Latest Achievements

Updates about the latest accomplishments—including latest research, publications, and awards—by students, faculty, and staff

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Enoch Hale, Center for Teaching and Learning
On Friday, April 28th, over 100 educators and students across the university came together for the 4th Annual Teaching Excellence Symposium to reimagine what it means to be a polytechnic. A panel of educators, Heather Madar (AHSS), César Abarca (SW), and Catalina Cuellar Gempeler (BIOL), described their perspectives and experiences on how they are thinking differently about applied learning. Following, a Digital Interactive session hosted over 40 educators and students sharing their innovative, inspiring, and impactful approaches and research to participants. Enjoy the anytime/anywhere version of the Digital Interactive session on the Center for Teaching & Learning website.

Dr. Jose Marin Jarrin, Dr. Andrew Kinziger, and Michelle Schuiteman, Fisheries Biology
Dr. Jose Marin Jarrin, Michelle Schuiteman, and Dr. Andrew Kinziger received a grant to develop a population baseline of fish communities in the lower estuary of the Klamath River. The study will ensure that changes in the Klamath River estuary due to climate change and dam removal will be measurable, and will also develop a working group that can continue to tackle coastal marine issues in Northern California, including Klamath estuary monitoring. The project will be led by the Yurok Tribe Fisheries Department, with support from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and US Fish and Wildlife Service staff.

Abby Keltz, Alexandra Papesh, Physics & Astronomy
Physics & Astronomy majors Abby Keltz and Alexandra Papesh presented research at the 2023 April Meeting of the American Physical Society (APS), held in Minneapolis, MN from April 15th - 18th. Keltz presented the talk "Testing Gravitational Interactions Below 50 Microns," while Papesh presented a poster describing a collaborative project with Indiana University-Purdue University of Indianapolis (IUPUI) entitled "Improved Measurement of the Newtonian Gravitational Constant G." Keltz was recognized as one of the "Outstanding Undergraduate Presenters" by the conference organizers. Both projects are supported by the National Science Foundation.

Gordon Ulmer, Anthropology
Dr. Gordon Ulmer has been awarded a prestigious $25,000 Wenner-Gren Post PhD Research and Dissertation Fieldwork Grant. His research project is titled, “Multispecies Encounters on the Gahwtco’ (Redwood) Coast: Landscapes of Precarity and Survivance in Times of Change”.

Kamila Larripa, Mathematics
Kamila Larripa has been awarded a 3 year National Science Foundation Division of Mathematical Sciences grant for $307,661 to study immune cell activation using multi-scale mathematical models.  The project includes collaborating biologists at other institutions and will incorporate and train undergraduate students in interdisciplinary research techniques.

Paul Michael Leonardo Atienza, Critical Race, Gender & Sexuality Studies
Dr. Paul Michael Leonardo Atienza, assistant professor of Asian American Studies with Dr. Kathleen Cruz Gutierrez, assistant professor of History at UC Santa Cruz co-edited a special issue of Philippine Studies: Historical & Ethnographic Viewpoints (PSHEV). Guided by the Global Asias framework, they curated nine essays that introduce one way science and technology, most especially in the Philippine postwar period, may be investigated, critiqued, and reimagined. PSHEV is an internationally refereed journal that publishes on the history of the Philippines and its people, both in the homeland and overseas.

Paul Michael Leonardo Atienza, Critical Race, Gender & Sexuality Studies
In collaboration with his drag collaborator Maria Arte Susya Purisima Tolentino or Ma. Arte for short, Dr. Atienza performed a work-in-progress piece Binyag (Dousing with Water) as part of the 25th anniversary show of Tuesday Night Cafe in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, California. Tuesday Night Cafe is an Asian American free summer public arts and performance series founded in 1999. It is the flagship of Tuesday Night Project, an Asian American grassroots organization devoted to bridging communities through artistic expression and community partnerships. Learn more at FOLLOW Ma. Arte on Instagram and Facebook @dragMaArte

Dr Peter Goetz, Mathematics
Will give a talk titled "Frobenius extensions, Artin-Schelter regular algebras and Azumaya loci" at the Spring Western Sectional Meeting of the American Mathematical Society at CSU, Fresno on Sunday, May 7, 2023. The Azumaya locus of a polynomial identity algebra is an algebraic variety that parametrizes the irreducible modules of maximal dimension. Typically the Azumaya locus is very hard to determine. Dr. Goetz will describe results from his current research project on using Frobenius extensions to compute Azumaya loci.

Julie Van Sickle, Natural History Museum
Julie Van Sickle received a grant to implement several projects through the Natural History Museum (NHM) that will help educate the local community and visitors on marine science and stewardship, sea level rise, and ocean acidification. This includes the addition of two new exhibits, expanding current exhibits with additional information, and building marine science teaching boxes for teachers to use in their classrooms and to be used at outreach events. These projects will be developed through the collaborative work of faculty and students, local agencies, local teacher leaders, and NHM staff.

Dr. Oscar Vargas, Biological Sciences
Dr. Oscar Vargas collaborated in the assemblage and annotation of a spiral ginger genome. Authors sequenced the nuclear genome of two species of plants in the family Costaceae. The study provides a draft annotation for the genome by mapping the transcriptome (RNA, expressed DNA) of one species to its draft genome. This study provides useful genetic resources for the study of non-model organisms.

Lucy Kerhoulas, Erin Kelly, Forestry, Fire & Rangeland Management
Drs. Lucy Kerhoulas and Erin Kelly were awarded a $299,000 grant to support the ongoing Redwoods Rising student apprenticeship program. The program places students within resource teams to perform seasonal tasks associated with restoration activities throughout the Redwood National and State Parks, where they develop field experience, network with resource management specialists, and contribute to ongoing land management efforts. This summer they hired 12 apprentices to work on projects related to forestry, roads, watersheds, and outreach and interpretation.This project is in collaboration with Redwood National and State Parks and the Save the Redwoods League, which also provides funding.

Dr. Oscar Vargas, Biological Sciences
Dr. Oscar Vargas collaborated in the description of a new species of spiral gingers from the mountains of Costa Rica. The paper examines the possible causes of speciation by comparing the genetics and climate preference of the new species to its closest relative. 

Leslie Keig, Dance, Music & Theatre
Leslie Keig's one minute play "The Tides of Janus" was selected for inclusion in Et tu, Brute? An Anthology of One Minute Plays (Volume 2) from Fresh Words: An International Literary Magazine.

Chris Hopper, Sheila Rocker Heppe, Betsy Rogers, College of Extended Education and Global Engagement (CEEGE)
California Community College students have achieved educational and professional success at Cal Poly Humboldt’s online Bachelors Degree in Leadership Studies which is designed to accommodate students from many industry sectors. Since 2021, LDRS students have transferred from 46 different community colleges across a variety of Certificate and Associate pathways, building on their technical training and work experience. Non-traditional students can continue to work while accessing a CSU through this flexible, adult-friendly degree program as well as access financial aid (Cal Grant, Pell Grant, and federal loans). LDRS students have a 78% retention rate and 75% graduation rate! Go Lumberjacks! 

Rouhollah Aghasaleh, Education
Dr. Rouhollah Aghasaleh facilitated a pre-conference (NARST 2023) workshop at the Spencer Foundation in Chicago on “Dismantling Systemic Inequalities in Indigenous STEM Education”, sponsored by Indigenous Scientific Knowledge Research Interest Group (ISK-RIG). Organizers: Sharon Nelson-Barber-WestEd, USA Rouhollah Aghasaleh- California State Polytechnic University, Humboldt, CA, USA Megan Bang- Northwestern University, IL, USA Pauline Chinn- University of Hawai`i at Mānoa, HI, USA Josiah Hester- Northwestern University, IL, USA Julie Robinson- University of North Dakota, ND, USA Linda Tuhiwai Smith- Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi, New Zealand Bhaskar Upadhyay- University of Minnesota, MN, USA David Zandvliet- Simon Fraser University, Canada

Rouhollah Aghasaleh, Education
Dr. Rouhollah Aghasaleh delivered a keynote address at American Educational Research Association (AERA) Philosophical Studies in Education Special Interest Group (SIG) Business Meeting in Chicago on Friday April 14, 2023.

Regina Khoury, Geology
Regina Khoury has been selected to receive the Alistair and Judith McCrone Graduate Fellowship Award for the 2023-2024 academic year. This fellowship is given to one graduate student each year at Cal Poly Humboldt who demonstrates exceptional academic merit and significant potential for contribution to their field. Regina's MS thesis project with Professor Brandon Browne combines geologic mapping with geochemical and mineralogical analyses of lavas erupted from eight different vents within a ~200 year "flare up" of Medicine Lake volcano in the California Cascades. Her findings will advance hazard mitigation efforts at volcanoes worldwide. Congratulations Regina!

Rouhollah Aghasaleh,
Dr. Rouhollah Aghasaleh has been elected to the Society of Professors of Education (SPE) Board of Directors. SPE (formerly the Society of College Teachers of Education until 1969) is the oldest scholarly society in education, founded in 1902 by Charles DeGarmo and John Dewey, among others. 

Debbie Gonzalez, Social Work
  Debbie Gonzalez, Assistant Professor in the Social Work Department at Cal Poly Humboldt, recently had an article published on Congratulations Debbie! Excerpt: "It is normal to have some stress or anxiety about transitioning from the classroom to the workplace...This article connects social work knowledge with skills for building workplace relationships that support an environment where safety, trustworthiness, collaboration, voice, and cultural responsiveness are commonplace." Read the full article by clicking the link below.  

Paul Michael Leonardo Atienza, Critical Race, Gender & Sexuality Studies
Paul Michael L. Atienza’s essay “I Look at How They Write Their Bio and I Judge From There”: Language and Class Among Middle-Class Queer Filipino Digital Socialities in Manila” was published in an open access, special section titled Queer Cultures in Digital Asia for the International Journal of Communication. The article examines communicative practices among queer Filipino men in Manila and analyzes dating app profiles with a focus on class and gender. The special section aims to renew critical interrogation of the intersection between queerness and Asia at a time when digital media are inseparable from social lives.

Tyler Evans, Alice Fialowski, Mathematics
My paper "Central Extensions of Restricted Affine Nilpotent Lie Algebras $n_+A_1^{(1)}(p)$" appeared in the Journal of Lie Theory, 33 (2023), No. 1, 195--215. This paper was written jointly with my colleague Alice Fialowski at Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem in Budapest, Hungary during my Spring 2022 sabbatical leave.

Cutcha Risling Baldy; Kaitlin Reed, Native American Studies
Last week, Save California Salmon and Cal Poly Humboldt’s Native American Studies Department hosted the Northern California LandBack Symposium. This first-of-its-kind free event featured Tribal and State leaders, university representatives, foundations, NGOs, land trusts, and lawyers who work to return land to Northern California Tribes and Tribal land trusts. SCS & NAS also worked with experts to create a draft California LandBack Red Paper to inform policy makers on the history of landback efforts along with current policy and funding needs to help make Tribal land return easier. Draft Red Paper:  Conference Videos:  

Vincent Biondo, Religious Studies
Vincent Biondo presented at the American Academy of Religion Western Region Annual Meeting at UC Davis on March 25, 2023.

John Meyer, Environmental Studies
John Meyer, has published two new articles: "Power and Truth in Science-Related Populism: Rethinking the Role of Knowledge and Expertise in Climate Politics" in Political Studies, and "Experimentalism and its alternatives: toward viable strategies for transformative change and sustainability" in Sustainability: Science, Practice and Policy. Both articles are available open access. 

Phoebe Hughes, Art + Film
Student Phoebe Hughes had a work accepted into the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles Illustration West 61 exhibition. The drawing, Trash Griffins, was created in Fall 2022's ART 321: Drawing II: The Natural World, taught by Associate Professor Brandice Gonzalez-Guerra. Phoebe's work in the exhibition may be seen at this link:

Paul Michael Leonardo Atienza, Critical Race, Gender & Sexuality Studies
Paul Michael Leonardo Atienza was an invited discussant to a sponsored panel on LGBT Rights in Southeast Asia at the 2023 Association for Asian Studies (AAS) annual conference (March 16-19) held in Boston, MA. The Rising Voices panel is an annual competitive selection process among advanced doctoral students and un-tenured assistant professors on a different topic or theme for inclusion in the AAS conference. The Rising Voices panel is organized by the Southeast Asia Council of AAS and with generous financial support by the journal, TRaNS: Trans-Regional and -National Studies of Southeast Asia.

Paul Michael Leonardo Atienza, Critical Race, Gender & Sexuality Studies
Paul Michael Leonardo Atienza was an invited participant in a two-day workshop gathering Asian/American researchers, policymakers, & community organizers working on projects and advocacy focused on digital disinformation. Hosted by the Dept. of Communication at UMass Amherst, with generous support from Luminate and Reset, workshop participants shared works-in-progress and engaged in dialogue on interdisciplinary strategies to understand histories of racially targeted misinformation and hate speech. 

Ho Yi Wan, Wildlife
Dr. Ho Yi Wan received a grant from the CSU Agricultural Research Institute to support research on a collaborative project that will develop a viable business plan associated with mass timber production in the coastal region of northern California. Dr. Wan and his lab will be responsible for assessing some of the ecological benefits of this plan, primarily with regards to wildfire risks reduction from timber harvest.

David Adams (Humboldt), Greg Bellinder (Azusa Pacific University), School of Applied Health
Adams, D., Bellinger, G. (2023). Engaging Students in your Classroom through a Structured Learning Approach. California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (CAHPERD; Santa Clara).

David Adams,
Adams., D. (March, 2023). Integrating a collaborative and proactive solutions model into your classroom. California Association for Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance  Conference (CAHPERD; Santa Clara).

Dr. Ramona Bell, Critical Race, Gender & Sexuality Studies
Dr. Ramona j.j. Bell was an invited speaker in celebration of Women's Herstory Month at the University of Colorado Boulder on March 7, 2023.  She presented from her forthcoming book, Sporting DIVAS: Black Womanhood, Empowerment & Belonging. 

Marcos Hernandez; Janelle Adsit, English
Marcos Hernandez and Janelle Adsit have published an essay that reflects on Cal Poly Humboldt's literary magazine *Toyon: Multilingual Journal of Literature and Art.* Their chapter, "Literary Journals, Editorial Courses, and Equity in the Publishing Industry," appears in the collection *Creative Writing Scholars on the Publishing Trade* (edited by Sam Meekings and Marshall Moore; published in the Routledge series Studies in Creative Writing, 2022). 

Dr. Sara K Sterner, Education
Dr. Sara K. Sterner and her colleagues, Dr. Megan M. Van Deventer (Weber State University) and Laura Lemanski, ABD (University of Minnesota, MCAD) recently presented their work "Innovative Collaboration: A (Co)Process Model for Teacher Educator Collectives" at the 75th Annual National Meeting of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE 2023).

Jill Anderson, David Adams, Chris Hopper , School of Applied Health
Jill Anderson, David Adams, and Chris Hopper with the help of 3 graduate students published the following book chapter. Anderson, J., Adams, D., Hopper, C., Valdez, M. A., Hughes, D., & Ruland, K. (2023). Collaborative Preparation of Special Educators and Adapted Physical Educators. In Handbook of Research on Interdisciplinary Preparation for Equitable Special Education (pp. 65-84). IGI Global.  

Erin Kelly, Benjamin Graham, and Jeff Kane, Forestry, Fire & Rangeland Management
Drs. Erin Kelly, Benjamin Graham, and Jeff Kane received a grant from the Joint Fire Science Program (administered by the Departments of Interior and Agriculture) to support a study on community recovery after wildfires, and how recovery can lead to social-ecological resilience. The study will look into what recovery looks like in communities impacted by wildfires, the networks within communities present for recovery, and the resources available to implement community recovery. Findings will be useful for policy makers trying to create funding, regulatory, and other policy mechanisms to facilitate community recovery, and organizations working toward social-ecological resilience in fire-prone landscapes.

Dawn Arledge, California Center for Rural Policy
Dawn Arledge was awarded $1.8 million of a $5 million planning grant to support the Community Economic Resilience Fund (CERF), a collaborative project between the California Center for Rural Policy (CCRP) at Cal Poly Humboldt and 12 other Regional Conveners across the state. The initiative will center community participation to create a regional economic development plan that will support an equitable economic transition to a carbon neutral economy. Within the Redwood Coast Region (Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, and Mendocino Counties), CCRP will partner with the Arcata Economic Development Corporation and North Coast Opportunities. Visit for more.

Dr. Geneviève Marchand, School of Applied Health
Co-authored a year long study and report on demographic and compensation trends of collegiate outdoor program professional staff. The report is available here. This report provides valuable information for staff and program managers who are attempting to close the gap in pay disparities, and elevate diversity, equity and inclusion in the outdoor industry.

Regina Khoury and Sarah Leidinger , Geology
Graduate students Regina Khoury and Sarah Leidinger (Geology) are the 2022-2023 recipients of the $1,500 Richard Chambers Memorial Scholarships from the Northern California Geological Society. Regina Khoury's MS thesis proposal is titled “Pre-Eruptive Storage Conditions of Magmas Erupted During the ~12ka Flare Up of Medicine Lake Volcano, CA.” Her advisor is Dr. Brandon L. Browne in Geology. Sarah Leidinger's MS thesis proposal is titled “Bathymetry and carbon accumulation rate of a rare Northern California coastal peatland.” Her advisor is Dr. Laura Levy in Geology. Congratulations Regina and Sarah! 

Dr. Cutcha Risling Baldy, Dr. Kaitlin Reed, Native American Studies
Drs. Cutcha Risling Baldy and Kaitlin Reed received a $50,000 grant from the S. H. Cowell Foundation for the Rou Dalagurr Food Sovereignty Lab and Traditional Ecological Knowledges Institute. Funding will support general operations, ongoing yearly programs, and temporary initiatives of the Lab, including funding for personnel, supplies, and community events and engagement.

Nicolette Amann, English
Nicolette Amann has been awarded $27,000 in funding from the University of California Office of the President to support a variety of literacy-focused professional development programs for local K-16 educators.

L. Rae Robison, Dance, Music & Theatre
Assoc. Professor Rae Robison, National Member at Large in Design, Technology & Management for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre organization, served as a guest respondent for the Region 1 festival in Cape Cod, Massachusetts last week. Rae led a team of professionals from Yale, the New York City Ballet and other universities from across the country in responses to student designs in scenic, sound, costume and lighting design as well as allied crafts. Rae also co-responded to the invited production of Everybody from Naugatuck Valley Community College.

Brandice Gonzalez-Guerra, Art + Film
Associate Professor Brandice Guerra had two paintings, "I, Said the Kite" and "Bebecita", accepted into the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles Illustration West 61 exhibition. One of these works, "Bebecita", received an Honorable Mention. The judging panel, composed of prominent professional illustrators, received over 1400 entries from over 450 artists. 301 works from 183 artists were selected for inclusion. The exhibition website will launch in the beginning of March, 2023.  

Hunter Harrill, Forestry, Fire & Rangeland Management
Hunter Harrill (Forestry) was a co-author of a recently published article titled "Operational Analysis of Grapple Yarding in New Zealand: A Case Study of Three Mechanized Harvesting Operations"  in the journal Forests.

Joshua Frye, Communication
Dr. Frye was invited to provide strategic communication support to WindLift, Inc.  WindLift is a research and development technology firm working to bring next generation wind energy to the market with airborne power generation (APG) that is mobile, off-grid, and smart.  WindLift is a Department of Defense contractor currently operating under the aegis of the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (ODASD) for Environment & Energy Resilience.

Silvia Pavan, Biological Sciences
Dr. Silvia Pavan received a grant from the National Science Foundation to implement a project that will digitize and georeference Cal Poly Humboldt’s mammal collection. The project will be part of a collaborative effort under the Ranges Thematic Collections Network (Ranges TCN), an initiative lead by the University of North Carolina, to digitize and mobilize trait data from mammalian museum specimens from across the American West, including standard external morphological measurements, reproductive and life history observations, and information on ecological associations. Resulting trait datasets will support next-generation anatomical and evolutionary research, and provide baselines for future population monitoring efforts.

Erik S. Jules, Biological Sciences
Erik Jules (Biological Sciences) published a paper with ten Humboldt student co-authors in the American Journal of Botany ( The study -- titled "Genotype accounts for intraspecific variation in the timing and duration of life cycle events" -- was an experimental study of willows covering an area approximately the size of a football field. The results showed that the timing of key life events, such as leaf emergence, flowering, and fruit set, are all heritable traits, indicating that natural selection could favor some individuals under changing climate conditions. Of the ten students, six went onto graduate school after leaving Humboldt.

Prof Alison Holmes, International Studies
Professor Alison Holmes (INTL) has been invited to be on the international steering committee of a European Commission Jean Monnet grant hosted by George Washington University. The three-year grant is designed to explore the growing field subnational diplomacy through publications and the creation of executive education programming for city, county, tribal and state officials. Holmes was included on the basis of her scholarship on California’s unique role in international affairs.

Meenal Rana, Child Development
Dr. Meenal Rana, along with Michigan State University and University of Michigan colleagues, guest edited the special issue of Research in Human Development (Issue Title: College Women of Color, CWOC). The issue focused on the resilience processes found among diverse groups of CWOC focusing on the key concepts in development (emerging adulthood), intersectionality, resilience and resistance. Included are the studies with African American and Latina young adult women, Latina mothers, and Chinese International students. Dr. Rana engaged two undergraduate students from Cal Poly Humboldt to contribute one article. Additionally, Dr. Rana co-authored the editorial. Vol 19 (3-4), July-Dec 22.

Aaron Gregory, Native American Studies
Dr. Aaron Gregory presented at the Society for Social Studies of Science (4S) in Cholula, Mexico (December, 2022). His panel, Abysmal Infrastructures: Energy communities in Maintenance, Repair and Abandonment, engaged with the problem of 'Indigenous Energy Sovereignty' as an infrastructural assemblage of technologies, materialities and modalities of governance drawn from non-Native, settler-state and private-sector actors. Dr. Gregory's presentation addressed the ways in which renewable energy projects developed in Native America often rely upon rare earth minerals and materials extracted from Indigenous lands in Africa and South America. Dr. Gregory's conference paper is scheduled for publication in a forthcoming edited book.

Diksha Shrestha, Jun Ou, Ariel Rogers, Amani Jereb, Deborah Okyere, Jingyi Chen, Yong Wang, Environmental Resources Engineering
In collaboration with University of Arkansas, we recently published a journal paper at Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces. In this work, we mimicked soil-like porous media by microspheres at various densitiesm, simultaneously characterized the pores and tracked bacterial motion in pores, quantified changes in bacterial swimming due to pore-scale confinement, established correlation between bacterial trapping and geometric confinement, and proposed the importance of distinguishing bacterial motility from mobility.