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Faculty and Staff


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Fordyce Lux III
Professor, Department Chair


303-615-0230



fluxiii@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
SI

Office Number:
2042D

Office Hours:

Monday/Wednesday:

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Tuesday/Thursday:

11:00 AM - 12::00 PM

Campus Box Number:
53


Directory Profile



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Erin Bissell
Assistant Professor


303-615-0242



ebissell@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
SI

Office Number:
2066

Office Hours:

Monday/Wednesday: 

12:30 - 1:30 (SI 3008)

Tuesday/Thursday:

10:30 - 12:00

 

Campus Box Number:
53


Directory Profile



Christy Carello
Professor


303-615-0236



carello@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
SI

Office Number:
2046

Office Hours:

Tuesday:

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Thursday:

11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Friday:

9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

 

Campus Box Number:
53


Directory Profile



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Maria Cattell
Lecturer


303-615-0777



mcattell@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
SI

Office Number:
2057

Office Hours:

Monday/Wednesday:

12:00 PM - 2:00 PM

 

Tuesday/Thursday:

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Campus Box Number:
53


Directory Profile



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Cindy Church
Professor


303-615-0217



churchcy@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
SI

Office Number:
2037

Office Hours:

Tuesdays:

8:00 AM - 9:30 AM and 1:30 PM - 2:00 PM

Thursdays:

8:00 AM - 9:30 AM and 10:45 AM - 11:15 AM and 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Campus Box Number:
53


Directory Profile

Bio:

Cindy Church's Personal Website



Jonathan Dyhr
Assistant professor


303-615-5954



jdyhr@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
SI

Office Number:
2030

Office Hours:

Tuesdays:

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Wednesdays:

10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Thursdays:

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Campus Box Number:
53


Directory Profile



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Rebecca Ferrell
Professor


303-615-0211



ferrellr@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
SI

Office Number:
2033

Office Hours:

Monday:

3:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Tuesday/Thursday:

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Campus Box Number:
53


Directory Profile



Joan Foster
Professor


303-615-0429



fosterjl@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
SI

Office Number:
SI 2034

Office Hours:

Mondays/Wednesdays: 

11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Tuesdays:(By appointment only)

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

 

Campus Box Number:
53


Directory Profile



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Jennifer Gagliardi-Seeley
Associate Professor


303-615-0226



jgaglia1@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
SI

Office Number:
2041

Office Hours:

Tuesday/Thursday:

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Wednesday:

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Campus Box Number:
53


Directory Profile



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Robert Hancock
Professor


303-615-0231



rhancoc5@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
SI

Office Number:
2044

Office Hours:

On Sabbatical

Campus Box Number:
53


Directory Profile



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Clare Hays
Professor


303-615-0210



haysc@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
SI

Office Number:
2032

Office Hours:

Tuesdays/Thursdays:

8:00 AM - 11:00 AM 

 

Campus Box Number:
53


Directory Profile

Bio:

Clare Hays' Personal Website



Jason Kolts
Assistant Professor


303-615-0219



jkolts@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
SI

Office Number:
2038

Office Hours:

 

 

Monday :

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM AND 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Wednesday:

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Tuesday/Thursday:

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Campus Box Number:
53


Directory Profile



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Hsiu-Ping Liu
Professor


303-615-0221



hliu1@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
SI

Office Number:
2039

Office Hours:

Tuesday / Thursday:

8:00 AM - 9:30 AM AND 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

 

 

 

 

Campus Box Number:
53


Directory Profile



Christopher Meloche
Associate Professor


303-615-0234



cmeloche@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
SI

Office Number:
2045

Office Hours:

Monday:

2:00 PM - 5:00 PM 

Tuesday/Thursday:

4:00 PM - 5:30 PM (In SI 3008)

 

Campus Box Number:
53


Directory Profile



Portrait of Dr. Vida Melvin

Vida Melvin
Assistant Professor


303-615-0239



vmelvin@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
SI

Office Number:
2062

Office Hours:

Mondays/Wednesdays:

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Tuesdays/Thursdays:

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

 

Campus Box Number:
53


Directory Profile



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Doug Petcoff
Professor


303-615-0208



petcoff@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
SI

Office Number:
2031

Office Hours:

Monday/Wednesday:

1:50 PM - 2:50 PM

Tuesday/Thursday:

1:45 PM - 3:15 PM

Campus Box Number:
53


Directory Profile



Photo of Dr. Anil Rao.

Anil Rao
Professor


303-615-0216



raoa@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
SI

Office Number:
2036

Office Hours:

Mondays/Wednesdays:

12:00 PM - 1:50 PM 

Wednesdays:

9:00 AM - 9:50 AM

Thursday:

9:00 AM - 11:00 AM ( By appointment only)

Friday:

9:00 AM - 11:00 AM

Campus Box Number:
53


Directory Profile

Bio:

Anil Rao's Personal Website



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Jeff Simpson
Professor


303-615-0235



simpsonj@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
SI

Office Number:
2035

Office Hours:

Monday:

2:00 PM -3:00 PM (SI 2046)

Tuesday:

12:20 PM - 1:50 PM (SI 2046)

Wednesday:

2:00 PM -3:30 PM (SI 2046)

Thursday:

12:20 PM - 1:20 PM (SI 2046)

Campus Box Number:
53


Directory Profile

Bio:

Jeff Simpson's Personal Website



Picture of Dr. Helene Ver Eecke

Helene Ver Eecke
Assistant Professor


303-615-0238



vereecke@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
SI

Office Number:
2060

Office Hours:

Monday/Wednesday:

12:30 PM - 2:00 PM AND 3:50 PM - 4:20 PM

Friday:

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Campus Box Number:
53


Directory Profile

Bio:

Helene Ver Eecke, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Department of Biology at Metropolitan State University of Denver. She specializes in extreme microbiology; and is a founding member and intercollege-liaison of the Beer Industry program.

Ver Eecke served as senior microbiologist for an industrial fermentation company where her skills of screening, cultivating, and optimizing microbes were expanded to large scale processes. She has been a professor of biology at numerous institutions and is currently a tenure-track professor at MSU Denver. Her research lab on campus is used to study various projects including brewing, bioremediation and extremophiles.

Ver Eecke has been involved in the conceptualization and actualization of the Beer Industry program, including co-developing the fermentation science course curriculum. As an avid home-brewer, she’s excited to further foster collaborations with the brewing community and expand brewing operations programs at MSU Denver.

Her work in extreme microbiology has been featured in NASA Magazine, Science Daily and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal to name a few. In 2012, Ver Eecke was one of the scientists to help define new limits of microbial life in undersea volcanoes, the findings of which were published in the PNAS journal titled “Hydrogen-limited growth of hyperthermophilic methanogens at deep-sea hydrothermal vents”. Her more recent work includes an article published in Geochemistry Geophysics Geosystems journal in 2016 titled “Linkages between mineralogy, fluid chemistry, and microbial communities within hydrothermal chimneys from the Endeavor Segment, Juan de Fuca Ridge.”

Ver Eecke received her doctorate in microbiology from University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2010 and a bachelor’s in biology from McDaniel College in 2005.

 



Photo of Dr. Sheryl Zajdowics

Sheryl Zajdowicz
Associate Professor


303-615-0223



swaltonz@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Faculty

Office Location:
SI

Office Number:
2040

Office Hours:

Monday / Wednesday:

9:30 AM - 10:30 AM

Tuesday:

1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Campus Box Number:
53


Directory Profile




photo of liz moore with a snake

Liz Moore
Program Coordinator


303-615-0229



emoore32@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Full-Time Staff

Office Location:
SI

Office Number:
2042B

Campus Box Number:
53


Directory Profile



Photo of Jessica Ovitz at the South Pole

Jessica Ovitz
Assistant Academic Coordinator


303-615-0777



jovitz1@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Full-Time Staff

Office Location:
SI

Office Number:
2042

Office Hours:

Jessica works in both Biology and Chemistry. These are her hours for the Biology department:

Monday through Friday, 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM

 

 

Campus Box Number:
53


Directory Profile

Bio:

Jessica’s family moved around a bit before ultimately landing in the Denver area when she was ten years old and she is so grateful to call Colorado home. She loves the mountains, the laidback vibe, the sunny days…all of it! That said, she was also born with a pinch of wanderlust, which has resulted in a few random adventures along the way. Most recently, she spent the last four years as a seasonal contract worker for the U.S. Antarctic Program where she and her husband managed the store at McMurdo Station. Jessica’s work history includes time spent in non-profit organizations, social services, human resources, and retail. Somewhere in there she also earned a B.A. in English from St. Olaf College in Minnesota and an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Colorado Denver.

Jessica’s path has not always appeared linear or logical, even to her (ha!), but she has found value in the journey and in supporting others as they navigate their own. She is excited to join the Metro community and lend her support to the students and faculty in both the chemistry and biology departments. Jessica loves to hear other people’s stories of adventure too, whether near or far, so feel free to introduce yourself and share a tale or two! Go Roadrunners!

P.S. Jessica’s favorite form of punctuation is the exclamation point. It’s a thing. In fact, she really had to hold herself back while writing this bio because…she’s so excited to join the team!!!  




Lisa Gotow
Laboratory Coordinator II


303-615-0246



lgotow@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Full-Time Staff

Office Location:
SI

Office Number:
2100

Campus Box Number:
53


Directory Profile



Mark Karlok
Laboratory Coordinator II


303-615-0244



mkarlok@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Full-Time Staff

Office Location:
SI

Office Number:
2096

Campus Box Number:
53


Directory Profile



Melissa Moore
Lab Coordinator Assistant


303-605-5831



mmoor110@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Full-Time Staff

Office Location:
SI

Office Number:
1090A

Campus Box Number:
53


Directory Profile



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Carol Tkach (Winther)
Laboratory Coordinator II


303-615-0184



winther@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Full-Time Staff

Office Location:
SI

Office Number:
1093

Campus Box Number:
53


Directory Profile




Photo of Michelle Ruiz biology adviser.

Michelle Ruiz
Academic Advisor & Retention Specialist, Biology


303-605-5462



mruiz29@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Full-Time Staff

Office Location:
SI

Office Number:
2058

Office Hours:

Please visit https://msudenver.edu/advising/ to schedule an appointment.

For WALK-INS ONLY:

Monday/Wednesday/Friday:

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Tuesday/Thursday:

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM

 

 

Campus Box Number:
53


Directory Profile



Denise standing in front of butterfly above science cafe

Denise Daphne
Academic Advisor and Retention Specialist


303-615-0777



ddaphne@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Full-Time Staff

Office Location:
SI

Office Number:
2058

Campus Box Number:
53


Directory Profile

Bio:

Denise was accidentally born in Wyoming, but is practically a Colorado native. She earned her B.A. in Political Science (2011) and her M.A. in English (2018), both from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Denise worked in early childhood education for several years before delving into adolescent development. She earned her Secondary Teaching License from the University of West Florida and briefly taught high school.

Most recently, Denise worked as a Youth Services Specialist within juvenile corrections. Denise is excited to work with such a diverse student body and she already loves the Department of Biology! A voracious reader and lifelong learner, Denise is passionate about social justice, education, and human development. Outside of work, she enjoys running, hiking, back backing, dance, and MMA.



Photo of our academic advisor Katie Nittmann

Katie Gutierrez Nittmann
Academic Advisor and Retention Specialist


303-605-7217



knittman@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Full-Time Staff

Office Location:
SI

Office Number:
3058

Campus Box Number:
53


Directory Profile

Bio:

Katie Gutierrez Nittmann (she/her/hers) is excited to join the CLAS advising team and the departments of Biology and Chemistry! She is originally from Ft. Collins, CO, earned her B.A. in Sociology and Peace and Justice Studies from Tufts University in Medford/Somerville, MA, and returned to Colorado to earn her M.A. in Higher Education from the University of Denver.

Immediately prior to joining MSU, Katie worked with transfer students at the Community College of Aurora, and taught a section of AAA 109: Advanced Academic Achievement. She has also worked in higher education with learning communities and student cultural centers. She has received training in the areas of social justice workshop facilitation and inclusive pedagogy. Katie is passionate about serving and empowering underrepresented students, and creating student-centered places, policies, and practices in every facet of higher education. When not at work, Katie can be found trying out different restaurants around Denver with her partner or snuggling their chihuahua, Diablo.



Student Staff


Marina Bialik
Front Office Assistant Student Staff


303-615-0777



pbialik@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Student Employee

Campus Box Number:
53


Directory Profile



photo of student Makayla Deherrera with her dog

Makayla Deherrera
Front Office Assistant Student Staff


303-615-0777



mdeher10@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Student Employee

Campus Box Number:
53


Directory Profile

Bio:

Hi, I'm Makayla! I'm a Chemistry major and I've been working at the front desk at the Biology department since Fall 2019.



Picture of Violet Eagle

Violet Eagle
Front Office Assistant Student Staff


303-615-0777



veagle@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Student Employee

Campus Box Number:
53


Directory Profile

Bio:

Sicangu Lakota Sioux

Major: Environmental Science, concentration in Ecological restoration

Professional Affiliations:  AISES

                                             SACNAS

                                             Progress

                                             ULP

                                             CO - WY AMP

Expected Graduation: Spring 2020

I have been a student employee for the biology department since fall 2015. 

 



Stephanie Schmidt
Front Office Assistant Student Staff


303-615-0777



sschmi30@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Student Employee

Campus Box Number:
53


Directory Profile



photo of Maria Villagrana sitting on a bench

Maria Villagrana
Front Office Assistant Student Staff


303-615-0777



mvillag3@msudenver.edu

Position Role:
Student Employee

Campus Box Number:
53


Directory Profile

Bio:

Hey Maria here, I have been working at the Biology department since summer of 2018. I am a Biology major who loves reading and science! 



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