‘Does science tell us how the world
really is?’ and other thoughts from new faculty
A focus on the philosophy of physics
Zanja [ZAHN-jah] Yudell
received his PhD in philosophy from Columbia University in 2005. His area
of specialization is philosophy of science, with a focus on philosophy
of physics. Yudell earned undergraduate degrees in both philosophy and
physics from Stanford University. He continued his post-graduate studies
in philosophy at Columbia. He was born and raised in Venice, California.
What is philosophy of science?
Philosophy of science
is concerned with understanding and questioning the methodology of science,
and with figuring out the implications of the content of science. Traditionally,
some of the questions of philosophy of science have included What is science?
Is there a distinct scientific method? What are the goals of science?
Does science tell us how the world really is?
What is philosophy of physics?
Many people come to
philosophy having started by studying physics. I suppose that both disciplines
offer the promise of helping one figure things out at some fundamental
level. There are philosophical issues that come up in relation to physics
that are not always well received in physics departments, and so a person
is often better off studying those issues in a philosophy department.
A philosopher of physics is concerned with being precise about what theories
of physics really say about the world, making sense of the difficulties
that beset these theories.
Tell us about your research on the conflict between quantum
mechanics and relativity, and the nature of fundamental theories.
My dissertation was about inconsistency in scientific theories in general,
and I’m trying to apply those results to the case of quantum mechanics
and relativity. The paper on fundamental theories is something I’m
working on with a colleague from Columbia. It’s about what sense
(if any) can be made of the idea that all science reduces to physics,
and about a particular argument for that claim.
A commitment to community health
Kristine Warner received a PhD in nursing in 2000
from University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. She did her graduate work
at University of South Florida, Tampa, and earned her bachelor’s
in nursing from Texas Christian University in Fort Worth. Prior to coming
to CSU, Chico, she was an assistant professor at CSU, Sacramento. She
grew up in Livermore, California.
What types of jobs have you had in nursing?
three years on active duty in the Navy, serving at Portsmouth Naval Hospital
in Virginia as a staff nurse in adult medicine and pediatrics, and assistant
charge nurse of the pediatric ER and clinics. I continued in the Navy
Reserves until I retired as a captain in 2002. My most significant position
was my deployment to Saudi Arabia for Desert Storm in 1991 with a Navy
Fleet Hospital. I have worked as a home care nurse in rural Wisconsin,
as a health department nurse in Florida, and for 12 years, a nursing teacher.
What are your research interests?
issues and issues impacting nursing education in this area. I will be
working with the Sierra Cascade Nutrition and Activity Consortium.
What are your impressions of CSU, Chico’s nursing program?
First, I am very impressed with the students—they are eager to learn
both in the classroom and in the clinical setting. Second, this is one
of the best faculty groups I have ever worked with—they work together
as a team, they respect each other’s expertise, and they are extremely
knowledgeable in their fields. They have also made me feel very welcomed.
Strengthening the link between mental health and learning
Leesa Huang received a PhD in school psychology
in 2004 and an educational specialist degree in 1998 from University of
Northern Colorado. She earned her bachelor’s in biology and biochemistry
at University of Colorado, Boulder. Prior to coming to CSU, Chico, she
was a school psychologist in Colorado.
What issues do school psychologists face with children today?
The field of school psychology is undergoing a major paradigm shift from
primarily assessing students for special education to a more dynamic,
collaborative, and inclusive process. The delivery of school psychological
services is complex due to an increasingly diverse student population.
Creating safe and supportive learning environments for every student is
a tremendous challenge given the critical issues that children face—poverty,
violence, substance abuse, bullying, and harassment. With the intense
focus on academic achievement, school psychologists must strengthen the
link between mental health, learning and behavior so that children have
a network of support.
What drew you to the field of school psychology?
was excited to be able to positively impact children’s learning
and success and to collaborate with teachers, parents, and other educational
and mental health professionals.
Where are you from originally? How do you like Chico?
I grew up in Colorado and love living in Chico. Its natural beauty, historical
roots, and incredibly friendly people make it a wonderful city!