INTEGRATED STEM EDUCATION RESEARCH CENTER
Faculty and Staff
ISERC Leadership Team
Evans, Katie – Ph.D. – Associate Dean/Director
Dr. Katie Evans is the Associate Dean of Strategic Initiatives in the College of Engineering and Science, Academic Director of Mathematics & Statistics and Online Programs, the Entergy LP&L/NOPSI #3 & #4 Professor of Mathematics, the Director of the Integrated STEM Education Research Center, and the Director of the Office for Women in Science and Engineering and Louisiana Tech University. Dr. Evans also serves as the Chair of the National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenges Scholars Program Proposal Review Committee. She earned her B.S. in Mathematics from Morehead State University and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Mathematics at Virginia Tech. After a postdoctoral position in Mechanical Engineering at Oregon State University, she joined Louisiana Tech in 2005. Her current research focuses on STEM education and diversity and inclusion initiatives. Dr. Evans has been awarded over $5M as PI or Co-PI on federal, state, and local grants. She currently serves as the Workforce Development Lead on a $6M National Science Foundation EPSCoR project across three universities. Additionally, Dr. Evans is presently a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Pilot Program Ad-Hoc Committee for the Gulf Scholars Program.
Turner, Galen – Ph.D. – Associate Director
Office: NETH 121
Department: Mathematics and Statistics
Areas of Responsibility: 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 nineteen 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 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 also served as the Chief Academic Officer for the National Integrated Cyber Education Research Center (now Cyber.org), a division of the Cyber Innovation Center, where he led the national expansion of the Cyber Discovery project. He currently serves as Academic Director for Computer Science, Cyber Engineering, and Electrical Engineering.
Corbett, Krystal – Ph.D.
Office: IESB 133
Department: Freshman Living with the Lab, Mechanical Engineering
Areas of Responsibility: Lecturer, Program Chair
Crittenden, Kelly – Ph.D.
Office: BOGH 256
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Areas of Responsibility: Coordinator for Ph.D. Engineering Education, Program Chair for Mechanical Engineering
Dr. Kelly Crittenden is an Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering. He joined the College as a faculty member in 2001 and holds the Harrelson Family Endowed Professorship in engineering. Kelly’s primary research areas are engineering education and product design with focuses on curriculum development and additive manufacturing. Dr. Crittenden is a founding member of Louisiana Tech University’s Integrated STEM Education Research Center (ISERC) and served as ISERC’s director for two years. Dr. Crittenden has helped create multiple STEM-based curricula and outreach programs including TechSTEP, Cyber Discovery, and Living with the Lab. Dr. Crittenden primarily teaches courses in measurements, prototyping, 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 and has been a crucial member in the creation of multiple prototyping lab spaces at Louisiana Tech University. Dr. Crittenden is the Program Chair for Mechanical Engineering and the Coordinator for the College’s Engineering Education Ph.D. concentration. His web presence can be found at http://www2.latech.edu/~kellyc.
De Leo-Allen, Allie
Office: IESB 101A
Department: Undergraduate Studies Office
Areas of Responsibility: Enrollment Management and Employer Relations
Allie De Leo – Allen serves as the Director of Enrollment Management and Employer Relations for the College of Engineering and Science. She earned her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and M.S. in Engineering and Technology Management. De Leo – Allen is currently working towards completing her Ph.D. in Engineering with a concentration in Education, focusing on improving the retention of female students in engineering courses. In addition to her work in the Undergraduate Studies Office, De Leo – Allen teaches first-year engineering and instrumentation and control systems engineering courses.
Derosa, Pedro – Ph.D.
Office: Engineering Annex 217 | IFMM 216
Department: Molecular Science and Nanotechnology, Nanosystems Engineering, Physics
Areas of Responsibility: Professor of Molecular Science and Nanotechnology, Nanosystems Engineering and Physics
Dr. Pedro Derosa is a professor of Physics, currently serving as Physics Program Chair. He holds the Elizabeth Nobles Larson, Clarence N. Larson, and Andrew M. Larson Professorship #1. Dr. Derosa received his undergraduate degree of licenciado (equivalent to B.S.+M.S) in 1993 and his Ph.D. from the National University of Córdoba in Argentina in 1997. Between 2004 and 2017, Dr. Derosa was a Joint Faculty with Louisiana Tech University and Grambling State University. During this period both universities granted simultaneously (and through independent evaluation processes) tenure and promotion to Associate professor in 2010 and promotion to Professor in 2016. Dr. Derosa received the Annual Award for Teaching from the National University of Córdoba in 1994, the IBM/Löwdin Fellowship Award from IBM/University of Florida in 2001. A teacher’s award in 2004, the Award for Outstanding Achievements in 2011, the Innovative Education Award in 2012, the COES Research Award in 2017, the Diversity Leadership Award in 2018, and the Senate Chair Award in 2020, all at LA Tech. In addition, he received the Certificate of Excellence, for outstanding performance and Research in 2014 at Grambling State University. Dr. Derosa has published 47 peer-reviewed articles, 3 book chapters and edited a book. He has delivered 43 invited talks and contributed with 136 conference presentations. He has been PI in federal grants for a total of $858,000 and co-PI for $1,435,000. In addition to $530,000 in state funding. He was also a part of two of the $20M collaborative agreements between NSF and a number of Universities in Louisiana, serving as campus PI at Grambling.
Apter-Desselles, Marita (Mitzi) – Ph.D.
Office: WOOH 217B
Department: Psychology and Behavioral Sciences
Areas of Responsibility: Industrial-Organizational Psychology; Coordinator for the Ph.D. Program in I-O Psychology
Dr. Desselles is a Professor, member of the core faculty Industrial-Organizational Psychology, and a faculty lead for AROS (Applied Research for Organizational Solutions). AROS is the consulting group within the I-O Psychology doctoral program whose purpose is to provide students with applied experience and fund research activities. She also holds the Chester Ellis Endowed Chair in Education and serves as Coordinator for the doctoral program in I-O Psychology. 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 examined 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, and undergraduate engineering retention. Dr. Desselles teaches graduate-level psychology courses in research methods and organizational psychology and has extensive experience in both quantitative and qualitative research methods.
Hall, David E. – Ph.D.
Office: IESB 120
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://www2.latech.edu/~dehall/.
Hilton, Ethan C. – Ph.D.
Office: BOGH 257
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Areas of Responsibility: Assistant Professor
Dr. Ethan Hilton has been an assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering since September 2019. He received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Louisiana Tech and his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, focusing on Engineering Design Methodology and Engineering Education. As a member of ISERC, Dr. Hilton’s primary research area is engineering design education with an emphasis on developing prototyping skills through class-based projects, extra-curricular clubs, competitions, and activities. His work includes equipping students with these skills in lower-level courses to be utilized in upper-level courses to create a more impactful learning experience. Dr. Hilton has also researched the inclusion of hand-drawn sketches in engineering design and how designers use them to generate ideas and visual communication, especially when it involves the skill to generate quick and realistic representations of their ideas.
Hollins, Bryant – Ph.D.
Office: IESB 229
Department: Biomedical Engineering
Areas of Responsibility: Lecturer
Hollins received his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Louisiana Tech in 2012. He is a steering committee member of the Louisiana Tech Grand Challenge Scholars Program and has mentored several Grand Challenge scholars at Louisiana Tech. He also served as a faculty mentor for Alpha Eta Mu Beta’s (the biomedical engineering honor society) national MINDS program. He teaches courses throughout the curriculum at all both the undergraduate and graduate levels. He is primarily interested in engineering education, with a focus on increasing participation in STEM among underrepresented groups.
Jacques, Lorraine – Ph.D.
Office: WOOH 138B
Departments: Curriculum Instruction and Leadership, Computer Science
Areas of Responsibility: Assistant Professor of Curriculum Instruction and Leadership and Computer Science
Dr. Jacques earned her Ph.D. in Learning Science at Clemson University before joining Louisiana Tech in 2018. Her research interests and activities are in the areas of STEM/STEAM education, computer science education, and computational thinking. In the past, she has worked on understanding how technology and questioning can be used to produce quality STEAM instruction and how computer programming can be used to help low-achieving students succeed in mathematics. Her current activities focus on using math pedagogy to improve computer science education, how the engineering design process can facilitate building computational thinking skills, and increasing diversity in computer science.
O’Neal, D. Patrick – Ph.D.
Office: BMEB 208
Department: Biomedical Engineering, CBERS, Molecular Science and Nanotechnology, Nanosystems Engineering
Areas of Responsibility: Associate Professor, 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.
Reis, Louis – Ph.D.
Office: IESB 233
Department: Mechanical Engineering
Areas of Responsibility: Lecturer of Mechanical Engineering
Dr. Louis Reis is a lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at Louisiana Tech University. He graduated from Tech with two B.S. degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering, and later earned his M.S. in Microsystems Engineering and his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering. He has been teaching at Louisiana Tech University since 2014. He primarily teaches the freshmen engineering ENGR 12x sequence and Living with the Lab and the sophomore engineering sequence ENGR 22x that covers statics and mechanics, circuits, and thermodynamics.
Louis currently works with ISERC on projects that promote active learning in engineering courses that have been traditionally delivered as lectures. He also collaborates with members from CBERS and the IfM at Tech researching microfluidic devices for various biological and chemical applications.
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: IESB 101D
Department: Undergraduate Studies, Mechanical Engineering
Areas of Responsibility: Associate Dean, Associate Professor
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://www2.latech.edu/~htims/.
Weiss, Leland – Ph.D.
Office: BOGH 253A
Department: Civil Engineering, Construction Engineering Technology, Mechanical Engineering, Institute for Micromanufacturing, Molecular Science and Nanotechnology, Nanosystems Engineering
Areas of Responsibility: Director, Associate Professor
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 is an Assistant Professor of Engineering and Science Education with a joint appointment in Mechanical Engineering at Clemson University. She received an NSF CAREER Award while working at Louisiana Tech 2012-2016 and continues to collaborate with many ISERC members. Dr. Orr earned her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering and a Certificate of Engineering and Science Education at Clemson University and spent two years as a postdoc in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. Her current research focuses on understanding and enhancing the ways that students make decisions about their major and daily study habits from the perspective of self-regulated decision-making theory, as well as using institutional data to study student curricular progress and pathways. She is particularly interested in the way that these pathways vary by race, gender, socioeconomic status, and engineering discipline. Dr. Orr has been active in the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) since 2006.
Office: BOGH 201
Department: Strategic Initiatives and Development/Office of the Dean
Areas of Responsibility: Administrative Support for ISERC
Stephany Thompson serves as Coordinator for Strategic Initiatives and Development for the College of Engineering and Science. She holds a B.S. in Healthcare Administration and an MBA with a concentration in management. She offers administrative support for both Strategic Initiatives and Development.