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Principle Investigators

 

Dr. Joseph Ledbetter

Dr. Leverett Smith

                                  

 

                                        CSE Management and Staff                                         

 

Director, Dr. Seti Sidharta

Student Assistant, Ruth Lopez

 

 

Mentors

 

Ed Cruz

Dr. Katherine Krolikowski

Dr. Nancy Thorn

 

 

 
 
 
 
Emeritus

 

Mentors and Staff

 

Jon Celesia 

Dr. Mike Colvin

Phung Tran Colvin

Dr. James Conrad

Dr. Barton Gledhill

Ann Mahrukh

Dr. Danny Martin

Dr. Christopher Mau

Terrill Mead

Dr. Daniel Oros

Farah S. Pranawahadi

Grace Schoeniger

Natalie G. Sharova

Dr. Chris Tarp

Dr. Chen Tsai

Victor H. Zarate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jon Celesia

Jon Celesia arrived at CCC in 1999 and has taught physics and astronomy at the college. After obtaining his M.S. in physics at SFSU, he taught at his alma mater for five years, taught for two years at the College of San Mateo before joining CCC. Jon is passionate about science education and reform and has transformed the planetarium to an amazing place with the donation he received from various donors. He also has been the driver in the fundraising and acquisition of CCC’s new 12” Meade telescope which allows peering into deep space. Besides being an avid star-gazer, he is a passionate alpine skier, basket ball star, baseball and enjoys many other competitive sports.

 

 

Dr. Mike Colvin

 

Dr. Mike Colvin, a multi-talented computational biochemist, obtained his B.S. at M.I.T. and Ph.D. at UC Berkeley. He enjoyed learning ancient languages and is an avid bibliophile. He is now a Founding Faculty at UC Merced.

 


Phung Tran Colvin

 

Phung Tran Colvin is an alumna of CCC and UC Berkeley; Phung worked in CSE since its inception and served as the Director of CSE and MESA program at CCC from 1999 – 2003 until she had to move to Merced in October of 2003. She is now at the University of California at Merced serving as an academic advisor. When not working, she enjoys playing with her daughter, shopping, listening to music.

 


Dr. James Conrad

 

Dr. James Conrad is a retired professor of physics at CCC. He received his Ph.D. in Theoretical Plasma physics from Utah State University. A former research scientist for Varian/Eimac, he decided instead to pursue his love of teaching. He spends his spare time enjoying music and singing.

 

 

Ed Cruz

 

 

Dr. Barton Gledhill

 

Dr. Barton Gledhill is the retired Deputy Director for the Center for Health Care Technology at Lawrence Livermore Labs and is a long-time mentor for CSE. He is also a former veterinarian and enjoys summers in Hawaii and Maine.

 

 

Dr. Katherine Krolikowski

 

 

 

Dr. Joseph Ledbetter

 

Dr. Ledbetter obtained his Ph.D. in chemistry at UC Davis. He is a fulltime chemistry professor at CCC and the founding director of CSE. An avid sportsman and adventure-seeker, he enjoyed biking, hiking, backpacking, sailing, snorkeling and diving with his lovely wife in exotic places.

 


Student Assistant, Ruth Lopez

 

Ruth Lopez is a student at Contra Costa College and also a CSE alumni. Ruth started as a student assistant/program coordinator for CSE in August of 2007. She was raised in San Francisco where she attended Galileo Academy of Science and Technology. She moved to the East Bay where she received her license for Cosmetology. Following this, she returned to school and has received several scholarships and has had the opportunity to intern at the USDA. Ruth is President of the Alpha Gamma Sigma Honor Society at CCC and is currently planning to transfer to UC Berkeley to obtain her bachelor’s degree in Microbiology. Ruth is an extremely outgoing and motivating person and enjoys helping CSE students reach their goals. In her spare time, she loves to spend time with family, dance, and experience new things.

 

 

Ann Mahrukh

 

Ann Mahrukh is an alumna of CCC. She received her B.S. in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley. Ann is an avid reader and was an event coordinator for a few years before she got married and moved away with her husband.

 

 

Dr. Danny Martin

 

Dr. Danny Martin, past Math professor at CCC, graduated with his Ph.D. in Math Education from UC Berkeley. He was CCC’s 2001 Teacher of the Year, Math Department Chairperson for several years, and the Principal Investigator on National Science Foundation grants. He is currently teaching at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

 

 

Dr. Christopher Mau

 

Dr. Christopher Mau, a post-doctoral researcher at the USDA, was introduced to the program after hiring several CSE interns. He obtained his B.S. at UC Davis, his Ph.D. at UCLA, and then did research at UC Davis before arriving at the USDA. Passionate about basketball, when not playing he indulges in nature photography and raises carnivorous plants much to the chagrin of his former roommates. He has since moved to Oregon.

 

 

Terrill Mead

 

Terrill Mead is a Math professor at CCC and obtained his Master degree in Math from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. When not teaching math, he enjoys playing with his newly born daughter, composing music, playing guitar, and collecting action figures.

 

 

Dr. Daniel Oros

 

Dr. Daniel Oros received a Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences with a Biogeochemistry emphasis from Oregon State University in 1999. He conducted postdoctoral study at Washington State University where he researched the chemical causes of cancer, its prevention and treatment. Daniel is a member of the American Chemical Society and is a Sequoia Fellow in the American Indian Science and Engineering Society.

 

 

Farah S. Pranawahadi

 

Farah S. Pranawahadi was the CSE Co Director and Program Coordinator from 1999 to August 2006. She received her B.S. in computer science from the University of San Francisco. A former software engineer at MicroProse, Ms. Pranawahadi was the glue that kept the program together. In her spare time, she likes to garden and read.

 

 

Grace Schoeniger

 

Grace Schoeniger was the English workshop leader for many years. She obtained her B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and her M.A. from Antioch University in Yellow Springs, OH. As a freelance writer and editor for the past twelve years, she has been published by national and international magazines. Her agent is also marketing a novel and a collection of short stories. She is now working for the FBI and enjoys her free time with her beloved family.

 

 

Director, Dr. Seti Sidharta

 

Dr. Sidharta received her Ph.D. from UC Davis and has taught chemistry at CCC since 1992. She has been a part of CSE since its conception and served in many capacities including as a mentor, tutor, activities chaperone extraordinaire and now director. In her spare time, she enjoys short hikes, biking, gardening, traveling to foreign and faraway places.

 

 

Natalia G. Sharova

 

Natalia is a CSE alumni who also was a student assistant/program coordinator in CSE from August 2005 untill August 2008. Natalia was born and grew up in Moscow, Russia. She explored different fields which led to the obtaining several certificates and diplomas such as the Hair Stylist Honor Diploma, the Notary Assistant Diploma, the Certificate in English from the Oxford University branch in Moscow, Russia and so on. Since Natalia moved to the USA, she returned to school and now she is majoring in pharmacology. She has many talents including the ability to develop the CSE website with generous help FROM former CSE student Jeffrey Hohenstein. She is an extremely helpful person who is always ready to help people as much as she can. In her spare time, she loves to spend time outdoors, travel, dance, meet new people, learn new things, and take pictures of everything that catches her attention.

 

 

Dr. Leverett Smith, Organic Chemistry workshop leader

 

Dr. Smith joined the Department of Chemistry at CCC in 1994. He teaches Organic Chemistry and serves as the Department Chairperson. He is a graduate of Berkeley High School and the University of California at Santa Cruz. He received his doctorate from Cornell University in 1976. He has taught chemistry and math at a Ghanaian secondary school, worked in publishing, managed a commercial analytical laboratory, been a Visiting Scholar at UC Berkeley, and been a Visiting Scientist at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Western Regional Laboratory. In ongoing efforts to become a more broadly educated, he welcomes distractions from chemistry by traveling to foreign places, hiking, backpacking, cross-country skiing, learning and speaking various languages, and grows cultures for his famous sour-dough breads.

 

 

Dr. Chris Tarp

 

Dr. Chris Tarp is a biology professor at CCC. He received his Ph.D. in zoology from UC Berkeley and then taught at UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, and the Bodega Marine Lab before coming to this campus. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, bird watching, reading and traveling.

 

 

Dr. Nancy Thorn

 

Dr. Thorn is a physician and biologist who has done clinical work, research, teaching, and technical writing. She has been a mentor since the inception of CSE and is very passionate in introducing students to medical fields. She arranges for trips to medical conferences, introduce students to various topics within the field and helps students succeed in their choices. She enjoys leading field trips and is famous for her llama hiking trips. Her hobbies include camping, kayaking, and traveling to far flung places.

 

 

Dr. Chen Tsai

 

Dr. Tsai joins the Department of Engineering at CCC in 1989 to teach courses in engineering, computer programming and mathematics. Prior to joining Contra Costa College, Dr. Tsai worked for more than 16 years as a consulting engineer specializing in piping, pipe support design and hydrodynamics. He served as a ROTC officer in Taiwan for a year before emigrating to the U.S. to pursue his Ph.D. degree at Harvard University. He is married with two college-age sons. In addition to being devoted to his family and students, Dr. Tsai enjoys hiking and vacationing with his friends and family members.

 

Victor H. Zarate

 

Victor H. Zarate was a former CCC professor of physics. He is currently teaching at the American River College. He obtained his M.S. and B.S. degrees from UC Berkeley and enjoys playing with his nieces. 

 

 

 
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