September 13, 2012Vol. 43, Issue 1

New Faculty of 2012

Meet the new faces in CSU, Chico classrooms

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences

Nicholas Janos – Department of Sociology
Nicholas Janos completed his PhD in sociology at UC Santa Cruz (2012). His dissertation focused on the political ecology of urban environmental crises and emergent social movements. His research was based in Seattle and New Orleans. In New Orleans he worked on the recovery of hard-hit neighborhoods in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Janos brings to CSU, Chico his experience with UC Santa Cruz's interdisciplinary Urban Studies Research Cluster that focuses on emerging approaches in the field of urban studies and addresses pressing urban issues, both locally and globally. Janos served as a lecturer at CSU, Chico last year and now joins us as a tenure-track faculty. 

Susan Roll – Department of Social Work
Susan Roll earned a PhD in social work from the University of Denver (2010) and comes to us most recently from the University of Maryland, where she was an assistant professor. Roll’s area of study addresses housing and welfare policy with a specific focus on how social workers can influence and build better policies through empirical evidence. Her research examines how policies intended to de-concentrate poverty and support self-sufficiency often work against families and community systems. Much of her work highlights the inequities in which low-income women continue to work for substandard wages while simultaneously playing the dual role of wage earner and caregiver.

Jennifer Wilking – Department of Political Science
Jennifer Wilking received her PhD in political science from the University of California, Davis in 2010. Wilking’s teaching and research interests are in the politics of and political attitudes in China. She served as a lecturer in the department beginning in 2006, and we are excited to now have her here full time. Her areas of specialty will add important new dimensions to our programs.

College of Communication and Education

Laurie Browne – Department of Recreation, Hospitality, and Parks Management
Laurie Browne received her PhD from the University of Utah in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism, with research interests in positive youth development and the design and implementation of effective out-of-school-time youth programs. Her dissertation examined the effects of a curriculum designed to promote a sense of caring community among youth summer camp participants. Browne currently works closely with the American Camp Association to develop statistically sound assessment tools that recreation professionals use to assess participant and program outcomes. She has an energetic teaching style and is excited about engaging recreation students in hands-on and community-based learning experiences.

Talya Kemper – School of Education
Talya Kemper received her doctorate in special education from the University of Washington in June 2012. Her research interests and education have focused on special education for students with moderate to severe disabilities, with particular attention to the topics of bilingual education, assistive technology, teacher preparation, and literacy acquisition. She brings diversified research, teaching, and supervision experience in specialized areas such as physical management of students with severe disabilities, inclusion, and augmentative and alternative communication.

Prisca Ngondo – Department of Journalism and Public Relations
Prisca Ngondo is ABD from Texas Tech University's Department of Mass Communications, where she specialized in public relations and health communication. She also was competitively selected to participate in a master teacher training program at TTU that allows grad students to hone teaching skills and explore faculty roles. Ngondo's research is focused upon social media campaigns and health communication on the web.

David McCoy – Department of Communications Arts and Sciences
David McCoy comes to us from the University of Florida, Tallahassee, with expertise in the areas of early intervention, autism, interdisciplinary clinical work, and creating community alliances. His wide array of clinical experiences will benefit the speech and hearing program immensely, and he has great interest and ability in teaching and supervising across a variety of areas within the discipline. His primary areas of teaching will be research methods, autism, fluency, anatomy and physiology, and professional aspects. McCoy conducts very interesting, cutting-edge research on the early indicators and predictors for children with autism. He will be completing his dissertation in early fall, receiving his doctorate in December 2012, and joining the faculty as a tenure track member in January 2013. He will be teaching two courses for us this fall as a part-time faculty member.

College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Construction Management

Todd Gibson – Department of Computer Science
Todd Gibson received his PhD in computational bioscience from the University of Colorado, Denver in 2009. Gibson served as a postdoctoral fellow at University of Colorado from 2009 to 2011 and brings a number of interesting interdisciplinary research possibilities to CSU, Chico. In spring 2012, he served as a lecturer in our Department of Computer Science. He already has a strong following among students and faculty alike. We look forward to his many future contributions.

Adam Manzanares – Department of Computer Science
Adam Manzanares received his PhD in computer science from Auburn University in 2010. He has served as a postdoctoral fellow at Los Alamos National Laboratory since then. His research interests include parallel storage and i/o, energy-efficient computing, distributed systems, and parallel processing to name just a few. Manzanares looks to continue a strong research program at CSU, Chico.

Daren Otten – Department of Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering and Sustainable Manufacturing
Daren Otten completed his MS in Manufacturing Engineering at CSU, Chico in 2006, where he has served as the coordinator of the Sustainable Manufacturing program as a lecturer. He is currently enrolled in a Doctor of Education program in Educational Leadership. Otten was responsible for retooling the program from Manufacturing Technology to Sustainable Manufacturing and building a strong patrons board to provide external resources for the program. We look forward to his continuing contributions. 

College of Humanities and Fine Arts

Najm al-Din Yousefi – Department of History
The Department of History is very pleased to welcome its newest member, Assistant Professor Najm al-Din Yousefi. He will be responsible for teaching classes in Middle Eastern history, religion, culture, and area studies through the Departments of History, Comparative Religion and Culture, and International Languages, Literatures, and Cultures. A native of Iran, al-Din Yousefi received his BA in philosophy from Shahid Behesthi University (formerly the National University of Iran) in Tehran; an MA in economics from Columbia University; and a PhD in the history of science from Virginia Tech. His area of scholarly interest is in the history of science and knowledge formation in early Islamic society.■