beyond". It deals with high energy scales and their role in cosmology and particle physics. Mike gave a talk on gravity as an entropic phenomenon at the conference. The talk will be based on a paper Mike published in 2011 in the journal Physics Letters B.








Recent News about the Fresno State ATLAS Research Program at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC)  of CERN

The $10 billion Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) near Geneva, Switzerland has been running with unprecedented energy since 2009. LHC has great discovery potential for new physics beyond the current known physics framework. Fresno State is the only CSU campus on the ATLAS experiment of the LHC designed to search for new physics. Our ATLAS program is currently funded by two NSF grants: $460,000 from NSF's Elementary Particle Physics (EPP) and $620,000 from NSF's Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) program.
More information about our ATLAS program can be found at:


Fresno State is Building the First Cloud-Based Tier 3 Computing Cluster for US ATLAS Institutions
The ATLAS collaboration consists of 3000 physicists from 180 institutions in 37 countries. Among them there are 500 physicists from 40 U.S. universities (Harvard, Yale, MIT, Columbia, University of Chicago, UC-Berkeley, University of Washington, etc.) and national labs (Argonne National Lab, Brookhaven National Lab, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, and Stanford Linear Accelerator Center).     


Fresno State graduate student wins 1st place for talk at the American Physical Society CA-section meeting at SLAC, Stanford    

Jonathan Roveto giving his talk at SLAC.

Steve Wilburn, a Masters student in the department of physics, gave a talk entitled "A conflict of quantum predictions related to the equivalence principle". This talk was based on a paper Steve published in Physical Review Letters ("Hawking Radiation, Unruh Radiation and the Equivalence Principle" Phys. Rev. Letts. 107, 081102 (2011)). Steve also recently published a second, related paper also in Physical Review Letters (Phys. Rev. Letts. 108, 049002 (2012)). Several other Masters students in the department of physics gave talks at this meeting.  


Mike Duncan gave the talk "Entropic derivation of ma for circular motion" based on his published a paper of the same name (Phys. Letts. B703, 516 (2011)).  


Interventions in School Psychology 

Kong Vang

The fields of school psychology and special education are moving toward a problem-solving model. Evidence-based interventions are utilized as part of the Response to Intervention (RTI) model for both academic and behavioral concerns. The responsibility of training programs to teach pre-service school psychologists skills in designing, implementing, and evaluating services and interventions is reflected in the NASP Standards for Training and Field Placement (2010). Our school psychology training program at California State University, Fresno integrates empirically-based intervention design and evaluation into each semester.  


Students are introduced to RTI and our role in prevention and intervention in the Roles and Functions course their first semester. In spring of Year 1, students learn more about the process in consultation class and practice behavioral consultation and intervention in a case study. Year 2 utilizes behavioral consultation interviews to identify and validate a problem behavior and design an intervention based on published research in the fall. In spring of Year 2, students design, implement, and evaluate an academic intervention as part of the Instructional Consultation course. During internship year students are required to design, implement, and evaluate two more interventions; one must be behavioral and the other instructional. Therefore, over the course of our training program, students develop and implement five interventions. All interventions conform to the behavioral consultation model of PII, PAI, and PEI.

Shauna Buchholz

For all interventions, progress monitoring data are graphed. Students are also asked to collect treatment integrity and social validity data on their intervention. The final report is evaluated using the National Certification in School Psychology (NCSP) case studies rubric. Interventions are also assessed using Percent of Nonoverlapping Data (PND).Overall the average PND increased each semester as students honed their skills. Students are encouraged to submit their best intervention cases for poster presentations at either our state convention or NASP. Over the past three years we have had 80% to 90% of student submissions accepted each year!



Aroldo Rodrigues, Professor Emeritus since 2008 in the Department of Psychology, has been awarded the title of Doctor Honoris Causa (Honorary Doctorate) of the Universidade Federal da Paraíba, Brazil, for his extraordinary influence in psychology and related fields, across all of South America.

Born in 1933 in Rio de Janeiro, Aroldo Rodrigues graduated in both Law and Psychology in 1956 at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro. He was granted a Fulbright scholarship in 1959 to study in the United States, to pursue a Master's degree in clinical psychology at the University of Kansas. He went on to earn a Ph.D in psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Since the 1960s, Aroldo has published more than 100 articles, along with book chapters, technical reports, and 8 books. His textbook Social Psychology, first published in 1972, is the best-selling book in social psychology in Brazil. It has sold over 200,000 copies in Brazil and in Latin America, has influenced successive generations of psychologists and other professionals in related fields. A 6th edition, marking its 40th year in print, will be published in 2012. Aroldo joined the faculty at California State University, Fresno in 1993, and served as Chair of the department from 1996 through 2003. While at Fresno, he published Reflections on 100 Years of Experimental Social Psychology with Bob Levine in 1999 and Journeys in Social Psychology: Looking Back to Inspire the Future with Bob Levine and Lynnette Zelezny in 2008.  

Aroldo's research activity has profoundly impacted the development of experimental methodology, and the use of statistics in psychology, and the perceived value of the social sciences, including the use of cross-cultural comparisons for a better understanding of human behavior. Universidade Federal da Paraíba states, in his nomination: "Aroldo Rodrigues is one of the most famous names in Brazilian psychology, and a paragon of a dedicated scientist, entrepreneur, and role model."

Research Accelerates at the Central California Autism Center

Three graduate students represented the Central California Autism Center and Fresno State at the ABAI National Autism Conference, held January 28 - 29th , 2012 in Philadelphia, PA. Hugo Curiel, Gina Gravilis, and Eduardo Avalos are graduate students in the Department of Psychology in the Applied Behavior Analysis track. All three have also worked in the campus based Central California Autism Center (CCAC) and conducted applied research there under the guidance of Dr. Amanda Adams and Dr. Marianne Jackson. Two studies examined behavioral applications for students with autism. Hugo Curiel examined a protocol using some basics of systematic desensitization to aide in hair-cutting procedures for young children who have a history of fearful responses. Gina Gravilis presented the first of a series of studies she is working on for assessing pre-requisite skills for children with autism who can use I-Pad applications to assist in communication and learning. Finally, Eduardo Avalos presented on outcome data complied over the past several months. This series of studies is addressing how to define what precise techniques are associated with the fastest learning gains in children with autism. By developing careful definitions for treatment protocols, Eduardo and a team of research assistants codes hours of video tape from the actual therapy done in the autism center.


The dissemination of research from the CCAC is important for several reasons. Students who are exposed to applied research gain a better understanding of what evidence based treatment is and how it continues to develop. By attending national conferences, they also hear and see other cutting edge research from around the country, and bring information and ideas back to Fresno State which may inform and improve our own practice. Thirdly, Fresno State CCAC is beginning to develop a nationally recognized name as a research center for the behavioral treatment of young children with autism. The research program has been at the core of the CCAC's mission since opening in 2007 and now is a regular presence at regional and national conferences.


At least 4 additional presentations will be made at regional and national conferences this year. The CCAC has several more research projects in progress. Undergraduate and graduate students participate in all aspects of conducting research at the autism center. The basis is the belief that understanding the research process and evidence-based treatment serves two purposes; 1) better education for Fresno State students, and 2) better treatment for clients and families of the CCAC.


The CCAC is open for tours and provides information to the campus community and broader community as requested. April is autism awareness month and several campus and community events will be posted. To tour or contribute, please call 559-278-6773.



New Scholarship Established in Honor of Psychology Graduate Student

The Department of Psychology lost an amazing student in December, 2011. Janet Cisneros was a second year graduate student in the school psychology, Ed. S. program. She started working at the Central California Autism Center in 2008 and served a vital function. Her many roles included scheduling coordinator, assessment coordinator, Spanish translator for parents and the important role of doing PSA spots for the Spanish speaking community on Univision.  This description covers only some of her contributions, and she did all of this in addition to being a successful full-time graduate student. Janet went in for routine surgery on Dec 21st and due to complications, did not recover. She passed away on December 26, 2011.  Everyone who knew Janet was touched by her strength, humor, intelligence and generosity.  Janet's constant enthusiasm and professional approach made her a cherished colleague. 


With her family's blessing, a scholarship has been established in Janet's name. The guidelines for the Janet Cisneros Memorial Scholarship were selected in remembrance of her unique strengths, contributions and interests. They are as follows:

  • Student must be a "first generation" first year graduate student within the Psychology Department
  • Student must demonstrate excellent scholarship
  • Student should demonstrate significant service to the university or community
  • Preference will be given to those seeking to work with or do research with children

We will begin awarding scholarships in her honor beginning with the 2012-13 academic year. This $500 scholarship will be awarded annually to a deserving student, and will be funded by the Central California Autism Center. Janet's humor, good nature and incredible spirit will continue to inspire those who knew her and worked with her.


METRO (Mentoring, Education, Training, Research and Outreach) seeks students with a passion for physical science and engineering discplines.  METRO currently has 30 students in the program.  METRO offers a paid research experience in a Fresno State laboratory, paid summer research experience, attendance and participation in scientific conferences and a structured career development program.  Since METRO began in January 2010, METRO has had 16 student graduate with their undergraduate degrees and continue on their education with a Masters or have entered a PhD program. 


Mike Farner
METRO is proud to announce one of their students, Michael Farner, completed his Bachelor's of Science in Geology, May 2012.  He started his career in geology while attending University High School. As a senior, he completed Geology 1.  Upon completion he successfully went into the EES/Geology field. He was recruited and accepted to begin his PhD. at Rice University beginning fall 2012.  Michael writes:


I feel very lucky to be a student within the College of Science and Mathematics because this college has such a high commitment to its students in both research and instruction. There is no better example of this commitment than in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences (EES). From day one of my tenure as an undergraduate in geology it was clear that the faculty of EES have a passion for what they teach and are dedicated to their students. From the classroom to the laboratory I have had the honor and privilege of interacting closely with members of this department.  


The most significant aspect of my undergraduate experience here has been conducting research in the areas of igneous petrology, tectonics, paleomagnetism, and structural geology. This work was done through the Geoscience METRO program as part of an initiative to expose more undergraduates to research. Because of METRO I was able to work on a variety of projects with both Dr. Christopher Pluhar and Dr. Keith Putirka. To date I have contributed to three abstracts to the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting and currently am in process of writing a paper for publication.  


These things would not have been possible if not for the high quality of education we receive in the College of Science and Mathematics, the opportunities provided by METRO, and the dedication and support of Dr. Pluhar and Dr. Putirka. I am very grateful to both of these faculty members because of the lessons they have taught me and for mentoring me. I am also grateful to the METRO program for facilitating my research and providing support for various projects.

Following my graduation from Fresno State this spring I plan to attend Rice University as a doctoral student in the Department of Earth Science. I will be working toward my Ph.D. under the advising of Dr. Cin-Ty Lee in the areas of igneous petrology, phase equilibria, and magmatic plumbing systems.


Science and Mathematics Education Center (SMEC)

Circuit Science 

Last year was a busy year for the Science and Mathematics Education Center since our last

report. One of SMEC's most exciting programs' known as "Circuit Science ," continues into its third year. "Circuit Science" is an outreach program for elementary students in grades three through six who visit Fresno State for a full morning of exciting hands-on activities designed to build their interest in STEM learning. The program is staffed by students from the NaturaI Science club and other volunteers from across campus. This academic year's week-long program ran on January 9th-13th and May 21st - 25th and served nearly 2,000 students from school districts in our service region. The program has become very popular is scheduled for another run in January and May 2013.


"Circuit Science" takes place in and around the Downing Science Museum and throughout the Science II Courtyard. The program, under the direction of Mr. Jaime Arvizu, SMEC Associate Director, represents the significance placed on STEM Education Outreach to our community by our College of Science and Mathematics.


Members of the Natural Science Club and campus volunteers who participated in"Circuit Science".  





 Stellar Science

Last year, SMEC and the METRO Center ran Stellar Science on March 13 & 21st which served approximately 300 middle school students. This program was a pilot outreach

program designed to serve students at the 7th and 8th grade levels. It was very similar to the "Circuit Science" outreach program; however, the activities were designed for a different grade level. This was another successful program to which we attribute the success to the volunteers and our own student assistant and future physics teacher, Jessica Mushegan who developed the activities and assisted in leading the event during its execution. This program is scheduled run again in the Fall 2012 and Spring 2013.


California Mathematics and Science Partnership (CA-MSP)

Thirteen College of Science and Mathematics faculty participated this past fall and spring as outreach content experts working with science teachers and their students in developing high quality science Iessons implemented in grade 4-8 classrooms as part of the Kings Canyon Unified Mathematics and Science partnership program (funded through the California Mathematics and Science Partnership at the California Department of Education). This is the third year that faculty have participated in the -project's Teaching and Learning Collaborative (TLC) with several planning to continue their participation into this current year (2012/2013). District teachers have been very enthusiastic in their appreciation of CSM faculty help and participation in the program as is the SMEC staff. SMEC was the IHE partner in this 3.5 year project which ended June, 2012.


Science Demonstration Center Project

The California Department of Education recently announced the funding of four Science Demonstration Centers in the State. These Centers will serve as mentors for existing and emerging CaMSP projects throughout California. The Kings Canyon Unified/SMEC partnership represents the only Science Demonstration Center project funded/in the Central and San Joaquin Valley region. The project is scheduled to run for 3.5 years and will serve CaMSP projects from the Bakersfield area up to the Tahoe Basin. Brad Schleder of Kings Canyon Unified School District serves as the Project Director and David Andrews, SMEC's Director will serve as the Principal Investigator. We look forward to this project and to the continued involvement of our CSM faculty.





Noyce Teaching Fellows Project

The Robert C. Noyce Scholarship program at Fresno State, the State's largest and oldest Noyce Scholars Program, now has16 Noyce Teaching Fellows enrolled in the project. The project known as the Fresno State Teaching Fellows (FRESTEF) program provides substantial programmatic and financial support for graduate students completing both a masters degree in one of the science disciplines or in mathematics in combination with completion of the Single Subject Teacher Credential Program. These exemplary future science and mathematics teachers will teach four years in a high needs school in the Central Valley or beyond. FRESTEF has students enrolled in graduate degree programs in physics, chemistry, biology, earth and environmental sciences, and mathematics. FRESTEF Fellows have and will continue to participate in special summer research internship programs throughout the nation. They have also been involved in dissemination efforts on behalf of the program at state and national conferences and conventions.


Summer 2012 Undergraduate Research Programs

This past summer, 4 Noyce Science Teachers and 4 Fresno State Teaching Fellows were enrolled as  science research interns in an NSF-funded, eight-week internship program known as the Science Research Internship (SRI) program and based here at Fresno State in the CSM faculty research labs. This was the second year for the SRI program with plans to expand the program next year. SRI Fellows as they are known, worked closely with five CSM faculty engaged in an array of research topics. Faculty members involved were Dr. Alejandro Calderon, Dr. Jim Prince, Dr. Madhu Katti, Dr. Paul Crosbie, and Dr. Jason Bush. Posters developed as part of the summer program will be presented to interested faculty and students later this fall and at the CSUPERB annual conference this winter.


  Natural Science Club

The Natural Science Club is a student organization that has been created for future science and mathematics teachers who are preparing to work at the middle and high school levels. This year, Aroob Amedhamid (Natural Science Chemistry Major) was elected to serve as President, Monorasmey Arun (Math Major) as Vice President, Alaina Wood (Natural Science Earth Major) as Treasurer, and Crystal Macias (Natural Science Biology Major) as Secretary. Jaime Arvizu serves as Club Advisor. On May 8th, the Natural Science Club ran a car wash as its first fund raiser event and raised $170 in total funds. These funds were made possible through contributions of time and effort made by the Natural Science Club members.