Natural Science Department Faculty

School of Arts & Sciences

Natural Science Faculty

Pictured above are the men and women who make up the faculty and staff of the Department of Natural Science.

Dr. Steven Maier, Chair

Dr. Steve MaierAssociate Professor of Physics
Chair, Department of Natural Science

Phone: (580) 327 - 8562
Fax: (580) 327 - 8556
Email: sjmaier@nwosu.edu
Office: SC 107-B
Laboratory: SC 108 and SC 110
Address: 709 Oklahoma Blvd.
Alva, OK 73717

Curriculum Vitae


Education:

  • Ph.D. OU (Norman, OK) Science Education
  • M.S. OSU (Stillwater, OK) Physics
  • B.S. SLU (Canton, NY) Physics and Education 

Courses Taught:

  • PHSC 3114: Earth & Space Science
  • PHSC 1114: General Physical Science
  • PHSC 1044: Physics by Inquiry
  • PHYS 1114/1214: General Physics I & II
  • PHYS 2114/2124: Physics I & II
  • BIOL 4162: Teaching Methods
  • BIOL/CHEM/PHYS 3011: Science Fair Judging

Research/Scholarly Interests:

  • K - 16 Science Education (for science and non-science majors)
  • Physics Education Research
  • Science Teacher Education
  • STEM Outreach/Informal Education

Career Highlights:

  • 2020 Physics Education Research Conference co-organizer
  • Physics & Everyday Thinking (PET) Faculty Online Learning Community (FOLC) cluster leader
  • Solo Physics Education Research (PER) community organizer
  • Heartland BEST Robotics co-director
  • Northwest Oklahoma Regional Science Fair co-director
  • Teachers of Physics and Physical Science (ToPPS) grant funding/PI 2011-2015
  • John Barton Award for distinguished teaching and service 2011
  • University of Oklahoma Rainbolt College of Education Convocation Speaker 2008

Hobbies:

  • Fishing
  • Traveling/Camping
  • Collecting sands
  • Model rocketry
  • Milling about in lab

Dr. Cornelia Mihai

Dr. Cornelia MihaiProfessor of Organic Chemistry

Phone: (580) 327-8559
Fax: (580) 327-8556
Office: Science Building 100-A
E-Mail: cmihai@nwosu.edu

Curriculum Vitae


Education

  • PhD, Medicinal Chemistry, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, August 2001
  • MS in Chemistry, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, 1996
  • BS in Chemical Engineering, Polytechnic Institute of Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania, 1981

Courses Taught:

  • CHEM 1105 Chemistry for Non-Majors
  • CHEM X114 Organic Chemistry I & II
  • BIOL/CHEM 4143 Biochemistry
  • BIOL/CHEM 4152 Biochemistry Lab
  • CHEM 4125Advanced Organic Chemistry
  • CHEM 4153 Medicinal Chemistry
  • CHEM 4480 Chemistry Seminar

Research/Scholarly Interests:

  • Research at the interface of  Organic and Medicinal Chemistry
  • Drug discovery
  • Serving as an academic advisor for undergraduate students in areas of Chemistry

Career Highlights:

  • More than 10 years research experience (3 years post-doctoral and 10 years pre-doctoral).
  • Proven record in Synthetic Medicinal Chemistry, Bioorganic Chemistry, Mechanistic and Synthetic Enzymology and Analytical Chemistry.
  • Proficiency in design, synthesis and characterization of organic compounds using classical and modern analytical techniques.
  • In-depth knowledge of enzymes purification, enzyme characterization, enzyme kinetics, enzyme inhibition and assay development using different biochemical and biophysical techniques.
  • Demonstrated skills in management of chemical and biochemical laboratories.
  • Supervisory and training experience in an academic R&D setting.
  • More than 14 years diverse teaching experience.
  • Grants writing skills.

Hobbies:

  • Science fiction movies
  • New age music
  • Traveling

Dr. Venkata Moorthy

Professor of BiologyVenkata Moorthy

Phone: (580) 327-8565
Fax: (580) 327-8556
Office: SC 201C
E-Mail: vmmoorthy@nwosu.edu

 


Education:

  • PhD - Mycorrhizal Interactions, University of Oklahoma 
  • MS – Botany, University of Mysore, India
  • BS - Botany, Zoology and Chemistry, St. Philomena’s College - affiliated to Mysore University, India

Experience:

  • 12.5 years teaching experience at St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore, India
  • 4.5 years of teaching experience at University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma
  • 23 years of teaching experience at Northwestern Oklahoma State University, Alva, Oklahoma

Courses Taught:

  • BIOL 3315 Microbiology
  • BIOL 4115 Pathogenic Microbiology and Immunology
  • BIOL 4323 Immunology
  • BIOL 4213 Virology
  • BIOL 4233 Human Parasitology
  • BIOL 4273 Mycology
  • BIOL 4470 Independent Study
  • BIOL 3352 Genetics Lab
  • BIOL 3174 Plant Physiology
  • BIOL 4214 Ecology
  • BIOL 1124 Botany
  • BIOL 4021 Senior Seminar
  • BIOL 4001 Junior Seminar

Research/Scholarly Interests:

  • Mycorrhizal Fungi-Plant interactions
  • Bacteria and Human interactions

Career Highlights:

  • Educators Leadership Academy; Outstanding professors Academy Award: 2008-2009
  • John Barton Distinguished teaching and Service Award: 2009
  • Oklahoma Higher Education Excellence in Teaching Award(NESU): 2010

Family Information:

Spouse: Sudha Moorthy, Director at Tiny steps Montessori Preschool, Alva, Oklahoma

Daughter: Dr. Ganga Moorthy, Pediatrician at Duke Medical Center, Durham NC

Son: Gagan Moorthy, Senior at University of Oklahoma

Hobbies:

  • Gardening
  • Yoga
  • Traveling

Favorite Quote:

“Study without thinking is worthless; thinking without study is dangerous” – Confucius.

Motto I Live By:

“But better to be hurt by the truth than comforted with a Lie” - Khaled Hosseini

Dr. Piper Robida

Dr. Piper RobidaAssistant Professor of Biology

Phone: (580) 327-8563
Office: Science Building 100-D
E-Mail: parobida@nwosu.edu


 

Education:

  • Ph.D., University of South Carolina School of Medicine (Biomedical Science) 2017
  • B.S., Metropolitan State College of Denver (Biology) 2011

Experience:

  • 2018-2019   Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biology, North Central College
  • 2017-2019   Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine, Department of Allergy and Immunology
  • 2012-2017   Teaching Assistant, University of South Carolina, Department of Biological Sciences

Courses Taught:

  • Human Anatomy (BIOL 3184)
  • Human Physiology (BIOL 3194)
  • Cell & Molecular Biology (BIOL 3363)
  • Pathophysiology (BIOL 4503)

Research/Scholarly Interests:

  • Mast cell biology
  • Allergy and Immunology
  • Atopic dermatitis

Career Highlights:

  • American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, Travel Scholarship (2019)
  • Southeastern Regional Lipid Conference, Travel Scholarship (2016)
  • SC-INBRE Bioinformatics Pilot Project Grant – Co-PI (2014)
  • Rocky Mountain Branch – American Society of Microbiologists, Presentation Award (2012)

Hobbies:

  • Cooking
  • Homesteading
  • Traveling
  • Outdoor activities

Dr. Aaron J. Place

Dr. Aaron PlaceProfessor of Biology

Phone: (580) 327 - 8673
Fax: (580) 327 - 8556
Email: ajplace@nwosu.edu
Office: Science 201A


Education:

  • Ph.D., Oklahoma State University (Zoology) 2005
  • M.D., Central Michigan University (Biology) 2000
  • B.S., University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (Wildlife Management/Biology) 1996

Courses Taught:

  • General Zoology
  • Ecology (with Dr. Steve Thompson)
  • Evolution
  • Animal Behavior
  • Natural history of the Vertebrates
  • Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
  • Herpetology
  • Museum Techniques (With Dr. Steve Thompson)

Research/Scholarly Interests:

  • Evolutionary ecology of reptiles
  • Defensive behavior of snakes, especially pit vipers
  • Evolutionary medicine

Career Highlights:

  • 2010  John Barton Distinguished Teaching and Service Award

Hobbies:

  • Trail running
  • Home Brewing
  • Outdoor recreation

Dr. Jenny Sattler

Dr. Jenny SattlerAssociate Professor of Physics

Department of Natural Science
Phone: (580) 327 - 8568
Fax: (580) 327 - 8556
Email: jasattler@nwosu.edu
Office: SC 201-D
Laboratory: SC 108 and SC 110
Address: 709 Oklahoma Blvd.
Alva, OK 73717


Education:

  • Ph.D., East Carolina University (Biomedical Physics) 2013
  • M.S. East Carolina University (Medical Physics) 2013
  • M.S. University of North Dakota (Physics) 2005
  • B.S. University of North Dakota (Physics) 2003

Courses Taught:

  • General Physics I and II
  • General Astronomy
  • Radiation Biology
  • General Physical Science
  • Earth and Space Science
  • Modern Physics
  • Classical Mechanics
  • Nuclear Physics
  • Optics

Research/Scholarly Interests:

  • Cancer biology
  • Radiation biology
  • Astronomy

Northwestern Roles/Activites:

  • BEST Robotics
  • Science Fair
  • Study Abroad

Dr. Steven Thompson

Dr. Steven ThompsonProfessor of Biology

Department of Natural Science
Phone: (580) 327 - 8566
Email: sdthompson@nwosu.edu
Office: SC 201-B


Education:

  • Ph.D. Oklahoma State University, Plant Science, Ecology
  • M.S. Oklahoma State University, Plant Ecology
  • B.S. Northwestern Oklahoma State University, Botany and Zoology

Courses Taught:

  • General Biology, BIOL 1114
  • General Botany, BIOL 1124
  • Science Fair Judging, BIOL and CHEM 3011
  • Plant Physiology, BIOL 3174
  • Ornithology, BIOL 3204
  • Plant Kingdom, BIOL 3213
  • Grassland Ecosystems, BIOL 3374
  • Biology Seminar, BIOL 4011
  • Ecology, BIOL 4214
  • Plant Taxonomy, BIOL 4223
  • Common Plants of Oklahoma, BIOL 4313
  • Museum Techniques, BIOL 4360
  • Independent Study, BIOL 4470
  • Readings in Biology, BIOL 4490

Research and Scholarly Interest:

  • Ecology

Hobbies:

  • Fishing, especially fly fishing
  • Bicycling

Dr. Jason Wickham

Dr. Jason WickhamAssistant Professor of Chemistry

Department of Natural Sciences
School of Arts and Sciences
Science Building 100-C
Northwestern-Alva
(580) 327-8560
jrwickham@nwosu.edu

Curriculum Vitae


Education:

  • Postdoctoral Research Assistant at Washington University in Saint Loius (WUSTL) 2007-2008
  • Ph. D of Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Oklahoma (OU) 2007
  • B. S. of Chemistry from Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU) 2002

Courses Taught:

  • Chemistry for Non-Majors
  • General Chemistry I
  • General Chemistry II
  • Classical Chemical Analyzes
  • Instrumental Chemical Analyzes
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Physical Chemistry I
  • Physical Chemistry II
  • Chemistry Seminar
     

Research/Scholarly Interests:

  • Iodine quantity and distribution in brine waters
  • Solid Polymer Electrolyte materials
  • Nanomaterials
  • Surface modification chemistry

Career Highlights:

  • OCAST research and development internship project grant - 2017
  • Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Partnership Award - 2017
  • OCAST research and development internship project grant - 2014

Hobbies:

  • Native American artifact and history
  • Fishing
  • Hunting
  • Baseball
  • Restoring cars

University Clubs/Professional Organizations:

  • Co-Sponsor of the Chemistry Club
  • Member of the American Chemical Society
  • Treasure of the Oklahoma Section of the American Chemical Society
Northwestern Oklahoma State University

709 Oklahoma Blvd., Alva, OK 73717
Phone: (580) 327-1700

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