Learning through Research

The College of Science and Technology will recruit nationally prominent scientific scholars through endowed professorships and increase enrollment in its programs to expand the number of classes and research opportunities available for faculty and student collaboration. This initiative will provide more access to a college degree for Virginians, which is a cornerstone in the Governor’s Top Jobs Higher Education Legislation.

Named Faculty Endowments

Gifts to support faculty resources will continue to emphasize and enhance faculty and student relationships where ingenuity in research begins. Courses will continue to be taught by only qualified faculty members, not teaching assistants. Our undergraduate students will continue to gain graduate level research experience in our laboratories
— preparing them for success in graduate school and science  professions.

Named Faculty Endowments Goal       $4 Million

Our professors are student research mentors

Chemistry professor Dr. Francis Webster and his students are finding a way to better convert used cooking oil into biodiesel to reduce our dependence on non-renewable energy sources.

Physics professor Dr. Rhett Herman and Anthropological Sciences professor Dr. Cliff Boyd and their undergraduate students are using ground penetrating radar to research better ways to fi nd hidden burials of crime victims.

Geology professors Dr. Skip Watts, Dr. Parvinder Sethi and their team of student scientists are studying the natural draining of Mountain Lake in Giles County, Va., an historically popular tourist destination. They hope their research will lead to the understanding of the natural processes and eventually to the development of strategies for working with nature to bring the lake back to “full pond.”

Biology professor Dr. Peter Christmas and his student scientists research inflammation to elucidate the molecular mechanisms which regulate the activity of a molecule, leukotriene B 4, that is implicated as a pathological mediator in diseases which include asthma.

Chemistry professor Dr. Chris Monceaux and his students’ goal is to help people with epilepsy through research in drug development.

Biology professor Dr. Justin Anderson and his team of student scientists research the transmission of mosquito-borne illnesses
such as the West Nile virus to better understand how to take a bite out of its risk to humans.

Anthropological Sciences professors Dr. Jake Fox and Dr. Cassady Yoder lead students in researching ancient civilizations of Bolivia in RU’s anthropological sciences program — the only program in the state that is specifically focused on the “science” aspect of archaeology.