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Chemical and Physical Sciences Faculty

Dr. James Donelson


Associate Professor of Chemistry and Department Chair

Ph.D., Purdue University (Medicinal Chemistry/Molecular Pharmacology)

Teaching Responsibilities: Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry, Medicinal Chemistry
Specialties/Research Interests : Organic synthesis of novel metabotropic glutamate receptor antagonists as potential treatments for autism spectrum disorder.
Advising Areas: Biochemistry (including pre-medical, pre-pharmacy and pre-dental studies). MSSU Master Advisor certification.

Office: Reynolds Hall 213
Phone: 417-625-9345

Dr. Marsi Archer 


Dean, College of Arts and Sciences

Ph.D., Ohio State University (Inorganic Chemistry)

Office: Hearnes Hall Rm 306A
Phone: 417-625-9385

Dr. Rabindra Bajracharya 


Associate Professor of Physics

Ph.D. and M.S.T., University of Maine (Physics Education)
M.A., Kent State University
M.Sc. and B.Sc., Tribhuvan University, Nepal

Teaching Responsibilities: Physical Sciences for Elementary Teachers, College Physics, and General Physics.
Specialties/Research Interests: Physics Education Research
Advising Areas: Physics, Pre-Engineering, and Secondary-Education (Physics).

Office: Reynolds Hall 314
Phone: 417-625-3024

Dr. Shayna Burchett


Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Ph.D., Missouri University of Science & Technology (Chemistry)

Teaching Responsibilities: General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry
Research Interests: Chemistry Education, Science Education, Distance Education, and Science Outreach

Office: Reynolds Hall 327
Phone: 417-625-9744

Dr. Michael Garoutte


Professor of Chemistry

Ph. D., University of Kansas (Bioorganic Chemistry)

Teaching Responsibilities:  Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry, General Chemistry, Allied Health Chemistry
Research Interests: Chemistry Education, Active Learning
Advising Areas: Medical Laboratory Sciences, Biochemistry (including pre-medical, pre-physical therapy, pre-pharmacy and pre-dental studies), Secondary Education-Chemistry, MSSU Master Advisor certification
Personal Interests: Photography, travel, hiking, reading, choral/small ensemble singing, technology

Office: Reynolds Hall 311
Phone: 417-625-9579

Dr. Lynell Gilbert-Saunders


Professor of Chemistry

Ph.D., University of Missouri - Rolla (Physical Chemistry)

Teaching Responsibilities: General Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Instrumental Analysis
Specialties/Research Interests: Product analysis, Chemical Education
Advising Areas: Chemistry, Biochemistry, Biochemistry Forensic Science

Office: Reynolds Hall 313
Phone: 417-659-5433


Alma Gonzales


Master Instructor

M.S., Bowling Green State University (Photochemistry/Computational Chemistry)
M.S., Clemson University (Chemistry Education)
M.S., Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (Analytical/Environmental/Organic Chemistry)

Teaching Responsibilities: General Chemistry, Allied Health Chemistry

Office: Reynolds Hall 312
Phone: 417-625-9686

Dr. Bornface Gunsaru


Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Ph.D., Portland State University (Chemistry)

Teaching Responsibilities: General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry
Specialties/Research Interests: Medicinal Chemistry, Chemistry Education and Active Learning

Office: Reynolds Hall 326
Phone: 417-625-3057

Dr. Beike Jia


Associate Professor of Chemistry

Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Rice University
Master of Arts in Physical Chemistry from Rice University

Teaching Responsibilities: General Chemistry, Physical Chemistry
Research Interests: Reaction Dynamics
Advising Areas: Chemistry


Dr. Aaron Moore


Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Ph.D., Kansas State University (Chemistry)

Teaching Responsibilities: General Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry
Research Interests: Metabolite analysis, synthetic inorganic chemistry

Office: Reynolds Hall 209
Phone: 417-625-9567

Dr. Jency Sundararajan


Associate Professor of Physics

Ph.D., University of Idaho (Physics)
M.S., University of Idaho (Physics)
M.Phil., Bharathidasan University, India (Physics)
M.Sc., Bharathidasan University, India (Physics)

Teaching Responsibilities: College Physics, General Physics, Electronic Circuits
Research Interests: Nanosensors, Nanodevice simulations, Thin film solar cells
Advising Areas: Physics, Pre-engineering

Office: Reynolds 326 
Phone: 417-625-3055

Adjunct and Part-Time Faculty

Adjunct Office: Reynolds Hall 104
Adjunct Phone: 417-659-4202

Greg Howard

Adjunct Instructor

Office: Reynolds Hall 104

Professor Emeritus

Dr. Mel Mosher (1940-2010)

Professor of Chemistry, Missouri Southern State University, 1974-2010
Assistant Professor at Marshall University in Huntington, WV (1969-74)
Post-Doctoral Fellow at University of Alberta - Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (1967-69) (D.D. Tanner)
Ph.D. in Physical Organic Chemistry from University of Idaho (1968) (J.H. Cooley)
M.S. in Chemistry from University of Idaho (1964) (J.H. Cooley)
B.A. in Chemistry from University of Washington - Seattle (1962)

In 1974, Dr. Mosher took a half-time appointment as Assistant Director of the Missouri Southern State College Regional Crime Laboratory and a half-time appointment as Assistant Professor of Chemistry. In 1998 he moved from his two half time positions to full time teaching in the Physical Science Department as a Professor of Chemistry.

Dr. Mosher  taught organic chemistry, general chemistry, and introductory (allied health) chemistry.  He also taught special topics courses for upper-division majors, and regularly Mosher-Research-Group.jpg mentored students on independent research projects. His research interests included physical organic chemistry and the synthesis of possible new classes of drugs. Dr. Mosher's MSSU undergraduate students published 9 papers in refereed journals (including the Transactions of the MAS) and gave over 70 presentations at national and regional scientific meetings.

Dr. Mosher was active in the American Chemical Society, serving in the local section as Chair several times. He was instrumental in bringing the Midwest Regional Meeting of the ACS to Joplin both in 1995 (where he served as Technical Chair) and in 2005 (when he was General Chair). Each of these three-day meetings brought over 500 chemists from around the world to Joplin. He was also highly involved in planning several annual Missouri Academy of Science meetings that were held at Southern. He served in several offices in the Academy, including President of the Academy during the 2007-2008 year, and he was recognized as a Fellow of the Missouri Academy of Science in 2006.

When not in the classroom or the research laboratory with his students, Dr. Mosher's hobbies were varied. He played soccer, later coaching (at the competition level) and officiating (at the high school level). He compiled an extensive collection and record of native American rock art sites and presented several talks on petroglyphs and pictographs. He collected Eskimo (Inuit) soapstone carvings and the collection was shown at several exhibits at Missouri Southern. Many Chemistry Club picnics were held at his home, with many games of croquet played, and he was instrumental in getting an ACS Student Affiliate chapter at Missouri Southern. He created "Trivial Pursuit" style board games for Organic Chemistry ("Organic Mastery"), General Chemistry, and Allied Health Chemistry, which gave countless students many hours of educational entertainment in his classes and those of his colleagues. A paper describing the "Organic Mastery" game was published posthumously in 2012 in the Journal of Chemical Education ( He never stood on formality, and regularly marked out the last three letters of his first name ("Melvyn") on nametags at professional meetings (see photo above for an example).