Meet the directors of the CSU’s Affinity Groups, who lead collaborative research across multiple campuses.
Agricultural Research Institute (ARI)David W. Still, Ph.D.Executive Director ARI provides funding for applied research projects in agriculture and allied natural resources to improve the sustainability and economic viability of California agriculture. Dr. Still is a professor of plant science at
Cal Poly Pomona, where he leads the
Still Laboratory. His research interests include improving horticultural traits and adaptation to climate change through plant breeding, physiological genetics and genomics. He holds a bachelor’s in wildlife science and a master's in horticultural science from New Mexico State University and a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University. Before joining Cal Poly Pomona, Dr. Still was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, Davis and served as an assistant research scientist at the University of Arizona.
Council on Ocean Affairs, Science & Technology (COAST)
Krista Kamer, Ph.D.
Director Dr. Kamer has led the development of COAST since its inception in 2008, and has served as the program's director since 2011. Her efforts focus on development of strategic partnerships, pursuit of extramural funding and implementation of programmatic activities and initiatives to serve faculty members, increasing student success and engaging stakeholders at regional, state and national levels. Dr. Kamer joined the CSU in 2003 and served as the communications and outreach coordinator for two large multi-year ocean observing programs in California. Prior to the CSU, she was a project scientist at the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project. She earned her Ph.D. in biology from the University of California, Los Angeles and a bachelor’s in biology from Connecticut College.
CSU Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB)
Ikhide Imumorin, Ph.D. Executive DirectorDr. Imumorin was appointed executive director of CSUPERB in June 2021. Before joining the CSU, he held faculty and research positions at First Technical University, Ibadan, Nigeria, Georgia Tech, Cornell University, Spelman College, Valdosta State University and co-founded a biotech company. His research and international development work received over $34 million in funding support from NIH, NSF, USDA, USAID and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He holds a master’s in animal science from Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria and a Ph.D. in genetics from Texas A&M University. Dr. Imumorin was a postdoctoral research fellow at University of Maryland School of Medicine.
California Desert Studies Consortium (CDSC)
Terry McGlynn, Ph.D.
Director Dr. McGlynn is an ecologist, entomologist, and science communicator. His laboratory has operated a series of projects in tropical biology, student research training and K-12 teacher development, supported by $6 million+ in NSF awards. Before leading the CDSC, Dr. McGlynn was Director of Undergraduate Research at CSU Dominguez Hills. He earned his BA in Biology from Occidental College and PhD in Environmental, Population, and Organismic Biology from the University of Colorado, is a fellow of the Earth Leadership Program. and is a Research Associate in the Department of Entomology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
CSU Shiley Haynes Institute for Palliative Care
Jennifer Moore Ballentine, M.A.
Executive Director A long-time national advocate and educator on palliative care issues, Ballentine was appointed to executive director in 2017. She continues to build on the institute’s success as a national leader in palliative care workforce development. Ballentine has published numerous articles on palliative and end-of-life care in peer-reviewed and trade journals, developed multiple conferences, educational programs and delivered hundreds of workshops. She also serves as president of the Iris Project, a national consulting service, and formerly served as executive director of the Life Quality Institute in Denver. Ballentine earned her bachelor’s in interdisciplinary studies from Oberlin College and her master's in end-of-life studies from Regis University.
Moss Landing Marine Laboratories (MLML)
Ivano Aiello Ph.D.Interim DirectorDr. Aiello began his appointment as MLML Interim Director in 2021 and had since joined the MLML faculty in 2006. Aiello leads dedicated faculty, staff, and students in marine science research excellence. A professor of Geological Oceanography, Aiello is a marine geologist with a specialization in multiple lines of research not only in the geosciences field but also in cross-disciplinary fields which include the use of different analytical methods and tools for sedimentological-mineralogical analyses. He received his master's from the University of Florence, his Ph.D. from the University of Bologna, Italy and had a post-doctoral appointment at University of California Santa Cruz.
Ocean Studies Institute (OSI) Larry Allen, Ph.D. DirectorDr. Allen has served as director of the Ocean Studies Institute since 2019, with a focus on marine management and conservation. He joined the biology faculty at CSU Northridge in 1982 where he served previously as chair. He also served previously as director of the Southern California Marine Institute and OSI. Dr. Allen has raised over $3.5 million in funding to support research in marine fish conservation and provide students scientific information required for effective management of near-shore resources. He has authored numerous publications on the biogeography and ecology of marine fishes of the Pacific Coast of North America including two publications. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s in biology from CSU Fullerton and a Ph.D. in biological sciences from the University of Southern California.
Social Science Research and Instructional Council (SSRIC)William Wagner, Ph.D. ChairDr. Wagner currently holds a joint appointment as Professor of Health Sciences and Professor of Sociology at CSU Channel Islands. In addition to research articles, he has published a number of books in the areas of statistics and research methodology. Dr. Wagner is a former Director of the Institute for Social & Community Research at CSU Bakersfield. He has served as PI on $2million+ in grants and also been a statistician at SPSS, Inc. Dr. Wagner holds PhD and MA degrees from the University of Illinois at Chicago, an MPH degree from CSU Northridge and two bachelor’s degrees (mathematics and anthropology/sociology) from St. Mary’s College of Maryland.
Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics Network (STEM-NET)
Frank A. Gomez, Ph.D.
Executive Director Dr. Gomez was named in August 2019 as the inaugural executive director of STEM-NET. Prior to his appointment, he was professor of chemistry at Cal State LA since 1994 and university faculty research liaison since 2014. He has received over $18 million in research funding and published over 130 technical articles and two books on his research. He has mentored over 130 undergraduate, masters, and high school students and 12 postdoctoral fellows and visiting scientists in his laboratories resulting in over 180 student presentations. He received his bachelor’s in chemistry from Cal State LA and a Ph.D. in chemistry from UCLA. Dr. Gomez was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University.
Water Advocacy Towards Education & Research (CSU-WATER)
Dr. Blumenshine is the Interim Executive Director of CSU-WATER, moving from Directing the Research & Education Division of the California Water Institute at Fresno State University. CSU-WATER (Water Advocacy for Education and Research) is a rebranding of the WRPI Affinity Group. CSU-WATER develops and strengthens water research and scholarship in the CSU in collaboration with external partners and other water stakeholders. These efforts focus on critical impacts of stressed water resources on agricultural, urban, and environmental water allocations. Blumenshine’s International water research experience includes two U.S. Fulbright Awards, and engagement in China, Germany, Israel, Switzerland, Thailand, Australia, and Spain.