CHS Full Time Faculty
Armela Keqi, PhD
Assistant Professor of Physics and Mathematics
MS, Physics, University of California, Davis
PBS, Physics, University of California, Irvine
AA, Physics and Math, Cerritos Community College
Dr. Keqi is an experimental physicist, focused on condensed matter physics and material science. She completed most of her research at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, studying diluted magnetic semiconductors using X-ray Photoemission Spectroscopy. She has also attended several experiments at other national laboratories around the world and participated in experiments that study various materials used in spintronics.
Dr. Keqi has been teaching general 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.
Christine Deere, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biology
Postdoctoral Researcher, Chemistry, University of California-Davis
Ph.D., Microbiology, University of California-Davis
BS, Microbial Biotechnology, Montana State University- Bozeman
Dr. Christine Deere is a Ph.D. microbiologist interested in understanding the myriad ways microbes can and do affect human life. In her 14 years of teaching experience, Dr. Deere has taught environmental and medical microbiology to a wide range of students in the classroom and in the laboratory. She has taught community college (Sacramento City College), high school, undergraduate, masters, and doctorate students (UCD). In her 12 years of research experience, Dr. Deere has worked on a variety of projects, including methods of biofilm control and the art-science collaboration Bioglyphs at the Center for Biofilm Engineering (Bozeman, MT), how bacteria detect and move toward (or away) from toxic munitions chemicals (UCD Microbiology Department), and the utilization of synthetic biology and metabolic engineering to generate valuable renewable chemicals using bacteria as catalysts (UCD Chemistry Department).
Dr. Deere feels strongly about the importance of scientific literacy and science communication in a healthy, functional society, and of removing the intimidating stigma of science. Her primary teaching goal is for students to learn to be confident, creative, critical thinkers so they can excel at their jobs, more fully enjoy their lives, and successfully communicate their findings to non-scientists to more broadly affect the world around them.
Christopher Wostenberg, PhD
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
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. 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.
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.
Elizabeth (Liz) Ryder-Baxmeyer, MA
Lecturer of English and Music
MA – Bangor University, Wales, UK
BA – Bangor University, Wales, UK
A Levels – English Literature, Art, and Music - Ninestiles College, Birmingham, UK
Ms. Ryder received her Master’s degree in Creative Music, Media, and the Arts, with emphasis in both acoustic, and electro-acousmatic composition, from Bangor University, Wales, UK in 2005. During her time at at Bangor, Liz debuted her work at the Bangor New Music Festival, received a BBC Young Folk Award nomination, and performed at a number of prominent festivals across the UK.
Liz has been a college instructor since 2009. She has taught music and English composition courses at Heald College in San Francisco, Solano College in Fairfield, and given workshops at Southside Unlimited and CLARA in Midtown Sacramento, alongside maintaining an active career in the arts as a writer, theatre professional, musician, engineer, composer, and sound designer. Liz has toured in the UK and US as a musician and songwriter, and performed at festivals such as the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, the San Francisco Folk Festival, and Sidmouth and Warwick in the UK to name a few. She has also been involved in numerous theatre productions for companies in San Francisco, New York, and Sacramento - for which she has received seven nominations, and two industry awards for sound design – and has a passion for Shakespeare, as well as modern playwrights (especially the work of Sarah Ruhl). Liz has a special interest in podcasting and voice recording, and has edited and mastered various narrative and journalistic pieces for release on NPR, and local radio. In June of 2017 Liz became adjunct faculty at California Northstate University College of Health Sciences (CHS), teaching Music Appreciation, and English Composition, before coming onboard as fulltime English and humanities faculty in July of 2019. Ms. Ryder has worked closely with the Media and Communication Studio at CHS, and continues to help build on its vision to impact student success. She is dedicated to maintaining active learning environments, and bringing her professional arts and literary experience to the classroom.
Jill Dahlman, PhD
Assistant Professor of English
PhD in Rhetoric and Composition, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
MA Writing Center Studies, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
BA in Writing (Cum Laude), University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo; minor in Geology
Dr. Jill Dahlman is a composition specialist whose primary area of research is in student self-efficacy in the first-year composition classroom. She has interests in the pedagogies of composition and service-learning and rhetoric of the Cold War era, including protest songs, comic books, and Star Trek. When Dr. Dahlman began her research in raising student self-efficacy, the common thinking was that student self-efficacy could not be raised beyond the high school years. Her research demonstrated that in fact student self-efficacy can be raised through the freshman year in college, and subsequent studies in multiple disciplines have demonstrated that student self-efficacy can be raised all the way through medical school, and she would argue, beyond.
Dr. Dahlman studied and worked at the University of Hawaii at Manoa where she began her work in using conferencing as a means of raising student self-efficacy. This method of working directly with students with their writing falls upon Writing Center theory. Furthermore, it provides students a say in their grade, which she believes is far more egalitarian than silently being the bestower of the grade. She refined her work in grading conferences at the University of Nevada, Reno. Her research in student self-efficacy continues.
Conferences, such as NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English, the world’s largest English conference), the Conference on College Composition and Communication, Writing Program Administration (WPA), the Rocky Mountain MLA, and International Writing across the Curriculum (IWAC) Conferences frequently see Dr. Dahlman on their program as a speaker or workshop leader.
Prior to returning to undergraduate and graduate studies, Dr. Dahlman was an accomplished feature writer for Kauai Magazine, Inside Kauai, The O’ahu Databook, and Off the Beaten Path: Hawai’i. Her current publishing follows more traditional academic routes, focusing on being the Composition and Technical Writing editor for the Rocky Mountain Review, the peer-reviewed journal of the Rocky Mountain MLA; being an editor with WAC Clearninghouse, and the Social Media editor for the peer-reviewed journal, Composition Forum. Furthermore, she is the series co-editor for Beyond the Frontier: Innovations in First-Year Composition, which series is now getting ready to publish its third anthology in 2020.
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.
Kristopher (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.
Marguerite Phillips, MA
Lecturer of Communication, Leadership and Student Success
Doctoral Student - Educational Leadership, University of California, Davis
MA - Urban and Environmental Policy (concentration of Children and Family Policy), Tufts University
BS – Marketing, Bryant University
AOS – Culinary Arts, Johnson & Wales University
Ms. Phillips is a dedicated educator and student affairs professional with a strong interest in alternative teaching styles. Her past careers in the hospitality, corporate sales and non-profit fields planted the seed for her oral communication and leadership skills. Ms. Phillips has over 18 years of experience in the fields of student affairs, student housing and orientation at three colleges and universities in Massachusetts and Connecticut, both private and public. Before becoming a lecturer at California Northstate University College of Health Sciences, she was a Leadership Coordinator and then Assistant Director of Student Housing and Dining Services at University of California, Davis for ten years.
Throughout her twenty-five years of professional experience, she was a sous and sauté chef, responsible for over $1.5M in sales, a research and communications specialist of a non-profit organization for children with special health care needs and finally, various roles within the student affairs side of higher education. All of this experience has led Ms. Phillips to develop strong interpersonal, research, supervisory, analytical and teaching skills. Her research interests are educational leadership within the field of higher education, race and gender identity, how the higher educational system serves former foster youth, and the intersections of self-love, social justice education and inclusion within higher education.
Moira Delgado, MA
Lecturer of Service Learning
Director of Community Service-Learning
EdD Student at St. Mary’s College (Educational Leadership)
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
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).
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.
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.
Rosemary Effiong, PhD
Associate Professor of Chemistry
PhD in Analytical Chemistry, University of New Orleans
M.S. in Analytical Chemistry, University of New Orleans
BS (honors) in Biochemistry, Ahmadu Bello University, Nigeria
Dr. Effiong’s believes in keeping Chemistry interesting through research. Her research effort is geared towards identifying and quantifying PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) in sea food – primarily oysters. This class of organic compounds are abundant in rivers, estuaries and soil sediments especially if petrochemical industries are in close proximity or they can be found in debris from forest fires. Elevated levels of PAH content in sea food may have health implications to consumers of such sea food. Students’ involvement comprise sample sorting, preparation and analysis. The preliminary results indicate trace levels of PAHs in the samples. Dr. Effiong is also interested in Chemical Education. As a faculty member at the University of Tennessee, Martin (UTMartin), she received funding (NSF - MSP) for her grant proposal (ICAP – Institute for Chemistry & Physics). The ICAP Project explored ways of improving middle school student achievement in the sciences through enhancing teacher education.
Dr. Effiong has an extensive teaching career that spans over two decades. Although her previous faculty positions were in Departments of Chemistry, she embraces the uniquely broad (and diverse) interdisciplinary approach (curriculum) that the College of Health Sciences has to offer her undergraduates. She hopes that the unique platform will foster a collaborative teaching/research relationships with colleagues in other disciplines.
In order to seek external funding for projects, Dr. Effiong has the experience in writing successful grant proposals. She intends to continue in seeking outside funding for her projects as well as enhancing the teaching capabilities in CNSU’s College of Health Sciences.
Our University’s presence in the community is important. Dr. Effiong is an advocate for community service. She has a robust record of community service. Her pet Project – “Helping Hands” involves student participants in helping people in the community with activities like food drive, blood drive, health fair etc. She also organizes science demonstrations that showcase Science as a viable fun career.
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, communication, humanities, and sociology. He also coordinates pedagogical training for peer-assistant tutors.
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.