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Bailey College of Science and Mathematics

Enhancing lives through learning, discovery and innovation

Website Update

Dean's Leadership Council: Bailey College

The Bailey College of Science and Mathematics is fortunate to have dedicated alumni, industry partners and friends offering their knowledgeable perspectives and collegial support. Dean Wendt has invited select members to join the Bailey College Dean’s Leadership Council (DLC) to help the college stay relevant, equitable, nimble, innovative and impactful.

These leaders generously give their time and invaluable expertise in regular meetings with the dean. Their ideas, recommendations and engagement greatly contribute to the college's ability to achieve its mission and provide world-class research opportunities, an exceptional Learn by Doing education and a welcoming environment for each Bailey College student.


      Dean E. Wendt
Dean Wendt
Dean, Bailey College of
Science and Mathematics

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learn more about Dean.

Cal Poly, ’89
B.S., Biological Sciences

M.A. Biology, Harvard University
Ph.D. Biology, Harvard University


In 1989, Dean arrived at Cal Poly as a first-generation transfer student from the Sacramento area. After completing his undergraduate education in Cal Poly’s then College of Science and Mathematics, he went on to earn an M.A. and Ph.D. at Harvard University.


Dean returned to Cal Poly as a biological sciences professor in 2002. Before his appointment as dean of the College of Science and Mathematics in 2017, Dean served as an associate dean for the college, dean of Cal Poly’s Office of Research and director or the Center for Coastal Marine Sciences.


Dean continues to advise research students in the Wendt Lab, with his research and advising focused on physiology and ecology of marine invertebrate animals and marine conservation.

      Peggy Burhenn
Peggy Burhenn
Clinical Nurse Specialist,
City of Hope

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learn more about Peggy.

B.S., Nursing / M.S., Nursing

University of Illinois-Chicago


Peggy Burhenn is a Clinical Nurse Specialist specializing in geriatric oncology, most recently retired from the City of Hope’s Center for Cancer and Aging in Duarte, California. She received her B.S. and her M.S in Nursing from the University of Illinois in Chicago. She is a licensed RN and holds certificates in Oncology Nursing, Advanced Oncology Nursing, and Gerontological Nursing.


She was a co-investigator for a National Institutes of Health (NIH) R25 grant, and principal investigator and co-investigator on other studies. In her previous roles, Peggy was involved in education, research and care management of the older adult with cancer. Her focus has been to teach healthcare professionals about caring for the older adult with cancer. Her professional work, including over 20 peer-reviewed articles, focused on a diversity of gero-oncology issues such as: geriatric assessment, delirium, sleep promotion, fall prevention, cognition, pain in the older adult and guided imagery. She has received multiple awards for her work and in 2022 was awarded the Mara Mogensen Flaherty Memorial Lectureship at the annual Oncology Nursing Society Congress.


During the COVID pandemic she volunteered as a nurse performing testing and vaccination support for the county health department.


Currently, in retirement Peggy has transferred her education skills into roles in the natural world. As a certified California Naturalist, Master Gardener for San Luis Obispo County, an ambassador for the Xerces Society of Invertebrate Conservation, a docent at the California State Parks, a member of the California Native Plant Society, and the Audubon Society she gives talks and leads nature walks.


She resides on the Central Coast of California with her husband, one very lucky black cat adopted from the Cal Poly Cat Program, and more ground squirrels than you can count.


Peggy's Focus for the DLC:

Is to bring the perspective of the health care professional to the council as the Bailey College supports students in the pre-health fields.

    Michelle Caruana
Michelle Caruana
Founder & President,
HANA Resources

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learn more about Michelle.

Cal Poly, ’92
B.S., Ecology & Systematic Biology / CER Technical Communication


Michelle Caruana founded Natures Image ( in 1995 and is a successful landscape construction firm specializing in native habitat restoration and invasive species removal. In 2017, HANA Resources ( was founded to provide environmental services. HANA’s services provide solutions for environmental concerns including planning, permitting, biological, resource and ecological challenges.


Currently, Michelle is developing patented environmental technology for software development in her latest company EcoAnalytics (


Michelle’s focus for the DLC:

My focus on the council is to provide business insight and support for Cal Poly students and staff. 

      Megan Evans
Megan Evans
Director & Actuary,

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learn more about Megan.

Cal Poly, ’11
B.S., Statitics & Mathematics,


Megan Evans graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 2011 with a B.S. in Mathematics and Statistics. She was born, raised and is currently living in Orange County, California. Megan pursued a career as an actuary right out of college and has worked at Pacific Life in Newport Beach ever since. She has worked in multiple areas within the company over the past 12 years, including life insurance product design, annuity product design and annuity valuation. Megan currently works in the company’s product analytics team on the annuity side of the business. In 2020, she received her Fellowship of the Society of Actuaries (FSA). In her spare time, Megan enjoys being a cat-foster-mom and doing DIY projects on her 1930s era home in Santa Ana.


Megan’s focus for the DLC:

To be a voice for math and statistics students in industry and promote the actuarial profession.

      Chris Finley
Chris Finley
Edison High School, Fresno, CA

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learn more about Chris.

Cal Poly, ’93
B.S., Mechanical Engineering


Chris Finley is a high school physics, mathematics, restorative justice, and dual-enrollment teacher at Edison High School in Fresno, California. He graduated from Cal Poly in 1993 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. He had many academic interests and engineering just happened to be his fall back.


While at Cal Poly, he was a member of the Society of Black Engineers and Scientists and the Associate Student Body Speakers Forum. He attributes these organizations as the catalyst for becoming an advocate for bringing diversity and equity to education. He participated in discussions with then Cal Poly President Warren Baker and in student rallies directed at the academic senate, with the goal of bringing ethnic studies to Cal Poly.


Upon graduation, Chris was hired as the first MESA (Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement) Director at COS (College of the Sequoias). As director, he was responsible for running the tutorial center and providing academic counseling and support for underrepresented students pursuing degrees in math, science and engineering. While working at COS, he decided to enter the field of teaching. He felt that he would have the biggest impact in the classroom. He has taught all levels of mathematics, as well as drafting, mechanical drawing, architecture, Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) and Restorative Justice, which focuses on building community within the school. He has been a speaker and presenter at various high schools, colleges, and teacher development conferences.


Chris is the proud father of two children.


Chris' focus for the DLC:

"As a member of the DLC, I want to use my knowledge and expertise to address problems that will arise within our work, with an equity lens that focuses on diversity and inclusion. I believe that the path forward lies in our ability to harness talents from diverse human groups.”


“There is only one race and its human, everything else is culture.”
~ Eracism Foundation

      Jeffrey R. Jasper
Jeffrey Jasper

Senior Vice President, Research,
Terns Pharmaceuticals

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learn more about Jeff.

Cal Poly, ’84
B.S., Chemistry

Ph.D., Pharmacology, UC San Diego
Postdoctoral Research Fellow,
Stanford University


Jeff has decades of experience in the bio-pharmaceutical industry including positions at Merck, Roche, Theravance and Cytokinetics. He has expertise in molecular pharmacology, in vivo pharmacology and translational research with industrial experience that includes leadership of discovery, preclinical and clinical development projects. Jeff contributed to five discovery programs that yielded FDA-approved medicines.


Jeff is a co-founder of Altos Therapeutics developing gastrointestinal therapeutics (acquired by Takeda Pharmaceuticals in March 2017). His academic activities include more than 18 years as member of the Editorial Board for the American Journal of Physiology: Cell Physiology and 12 years instructing the “Molecular Pharmacology” course for the University of California, Berkeley Extension. Jeff has published over 50 peer-reviewed scientific articles. He completed his bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, his Ph.D. in pharmacology at UCSD and his postdoctoral training at Stanford University.


Jeff’s focus for the DLC:

“I aim to better understand issues facing the Bailey College of Science and Mathematics and provide my perspective as a professional in the healthcare industry, and as a graduate of the university. It is a privilege to assist the council in providing input on the evolving needs of employers and the community, and to consider the corresponding university programs and curricula that equitably prepare students for success following graduation.”

      Herb Lara
Herb Lara
Director, Contracts & Pricing
Strategy – US Value & Access,
General Medicine,

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learn more about Herb.

Cal Poly, ’99
B.S., Biochemistry

MBA, Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Business


Herb has more than 20 years of biotech and biopharma experience.  During16 years at Amgen, he has worked in multiple functions including Finance, Sales, Value Marketing and Strategic Planning. Herb’s therapeutic area experience across Amgen’s broad portfolio includes respiratory, inflammation and nephrology.


Herb currently works in U.S. Value & Access General Medicine as the TEZSPIRE Access Strategy Lead.  n this role, he is responsible for leading the strategy for payer coverage, provider contracting and pricing strategies for Amgen’s first respiratory biologic in collaboration with partners at AstraZeneca.


Prior to joining Amgen, Herb worked at Genentech manufacturing and Abgenix process development, both focused on monoclonal antibody purification. 


Herb is a graduate of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo (B.S., Biochemistry), and of Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Business (MBA).


One of Herb’s passions is to mentor students who’d like to understand the multiple options for career paths, even those that may seem “non-traditional.”


Herb and his family relocated to St. Louis, Missouri, in 2022, where he’s adjusting to “lake life” and sorely missing “beach life.”.

      Joan Pinder
Joan Pinder
Executive Director

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learn more about Joan.

Cal Poly, ’79


Joan Pinder is a 1979 graduate of Cal Poly with a B.S. in chemistry. She is retired from the disk drive industry, last serving as the Executive Director of IDEMA, the industry trade association.


She did a specialization in Polymer Chemistry during a year long study abroad program at University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. Professor Dane Jones was her senior project advisor on Cell Casting of Polymethyl Methacrylate, one of the first polymer senior projects in the college.


Joan also serves Cal Poly on the Western Coatings Technology Center Industry Advisory Council and represents the Bailey College of Science and Mathematics on the Alumni Association Board.


Joan is an avid traveler and enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, bike riding and skiing.


Joan’s focus on the DLC:

“As a Leadership Council member, I would like to help integrate alumni back into the college and find meaningful ways for them to engage with the Bailey College.” .

      Kelly Seither
Kelly Seither
Vice President, Global Strategic
Marketing and New Product
Planning, Alexza

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learn more about Kelly.

Cal Poly, ’89
Biological Sciences


Kelly has spent 30+ years in the pharmaceutical industry, mainly in small to mid-size pharma companies, in various commercially-oriented positions, including:  market research, public relations, sales, marketing, new product planning and product ideation — with the last 15 years in product development capacities, leading cross-functional teams in drug development efforts to maximize value to patients, other customers and the enterprise.


Kelly’s focus on the DLC:

“In my role on the DLC, I would like to promote activities and efforts in Bailey College students with a broad understanding of career development paths, particularly in the pharmaceutical and medical devices industries; as well as to promote among Bailey College students a broad appreciation of skills and foundational knowledge that make them valuable and effective in roles that can positively impact and improve people’s lives.”

      Jeanne Stone
Jeanne Stone
Coordinator, edTPA (Educative
Teacher Performance
UC Irvine

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learn more about Jeanne.

Cal Poly, ’78
Liberal Studies

MAed, Cal State Long Beach


Jeanne Stone graduated from Cal Poly with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Liberal Studies, also earning her California Teaching Credential. She received a Master of Arts Degree in Education from California State University Long Beach, also earning a California Education Administrative Credential. Jeanne taught elementary methods courses to future teachers and served as edTPA Coordinator for all credential programs in the University of California Irvine School of Education for 25 years. Prior to joining the faculty at UCI, Jeanne taught grades two through five and served as the Language Arts Specialist in Santa Ana Unified School District. Jeanne continues to serve as a consultant for the National edTPA (Teacher Performance Assessment) having previously served as Lead Trainer nationally.


Jeanne is a proud Cal Poly alum and parent. She and her husband Ken, who met in the dorms, have been actively involved in supporting Cal Poly for over 40 years. All three of Jeanne and Ken’s sons also attended Cal Poly, during which time Jeanne served on the Parent’s Advisory Council.


Jeanne’s focus on the DLC:

Jeanne shares her focus on the Dean’s Leadership Council as being a steward and supporter of the Liberal Studies program, encouraging future teacher candidates.


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