Integrated STEM Education Research Center
Faculty and Staff
ISERC Leadership Team
Evans, Katie – Ph.D. – Director
Office: Bogard Hall 201C
Department: Strategic Initiatives, Mathematics and Statistics, Online Programs
Areas of Responsibility: Associate Dean of Strategic Initiatives, College of Engineering and Science, Academic Director, Mathematics & Statistics and Online Programs, Entergy Corp LP&L/NOPSI #3 & #4 Professor of Mathematics, Director, Integrated STEM Education Research Center (ISERC)
Dr. Katie Evans is the Walter Koss Endowed Associate Professor of Mathematics and Statistics and the Interim Director of Mathematics and Statistics and Industrial Engineering programs. She is the Director of the Integrated STEM Education Research Center (ISERC) and the Director of Louisiana Tech’s Grand Challenge Scholars Program. She earned her Ph.D. in Mathematics and M.S. in Mathematics at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA. Her research interests include distributed parameter control modeling and simulation, dynamic modeling of physical systems, and STEM education. Her research has been funded by the NSF, AFRL, and LA-BOR. She also serves as an Associate Editor for the American Control Conference and the Conference on Decision and Control. She is a member of the IEEE, SIAM, and ASEE.
Turner, Galen – Ph.D. – Associate Director
Office: Nethken Hall 121
Department: Mathematics and Statistics
Areas of Responsibility: Academic Director of Computer Science, Cyber Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Electrical Engineering Technology, and Maxfield Professor of Mathematics and Statistics
Dr. Galen Turner received his B.S. from Loyola University (New Orleans) with majors in Mathematics and Religious Studies in 1992. He continued his studies in Mathematics at Louisiana State University where he earned his M.S. in Mathematics in 1994 and his Ph.D. in 1999. He has spent the last fourteen years at Louisiana Tech University where he is the Maxfield Professor of Mathematics and Statistics and conducts research in graph theory, combinatorics, and cyber-security. He served as inaugural program chair for Cyberspace Science & Engineering (2007-2012), and facilitated the creation of the first Bachelor’s of Science in Cyber Engineering in the United States. He also served as Associate Dean of Graduate Studies for the College of Engineering and Science (2008-2012). Over his career, Dr. Turner has influenced mathematics education at the university, regional and national levels. He has been a leader in Louisiana Tech’s Integrated Engineering Curriculum and has been very involved with university development as well as professional development for K-12 teachers, especially those which integrate student discovery experiences. Dr. Turner served most recently as the Chief Academic Officer for the National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center (NICERC), a division of the Cyber Innovation Center, where he led the national expansion of the Cyber Discovery project.
Corbett, Krystal – Ph.D.
Office: Bogard Hall 213
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Areas of Responsibility: Lecturer
Crittenden, Kelly – Ph.D.
Office: Bogard Hall 213
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Areas of Responsibility: Director of Innovation through Multidisciplinary Projects and Collaborative Teams (IMPaCT)
Dr. Kelly Crittenden is an Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering. He has been a faculty member in the College for 13 years and holds the Harrelson Family Professorship in engineering. Kelly’s primary research area is engineering education where he has received substantial NSF funding for various outreach, professional development, and post-secondary initiatives. He is also the Coordinator for the college’s Ph.D. in Engineering Education. Dr. Crittenden teaches four courses within the Living With the Lab curriculum, as well as four courses centered on entrepreneurship and product design. Kelly has served as a key proponent for adding digital manufacturing and prototyping to the learning options for Louisiana Tech’s students. He has been a crucial member in the creation of three prototyping lab spaces at Louisiana Tech University: The Prototyping Lab, The Advanced Prototyping Lab, and the Thingery. His web presence can be found at http://www.latech.edu/~kellyc.
De Leo, Allie
Office: Bogard Hall 208A
Department: Undergraduate Studies Office
Areas of Responsibility: Enrollment Management and Employer Relations
Derosa, Pedro – Ph.D.
Office: IFMM 216
Department: Molecular Science and Nanotechnology, Nanosystems Engineering, Physics
Areas of Responsibility: Professor of Molecular Science and Nanotechnology, Nanosystems Engineering and Physics
Desselles, Mitzi – Ph.D.
Office: Woodard Hall 116A
Department: Psychology and Behavioral Sciences
Areas of Responsibility:
Chester Ellis Endowed Associate Professor of Psychology and member of the core faculty in Industrial/Organizational Psychology; Coordinator of AROS (Applied Research for Organizational Solutions), the consulting group within the I/O psychology doctoral program whose purpose is to provide students with applied experience and fund research activities.
Dr. Desselles earned her Ph.D. from Louisiana State University, M.A. from the University of Richmond, and B.S. from Louisiana State University. She has devoted her career to demystifying why people do what they do. Starting from the premise posited by reversal theory that people are essentially paradoxical, her work has helped organizations tap into both the rational and emotional factors that underlie behavior. Her research focuses on the application of reversal theory to organizational issues, including leadership, work engagement, behavioral economics, and parapathic emotions (i.e., why we sometimes experience negative emotions as pleasant). Dr. Desselles teaches graduate-level courses in research methods and organizational psychology and has extensive experience in both quantitative and qualitative research methods.
Gourd, Jean – Ph.D.
Office: Nethken Hall 247
Department: Computer Science, Cyber Engineering, Center for Secure Cyberspace
Areas of Responsibility: Program Chair of Computer Science, Associate Professor of Computer Science, Cyber Engineering
Dr. Jean Gourd is the Program Chair and an Assistant Professor of Computer Science. He has an active research program in the areas of cybersecurity, distributed systems, and software engineering. His research interests include mobile code management and security, and intelligent software (mobile) agents for cybersecurity. He has worked on the development of security methods for mobile agents and has performed extensive work on developing fundamental methods to model such agents within multi-agent systems. He is particularly interested in the role intelligent agents can play in securing cyber systems. He is involved in numerous ongoing research projects with the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) and the Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) and maintains collaborative relationships with members of industry and national research laboratories. Dr. Gourd is currently a member of the Center for Secure Cyberspace (CSC), a joint collaboration between Louisiana Tech University and Louisiana State University. Originally born in Montreal, Canada, he emigrated to the U.S. in 1983 and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2005.
Hall, David E. – Ph. D.
Office: Bogard Hall 222
Department: Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Construction Engineering Technology
Areas of Responsibility: Academic Director of Civil Engineering, Construction Engineering Technology, and Mechanical Engineering, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, James F. Naylor, Jr. Endowed Professor
Dr. David Hall is the Interim Director for Mechanical Engineering, but he spends at least half of his time supporting educational efforts in the College. A firm believer that applications provide the glue that allows fundamental topics to stick, his passion is incorporating applications and projects in his courses. He is the primary architect and manager of Louisiana Tech’s “Living with the Lab” first-year engineering experience which uses “student owned” labs to boost hands-on learning. Starting with a pilot group of 23 students in 2002 and with funding from an NSF Phase II CCLI grant, Living with the Lab now provides a foundational engineering experience for all engineering majors. Since 2006, a total of 16 faculty members have taught 257 Living with the Lab course sections with combined enrollments of 7,340 students. David is a versatile instructor teaching 22 different courses in his 19 years at Louisiana Tech. With a research background in solid mechanics and computational mechanics, he teaches ENGR 220 (statics & mechanics of materials), MEEN 361 (advanced mechanics of materials), MEEN 497 (finite element analysis for engineers) as well as MEEN 350 (computer-aided modeling). David’s research in recent years has focused on educational innovations and trenchless technology applications. He holds the James F. Naylor, Jr. Professorship in Mechanical Engineering and won the prestigious F. Jay Taylor Undergraduate Teaching Award in 2006. His extensive web presence is at http://www.latech.edu/~dehall.
Johnston, Kathleen – Ph.D.
Office: Carson-Taylor Hall 239
Areas of Responsibility: Program Chair of Physics, Associate Professor of Physics
O’Neal, D. Patrick – Ph.D.
Office: Biomedical Engineering Center, Room 208
Department: Biomedical Engineering, CBERS, Molecular Science and Nanotechnology, Nanosystems Engineering
Areas of Responsibility: Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering; Research Assistant, CBERS
Dr. Patrick O’Neal is the Max Watson, Sr. Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering. He has his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Texas A&M University. He joined the Biomedical Engineering faculty after spending three years working in a biomedical engineering start-up company (Nanospectra, Houston, TX). His teaching areas are Biomedical Engineering Design, Optics and Bionanotechnology, and his research areas are nanoparticles and targeted drug delivery for cancer treatment. He brings his experience with product development to the senior design course sequence and the Biomedical Engineering program. Students appreciate the emphasis he places on issues related to working in the biomedical industry along with the time that he invests to cultivate each student’s professional development. Dr. O’Neal’s experience in animal experimentation led to his teaching a Biomedical Engineering version (BIEN 450A) of the Animal Physiology course (BISC) taught by the School of Biological Sciences. In 2006, Dr. O’Neal and Dr. John Wakeman received a Louisiana Board of Regents Support Fund Laboratory Enhancement Grant (Undergraduate Physiology Laboratory, $30,000) to upgrade the laboratory equipment. The laboratory is located in Room 216 of the BEC.
Sherer, Eric – Ph.D.
Office: Bogard Hall 236
Department: Chemical Engineering
Areas of Responsibility: Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering and Molecular Science and Nanotechnology
Swanbom, Michael – Ph.D., P.E.
Dr. Michael Swanbom is a lecturer in Mechanical Engineering who teaches freshman and sophomore engineering classes and has recently taken primary responsibility for MEEN 361 (Advanced Mechanics of Materials) and MEEN 462 (Machine Element Design). He also co-developed a senior level course in Mechatronics with Heath Tims. Mike has a passion for curriculum development, including the use of novel and technologically rich methods of instruction. He was closely involved in the development of the freshman curriculum called Living With the Lab (led by David Hall). Mike enjoys hands-on projects and harnessing novel tooling to streamline the process of prototyping new ideas. These interests have been employed considerably in his support of the Louisiana Tech Eco-marathon team. He just recently was elected as the 2014-2015 President of the University Senate.
Tims, Heath – Ph.D.
Office: Bogard Hall 217A
Department: Undergraduate Studies, Mechanical Engineering
Areas of Responsibility: Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies, College of Engineering and Science, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Dr. Heath Tims is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Louisiana Tech University and holds the endowed Cajun Contractors Professorship. He also serves as the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies for the College of Engineering and Science. He received his B.S degree from Louisiana Tech University and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. He teaches upper-level Mechanical Engineering courses including Computer Aided Modeling which utilizes the software needed for prototyping and marketing, as well as Dynamic Systems and Mechatronics, which involves mechanical and electrical component integration. In addition to his teaching experience, Dr. Tims worked from 2001 until 2006 in a research and prototyping facility at the University of Texas where he played a pivotal role in developing numerous prototypes for industrial companies. While at Louisiana Tech, Dr. Tims has focused primarily on engineering education and multidisciplinary collaborative projects. He has been one of the lead faculty on the NASA-Threads (physics) K12 curriculum, as well as the Cyber Discovery camp, the Studies in Cyberspace honors course, and the high school Cyber Science course. Most recently he is leading the effort on the newly funded STEM-Discovery program. These successful education initiatives have not only had a large regional impact but have garnered the attention of federal agencies. Heath turned his passion for mechatronics, teaching, creativity, and competition into something that has brought a superb learning experience to students, and tremendous national recognition to Louisiana Tech. Through his initiation and support of a student design and prototyping activity known as the Louisiana Tech Eco-marathon team, he has extended learning well beyond the normal classroom. He uses the Eco-marathon as a hands-on project that serves as an apprenticeship model for mentoring students. Heath has been very active in service throughout the college, university, and the community. He has served as the University Senate President and is a member of the Athletics Council. He has served on several college leadership and strategic planning teams as well as the faculty advisor for Tau Beta Pi and Pi Tau Sigma. Heath has received numerous Engineering and Science Foundation awards for Outstanding Service, as was recently selected by the graduating senior class for the Outstanding Faculty Award. The University Senate awarded Heath the Virgil Orr Junior Faculty Award in 2012 in recognition of his teaching, research, and service to Louisiana Tech. Heath’s web page is at http://www.latech.edu/~htims.
Weiss, Leland – Ph.D.
Office: Bogard Hall 258
Department: Civil Engineering, Construction Engineering Technology, Mechanical Engineering, Institute for Micromanufacturing, Molecular Science and Nanotechnology, Nanosystems Engineering
Areas of Responsibility: Interim Director for Civil Engineering, Construction Engineering Technology and Mechanical Engineering; Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Dr. Leland Weiss is the Interim Director of Mechanical and Civil Engineering & Construction Engineering Technology, the Thurman Lauret Professor, and Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Weiss has been at Louisiana Tech since 2008 and serves as the Director for Tech’s Grand Challenge Scholars Program. Dr. Weiss is an NSF CAREER Award winner and directs and operates the IFM Efficiency and Scalable Devices research lab. Dr. Weiss has also worked for several years at Caterpillar, Inc. Dr. Weiss has active collaborations with industry and K-12 education professionals. These include efforts to utilize the Grand Challenges as STEM-based learning opportunities in the afterschool education environment. Dr. Weiss’s web page is at http://www2.latech.edu/~lweiss.
Orr, Marisa – Ph.D.
Dr. Marisa Orr earned her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and a Certificate of Engineering and Science Education at Clemson University and then spent two years as a postdoc in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University before coming to Louisiana Tech in Fall 2012. Her current research focuses on student progress, persistence, and pathways using longitudinal student data. Marisa has been active in the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) since 2006 and is currently on the Educational Research and Methods Division Board. She is also Vice President of Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society, and a member of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).