CHS Adjunct Faculty
Kathryn Clifford, MA
MA, Education, California State University, Sacramento
BS, Nursing, California State University, Sacramento
Kathryn Clifford started her academic studies as a nursing major at California State University, Sacramento (CSUS). While going to school Kathryn worked in various divisions of the medical community but ultimately found her passion in teaching. She graduated from CSUS with a Master’s degree in Education and an emphasis in gender equity and teacher education. After graduation, Kathryn was offered a lecturer position at CSUS in the Psychology department. While working as a Psychology lecturer, she ran her own research lab specializing in college student success, grit, extra-curricular involvement, stress management, motivation, and mindfulness. The basis of Kathryn’s teaching philosophy is to not only help student’s navigate the learning process but to also give them a realistic view of the learning process. Too often, we forget that some of the greatest discoveries in history were made not on the first attempt but after a hundred times of failing.
In addition to teaching and research Kathryn has been and is currently the advisor for several campus clubs at CSUS, such as Golden Key International Honour Society and Psychology Society. University and community service is very important to Kathryn, she is on several boards and committees, locally, nationally, and internationally. Volunteering for local groups such as veterans, people with disabilities, and the homeless is a passion of hers. This is Kathryn’s first semester at California Northstate University (CNU) and she is ecstatic to work in such a welcoming environment; she can’t wait to get involved on the CNU campus. If you can’t find Kathryn on either the CNU or CSUS campuses then she can be found on her 10 acre ranch hanging out with her husband, dogs, and cows.
Tristan Eifler, PhD
PhD, Biochemistry, UC Davis
BS, Biochemistry and molecular biology, UC Davis
As I high school student I was fascinated by both biology and chemistry. After being accepted at the University of California, Davis I decided to pursue the marriage of the two disciplines by majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology. A few years later I returned to UC Davis for my doctorate. My dissertation focused on the sequential and structural preferences of the RNA editor enzyme ADAR2, which, among other functions, seems to 'fine-tune' the nervous system by generating isomorphs of voltage-gated ion channels. After receiving my Ph.D. I accepted a postdoctoral appointment at the University of California, San Francisco, where I studied how transcription is regulated in eukaryotes. Two years later I finished my postdoctoral work and, wanting to transition back to education and the greater Sacramento area, moved back to Davis and started my career as an adjunct professor.
As a life science and chemistry teacher I emphasize deep understanding of the material and critical thinking. While it is necessary and indeed helpful to memorize data and trends, comprehending the origin of patterns is vital; knowing that atomic radii increase from right to left and up to down on the periodic table is one thing but being able to explain why this trend exists is another. Good laboratory habits are also critical to success in health science careers so I work to cultivate good laboratory practices in all my students.
Machelle Gavron, MS
MS, Chemistry, California State University Sacramento
BS, Chemistry, Franciscan University of Steubenville
BS, Biology, Franciscan University of Steubenville
I have always had a passion for the scientific subjects, most notably Chemistry. As such I earned a BS in Chemistry and a BS in Biology from Franciscan University of Steubenville located in Steubenville, Ohio. After I graduated I went on to do my Master's work at California State University, Sacramento in Chemistry focusing on Chemical Education. I truly enjoy teaching other students about chemistry and how we see it all around us in our daily lives. I taught Chemistry labs at Sac State for 3 years, lectured a Chemistry course at ARC for one semester and taught middle school science for 2 years. I have a very energetic and bubbly personality and I tend to talk with my hands a lot when I get excited. I love the world in which we live and seeing everything from a scientific viewpoint has enabled me to appreciate the intricacies and mysteries of life. When I'm not in the classroom, I enjoy reading fiction novels, swimming, playing with my chocolate lab, sketching fantasy pictures, singing loudly to my favorite songs and experimenting with new recipes in the kitchen.
Mary Yin Liu, JD
JD, Loyola Law School
BA, Social Ecology (pre-law), English Minor, UC Irvine
In her early career, Mrs. Liu worked as a Deputy District Attorney for Solano and Yolo Counties. As a prosecutor, she managed misdemeanor and felony matters, interviewed young victims, and advocated for resources and support services to achieve the best outcomes. In the local community, she served as Vice-President of the Solano County Women Lawyers Association, and as an appointee on the Yolo County Planning Commission.
Currently, Mrs. Liu is an owner/operator of Golden Arch Enterprises, and manages the human resources department for her company. She was elected President of the McDonald's Operators Association in Northern California, and received the highest regional award for best people practices and outstanding community service.
Mrs. Liu has a passion for mentoring and supporting students, and volunteers at several nonprofit organizations to chair local student scholarship and internship programs. She teaches SEMR 410, a health professions seminar series, and is one of the leads for the Media and Communications Studio.
Kevin Martin, PhD
PhD Chemistry, University of California, Davis
MS Comparative Pathology, University of California, Davis
Dr. Kevin Martin earned his Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in chemistry and comparative pathology, respectively, from the University of California, Davis. His graduate research focused on the synthesis of small molecules and natural products that target an essential bacterial cell division protein, FtsZ, with the goal of facilitating the identification of new antibiotics to combat the rise of bacterial resistance. Dr. Martin completed postdoctoral research at The Scripps Research Institute and California Institute for Biomedical Research where his work focused on the development of a stem cell-based high throughput screen to identify small molecules to treat irritable bowel disease, as well as medicinal chemistry studies to identify new drug candidates against infectious diseases. Most recently he completed postdoctoral work at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Chemical Defense where he directed efforts to build a medicinal chemistry laboratory and designed and executed experiments to identify small molecule medical countermeasures against nerve agent intoxication. Dr. Martin is also registered as a patent agent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and has experience drafting and prosecuting patents for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies in the life sciences industry.
Dr. Martin’s philosophy of teaching is to engage students in chemistry discussion by making subjects interesting to students and approachable. By approaching teaching in this manner he believes students will want to learn, will study the material, and will succeed. He aims to empower his students academically, and encourage them that chemistry is a subject they can understand, exceed in, and enjoy. When not teaching, Dr. Martin enjoys backpacking, hiking, playing music, and riding his motorcycle.
Elizabeth Ryder, MA
MS, Music, Bangor University, Wales
Elizabeth Ryder holds a Master of Arts Degree in Music concentrating in Composition, and Creative Music and Technology for Media and the Arts, from Bangor University, Wales, UK. She has taught Music at the college level for ten years in both community college and university settings, and maintained an active career in the music field for over fifteen years. Ms Ryder’s perspective is that being creatively and professionally active enhances the classroom experience, and is beneficial to both the student, and instructor. She has worked with numerous bay area and Sacramento based theatre companies as a composer and sound designer, and has performed at festivals and venues in both the UK and USA - amongst other creative projects - bringing a wealth of professional and historical knowledge to the classroom. Ms Ryder enjoys teaching Music Appreciation in particular as it informs students about myriad forms, genres, and composers, so they may experience the depth and richness contained in the subject’s historical and cultural values.
Katherine Whitcome, PhD
Assistant Professor of Biological Anthropology, CHS
Assistant Professor of Anatomy in the Basic Sciences, COM
Education and Postdoctoral Training
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Harvard University
PhD, Anthropology, University of Texas at Austin
MA, Anthropology, University of Southern Illinois
BS, Anthropology, University of California, Davis
Dr. Katherine Whitcome is a biological anthropologist interested in evolutionary and biomechanical aspects of bipedal posture and gait. Although many anthropologists study human bipedalism, they do so primarily through examination of fossils, with the aim of reconstructing the time and the place of its ancestral origin. In contrast, Dr. Whitcome’s academic work focuses on the relationship between functional anatomy and movement activity as a means of understanding WHY our ancestors became bipedal and HOW this behavior impacts modern life. Furthermore, given that the physical challenges females confront during pregnancy and infant carrying have received relatively little attention despite their evolutionary role in shaping our species, she tests novel locomotor hypotheses related to female reproduction. Finally, because mobility throughout life is a key component of human health, her work encompasses scholarship that is relevant both to anthropology and to medicine. In exploring these themes, she applies diverse methodologies including three-dimensional kinematics of natural motion, kinetics of force production, musculoskeletal modeling, experimental biomechanics and comparative morphometrics.
She served as a Co-Investigator and Collaborating Faculty at the Center for Prevention of Preterm Birth at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital from 2012 to 2015 and as an Assistant Professor in Department of Anthropology at the University of Cincinnati from 2009 to 2015. Additionally, she has taught at Harvard University as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow and as an instructor at the University of Texas, Austin.
Dr. Whitcome has served as a manuscript reviewer for many major journals, including Science, and her own research is published in Nature, the Journal of Human Evolution, the Journal of Sport and Health Sciences, and the Anatomical Record. Her research has been funded by grantors including the National Science Foundation, the Leakey Foundation and the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society.
Damon Meyer, PhD
Assistant Professor of Molecular Genetics
Science and Math Department Chair
Education and Postdoctoral Training
Postdoctoral Scholar, University of California, Davis
PhD, Biological Sciences, Irell and Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope
BS, Genetics, University of California, Davis
AA, Biology, Hartnell Community College
Dr. Damon Meyer received his doctorate in Genetics and Molecular biology from the Irell and Manella Graduate School of Biological Sciences, Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope. His graduate research focused on the dynamic interplay between telomere stability and genome stability, which has the potential to impact aging and cancer development. Upon completion of his Doctor of Philosophy degree, Dr. Damon Meyer joined the lab of Dr. Wolf-Dietrich Heyer at the University of California, Davis in 2009 as a Postdoctoral Scholar, where he examined the genetic and molecular mechanisms of DNA damage repair. Specifically, he explored a DNA damage repair pathway which requires the use of microhomologies to facilitate repair known as microhomology mediated end-joining (MMEJ). In addition to his postdoctoral research, from 2011 – 2015, Dr. Meyer was an instructor at Woodland Community College, teaching microbiology, ecology, general biology and human anatomy.
During his graduate and postdoctoral work, Dr. Damon Meyer has received several awards, including a Department of Defense Pre-Doctoral Training Grant from 2004-2007, a UC Davis Postdoctoral Fellowship in Oncogenic Signals and Chromosome Biology, UC Davis Cancer Center, in 2009, and the California Breast Cancer Research Program Postdoctoral Fellowship, from 2009 - 2011. Furthermore, his work has resulted in several scientific publications including a 2015 publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
William Davis, PhD
Assistant Professor of Science and Technology Studies
Humanities and Social Sciences Department Chair
PhD, Science and Technology Studies, Virginia Tech
MS, Science and Technology Studies, Virginia Tech
MA, Literature, Northern Arizona University
BA, English, Virginia Tech
William Davis received his first degrees in literature, but his interest in philosophy of technology led him to pursue his doctorate from Virginia Tech in Science and Technology Studies (STS). Dr. Davis's work focuses on speculative ethics of emerging technologies, object-oriented ontology, bioethics, as well as post- and transhumanism. His dissertation elaborates what he describes as an "un-disciplined" philosophy of technology that is accessible to more than a small cadre of academic philosophers and is responsive to the increasing complexity and diversity of human-technology relationships.
Dr. Davis teaches courses in philosophy (PHIL 310), communication (COMM 110), humanities (HUMN 210), and sociology (SOCL 410). He also coordinates pedagogical training for peer-assistant tutors (COL 590), and leads COLL 510 and 520, the Health Professions Seminar series.
His current interests and work involve incorporating social epistemology into an undergraduate health sciences curriculum. In terms of research, he investigates the philosophical and social implications of emerging health science and technology. He is developing projects that invite CHS students to contribute their ideas and perspectives through various media including written formats, audio podcasts, and video.
Reem Al'Olaby, PhD
Assistant Professor of Biology & Biotechnology
Postdoctoral Scholar, The MIND Institute - University of California, Davis , CA, USA
PhD, Biotechnology – Applied Sciences, The American University in Cairo – Cairo - Egypt
MPH, George Washington University , DC, USA
M.Sc., The American University in Cairo – Cairo – Egypt
B.Pharm., Ain Shams University – Cairo – Egypt
Dr. Reem Al Olaby received both her Masters and Doctorate degrees from The American University in Cairo. Her research project's focus was on identifying drug leads against both Hepatitis C Virus and Malaria. To implement this project, she established collaborations with Scripps Research Institute (CA), Caltech (CA), UC Davis (CA), Johns Hopkins University (MD), Rutgers University (NJ), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (CA), Stanford University (CA) and Institute Pasteur De Lille in France. She received training in some of these institutions and conducted all the research there. Her research project resulted in several peer-reviewed publications and 3 USPTO patents. Furthermore, Dr. Al Olaby obtained her Master's in Public health from George Washington University. In addition, Dr. Al Olaby got her Project Management Professional Certification (PMP(r) ) from Project Management Institute.
Dr. Al Olaby joined Qatar University (Doha/Qatar) as a postdoctoral researcher and worked on determining the effect of treating triple negative breast cancer cells with phytochemicals in addition to the impact of stress hormones on the metastasis of breast cancer. Dr. Al Olaby then joined Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (Doha/Qatar) as a postdoctoral researcher working on Genetics of Autism Spectrum Disorder. In addition, she helped in establishing the community outreach programs that aims at bridging the gap between scientists and the public. She was also the project manager for QBRI's part of the Cancer Biology and Therapeutics Program which was a partnership between Harvard University School of Medicine and QBRI.
Dr. Al Olaby then joined UC Davis MIND Institute as an NIH funded postdoctoral fellow in The Autism Research Training Program where she worked with Dr. Flora Tassone and Dr. Randi Hagerman as the mentor and co-mentor respectively. Her work with them focused on the genetics and epigenetics of ASD and Fragile X Syndrome (FXS) in addition to the genetics of Fragile X-Associated Tremor and Ataxia Syndrome. Currently, Dr. Al Olaby is maintaining this collaboration and is continuing to work on the epigenetics of FXS and ASD, the correlation between FXTAS and cancer and pharmacogenetics projects.
Dr. Al Olaby's research interest lies in merging her experience in drug discovery with her training in the neuroscience discipline. She aims at developing a library of drug leads that can target neurodegenerative disorders that are based on proteinopathies and alteration in the protein stability system.
Dr. Al Olaby is a big believer in what Louis Pasteur once said "Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to the humanity and it is the torch which illuminates the world!"
Moira Delgado, MA
Lecturer of Service Learning
Director of Student Life and Community Service-Learning
MA, Italian Language and Literature, Middlebury College
MA, French Language and Literature, Middlebury College
BA, French, University of California, Santa Barbara
With over 20 years in higher education and non-profit management in Texas and California, Ms. Delgado possesses expertise in teaching intercultural communication; program development that targets underserved students; presenting intercultural communication, advising, diversity and social justice workshops.
In 2002, upon leaving her role as a Crisis Intervention Team Specialist with Mental Health Association in Houston, Texas, Ms. Delgado joined the University of California, Davis, where from 2002 –2015 she held such positions as Outreach Coordinator, Education Specialist, and Outreach and Program Manager for International Students and Scholars, and Intercultural Leadership instructor.
During her career at UC Davis, Ms. Delgado was the recipient of four Principles of Community Awards, two individual and two team recognitions, for dedication to social justice and diversity at UC Davis and in the greater community. In fact, Ms. Delgado was a member of volunteer diversity trainers for Office of Campus Community Relations for 12 years and a three-time volunteer for Seeds of Learning, a non-profit that builds schools in rural villages in El Salvador and Nicaragua. In spring 2015, UC Davis created the Moira Delgado Campus Involvement Award, in honor of the great strides Ms. Delgado made for creating a more inclusive, welcoming environment for international students and scholars.
Molly Foote, PhD
Assistant Professor of Biology
Education and Postdoctoral Training
Postdoctoral Researchers, University of California Davis, Davis CA
PhD, Biomedical Sciences, Florida State University, Tallahassee FL
BS, Biomedical Mathematics, Florida State University, Tallahassee FL
AA, Palm Beach State College, Palm Beach Gardens FL
Dr. Molly Foote earned her Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from Florida State University’s College of Medicine in Tallahassee, FL. Her graduate research focused on developing novel animal models in order to understand the underlying pathology of neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders including Parkinson’s disease and Schizophrenia. This work has been presented at several international conferences and led to multiple peer-reviewed publications in high-impact journals, including the Journal of Neuroscience and featured on the cover for Biological Psychiatry.
Upon completion of her graduate work, Dr. Foote joined the laboratory of Dr. Robert Berman at the University of California Davis, School of Medicine’s department of Neurological Surgery. Her postdoctoral research developed novel animal models to investigate the underlying molecular mechanisms of disease progression in neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders, including Fragile X Syndrome and Fragile X-associated Tremor/Ataxia Syndrome (FXTAS). Her research has been presented at several international scientific conferences and has resulted in multiple publications.
Outside of the laboratory, Dr. Foote is passionate about scientific communication, career development and outreach. While at UCD, she served as the Chair of the Postdoctoral Scholars Association and institutionalized the Postdoctoral Research Symposium. She has designed and participated in several career development and exploration resources and events for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars. In the local community, she has been involved in a variety Neuroscience Outreach programs with UC Davis. She also served as a board member on the Sacramento Valley Chapter of the Association for Women in Science (AWIS). She is an active member in the Society for Neuroscience (SfN).
Kit T. Keane, PhD
Assistant Professor of Biology
PhD, Biological Science, University of Tulsa, OK
Teaching Credential, Education, University of California, Davis, CA
BA, English, University of California, Los Angeles, CA
Dr. Kit Keane began his career as a high school teacher before pursuing higher education, and maintains a strong emphasis on the science of learning. With a broad background that includes experience in physical therapy and molecular population biology, Dr. Keane teaches introductory biology, anatomy and physiology, and genetics. His PhD work focused on developing novel molecular tools to explore landscape genetics in non-model organisms, especially to understand patterns of dispersal and how gene flow is influenced by social dynamics. In addition, he has previous experience teaching undergraduate biology courses at the University of Tulsa and Cosumnes River College. As an active member of the Sacramento science community and several biological societies, he frequently presents his continuing research at international conferences and has published his work in leading peer-reviewed journals.
Since receiving his degree, Dr. Keane has worked to incorporate active learning strategies and cutting-edge science into high school classrooms in the Sacramento area. His overall goal is to make science exciting by providing teachers and students the molecular tools to investigate their own relevant questions. Within this framework he has two major lines of research:
1) Evaluating the effectiveness of pedagogical techniques as they pertain to student enthusiasm and overall success in science classes,
2) Developing novel molecular tools to assess environmental effects on population genetics and physiological trait variation in locally abundant non-model taxa, especially in response to urbanization.
Armela Keqi, MS
Lecturer of Physics and Math
MS, Physics, University of California, Davis
BS, Physics, University of California, Irvine
AA, Physics and Math, Cerritos Community College
Ms. Keqi is an experimental physicist, focused in the area of condensed matter physics and material science. She completed most of her research at Lawrence Berkley national laboratory, studying diluted magnetic semiconductors with X-ray Photoemission Spectroscopy. She has also attended several experiments at other national laboratories around the world and participated experiments that study various materials used in spintronic.
Ms. Keqi has been teaching lower division physics classes for 8 years both at University of California, Davis and at Sacramento State University. She enjoys teaching as much as research and loves to show her students how much fun physics can be.
Cassandra Perryman, PhD
Assistant Professor of Psychology and Sociology
PhD in Psychology, University of Queensland
BA in Psychology, California State University, Sacramento
Dr. Cassandra Perryman began her career working as a mental health worker, drug and alcohol counselor, and OSHA training specialist. After developing both a mental health advocacy program, and a full employee training and safety program, she decided it was time to get a University degree.
Dr. Perryman completed her bachelor in psychology with a minor in law in 2009. By the time she finished her undergraduate degree, she had three publications. The first in the field of psychometrics and the following two in qualitative perspective of the In Home Support Services Program of Sacramento County. In 2010, Dr. Perryman left for Australia to commence her PhD at the University of Queensland. Both research and teaching commenced in January of 2011, and Dr. Perryman worked as a lecturer and privately funded researcher. The focus of research was the process of change and interaction of PTSD in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center. Her teaching was primarily in statistics and applied psychology. In 2015, Dr. Perryman was awarded her PhD in Psychology without edit. Her publications are largely cross-disciplinary, with topics ranging from psychosocial processes of change, to rock arrangements at Indigenous Australian holy sites.
Currently Dr. Perryman sits on the Board of Directors of Brisbane Skeptic Society, Sacramento Family Promise, and Perryman Mechanical, Inc., and is engaged in multiple longitudinal research projects. Aside from her academic life, Dr. Perryman is a proud geek, animal and nature lover, and quilter. She enjoys the company of her family, dog, and three cats.
Nicholas Valley, PhD
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Education and Postdoctoral Training
Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Oregon
PhD, Chemistry, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
BS, Chemistry, University of Notre Dame, Indiana
With over 10 years of chemical research experience, Dr. Nicholas Valley brings breadth to his work, including interests in computational chemistry, molecular spectroscopy, and interfacial structure and dynamics. As a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Oregon from 2012 – 2015, Dr. Valley focused on the development of methodology for the calculation of vibrational sum frequency spectra of molecules at aqueous interfaces, programming automation of calculation of spectra combining data from classical molecular dynamics and electronic structure methods, and calculating behavioral and spectral properties of environmentally relevant molecules at aqueous interfaces.
In addition to his graduate teaching and research experience at the University of Notre Dame and Northwestern University, Dr. Valley has co-authored numerous publications, including several as first author of record, and is presently a member of American Chemical Society and the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society.
Frances Wise, MA
Lecturer of English
Doctoral Student: Post-Secondary and Adult Education, Capella University
Post-Master’s Certificate in College Teaching, Capella University
MA Education Administration, Santa Clara University
California State Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential, Santa Clara University
BA English, San Jose State University
Mrs. Wise has been teaching English composition and literature for over twenty years in grades K – College. Mrs. Wise has also served in a variety of administrative roles including elementary and high school principal, curriculum development, online course design, program management/evaluation and WASC accreditation/UC and NCAA eligibility certification. Mrs. Wise has given numerous presentations on applying adult learning theories to instructional practices. She currently teaches Critical Thinking and English Composition, both online and on campus, at University of Phoenix in Sacramento, and serves as an academic advisor for two local non-profit education organizations.
Christopher Wostenberg, PhD
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Education and Postdoctoral Training
Postdoctoral Research, University of Colorado, Boulder
PhD, Chemistry, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
BS, Biochemistry with honors, California State University, Long Beach, CA
BS, Mathematics with honors, California State University, Long Beach, CA
BA, Chemistry, California State University, Long Beach, CA
Dr. Christopher Wostenberg has been tutoring and mentoring students in science and math since he was a sophomore at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB). While at CSULB, Dr. Wostenberg was involved in undergraduate research in the field of organic synthesis under the guidance of Dr. Eric Marinez.
At Pennsylvania State University (PSU), where he entered under a departmental and university fellowship, Dr. Wostenberg’s area of study as a graduate student was protein structure and dynamics and their relationship to binding in the lab of Dr. Scott Showalter. While obtaining his PhD in Chemistry at PSU, he served as a teaching assistant for the first semester of organic chemistry. Among his accolades of distinction at PSU are the Paul Berg Prize in Molecular Biology and the Braucher Award for graduate research in Chemistry, both awarded in 2010.
Prior to joining the faculty at California Northstate University in the College of Health Sciences, Dr. Wostenberg was a post-doctoral researcher in the Batey lab at the University of Colorado, Boulder (CU, Boulder) from 2012 - 2015. His research was in the field of biochemistry/biophysics, however, he switched to studying RNA structure and function utilizing riboswitches as a model RNA.
Currently, Dr. Wostenberg is a member of RNA society and the American Chemical Society. His research interests are understanding the role structure and dynamics has on the function of biological macromolecules.