Content | Navigation |

Introducing the Newest NDSU Assistant Professors

Get to know some facts about the newest NDSU faculty members (check back for updates each week).

Giancarlo Lopez-Martinez / Biological Sciences

What are your primary research and scholarly interests?
I am comparative stress physiologist interested in the short and long-term effects of environmental stress on animal performance, longevity, and immunity.

Where are you from and where did you pursue your education?
I am from San Juan, Puerto Rico and earned my PhD from The Ohio State University.

What excites you about NDSU?
The renowned scientists working on interesting questions. There is impressive expertise at NDSU, like in my home department, that ensures a high level of synergy.

What motivates you?
Understanding the natural world and scientific progress

If you could have coffee/tea with anyone, who would it be?
Jean-Baptiste Lamarck. A french naturalist and early proponent of evolution. His theories were not as accepted as Darwin's and Wallace's but in light of epigenetics his work is very relevant now.

If you could time travel, where would you go?
1492 to my Puerto Rico. If I cannot change history at least I can live through it.

What was your first job?
Veterinary technician, at the time my desired goal was Vet school. Turns out I was always more interested in ticks, mites, and mosquitoes than in dogs and cats.

What does your very best day include?
Baked goods, hot chocolate, rain or snow, my children, and my wife. And maybe off in a corner a recently published paper in Nature or Science!

What’s your favorite quote?
"Failure has a thousand explanations. Success doesn't need one" -Sir Alec Guinness.

Alexey Leontyev / Chemistry

What are your primary research and scholarly interests?
Chemistry education research. I focus on assessment of organic chemistry knowledge, meta-analysis of instructional interventions for chemistry learning, and green chemistry curriculum development.

Where are you from and where did you pursue your education?
I am originally from Russia. I got my Ph.D. in chemistry education from the University of Northern Colorado and my M.S. in organic chemistry from Bowling Green State University.

What excites you about NDSU?
The fact that it is a student-focused, research university. That helps me to select examples that represent research themes of the college for my organic chemistry class.

What motivates you?
Learning and discovering new things.

If you could have coffee/tea with anyone, who would it be?
Myself in 30 years.

If you could time travel, where would you go?
~2500 BC, Egypt. I want to see how exactly the pyramids were built.

What was your first job?
High school chemistry teacher.

What does your very best day include?
Cup of tea and a sense of accomplishment.

What’s your favorite quote?
“Watch your thoughts, they become words; watch your words, they become actions; watch your actions, they become habits; watch your habits, they become character; watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

Xin (Rex) Sun / Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

What are your primary research and scholarly interests?
Precision Agriculture, Artificial Intelligence in Food and Agriculture, and Precision Livestock Production.

Where are you from and where did you pursue your education?
I am originally from China, and attended Nanjing Agricultural University.

What excites you about NDSU?
NDSU is a place where everybody is ready to help you; no matter where you came from the people here at NDSU always treat you like a family member. 

What motivates you?
The people at NDSU, and my family.

If you could have coffee/tea with anyone, who would it be?
Jimmy Fallon, Steve Carell, Mark Wahlberg, Jennifer Lawrence (if my wife allows me)

If you could time travel, where would you go?
Nowhere. I have a new job, I am pretty happy now.

What was your first job?
Lecturer in Nanjing Agricultural University

What does your very best day include?
Parents, Wife, Yellowstone

What’s your favorite quote?
From my advisor: Dr. Eric Berg's office door sticker: "Sometimes, you have to give up on people. Not because you don't care, but because they don't."

Trung Bao Le / Civil Engineering

What are your primary research and scholarly interests?
Hydraulics, Fluid Mechanics, Biofluids, and Multiscale simulation of human physiology.

Where are you from and where did you pursue your education?
I am originally from Vietnam. I got my PhD in 2012 at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities.

What excites you about NDSU?
The ability to pursue multi-disciplinary research with faculty from different departments.

What motivates you?
Saving lives and improving the quality of life for all citizens via engineering solutions

If you could time travel, where would you go?
It is a tough question since my interests are everywhere from Egypt to France, but if I had to nail it down, I would choose Japan. 

What was your first job?
My first paid job was tutoring kids when I was 15. My first unpaid job was selling apples in the farmer market during weekends.

What does your very best day include?
Hiking in State Parks, reading and watching a very good movie

What’s your favorite quote?
"We don't know, we shall never know"

Katie Wissman, Ph.D. / Psychology

What are your primary research and scholarly interests?
My broad program of research focuses on how to enhance student success. In general, I investigate what learning techniques facilitate the long-term maintenance of knowledge and why particular learning techniques help students remember information over extended periods of time.

Where are you from and where did you pursue your education?
I'm originally from Columbus, OH. I earned my B.A. from Kent State University (in Kent, OH) in 2009. I loved it so much that I decided to pursue graduate school there as well, graduating with my Ph.D. from Kent State University in 2016. For the last two years (2016 - 2018), I completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY.

What excites you about NDSU?
The people! Everyone I have come across so far is supportive, friendly, and excited about research.
The resources! I am still wowed by the resources available to me in the Psychology Department.
The collaborative vibe! It's a great feeling to know that there are opportunities to collaborate with people within my department and with people all across campus.

What motivates you?
Thought-provoking questions. In-depth discussions. Learning about other people's research.

If you could have coffee/tea with anyone, who would it be?
Ellen DeGeneres

If you could time travel, where would you go?
To see future me, so that I could assure present me that everything will work out just how it's supposed to in the end.

What was your first job?
An intern at the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio. I worked in the Transportation Department, which often resulted in getting yelled at by truckers who would call to complain about tickets they received while on the road.

What does your very best day include?
Coffee, a fun conversation, playing a game, sunshine, cuddling with my two cats, and wine.

What’s your favorite quote?
Just one? Okay, I'll give two:
"Find out who you are and be that person. Find that truth, live that truth, and everything else will come." - Ellen Degeneres
"Happiness can be found in even the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light" - Albus Dumbledore

Ryan Kota, Ph.D. / Health, Nutrition, and Exercise Sciences

What are your primary research and scholarly interests?
Sport Consumer Involvement, Sport Consumption Behaviors of Ethnic Minority Groups

Where are you from and where did you pursue your education?
I'm from Buffalo, New York and earned my Ph.D. in Sport Management from Florida State University (2018)

What excites you about NDSU?
Collaborative environment within my department, adding to the wealth of quality scholarship, and coming back to a comfortably cold(er) climate.

What motivates you?
I am motivated by knowing I can make a positive difference in the lives of future leaders in the sport industry. 

If you could have coffee/tea with anyone, who would it be?
Hunter Pence (OF - San Francisco Giants)

If you could time travel, where would you go?
Back to the 1970's-1980's so I could experience rock music in person at its finest.

What was your first job?
Stock boy for a local grocery store.

What does your very best day include?
Mountain biking and listening to my favorite tunes.

What’s your favorite quote?
"No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world." - Robin Williams 


Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

Follow NDSU
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • RSS
  • Google Maps

RCA
Phone: 701.231.8045
Physical/delivery address:  1735 NDSU Research Park Drive/Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address:  P.O. Box 6050—Dept. 4000/Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: RCA

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 02, 2018 11:56:21 AM
Privacy Statement