Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Sahar Miry – UCSF

Sahar Miry, an SFSU Biology alumna (BS Physiology) and Bio699 HHMI FEST participant focusing on diversity and inclusion, has recently secured a new professional position as a Clinical Research Coordinator at UCSF!

As a Clinical Research Coordinator Sahar’s role consists of coordinating single/multiple clinical research studies, managing and reporting on study results to investigators, managing databases and comprehensive datasets, overseeing data integrity, and participating in reviews of study protocols.

She decided to pursue this position because she plans to pursue a Doctorate of Pharmacy degree. With this job, she would be working alongside the FDA and pharmacists as well, which would be a great  way to really experience the field and all that it entails. It also is preparing her to be an even better PharmD applicant!

New Publication Alert!

Science Advances – Evolving roles of scientists as change agents in science education over a decade: SFES roles beyond discipline-based education research 


To what extent have positions for science education specialists as change agents within science departments persisted and evolved over the past decade? We addressed this question by studying a population of Science Faculty with Education Specialties (SFES) first described in 2008. SFES are university science faculty who engage in undergraduate science education, K-12 science education, and/or research in science education. Compared to a decade ago, SFES are now more prevalent and more likely to be formally trained in science education. Many identify as discipline-based education researchers (DBER) but assert that their SFES and DBER roles are nonequivalent. SFES have garnered university administrator support through varied science education activities, and these insights into the evolving role of scientists in science education have implications for many stakeholders.


To learn more about this article, follow this link:


Also see an SFSU press release about the article here:

Welcoming New SEPAL People!

About Me

I grew up in Long Beach, CA and moved up north in 2009 to attend San Francisco State University where I graduated Fall 2015 with a BA in General Biology. As an undergraduate I worked with Jumpstart an Early Literacy Program, then with the Boys & Girls Club Afterschool School Program where I am currently employed. In the last 5 years I have moved up from a part time position to now the Director of Programs and Services serving over 3,00 Bay Area youth. In this position I’ve been given the opportunity to survey the impact STEM (emphasis on Science & Tech) programming has had on our youth and staff. My findings made me realize that k-12 schooling is not equipping our youth and future scientist with the tools to be successful in the sciences because it is not representative of what higher education science courses are really like. This is why I sought out a Master’s degree with SEPAL to help me figure out what I can do to change this cycle from continuing to occur and how we can support what happens in the classroom in our after-school programs.

While my research is yet undecided, I do have a couple of focuses that I am eager to explore. One is: how can we bridge the gap between CoSE undergrads and high school/middle school students to help them prepare for college level science courses? And if an infrastructure were set in place could we create a peer advising system that might be able to match compatibility and/or common research interest from current to incoming students? Although, these questions may or may not be my final research topics I think they are highly important and hope to keep them in mind while at SEPAL.


New SEPAL Grad Student: Matthew Boser

Matthew Boser

Degree: Master of Science in Physiology and Behavioral Biology

Advisor: Kimberly Tanner, PhD


About me

I didn’t travel more than a couple hours west of the Atlantic coast until taking a field assistant job in the Black Hills, South Dakota, on a team studying reproductive endocrinology in wild birds. I earned an A.S. from Asnuntuck Community College, and a B.S. in biology from Eastern Connecticut State University and shortly after relocated to Oakland, CA. I enjoy hearing and performing music, building music instrument amplifiers, birding, pets, fantasy and science fiction, and the outdoors.

Teaching and Research Interests

I began my instructional training in adult education for incarcerated people seeking a high school diploma. I’ve co-taught sex-positive sexuality education and discussion and laboratory courses for undergraduate students in nursing, kinesiology, and biology. The research and policy projects to which I’ve contributed include prevention of sexual violence and sexual harassment in educational environments and broadening professional development for graduate students. My current research asks if we can better understand and address the proximate causes of systemic neglect of particular groups of students by institutions of higher education and the sciences.


SFSU Alumni News from Dr. Melo Yap!

About Dr. Melo Yap

She was a first-generation college student. Her interdisciplinary training in Biology, Education, and Ethnic Studies shaped her versatility in using concurrent methodologies to advance research on underrepresented groups in STEM fields. At UCLA, she studied the influences to the scientific thinking of women of color STEM majors in the community college via mixed methods approach of qualitative questionnaire and critical network theory. She is also an alum of SFSU [B.A. Black Studies (now Africana Studies) & B.S. Physiology]—a SEPAL student and MARC Scholar at Dr. Vance Vredenburg’s research lab. She got her M.S. in Biological Sciences at CSULA, building theoretical models of biological systems. 

She is pursuing this project, because she believes that we should center the standpoint and voices of women of color in order to truly support them.  
About the Project
This project proposes to identify national trends in STEM pathways of women of color community college students and contextualize emergent and adaptive dynamics in their networks that influence their scientific thinking and navigational capital. To address the complexity of this understudied group’s academic journeys, we draw from interdisciplinary theoretical frameworks such as complex systems theory and Black feminist epistemology, and from mixed methods approaches such as statistical measures, network analysis, ecological diversity indices, and qualitative interviews. The project’s broader impact will contribute to transforming STEM access pathways for community college students, especially from underrepresented groups like women of color. Findings can inform diversity initiative programs of equitable strategies that center the perspective of an understudied group as primary stakeholders and central voices in their own success.

New Edition to Our Research Team: Jarred Dela Cruz!

I am from Elk Grove, CA and completed my undergraduate degree in Biomedical Sciences at Sac State. I was heavily involved in various positions within Sac State’s Student Affairs Division and held positions within First Year Experience, New Student Orientation, and Student Services. In addition, I was also a volunteer researcher at The Mulligan Lab where I had the opportunity to use the common fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) to investigate interactions between epigenetic factors and genes during neural development. SEPAL manages to blend two of my interests, science and education, and I’m thrilled to be able to further explore both!
My research topic is yet to be determined.
Jarred Dela Cruz
MS Graduate Student | Department of Biology
San Francisco State University
SEPAL: The Science Education Partnership & Assessment Laboratory

SEPAL ALUM: Metro STEM Position

Metro College Success Program (METRO) was developed to help the next generation of students. It is this school within a school where it provides educational support through in-class academic support and tutoring. One of our very own will soon be a coordinator for STEM there. Our SEPAL Alum, Analisa Brown was recently offered a position at the Metro College Success Program (METRO). There she will be a coordinator for STEM.


Keep doing this work!

Two CSU STEM VISTA Americorps Positions at SEPAL for 2019-20! Apply now!


Interested on working on issues of inclusion, equity, and diversity in science education?

Want a paid internship for next year at SEPAL working with a diverse team of students, staff, and faculty?

CSU STEM VISTA Americorps Positions at SEPAL for 2019-2020!

Apply now!



For those who are graduating or have graduated, SEPAL has an exciting opportunity for a one-year, full-time paid position through the CSU STEM VISTA program.

Stop by the SEPAL Resource Center (HH 236) for more information ORSee attached brochure and links below for more information.


Please see the links below to learn more about each position and apply, and please reach out if you have any questions or need help with the application.


We accept and review application materials on a rolling basis through mid-May but encourage candidates to submit as early as possible. 


Application deadline is May 15, 2019.

SEPAL MS Graduate won SFSU level of the CSU Student Research Competition

The CSU Student Research Competition is a system-wide competition that helps showcase the innovative research and creative activities that both Graduates and Undergraduates partake in. The nominees are all from a wide variety of educational programs offered by their respective CSU. They will give oral presentations to professionals from major organizations, corporations, foundations, public agencies, colleges and Universities of California.


This competition is held every year, and seeks to promote excellence in scholarly research and creative activity. It will recognize outstanding student accomplishments from the 23 CSU campuses.


Our very own SEPAL MS Grad, Alex Cabrera was a winner of the SFSU level CSU Student Research Competition in the area of Behavioral and Social Sciences. She will be heading to CSU Fullerton for the state-level competition. Her research was focused on office hours, it is essentially her thesis looking at how undergraduates and Biology faculty experience advising/office hours. She has discovered that the #1 thing students mentioned is they would like a personal approach before discussing the actual subject matter. While that was one outcome of this, she found that 43% mentioned a bad experience with their advisor/Biology Faculty, many of which do not return. Alex is not trying to understand why individuals are not returning to office hours.


Keep doing this work Alex!!!!

Scientist Spotlight’s are helping change student perceptions

Jeff Schinske like many across the globe comes to think of himself as a scientist. He would soon look at his own class and notice that minorities were not doing as well as their privileged peers. He embarked on a mission to figure out why this is, and see how to change this. He developed a hypothesis; Students have to be able to envision themselves as being a part of the field to succeed. There are so many stereotypes out there about scientist, many of which can be very powerful. However, Jeff helped develop a way to test his hypothesis. It is a way for students to help see themselves as scientists. This would be known as Scientist Spotlights. The assignment itself is getting students to read about scientist who don’t fit the stereotypes, they can be a woman, a woman of color, or even a woman of color who is queer and grew up poor. From here the students answer some questions regarding the scientist’s research. These assignments will relate to the course curriculum. He discovered that these very assignments helped changed their views of who can be a scientist, and would lead them to identify as a scientist.


Jeff Schinske alongside a colleague of his from San Francisco State University were recently awarded a grant, which were based on these findings; this will seek to create assignments for students in middle and high schools around the Bay Area. He hopes to one day expand this globally, and this way people from around the world can access these homework assignments talking about diverse scientists.