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Chico State

Joy of Learning Showcases Faculty Expertise

Clouds laden in sunlight float behind an academic building with the words "Joy of Learning, California State University Chico" in the foreground
Digital graphic by Christian Burke

Joy of Learning at Chico State is coming up quick! The fifth annual teach-in is an annual showcase where everyone gets energized and excited about the academic wonders taking place here at Chico State. The event is proudly a part of Wildcat Weekend, which is held every fall semester in early October. Hosted by Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Debra Larson, Joy of Learning spotlights some of the University’s exceptional faculty as they give short presentations on why they are so passionate about their areas of expertise.

This year’s line-up represents the top of their respective fields and stand as some of the best of the best here at Chico State. All of them are excited to share the joy of learning with our campus and greater community this October.

Dr. Celina Phillips

Superheroes in Animal Nutrition

Celina Phillips

Explore the ruminant digestive system with Phillips and learn about these unsung heroes that convert material we cannot utilize into useful products! She is a faculty member in the College of Agriculture and has taught at Chico State since 2005. She earned her PhD from University of Oklahoma, MA from University of Florida, and BA from Chico State.

Dr. Shawn Bates

Pathways to Pleasure: The Neuroscience of Reward

Shawn Bates

Bates will take you on a journey of the brain and show how social environments, levels of stress and risk all play a part in how you take in the joys in life! He is a faculty member in the Psychology Department and has taught at Chico State since 2020. He earned his PhD from Texas A&M University, MA from CSU, San Marcos, and BA from CSU, Long Beach.

Professors April Howell and Kristin Minetti

What Your Professors Can’t Teach You

Kristin Minetti and April Howell

Howell and Minetti discuss ways both students and professors can use different opportunities at Chico State to ensure the college learning experience is maximized! Howell and Minetti are both in the Marketing Department. Howell has taught at Chico State since 2015. She earned her MA and BA from Chico State. Minetti has taught at Chico State since 2015. She earned her MA from Washington State University, and BA from Chico State.

Professor Aaron Draper

From Hieroglyphs to Photographs: A Return to Visual Expression

Aaron Draper

How have advances in technology brought us back to nonverbal forms of expression, ranging from memes and emojis to photographs? Also a commercial photographer, Draper focuses on the fundamentals of photography and visualization in order to better communicate in this ever-evolving environment. Draper is a faculty member in the Media Arts, Design and Technology Department and has taught at Chico State since 2014. He earned his JD from Cal Northern School of Law, and his MA from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, and BA from Chico State.

Dr. Ozgul Yasar

Achieving Big Goals with Small Things

Ozgul Yasar

What is it like being a female engineer in male-dominated profession? What is nanotechnology, and how does it impact our lives and shape our future? Yasar tackles all this and more with her presentation! She is a faculty member in the Mechatronics and Mechanical Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing Department and has taught at Chico State since 2016. She earned her PhD at University of California, Riverside, MA from Norfolk State University, and BA from Erciyes University in Turkey.

Professor Rouben Mohiuddin

Empathy in Design

Rouben Mohiuddin

Empathy is a core principle in design thinking that enables us to understand the people and their contexts we are designing for. In his talk, Mohiuddin applies this principle to his own architectural toolkit in rebuilding Paradise and how rewarding it has been to truly “feel” the impact of such work. He is a faculty member in the Art and Art History Department and has taught at Chico State since 2009. He earned his MA from the Southern California Institute of Architecture and his BA from State University of New York at Buffalo.

Dr. Nadia Korovina

Organic Molecules for a Brighter Future

Nadia Korovina

In today’s modern word, eWaste from our abandoned mobile devices has become a major factor for pollution. However, there are now amazing possibilities utilizing organic and biodegradable electronics, and Korovina’s talk will show you how chemistry could produce such cutting-edge (and recyclable) tech! She is a faculty member in the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department and has taught at Chico State since 2020. She earned her PhD from University of Southern California and BA from Sacramento State.

Joy of Learning 2022 will take place virtually at 9 a.m. on Friday, October 7, right after President Gayle Hutchinson’s kickoff to Wildcat Weekend. You can watch it live on the Chico State Facebook page or on the Chico State livestream page. If you can’t tune in when it airs, the full event will be archived on the Joy of Learning webpage shortly afterward, and it’s also where you can find an archive of prior presentations.

If you know of faculty who have greatly impacted your time here at Chico State, please email to nominate them for a future Joy of Learning presentation!