Faculty and Staff


Barbara Gastel, MD, MPH

Director of STJR

Barbara Gastel is professor of veterinary integrative biosciences and of humanities in medicine at Texas A&M University, where she directs the MS program in science and technology journalism. She has an MD and a master’s degree in public health from Johns Hopkins University, and she did an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) mass media fellowship at Newsweek. Dr. Gastel is the lead author of the most recent editions of How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper. She also has published other books, including Health Writer’s Handbook. Her interests include the international communication of science, and she has given many courses and workshops overseas. Dr. Gastel has received awards from the American Medical Writers Association and the Council of Science Editors, and she is a fellow of AAAS. Her teaching includes the courses VIBS 655 (Preparing Scientific Papers and Presentations), VIBS 660 (Reporting Science and Technology), VIBS 663 (Biomedical Reporting), VIBS 664 (Risk and Crisis Reporting), and VIBS 665 (Science Editing). Feel free to contact Dr. Gastel.


Yasha Hartberg, PhD

Associate Director of STJR
Instructional Assistant Professor

Yasha Hartberg is an instructional assistant professor of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences at Texas A&M University. He received his BS and MS in Biochemistry at Texas A&M University and then obtained his PhD in Biology from Binghamton University in 2016. His research expertise is in cultural evolution, focusing on how cultural inheritance systems affect behavior. Dr. Hartberg teaches the courses of Issues in Science and Technology Journalism (VIBS 657), Research Methods in Science and Technology Journalism (VIBS 691), and Preparing Scientific Papers and Presentations (VIBS 655).


Kristina Agan, BS

Program Coordinator

Mrs. Kristina Agan is an experienced staff member at Texas A&M University. Mrs. Agan has her Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Texas A&M University, graduating Magna Cum Laude. Mrs. Agan joined as the Program Coordinator of the Science and Technology Journalism master’s program. Mrs. Agan also provides support as the Program Coordinator both Veterinary Public Health and Epidemiology (VPHE) graduate programs. Mrs. Agan has a long standing history of serving both the educational needs of students and higher education administration roles through positions at Texas A&M University and Johns Hopkins University. Her most recent position was as the Senior Administrative Coordinator for the Biomedical Sciences Undergraduate Program.


Michelle S. Yeoman, MS

Affiliate Faculty

Michelle Yeoman is a faculty member at Texas A&M University in the biology department, where she teaches writing-intensive courses for undergraduate students. She earned a master’s degree in biology in 2012, focusing on molecular genetics, and then a master’s degree in science and technology journalism in 2014. She is also a doctoral candidate in cultural medical anthropology at Texas A&M, with an expected graduation date of spring 2024. Each semester, Michelle supervises and mentors the STJR graduate students assigned to help with her course sections. She also serves as STJR social events co-coordinator, in which she helps organize events meant to strengthen the social connections within the STJR community.