Volume 3| September, 2021
Fall 2021 Faculty Fellows: Part II
Thank you for tuning in for our Vol 3 of our Newsletter. As in the previous volume, in this edition, we are going to introduce you to more of our Fall 2021 Faculty Fellows.
Catherine transferred from Taft College to CSU, Bakersfield where she earned her BS in Biology with a minor in chemistry and MS in biology on the non – thesis track.

As an undergraduate student at CSUB, she worked as a student lab assistant in a botany lab, volunteered at Mercy Southwest, and was the events coordinator for Kern Students for Medicine. After she graduated with her BS, she worked as a substitute teacher for K – 12 in her hometown of Taft.

She applied to the graduate program at CSUB and worked as a teaching assistant and participated in the Graduate Student club. She is now a new lecturer at CSUB, where she instructs a lecture and several labs of an introductory biology course and a lab of integrated life science.

In her free time, she enjoys baking, reading, listening to music, and going on walks with her family. 
Cassandra Greene was born and raised in Bakersfield, California. She completed her bachelor’s degree in Biology in Spring 2018 at California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB). She returned to CSUB to complete her master’s degree in traditional Biology in Fall 2019 and graduated in Spring 2021. 
Although a non-thesis student, Cassandra assisted in the Chemical Ecology Lab all four semesters at CSUB under Dr. Amber Stokes. The research team quantified levels of tetrodotoxin (TTX) found in rough-skinned newts (Taricha granulosa) when subjected to different stimuli. The goals of the research were to understand anti-predator behaviors displayed by newts and the constraints to producing TTX physiologically. 
During her program, she was a teaching assistant for two sections of the Perspectives in Biology lab course and three sections of the Principles of Ecology lab course at CSUB. She is now aspiring to teach biology at the community college level and relay her passion for biology to others. She hopes to help underserved areas and provide opportunities and possibilities to the community in which she grew up. Cassandra believes with effort and encouragement, anyone can accomplish their career goals, no matter their background.
Nahliel M. Ruiz was born in Mexico and immigrated to the United States in 2001 at the age of five. She earned an A.S. at Bakersfield College in Human Biological Science in 2015. In 2016, she transferred to California State University, Bakersfield (CSUB) where she earned a B.A. in Human Biological Science and a minor in Criminal Justice. She continued her education at CSUB earning an M.S. degree in General Biological Science (non- thesis).

During graduate school, she was a student assistant researcher in a faculty research project regarding (Tetrodotoxin; TTX). In addition to that, she has been teaching for the Biology department at CSUB for 5 consecutive semesters, and she is also currently teaching Human Physiology at West Hills College (WHC).

Ms. Ruiz is a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient, she has overcome many obstacles in her educational career, and her persistence and drive to succeed has made her an excellent role model who is able to provide guidance and mentoring to students striving to achieve their own educational goals.

In following her lifelong passion for education, she is excited to continue working with and learn from other professionals.
Highlights from Program Alumni
Erica Mullins served as a Faculty Fellow in the first cohort of the Aspire Alliance Central California Regional Collaborative. Erica is originally from the Los Angeles area, she moved to Kern County in early 2002. She is a first-generation college graduate on both sides of her family and is the great-granddaughter of Mexican American immigrants on her father’s side.
After moving to Bakersfield, she enrolled at Bakersfield College to fulfill transfer requirements then completed her Bachelor of Science in Business before moving on to a Master of Science in Biology from California State University, Bakersfield in 2016. Erica received her second master’s degree, this time in Environmental Studies at UC Santa Cruz, in December 2020.

During the 20-21 academic year, she was also a member of the 3CSN STEM Instructors Learning Community, where she was enrolled in the year-long course: “Apprenticing Students into STEM Thinking.” Since then, Erica has been invited to participate in the facilitators' training for that program, which she began this summer. She also completed the Humanizing STEM Academy with Michelle Pacansky-Brock over the summer break.

In preparation for the 2021-22 academic year, Erica applied for several Tenure-Track Faculty positions in colleges in the central valley region. Erica received a couple of offers and has accepted a position at her alma mater, California State University, Bakersfield. Please join us in congratulating Erica on her academic and professional accomplishments! 
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For more information on previous newsletters and to learn more about the program, visit the Aspire Central California Regional Collaborative!
Program Coordinators
Dr. Bill Moseley| Dean of Instruction
Dr. Stephen Waller| Dean of Instruction
Dr. Maria Wright| Lead Faculty
For more information on the program, please contact Dr. Maria Wright at maria.wright2@bakersfieldcollege.edu