CSUF News Service

New Faculty Research Focuses on Health, Mindfulness, Language

 

Three public health and two child and adolescent studies scholars are among the nine tenure-track faculty members who joined Cal State Fullerton’s College of Health and Human Development this fall.

Natsuki Atagi

Natsuki Atagi 
Assistant professor of child and adolescent studies
Ph.D., M.A. developmental psychology, UCLA; B.A. psychology and gender studies, Indiana University, Bloomington

Research interests: Understanding how diverse language experiences shape children’s language and cognitive development
Most impactful undergraduate academic/co-curricular experience: My undergraduate research mentors (and their labs) provided me with my first foray into research and taught me that the goal of research in child development must be to make a difference in a child’s life.
One thing you’d like others to know about you: Having grown up in Southern California, I am excited to be giving back to the community that has given me so much.
Favorite books: The series of Mary Poppins books by P.L. Travers

Sapna Chopra

Sapna Chopra 
Assistant professor of human services
Ph.D. counseling psychology, University of Maryland, College Park; B.A. psychology and social behavior, UC Irvine

Research interests: Parenting, social justice, mindfulness, and multicultural and social justice competency in counselor education
Most impactful undergraduate academic/co-curricular experience: Studying abroad in India for six months and taking women’s studies and ethnic studies classes.
One thing you’d like others to know about you: Some of my favorite things to do include playing with my kids, walking along the beach, reading a good book, eating chocolate chip cookies and drinking chai.
Favorite book: I have too many favorites, but for now I’ll say my favorite is the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. I read them all out loud with my son and then again with my daughter. 

Joyce Lin

Joyce Lin 
Assistant professor of child and adolescent studies
M.A., Ph.D. education, UC Irvine; B.A. sociology, UCLA 

Research interests: My research aims to support parents in providing optimal home environments. Using an ecological framework, I address how parent perceptions of contexts may be risky or protective for their behaviors at home. 
Most impactful undergraduate academic/co-curricular experience: I mentored undergraduate research assistants who were working to recruit and interview participants, transcribe and analyze data for my dissertation on culture and physical punishment.
One thing you’d like others to know about you: I love group exercise classes (e.g., Zumba, yoga, cycling) and eating.
Favorite book: “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood

Jingwen Liu

Jingwen Liu 
Assistant professor of kinesiology
Ph.D. physical education-teacher education, University of Texas, Austin; M.S. sport psychology, Florida State University; B.S. applied psychology, Nanjing Normal University, China

Research interests: My research work is to develop high-impact, school-based interventions that help people of all ages lead a physically active lifestyle. I also dedicate my research to understanding the process of preparing teacher candidates for implementing quality physical education programs in K-12 schools. My ongoing projects focus on active-classroom interventions and shaping teacher identities.
Most impactful undergraduate academic/co-curricular experience: I used to teach and coach young children in swimming every summer, and I enjoyed every bit of it. Seeing my students gain confidence in the water, improve their skills, become team players and have fun is one of my greatest college memories. Teaching in a physically active setting feels like my calling since then.
One thing you’d like others to know about you: I am constantly looking for new hobbies to try. I have fallen in love with SUP (stand-up paddle boarding), baking cakes, ukulele and indie games on all kinds of consoles.
Favorite book: “Fortress Besieged” by Zhongshu Qian. It’s a book about several middle-class young adults in China during the late 1930s. I love the narratives, which are full of humor, satire and deep observation of life and human relationships.

Erica L. Lizano

Erica L. Lizano 
Assistant professor of social work
Ph.D. social work, MSW and MPA, University of Southern California; B.A. sociology, Cal State Fullerton 

Research interests: Workforce management, worker well-being, and diversity and inclusion within human service organizations
Most impactful undergraduate academic/co-curricular experience: My experience as a McNair Scholar at CSUF was the most critical undergraduate experience which shaped and prepared me for an academic career.
One thing you’d like others to know about you: I am committed to social justice and the field of social work. My teaching, research and service to my community all center around promoting social justice and preparing future social workers and human service organizations to provide the best possible services to clients/consumers and communities.
Favorite book: “Bad Feminist” by Roxane Gay

Portia Jackson Preston

Portia Jackson Preston 
Assistant professor of public health
DrPH, UCLA; MPH-health behavior and health education, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; B.A. cultural and social anthropology, Stanford University

Research interests: Multilevel approaches to self care, stress as a driver of health disparities
Most impactful undergraduate academic/co-curricular experience: Studying abroad 
One thing you’d like others to know about you: I'm a pretty optimistic person and I love empowering others.
Favorite book: “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston

Tabashir Nobari

Tabashir Nobari 
Assistant professor of public health
Ph.D. public health, UCLA; MPH-international epidemiology, University of Michigan; B.S. biochemistry, UCLA

Research interests: Early childhood obesity, health inequities, early child adversity and social determinants of health, including housing insecurity and homelessness
Most impactful undergraduate academic/co-curricular experience: Mentoring first-generation undergraduate students at UCLA who were curious about public health, but faced challenges to continue their education. One of the students is now getting her MPH in public health and another is getting her doctorate in psychology.
One thing you’d like others to know about you: I learned I was truly a SoCal girl after my first winter in Michigan while getting my MPH. 
Favorite book and film: The Harry Potter books and movies.

Mojgan (“Mo”) Sami

Mojgan (“Mo”) Sami 
Assistant professor of public health
Ph.D. planning, policy and design with a focus on public health, UC Irvine; M.A. in international law & economics, Johns Hopkins; B.A. in international relations, Lewis & Clark College

Research interests: Investigating the links between urban design, climate change and health outcomes in vulnerable communities. 
Most impactful undergraduate academic/co-curricular experience: Serving as student co-chair for the International Affairs Symposium the year that Glasnost and Perestroika occurred – allowing us to invite Russian officials to speak on an American campus for the first time since the Cold War.
One thing you’d like others to know about you: I’m delighted to be a Titan! #GoTitans
Favorite film: “Three Idiots” (a Bollywood film starring Aamir Khan)

Christine Huong Vu

Christine Huong Vu
Assistant professor of nursing
DNP, Rush University, Chicago; M.S. nursing-nursing leadership, Cal State Fullerton; B.A. criminology, law and society, UC Irvine. 

Research interests:  emergency nursing, mindfulness, nurse-led innovation, integrative health, health maintenance and wellness, and nursing leadership
Most impactful undergraduate academic/co-curricular experience: Daisy and Everyday Heroes awards recipient for nursing care provided in the Emergency Department.  Featured keynote health & wellness speaker for communities, such as The Nurse Link, Love Made Events, Medcon, KaliActive and TobiTalks Nursing Podcast.
One thing you’d like others to know about you: I am an advocate for positive energy, higher goals, and simply bringing out the best in everyone I meet along the way in life. 
Favorite book: “The Untethered Soul” by Michael Singer

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