Urban and Regional Transformation

The Central Valley

About Us

The Urban and Regional Transformation (URT) cohort at California State University, Fresno is a diverse group of faculty members who work as a team to develop research and strategies that support urban and regional transformation in the San Joaquin Valley and beyond. This group approaches the issues surrounding regional and urban change from a number of perspectives that overlap and complement each other in unique ways. The URT cohort includes faculty members with expertise in the areas of agricultural business, communication, computer science, economics, entrepreneurship, and urban and regional planning.


The mission of the URT cohort is to integrate and utilize the expertise of Faculty members at the California State University, Fresno to improve understanding of, and provide innovative responses to, urban and regional issues in the San Joaquin Valley. The cohort pursues its mission by (1) conducting interdisciplinary research that produces knowledge which contributes to meeting urban and regional challenges in the Valley and beyond; (2) collaborating with and providing service to local communities; and (3) training students in relevant fields with the ability to serve the transformation of the Valley.

Cohort Activities

Please visit our Cohort Activities page to see what activities our members have been involved in.

Cohort Members

Hongwei Dong, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Geography
Expertise: Smart growth, transportation and land use, urban spatial structure
Email: hdong@csufresno.edu;  Phone: 559-278-2890

Mike Dozier
Executive Director, the Office of Community and Economic Development               Email: mdozier@csufresno.edu;  Phone: 559-294-6027            

J. Andrew Hansz, Ph.D., CFA,MAI
Expertise area: Real estate economics and finance
Email: hansz@gazarian.info;  Phone: 559-325-4732

Cui Lin, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Computer Science
Expertise: Cloud computing, big data analysis and scientific workflow management.
Email: clin@csufresno.edu;  Phone: 559-278-4635

Eric Liguori, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship
Expertise: Entrepreneurship, local business climate, entrepreneurial ecosystems
Email: eliguori@csufresno.edu;  Phone: 559-278-4566

David Vera, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Economics
Expertise: Macroeconomics, applied econometrics
Email: dvera@csufresno.edu;  Phone: 559-278-4935

Pei Xu, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Agriculture Business
Expertise: agribusiness management, behavioral economics, food products marketing
Email: pxu@csufresno.edu;  Phone: 559-278-4566

Rachel Audino
Government Affairs Manager
Office of Community and Economic Development
Email: raudino@csufresno.edu;  Phone: 559-347-3908

Jason Waters
Community and Regional Planning Center Director
Email: jwaters@csufresno.edu;  Phone: 559-347-3908

Jennifer Randles, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Sociology
Expertise: family, marriage, gender, welfare and family policy, qualitative methodologies.
Email: jrandles@csufresno.edu;  Phone: 559-278-5146

Qin Fan, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Economics
Expertise: environmental economics, regional economics, applied econometrics, climate Change
Email: qfan@csufresno.edu;  Phone: 559-278-4931

Rosa Toro, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology
Expertise: Examination of the influence of contexts on children's development with an implicit focus in immigrant children and families.
Email: rtoro@csufresno.edu;  Phone: 559-278-4061

Sarah Whitley, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Sociology
Email: swhitley@csufresno.edu;  Phone: 559-278-2275

Wei Wu, Ph.D., LEED AP BD+C
Assistant Professor, Construction Management Program
Expertise: Building Information Modeling (BIM), Energy Performance Analysis, Design Visualization and Simulation, Green Building and Sustainable Construction, Construction Informatics, Construction Education
Email: weiwu@csufresno.edu;  Phone: 559-278-6011

Alicia Iriberri, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Expertise: Business Process Integration with Enterprise Systems, Business Activity Monitoring with Business Intelligence Systems, Knowledge Discovery with Text and Data Mining, Information Systems Evaluation with User Studies
Email: airiberri@csufresno.edu;  Phone: 559-278-4852