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College of Social Sciences

About the Dean

Dean Elizabeth Lowham

Dr. Elizabeth A. Lowham is a public policy scholar with expertise in the areas of leadership and management, analysis, and organizational development. After earning a B.A. in Geology from Carleton College, and a M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Colorado, Boulder, Dr. Lowham started as an Assistant Professor of Political Science at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. From 2007 through 2022, Dr. Lowham held various administrative leadership positions, including director of the Masters of Public Policy program, founding director of the Center for Expressive Technologies, director of the Interdisciplinary Studies Major, director of the Science, Technology and Society Program, interim assistant chair of Electrical Engineering, and chair of Political Science. Since 2019, Dr. Lowham served as the interim dean of graduate education; as well as the Administrator in Charge for the division of Research, Economic Development and Graduate Education starting in March 2021. She was appointed Dean of the College of Social Sciences at Fresno State in June 2022.

Dr. Lowham has received the Harold D. Lasswell Prize from the Society of Policy Sciences, the Cal Poly Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award, as well as college awards for teaching and service. Dr. Lowham’s scholarly publications and funded research in public policy focus on how we collaborate, how we use information to achieve better policy outcomes, and span areas ranging from mental health, cybersecurity, K-12 education, the scholarship of teaching and learning, environmental policy, and terrorism. 

Over the course of her career, Dr. Lowham has developed a reputation for holistic program building, inclusive decision making, student and faculty support, stakeholder facilitation, and data-informed decision making. She looks forward to working with the college’s faculty, staff, and students to create communities committed to justice, civic responsibility, diversity, and service across the Central Valley and the state of California. 

 Interim Associate Dean

Dr. Jennifer Randles, Interim Associate Dean

Dr. Jennifer Randles is a sociologist with expertise in the areas of families, parenting, childhood, poverty policy, and gender, race, and class inequalities. She has a B.A. in sociology and political science from Austin College in Sherman, Texas and an M.A. and Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Randles started at Fresno State as an Assistant Professor of Sociology in 2013. From 2019 to 2023, she served as Sociology Department Chair and Chair of the University Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects, the Fresno State IRB. Dr. Randles has received awards for teaching, advising, and research. She is the author of Proposing Prosperity: Marriage Education Policy and Inequality in America (Columbia University Press, 2017), Essential Dads: The Inequalities and Politics of Fathering (University of California Press, 2020), and numerous articles and book chapters on family policies and social programs for low-income parents.