Top NavTop NavTop Nav

Faculty Looking for Student-Researchers

Faculty member: Dr. Ram Kandasamy

 

Discipline: Psychology/Neuroscience

 

General description of Dr. Kandasamy’s expertise:
I am a behavioral neuroscientist who is generally interested in the mechanisms underlying
chronic pain. I am interested in discovering new treatments for chronic pain, specifically
treatments that do not produce side effects. These treatments can be combinations of existing
drugs used in humans (e.g., opioids, cannabinoids) or new compounds that have yet to be used
in humans. I use laboratory rats to ensure the drugs produce pain relief without side effects by
measuring pain-related behaviors.

 

Related majors for this project:
Psychology, Biology

 

Project:
Chronic pain affects one third of the U. S. population and costs over $635 billion annually in
medical expenses and lost productivity. Poor analgesic efficacy and undesirable and/or
dangerous side effects greatly limit treatment options. Unfortunately, basic preclinical research
has provided almost no new treatments for chronic pain despite over 50 years of intense
animal research. This project will align preclinical research with clinical goals by shifting the
focus of animal studies from pain inhibition to restoration of normal life activity and elimination
of the negative consequences associated with pain. Specifically, we will determine: 1) whether
home cage wheel running is a reliable and clinically valid method to assess the effect of
inflammatory pain on normal functioning in rats; 2) whether drugs alone impact wheel running
behavior in the absence of pain; and 3) whether drugs can reverse pain-depressed functioning
in rats. The studies will determine what treatments (anti-inflammatory drugs, opioids,
cannabinoids, etc.) alter the development of these behaviors. The studies are important
because they will transform animal research, so it more closely models the human condition.
The benefits will extend from providing a method to assess spontaneous pain in animals to
ushering in a new era of analgesic drug discovery focused reversing the functional
consequences of pain. Given the past failure of drug discovery in pain research, validation of
these behaviors and identifying treatments that prevent the negative consequences of pain will
have a huge impact on improving both animal and human health.

 

Student-researcher expectations and responsibilities:

  • Work a minimum of 3-5 hours per week on your research project
  • Perform research carefully and ethically

 

Dr. Kandasamy’s contact info and instructions regarding what you need to provide when you
contact him about a student-research position:
Please e-mail Dr. Kandasamy at ram.kandasamy@csueastbay.edu stating your interest and
availability.

Faculty member: Dr. Stephen Asztalos

 

Discipline: Physics and Astronomy

 

General description of Dr. Asztalos’s expertise:
My research interests lie in particle astrophysics and stellar evolution, specifically in better
characterizing the properties of Cepheid variables, which are massive, variable stars subject to
periodic oscillations used as standard candles hence, cosmological distance indicators.

 

Related majors for this project:
Physics and astronomy, computer science, geosciences

 

Project:
Cepheid variable stars are massive stars that have ceased burning hydrogen in their cores and
are on the evolutionary track to becoming red supergiants. Along their evolutionary paths they
enter a region of instability (driven by a temperature dependent opacity) that is manifested by
the expansion and contraction of their outer stellar envelopes. The resultant period versus
luminosity relationship transforms these objects into standard candles; the expansion of the
universe was discovered by Edwin Hubble using Cepheid variables as distance indicators. As
central as they are to modern cosmology, some of their properties remain poorly understood.
Specifically, there persists a significant discrepancy between their inferred and modeled masses,
whose resolution may improve their ability to anchor the Hubble diagram. Recent data from the
Las Cumbres Observatory will be used to test the accuracy of 1D stellar modeling codes and
discrepancies used to infer where improvements are needed in the models.

 

Student-researcher expectations and responsibilities:
• Work a minimum of 3-5 hours per week on your research project (CSR Scholar
requirement)
• Work and communicate enthusiastically with a small team that includes undergraduates
from other institutions, as well as more senior scientists
• Learn the basic elements of stellar astrophysics
• Modify, test and run existing stellar evolutionary code(s) and analyze their output

 

Dr. Asztalos contact info. and instructions regarding what you need to provide when you
contact him about a student-research position:
Dr. Asztalos can be reached at stephen.asztalos@csueastbay.edu Please describe any physics
and/or astronomy classes you’ve taken, how much time you can devote per week and with what
languages you have programming experience.

Faculty member: Dr. Jenny Hazlehurst

 

Discipline: Ecology

 

General description of Dr. Hazlehurst's expertise: 

The Pollination Ecology & Conservation Lab @ CSUEB:

You have probably heard that pollinators, those helpful critters that move pollen from one flower to another and give us the abundance of wonderful plants ranging from wildflowers to major crops important to global food security, are in trouble. Pollinators are being threatened by habitat loss, pesticides, and climate change. Research in my lab focuses on how pollinators (from flies to bees to hummingbirds) change how and what plants they eat in response to these changes, and what cascading effects those changes might have on the plants that depend on animals for pollination. My lab is also interested in using citizen science platforms like iNaturalist to both aid in scientific data collection and to improve scientific literacy outside of the scientific community.

 

Related majors for this project: 

Biology, Earth & Environmental Science, Computer Science, Education, Communication, English, Art. 

 

Project: 

There are several projects available for students to work on as my new lab starts gearing up its research. 

   1. Using the iNaturalist app to document plant-pollinator networks in California 

The lab needs a tech savvy individual with a love for nature to help manage and promote our iNaturalist project, The California Pollination Project (website: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/california-pollination-project). Part of this project will involve learning to do network analysis in the program R.

    2. Native bee diversity on CSUEB’s campus

Did you know there are over 4,000 species of bees native to North America, and most are very different from the popular honey bee? Help the lab start to document native bee diversity on campus! 

   3. Pollination ecology of the Snowplant (Sarcodes sanguinea) in the Sierra Nevada

Snowplant is a fascinating parasitic plant that features a large, bright red inflorescence of flowers that sticks straight up out of the ground in the Sierra Nevada mountains after the first snows begin to melt. It also happens to be a preferred food for at least one species of migratory hummingbird species, the Calliope hummingbird (Selasphorus calliope).

   4. Others… 

Do you have an idea for a research project involving pollinators, native California plants, or science communication? I am very open to exploring opportunities for artists, writers, and educators as well as scientists. Let Dr. Hazlehurst know!

 

Student-researcher expectations and responsibilities:

  • Work a minimum of 3-5 hours per week on your research project (CSR Scholar requirement).
  • Stay in regular communication with Dr. Hazlehurst about your research progress.
  • Attend and participate in regular lab meetings (twice a month).
  • Share in regular lab duties with other lab members (for example, maintaining and cleaning equipment that you are using). 
  • Complete all required lab and fieldwork training while in the lab.
  • Be a partner in creating a creative, collaborative, and productive atmosphere in the lab.

 

Dr. Hazlehurt's contact info. and instructions regarding what you need to provide when you contact her about a student-research position: 

Interested in doing research with us?

Directions: Reach out to Dr. Hazlehurst by email (see below). In the subject of the email, please mention CSR if you already are or are interested in applying to be a CSR Scholar. In the email itself, please provide a statement about your research interests and goals and how they intersect with the work my lab is doing on pollinators. In the email, please also include contact information for one faculty reference who is willing to give you a good recommendation (be sure to ask their permission first), and a copy of your Resume. Here is a summary of what you will need:

  • Contact information for 1 faculty reference (can be from another school, get their permission first).
  • A statement about your research interests and goals, and how they intersect with my lab’s research on pollinators.
  • A copy of your current resume.

Contact Info

Email: jenny.hazlehurst@csueastbay.edu

Website: https://www.hazlehurstecolab.com/

Faculty member: Dr. Michael Schmeltz

 

Discipline: Health Sciences

 

General description of Dr. Schmeltz’s expertise:

Climate change has been described as, “the greatest threat to public health in the 21st century”. Climate change impacts all aspects of our lives - where we live, how we get our food, and the air we breathe. Dr. Schmeltz's research interests are focused on the impacts of climate change on public health and societal well-being. He is particularly interested in identifying indicators for vulnerability to climate change hazards and working towards improving adaptation and resilience among vulnerable populations.  

 

Related majors for this project:

Health Sciences, Environmental Studies, Political Science, Sociology, Psychology, Business Administration, Economics, Environmental Science, Geography, Statistics, Criminal Justice, International Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies, Anthropology

 

Project:

This research project is examining how healthcare facilities are preparing for the impacts of climate change on human health. While healthcare facilities are attempting to mitigate greenhouse gases in their day-to-day activities, how are clinicians, staff, and administrators of healthcare facilities preparing themselves and their patients for the impacts of climate change? Data will be collected from an in-depth review of healthcare facility climate adaptation plans, business operations plans, and emergency preparedness plans. We will obtain these documents and assistance is needed to review, code, and analyze these plans. A data extraction instrument will be provided to highlight specific items we are looking for in these plans to assess how well the healthcare facility is or is planning to adapt to climate change and the effects it will have on facility operations, staff, and patients.

 

Student-researcher expectations and responsibilities:

  • Work a minimum of 3-5 hours per week on your research project (CSR Scholar requirement)
  • Become familiar with scientific literature review and summaries of journal articles
  • Precise review of technical documentation to highlight actions on climate change adaptation
    • Using data extraction instrument, ‘score’ documents based on adaption methods
  • Bi-weekly meetings with mentor to assess project deliverables
    • Review documentation with mentor and other researchers for quality control of data extraction

 

Dr. Schmeltz’s contact info. and instructions regarding what you need to provide when you contact him about a student-research position:

Dr. Michael Schmeltz – michael.schmeltz@csueastbay.edu

Please provide me with a resume and cover letter which includes the following:

  • What does climate change mean to you?
  • What skills do you possess that are needed to complete this project?

 

Cover letter should be professional and should not exceed 1-typed paged.

Faculty member: Dr. Eve Higby

 

 Discipline: Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences

 

General description of Dr. Higby’s expertise:

Research in the Multilingualism Lab focuses on language and cognition in bilinguals and monolinguals and the brain structures related to those abilities. We study language production and comprehension in young adults and older adults and how language is affected by different cognitive abilities, different aspects of brain structure, and different language histories.

 

Related majors for this project:

Any students interested in learning how to do research with human subjects. Most relevant to students in Psychology, Neuroscience, and Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, but students from other majors can join as well.

 

Project:

How do bilinguals access words from each of the languages they know? Bilinguals sometimes experience competition from the language they are not using, especially if they tend to retrieve certain words in the other language. Words that sound alike and have similar meanings, such as bicycle and bicicleta in English and Spanish, are called cognates, and bilinguals are usually faster to retrieve cognates from memory than translation words that are not cognates (such as milk and leche). However, even though cognates can be retrieved more quickly, they may still induce competition while speaking, and this competition might show up in slowed retrieval of the following word. Assistance is needed to transcribe responses to a picture-naming study in Spanish and English, as well as responses to a word generation task in both languages. We will then analyze how quickly bilinguals retrieve cognate names versus non-cognate names and whether there is any effect of naming cognates or non-cognates on the following picture-naming trial.

 

Student-researcher expectations and responsibilities:

  • Must be fluent in Spanish and English
  • Work a minimum of 3-5 hours per week on your research project (CSR Scholar requirement)
  • Commit to at least 1 semester of working in the lab
  • Attend lab meeting once a week
  • Read papers for multilingualism reading group and attend meetings 2x/month

 

Dr. Higby contact info. and instructions regarding what you need to provide when you contact her about a student-research position:

Please send an email to eve.higby@csueastbay.edu describing why you’re interested in the lab or project.

Faculty member: Dr. Heather Vilhauer

 

Discipline: Hospitality, Recreation and Tourism

 

General description of Dr. Vilhauer’s expertise:

Heather Vilhauer is an Assistant Professor in the Hospitality, Recreation and Tourism Department. She teaches classes on youth development, leadership and management, and data-driven decision making. Her research interests include leadership and career development in parks and recreation, as well as disaster planning and relief in the public parks and recreation sector.

Prior to her work in education, she spent over 20 years working in nonprofit, public, and for-profit recreation in a variety of jobs including camp director and Director of Volunteer Resources for Girl Scouts of Northern California. She has degrees in recreation and business and a doctorate in Organization and Leadership from the University of San Francisco.

 

Related majors for this project:

Open to all

 

Project: 

This project is making use of the results of a survey of parks and recreation professionals in California. The survey focused on transformational leadership, leadership development, and career pathing and experiences in parks and recreation. Research assistants will work with the researcher to determine the exact focus of this study (and resulting publication).

 

Student-researcher expectations and responsibilities: 

  • Work a minimum of 3-5 hours per week on your research project (CSR Scholar requirement)
  • Conduct literature reviews using the University library databases (focused on transformational leadership, career pathing, and leadership development)
  • Code qualitative data from survey
  • Analyze qualitative data from survey
  • Manuscript writing

 

Next Steps: 

Please contact Dr. Heather Vilhauer @ heather.vilhauer@csueastbay.edu if you are interested in more information or to apply for the position. Please include your name, major, and a brief summary of why you are interested in this project.

 

Faculty members: Dr. Mariana Guzzardo and Dr. Alina Engelman

Discipline:  Human Development and Public Health

General description of expertise:

Mariana T. Guzzardo - University of Connecticut (UConn), MA, PhD in Human Development and Family Studies, University of Puerto Rico, B.S. in Psychology, She conducted qualitative and quantitative research that considered how environmental resources (e.g., features in the home, community-based services) address the needs of older adults with disabilities. 

 

Alina Engelman –University of California, Berkeley, Dr.PH. (Public Health), Yale University, M.P.H. (Global Health), Brown University, B.A. She conducted qualitative and quantitative research on emergency preparedness communication for the deaf and hard-of-hearing addressing state-level and CBO-level disparities.

 

Related majors for this project: Health Sciences, Human Development, Social Work, Sociology, Psychology, Education

Project:Everything changed after the hurricane": Older Adults’ Experiences and the Emergency Response in Puerto Rico

In the aftermath of Hurricane María, Puerto Ricans faced harrowing living conditions on the island, including a lack of electricity, running water, and appropriate refuge. A humanitarian crisis emerged with news reports highlighting the urgency in addressing the needs of people with disabilities and the elderly. The present study uses in-depth interviews with older adults with disabilities in rural and urban areas in Puerto Rico (n = 13, 3 men and 10 women, aged 67 to 87), to explore their perceived experiences in the preparation for Hurricane María, during the storm, and in its aftermath.

Student-researcher expectations and responsibilities:

  • Work a minimum of 3-5 hours per week on your research project (CSR Scholar requirement)
  • Spanish-English survey revisions
  • Qualitative coding of interviews
  • Be conscientious, pay attention to detail, be professional and submit timely and quality work

Contact information:

mariana.guzzardo@csueastbay.edu

Office: MI 4037, Phone- 510-885-4512

In your message, please include:

  • A statement of interest including relevant experience or knowledge
  • A resume
  • A written sample such as a student paper or a piece of creative writing
  • Name of two academic references

Faculty member: Kathryn Hayes

 

Discipline: Educational Leadership, Science Education

 

Faculty research focus:

Dr. Kathryn Hayes is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Leadership and also serves as a PI for the Science Partnership, a partnership between CSUEB and the Alameda County Office of Education (www.sciencepartnership.org). Current projects of the Science Partnership include the Elementary Science Partnership and Science Communities of Practice Partnership, both funded by the National Science Foundation. For these projects, Dr. Hayes leads the research regarding teacher learning, organizational capacity, leadership development and program sustainability.

 

Research project:

This project studies the implementation of professional development for elementary science teachers that takes a systems approach to improving science instruction in ways that make it sustainable. The project examines evidence of the ways the professional development model supports improvement in science teaching, tests the ways that teacher ownership and organizational conditions mediate instructional change, and will develop tools for facilitating the teacher learning and the accompanying capacity building.

 

Student-research expectations and responsibilities:

We are seeking undergraduate research assistants to help with research-related activities of the ESP Project. The research assistants will be working closely with the ESP research team consisting of faculty and postdoctoral researchers. Previous coursework and/or experience in research methodology and/or science education courses is not required. 

 

  • 3-5 hours per week working on the project
  • Data collection and organization (e.g., filing and recording of data files)
  • Conducting literature reviews using the University library databases
  • Transcribing video and/or audio recordings
  • Coding classroom videos
  • Other general office work related tasks

 

Contact: For more information or to request an application, please contact Sarah Williams, Science Partnership Administrative Coordinator: sarah.williams@csueastbay.edu

Faculty member: Dr. Albert R. Mendoza

 Discipline: Kinesiology (Physical Activity and Health)

 Looking for students from the following disciplines: Applied and basic sciences, and others (if applicable).

General description of Dr. Mendoza’s expertise:

Dr. Mendoza received his BS in Kinesiology (Exercise and Movement Sciences) and MS in Kinesiology (Exercise Physiology) from San Francisco State University and his Ph.D. in Kinesiology from the Physical Activity and Health Laboratory at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

 Dr. Mendoza's research focus is to develop and validate innovative methods to process and interpret physical activity and sedentary behavior data collected from wearable sensors (e.g., Fitbit or other wearable device data). This work will enhance our understanding of the relationship between physical activity, sedentary behavior and health.

Project:

The proposed project is a prospective cohort study of objectively measured, physical activity and sedentary behavior levels in college students with 1- and 2-year follow-ups.  We will also employ several validated questionnaires to explore relationships among outcome measures.  For example, a U.S. Household Food Security questionnaire will be used to identify those students/households that are food insecure. These data will allow us to identify: (1) whether students are meeting U.S. physical activity recommendations, (2) the amount of time students engage in sedentary behaviors (3) racial/ethnic disparities, (4) those at risk for negative health outcomes, and (5) possible intervention strategies to minimize risk for negative health outcomes.

Student-researcher expectations and responsibilities:

  • Work a minimum of 3-5 hours per week on your research project (CSR Scholar requirement),
  • Recruitment and consenting study participants,
  • Initializing, employing and downloading research- and consumer-grade activity monitors,
  • Administering questionnaires,
  • Analyzing and interpreting research- and consumer-grade activity monitor data, and,
  • Organizing, storing and maintaining activity monitors.

Dr. Mendoza’s contact information and instructions regarding what you need to provide when you contact him about a student-research position:

Contact Dr. Mendoza and inform him why you are interested in joining his research team, and why you may be a good fit.

Email:  albert.mendoza@csueastbay.edu

Faculty member: Dr. Nidhi Khosla, PhD, MPH, PGDRM (MBA)

 Discipline: Public Health

 General description of Dr. Khosla’s expertise:

Khosla’s research concerns access to care among vulnerable populations and reducing health disparities. Her current research focuses on increasing access to and satisfaction with palliative and end-of-life care among minorities, especially persons of South Asian origin. She has also researched organizational behavior such as collaboration among HIV agencies.

E esearch link (Google Scholar): Google Scholar Nidhi Khosla

MEDIA COVERAGE OF HER RESEARCH (select examples): 

  • http://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-07-south-asians-reluctant-medication-pain.html
  • http://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/south-asians-in-us-reluctant-to-report-pain-115072400530_1.html
  • http://www.indiawest.com/news/global_indian/study-points-to-need-to-share-end-of-life-wish/article_5bfb621e-0f91-11e5-bfbb-572da2f314e9.html
  • http://www.futurity.org/food-banks-public-assistance-953902/
  • http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150416132337.htm 
  • http://medicalxpress.com/news/2015-06-clients-lost-safety-net-agencies.html 

 Related majors for this project: Health Sciences, Social Work, Education, Human Development preferred

 Project:

 Project 1 is focused on factors that affect healthcare-related decision making among South Asians. One dataset comprises 10 focus group discussions with youth of South Asian origin. Data was collected from Cal State East Bay students in 2018 and is being analysed. Another dataset includes focus group discussions and interviews with healthcare providers with experience caring for seriously ill South Asians. Students will learn how to do a literature review and how to prepare a manuscript for submission to a peer reviewed journal.

 Project 2 seeks to investigate issues around how to make advance care planning more popular among minorities and the knowledge-attitude-behaviors of young people towards advance care planning. Minorities are known to have low rates of advance directive completion. Advance care planning refers to behaviors such as completing a written advance directive (e.g., living will), appoint a durable power of attorney or having conversations with loved ones about the type of care one would desire if in the future one is not able to communicate one’s decisions/preferences. This project will involve literature review, and may involve data collection and analysis.

 Project 3 requires updating a literature review on collaboration among HIV agencies in the US, reviewing coding and possibly conducting a few interviews with HIV agencies’ representatives. This requires a Master’s level student.

 Student-researcher expectations and responsibilities:

  • Work a minimum of 3-5 hours per week on your research project (CSR Scholar requirement)
  • Meet with the professor and other student assistants on the team as required by the professor
  • Be conscientious, pay attention to details, be professional and submit timely and quality work
  • Maintain personal integrity and data integrity and not share project data or findings outside the study team
  • Be willing to take on research responsibilities as they emerge

Dr. Khosla’s contact info. and instructions regarding what you need to provide when you contact her about a student-research position:

Nidhi.khosla@csueastbay.edu

Office: SF 543, Phone- 510-885-2718

 A resume

A written sample such as a student paper or a piece of creative writing

Name of two referees at CSUEB-staff/professors who can discuss your abilities

© California State University, East Bay. All Rights Reserved.