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  • Monmouth Students March to End Fossil Fuels

    On Sunday Sept. 17, Monmouth students lead by School of Science Associate Dean Catherine Duckett and joined by School of Education professor Ai Kamei marched in New York City to protest the use of fossil fuels and to call attention to the worsening climate crisis. Students from the Marine and Environmental Policy Club and the Outdoors club participated in the march along with friends. School of Science Student Richard Robinson said about the march, ” Being able to participate in the March to End Fossil Fuels was an experience that allowed me to voice my worries and frustrations for the future of our planet. Marching through the streets of New York City alongside my fellow MU peers, chanting with signs in hand made me feel a sense of unified discontent at the effects that fossil fuels have on our personal lives. The small part I played in the march made an impact as without the combined voice of every individual person, there would be no thunderous cry for change.”

  • Faculty Promotions

    Please join us on congratulating the our faculty on their promotions. Drs. Nikita Burrows, Davis Jose, and Francis Valiquette were promoted to Associate Professor this spring. Dr. Bernadette Dunphy was promoted to Senior Specialist Professor.

    Young Black Chemistry Professor Dr. Burrows
    Dr. Nikita L. Burrows

    Dr. Nikita Lauren Burrows specializes in organic chemistry with a focus in chemical education. She completed her Ph.D at Georgia State University (GSU) in the chemical education program after completing her B.Sc. in Biology (minor in Chemistry) at the University of the Bahamas. At GSU she was a Teacher quality fellow in the Bio-bus program as well as a Molecular Basis of Disease(MBD) Fellow. Nikita completed research focused on Project-based laboratory curriculum development, assessment and evaluation.

    Since receiving her Ph.D, Nikita started an active research lab at Monmouth University centered on understanding the student experience in the chemistry laboratory and Alternative Assessments for undergraduate students. To learn more about Nikita’s scholarship see her Google Scholar, ResearchGate or click ‘see scholarship’ below. Nikita has served as a Subject Matter Expert for the American Chemical Society and developed laboratory safety training modules for undergraduates. In addition, Nikita is currently serving as a external evaluator for CURE biology labs at Drexel University under a CAREER grant awarded to Megan Phifer-Rixey.  Outside of scholarship Nikita does consultation and Instructional design for eLearning courses and institutions. In addition, Nikita is very active in the Chemistry Education Research (CER) ACS division and serves on their committee.

    Dr. Bernadette Dunphy

    Dr. Bernadette Dunphy (DPT) started teaching at Monmouth University in 2008. She is currently a full-time faculty member as a Senior Specialist Professor in Biology teaching Anatomy and Physiology and Biology First Year Seminar. Dr. Bernadette Dunphy is Owner, Director, and Clinical Coordinator of Dunphy’s Physical Therapy in Red Bank, New Jersey.  Dr. Dunphy founded Dunphy’s Physical Therapy with her husband, also a physical therapist, in 2007. In their practice, this husband and wife team compassionately provides patients with drug-free pain management and assist to manage debilitating orthopedic and neurological issues.Additionally, Dr. Dunphy is the Director of Pre-Health Advising at Monmouth University. 

    Dr. Dunphy has have been in involved in Pre Health Advising since 2010.   She was on the PHA committee for three years.  She moved on to Co –Director for next two years. For the last eight years, Dr. Dunphy has been Director of Pre Health Advising.

    As a member of the National Association of Advisors for Health Professions and Northeast Association of Advisors for Health Professions, Dr. Dunphy attended yearly conferences to stay current with health professional school guidelines.  This gave pre health students a competitive edge and enabled her to write strong committee letters, which in turn, heightened their chances of acceptance into the graduate program of their choice.

    Dr. Davis Jose

    Dr. Davis Jose specializes in the field of Nucleic Acid Conformations and Protein-Nucleic Acid Interactions. He earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Chemistry from Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala, India. He did his Ph.D. in Biophysical Chemistry at the Max-Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Gottingen, Germany, where he studied the intricacies of Nucleic Acid conformations. Following the completion of his Ph.D., Dr. Jose did a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Oregon with Dr. Peter H. von Hippel. During this period, he investigated the interactions between proteins and nucleic acids, gaining valuable insights into these biological processes that are essential in gene regulation, DNA replication, and cellular signaling. Dr. Jose has published numerous papers in leading scientific journals, shedding light on the complexities of nucleic acid conformation and protein-nucleic acid interactions. Dr. Jose’s passion for research and education led him to an academic career. He currently serves as a dedicated educator at Monmouth University, imparting his knowledge and enthusiasm to the next generation of scientists. With a focus on Organic Chemistry and Biophysical Chemistry, he works to shape the academic pursuits of aspiring students, instilling in them a deep appreciation for the molecular intricacies of life.

    Dr. Francis Valiquette

    Dr. Francis Valiquette earned his Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities in 2009. After two postdoctoral positions at McGill University and Dalhousie University, and five years as an Assistant Professor at SUNY at New Paltz, Dr. Valiquette joined Monmouth University in 2018.  His research focuses on the applications of moving frames in geometry and the theory of differential equations.  At Monmouth University, Dr. Valiquette primarily teaches courses in the calculus sequences from Precalculus to Real Analysis.  To Dr. Valiquette, the most appealing feature of teaching at Monmouth University is the small class sizes and the opportunity to closely interact with students in and outside the classroom.

  • School of Science Welcomes New Faculty

    Dr. Kevin Dillon has returned to the Biology Department as a Lecturer. Dr. Dillon graduated from the School of Science and Honors School at Monmouth University in 2015 with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. After MU, Dr. Dillon attended Rutgers University and earned his Ph.D. in Microbial Biology. After earning his doctorate, he was funded by the National Institutes of Health for his post-doctoral research at Rutgers University. His doctoral and post-doctoral research focused on the diversity and metabolic activity of airborne microbes in indoor and outdoor air. His interests include microbiology, bioinformatics, environmental science, and science education. He is teaching Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology and Microbiology in Health and Disease. Prof. Dillion joins our faculty as a Lecturer in the Biology Department.

    Prof. Jack Giannattasio earned his master’s degrees at Pacific Western University and Monmouth University. He  taught high-school physics and chemistry for 32 years and as an adjunct professor at MU for the past 23 years.  I retired from the NJ public schools in 2022 and asserts “I am fortunate to join Monmouth as a full-time physics faculty member.   Through the Governor’s Teacher recognition program, I was named district teacher of the year in 2002 and county teacher of the year in 2010.  I am passionate about science education and inquiry learning as well as reading and enjoying time outdoors – especially the beach.” Prof. Giannattasio joins our faculty as an instructor in the Chemistry and Physics Department

    Dr. Weihao Qu received his Ph.D of Computer Science from Boston University in 2022, his research interest involves the concept of programming languages, formal verification of programs and logics. He worked at Meta as a research scientist focusing on the application of programming language techniques to guarantee security in Meta’s products. He is interested in teaching logics and programming languages, in particular functional programming languages, and security.  Professor Qu joins our faculty as an Assistant Professor in Computer Science and Software Engineering.

  • Biology’s Dr. Lionetti named the 2023 Distinguished Teacher!

    The 2023 Distinguished Teaching Award recipient is Dr. Kathryn Lionetti, Associate Professor in the Department of Biology, in the School of Science. Dr. Lionetti earned her Bachelor’s in Biological Sciences and Doctorate in Genetics from SUNY at Stony Brook. She has been an educator, mentor, and advisor for the Monmouth University community for over 30 years.

    The Monmouth University Distinguished Teaching Award celebrates and encourages sustained excellence in teaching, with a commitment to providing Monmouth students with a transformative and engaging educational experience that promotes critical thinking and evidence-based pedagogical practices. Dr. Lionetti has taught and undertaken major revisions in teaching both general and applied microbiology for biology majors. When the COVID pandemic forced remote learning , She developed innovative ways to accomplish lab learning outcomes for students taking the General Microbiology (lab and lecture) remotely. Dr. Lionetti published on this work in the prestigious Journal of Microbiology and Biology Education in 2022 “Teaching Microscopy Remotely: Two Engaging Options”.

    We are all very proud to recognize Dr. Lionetti’s accomplishment.

    Enrollment Publications Viewbook
  • Inclusive STEM Teaching

    The School of Science commitment to inclusive teaching was embodied this year as 17 faculty and 2 administrators participated in a faculty learning community dedicated to inclusive teaching. The learning community was supported partially by a grant from the Monmouth Intercultural Center. The community was centered around and online course on inclusive STEM teaching funded by the National Science Foundation on Inclusive STEM teaching and included other meetings for faculty to share their experiences.

    Faculty reported that the course helped them connect with more of their students and be confident in using more inclusive teaching techniques.  The  School of Science also instituted a teaching award for both as single class and  for whole courses or syllabi that had been modified for inclusive and equitable teaching.  Drs. Sean Sterrett of Biology and Nikita Burrows of Chemistry were winners in the entire course category and Dr. Madeline Balman in the single class meeting category.

  • Biology Professor Receives NSF Grant

    The scientific workforce faces two major challenges – how to best mitigate the negative impacts of large-scale global change and how to best train and support a diverse generation of scientists. A collaborative research network of scientists from five universities received a $3.0 million Research and Mentoring for Postbaccalaureates in Biological Sciences (RaMP) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to tackle these broad challenges. 

    Monmouth University is partnering with four other universities to create a postbaccalaureate research and mentoring network integrated within the existing Salamander Population and Adaptation Research Collaboration Network (SPARCnet). The four-year project will be overseen by principal investigator Dr. M. Caitlin Fisher-Reid, an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Bridgewater State University. The co-principal investigators include Dr. David A.W. Miller, Associate Professor at Pennsylvania State University, Dr. Alexa R. Warwick, Outreach Specialist at Michigan State University, Dr. Sean Sterrett, Assistant Professor at Monmouth University, and Dr. Tanya Hawley Matlaga, Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at Susquehanna University.

    The SPARCnet RaMP program will recruit recent college graduates with limited research experiences to participate in a one-year, paid, mentored research position at SPARCnet sites in the eastern United States. Mentors will be trained in mentoring best practices and postbaccalaureate mentees will be trained in a variety of research methods and vital professional development skills. The grant will support 30 postbaccalaureate mentees over three years, preparing them to successfully enter the STEM workforce and postgraduate education programs.

    Postbaccalaureate mentees will join an intellectually and geographically distributed network, SPARCnet, that brings together a diverse group of scientists, educators, university, federal, state, and non-profit partners to use terrestrial salamanders as a model for understanding how species respond to global change.  Each year’s mentee cohort will complete a collaborative core project using the network-wide, 10-year data set on salamander populations, and each individual mentee will complete a tailored independent project with their mentor(s). Not only will the projects expose mentees to basic hypothesis-driven, ecological research, but they will uncover patterns and mechanisms of change and model those changes with aims to impact policy and management. Mentors will also be able to bring their mentoring best practices back to their home institutions to broaden the program’s impact. This grant was one of 10 awarded this year.

  • 15th Annual Summer Research Program Symposium

    On August 10th 25 groups of student researchers presented their faculty sponsored research in the School of Science’s 15th Annual Summer Research Program Symposium. A complete list of the the presenters and abstracts of their projects can be found in the 2023 Summer Research Program Abstract Book.