The College of Health and Human Services is pleased to welcome seven new faculty to our college, who bring with them a wealth of knowledge, expertise and passion for their field of study. Our college prides ourselves in fostering emerging student leaders in the areas of health and wellness, and this all starts with their education – here at Fresno State. Due to the diligence and unwavering dedication of faculty and administration, our 3,000+ students in our college are given a first-rate education and the chance to #LiveWell and #BeBold! We welcome our new and returning faculty to a start of a great 2014-2015 school year!


nancydelichDr. Nancy Delich is an Assistant Professor in the department of Social Work Education. She received her master’s degree in social work from San Diego State University and a second master’s degree in transforming spirituality (MATS) with a focus on spiritual direction from Seattle University. She has her doctoral degree in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.) from Seattle University with a double cognate in Social Justice and Spirituality.

Dr. Delich has worked in a variety of settings including community mental health, residential and public schools, and private practice in California and Washington as a licensed clinical social worker. She has taught graduate level counseling courses in the School of Theology and Ministry at both Saint Thomas University in Florida and Seattle University in Washington.

Her research interests include examining mental health issues in the deaf community, spirituality in social work, and social connectedness and empowerment.


SamLankfordDr. Samuel Lankford is Professor and Chair in the Department of Recreation Administration. He obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degree from California State University Chico, and a Master’s of Urban Planning and Ph.D. from the University of Oregon.
Dr. Lankford spent the last 13 years as Professor, Graduate Program Chair and Doctoral Studies Coordinator in the School of Health, Physical Education and Leisure Services at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI). He taught research methods, evaluation, grant writing and social policy for the graduate and undergraduate programs. Prior to UNI, he was Professor and Program Coordinator for Recreation and Leisure Science, and Director of the Sustainable Tourism and Environment Program in the School of Travel Industry Management at the University of Hawaii Manoa for 11 years.

Dr. Lankford’s area of expertise is in tourism and community recreation, with a research focus on the economic, social and cultural impacts of tourism and community recreation.


Rivera, Monica-001Dr. Monica Rivera is an Assistant Professor in the Physical Therapy Department. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in health science from California State University, Northridge, master’s degree in physical therapy neurological science from Samuel Merritt College and her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from UC San Francisco.

Dr. Rivera spent two years as an Assistant Professor at Samuel Merritt University and an additional five years as an adjunct Assistant Professor. She was a volunteer clinical professor at UC San Francisco’s Graduate Program of Physical Therapy for 15 years. Her areas of teaching are pediatrics, neurological science, and evidence based practice.

Dr. Rivera’s areas of expertise are motor development in the typical and atypical infant, brain injury in the pediatric and adult populations and motor disability in the preterm infant.


6309580740_650bdc090b_zDr. Janice Sanders is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing. She obtained her bachelor’s degree from Clemson University, her master’s degree from Fresno State, and her Doctorate of Nursing Practice from the California State University, Northern California Consortium.

For the past eight years, she worked at VA Central California Healthcare System, Fresno in ambulatory care, nursing administration, and mental health. Dr. Sanders is also a veteran and served in the US Navy Nurse Corps, where she retired after 22 years of service, both in active duty and reserve, as a Lieutenant Commander.

Her primary focus is psychosocial nursing, with her research interests in mental health, autism in school age children, recruitment/retention of minorities in nursing, and optimal healing environments.


samendrasherchan Dr. Samendra Sherchan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health. He obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degree from Georgia College and State University and his doctorate from the University of Arizona.

He was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Arizona National Science Foundation Water and Environmental Technology Center.

Dr. Sherchan’s area of expertise is in environmental health, with his research focused on the transmission of pathogens by water, food and fomites; fate of pathogens in land applied wastes; development of new detection technologies; wastewater treatment; direct potable reuse and microbial risk assessment.


PulluciDr. Paul Ullucci is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, as well as the coordinator of the Musculoskeletal Care Clinic at Fresno.

He graduated from Northeastern University with his bachelor’s degree in physical therapy and received his DPT and PhD in Orthopedics and Sports Sciences from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions.

Prior to joining the Faculty at Fresno State, Dr. Ullucci owned his private practice in Rhode Island and currently has over 25 years of experience treating professional, collegiate, high school and youth athletes. He has acted as the medical director for a number of high profile skating and track and field competitions including the 2005 Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships.

Dr. Ullucci’s area of expertise is in orthopedics, kinesiology and manual therapy and his research interests are in human flexibility, concussion and injury prevention.


???????????????????????????????Dr. Deborah Walker is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy. She obtained her bachelor’s degree from California State University, Long Beach, her master’s degree from University of Southern California and her doctorate from Regis University in Denver Colorado. Dr. Walker is currently completing a geriatric fellowship at Regis University.

She previously started an orthopedic program for an outpatient physical therapy clinic that specializes in patients with neurologic disorders and has spent the past eight years practicing in the geriatric setting with an emphasis on manual therapy and fall risk prevention.

Dr. Walker has 24 years of experience teaching physical therapists and 3 years teaching in transitional and entry level physical therapy programs.

Her area of expertise is in orthopedic and geriatric physical therapy. Her research focus is on sarcopenia and the prevention of falls in the elderly.



chickeyDr. Cheryl Hickey is an Associate Professor in the department of Physical Therapy. She obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degree in physical therapy and a Master of Science in counseling – all from Fresno State. She also has a doctoral degree in educational leadership (Ed.D.) from UC Davis/Fresno State.

Dr. Hickey joined Fresno State’s faculty in 1998 as a lecturer while still working as a clinical therapist for the Community Health Care System. Upon joining Fresno State, she assumed the role of Academic Coordinator of Clinical Education and assisted the program to shepard in the American Physical Therapy Association’s new Clinical Performance Instrument. She assumed responsibilities for educating both valley and statewide clinicians on the Instrument and the emerging clinical instructor credentialing program.

Dr. Hickey also holds a background in counseling and used her knowledge to serve as coordinator and advisor of the department’s undergraduate degree, the Interdisciplinary Health and Rehabilitation Science Major.

In addition, Dr. Hickey has served as an advisor for numerous Master and Doctoral level research projects and has published both in an international and APTA section journal, as well as completed a book chapter related to the impact of language and cultural barriers in physical therapy practice.


Nancy_Nisbett_9623-2_webDr. Nancy Nisbett is a Professor in the Department of Recreation Administration. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Michigan State University, a master’s degree in therapeutic recreation from Central Michigan University and a doctoral degree in educational leadership (Ed.D.) from UC Davis/Fresno State.

Dr. Nisbett first joined Fresno State’s faculty in 1997 as a lecturer, and later became an Assistant Professor in 2005. She most recently served as Chair of the department from 2011 to 2013. She has taught in the area of diversity and inclusive recreation; and foundations and trends of therapeutic recreation. She currently serves as Internship Coordinator for the department and also coordinates the Therapeutic Recreation emphasis.

Dr. Nisbett is also an active member of the Fresno State campus, serving on several committees, including the Student Affairs committee and the President’s Committee on Disability, in which she chairs. Prior to Fresno State, she was an experimental educator, spending her summers with youth in Moscow, Russia, to develop leadership and English language skills.

Her research interests and publications span a variety of topics, including: inclusive recreation, benefits of recreation for youth, and pedagogy. She is currently involved in two collaborative projects, one related to faculty mentoring and another related to the effects of outdoor recreation on breast cancer survivors.