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College of Social Sciences

About the Dean


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. Yoshiko Takahashi

Dr. Yoshiko Takahashi was appointed interim associate dean of the College of Social Sciences in August 2019. Takahashi holds an M.S. in Criminal Justice and a Ph.D. in Public Policy from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Prior to joining the Dean’s Office, she taught a variety of courses at Fresno State including victimology, family violence, juvenile delinquency, statistics, and research methods as faculty of the Department of Criminology.

Takahashi has extensive experience in accreditation issues, having served as the Criminology assessment coordinator and the College of Social Sciences assessment coordinator. Recently, she released a report with the Office of Institutional Effectiveness on Hmong American student success and previously wrote a report on Southeast Asian American student success. She has served on a number of community, national, and international boards, including the World Society of Victimology (WSV) and Central California Asian Pacific Women (CCAPW). She is a previous president of Fresno State’s Asian Faculty and Staff Association (AFSA).

As a victimologist, Takahashi has studied crime victimization in Asian communities and crime and victimization in rural areas. Her recent publications include a book with colleague Dr. Chadley James titled Victimology and Victim Assistance: Advocacy, Intervention, and Restoration.