Los Angeles Mission College - Biology

Los Angeles Mission College - Biology

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Los Angeles Mission College

LA Mission College gets $1.3 million to boost biology studies

LOS ANGELES — The National Science Foundation has awarded Los Angeles Mission College a $1.3 million grant to support efforts to increase success rates for biology majors, college officials announced.

Titled “Building Capacity: An Intervention to Improve Success of Biology Majors in Mathematics,” the project seeks to increase success rates for undergraduate biology students by providing them with additional support, such as weekly workshops to help them pass college algebra and trigonometry courses, according to the project’s principal investigator, Dr. Parvaneh Mohammadian, vice chair of Life Sciences at the Sylmar college.

“By making the quantitative aspects of biology more engaging and relevant via academic success workshops, we hope to increase student success and retention rates in college algebra and trigonometry,” Mohammadian said.

“The academic success workshops will facilitate student peer learning designed to increase a sense of community among students.”

The National Science Foundation has awarded Los Angeles Mission College a $1.3 million grant to support efforts to increase success rates for biology majors, college officials announced Thursday.

Titled “Building Capacity: An Intervention to Improve Success of Biology Majors in Mathematics,” the project seeks to increase success rates for undergraduate biology students by providing them with additional support, such as weekly workshops to help them pass college algebra and trigonometry courses, according to the project’s principal investigator, Dr. Parvaneh Mohammadian, vice chair of Life Sciences at the Sylmar college.

“By making the quantitative aspects of biology more engaging and relevant via academic success workshops, we hope to increase student success and retention rates in college algebra and trigonometry,” Mohammadian said. “The academic success workshops will facilitate student peer learning designed to increase a sense of community among students.”

Los Angeles Mission College’s new science and math center wows students, professors

SYLMAR – Professor Bamdad Samii paced back and forth, scribbling a flurry of algebra equations before a new generation of scientists.

His classroom for calculus was new – part of a new Center for Science and Math that opened this week at Los Angeles Mission College in Sylmar.

“We love it,” Samii said, distracted momentarily as the sun cascaded across the desks of 38 students with calculators. Then back to his equations and students.

“We’re interested in how fast things change – how algebra feels,” he continued. “Let’s talk about what you remember about velocity.”

It’s been a dizzying week at the $87 million science and math center, the latest addition to one of the fastest growing campuses in Los Angeles. | See photo gallery.

As the 2012-13 term began, an estimated 2,000 science, technology, engineering and math students flooded into the 99,000-square-foot labyrinth of classrooms and labs on the east campus overlooking the San Gabriel Mountains.

Meanwhile, up to 80 professors scrambled under a deluge of high-tech deliveries, from new centrifuges to advanced Zeiss microscopes.

“I’m tickled pink,” said Stephen Brown, a fifth-year Mission College microbiology professor who’d come in on his day off to sort his goodies. “We couldn’t do organic chemistry before. Now we can.

“We’re now on a par with any science facility across the district.”

The old science and math facilities at L.A. Mission, which opened in 1975, were showing signs of extreme wear, administrators said. Its few classrooms also weren’t keeping up with a surge of students, from 6,000 enrolled in 2005 to 10,000 this semester.

The three-story science center, paid for by voter-approved bonds, now soars 70 feet above the edge of the Pacoima Wash.

Built in two wings linked with a giant atrium to LEED Platinum standards, the center is among the most environmentally advanced buildings in the nation.

It also houses 18 classrooms and a dozen advanced laboratories in physics, general and organic chemistry, anatomy and astronomy. Where the campus once made do with one biology lab, it now sports five.

“It’s a game-changer,” said college President Monte E. P rez. “Now we can offer all the classes necessary for transferring into science, engineering, technology and biomedical careers.”

Across campus rise numerous new buildings paid for by a $6 billion bond building program within the Los Angeles Community College District. They include a new Health, Fitness and Athletic Complex, new Culinary Arts Institute and a $33 million Media Arts Center now under construction.

A $1.5 million Central Energy Plant, to generate 80 percent of campus power, is also in the works.

The community college also just won a $4.3 million federal grant to encourage its mostly minority students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

Par Mohammadian, a biology professor and director of the STEM Program, said the new Center for Math and Science is key for the latest science-math whizzes.

“We love it,” she said, moving between labs containing staphylococcus epidermis bacteria to rats and cats awaiting dissection. “The students love it. The rats and cats … everybody.

“All pre-nurses, pre-med, pre-pharmacy and pre-dentists … we now have the room for enrolling more students.”

Students, seated beneath center solar panels powerful enough to juice 40 homes, were thrilled.

“Awesome,” said Jesus I iguez, 22, of Sylmar, who hopes to study medicine and work with recovering drug addicts. “I’m a science major.

“Coming to this new building, facilities and labs – it’s just beyond amazing. It really helps me do my work.”

Degrees & Courses You Will Take

Review LASC’s Associate in Science in Biology degree and our suggested course of study for this program. Go to LASC’s current Course Catalog for specific course information:

Total Units Required : 60

You can transfer into a four-year college or university taking Biology at LASC. Your first step is to talk with your academic counselor to find out exactly what you will need to do to transfer.

After you successfully complete this program, you will be able to:

  • Apply the scientific method to solve a problem.
  • Solve problems utilizing the major concepts in cell biology and the experimental approaches taken to address them.


Kyle Hanks
Assistant Professor of Biology and Department Co-Chair
Adjunct Professor of Physical Sciences
Contact: Room SC1-113 (925) 473-7689
[email protected]
Kyle earned his BS in Chemistry with a concentration in Biochemistry and MD from Duke University. He joined LMC in 2006 as Adjunct Faculty and has taught coursework in Human Physiology (BioSc45), Human Anatomy (BioSc40), Introduction to Human Anatomy & Physiology (BioSc30), Biology of Health (BioSc5), and Introduction to General, Organic, and Biochemistry (Chem07). He is currently the Course Lead for Human Physiology and Human Anatomy classes. Kyle enjoys helping students prepare for their future careers through teaching to think critically and mentoring. His non-academic interests include international travel, tennis, and outdoor activities.

Jill Bouchard
Assistant Professor of Biology and Department Co-Chair
Contact: Office SC1-118
[email protected]
Jill grew up in Manteca, CA and fell in love with science while in a community college biotechnology program at Foothill College. Later, she earned her B.S. in molecular and cell biology from UC San Diego, and then her PhD in neuroscience from UC San Francisco where she studied the role of the immune system on neurodegenerative diseases. Before coming to LMC full-time she taught biology courses here as an adjunct and at the University of San Francisco. Outside of work, Jill enjoys spending time with her husband and two little ones, Silas and Madi.

Briana McCarthy
Professor, Biological Sciences
Contact: Room SC1-115, (925) 473-7779
[email protected]
Briana hails from Los Angeles, obtained her B.S. In Environmental Systems from UC San Diego, and earned her M.S. In Ecology and Systematic Biology with an emphasis on Biology Education Research from San Francisco State University. She joined the LMC Bio Department in 2014 after working several years at local community colleges and California Academy of Sciences. When she’s not pursuing her main passion (teaching), you can find her in the Bay open water swimming, traveling the world for synchronized swimming competitions, on local trails hiking, and in the kitchen experimenting with different projects that sometimes go according to plan.

Jancy Rickman
Professor of Biology
Contact: Rm: SC1-117, Voicemail: (925) 473-7692,
Mark Lewis
Birthplace: Los Angeles, CA
Came to LMC in 1991
Education: BA Physiology from UC Berkeley
PhD: Biochemistry from UC Berkeley
Non-academic Interest: photography
Contact: Rm: SC 114, Voicemail: (925) 473-7686
E-mail: [email protected]

Denise Speer
Came to LMC in 1990
Education: BS Cal Poly San Luis Obispo UC Davis (DVM)
Non-academic Interest: knitting
Contact: [email protected]

Tess Shideler
Assistant Professor
Contact: Office SC1-120, [email protected]
Tess is originally from Florida where she earned a B.S. in Biology at Florida State University. She has a Ph.D. in cell biology from the University of Colorado, Boulder where she studied endosomes. Tess spent 4 year in Albuquerque, NM doing biomedical research and teaching at the local community college. While making her way across the country she has developed a love of the outdoors including hiking, backpacking, running, snowshoeing and cycling.

James Clark
Assistant Professor
Contact: Office SC1-119, (925) 473-7690
[email protected]
James (Jim) Clark has been teaching since the early 2000s and has worked in Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine (as a Strength and Conditioning Coach and an Athletic Trainer) since the late 1990s. His education includes degrees in Biology (Physiology/Pre-Medical emphasis) with a minor in Psychology (from Loyola Marymount University) with graduate education and advanced degrees in Physical Therapy (from the University of Miami), Education (from Cal Poly Pomona), Integrative and Evolutionary Biology (from the University of Southern California), and Kinesiology/Exercise Physiology (from the University of Connecticut). Prior to coming to LMC, he taught anatomy and physiology courses and did research on: issues of overfatness and the role that various diets and types of exercise have on reversing health issues for individuals who are overfat, endocrinology responses to exercise and the means by which exercise leads to improvements in human performance. Most of his recent projects have been literature reviews that were developed by student derived research questions and is always looking for students that would like to do literature research projects on topics related to health and exercise. Additionally, he consults with a number of athletic programs and individual athletes assisting with the development of exercise programs for sports specific conditioning, and recovery or prevention of sports related injuries.

When he is not working, you will most likely find him at the gym, the golf course, the beach, or hiking and running on the local trails.

James Madden
Assistant Professor
Contact: Office SC1-116, (925) 473-7708
[email protected]
Professor Madden’s path to Los Medanos College (LMC) has been an interesting and winding one. Born and raised in Coney Island, Brooklyn, he eventually left big-city life to earn degrees in Marine Biology (B.S.) and Conservation Biology / Ecology (M.S.) from the Florida Institute of Technology. His early research efforts included population studies of wetland fishes, bottlenose dolphins, and sea turtles. Following a few years as an environmental consultant in South Florida, James decided to focus on education, first as an AmeriCorps member for two years in Austin, Texas, and later as a professor back home at Brooklyn College.

The appeal of science education combined with community service proved too strong, so Professor Madden put college teaching on hold to join the Peace Corps. The United States government sent him to Ecuador to work on sustainable practices with a community of fishermen. He spent a total of four years in the small South American country, using the latter half to protect coastal forests with the Ceiba Foundation and to meet his future wife, Lila! In 2013, James and Lila returned to the United States and have lived in the Bay Area ever since.

Prior to his current assistant professor role, James had maintained connections in science and education through jobs with the California Academy of Sciences (CAS), adjunct teaching at LMC, and the Lindsay Wildlife Experience, where he served as Director of Education. In fact, he still helps the CAS by volunteering with their marine mammal response team. A strong advocate for science education, an ardent conservationist, and a curious fanatic of anatomy, Professor Madden loves being part of the LMC community!

Follow Professor Madden on Instagram: @brooklynbiologist

Jenifer Fay
Senior Science Laboratory Coordinator
Contact: Room SC1-125, (925) 473-7694, Sandhya Bhatnagar
Senior Science Laboratory Coordinator
Contact: Room #221 Brentwood Center, (925) 473-6915
[email protected]
Sandhya did her BS (Biology and Chemistry) and MS in Bio-Chemistry from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India. She worked as a researcher and laboratory manager in Biological Sciences and Engineering division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley for 17 years before joining LMC in 2018. Her research is in radiation and cancer biology and is published in reputed scientific journals. She loves to paint, cook, travel and listen to music in her spare time.

Julie Lucca
Science Laboratory Coordinator
Contact: Room SC1-128, (925) 473-7693
[email protected]
Julie Lucca received her Masters Degree in Food Science and Nutrition and Bachelor of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo as well as studied at Scuola Dante Alighieri in Italy and Chiang Mai University in Thailand. She has volunteered in various international works including the US Peace Corps. Additionally to preparing and coordinating biology, health, and ecology courses she is a Nutritionist, promoting health through local and plant based diets as a way to prevent premature morbidity and mortality. She is an advocate for education and preventative medicine with the goal of higher quality of living. She has published works in the health benefits of moderate alcohol consumption. Julie comes from the California bay area where she enjoys dance, yoga, gardening, and music.

Taliha Pasaoglu, PhD
Adjunct Instructor
Contact: [email protected]
I was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey where the East meets the West. Istanbul, the ancient city literally sits on both the Asian and the European Continents. I began my education in Molecular Biology and Genetics at Bogazici University in Istanbul. Bogazici University is one of the best Universities in Turkey and I spent the most challenging years of my life there. I had earned a Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering at the same school and came to San Diego to present my work at a conference. That’s where I met with my Ph.D. mentor, who was working at a University in Puerto Rico. After spending five years on that beautiful island studying Neuroscience at the Universidad Central del Caribe, I moved to the Bay Area. Since 2016, I have been teaching at various Colleges and Universities, doing what I love, teaching and supporting my students in any way I can. In my free time (if I have any!), I enjoy camping, hiking, gardening and joining local mushroom forays.

Department of Biology

At Whittier College, I learned how biology is connected to every aspect of life and how it can lead me to unlimited opportunities.

My inquisitive mind is what drew me to study biology, which is constantly changing as groundbreaking discoveries challenge old facts and revolutionize the field. The human body is an amazing, complex, perfect system that we have just scratched the surface of understanding.

Pursuing a liberal arts degree allowed me to discover how biology intertwines with all subjects, from the arts to political science. The more I studied the human body and living organisms, the more my mind flourished as I made connections with the world around us. Like a soul mate, I felt an instant connection with and love for the field.

I am fascinated by how one subject–the study of life–examines the basis of human existence, and as such, opens a door to unlimited career opportunities, from improving soil health in agriculture, to passing environmental protection laws, to developing novel therapeutics that target cancerous cells.

Studying biology at Whittier has given me a strong foundation for my future career in healthcare, but it also allowed me to be mentored by inspiring professors who fostered my devotion to medicine. I am excited for the future and will face it with hopeful eyes, a bold mindset, and a passionate heart.

Los Angeles Mission College - Biology

For Help: Connect with the Counseling Center.

For Help: with class selection, connect with the Counseling Center.

For Help: with class registration, connect with the Welcome Center.

For Help: with paying for classes, connect with Financial Aid.

  • Schedule a counseling appointment at Counseling or email [email protected]
  • Access completed educational plan in My Mission Portal.>View Tutorial Video.

For Help: Connect with the Counseling Center

Note: Priority Registration can be earned through completion of Steps two, three and five. See Student Success and Support site for details.

Have Questions?

Contact Us
What You Need to Know

Summer Starts: June 7. Fall Starts: August 28

What You Need to Know Mission: Forward Plan for 2021 Fall/Summer Library PC Access, Wi-Fi, and Quiet Study Space Laptop loan program Emergency assistance funding for students Consider taking these classes How to take an online class Summer Starts: June 7. Fall Starts: August 28


Mission College
3000 Mission College Blvd
Santa Clara, CA 95054-

Studying Biology at Oxy

Biology is a rapidly expanding, multifaceted discipline, full of possibilities for undergraduate research and for stimulating graduate study and employment after graduation.

Our Mission Statement

As students progress from introductory courses through core courses, advanced electives, and mentored research in the liberal arts setting, they learn how to critically assess a scientific problem, collect and analyze data, write and speak about biology for general and technical audiences, and gain the skills needed for a competitive and rapidly changing job market.

What Sets Oxy Bio Apart

In their first year, students who take our unique core class, the California Environmental Semester, discover quickly that the unparalleled natural resources of Southern California offer numerous opportunities for students to conduct outdoor research. In the Biology Department at Occidental College, many undergraduate students participate in high quality mentored research with faculty members who are active scholars who publish papers and make an impact on their fields. Student research occurs both through upper-division research credits and through the college’s award-winning summer research program, which provides a stipend, housing, and research funds to participating students.

In our nationally recognized marine program, students take part in oceanic research on local coastal reefs and kelp forests with Dr. Dan Pondella, explore the mysterious life in the depths of the ocean with Dr. Shana Goffredi and Dr. Gary Martin, and study the lives of venomous cone snails with Dr. Joseph Schultz. Our soon-to-be-established Genomics Center will unite new DNA sequencing technologies with museum specimens from our world-renowned biodiversity collections including the largest collection of Mexican bird in the world curated by Dr. John McCormack and a stunning collection of shells curated by Dr. Schultz.

International opportunities for field research abound, including studying the physiology of tropical epiphytes with Dr. Gretchen North and the natural history of rainforests with Dr. Beth Braker in Costa Rica. Closer to home, our strong program in cell and molecular biology, with Dr. Renee Baran (developmental neurobiology), Dr. Cheryl Okumura (microbiology and bacterial infections), Dr. Roberta Pollock (immunology and bacterial diseases), and Dr. Kerry Thompson (degenerative neurological diseases and stem cell therapy), in addition to Dr. Goffredi and Dr. Schulz, provides students with research opportunities using state-of-the-art techniques to ask fundamental questions that prepare them for careers in research and medicine.

The Biology Department is deeply committed to interdisciplinary connections between the many different fields of biology and with disciplines outside of biology, as reflected in our involvement in the Biochemistry major and the Computer Science, Neuroscience, and Public Health minors.

Mentorship in the Department

Mark Gad ’18 came to Oxy knowing that science was his wheelhouse. As a sophomore, he took Vertebrate Physiology with associate professor of biology Joseph Schulz, who studies venomous cone snails. Gad “really enjoyed” the class, he recalls, and was eager to learn more about Schulz’s work: “That’s why I wanted to join his lab.”

Transferring Your Science Course Credits

Before registering, confirm that your course will be accepted for transfer by your receiving institution. SCU cannot guarantee the transferability of credits, as that policy is set by the receiving institutions. Your receiving institution may require that you submit the course syllabus or course description from SCU. You can download the syllabus from each course webpage.

Students have sent SCU Accelerated Sciences transcripts to over 350 institutions. The following is a sample list of institutions to which students have sent transcripts in the past.

Watch the video: Bio lab at Los Angeles Mission College (January 2023).