Getting to know the university’s new faculty

California State University, Bakersfield hired over 30 full time faculty for fall 2020; some filling roles of recent vacancies and others completely new to the university. Below is an incomplete list of the recently hired full time faculty, along with brief biographies about who they are.

Arts and Humanities


Millson chaired the Philosophy department at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta where they taught for nine years. Millson has also published 15 articles and book chapters in logic, epistemology, and philosophy of science and moved to CSUB in search of a tenure track position. While CSUB is virtual, Millson says they are living in Birmingham, Alabama with their partner and two daughters.

  • B.A. in Philosophy & History from Boston University
  • M.A. in Philosophy from Emory University
  • Ph.D. in Philosophy from Emory University



Tsantsoulas taught undergraduate courses at Penn State in philosophy and women’s, gender and sexuality studies for the last four years before making the move to CUSB. Fulfilling one of their dreams, Tsantsoulas came to CSUB to teach undergraduates and looks forward to working with the Kegley Institute of Ethics. Never living in a place without cold, snowy winters, moving to Bakersfield will be a new experience.

  • B.A. in Humanities and Philosophy from Carleton University
  • M.A. in Philosophy from University of Ottawa
  • Ph.D. in Philosophy from Pennsylvania State University



Florez taught at Union College in Schenectady, NY, and came to CSUB because they were looking for an opportunity that would bring them closer to their roots. Origianally from New Mexico, Florez is a first-generation college graduate.

  • B.A. in History from Harvard College
  • Master’s in theological studies at Harvard Divinity School
  • Ph.D. in History from University of Cambridge





Ph.D. in English








Ph.D. in History




Business and Public Administration


Seo worked as a research assistant and developmental evaluator at the Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center and while in South Korea, worked as a research assistant at the Asia Development Institute. CSUB’s diverse and vibrant community along with the university’s strong commitment to students and teaching is what brought Seo to CSUB. Seo says moving to Bakersfield will be a new experience because they have never experienced a “not-so-cold” winter.

  • B.A. in Ethics Education from Seoul National University
  • Master’s in Public Administration from Seoul National University
  • Ph.D. in Public Affairs from University of Minnesota



















Natural Science, Math and Engineering



Holding a B.S., M.S., along with a Ph.D. from Egypt-Japan University of Science and Technology in Alexandria, Egypt., Abdelrehim has experience in communication subsystems of integrated circuits, power/thermal modeling, and managing multicore processors. Abdelrehim originally moved to Providence, Rhode Island, when they first moved to the United States. Then Austin, TX, followed by Las Curces, New Mexico where they were an assistant research professor. Now that Abdelrehim is accepting their dream job of assistant professor at CSUB, they can say they have lived in four different time zones.








Gagneja received their Ph.D. from North Dakota State University and has 23 years of experience in their field. According to Gagneja, the CSU system is the best in the US and was a deciding factor in their move to CSUB. Often buys, Gagneja spends free time napping, cooking, gardening or listening to music.






Herman works with the United States Geological Survey National Information Center, investigates plate tectonics and physical processes in the Earth, specifically those related to earthquakes. After finishing their Ph.D, Herman spent three years developing computer models in the Netherlands at Utrecht University. Because of the geological location, Herman says CSUB is the perfect place to study plate tectonics and earthquakes.

  • B.S. in Geology and Physics from Amherst College
  • M.S. in Geosciences from Pennsylvania State University
  • Ph.D. in Geosciences from Pennsylvania State University





Hong is experienced in computational modeling and simulation of complex nanoscale systems. Wishing to serve a diverse community, Hong made the move to CSUB. They love to travel and spend time wine tasting with their wife. A Zinfandel with cheese and crackers is a favorite of Hong’s.

  • B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Kyung Hee University, South Korea
  • M.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Kyung Hee University, South Korea
  • Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at Pennsylvania State University





Garger relocated to Bakersfield from Charleston, North Carolina. They have spent 30 plus years nursing, 13 of which was teaching nursing in Pittsburg and Charleston. When not working, Garger likes to garden.

  • B.S. in Nursing from Duquesne University
  • M.S. in Nursing from University of Phoenix



Punsalan worked as a nurse practitioner in a general neurology clinic diagnosing and treating patients with neurological diseases. Originally invited to CSUB as a guest lecturer, Punsalan was offered a part time lecturer position that turned into a full-time position. Punsalan, their husband, and their two daughters are also in the nursing field.

  • B.A. in Communication
  • B.S. in Nursing at Lakeview College
  • M.S. in Nursing at Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science
  • Ph.D. in Nursing at Brandman University in Irvine







































Social Sciences and Education



Kabel attended CSU Northridge and CSU Bakersfield where they received a B.S. in Business Administration, an Education Specialist Instruction Credential, and a M.A. in Education. They are experienced as an American Sign Language interpreter, Special Day Class Teacher, Resource Specialist Program Teacher, Mentor Teacher, Grant Writer, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Facilitator, and Team Leader for Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS). “The opportunity to influence and inspire educators to become better educators” is what Kabel says brought them to CSUB. An interesting fact about Kabel is that they can name all of the US presidents in less than 15 seconds.





Nmah worked as a middle and high school counselor in Louisiana, provided professional development to school counselors across Louisiana, and served as a graduate teaching assistant in school counseling at Louisiana State University. What brought Nmah to CSUB was the university’s commitment to social justice and equity, along with the size and strength of the Educational Counseling program. Nmah says they are a huge fan of sports and loves a good chuckle.

  • B.A. in Psychology from Dalton State College
  • M.A. in Psychology from Georgia State University
  • M.Ed. In School Counseling from Louisiana State University
  • Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Research from Louisiana State University





Barrerera-Curiel spent six years as a teaching assistant at Oklahoma State, four years as a personal trainer, 2 years as a soccer coach, and 1 year as a strength coach. Not finding many job prospects back home in Mexico, they were thrilled to accept an assistant professor position here at CSUB.

  • B.S. Physical Education – Benemerita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla
  • M.S. Management and Marketing – Benemerita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla
  • M.S. Leisure Studies – Oklahoma State University
  • Ph.D. Health and Human Performances – Oklahoma State University





Kim attended Iowa State University, University of Delaware, and Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea, and has their Ph. D in Exercise Physiology. Through graduate training, Kim has completed cardiovascular research. Aside from research, they are experienced in providing evaluations and prescribing exercise to advanced aged groups. The supportive and friendly environment is what Kim says convinced them CSUB was for them. An interesting fact about Kim is that they once trained in Olympic weightlifting and was even selected by a government training program.





Park completed a doctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania Counseling and Psychological Services. Having done mental health work with young adults, it’s driven most of Park’s research and clinical interests. The psychology department made a good impression on Park, and they feel as though CSUB offers them an opportunity to help students discover themselves and amplify their voices, especially when it comes to social justice. “So-en” is how you pronounce their name said Park.

  • B.A. in Education from Seoul National University
  • M.A. in Educational Counseling from Seoul National University
  • M.A. in Educational Statistics and Measurement from University of Iowa
  • Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from University of Iowa



Healy worked for 9 years in an inpatient psychiatric hospital and spent 2 years in private practice doing psychological testing and assessments. CSUB reached out to Healy when an open position became available, and although they didn’t need to, decided to take the job because they love teaching. An adrenaline junkie, Healy says they have skydived 8 times in their life and is excited to learn to jump on their own.

  • B.A. in Psychology from CSUB
  • M.A. in Social Work from CSUB
  • Ph.D. in Applied Clinical Psychology from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology



For four years, Stewart worked with families, going on home visits and running programs in two school districts. Stewart also ran the admissions department for Tennessee State psychiatric hospitals. They also interned for the Mental Health Association working to resettle refugees and in the criminal justice system. The social work program, its organization, and faculty were some of what brought Stewart to CSUB. Stewarts mother was a pianist, and learned to love music from a young age, even singing competitively in high school.

  • B.A. in Social Work from Belmont University
  • M.S. in Social Work from University of Tennessee at Knoxville
  • Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from University of Texas at Austin



Cervantes has been supporting teacher candidates through credentialing for the past four years and has been appointed to work with the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. The universities commitment to social justice and value of multicultural students is what brought Cervantes to CSUB, and being a first-generation college student, Cervantes says she feels right at home. A mother of four children, two of which are twins, Cervantes’s children help with testing new teaching technology.

  • B.A. from Fresno State University
  • M.A. in Education for Counseling and Student Services from Fresno State
  • Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Fresno State




Monreal has been a k-12 teacher for over 10 years and is a published in journals such as Latino Studies, Educational Policy, Urban Reviewand others. In 2018, Monreal was Doctoral Student of the Year, and was the first doctoral student at the University of South Carolina to receive a Spencer Dissertation Grant in 2019. The oldest of nine siblings, Monreal grew up in Madera, CA and says they are elated to return to their roots and serve the communities they grew up in.

  • B.A. in Political Science from UC Santa Barbara
  • M.A. in Secondary Education from Loyola Marymount Education
  • Ph.D. in Social Foundation of Education from University of South Carolina































Library Science


Previously, Gallant worked as the Fine Arts Librarian at Binghamton University, SUNY Binghamton. Now that they are working at a smaller university, Gallant feel as though they will be able to help students and be creative. Gallant bakes on their off time using old recipes from the 20thcentury or before.

  • B.A. in Art History from University of Nebraska at Omaha
  • M.A. in Art History from University of Missouri, Columbia
  • M.A. Library and Information Science from University of Missouri, Columbia