Outstanding Faculty

Renowned for his forensic anthropology expertise, Professor P. Willey has examined remains from the ancient cultural ruins of Peru, US Civil War battlefields, and mass graves in Iraq. In 2016, he added another international endeavor to his roster—as part of a private American delegation to visit North Korea in a humanitarian mission to help recover US soldiers’ remains. It was the first such face-to-face contact in North Korea between that nation’s officials and an American delegation in nearly two years. In 2018, Willey will receive the T. Dale Stewart Award, which is awarded annually by the Anthropology Section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences to an individual for lifetime achievements in the field.

Becky Damazo in nursing scrubs

School of Nursing faculty member Becky Damazo founded the Rural Northern California Clinical Simulation Center 11 years ago in partnership with area hospitals to increase patient safety and pioneer best practices for patient care. As its director, she continues to lead students and professionals in practicing skills for cases ranging from blood clots and live births to intubation and defibrillation using state-of-the-art simulation technology.

When the national spotlight shone on Oroville Dam during the failure of its emergency spillway, construction management professor Chris Souder, civil engineering professor Steffen Mehl, geological and environmental sciences professors Russ Shapiro and Todd Greene, and economics professor David Gallo provided expert insight to media on the causes and effects of the infrastructure’s potential disaster.

Aerial image of the destroyed Oroville Dam spillway

Recreation, hospitality, and parks management professor Matthew Stone is an oft-quoted travel expert for national media, including the Sacramento Bee, Los Angeles Times, and USA Today. He recently led the largest food and beverage tourism research study ever conducted for the World Food Travel Association.

Sara Cooper holds up books published by Cubanabooks

Cubanabooks, a book publisher founded by Spanish professor Sara E. Cooper, collected five awards at the International Latino Book Awards. The aim of the small nonprofit press is to bring first-class literature from Cuban women to a global public

Kijeong Jeong headshot

The International Interior Design Association Foundation named art and art history professor Kijeong Jeon the recipient of its inaugural Diversity Award. As an educator and interior designer, he emphasizes that good design should be available to everyone and has taken special interest in designing environments for people living with autism, special needs, and developmental disabilities in the United States and abroad.

In just three years, civil engineering professor DingXin Cheng has been the primary investigator or co-principal investigator on grant projects totaling more than $2 million. Through his active research, he has established a national and international reputation in the areas of pavement preservation and pavement materials. 

Self-described “poverty scholar” and social work professor Susan Roll spent a year interviewing families living on minimum wage, examining government policy, and testifying before state committees to elevate the quality of life experienced by people who are struggling to afford everyday necessities.