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Agricultural Business & Technology Institute

Meet the Staff

Zahi K. Atallah, Ph.D. Dean of Advanced Technology

Born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon.  He was heavily involved in fruit tree (table grapes, apricot, peach), row crops (corn, sugar beet and wheat) and vegetable (potato) agriculture.  He studied agricultural engineering in his undergraduate at the Holy Spirit University, Lebanon.  Subsequently, he specialized in Plant Pathology for his MSc at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, and then in his PhD at Washington State University, Pullman WA.  Between 2003 and 2011, he worked as a vegetable plant pathology scientist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and University of California-Davis.  His areas of expertise are population genetics, disease epidemiology and fungal molecular biology.  He joined Hartnell College as dean of Advance Technology in January 2011, where he oversees the instruction and facilities at the Alisal campus.

Steven Triano, Agriculture Instructor

Dr. Triano has been an agricultural genetics researcher in academia and industry since 1989. He earned a B.S. in Biology from CSU Chico, and Ph.D. in Genetics from UC Davis. His primary research has focused on plant breeding and genetics with other projects in post-harvest physiology, production systems, manufacturing systems (especially modified atmosphere packaging), nutrition, and control systems technology. Dr. Triano joined the Hartnell faculty in Spring 2007 as a professor of Agriculture and Biology.

Ko Cooper - Ag & Industrial Technology Instructor

Ko Cooper graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a M.S degree in agriculture. Ko has worked as teacher, dean and vice principal at King City High School, and currently is teaching mechanized agriculture classes at Hartnell College.

Val Rodriguez - Diesel Technology Instructor

Val Rodriguez has a combination of 20 years of education and extensive experience in the area of heavy diesel equipment and automotive technology. Val obtained his AA degree in General Education at Hartnell College and completed coursework at UC Berkeley and San Jose State University in adult learning and education. Val has had comprehensive training and education to be certified in the following areas: air conditioning and refrigeration, BAR Certified Trainer for the smog check program, certified in hybrid and advance technologies vehicles, ASE master Technician in Heavy/Medium Duty Diesel and Automotive Technologies, Federal Certification in Commercial Refrigeration