Dr. Beth A. Christensen, associate professor and director of the Environmental Studies Program
Christensen earned her Ph.D. in geology from the University of South Carolina, M.S. in geology from Rutgers University and B.S. in geology from Cook College at Rutgers University. She is an expert on global warming and sustainability issues and has written several papers on geosciences and climate change for significant journals. She has conducted numerous research projects to boost climate change research and understand the alterations in marshland area within the South Shore estuary reserve on Long Island, impact on our shores after Hurricane Sandy, and advantages of scientific drilling to give a glimpse into Earth’s development and response to climatic and tectonic forces, among others.
Dr. Michael D’Emic, assistant professor of biology
D’Emic studies the evolution and ecology of dinosaurs and other reptiles. Each summer, he leads fieldwork expeditions to dig up dinosaurs and other extinct animals in the western USA. He also studies how bones and teeth grow at the cellular level in a variety of animals. He teaches courses in Guided Research Dinosaur Histology and Human Anatomy And Physiology.
Sabita Nayak, project director for the Science Advancement Programs (NYS STEP/CSTEP)
Nayak holds an MBA from New York Institute of Technology-Old Westbury in management information technology/green sustainable business development. She oversees the robotics trainings and competitions for young people to reinforce and enhance study skills in math and science coursework. She also spearheaded a partnership with the Village of Hempstead to launch the My Brother’s Keeper STEP (Science Technology Entry Program) initiative to provide pathways to success for African American and Latino young men. My Brother’s Keeper is part of a nationwide charge by President Barack Obama to provide talented African American and Latino males with valuable skills needed to succeed in academics and workforce readiness preparation. Her expertise also includes providing workshops on topics such as career choices, college exploration, cultural awareness, conflict resolution, health, wellness and time management.
Dr. Eugenia Villa-Cuesta, assistant professor of biology
Villa-Cuesta is interested in how genes and environment influence aging and disease, and her research uses Drosophila melanogaster and cultured cells to study the molecular mechanisms by which nutrition influences life span and health span. Her work has been published in academic journals and she co-authored the book, Experimental Techniques for Concepts and Methods inBiology: Laboratory Methods I. A native of Spain, Dr. Villa-Cuesta earned her graduate degrees at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and then came to the United States to do postdoctoral research at Brown University. She was awarded a three year grant from the National Institutes of Health.
Dr. Andrea Ward, associate professor of biology
Ward earned her Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and B.S. from Wake Forest University. In general, her research incorporate the fields of evolutionary biology, functional morphology and developmental biology. She is interested in the evolution of the elongate body form in fishes. In her lab, she examines the developmental origin of body elongation as well as the effect of body elongation on locomotion.
Dr. Benjamin Weeks, professor of biology
Weeks earned his Ph.D. from the Center for Environmental Health and Health Promotion at the University of Connecticut and worked for five years at the National Institutes of Health at Bethesda, MD and was a research assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania prior to joining the faculty in the Biology Department and Environmental Studies Program at Adelphi University. Dr. Weeks research investigates mechanisms of disease and development with a focus on how environment pollutants cause disease. In addition, he teaches the genetics and microbiology courses for the nursing program.
Dr. Jessie Klein, associate professor in sociology and criminal justice
Klein is a nationally recognized expert and also frequent speaker on bullying, cyberbullying, gender issues, gang violence, school shootings and policy responses. She is the author of The Bully Society: School Shootings and the Crisis of Bullying in America’s Schools. Her research regarding gender and school violence has appeared in numerous peer-reviewed journals and she is often interviewed by media including CNN, The Brian Lehrer Show, Good Day New York, Newsday, USA Today and New York Times. Her Creating Compassionate Communities (CCC) program for teachers, students and parents/caregivers seeks to build strong social bonds by increasing empathy within schools and provide nurturing environments to protect students as school shootings and attacks proliferate. CCC, identified as a Center for Health Innovation priority to achieve significantly higher levels of health & well-being for the next generation, works to combat the adverse effects of social pressures on young people and reach students with warmth and compassion.