Our Faculty

School of STEM Faculty

Jessica Berrios

Jessica W. Berrios

Office: Maguire Hall G4, inside the Exercise Science Lab
B.S. in Nutrition & Exercise Science (Queens College – CUNY) ; M.S. & Ph.D. in Applied Exercise Physiology (Springfield College).

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Dan Brennan

Daniel Brennan

Office: Maguire Hall 221A
Lecturer of Professional Practice Computer Science

BSEE/MSEE New Jersey Institute of Technology. Over 35 years of experience as an engineer in the data and telecommunications industry. Awarded seven U.S. patents in the areas of data communications equipment design. Recipient of a National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Technology and Engineering Emmy Award.

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Kim Burns

Kimberly Burns

Office: Costello 115
I graduated from STAC with my BS in Biology in 2013 and my MST in 2015. I began teaching Chemistry Labs at STAC as an adjunct before moving into my current position as Lab Coordinator and Biology Lab instructor. I am sometimes referred to as the "turtle lady" due to the many turtles and tortoises I have rescued over the years and my office is often a place where people come to visit theses turtles and other animals I have.

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Steve Burns

Steve Burns

Office: Spellman 105C
Assistant Dean, School of STEM

Chemistry is defined by students as a natural science that can be broken down into two major categories “blowing stuff up” and “making drugs.”

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Meghan De Witt

Meghan De Witt

Office: Costello 203
Dr. De Witt grew up in an army family, traveling all over the world, and thinks this is why New York (containing the entire world in one city) is the perfect place to settle down in. She attended Brigham Young University and then the University of Wisconsin at Madison studying pure mathematics, before quickly realizing that applying mathematics to the world is the fun part of life. She is the 3D printer/lego/toy guru on campus, with an office full of all of these for anyone's enjoyment when they want a break from school work.

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K Emma Emanuel

K Emma Emanuel

Office: Costello 113A
Assistant Professor of Biology

British Medical Doctor (Cambridge University 1991 MA MB BChir). Passed board exams for Royal College of General Practictioners 1997. Worked in general practice, internal medicine, OBGYN, pediatrics and psychiatry in England. Transitioned to teaching in USA in 2013.

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Donald Johnson

Donald Johnson

Office: Costello 114A

Physics professors, with some exceptions, do not lead interesting lives worthy of a biography. I am not one of the exceptions. B.S. in Physics from Rhodes College and a PhD in Physics from Washington University.

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Brett smiling in front of white board with inputs of code written out

Brett Karopczyc

Office: Maguire 221B

Brett Karopczyc is a Lecturer of Professional Practice in Computer Science in the School of STEM at STAC. He received his B.S. in Computer Science from the College of Engineering at Cornell University, and his M.S. in Computer Science from the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University.

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Stephanie smiling outside of Borelli Hall with green trees and brick building in background

Stephanie Lauer

Office: Costello 113B
Assistant Professor of Biology

Dr. Lauer teaches General Biology, Biochemistry, and Genetics. After completing her Ph.D. in Biology in 2018 at New York University, she taught a course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE) in Synthetic Biology while performing research in the same field at NYU Langone. Her research focuses on genome rearrangements in budding yeast, where she uses cutting-edge techniques like CRISPR to perform genetic engineering. Outside of the lab, she enjoys doing yoga, reading (especially science fiction), and going to the beach.

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Andrew Lee

Andrew Lee

Office: Maguire 104
Andrew Lee received his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in 2017. After a term as a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Santa Cruz, he arrived at St. Thomas Aquinas College in 2019.

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Gabriel smiling wearing glasses with wood fence and green grass in background

Gabriel Martinez

Office: Maguire 106
Assistant Professor of Exercise Science

Dr. Gabriel Martinez received his B.S. in Physical Education and Exercise Science, and M.S. in Cardiac Rehabilitation and Exercise Science from Brooklyn College. He then went on to complete his Ph.D. in Exercise Science at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Martinez notes: "I look forward to sharing my knowledge and experience of exercise science with the students of STAC and hope they can foster their own love of the field! I am also very excited to become a part of the STAC community!

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Caleb McWhorter

Caleb McWhorter

Office: Maguire 129

Website: coffeeintotheorems.com
Dr. McWhorter is from the Lake George region of New York. Although originally a violin performance major, he quickly changed interests to the sciences. He did his undergraduate in Ithaca, NY, taking classes at both Ithaca College and Cornell University. Dr. McWhorter earned his bachelors in Mathematics and Physics at Ithaca College. He then spent a year teaching at SUNY Adirondack before beginning his doctorate in Syracuse, NY. After completing his Ph.D. at Syracuse University, Dr. McWhorter joined the STAC family in Fall 2021 as an Assistant Professor of Mathematics.

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Heather A. Rave

Heather A. Rave

Office: Costello 202A

Dr. Heather Rave is an associate professor of physics at St. Thomas Aquinas College where she teaches undergraduate courses including General Physics I, General Physics II, Astronomy, and Applied Calculus. Dr. Rave earned a B.S. in Natural Science, Specialization in Physics as well as a B.S in Mathematics at St. Thomas Aquinas College in 1998, an M.S. in Astrophysics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2001, and her Ed.D. in Science Education, Specialization in Astrophysics at Rutgers University in 2018. Dr. Rave was hired as a Post-Master’s researcher at Drexel University from 2002-2004. She has been teaching at St. Thomas Aquinas College since 2006.

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Clara Toth

Clara Tóth

Office: Costello 202B

Dr. Tóth is Professor of Biology and Senior Biologist, and heads up the Forensic Science major at St. Thomas Aquinas College. She holds a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology, and two MS degrees in Microbiology and Immunology and Cell Biology. She is also certified in Forensic DNA and Serology. Dr. Tóth is one of the pre-health and pre-graduate program advisors.

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Robert Vermilyer

Robert Vermilyer

Office: Spellman Hall Ground

Website: www.vermilyer.com
Dr. Robert Vermilyer is a Professor of Computer Science, and has been a faculty member since 2005. Prior to coming to STAC he was on the faculty at The Ohio State University and Franklin University. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from Nova Southeastern University, his M.S. in Computer Science for Michigan Technological University, and his B.S. in Mathematics from Grand Valley State University. His research interests are computer graphics, image processing, robotics, and human-computer interaction. He also enjoys learning about other disciplines and applying Computer Science methodologies to the problems in different domains.

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Bianca Wentzell

Bianca Wentzell

Office: Spellman 105B
Interim Dean, School of STEM

Dr. Wentzell received her B.S. in Biology from Siena College in 2010 and her Ph.D. in Biology from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2014. She conducted postdoctoral work at Montclair State University and Kean University prior to arriving at St. Thomas Aquinas College in 2017. She specializes in studying human impact in wetland ecosystems, remediation of contaminated water using aquatic plants, and wetland restoration. Dr. Wentzell became Interim Dean of the new School of STEM in 2021.

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Adjunct Faculty

Gary Boesch, Forensic Science
Anthony Candieas, Computer Science
Paola Garcia Cardenas, Computer Science
Danielle Delgiodice, Exercise Science
Nicole Faleri, Chemistry
Chelsea Keesler, Biology

Michael Leighton, Forensic Science
Annat Sonion, Mathematics
Dani Tocci, Exercise Science