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Lab worker measuring out samples
Bachelor of Science
Forensic Biology


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Karen S. Wendling, Ph.D.

Chair, Center for Natural & Behavioral Sciences
Associate Professor of Chemistry

Karen Wendling (Chestnut Hill College class of 2003) earned her Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While her graduate research focused on detecting gas-phase compounds that contribute to Global Warming using Mass Spectrometry, she has more recently worked with individual student interns to detect various compounds of interest including nicotine in e-juices used for vaping, cocaine contamination of circulating currency, and active ingredients in various herbal supplements. Dr. Wendling firmly believes in the benefits of a Chestnut Hill College education, focusing on hands-on instruction in the lab and direct mentoring in the classroom. Her pedagogical research studies how cognitive apprenticeship theory (CAT) can be applied to undergraduate laboratory learning. Dr. Wendling enjoys teaching a variety of courses at Chestnut Hill, including Analytical Chemistry, Instrumental Analysis, and Principles of Chemistry. She is also the co-coordinator of the annual Harry Potter Academic Conference and continues to explore how science fiction and fantasy can be utilized to improve student learning outcomes.  

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Lakshmi Atchison, Ph.D.

Professor Emerita of Biology

Lakshmi Atchison earned her Ph.D. in Biology and did postdoctoral research at the New York University School of Medicine. Her area of expertise is cell and molecular biology. She joined Fox Chase Cancer Center and did human genome research and gene mapping in small cell lung cancer. She is a Professor of Biology and Director of the Biomedical Distinguished Lecture Series at Chestnut Hill College. The lecture series includes three Nobel Laureates in Medicine, six elected members of the National Academy of Sciences, and three Lasker Award Winners, and many highly acclaimed professionals of extraordinary caliber.

Dr. Atchison is the recipient of the 2009 Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching. She teaches many biological and biomedical subjects and encourages her students to think outside the box. Under Dr. Atchison’s directorship, the Biomedical Lecture Series exposes students to highly acclaimed professionals in science and medicine. She has many publications in cell biology, human genome research, and is an author of the textbook Cancer Biology Basics (McGraw Hill). She has a deep passion to educate all undergraduate students on cancer prevention and to provide practical information on eight cancers that can affect young adults. Dr. Atchison has developed several education models including a human skin model, “Think Inside the Box,” as a hands-on lab activity (the first-ever for the integumentary system), a model to understand osteoporosis (winner of the Best Poster Award at the 2019 Human Anatomy & Physiology Society National Conference), and a visual blood cell model to study leukemia and blood cell disorders for which she was awarded a Patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

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Kathleen Duffy, SSJ, Ph.D.

Professor Emerita of Physics

Kathleen Duffy, SSJ (Ph.D. in Physics, Drexel University, 1979) is Professor Emerita of Physics, Director of the Institute for Religion and Science at Chestnut Hill College, President of the American Teilhard Association, Associate Editor of Teilhard Studies, and serves on the Board of Cosmos and Creation. Kathleen is the recipient of the Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa from Iona College, New Rochelle, NY, October 18, 2009; was inducted into the Hall of Fame for Catholic Witness, St. Hubert High School in 2005; and received the John Templeton Foundation Quality and Excellence in Teaching Award in 1998.

Her current research interests concern the religious essays of Jesuit paleontologist Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, his spirituality, and the relationship of his synthesis to modern developments in science. She has published Teilhard’s Mysticism: Seeing the Inner Face of Evolution (Orbis 2014; Catholic Book Award, Catholic Press Association, 2015); Teilhard’s Struggle: Embracing the Work of Evolution (Orbis 2019; Catholic Book Award, Catholic Press Association, 2020); an edited volume of essays about Teilhard’s life and work entitled Rediscovering Teilhard’s Fire (St. Joseph’s University 2010), as well as book chapters and articles. Kathleen also guides evening, weekend, and week-long retreats on topics related to Teilhard’s life and work.

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Josh Fetterman

Joshua D. Fetterman, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Psychology

Joshua D. Fetterman obtained his B.S. in Psychology and minor in Philosophy from York College of Pennsylvania in 2003, and his Ph.D. in Psychology (social area) from the University of Pittsburgh in 2012. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He teaches a variety of classes in both the undergraduate and graduate psychology programs, including research methods in psychology, quantitative methods in psychology, senior seminar in psychology, social psychology, cognitive and affective bases of behavior, statistical applications, forensic psychology, intro to cognitive, and personality. He is also a statistical consultant for the graduate program. His research interests include the effects of feeling of power on motivation (and vice versa), the psychology of groups, memory in groups, and pedagogical techniques.  

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Joseph Kulkosky, Ph.D.

Chair, Biology
Professor of Biology

Joseph Kulkosky earned his Ph.D. degree from the University of Pittsburgh. His graduate thesis work, investigating unusual structures in RNA, was conducted under the supervision of Dr. Mary Edmonds, a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Kulkosky’s lengthy research career in HIV/AIDS began at Cornell Medical Center and continued at Fox Chase Cancer Center studying the mechanism of HIV DNA integration into the host cell genome. Subsequently, he focused on AIDS virus strains resistant to anti-retroviral therapy as well as strategies toward a cure for AIDS at Thomas Jefferson University, Division of Infectious Diseases. Dr. Kulkosky has published over 50 peer-reviewed manuscripts in the field of HIV/AIDS including undergraduate students as co-authors (for example: Dria, M. and Kulkosky, J., The Elusive Nature Toward a Cure For HIV, Medical Research Archives, 2018.) Apart from his expertise in virology, recombinant DNA technology and the dynamics of gene expression, his academic interests have extended into the field of forensics. He currently enjoys his role as the instructor in a variety of courses including Principles in Biology, Cell and Molecular Biology, Genetics and Forensic Medicine. 

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Robert Meyer, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus of Biology

Hilton Oyamaguchi, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biology

Hilton Oyamaguchi completed his Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is originally from Brazil where he obtained his undergraduate degree in Biology and a master's in Ecology at the University of São Paulo (USP). His interest in science is rooted in his passion for nature from where he grew up. His studies focused on how ecological and evolutionary processes have shaped the extraordinary biodiversity in the tropics (South America and Central Africa) and how to apply this knowledge in conservation planning. Currently, he teaches hands-on classes in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation where he exposes students to the outdoor experience. His ultimate goal is to integrate education and research in conservation biology to better protect our outstanding natural resources.

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Dawn Schramm, M.S.

Instructor of Health and Exercise Science

Dawn Schramm comes to Chestnut Hill College after spending 15 years in college athletics as a Head Athletic Trainer.  She earned her MS degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion from California University of Pennsylvania. She worked through Main Line Health at Riddle Memorial Hospital where she became the Program Coordinator for Athletic Training Outreach Services.  As a head Athletic Trainer, she managed multiple facilities and a team of athletic trainers that collaborated with the sports medicine physicians to provide athletic health care to the university’s athletic programs   Some of her responsibilities included maintaining detailed medical records for all participants, managing the university’s secondary insurance for student-athletes, creating and updating medical policies and procedures, budgeting supplies, facility development, supervising athletic training students along with practice and game coverage for many of the athletic teams.  During her time as the head athletic trainer she was also a clinical instructor for the athletic training academic program.  

Prior to starting at Chestnut Hill as a full-time instructor, she was an adjunct instructor at other regional institutions.  She has taught a variety of in-person and online courses in biology and human movement since departments. Examples of other courses include Anatomy and Physiology Kinesiology, Pathology and Pharmacology, Therapeutic Modalities, and Prevention and Care of Athletic Injuries. Dawn maintains her credentials to practice medicine through the state and the NATABOC to keep current on the trends in athletic medicine.  Maintaining her license is important to her so she can stay up to date and better guide her students in both Exercise Science and Health Science Departments. 

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Ian Sharp, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Psychology
Interim Chair of Undergraduate Psychology Department
Kenneth J. Soprano, Ph.D.

Kenneth J. Soprano, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus of Biology

Dr. Kenneth J. Soprano earned his A.B. in Biology from Holy Cross College in Worcester, MA, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Microbiology from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. After completing 4 years of post-doctoral research in Tumor Virology at the Fels Institute for Molecular Biology and Cancer Research at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia he was appointed as a faculty member in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Temple Medical School. Dr. Soprano spent 30 years as a faculty member at Temple Medical School, and 7 years as the Temple University Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies. During this time, Dr. Soprano maintained an NIH funded research laboratory which focused on elucidation of the role of oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes, and cell cycle regulatory genes in regulating the growth of breast and ovarian tumor cells. He trained 25 Ph.D. students and 5 M.S. students and published more than 100 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals. In addition, Dr. Soprano taught Virology and Molecular Biology to graduate students and second year medical students and was a recipient of the Christian R. and Mary P. Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching.   

Dr. Soprano came to Chestnut Hill College in 2008. He served for 4 years as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty. As a member of the Biology Department, he teaches Molecular Biology, Medical and Molecular Virology, Introduction to Forensic Science, Biological and Medical Ethics, Senior Seminar in Biology and Chemistry, Cancer Therapeutics-The Cure: From Bench to Bedside. He is also Chair of the Institutional Review Board (IRB), and the Middle States Reaccreditation Committee. Dr. Soprano has served as a member of the Tenure and Promotion Committee, the COVID-19 Task Force, the Academic Restructuring Task Force, the Strategic Planning Committee and the Presidential Search Committee. 

Dr. Soprano is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Cellular Biochemistry, the Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research, Molecular Biology Reports and The Women's Oncology Review. In addition, he has served as an ad hoc reviewer for many scientific journals including Cancer Research, Proceedings, National Academy of Sciences, Virology, Oncogene, and the Journal of Cellular Physiology. Dr. Soprano has also served as a member of a number of grant review panels for the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command Congressionally Directed Research Programs, National Cancer Institute Insight Awards to Stamp Out Breast Cancer and the Merit Review Board for Basic Sciences and U.S. Veterans Administration. 


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Elliott Tammaro, Ph.D

Assistant Professor of Physics

Elliott Tammaro joined Chestnut Hill College in May 2014. He graduated from Bryn Mawr College, where he received his Ph.D. in theoretical physics. His doctoral work examined the dimensional reduction of higher-dimensional supergravity and warped compactifications within string theory. His current research interests include foundational questions in quantum mechanics and their connection to physics beyond the standard model as well as quantum gravity and functional methods. He primarily teaches introductory mechanics and electromagnetism, but for the last five years has enjoyed teaching in the Interdisciplinary Honors Program (IDHP) at Chestnut Hill College alongside Sister Mary Helen Kashuba, SSJ.

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Hannah Venit, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Biology

Hannah Venit earned her BA from Boston University with a major in Biology with specialization in marine science and her Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in Microbiology. Dr. Venit's primary area of research prior to and during graduate school was the human immune response to bacterial pathogens, particularly those colonizing the upper respiratory tract. This research focused on the prevention of disease.  Following graduation, she continued her work in this field designing serological diagnostic tests to detect infection to various pathogens.  Dr. Venit started her academic career teaching as an adjunct Professor at St. Joseph's University and Penn State University before joining the faculty at Chestnut Hill College. Currently Dr. Venit enjoys assisting students design and carry out research projects such as looking for microorganisms in different types of masks. Dr. Venit enjoys teaching both beginning students in the Introduction to Biology course as well as more advanced students in Microbiology and Immunology courses. She values the small class sizes here at Chestnut Hill that enable her to focus on meeting her students' needs as individuals within the courses she teaches.  

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Jennifer Wade, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Jennifer A. Wade, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Chestnut Hill College. She earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology and English from a small liberal arts college (Bryn Mawr College). She received her Ph.D. from Temple University's Psychology Program. Outside of academia, Dr. Wade has experience in Industrial/Organizational psychology, working in data analytics to aid organizations in prediction and selection decisions. Additionally, she has served as Clinical Supervisor and Executive Director for organizations providing ABA therapy to children with autism.  

Dr. Wade has participated in a wide variety of research projects including animal research investigating persistent preference and the operant-respondent distinction, say-do correspondence in staff behavior in publicly funded school classrooms, and investigating speaker and listener repertoires of typically developing preschool children pertaining to social skills relevant to play. More recently, Dr. Wade's research has explored the use of verbal behavior in flirtation and short-term romantic selection.  Projects have included gathering self-report data from college populations on flirtation, working with local speed-dating agencies, and conducting researcher-sponsored speed-dating and online dating studies. More generally, Dr. Wade’s interests pertain to complex verbal behavior including flirtation, persuasion, and humor. Dr. Wade is interested in providing thorough conceptual accounts and research on complex verbal behavior both to better understand typically developing adults and to eventually support intervention for clinical populations. Finally, she is interested in interdisciplinary perspectives that allow for integration of social psychological, behavior analytic, and cultural anthropological perspectives in studying verbal behavior and social phenomena. When teaching, she especially enjoys discussion of the relationship between basic and applied research in addition to identifying everyday examples of psychological concepts.

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Michael Stilwell, B.A.

Academic Advisor, Psychology
Student Success Advisor, Center for Natural and Behavioral Sciences

R. Michael Stilwell is the Student Success Advisor for the Center for Natural and Behavioral Sciences at Chestnut Hill College. Michael is from Pottstown, Pennsylvania, a town about thirty miles west of CHC, where he graduated Salutatorian of his high school class. Looking to explore more of the world, Michael went to South Carolina for his undergraduate studies at Furman University. During his time at Furman, he was lucky enough to study abroad at Bond University in Queensland, Australia. In 2020, he graduated from Furman University with his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. That following January, Michael began his work as a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) at Rainbow Elementary School in Coatesville, Pennsylvania. As an RBT, Michael worked with a wide range of elementary aged students with various socioeconomic and neurological backgrounds for almost two years. Wanting to work with an older population, Michael came to CHC to become the faculty advisor for the Psychology department which eventually grew into the position he currently holds. Michael is now enrolled in the graduate program at CHC seeking his Master of Science in Cybersecurity.  

Michael loves anime, movies, reading, and writing. He also loves his two cats, Sunflower and Daisy, as well as his two dogs, Lilly and Leo. His door is open to anyone who may need help.  

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