Welcome New Faculty!
The College of Natural and Social Sciences welcomes the following new faculty members from the departments of anthropology, chemistry and biochemistry, geosciences and environment, history, Latin American Studies, political science, and Asian and Asian American Studies.
Michael Beland
Michael Beland is an assistant professor in the Department of Geosciences and Environment. As an environmental geographer, he explores questions related to environmental change, with a specific interest in how coastal landscapes, particularly intertidal marshes, respond to disturbance. His research also investigates the use of advanced remote sensing and GIS techniques to monitor coastal wetland dynamics. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses covering physical geography, climatology, environmental pollution and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
Michele Blueze
Michele Bleuze is a biological anthropologist with research interests in bioarchaeology and paleoanthropology. She received her Ph.D. in anthropology in 2011 from the University of Western Ontario. Bleuze’s research focuses particularly on musculoskeletal biomechanics and activity patterns, developmental and functional skeletal morphology, and growth and development. A central theme of her research is understanding the various mechanisms underlying human adaptability in response to the physical, developmental, functional, and sociocultural environments. She has worked at archaeological and paleoanthropological sites in the United States and Africa and is currently involved in a collaborative project investigating juvenile growth and development in ancient Egypt. Bleuze’s research contributions have been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals including the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, American Journal of Human Biology, and Journal of Comparative Human Biology.
In addition to her research pursuits, Bleuze is also passionate about teaching. Her pedagogical areas of interest include content area literacy, active learning environments, academic socialization across diverse socioeconomic and cultural contexts, and inquiry-based science. She has multiple teaching certificates including a Certificate in Effective Instruction from the Association of College and University Educators.
She is a native of Los Angeles and is thrilled to be at Cal State LA working with students from her home community.
Gabrielle E. Clark
Gabrielle E. Clark holds a Ph.D. in Law & Society from New York University (NYU) and comes to the Department of Political Science at Cal State LA with a speciality in public law. A former fellow in the History of American Capitalism at Harvard University, she has also taught at Dartmouth College and American University. She has published on migrant labor and the law in Studies in Law, Politics & Society, Law & Social Inquiry, Antipode, and The Journal of Social History. An article on constitutional law and the development of American capitalism--another area of interest--is forthcoming in the American Journal of Legal History this fall.
Xian Gao
Xian Gao is an assistant professor at the Department of Political Science, Cal State LA. Gao’s research agenda concentrates on various aspects of public administration and management, such as e-government, collaboration, and performance management. Her recent research projects investigate the influence of artificial intelligence in public sectors and how to foster the use of collaborative technology to improve government performance. Gao is the winner of the Digital Governance Junior Scholar Award for the 2019 Americal Society for Public Administration (ASPA) conference and the Asian Scholarship Award for the 2016 ASPA conference. She has also served on the program committee of the 20th Annual International Conference on Digital Government Research (dg.0 2019) and the 6th International Conference on eDemocracy & eGovernment (ICEDEG 2019). Before joining Cal State LA, Gao received her Ph.D. from the School of Public Administration, University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Sandra J. Gutiérrez
Sandra J. Gutiérrez is an assistant professor at California State University, Los Angeles, in the departments of Chicana/o and Latina/o Studies, and Latin American Studies. She is a former post-doctoral fellow at the University of Minnesota, Morris (UMM), under the Native American Serving Non-Tribal Institutions (NASNTI) program of the U.S. Department of Education. In 2019, Gutiérrez graduated with a Ph.D. from the Department of Native American Studies at the University of California, Davis, with research on indigenous self-governance and self-determination struggles in the P’urhépecha region of Michoacan, Mexico. Her research interests include, but are not limited to, indigenous social movements and self-government, identity politics, indigenous migrants, traditional ways of knowing, and linguistic revitalization efforts in indigenous communities. Gutiérrez is currently working on a book manuscript that brings together an oral history project that interweaves personal memories, collective histories, and experiential knowledges about communal ethics and territorial citizenship.

Besides her academic work, she is actively involved in linguistic revitalization efforts in her homeland community (Huecorio, Michoacán) through the use of media and technology. In the past three years, she has coordinated an indigenous radio station in Michoacán, Mexico (Radio Uekorheni), where alongside community members, have implemented community-based projects that emphasize local knowledges and histories, as well as women’s rights in indigenous communities. 
Joshua Kelly
Joshua Kelly is a geomorphologist whose research interests lie at the intersection of coastal geology, climatology, and remote sensing. He is particularly interested in investigating how the earth’s climate cycles interact with and change surface landscapes and processes. Kelly has studied coastal morphodynamic processes in Australia and Brazil and identified climate cycles that are driving shoreline change in those regions. Much of his work involves the use of satellite remote sensing and emerging geospatial techniques such as machine learning and parallel cloud computing. Kelly is an FAA certified Remote Pilot and uses Unmanned Aerial Systems (“drones”) to acquire ultra-high resolution imagery of the earth’s surface for the purpose of identifying geomorphic changes occurring at small spatial and temporal scales.

Kelly originally hails from Massachusetts and received his undergraduate and master’s degree at the University of Rhode Island and completed his Ph.D. at San Diego State University and Scripps Institution of Oceanography. His interests outside of the classroom include hiking, running, playing soccer, and traveling. 
Juily Phun
Juily Phun is a multiethnic refugee from Vietnam, known as the "boat people." She grew up in the San Gabriel Valley, aka the "626" and specifically in Monterey Park and the surrounding cities. She received her B.A. in history from the University of California, San Diego (2000) and an M.A. in history from California State University, Los Angeles (2006). She completed her dissertation entitled “Contours of Care: the Influenza Pandemic, Public Health, and the Asian American Community in Los Angeles, 1918-1941” from the University of California, Irvine (2016) under Chicana historian, Vicki Ruiz. Phun has been a high school teacher in the San Gabriel Valley and an educator for over twenty years. She has been a lecturer at Cal State LA in the department of history and Asian and Asian American Studies (AAAS) since the completion of her masters in 2006, and is now part of the inaugural faculty hired under AAAS. She considers teaching and service learning as an integral component of her education and research. Phun’s research implicates the importance of public health as a crossroads for discussions of belonging, exclusion, and contention. Her work on race and gender also examines the role of the state, the body, communities, and immigration. 
Joy Sales
Joy Sales is an assistant professor of Asian American Studies at California State University, Los Angeles. She studies social movements, migration, race, and diaspora, specifically the history of radical activism in the Filipino American community, including the movement against dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos and the leadership of Filipinos in the United Farm Workers. Her manuscript is tentatively called, We Are Revolution: Empire, Diaspora, and Transnational Filipino/a Activism. Sales earned her B.A. in history from Grinnell College, where she was a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in history from Northwestern University. Sales’s work is informed by her involvement in GABRIELA, an alliance of progressive organizations in the Philippines and around the world dedicated to the rights and liberation of Filipino women and LGBTQ+ communities.  
Camille Suárez
Camille Suárez grew up in Los Angeles, California. She graduated from James Monroe High School in the San Fernando Valley. She received a BA.. in history from the University of Notre Dame, where she focused on Latino and African American History. Suárez earned her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, where she specialized in the histories of the US West and the 19th Century United States. Her dissertation studies the colonial processes by which the people, land, and legal customs of California were incorporated into the United States. She is currently working on turning her dissertation into a manuscript for publication by an academic press. She is broadly interested in the history of the US West and intends to write an environmental history of California for her second book. Before coming to Cal State LA, Suárez worked as an assistant professor of history at Valparaiso University in Indiana. A passionate teacher, she is excited to not only get to teaching, but to also to build community at Cal State LA. An avid reader, music lover, and urban walker, Suárez lives in Downtown LA with her partner and fellow historian, Paraska Tolan-Szkilnik, and their cat, Beethoven. 
Petr Vozka
Petr Vozka is originally from the Czech Republic where he obtained his bachelor's degree in chemistry and chemical technologies as well as an master's degree in chemistry and technology of fuels and environment from the University of Chemistry and Technology, Prague. He earned his Ph.D. at Purdue University, West Lafayette in the area of alternative aviation fuels with an emphasis on detailed chemical composition analysis. He performed qualitative and quantitative fuel analysis utilizing two-dimensional gas chromatography. A big part of his research was completed in collaboration with the U.S. Navy and Federal Aviation Administration. In 2019, he was awarded a scholarship by the ASTM International as one of four awarded nationally, in 2020 he obtained a U.S. patent for methods for the classification of hydrocarbon mixtures.

His current research focuses on the characterization of complex chemical mixtures, mostly liquid transportation fuels. His main goal is to fundamentally understand and describe how the chemical composition influences the properties of complex chemical mixtures on a molecular level.