The College of Health and Human Services is excited to welcome nine new faculty to the college, each of whom bring a wealth of knowledge, expertise and passion of their field of study to the 4,500+ students in our college! Learn more about each of them below.
Dr. Brooke Findley is an assistant professor in the Department of Communicative Sciences and Deaf Studies. She is a proud Fresno State graduate, having completed her doctorate in Educational Leadership, master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Administration, and both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Communicative Sciences and Deaf Studies: Speech-Language Pathology, at Fresno State.
Findley is currently on the advisory committee for District 5 of the California Speech-Language-Hearing Association and is part of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association’s Special Interest Group on School-based issues. In addition, Findley is recognized as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and has a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology. Prior to Fresno State, she served as a school-based speech-language pathologist and special education program manager.
Findley has been a lecturer in the Department of Communicative Sciences and Deaf Studies since 2014, teaching courses on sound disorders in children and research methods. Her research interests include school-based speech-language pathology, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and applied behavior analysis.
Dr. Riana Pryor is an assistant professor in the Department of Kinesiology, teaching in the area of Athletic Training. She received her doctorate in Kinesiology from the University of Connecticut, master’s degree in Exercise and Sport Science from Ithaca College, and a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science: Athletic Training from State University of New York, Brockport.
In addition to serving as faculty, Pryor is also director of research at the Central California Sports Science Institute. She is active within the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, serving as the District 8 Representative on the Professional Responsibility in Athletic Training committee to improve education and awareness of legal, ethical, and regulatory issues within the profession.
Pryor shares her expertise with the community, where she serves as a career technical education advisor for sports medicine classes in Clovis Unified School District in an effort to improve high school sport safety polices. She also gives lectures in the region about the importance of medical personnel in high school athletics, and also volunteers as an athletic trainer at the Two Cities Marathon.
Pryor’s research interests include the impact of the environment on physiological responses to physical activity in laborers and athletes. With a focus in exertional heat illness prevention, treatment, and education, she says this research can positively impact the safety of our local community. Additionally, she is investigating medical services provided in secondary schools throughout the United States and is taking an in-depth look into California medical services.
Dr. Mary Garza is an associate professor in the Department of Public Health, teaching in the area of Community Health. She received her doctorate in Health Policy and Management with a focus in Social and Behavioral Sciences from John Hopkins University, where she also completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Cancer Epidemiology. She also obtained her master’s degree in Public Health: Health Education and Health Promotion from San Diego State University and a bachelor’s degree in Health Science from UC San Diego.
Through her work, Garza is committed to training the next generation of public health leaders in order to ensure minorities in research and practice are well-represented. She was also principal investigator on an NIH/NCI-funded award that focuses on understanding the barriers and facilitators of cancer screening, specifically colorectal cancer among African Americans in community settings. In addition, her research experience extends to recruitment and retention of minorities in research, including clinical trials through a grant funded by NIH titled “Building Trust between Researchers and Minority Communities.”
Garza’s research interests include cancer health disparities in research, including understanding the interplay of genetic, psychosocial, behavioral, and neighborhood-level factors associated with health behavior. Dr. Garza’s research interests also include intimate partner violence and the role of religion/spirituality on health outcomes.
Dr. Susan Mirlohi is an assistant professor in the Department of Public Health, teaching in the area of Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety. She holds a doctorate in Civil Engineering: Environmental and Water Resources Engineering and a master’s in Environmental Sciences and Engineering, both from Virginia Tech, and bachelor’s in Biology, with a minor in Chemistry from Radford University.
Mirlohi has 26 years of experience as an environmental science, engineering and public health scientist and educator in the private, state and academic sector. Within the government sector, she developed a training program for 200+ staff members of the State Public Health Laboratory for the Commonwealth of Virginia.
On the academic side, she served as a research fellow at Virginia Tech in the interdisciplinary graduate doctoral education program,“Water for Health”, where she studied and conducted research on public perception, risks, chemistry, and health/medical aspects of drinking water.
Mirlohi’s research interests are in drinking water quality (including taste/odor properties); water/wastewater quality/treatment; environmental health; contaminants exposure and toxicity/health effects assessment; and educational outreach to promote nutritional, safety, and health aspects of drinking water.
Ultimately, she hopes to reach beyond the classroom and help students see their critical roles as future scientists, researchers, educators, and professionals, whose expertise will shape our world.
Dr. Na-hyeon (Hannah) Ko is an assistant professor in the Department of Physical Therapy, teaching physical therapy management of neurology and pediatrics. She received her doctorate in Biokinesiology from the University of Southern California, master’s degree in Motor Learning and Control from Columbia University, and bachelor’s degree in Physical Therapy from Sehan University, South Korea, as well as a post-professional Doctor of Physical Therapy at A.T. Still University.
Outside of the academic setting, Ko has a breadth of clinical experience focusing on pediatrics, specializing in early intervention (0-3 years) and children with neurological and genetic disorders. She has practiced in various clinical settings in New York and California.
Ko’s research interests include neuroplasticity and neurorehabilitation for individuals with neurological disorders, such as cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, etc. She is interested in investigating underlying neurophysiological mechanisms of motor control and motor learning when performing highly complex motor tasks, using non-invasive brain stimulation.
Furthermore, Ko would like to develop neurorehabilitation strategies for individuals with neurological disorders to improve motor function by facilitating neuroplasticity in the brain by challenging motor tasks and non-invasive brain stimulation.
Dr. Marcus Crawford is an assistant professor in the Department of Social Work Education. He received his doctorate in Social Work from the University of Texas, Arlington, a Master’s of Social Work from Wichita State University, and bachelor’s degrees in Social Work from Wichita State University and Criminal and Social Justice from Ashford University.
Prior to Fresno State, Crawford worked in the foster care setting for 15 years. During that time, he worked primarily with older youth exiting care and youth who had dual adjudication in the foster care and juvenile justice systems. Marcus has conducted studies using national data to examine foster care-related predictors of juvenile justice involvement. He plans to continue this research with in-depth studies examining local data with the ultimate goal of creating a screening tool to assess risk of juvenile justice involvement among adolescents in foster care.
That experience provided the foundation for his research interests, which includes youth in foster care and juvenile justice, with a primary focus on crossover youth, which are those that have experience in both systems.
Dr. Dheeshana Jayasundara is an associate professor in the Department of Social Work Education, teaching in the area of human behavior and social environment, as well as diversity and oppression. She received both her doctorate in Social Work and Master’s of Social Work from the University of Texas, Arlington; an additional master’s degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Missouri, St. Louis, and a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Delhi, India.
Through her practice, she specializes in supporting culturally-specific domestic violence agencies. This has led to her serving as the principal investigator on several grants involving gender-based violence.
Jayasundara’s research interests include gender-based violence as it relates to reproductive health and social development and international social work, including global migration, war and poverty.
Dr. Randall Nedegaard is an associate professor in the Department of Social Work Education. He obtained his doctorate and master’s degrees in Medical and Clinical Psychology from Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland, a Master’s of Social Work from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota
Nedegaard is a retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel. While in the Air Force, he was a medical officer and worked in various outpatient mental health settings and at the Ft. Leavenworth prison. He also worked as a behavioral health consultant for a Command Surgeon General and has deployment experience in Afghanistan. He uses his experience and applies it to the classroom, teaching and conducting research relating to veteran’s issues and trauma related violence.
His research interests include military mental health and military cultural competency, intimate partner violence and effective social work education within disadvantaged populations.
Dr. Humberto Reynoso-Vallejo is an associate professor in the Department of Social Work Education, teaching social welfare policy and qualitative research. He has a doctorate and master’s degrees in Social Policy from Brandeis University, a master’s of Clinical Social Work from the School of Social Work at Simmons College in Boston, and a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from Escuela Nacional de Antropologia e Historia in Mexico City.
Reynoso-Vallejo has nearly 20 years of teaching experience for graduate-level social work students in the areas of social welfare policy, substance abuse, the impact of racism for social work practice, and research methods. He has significant experience in conducting both quantitative and qualitative multidisciplinary research.
Among his research interests are health policy evaluation, health services research, substance abuse, social capital, community organizing and immigrant workers rights, and the impact of racism in the health/mental health of traditionally excluded groups.
A formal reception to recognize our new and tenured and/or newly promoted faculty members will be held on Thursday, September 20 from 4-6 p.m. at the Smittcamp Alumni House. RSVP by September 15 at the LINK (use code: FACULTY18).