Provost's Direct Reports
Susamma Barua joined Cal State Fullerton in 1988 after earning her Ph.D. in computer engineering from the University of Cincinnati. She served as the associate dean for the College of Engineering and Computer Science for eight years, providing strong leadership for the College in the areas of assessment, student success, curriculum, program performance reviews and reports, accreditation review processes, and planning and coordinating facilities use. She has been actively involved in mentoring female and underrepresented students in computing for most of her career. She is a Golden Core Member of the IEEE Computer Society and currently an associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Education.
Dean, Pollak Library
Dr. Emily Bonney came to Cal State Fullerton as a part-time faculty member in fall 1998 and secured a tenure-track position in 2002 as a member of the Department of Liberal Studies. She has a Ph.D. in Greek Art and Archaeology from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts and a J.D. from UCLA, and succeeded as an accomplished attorney in Los Angeles prior to her affiliation with the University. She served as chair of the Academic Senate 2015-2017 and vice chair 2013-2015, chaired the Faculty Hearing Panel from 2010-2015 and has served on several University committees, including the Academic Senate Constitution Committee. Most recently, she has served as the interim assistant vice president for Academic Human Resources.
Interim Dean, College of Communications
Ed Fink joined Cal State Fullerton in 1990 and has served as a faculty member in Communications, as well as Radio-TV-Film (now Cinema and Television Arts). He has served in a variety of leadership positions including 11 years as department chair in Radio-TV-Film, one year as director of the Faculty Development Center, and most recently as the interim associate dean for the College of Communications from 2014 – 2017. He earned a B.A. in Theater and Drama from Valparaiso University, an M.A. in Telecommunications from Indiana University, and a Ph.D. in Mass Communications from Indiana University.
Sheryl Fontaine earned her Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego in English and American Literature with a specialization in Composition Research and Pedagogy. Prior to her appointment as dean, she served as interim dean of the College; associate dean of administration; department chair and vice chair of the Department of English, Comparative Literature, and Linguistics; writing center coordinator; and director of the University Learning Center. She received the 2012 Faculty Leadership in Collegial Governance Award, and has served on a wide range of University committees since joining Cal State Fullerton in 1990.
Marie Johnson joined Cal State Fullerton in July 2016 after 21 years at the United States Military Academy at West Point, where she was the director of the Environmental Program for seven years; her leadership responsibilities included providing short-term guidance and long-term vision to keep the program on track to achieve its strategic and operational goals. Her research interests center on environmental security, an interdisciplinary field which seeks to analyze how degraded environments cause chaos, conflict, and violence in the world. She earned her bachelor’s in geology from Harvard College and her master’s and Ph.D. in geology from Brown University.
Dean, College of Education
Lisa Kirtman earned her Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley in Educational Policy and Organizations Research. She worked as an elementary and middle school teacher prior to joining Cal State Fullerton in 2000. She has served the College of Education as associate dean, chair for the Department of Elementary and Bilingual Education, and acting chair the Department of Reading (now the Department of Literacy and Reading). She has also served on a wide range of committees. She has been the recipient of the CSUF Teachers-Scholar Award, the Outstanding Service Award, and College of Education Distinguished Faculty Marshall Award.
Dean, College of the Arts
Prior to joining Cal State Fullerton as dean in July 2015, Dale Merrill was instrumental in the formation of the College of Performing Arts at Chapman University, where he also served as dean (four years) and associate dean (four years). He earned a B.F.A. in Ballet from the University of Utah and an M.F.A. in Dance from the University of Washington. He has over 20 years of choreographic credits and has taught for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago; Backhausdance; Anaheim Ballet; Cornish College of the Arts; University of Washington; University of California, Irvine; University of Montana; Wooden Floor (formerly the Saint Joseph Ballet); Washington Contemporary Ballet; Ballet Bellevue; Montana Dance Arts Association; Black Hills Dance Association; and The American College Dance Festival.
Morteza Rahmatian joined Cal State Fullerton in 1988 as a faculty member in Economics, and has served two terms as department chair of Economics and three years as associate dean for the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics. In the College he was responsible for college faculty development and instruction innovations, graduate programs, and academic advising. In addition to his administrative positions, teaching has always been a pleasure and a priority for him. He earned his Ph.D. in Environmental Economics from the University of Wyoming.
Laurie Roades joined Cal State Fullerton in January 2016 after 20 years as a member of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, where she was associate dean for Academic Personnel and Resources in the College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences. A licensed clinical psychologist, in her teaching she focuses on issues related to mental health. She has conducted research in gerontology and neuropsychology, diversity in mental health, and the experience of allies across demographic groups. Dr. Roades received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Missouri-St. Louis and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in clinical neuropsychology at the Long Beach Veterans Affairs Medical Center.
Executive Director, Academic Finances and Space Management
Appointed to her role in July 2017, Alyssa Adamson serves as the principal resource, operations, budget, space and procurement manager for the Division of Academic Affairs. After serving 14 years with the California State University Chancellor's Office, Adamson joined Cal State Fullerton in December 2015 as the Director of IT Finance and Enterprise Centralized Purchasing, where she oversaw budget and fiscal operations and served as manager for specialized projects, such as the Student Success Initiative, High Impact Practices and the Library of the Future. She received her bachelor’s degree in Applied Studies from Cal State Dominguez Hills and plans to complete the MBA program at Cal State Fullerton.
Chief of Operations, Office of the Provost
A CSUF staff member since 2006, Erinn Banks was appointed Chief of Operations for the Office of the Provost in July 2017 after serving as Interim Executive Assistant since 2016. She is in charge of project management for the provost, serving as the division Human Resources liaison and overseeing all day-to-day administrative functions for the provost’s office. Prior to working in the Office of the Provost, she held positions in the Office of the Associate Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies, Office of the Associate Vice President for Academic Programs and the Office of Graduate Studies. Ms. Banks served as an Intelligence Officer in the United States Air Force, and earned her bachelor’s degree in Geology from the University of Houston as well as a certificate in Data Analysis from CSUF.
Associate Vice President, Academic Programs
Mark Filowitz joined CSUF in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry as a faculty member in 2000 after a 23-year career in the automotive industry. He holds a doctorate and two master’s degrees in physical chemistry from Columbia University. He became Chemistry and Biochemistry department co-chair in 2004 and was appointed as the associate dean for the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (NSM) in 2008. In 2016-2017, he served concurrently as Associate Vice President for Academic Operations. He has been an academic senator for six years and serves on the Academic Standards Committee, the Supplemental Instruction team, the campus Student Success and First Year Experience team, the President’s Scholars Committee, and the Enrollment Management and Administrative Barriers Committee. He has been principal investigator or on the management team for projects that have brought in over $15 million in external funding for STEM transfer student success initiatives. He became AVP for Academic Programs in January 2019.
Yusheng "Chris" Liu
Associate Vice President, Research and Sponsored Projects
Dr. Yusheng "Chris" Liu joined Cal State Fullerton in January 2017 and is charged with developing and strengthening research, scholarship and creative activities across all disciplines at both Fullerton campus and Irvine Center. He previously served as associate vice president for research at Prairie View A&M University, director of the Center for Excellence in Paleontology at East Tennessee State University, and program director at the National Science Foundation, where he managed the Sedimentary Geology and Paleobiology program. He holds a doctorate and master’s degree from Nanjing Institute of Geology and Paleontology in the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and a bachelor of science degree from Sichuan University.
Karyn Scissum Gunn
Associate Vice President, Academic Operations
Having joined Cal State Fullerton in July 2017, Dr. Karyn Scissum Gunn works with the provost and partners across campus to advance University priorities, with a focus on strategic enrollment management, faculty affairs and institutional research. As a leader at Alabama State University, Dr. Scissum Gunn spearheaded major initiatives with impact on learning outcomes, enrollment management, virtual learning and development, and inclusive excellence. She has produced more than 30 articles and 50 presentations, authored three STEM degree programs, generated capital for a new instructional and research facility, and garnered $54.5 million in funding. She holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics from Auburn University and a master’s in Cell Biology from Tuskegee University.
Interim Associate Vice President, Extension and International Programs
Dr. Chris Swarat leads diverse units and programs in UEE/IPGE, including summer/winter sessions, Open University, international programs, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, the Fullerton Arboretum, and career and professional development courses. Since joining Cal State Fullerton in 2014, he has expanded the university’s business and global reach as Director of the Center for International Business, Director for the Bachelor of Arts in International Business degree program and, most recently, Associate Dean for UEE/IPGE. Prior to 2014, Dr. Swarat guided research and programs for the Centre for International Governance Innovation and the US-China Chamber of Commerce. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Northwestern University, as well as a master's from Yale University and a bachelor's from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, both in East Asian Languages and Literatures.
Assistant Vice President, Institutional Effectiveness
Appointed in August 2017, Dr. Su Swarat provides leadership and oversees operations for institutional and programmatic assessment, quality assurance, institutional research, and analytical and educational research. She joined Cal State Fullerton in 2014 as the Director of Assessment and Educational Effectiveness, leading the effort to establish a campus-wide process and culture of assessment that supports teaching and learning. Previously, Dr. Swarat served in similar capacities at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and the Northwestern University. She holds a Ph.D. from Northwestern University, a master's in Biology from Purdue University, and a bachelor's in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Peking University. She is also a graduate of the WASC Assessment Leadership Academy.
Mary Ann Villarreal
Associate Vice President, Strategic Initiatives
Dr. Mary Ann Villarreal joined Cal State Fullerton in 2014 to provide leadership for a range of major University initiatives, including High-Impact Practices (HIPs), First Year Experience, Academic Master Plan, faculty diversity and recruitment, equity and inclusion, and serving as a representative in national organizations. With a doctorate in History from Arizona State University and her A.B. from Mount Holyoke College, she has held faculty positions in Colorado and Utah and served as associate dean at the Colorado Women’s College, University of Denver. Her 2015 manuscript, Listening to Rosita: The Business of Tejana and Culture, 1930-1955, was awarded the 2016 Américo Paredes Book Award by South Texas College, Center for Mexican American Studies.
Interim Associate Vice President, South County Operations and Initiatives
Dr. Stephan Walk is responsible for Cal State Fullerton’s Irvine Center, including academics, human and fiscal resources, facilities, safety, and oversight of student services and campus technology. With a dual-major doctoral degree in Kinesiology and Sociology from Michigan State University, Dr. Walk joined the CSUF faculty in 1994, becoming interim athletic director and, most recently, associate dean in the College of Health and Human Development. He has served as president of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport, Department of Kinesiology chair, faculty athletics representative, and on the Executive Committee of the CSUF Academic Senate. Dr. Walk was a 2015-2016 American Council on Education fellow.