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Names in the News

Nouri named UCCE orchard systems advisor for San Joaquin County

Mohamed Nouri

Mohamed Nouri joined UC Cooperative Extension on July 1, 2019, as an orchard systems advisor serving San Joaquin County. Nouri will address production and pest management issues in walnuts and sweet cherries, as well as apples, oil olives, and several smaller-acreage crops. Because San Joaquin County is the statewide leader in both cherry and walnut production, Nouri will become a regional and statewide leader within ANR for these crops. 

Prior to joining ANR, Nouri worked for UC Davis as a graduate student and postdoctoral researcher at the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center from 2015 to 2019. Working closely with UCCE specialists, UCCE farm advisors, pest control advisers and farmers, Nouri studied fungal diseases of major fruit and nut crops, including olive, pistachio, sweet cherry, citrus, almond and grape. He oversaw the plant disease diagnostic services for perennial fruit and nut crops in California and management tasks for the laboratory.

Conducting his research in California, Nouri earned a Ph.D. in plant pathology from University of Tunis El Manar, where he also earned an M.S. in microbiology and plant pathology and a B.S. in life and earth sciences. Nouri is fluent in Arabic and French. 

Nouri is based in Stockton and can be reached at (209) 953-6115 and mnouri@ucanr.edu.

Matias joins UCCE as nutrition specialist

Susana Matias

Susana Matias joined UC Cooperative Extension on July 1, 2019, as an assistant specialist in the UC Berkeley Department of Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology. She has several years of experience in public health nutrition and a profile that blends nutrition, epidemiology and psychology. Her research interests include maternal and child nutrition, immigrant health, food security, obesity and diabetes prevention, and nutritional and behavioral interventions. Her extension efforts focus on promoting healthy nutrition at the regional and local levels, and on expanding the role of nutrition within the delivery of primary care. 

Prior to joining UCCE, Matias was a research scientist at the California Department of Public Health and a specialist at UC San Francisco. From 2013 to 2018, she worked as an assistant project scientist at the UC Davis Department of Nutrition. Matias, who is fluent in Spanish, has authored an extensive list of scientific papers and technical reports.

She earned a Ph.D. in epidemiology with designated emphasis in international and community nutrition from UC Davis. She holds a M.A. in educational psychology and a B.A. in psychology from Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.

Matias is based in Morgan Hall at UC Berkeley, and can be reached at (510) 642-0980 and slmatias@berkeley.edu.

Eftekhari named chief of staff to VP

Kathy Eftekhari

Kathy Eftekhari joined UC ANR as the vice president's new chief of staff on Aug. 19, 2019. 

As chief of staff, Eftekhari will provide leadership and managerial support to the division and will be a member of the UC ANR Core Leadership Team. Her professional experience includes more than 25 years successfully managing programmatic, financial and human resource operations within higher education, and in private and nonprofit organizations across the U.S. and abroad. She has considerable experience in economic and community development.  

Eftekhari comes to UC ANR from the Strategy and Program Management Office at the UC Office of the President, where she has served as a senior organizational consultant for the past six years. In this role, she was responsible for the development and facilitation of the UCOP strategic planning process and has also successfully led a number of UCOP and systemwide initiatives. Co-facilitating UC ANR's strategic planning process in 2016, she became familiar with UC ANR's high-level goals and challenges.   

She holds a B.A. in liberal studies, an M.A. in educational administration, and a Ph.D. in education with an emphasis on research and policy analysis, all from UC Berkeley.

Eftekhari is based in room 10204 at UCOP and can be reached at (510) 987-0980 and Kathy.Eftekhari@ucop.edu

Sapeta named director of Facilities Planning and Management 

Bart Sapeta

Bartlomiej (Bart) Sapeta joined UC ANR as director of Facilities Planning and Management Aug. 7. In this role, he will work with ANR units such as the Research Extension Centers and other ANR-owned and leased facilities across the state to plan and execute maintenance and capital renewal work.

Sapeta is a licensed architect and a former project manager with over a decade of experience in design, renovation, repurposing, master planning, historic preservation of buildings for civic, community, and education markets. 

Most recently, Sapeta was a city councilor for the City of Keene, NH, and a tenured associate professor of architecture at Keene State College. He also served as a client representative on several capital improvement projects for Keene State, and has extensive experience in design and building.

Sapeta earned his M.A. in historic preservation from Plymouth State University, Plymouth, NH, Master of Architecture and Engineering from Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, Wroclaw, Poland, and Bachelor of Architecture from Drury University, Springfield, Mo.

In his role as director of Facilities Planning and Management, Sapeta will report to Tu Tran, AVP for Business Operations, and with appropriate delegation of authority will be the appointed Building Official for the Division. 

Sapeta is based in the ANR Building in Davis and can be reached at (530) 750-1292 or bksapeta@ucanr.edu

Freutel joins CalNat in Southern California

Eliot Freutel

Eliot Freutel joined the California Naturalist Program as a community education specialist on March 12, 2019, to advance new and continuing CalNat programs in Southern California.

Freutel has extensive experience working in marine environments as an outdoor education instructor. Prior to joining UC ANR, he was an educator and climate resilience coordinator for the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. In that capacity, he developed two community outreach programs focused on bringing climate resilience strategies to underserved community members. For over 10 years, he worked on Catalina Island with the Long Beach Marine Institute as an outdoor education instructor, teaching students about the ecology of the island.

He earned his B.A. in translation and interpretation for Spanish and English at California State University Long Beach. He is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, a shark and marine ecology expert, and happiest when he is outdoors or underwater.

Freutel is based in the UCCE office in Alhambra and can be reached at (626) 586-1985 and etfreutel@ucanr.edu.

Ferguson named ASHS president-elect

Louise Ferguson. Photo by John Stumbos

Louise Ferguson, UC Cooperative Extension pomology specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, is the new president-elect of the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS), a professional academic society.

Ferguson's research and extension work is in fruit and nut trees, including pistachios, olives, figs, citrus and other subtropical fruit crops. She works with Cooperative Extension farm advisors and growers throughout California to establish research and outreach programs that support the fruit and nut industry. Among her many accomplishments, she is also a core faculty member in the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation program.

Acclaimed for her international agricultural development work in Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, and Pakistan, Ferguson is also recognized as an international leader in knowledge extension related to fruit tree crop production in many countries around the world.

Her appointment began in July at the ASHS annual conference in Las Vegas. Following the upcoming year as president-elect, board member and executive committee member, Ferguson will serve for a year as ASHS President, and a third year as chair of the ASHS Board of Directors. – Ann Filmer

 

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