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 Director Dr. 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 Sharon B. Hamill, Ph.D.Interim Executive Director Hamill earned a Ph.D. in Social Ecology from UC Irvine. She has been a Professor of Psychological Sciences/ Child and Adolescent Development at CSUSM for 26 years. She was the first Faculty Director for the campus partner office of the Institute. Her research focuses on promoting quality of life through palliative care to decrease suffering in patients and their caregiving families. She is a past recipient of the Harry E Brakebill Distinguished Professor Award for excellence in teaching, research, and service and of the CSU Faculty Innovation and Leadership Award. Dr. Hamill is currently serving as a WASC Commissioner.
Moss Landing Marine Laboratories (MLML) Petra Dekens, Ph.D.
As Executive Director of Moss Landing Marine Laboratories (starting 2023), Dr. Dekens leads a dynamic and dedicated group of faculty, researchers, staff, and students. Prior to joining MLML Dr. Dekens was a professor at San Francisco State University and served as Chair of Earth & Climate Sciences for 6 years. Dr. Dekens’ research focuses on understanding mechanisms of sustained global warmth, such as the early Pliocene from 3 to 5 million years ago, and what that can teach us about current global warming. She received her masters degrees from UC Santa Barbara and Ph.D. from UC Santa Cruz.
Ocean Studies Institute (OSI) Christopher G. Lowe, Ph.D. Chair Dr. Lowe has served on the OSI Board of Directors for over 20 years. He has served as a Professor of Marine Biology at CSULB for 25 years and runs the Shark Lab, which received State funding to develop the California Shark Beach Safety Program. His research interests span a variety of fields in marine science (biology, engineering, social science, communication, and education), but primary focus has been on behavior and physiological ecology of sharks, rays, and gamefishes. He earned his MS degree in Biology at CSULB and a Ph.D. in Zoology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Social Science Research and Instructional Council (SSRIC)
William E. Wagner-Huang, MA, MPH, Ph.D. Executive DirectorDr. Wagner is Professor & Chair of Sociology Department at CSU Dominguez Hills. He teaches biostatistics & research methods courses, as well as LGBT Studies and study abroad in Taiwan. Dr. Wagner has been awarded over $2million in research grants from non-profits and government, including the National Science Foundation. He has published five books relating to statistics, survey research, and research methodology and in scholarly journals in urban sociology, sports, homophobia, higher education, and public health. Dr. Wagner worked as a statistician at SPSS while completing his M.A. & Ph.D. (Sociology) at the University of Illinois, Chicago. He also holds an MPH (Public Health) from CSU Northridge & a bachelor’s degree (Mathematics) 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 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.