The College of Health and Human Services is pleased to welcome four new faculty to our college, each of whom bring a wealth of knowledge, expertise and passion for their field of study. Due to the time and dedication of faculty and administration, our 4,800+ 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 the start of a great 2016-2017 school year!
Dr. Jennifer Adame-Walker is an assisant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Physiology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, a master’s degree in Physical Therapy from Fresno State and her Doctor of Physical Therapy from the University of California, San Francisco and Fresno State joint doctoral program.
For 18 years, she taught activity classes in the Department of Kinesiology at Fresno State and in 2011, began teaching part-time in Fresno State’s Department of Physical Therapy shortly after graduating from its doctoral program. In addition to teaching, Adame-Walker has worked in a number of areas including outpatient orthopedics and home health. Recent ventures include serving as an independent contractor with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
Adame-Walker’s research interests include developing exercise programs that are safe, effective and have a good compliance rate with obese/at-risk youth and utilizing the pilates method of exercise to affect posture, strength and confidence in teenage or college-aged women.
Dr. Nupur Hajela is an assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy. She received her bachelor’s degree in Physiotherapy from Baba Farid University of Health Sciences in Punjab, India; a Ph.D. in Rehabilitation Science from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities; and participated in a post-doctoral fellowship in Biomechanics and Electrophysiology from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
She is a physical therapist and neuroscientist who specializes in neurologic rehabilitation in patients with spinal cord injuries and stroke. A native of India, Hajela came to the United States to pursue her Ph.D. She prides herself in working with the community to increase therapy caps for people with spinal cord injuries. She is also has a growing interest in improving the quality of life for veterans suffering from traumatic brain injury and concussion by helping them improve their motor and cognitive outcomes.
Hajela’s research interests include designing novel interventions utilizing robotics and technology for physical and cognitive therapy to improve quality of life for survivors of spinal cord injury, stroke and Parkinson’s. She is also researching brain stimulation, games and virtual reality for increasing physical activity and inducing neuroplasticity.
Dr. Nisha Nair is an assistant professor in the School of Nursing. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and master’s degree in Public Administration, both from University of Kerala, India. She also obtained her Master of Science in Nursing at Fresno State and Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from the California State University, Northern California Consortium.
Nair holds certifications as a lactation educator counselor and is a clinical nurse educator. She previously taught undergraduate level courses at Fresno State’s School of Nursing. With over 19 years of experience as an obstetric nurse, she has provided clinical leadership in this area both in national and international settings. Her passion is working with families as they make their transition to parenthood.
Nair’s research interests include parental education in newborn health, with a focus on parental empowerment leading to holistic health and reduction in hospital readmission.
Dr. Nicole J. Smith is an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Physical Education from the University of Nevada, Reno, and master’s degree in Physical Education Teacher Education from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and a Ph.D. in Physical Education Teacher Education, with an emphasis in Physical Activity Promotion from University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
She has more than 20 years of professional experience as a teacher and researcher in secondary schools and higher education settings. Her expertise is in the area of physical education teacher education, direct observation, physical activity promotion, and evidence-based interventions to increase physical activity in physical education. She presents and publishes her work in peer-reviewed outlets on these same topics.
Smith’s research interests include physical activity opportunity, school connectedness, school wellness policy, school adoption of evidence-based P.E. curricula, observation of physical activity and measured physical activity and sleep using accelerometers.