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New Faculty

New Faculty Class of 2014

College of Business Administration

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Xuguang (Steve) Guo
Call me Steve. I am in the Management and Human Resources Department.
My Ph.D. is from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.
My main research interest focuses on Human Resources Management.

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Sharyn M. Fisk
Call me Sharyn. I am in the Accounting Department.
My LL.M. in Taxation is from the University of New York. My background and interests lie in the area of taxation as it affects every aspect of our lives.
I am a Girl Scout Leader for two troops. I enjoy taking the troops out camping and hiking. As a hobby, I really enjoy woodworking! Lastly, I have practiced as a tax attorney for the last 14 years. Prior to that, I clerked at the U.S. Tax Court.

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Candice Huynh
Call me Candice. I am in the Technology and Operations Management Department.
My Ph.D. is from the University of California, Irvine. My research interests are in game theory for operations management, supply chain management, and decision theory.
I enjoy playing racquetball, badminton, and ping pong. I would love to learn about good restaurants in L.A. and Orange County.

Trayan Kushev 
I am in the Management and Human Resources Department. My Ph.D. is from the University of Louisville.
I mainly study the psychological aspect of being an entrepreneur. More specifically, I study how entrepreneurs perceive and evaluate opportunities to start a business.
I was born in Bulgaria. My hobbies are fitness and travelling.

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James Jared Oakley
Call me Jared. I am in the International Business and Marketing Department.
My Ph.D. is from the University of Memphis. My main research and creative activity interests include Sales Force management, strategy, and policy.
I enjoy skiing, exercise, and reading.

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Nelson Pizarro
Call me Nelson. I am in the Management and Human Resources Department.
My DBA is from the Genoble Ecole de Management. I’m very interested in the opportunity finding process. Currently, I am working on developing a new model for opportunity finding, mainly, for University Students.  
I am very passionate about entrepreneurship. I started my first business when I was ten years old. Since then, I have created six businesses and I just launched ones with my kids.



College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences

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Susan Ali
Call me Susan. I’m in the Music Department.
My Ed.D. is from the Teachers College at Columbia University.
My main research and creative activity interests fall under vocal pedagogy, vocal practice research, and vocal performance. I’m also involved in musical theatre and opera directing and producing.

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Rickey Badua
Call me Rickey. I am in the Music Department.
My DMA is from the University of Georgia. My main research interests are arranging and editing music, and conducting pedagogy.
I enjoy running, hiking, bodysurfing, and camping.

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Brianne Davila
Call me Brianne. I am in the Psychology and Sociology Department.
My Ph.D. is from the University of California, Santa Barbara. My main research and creative activity interests are sociology of education, social inequality, and Latina/o sociology.
In graduate school I participated in the CSU Chancellors Doctoral Incentive Program, sponsored by Mary Danico from Psychology and Sociology Department at CPP.

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Sandra Kay Evans
Call me Sandi. I am in the Communication Department.
My Ph.D. is from USC. I specialize in organizational communication and I’m particularly interested in how and why organizations change. Some of my recent research combines cultural and social network perspectives on how the public media institutions are evolving in response to changing technologies and consumer habits.
I used to teach martial arts. I taught people of all ages and backgrounds and most enjoyed teaching people about self-defense skills and techniques.

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Kellie Forrester
Call me Kellie. I am in the Economics Department.
My Ph.D. is from the University of California, Santa Barbara. My main research and activity interests are female labor supply and economic dynamics.
I love the outdoors (running, hiking, surfing, camping, and the like).

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Erica Morales
Call me Erica. I am in the Psychology and Sociology Department.
My Ph.D. is from the University of California, Los Angeles. My main research interests focus on race, class, and gender; higher education; qualitative methods, Latina/o sociology, and African American sociology.
I was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. I am a typical New Yorker in that I love great pizza and bagels! I’m also a fan of 90’s hip hop and R&B.

Marta Albala Pelegrin 
Call me Marta. I am in the English and Foreign Languages Department.
My Ph.D. is from Cuny, the Graduate Center. My research and creative interests include medieval and early Spanish literature, theater in performance, French, Italian, and Spanish history as well as English Drama.
I like to learn languages and to speak and live in different countries. I am particularly interested in discovering all the ingredients for the traditional recipes of all the recipes of the slauet? I love cinema, films, movies, sitcoms, and reading.

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Marc Scarcelli
I am in the Political Science Department.
My Ph.D. is from UC Davis. My main research and creative activity interests are international and comparative security topics, especially ethnic conflict and civil war.
I enjoy cooking, walks, and dogs.

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Viviane Seyranian
Call me Viviane. I am in the Psychology and Sociology Department.
My Ph.D. is from the Claremont Graduate University. My main research and creative activity interests are applied social psychology with a specialization in social influence, social identity, and communication. My research aims to address major social problems such as climate change, environmental sustainability, water conservation, and STEM education.
I enjoy spending time with family and friends, travelling, reading, and cooking.

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Jason Turcotte
I’m in the Communication Department.
My Ph.D. is from Louisiana State University. My main area of research is in political communication. I’m interested in news processes and democracy. Specifically, my work explores how the news media cover campaigns, elections, and policy issues – and how these news processes influence learning, engagement, and public opinion.
I regularly play basketball; I’m a former free throw shooting champ in Maine. I once paraglided off the Alps and I have a phobia of falling backwards off a steep escalator.



College of Education and Integrative Studies

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Jose Aguilar-Hernandez
I am in the Ethnic and Women’s Studies Department.
My Ph.D. is from the University of California, Los Angeles. My main research interests are students of color, educational history, critical race theory, queer people of color, and historical methods.
I enjoy playing the guitar, reading, and poetry.

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Joanne Murphy Van Boxtel
Call me Joanne.
I am in the College of Education and Integrative Studies.
My Ph.D. is from Chapman University. My main research and creative activity interests are inclusive education and self-determination and transition for students with disabilities.
I love international travel. I used to own a horse and I did volunteer teacher training in El Salvador this summer.



College of Environmental Design

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Alvaro Huerta
Call me Alvaro. I’m a part of the Urban and Regional Planning and Ethnic & Women’s Studies departments.
My Ph.D. is from UC Berkeley’s Department of City and Regional Planning. I teach and conduct research on the intersecting domains of community and economic development, Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies, immigration and Mexican diaspora, social movements, social networks and the informal economy.
As the son of Mexican immigrants, I am a first generation university grad. Thus, I am interested in increasing race and class diversity in higher education. Outside of academia I am a sports fan at all levels (collegiate and professional). I also love movies and cable programs, like The Sopranos and The Wire. I mostly spend my free time with my wife Antonia and family.

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Courtney Elizabeth Knapp
Call me Courtney. I am in the Urban and Regional Planning Department.
My Ph.D. is from Cornell University. My main research and creative activity interests are equitable housing and economic development, public space, environmental justice, anti-racism social movement building, among others.
I am an avid bicyclist. In fact, I didn’t have a driver’s license until four months ago when I decided to move to L.A. and work at Cal Poly Pomona!



College of Agriculture

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Eileen Cullen
Call me Eileen. I am in the Plant Science Department.
My Ph.D. in entomology is from UC Davis. My main research and creative activity interests consist of urban farming, community agriculture, and integrated pest management and agriculture education.
I enjoy swimming, studying Spanish, biking, and recently completed training as an organic crops and processing facility inspector for operations. I’m currently applying for USDA organic certification.

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Angella Kim
Call me Angie. I am in the Apparel Merchandising and Management Department.
My Ph.D. is from the University of Minnesota. My main research and activity interests are new technology use in fashion retailing, social media and digital communication, consumer behaviors in multi-channel retail environments, and branding and brand
management.

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Joanne Sohn
Call me Joanne. I am in the Animal and Health Sciences Department.
My DVM is from Tufts School of Veterinary Medicine.

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Michelle Wien
Call me Michelle. I am in the Human Nutrition and Food Science Department.
My DrPH is from Loma Linda University. My main research interest is the use of nuts in the prevention and management of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
I met my husband working on the Cal Poly Rose Float, and we drove professional floats in the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade for 18 years.



College of Science

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Gregory A. Barding Jr.
Call me Greg. I am in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department.
My Ph.D. is from UC Riverside. I am interested in understanding agricultural impacts on biotic and abiotic stressors on crops.
Specifically, I study flooding and drought stress on metabolism through a variety of optical spectroscopic techniques.
I enjoy playing softball and many outdoor activities, including backpacking, skiing, and water sports.

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Nicholas Van Buer
Call me Nick. I am in the Geological Sciences Department.
My Ph.D. is from Stanford University. I study the creation of continental crust and mountain ranges through magmatism and plate tectonic
activity.
I have collected more than a ton (literally) of rocks and minerals.

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Adam King
Call me Adam. I am in the Mathematics and Statistics Department.
My Ph.D. is from UCLA. I develop statistical models and algorithms for data where people pass in between different states. For
example, people may go to school then become unemployed and then become employed, and it is important
to study and predict these times of transition.
I’m an amateur photographer.

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Jorge Moreno
Call me Jorge. I am in the Physics and Astronomy Department.
My Ph.D. is from the University of Pennsylvania. My main research and creative activity interests focus on cosmology and galaxy formation theory. I employ high-performance supercomputing to simulate galaxies. I am particularly interested in interacting galaxies, mergers, and their role at triggering starburst and accretion by supermassive black holes.
I enjoy cooking and competitive running. I organized and funded the first conference in the history of astronomy with more female than male invited speakers. I lived in L.A. from 1992-1997. I would’ve loved to have the Dream Act back then! Being at Cal Poly Pomona is a dream come true!

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Bharti Sharma
Call me Bharti. I am in the Biological Sciences Department.
My Ph.D. is from the Rani Durgavati University in India. My main research and creative activity interests comprise of understanding the genetic and developmental bans of evolution of novel organs in plants.
I like spending time with my family and travelling with them. As well as teaching new things to my 2 year old!

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Jamie C. Snyder
Call me Jamie. I am in the Biological Sciences Department.
My Ph.D. is from Montana State University. My main research and creative activity interests focus on the evolution and biology of archaeal viruses.
My main interests are solving the first complete archaeal virus replication cycle and the role of viruses in natural populations.
I enjoy spending time with my two dogs, running, yoga, and anything in general to be outside.



College of Engineering

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Ladan Amouzegar Ashtiani
Call me Ladan. I am in the Engineering Technology Department.
My Ph.D. is from the University of California, Los Angeles. My main research and creative activity interests revolve around innovative research and development in the area of high performance electronic cooling. My interests are at a crossroad where the principles in transport phenomena, biomimicking, and material science meet with engineering methods.
I enjoy combining engineering with art (i.e. building art cars), snowboarding, gardening, and biking.

Tingting Chen 
Call me Tingting. I am in the Computer Science Department.
My Ph.D. is from SUNY Buffalo. My main research interests are computer security and wireless networks.

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Shima Hajimirza
I am in the Engineering Technology Department.
My Ph.D. is from the University at Texas at Austin. My main research interests comprise of numerical optimization in complex systems, distributed and dynamic optimization, design at efficient thin film solar cells, thermal fluid sciences, among others.
I enjoy hiking, sightseeing, nutrition, and food.

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Haamun Kalaantari
Call me Haamun. I am in the Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering Department.
My Ph.D. is from the University of California, Riverside. My main research and creative activity interests consist of mechanical and materials science engineering with materials characterization and processing, materials selection, recognition and selection of metallic materials, manufacturing methods and product engineering.
My hobbies are: sports, camping, cooking, among others. I really do love to play volleyball and soccer. I wish I could play an instrument, but I was too lazy to learn how to play and still wish someday I could!

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Reza Baghaei Lakeh
Call me Reza. I am in the Engineering Technology Department.
My Ph.D. is from Southern Illinois University. My main research interests are energy generation and storage, renewable energy sources including solar, thermal, and solar photovoltaics. As well as computational fluid dynamics and thermal systems.
I like swimming, hiking, and cycling. I can speak Persian, German, and I’d like to learn Spanish.

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Navid Nakhjiri
I am in the Aerospace Engineering Department. My Ph.D. is from the University of California, Irvine.
My main research field is Astrodynamics focusing on Space Mission Design. My second interest is on autonomous systems. I also work on drought monitoring and forecasting systems.
Outside of the academic world my passions are travelling, backpacking, and photography.

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Jonathan Puthoff
Call me Jon. I’m in the Chemical and Materials Engineering Department.
My Ph.D. is from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. My research and creative activity interests range from mechanical properties of materials, biological adhesive systems, physical metallurgy, and metallic glass physics.
I love to bike, box, and enjoy the history of science.

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Jenny Zhen Yu
Call me Jenny. I’m in the Electrical Engineering Department.
My Ph.D. is from the University of California, Irvine. My research focuses on nanoelectronics, carbon nanotube FET’s, magnetic products, and electronic devices made of carbon nanotubes.

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Yitong (Priscilla) Zhao
Call me Priscilla. I am in the Mechanical Engineering Department.
My Ph.D. is from the University of California, Los Angeles. My main research and creative activity interests include bioenergy, biofuel generated from microalgae, optimization of a complex biosystem, and low noise electrical devices.
I was born and raised in Beijing, China. My hobbies include: aerial dance, the salsa, baking, yoga, and
music. I’m currently learning Spanish.

Online New Faculty Orientation

Our online orientation provides some information about campus resources and FAQs to get you started.  Make sure to come to the face-to-face New Faculty Orientation, too!