Meet the Center for Science and Math Education Community

Faculty in Residence

Tendai Chitwere

I am originally from Zimbabwe and grew up in the mountainous region between Zimbabwe and Mozambique—the Vumba Mountains and Chimanimani National Park. The Eastern Highlands of Mutare is where the plateau of Zimbabwe meets the mountains that runs along the Eastern edge of the African continent.  From an early age I gained an appreciation of the natural environment and was fascinated by the geology and fauna that surrounded me. I moved to the East Coast of the United States in the mid-1980s and went to school at the State University of New York at Oneonta where I studied mathematics and physics until I discovered its applications outdoors in the form of water resources and geology. I loved learning about other cultures and minored in anthropology. After graduating, I pursued a Master’s in Agriculture Engineering at Cornell University. As my love of STEM and commitment to social justice and environmentalism grew, I became interested not only in how humans impacted the environment, but how human behavior held the key to social and ecological change. A doctorate in Environmental Anthropology from Binghamton University (State University of New York) allowed me to examine questions of development, social justice, and the environment in great detail. 

I’m currently a professor of geography & environment at San Francisco State University. Where I am broadly interested in the intersection of environmentalism, community, and justice. My work focuses on individual, neighborhood, and government responses to social and
environmental degradation and builds on my early research of ecological cohousing

My research is in the interdisciplinary ethnographic study of sustainable communities. I am broadly interested in all forms of emerging green communities, including co-housing eco-villages, eco-cities, green cities, and transition towns. As a political ecologist, I explore the relationship between structures of power and the natural environment. Specifically, I'm interested in individual and neighborhood responses to social and environmental degradation and how these responses reflect lifestyle choices, social capital, and access to power. My work questions the compatibility between green consumption and capitalism, and examines ways to make equity and justice matter in the search for a sustainable way to live. As an applied environmental anthropologist, my work is grounded in ethnography with strong interest in mixed research design that supports participatory community-based research.

My Sustainable Communities and Local Environments (SCALES) Lab includes various urban sustainability project from urban agriculture in Oakland, California (Eating the Front Yard) to Anchoring Out in Sausalito, California, to an examination of sustainable communities in Europe, and specifically in Berlin, Germany.


Kim Coble

Kim Coble (aka “AstroKim”) is a recent transplant to the Bay Area, after living in Chicago for more than two decades and growing up on the east coast, in Columbia, MD. She is a Professor of Physics and  Astronomy at SFSU,  with  expertise  in physics  and  astronomy  education  researchand extensive  experience  teaching  reformed introductory physics  and  astronomy  classes. Her research centers on understanding students’ ideas about modern topics in science(such  as cosmology, her former path in life), recognizing the strengths that diverse learners bring to the classroom and to STEM professions, and creating innovative, active learning environments that engage  students  in  realistic  scientific  practices. She is  currently  the  chair  ofthe Education Committee  of  the  American  Astronomical  Society(AAS) and serves  on the  Committee  for  the Status  of  Minorities  in  Astronomy.  She was  a  member  of the  AAS  Task  Force  on Diversityand Inclusion  in  Graduate  Astronomy  Education,  served  on the  Committee  on  Diversityof the American  Association  of  Physics  Teachers  (AAPT)and  was  an  organizer  of  the  Inclusive Astronomy  2015 conference. At  SFSU she  is the  director  for  the  Learning  Assistant  program,a member  of  the  Faculty  Agents  of  Change, as  well  asa  faculty  collaborator  for  the  Center  for Science and Math Education.She was formerly a Professor at Chicago State University, anNSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Fellow, and obtained her PhDfrom the University of Chicago and Bachelor’s from the University of Pennsylvania.

Physics and Astronomy Department:

Adrienne Cool

I grew up partly in a small town in New York state and partly in Geneva, Switzerland.  My family moved to New York City when I was high school. I don't remember thinking too much about what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I always loved math and I also loved teaching.  So I think I always assumed I'd be a teacher.  I also enjoyed hanging around my father's lab--he was an experimental physicist--and building things in the lab's machine shop.
I joined the faculty at SF State in 1996.  I've been teaching astronomy classes ever since and using space-borne observatories to study ancient star clusters in the Milky Way with my students.  I also direct the SFSU planetarium and Observatory facilities and, with CSME's support, have been working on improving the pathway to K-12 teaching for physics and astronomy students.  In 2016, again with CSME's support, I teamed up with College of Education professor Isabel Quita to design and co-teach a STEM HOUSE course in space science for future K-12 teachers.
Web page: http://www.physics.sfsu/~cool
Department url:
Office: 416 Thornton Hall, Mondays 1-2 pm or by appointment
Phone: (415) 338-6450

Jessica Fielder

Jessica grew up in Orange County and moved to the Bay Area for college. Inspired by her high school chemistry teacher, she originally wanted to study chemistry before falling in love with astronomy in general and black holes specifically. She came to SFSU for a Master's degree in Physics in 2004 and had the life-changing experience of teaching astronomy in a planetarium for the first time. Jessica stayed on at SFSU as a lecturer in physics and astronomy, and now splits her time between teaching and running the Supplemental Instruction program in the College of Science and Engineering.
Office: Trailer P, (415)-405-0540
Office Hours: Thursdays 2-4 in Trailer P-4

Larry Horvath

Larry Horvath was born in Marin County California and spent his elementary years moving around the Bay Area - with stints in Texas and Ohio - before settling in Novato, CA for Middle and High School. As an undergraduate, he attended UC Davis majoring in Zoology with a dream to research primate behavior emulating his idol, Jane Goodall. After interning at the California Primate Research Center, he decided to pursue a career teaching science. He earned his single subject life science credential at Sonoma State University in 1986 and went on to teach middle school and high school Biology and Chemistry for seven years in California and six years internationally – three in Rome and three in Istanbul. Along the way he earned his MA in secondary Education at San Francisco State University (SFSU). After returning to the US in 2000, he completed his Ph.D. in Science Education at UC Davis and joined the faculty at SFSU in 2007 where he is currently an Associate Professor in Secondary Education and the Associate Director of the Center for Science and Math Education. Dr. Horvath teaches the single subject science methods course, is PI on two NSF grants, Co-PI on three more, a founding member of the APLU supported Collaborative around Research Experiences for Teachers (CARET), and an education workshop leader for the STEM Teachers as Researchers (STAR) program directed by Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. His research focuses on teaching through inquiry and the impact of teacher preparation on STEM teacher retention, persistence, and student achievement in high needs/hard to staff urban schools. In his spare time he likes to hike and mountain bike, spend time with family and friends, and spoil his two cats - Mollie and Neema.

David Klein

I'm a Bay Area native, born in San Francisco and mostly raised in the East Bay. After getting my undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley, I enrolled in the graduate Math program at SF State in 2012. It was at SF State that I first encountered the San Francisco Math Circle. The SF Math Circle's focus on making math engaging and fun by emphasizing creative exploration and problem solving really resonated with me. I've been an instructor with the SF Math Circle since 2013, and I took on a larger administrative role as the Associate Director of the organization in 2019.
SF Math Circle website:
Office: Trailer P

Eric Lewis

Eric Lewis is a National Board Certified Teacher in San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) who prepares middle school science teachers to enact SFUSD’s Science Core Curriculum. Eric started his career over 20 year ago teaching at Mission High School in SFUSD where he taught Biology, Physiology, Health Careers, and Earth Sciences. In recent years, Eric has been in charge of the National Board Certification Support Program in SFUSD and was the high school science content specialist for SFUSD. Eric is on the Community Advisory Panel for KQED, has been a region director for CSTA, and has been a Mentor Teacher with the Exploratorium’s Teacher Institute. Eric’s passions are ensuring that teachers are treated as professionals, promoting rigorous and engaging science for all students, going on great hikes, reading, and spending time with his family.

Isabel Quita

Growing up in the Philippines in a family of educators, I never wanted to become one myself. At an early age, all I wanted was to travel and explore the beauty of nature. However, opportunities to travel were hard to come by when schooling was my main focus. I completed B.S. Food and Nutrition and later got a K-6 Teaching Credential and became a school teacher for 17 years. A chance to travel to Japan and be part of a Teacher Scholarship Program came by, so I grabbed the opportunity; there I completed a thesis in International Education. Upon returning back to the Philippines, I continued teaching while pursuing Graduate Studies in Elementary Education, minor in Biology at the University of the Philippines. I was also accepted to the Education Doctoral Program at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign and this started my pursuit to become a science educator. After graduation, I became a science methods instructor at the College of St. Rose, Albany, NY and an adjunct lecturer at SUNY-Oneonta for several years. An opportunity opened up at SFSU and since 1999 I have been teaching K-6 Science Curriculum & Instruction in the Department of Elementary Education and mentoring/supervising student teachers in SF Bay Area schools. I have collaborated with the Department of Geosciences and co-taught GEOL 309 for several semesters in the past. Since fall 2015 I got involved with CSME as faculty of their STEM House
grant to co-teach with Dr. Adrienne Cool an astronomy-education emphasis for undergrads – EED 655 – Hands-On Undergraduate Science Education Experience. I speak Tagalog, Japanese and Spanish. I am enjoying this journey with colleagues, students, and the entire campus-community.
Department of Elementary Education
Office: 172 Burk Hall
Phone: (415)338-3416


Kim Seashore

I grew up on the east coast, in Washington, D.C. and Bethel, Maine. From an early age, I knew that I loved math and people, so I decided in 7th grade that I wanted to be a math teacher. I majored in math with a minor in teaching and then moved to California in 1993 to teach at the Urban School of San Francisco. After 5 years teaching at Urban and another year at Gateway High School, I went to work at Lawrence Hall of Science. As staff in  ACCESS Mathematics program and co-director of the Bay Area Mathematics Project, I was able to work with a wide range of teachers throughout the Bay Area to enact more activity based and student centered approaches to math teaching grades K-12.  In 2005, I came to SFSU as a masters student in the math department.  My experiences here and at LHS led me to pursue a PhD in mathematics education through the SESAME program at University of California, Berkeley.  In 2015, I joined the math department at SFSU as an assistant professor, where I teach undergraduate students in both mathand math education courses, and advise masters students in math teaching and mathematics education projects.  I also convene a research group, Mathematics Education Research Group for Equity (MERGE), to investigate issues of K-16 mathematics teaching and teacher education.
Math Department Website:
MERGE Website:
Office phone: 410-338-7719
Office hours: Thornton Hall 925, Tu 3:30-4:30, Th 1:00-2:00

Hao Yue

Hao Yue grew up in China. He wanted to be a statesman when he grew up. He received his Ph.D. degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of Florida in 2015. He came to SF State in 2015. He is now an Assistant Professor in the Computer Science Department. His work focuses on K-12 CS education, including K-12 CS teacher preparation and professional development, curriculum development, and the development and implementation of CS supplementary authorization program.
Department page url:
Office location: TH930
Phone: 415-338-2289
Hours: T and Th, 3:30-4:30PM (change every semester)

Maria Zavala

Maria is the daughter of Peruvian immigrants, who moved all over the United States and finally settled in the San Francisco Bay Area. Though originally fascinated with dinosaur bones and paleontology, Maria ultimately studied mathematics at the University of California Santa Cruz, where she also played water polo. Maria taught in a variety of settings in K-12 in the years before and while she completed her PhD in Education at the University of Washington Seattle, with an emphasis on the Learning Sciences and Mathematics Education. She joined the faculty at SF State in Fall 2012. At SF State, she teaches courses related to teaching mathematics, learning theories, and bilingual education. Her research focuses on culturally responsive and sustaining mathematics pedagogies, mathematics identities of traditionally marginalized youth, and teaching mathematics for social justice.

Teachers in Residence

Maya Cook

I was born and raised in San Francisco and did a fair share of growing up in Los Angeles as well. As a child, I wanted to be a lawyer or work in Marketing.  Math was always my most comfortable subject because I experienced its value and use outside of school at a practical level early on. I started tutoring shortly after highschool and decided to change my career path to education. I have been a 6th Grade Math Teacher at Aptos Middle School for five years. I received my both my B.A and Teaching Credential from San Francisco State University.  I am on the pathway to completingmy Master of Arts in Secondary Education in Spring 2020. I am also a CSME Teacher in Residence. Please take the opportunity to explore the many programs and services that are provided by CSME. It's a great way to meet others that share similar academic goals and find a support network to persevere through challenging times.