CHHS New Faculty

Dr. Mark Barash, Assistant Professor, Department of Justice Studies

Dr. Mark Barash completed his undergraduate degree in Life Sciences and then a master’s in science in microbiology and genetics both at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. During his undergraduate studies and just before starting his forensic carrier, Dr. Barash worked on a number of research projects, including developing a diagnostic kit using a catalytic DNA approach.

Between June 2001 and December 2009,  Dr. Barash was employed by the Israel Police as Forensic DNA reporting officer at the rank of Chief Inspector. During his employment, Dr. Barash performed forensic DNA analysis on over 600 serious criminal cases, ranging from robbery, sexual assaults, homicides and terrorist attacks.  Before joining the police lab, Dr. Barash served in the military (IDF) as a quality assurance officer for the DNA databank.

Prior to joining SJSU, Dr. Barash worked as a post-doctoral research and teaching fellow at the University of Technology Sydney where he completed his PhD in Forensic Genetics at Bond University, Gold Coast Australia. His thesis topic was “Identification of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) Involved in the Determination of Craniofacial Morphology.”  “I was looking for specific genetic variants affecting the size and shape of human facial features, such as eyes, nose, ears etc.,” says Dr. Barash.

Dr. Barash’s current research interests have been inspired by his operation forensic background and focus on the following main topics:

  • Genetics of externally visible traits and their prediction from a DNA sample for forensic intelligence applications.
  • Mechanisms and operational implications of secondary DNA transfer.
  • Development and validation of novel forensic DNA panels using massively parallel sequencing approach

Besides working as an assistant professor at SJSU, Dr. Barash is a CEO of a private Australian company, GATACA, which he established in 2018. This company provides forensic consulting services and DNA genotyping and phenotyping services for both private customers and legal enforcement segment.

Dr. Anji Buckner-Capone, Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health and Recreation

Dr. Buckner-Capone has extensive experience in public health and community health education.  Before coming to SJSU, she worked for the Central Coast Center for Independent Living, Cabrillo College, ETR Associates, and as a consultant in grant writing and community health education. In these positions, she developed, implemented, and evaluated community based programs focused on community building and community history, disability advocacy, youth development, personal health, and caregiver empowerment.

Dr. Buckner-Capone’s professional public health interests are in social determinants of health and equity, community advocacy, health policy, school health, and teaching and learning. Her current research explores school climate assessment in California’s public schools. She has a bachelor’s degree in feminist studies and community studies from University of California Santa Cruz, a master’s degree in public health, and a doctoral degree in education from San José State University.

Dr. Andrew Carter, Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health and Recreation

Dr. Andrew Carter, Assistant Professor, Public Health and Recreation received his bachelor of arts degree from Cal State Northridge, his master of arts degree in communication studies at San Jose State University and his master of public health degree at University of Memphis, where he also received his PhD in communication studies

Dr. Carter began his assistant professor position in Public Health and Recreation at SJSU, Fall 2019. His current research interests include: health communication, critical food studies, health disparities, intercultural communication, community-based participatory research.

Dr. Michael Dao, Assistant Professor, Department of Kinesiology

Dr. Michael Dao received his Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in Exercise Sciences, Field of Study: Physical Cultural Studies. His masters of arts degree in Kinesiology from SJSU where he specialized in sport studies and a bachelor of science degree in Kinesiology from SJSU where he focused on sport management.

Previously Dr. Dao worked as an instructor at the University of Toronto and Humber College which is also located in Toronto.

Dr. Dao’s diverse research interests are united by the use of historical sociology and critical theoretical approaches to examine dominant and subversive constructions of sport and physical culture, with a particular emphasis on the role of development and social change in international sport. Specifically, at SJSU he intends to focus on Vietnamese sport and physical culture from a historical and sociological perspective. His future research projects will draw upon historical narratives, oral history and community-based research epistemologies to unpack the immigrant and refugee experience of the Vietnamese diaspora.

Dr. Denise Dawkins, Assistant Professor, The Valley Foundation School of Nursing

Dr. Denise Dawkins is a register nurse, healthcare assimilationist, and educator. She completed her master’s degree at CSU Bakersfield and completed her Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) at California State University Northern California Consortium.

Dr. Dawkins is assistant professor in The Valley Foundation School of Nursing. “Teaching allows me to fulfill what I believe to be a fundamental responsibility of a nurse educator: to prepare and mentor competent future nurses, strength the nursing workforce and improve healthcare for the community,” says Dr. Dawkins.

She has practiced as a critical care register nurse for over 30 years and has taught nursing students for over 12 years. Dr. Dawkins research interest includes geriatrics, health care simulation, culturally competent health care, and diversity in the healthcare workforce.

Nancy Dudley, Associate Professor, The Valley Foundation School of Nursing

Dr. Nancy Dudley received a bachelor of science in nursing from the University of San Francisco, master’s in nursing administration and gerontology, and a PhD in health policy from the University of California, San Francisco.

Dr. Dudley has an extensive clinical background. She worked in ICU, surgical services and ambulatory care, and as a manager developing and implementing programs for older adults with serious illness from hospital to ambulatory care and community settings, including long-term care. Her dissertation research included quantitative and qualitative methods that focused on identifying older adults in the United States with serious illness and multimorbidity in primary care and subspecialty settings to benefit from palliative care, and developing a conceptual model of the process of collaboration among primary care and palliative care interdisciplinary teams to deliver palliative care in the community; and palliative care workforce research. Her continuing research interests are: palliative care for persons with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers; palliative care education for nursing and interprofessionals in community health; and palliative care workforce development to support the seriously ill to live at home.

Dr. Dudley was the inaugural Stanford University postdoctoral fellow in nursing research in the Department of Medicine – Division of Primary Care & Population Health – Palliative Care Section.

Dr. Jie Gao, Assistant Professor, Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Event Management

Dr. Jie Gao graduated from The Pennsylvania State University, and worked at Montclair State University as an Assistant Professor for three years, where she runs her Tourism Research Group. She joined San Jose State University Fall, 2019. Dr. Gao’s research focuses on individuals’ emotions and well-being in travel and event-based contexts, and the degree to which their emotions influence consumer decision-making. She is also interested in methodology innovation by applying big data techniques into research projects.

Dr. James Hannigan, Assistant Professor, Department of Kinesiology

Dr. JJ Hannigan joined the Department of Kinesiology at San Jose State University after working as a postdoctoral researcher in the FORCE Laboratory at Oregon State University – Cascades. Previously, he earned his Ph.D. and M.S. in Human Physiology (Biomechanics) from the University of Oregon, a Master of Athletic Training degree from Saint Louis University, and a B.S. in Exercise Science from Saint Louis University.

Dr. Hannigan’s research focuses on identifying biomechanical risk factors, as well as developing better prevention and treatment strategies for orthopedic injuries across the lifespan. His primary interest is on running-related injuries, with a current focus on the effect of maximal running shoes on running biomechanics and injury risk. His dissertation also focused on running injuries, specifically on understanding the relationship between several common risk factors for patellofemoral pain. During his postdoctoral research, Dr. Hannigan began studying ACL tears and knee osteoarthritis (OA). His ACL research investigates whether there are differences in post-ACL reconstruction biomechanics between sexes and graft types, and his knee OA research compares biomechanical and functional outcomes between traditional and robot-assisted knee arthroplasty.

Dr. Grace Howard, Assistant Professor, Department of Justice Studies

Dr. Grace Howard received her Ph.D. in Political Science, with a major in Women and Politics, and minors in Public Law and Political Theory from Rutgers University. She began her career as an assistant professor at the University of Southern Indiana of Gender Studies in Fall 2017. Her research interests are in reproductive law and politics. She is currently working on what some refer to as the criminalization of pregnancy– the prosecution of pregnant folks for crimes against their own pregnancies. Dr. Howard also works on abortion restrictions in the states.

Dr. Li Jin, Assistant Professor, Department of Kinesiology

Dr. Li Jin received a bachelor of science degree in kinesiology at Shanghai University of Sport, a masters of science degree in human physiology from the University of Oregon and a Ph.D. in human physiology at the University of Oregon.

Previously he was a Postdoctoral Research Scholar at the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science, Carver College of Medicine, The University of Iowa.

Dr. Jin plans on continuing with research on human lower extremity joint mechanics patterns in walking and running gait, as well as in gait transitions. Specifically, foot and ankle system kinematic and kinetic patterns in different locomotion tasks and speeds. Additionally, he will start with wearable sensors research. Specifically, the inertia measurement units (IMUs) application in two areas:  the evaluation of walking gait balance among elderly people and potential running injuries prevention on runners.

Dr. Jodie Warren, Assistant Professor, Department of Justice Studies

Before teaching at SJSU, Dr. Jodie Warren  taught at both Simon Fraser University located in Burnaby, Surrey and Vancouver British Columbia and University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford British Columbia. She first began working cases in Summer 2001. She attended the scene and autopsy as the forensic entomologist on call and continued to work these cases in the lower mainland of British Columbia on a voluntary basis while pursuing her degrees.

In 2011, Dr. Warren first began teaching Criminology and Forensic Science courses at SFU as a sessional instructor while pursuing her doctoral degree. She received the assistant professorship Fall 2019 at SJSU. Dr. Warren has taught the following courses:  Forensic Science, Death Investigation, Biological Explanations of Crime, Forensics in the Criminal Justice System and Psychological Explanations of Criminal and Deviant Behavior.  She also taught the laboratory components of Forensic Entomology.

Dr. Warren began her career as a biologist with an undergraduate degree in biology and then changed careers when she completed a Master’s degree in Criminology. “However, I never left biology behind as I pursued my Master’s degree in Criminology with a focus of Forensic Entomology and looking at immature development at fluctuating and constant temperatures. My PhD also in Forensic Entomology focused on adding more precision to aging insects found on remains or neglected humans and animals. Current methods used by forensic entomologists, age the insects to the stage they reached on the victim.”

Dr. Warren’s research applies hyperspectral remote sensing to add precision to these estimates by measuring light reflectance from the insects. This allows her to age the insects to the day within the stage. Ideally, this assists investigators by providing a better idea of when and where to focus their attentions. Dr. Warren received the Simon Fraser University Dean’s Convocation medal for this research and will continue to pursue this research at SJSU so that it can eventually be used in the field.

Dr. Robin Whitney, Assistant Professor, The Valley Foundation School of Nursing

Dr. Robin Whitney received her PhD in Nursing from the University of California, Davis. Before coming to SJSU, she was an Assistant Professor in the UCSF Fresno Medical Education Program.

Today, Dr. Whitney is an Assistant Professor in the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Program for The Valley Foundation School of Nursing at SJSU. Her research interests focus on psychosocial care needs of cancer survivors and their family caregivers.

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