Faculty Biographies


Najla Abrao Profile Pic

Najla Abrao - Statistics and Math

Najla Abrao is a stats and math teacher here at Chabot College.  She started her college journey at Diablo Valley College and then completed her undergraduate and graduate work at UC Davis.  Go Aggies!   Abrao spent the first seventeen years of her teaching career as a high school teacher in San Francisco.  She began teaching math at night school for Skyline College and realized community college was where she wanted to be.  Abrao says her time at DVC has always held a special place in her heart and coming to teach at Chabot College has felt a lot like coming home.  Even if you don’t have a math or stats question, Abrao invites students to please come on by to tell her your thoughts on Westeros, Tatooine, or Wakanda - her three favorite movie universes…not necessarily in that order.

Frederick Bauzon Profile Pic

Dr. Fred Bauzon - Biology

Dr. Fred Bauzon teaches Biol10 Intro to the Science of Biology and Biol31 Intro to College Biology at Chabot College.  He initially started his college career at Chabot College and fell in love with science when he enrolled in the Bridges to the Baccalaureate program.  He finished a BS at UC Davis and enrolled in additional classes before starting the graduate program at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine for Molecular and Cancer Biology.  Bauzon has over 20 years experience in molecular biology, microbiology, and genetics along with biotechnology experience.  He has published a number of peer reviewed research papers but his focus is on promoting science education, serving as a science fair judge or running hand washing exhibits at elementary schools. Bauzon also has experience in mentoring students towards degrees in research, medicine, nursing, public health, clinical laboratory sciences and many health care fields.  He has mentored undergraduate and graduate level students developing research programs.  On a personal note, Bauzon has a wife and two sons, coaches little league, and promotes science education.


Laura Coronado - Biology

Since 2007, Laura Coronado has been a Microbiology Professor at Chabot College. She began her education at Las Positas and Chabot College. Coronado earned a Bachelor's degree in Biology at the California State University of Sacramento and followed by a biomedical program at Drexel University. Coronado earned a Master’s Degree in Public Health at Columbia University. During her education, she worked as a Nursing Assistant specializing in surgical oncology and Hospice. Coronado was accepted to participate with The American Cancer Society’s Cancer Control Efforts through the Collaborative Evaluation Fellows Project. She also participated in The Institute for Diversity Health Management and The Greater New York Hospital Association Summer Enrichment Program located at the Metropolitan Hospital in Spanish Harlem. She wrote a Master's essay, “Health Issues Affecting Mexican Immigrants in New York City.” Coronado’s education at Columbia University focused on her passion of addressing health disparities in multicultural (Latino, African American and Asian) populations. She has blended her knowledge of biomedical sciences and public health to develop a comprehensive understanding of both the environmental, social and biological aspects of health status effecting multicultural populations. After graduate school, Coronado worked with The Consortium for Worker Education training staff at Lincoln Hospital, located in the South Bronx. In 2001, Coronado began working with the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Civil Rights and currently serves as the Regional Language, Health Disparities and Olmstead Coordinator. She also works on settling cases involving potential violations of HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules. Coronado volunteers with the UCSF Community Advisory Board to address cancer inequalities and health disparities. Since 2007, Coronado has instructed several courses at Laney College including; biology, nutrition, and human sexuality.


Dr. Hung Dinh - Math

Hung Dinh attended UC Berkeley from 1979 - 1989, obtaining a BA, MS and Ph.D. there, all in Mathematics. He also managed to squeeze in  an MS in Engineering Mechanics from UT Austin during that period. After college, he was  an Assistant Professor of Mathematics at Purdue University in Indiana and Macalester College in Minnesota. He has published research in operator theory in mathematics and finite element analysis in engineering. Bored of the Midwest winter, he decided to come back to sunny California and has been at Chabot as an adjunct since 2001.

Mahnaz Firouzi Profile Pic

Dr. Mahnaz Firouzi - Chemistry

Dr. Mahnaz Firouzi holds BS, MS and PhD degrees in Chemical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology, and University of Southern California, respectively. Moreover, she has three years of postdoctoral research at Stanford University and two years of research associate experience at Stanford University in the Department of Energy Resources Engineering on understanding advanced fluid transport, separation and adsorption in porous media for different applications such as carbon capture and storage in geological formation. In 2012 Mahnaz received her award at the 2nd annual Stanford University Postdoctoral Association Research Symposium that honors and highlights outstanding innovative research conducted by more than 1900 postdoctoral researchers at Stanford.  Previously, Mahnaz worked as a process engineer in oil and gas industries for four years. Since 2015, Mahnaz is a Director at Large in American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Northern California Region. Mahnaz lives with her husband and her two daughters (Dina 10, and Elena 6) in East Bay.

Mera Horne Profile Pic

Dr. Mera Horne - Engineering

Mera Horne was born and raised in Cairo, Egypt in North Africa. She came to the United States in 1991 daring to dream of obtaining a PhD degree in engineering, and even a bigger dream of working for NASA. Starting out as a community college student Horne pursued her mechanical engineering degree taking a couple of classes at a semester while working full-time. Mera had her small business, CAD Pro Technical Services, providing drafting and 3D modeling for various engineering disciplines from 1996 to 2006. The long term experience in the technical field enriched Mera’s knowledge of the engineering filed as a whole. In 2007 Horne was accepted and transferred to UC Berkeley for a Mechanical Engineering degree and in May 2009 Horne obtained her Bachelor of Science degree (BS). In 2010 Horne applied to and was accepted in the graduate program in Mechanical Engineering also at UC Berkeley. In December 2012 Horne obtained her Master of Science degree (MS) and in December 2015, she obtained a PhD. After first semester at UC Berkeley as an undergrad in 2007, Horne was awarded an internship at NASA Ames Research Center as an engineering intern, and she never left. With a great interest in space science, Horne worked on Mars exploration research projects at NASA Ames Research Center - Space Science Division for the last ten years with the Chief Scientist, Dr. Chris McKay. Horne’s doctoral research focused on investigating ultrasonic drilling mechanisms as a means to extract Martian rock core samples to be returned to Earth and analyzed for possible past and current life existence on Mars.

Horne completed her postdoctoral research after she had been awarded a NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP) Fellowship at the NASA Ames Research Center. The NASA Postdoctoral Program is extremely selective, and this Fellowship was offered to her in recognition of her highly ranked academic and scientific achievement. Horne was working in collaboration with Dr. Chris McKay who was serving as her research advisor. Her research focused on designing and developing prototypes of sample acquisition probes to collect samples form extraterrestrial bodies, such as Europa, to be analyzed for possible life existence. Horne authored a peer-reviewed paper and it was published in Acta Astronautica Journal based on the design of the thermal probe and it was accepted on October 8th, 2017. Currently, Horne is the lead Mechanical Engineer in Research and Development at NASA Ames Research Center.

Horne is also deeply passionate about education. Although a PhD graduate is a professor by default, Horne declared “STEM Education” as a minor field of her PhD program to deepen her knowledge about issues our minority students face in the STEM fields. Equipped with the knowledge she obtained in her doctoral program, the love she has as a mother for our minority students, and the passion she has for science and engineering, Horne is eager to mentor, lead, and inspire our young generation. Education is a “calling” for Horne and not only a profession!

Megan Jensen Profile Pic

Megan Jensen - Biology

Megan Jensen is an adjunct professor teaching introductory biology lecture and lab courses at a variety of community colleges throughout the Bay Area, including Chabot College, Ohlone College and Laney College. After earning her Biotechnology Certificate and M.S. in Biology at CSUEB, Jensen helped to develop and coordinate a STEM initiative called the Hands On Science Teaching (HOST) Labs to encourage more undergraduates to pursue science teaching careers. She has a B.A. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from UC Santa Cruz. In addition, she has an M.S. in Teacher Education with an emphasis in Curriculum Design. She began her teaching career working as a middle school math and science teacher in Oakland public schools and continues to work with new science teachers in credentialing classes to share best practices in science pedagogy at Alliant International University and Bay Area Teaching Training Institute. 

Dhruv Joshi Profile Pic

Dhruv Joshi - Chemistry

Dhruv Joshi teaches Chemistry 1A, General College Chemistry I; Chemistry 30A and 30B, Intro to Applied Chemistry I and II; and Chemistry 31, Intro to College Chemistry.  Joshi is very enthusiastic about chemistry.  He invites student to come and sit with him in the STEM Center to work through chemistry concepts.  


Jacob Schlegel - Chemistry

Jacob Schlegel earned a BS with Distinction in chemistry from The Ohio State University and a PhD in physical chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. He's been teaching chemistry professionally in the Bay Area since before he graduated from Berkeley.




Keith Mehl-Computer Science

Keith has been teaching computer science at the college level for 25 years.  He was formerly a software engineer in industry for 14 years.  He has programmed software for retail hardware stores and home centers.  He is a chess master, once ranked 600th in the country and his other hobbies include bridge, poker, and reading, especially science, science fiction and military history books.  Keith welcomes students to come speak with him regarding what can be done with a computer science degree, what to expect in job interviews, and what to do in order to transfer and to succeed afterwards. 



Nick Alexander-Physics

Dr. Nicolas V. Alexander has been a lifelong nerd and exhibited manifestations of scientific curiosity early on, one of them being a fascination with very large numbers. That particular interest revealed itself in a few strange “waking dreams”, which he experienced as a pre-teen when he imagined the uncountable, large number of atoms comprising everything he saw as he stumbled around the house in a state of panic and tried to shake off this ubiquitous reality. 

The reality of the infinitesimal, essential to calculus, hit him like a ton of bricks and drove him to try to understand a little more about himself and his reactions to the world around him.

And what better way to get inspired and satisfied with such new knowledge than by majoring in psychology in college, a preference which gave him sound information on the relationship between the environment and emotions, which in turn were said to be part of a complex mix of processes in human cells.

A child of the sixties and a “Panther Cub", he soon chose pre-medicine to satisfy his curiosity, to actualize his social commitment to help the poor and to learn more about mathematics, chemistry and physics, subjects which soon took on a life of their own.

In particular, chemistry (1) helped demystify his nightmares about infinity and made them less daunting by introducing moles and concentrations and (2) tamed an interest in large numbers that had previously driven him batty.

He finally chose physics.  At a high point in his scientific work, large but manageable numbers were inherent in a graduate school position at Stanford involving an investigation of the curious behavior of small metal particles in a dielectric  (non-conducting ) matrix.

Small metal particles, made of copper or gold say, resonate if an incident electromagnetic field causes oscillations at the particles' natural frequency.  The easiest analogy is that of a child on a swing undergoing oscillations in a play yard. When the child is pushed at the swing’s natural frequency, a large amplitude occurs as the pusher feeds energy into the system in an optimal way.

In our research at Stanford on thin films of metallic particles, there were two resonant  peaks. One of them was due to a metal particle resonating in the optical range, the other in the near infrared that defied explanation until my advisor and I came up with a novel idea:  When the fraction of metal particles was larger, there were regions of islands of non-conducting dielectric embedded in a sea of metal.  These objects experienced resonance in the infrared range (1 to 5 microns in wavelength).

We explained that this inversion into another set of resonating objects – dielectric  spheres surrounded by metal – was clearly responsible for the long-wavelength peak defining infrared detectors used in everything from war making to arms control.

The applications of resonances in small metal particles has really taken off since the advent of nanotechnology, using particles measured on a scale of billionths of a meter. These particles are comparable in size to those in my Stanford research. This great video explains the principle of resonances in nanosized metallic particles akin to those in my own research but includes a larger range of wavelengths relative to  the particle diameter: https://youtu.be/eVpxn5Cw6YM. In my Stanford research, we assumed the particle diameter was always much, much smaller than the radiation wavelength, and we thus assumed that the particles behaved like simple dipoles.

Selective absorption is a huge area, as indicated by the following scholarly article explaining that enhanced resonance absorption by small metal particles increases the photocurrent in photodetectors and diodes, and improves the performance of photovoltaic batteries central to a new economy relatively free of carbon-producing fossil fuels: http://bit.ly/2PB4hgp

Needless to say,  N.V. Alexander, an unrepentant investigator, has had and continues to harbor other interests, including media and radio broadcasting with an emphasis on science and politics, as well as other alternative forms of “making it plain” to an audience such as in college teaching, currently his main source of income.