Michael Jacobs

Michael Jacobs, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

Jacobs has been teaching at MSU Denver since 2007 and currently teaches classes in Brewing Science, Physical Chemistry and Molecular Spectroscopy. He has been active in the planning of the new beer labs on campus and helped develop the curriculum for the brewing science course and the brewing program as a whole. Jacobs also teaches as part of MSU Denver’s Summer Science Institute, which inspires middle school students to consider STEM fields and University opportunities. His industry experience is in food chemistry and Rhone Poulenc food ingredients. Prior to joining MSU Denver, Jacobs worked at West Virginia University as a National Science Foundation fellow. He is part of the American Homebrewer’s Association (AHA) and has home brewed for 11 years and made wine for five years.

Jacobs has co-authored several publications including “New Aspects of Slime Chemistry” for 250th American Chemical Society National Meeting in 2015 and “Biofuels for Campus Sustainability” for 247th American Chemical Society National Meeting in 2014. His research interests include spectroscopy (SERS), biodiesel production, analysis of ancient glass, environmental analysis, brewing science and biomineralization.

Jacobs received his doctorate in applied chemistry with a minor in natural resource economics and a master’s in chemistry from Colorado School of Mines and a bachelor’s in chemistry with a minor in mathematics from Waynesburg University.

April Hill

April Hill, Ph.D., is a professor and program director of Criminalistics in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Metropolitan State University of Denver. She has conducted research on water quality analysis, forensic chemical analysis, archaeochemistry and science education for the visually impaired.

During her graduate research, Hill completed 12 flights aboard NASA’s microgravity aircraft, affectionately known as the “Vomit Comet.” She then completed a post doctorate in education and outreach at Penn State University’s Center for Nanoscale Science, where Hill developed a passion for creating hands-on science experiences for the blind. Her work in this area has been published in the Journal of Chemical Education and was awarded a ChemLuminary Award from the American Chemical Society.

As a dedicated proponent of increasing minority participation in STEM fields, Hill serves on the steering committee for MSU Denver’s CO-WY AMP Program and as the academic advisor for the Women in Science student organization. Her current research efforts include projects in archaeochemistry, chemical education for students with visual impairments and forensic chemistry. She has collaborated with the Denver Museum of Nature & Science on several projects, including analyzing residues in ancient Mayan beer vessels to recreate an authentic Mayan beer and performing a demonstration of the Marsh Test for arsenic which was featured in the recent Poisons exhibit.

Hill received her doctorate in analytical chemistry and a graduate certificate of forensic science from Iowa State University in 2007. She completed her bachelor’s in chemistry and became ACS certified from Central College in Iowa in 2002.

Bob Hancock

Robert “Bob” Hancock, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Biology at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

Hancock has studied, taught and filmed insects all over the world for more than 20 years. The filmmaker and medical entomologist’s close-up footage has been featured on network and cable television programs world-wide and his documentary series “Mosquito Man” has been recognized internationally. His film, “Bedbugs of London” received an Honorable Mention for macro cinematography from the International Wildlife Film Festival. Hancock was interviewed about the new human clinical trials for a possible West Nile virus vaccine in 2015.

He was a professor of biology for 15 years at University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, KY before joining MSU Denver in 2008. In addition to teaching, Hancock serves as an undergraduate advisor in the areas of entomology, animal behavior and zoology. He has also written many scholarly articles on the behavior and physiology of mosquitoes, bed bugs and other blood sucking insects.

Hancock received his doctorate and masters in medical entomology from Ohio State University and two bachelor’s degrees in biology and chemistry from Hastings College in Nebraska.

Rebecca Ferrell

Rebecca Ferrell, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Biology at Metropolitan State University of Denver. Her areas of expertise include biology of women, genetics/genetic engineering, microbiology and virology. She is currently teaching General Microbiology and Biology of Women, which is also taught as a gender and women’s studies course.

Ferrell’s research areas include assessing nitrogen cycling microbes on the green roof of the Jordan Student Success Building, a study of water quality in Bear Creek, and assisting Centro Ecologico Akumal with water quality issues on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Ferrell is currently part of a research team testing local wastewater to potentially forecast forthcoming COVID-19 virus outbreaks, which is being led by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Barb EchoHawk

Barbara EchoHawk, Ph.D., is a professor of geology in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

James Dove

James Dove, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Physics at Metropolitan State University of Denver. His research interests include solar physics and high-energy astrophysics.

Dove received his doctorate in astrophysics from University of Colorado, Boulder in 1997 and a bachelor’s in physics from University of California, San Diego in 1991.

Grant Denn

Grant Denn, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Physics at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

He was trained as an astrophysicist but has been teaching full time at MSU Denver since 2004, while also teaching some undergraduate physics classes at University of Colorado Denver. He also worked as a teaching and research fellow at Sweet Briar College. Additionally, Denn has conducted research on active galactic nuclei, astronomy education, asteroid detection through radar astronomy, hydrogen content in galaxies. His most recent project is Astronomy Learning in Immersive Virtual Environments.

Denn received his doctorate in astrophysics from University of Iowa and a bachelor’s from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.

Cynthia Church

To give you some idea about who I am, I teach on a full-time basis in the MSU Denver Department of Biology. My courses include invertebrate zoology, parasitology, genetics and general biology online. I teach a study abroad course in the Galápagos Islands titled “In Darwin’s Footsteps”.

Prior to coming to MSU Denver, I was a visiting assistant professor at Oberlin College in Ohio. In my dissertation work, which I completed in 1996 at CU-Boulder, I examined the role of a nuclear gene, PET100, in the cytochrome c oxidase assembly pathway in yeast. The study combined molecular genetics including cloning and characterization of PET100 (see JBC 1996 and JBC 2005), with cell biology using confocal fluorescence and electron microscopy (see J. Exp. Bio 1998). Prior to beginning my doctoral research, I received a master’s degree in parasitology. My thesis project was a taxonomic study of the cestodes of the round stingray from Puerto Peñasco, Mexico.

Recent publication: Intestinal Infections in Humans in the Rocky Mountain Region

Andrew Bonham

Andrew Bonham, Ph.D., is a professor and chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Metropolitan State University of Denver. He is a research biochemist with a focus on development of novel biosensors for detection and quantification of proteins and small molecules.

Bonham has been teaching at MSU Denver since 2011 and became chair of the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department in 2016. While pursuing his doctorate, Bonham worked as a post-doctoral fellow and graduate research associate at University of California in Santa Barbara, and as an undergraduate researcher at University of Colorado in Boulder while pursuing his bachelor’s degree. Bonham has received several teaching awards and a Tri Counties Blood Bank Santa Barbara Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Santa Barbara Foundation in 2010. His professional memberships include Association of American Colleges and Universities, American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Society for Biological Engineering, and American Chemical Society.

As a biochemist by trade, Bonham conducts research on transcription factor interactions, biosensors development for early cancer and disease diagnosis, novel spectroscopic investigations of gene regulation and protein-binding events. He has published several articles on his research and co-authored the Biochemistry Laboratory Manual CHE 4350 for the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Bonham also runs the Bonham Research Lab at MSU Denver.

He received a doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biology from University of California, Santa Barbara in 2010 and a bachelor’s in chemistry and biochemistry from University of Colorado, Boulder in 2004.

Antonio C. Bellisario

Antonio Bellisario’s academic training is at the intersection of the fields of International Developing Planning and Environmental Geography. Current research and writing projects are at the crossroads between sustainable development (understood as a mechanism that protects ecologies while at the same time expands socio-economic equity) and the politics of resource management.

At a personal level, what drives his research agenda is his willingness to seek out opportunities for research collaboration and a strong desire to bring these experiences to the classroom to reach students. Bellisario’s regional specialization is South America, with a focus on Chile.

His early research and publications have been focused on the topic of land politics centering on the social contestation about farming and food production in Chile. In this research and publications, he has analyzed the political competition from organized non-governmental groups and political parties in society to shape the planning actions and policies of government.

As for his current research, Bellisario is working on four projects. The first project is an assessment of water resources and the impact of agricultural and mining activities in the water budget of the Aconcagua river basin in Central Chile. The second project is the ongoing collaborative analysis on the urban experience and urban popular culture during the Allende socialist government in Chile. The third project investigates the evolution of land use patterns in Chile, with a longitudinal study of a sample of farms from a rural municipality to track agricultural transformations (he and his team have a working draft for publication). The fourth project is a collaboration with Marco Marquez and Rodrigo Contreras (both professional planners practicing in Chile) that critically analyzes, with the use of key case studies, the effectiveness of territorial planning instruments in Chile.