Chemical and Physical Science

Chemical and Physical Sciences Faculty

Full-Time Faculty

Marsi Archer, Professor of Chemistry
Department Chair, Chemical and Physical Science Department

Picture of Dr. Marsi ArcherEducation: Ph.D., Ohio State University; B.S., James Madison University
Teaching Responsibilities: General Chemistry, Allied Health Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, First Year Experience
Specialties/Research Interests: Chemistry Education, Organometallics
Advising Areas: Biochemistry and Chemistry.  MSSU Master Advisor certification.
Personal Interests: Baking, cake decorating, gardening, my children's activities (football, baseball, dance, cheerleading, taekwondo)
Contact: Reynolds Hall 213, 417-625-9541,

James Donelson, Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Picture of James DonelsonEducation: Ph.D., Purdue University
Teaching Responsibilities: General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry
Specialties/Research Interests: Organic Synthesis of Anticancer and Antibacterial Agents, Development of New Chemistry Education Labs, Green Chemistry
Advising Areas:  Medical Technology, Biochemistry – including pre-medical, pre-physical therapy, pre-pharmacy and pre-dental studies. MSSU Master Advisor certification.
Personal Interests: Outdoor Activities, Reading Science Fiction and Fantasy, Football, RPGs
Contact: Reynolds Hall 221, 417-625-9345,

I earned dual B.S. degrees in Biochemistry and Microbiology from the University of Arkansas in 2002.  I earned a PhD from Purdue University in Medicinal Chemistry /Molecular Pharmacology in 2007.  My doctoral research at Purdue involved development of solid-phase synthetic routes for the synthesis of novel inhibitors of the enzyme isoprenylcysteine methyl transferase, ICMT.  I then evaluated the activity of these compounds against Icmt as potential anticancer agents.  I currently have many active research projects ranging from synthesis of novel anticancer agents, synthesis and evaluation of analogs of naturally occurring antibiotics, and development of greener organic chemistry laboratory experiments. 

Elliot Ennis, Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Picture of Dr. Elliot EnnisEducation:  Doctor of Arts (DA), Middle Tennessee State University; M.S., Oregon State University; B.S., South Dakota State University, 
Teaching Responsibilities:  General Chemistry, Allied Health Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Environmental Organic Chemistry, Physical Science for Elementary Teachers
Specialties/Research Interests:  Chemical Education, Organic Chemistry
Advising Areas:   Chemistry, Chemistry Education, Biochemistry – including pre-medical, pre-physical therapy, pre-pharmacy and pre-dental studies. Biochemistry Forensics, Certified Master Advisor
                     Personal Interests:  Golf, Video Games, Watching Sports (especially the Patriots and Red Sox), Working out, Reading and spending time with my wife Jenni.
Contact:  Reynolds Hall 220, 417-659-4358,

I received a BS degree in Chemistry with a minor in psychology from South Dakota State University in 2002, a Masters in Analytical/Environmental from Oregon State in 2005 and my doctorate in Chemical Education from Middle Tennessee State University in 2010.  My master's work was developing a method do evaluate reductive dehalogenation in anaerobic ground water systems and my doctoral dissertation was over room temperature ionic liquids, organic chemistry textbooks, and inquiry-based lab activities.  I currently have research projects in Food Chemistry, Cosmetics Chemistry, Organic synthesis and Chemical Education.  I also do consulting work for textbook publishers. 

Michael Garoutte, Professor of Chemistry

Michael Garoutte photo Education: Ph.D., University of Kansas
Teaching Responsibilities: General Chemistry, Allied Health Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry
Specialties/Research Interests: Chemistry Education
Advising Areas: Medical Technology, Biochemistry – including pre-medical, pre-physical therapy, pre-pharmacy and pre-dental studies. MSSU Master Advisor certification.
Personal Interests: Photography, vocal music, reading fiction
Contact: Reynolds Hall 241, 417-625-9579,

I received my B.S. in Chemistry from Missouri Southern in 1989, and my doctoral work at Kansas involved mechanistic studies of proton transfer in enzymes. I am currently interested in research into teaching and learning in undergraduate STEM education, including theories of learning and effective instructional strategies. Since most current educational research points to inquiry and active learning as being effective in helping students master and communicate scientific concepts, I utilize these in my teaching. Additionally, I am involved in facilitating workshops and performing consulting in inquiry-based learning, most prominently through The POGIL Project. I also place a high value on the broad liberal arts education that students receive on their way to a degree from MSSU.


Lynell Gilbert-Saunders, Associate Professor of Chemistry

Picture of Lynell Gilbert-SaundersEducation: Ph.D., University of Missouri - Rolla, now Missouri S & T
Teaching Responsibilities: General Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Instrumental Analysis
Specialties/Research Interests: Product analysis, Chemical Education
Advising Areas: Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biochemistry Forensic Science 
Personal Interests: Horses, Gardening, Music, Canoe trips
Contact: Reynolds Hall 242, 417-625-5433,


Dan Marsh, Professor of Physics

Picture of Dr. Dan MarshEducation: Ph.D., Missouri University of Science and Technology; M.S., University of Arkansas; B.A., Drury University; ;
Teaching Responsibilities: Physical Science, Physical Science for Elementary Teachers, College Physics, General Physics, Modern Physics, Thermal and Statistical Physics, Electricity and Magnetism, Intermediate Lab, Vector Mechanics for Engineers, Classical Mechanics, and Quantum Mechanics.
Specialties/Research Interests: Physics Education and Science Education
Advising Areas: Physics, Pre-Engineering, and Pre-Medical studies.
Personal Interests: Farming, hiking, running, all types of music, reading (anything that is interesting), and learning something new  (hopefully every day).
Contact: Reynolds Hall 244, 417-659-4491,
My undergraduate degree was in Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry from Drury University. My masters work included development and experimental characterization of high Tc superconducting materials. My PhD work was in theoretical-computational quantum statistical physics. I studied an unusual temperature dependence in the Thermoelectric power (or Seebeck effect) observed in the transition-metal-oxide perovskite systems of La(Al,Mn)O3 and La(Cr,Mn)O3. I developed a theory which explains the temperature dependence, using a model of small polaron hopping conduction.  I am currently interested in research in Science education and Physics Education Research. My approach in Physics Education is based on the constructivist theories of Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky along with the recent developments based on the several groups active in PER.. I use these theories in my teaching and in workshops teaching inquiry based learning to in-service teachers. My teaching gives me the opportunity to constantly try out new ideas and different ways of teaching and (hopefully) improving learning.


David McKee

Picture of David McKeeEducation: Ph.D., New Mexico State University, B.S., Physics, University of California at Santa Barbara
Teaching Responsibilities: Physics. I hope to offer computational physics and introductory particle physics laboratory in the future.
Specialties/Research Interests: Experimental nuclear and particle physics. Particularly the structure of the nucleon, weak form factors and neutrino mixing.
Advising Areas: Physics, Pre-Engineering
Personal Interests: The technological history of the human race and how very much clever people can do with very little.
Contact: Email: Phone: 417-625-9744

Most people who study physics in college end up with job titles that don't have "physics" or "scientist" in them, but the technical skills that we teach can be applied very broadly. I want to hook you by the curiosity bump and slip in skills for the so-called "real" world as we explore the landscape of matter and energy together. Quantitative data analysis, multiple step problem solving, technical writing and public speaking will serve you where ever you go and whatever you do.

John Summerfield, Professor of Chemistry

Picture of Dr. John SummerfieldEducation: Ph.D, Oregon State University (Physical Chemistry)
Teaching Responsibilities:  Physics for non-science students, General Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Organic Chemistry lab 
Specialties/Research Interests:  Computer models of lithium ion batteries. Computer models of clays as a drug delivery method
Advising Areas: Chemistry, Biochemistry, Medical Technology
Personal Interests: Canoeing, Traveling to Central America, Gardening
Contact: Email: John Summerfield Phone: 417-625-9717


Jency Sundararajan, Assistant Professor of Physics

Jency Sundararajan photoEducation: Ph.D., & M.S., University of Idaho, M. PHil., M.Sc. and B Sc., Bharathidasan University, India
Teaching Responsibilities: General Physics, College Physics, Advanced Modern Physics.
Specialties/Research Interests: Experimental condensed matter physics, charge transport in nanostructures, micro and nanodevice fabrication and characterization, nanophotonics.
Advising Areas: Physics, Pre-Engineering, Nanophysics
Personal Interests: Music, Photography, Reading fiction
Contact: Email:  Reynolds Hall 118B  Phone: 417-625-3055

Albert Yeboah-Forson, Assistant Professor of Geophysics

Albert Forson photo Education: Ph.D., Florida International Univ.; M.S. Uni Tubingen Germany; B.S KNUST Ghana.
Teaching Responsibilities: Earth and Space Science, Introductory and Environmental Geology, Meteorology and Physical Science.
Specialties/Research Interests: Geophysical characterization of aquifer systems, Groundwater remediation /contaminant modeling and Environmental Impact Assessment.
Advising Areas: Physics, Pre-Engineering, Geology
Personal Interests: Travelling, Outdoors and Sports
Contact: Email: Phone: 417-625-9616


Adjunct and Part-Time Faculty

John Knapp, Professor of Geophysics

Picture of Dr. John KnappEducation: Ph.D., University of Washington; B.A., University of California at Berkeley;
Teaching Responsibilities:  Introductory and environmental geology, meteorology, physics, and sustainability-related courses for the International Studies Program
Specialties/Research Interests:  Long-term energy policy, international sustainability issues, science education, and local geology.
Advising Areas: Physics, Pre-Engineering
Personal Interests: Hiking and backpacking, wine and beer-making, travel, and gardening
Contacts: Email: John Knapp Phone: 417-625-9720

Trained as a seismologist, Knapp originally worked in the petroleum industry, utilizing geophysical methods to discover new energy resources.   He sits on several boards, including the Joplin Museum Complex (where he doubles as their geologist), KXMS Radio, and the SEG Geoscience Center.  He is also the founding president of the Missouri Southern AAUP chapter.

Larry Albright, Professor of Chemistry

Education: Ph.D., The University of Nebraska; M.S., The University of Nebraska;B.S., Northwest Missouri State University
Teaching Responsibilities:  General Chemistry
Specialties/Research Interests:  Analytical Chemistry, Batteries
Contacts: Email: Larry Albright

Greg Howard, Adjunct Instructor

Education: M.S., Pittsburg State University; B.S., Missouri Southern State University,
Teaching Responsibilities:  Fundamentals of Physical Science
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Contacts: Email: Greg Howard Phone:  625-9719

Mel Huff, Adjunct Instructor

Education: M.S., University of Minnesota Duluth
Teaching Responsibilities:  Geology
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Contacts: Email: Mel Huffman Phone:  625-9579

Diane Ray

Education: M.S.Ed., Missouri State University
Teaching Responsibilities: Chemistry for Allied Health Sciences

Tannaz Tavakkoli, Adjunct Instructor

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