Biology (BS)

The Department of Biological Sciences offers degrees in selected areas of the natural sciences to prepare students for careers in government, industry, health-related professions, education, or for pursuing further study in graduate or professional schools.

Why Choose Biology?

A degree in Biology will prepare you for a future in research, academia, medical, dental, pharmacy, veterinary and a host of other health associated career fields. The exciting yet challenging classes will lay the foundation to success upon graduation. Some of the classes taught are microbiology, anatomy and physiology, animal development just to name a few.Our dynamic faculty are eager to mentor students and expose them to research opportunities to make them competitive against their peers. The knowledge gained while doing research will prepare you for a variety of careers in the STEM Field.This department houses its own academic advisor that will assist you in choosing courses that will help you to earn your degree.

As a recent graduate of the department of biological sciences with a degree in biology, I feel fully prepared for my current job position as a lab supervisor at a local community college.
Daminike Sullins
Class of 2017

What Will You Learn?

As a biology major, you will take courses from our catalog that are required for your degree along with electives and core courses from the general studies area.

  • How to properly dissect specimens
  • Design and conduct experiments
  • Learn to write lab reports from experiments
  • Work with your peers to solve problems
  • Work effectively in a classroom and laboratory setting

Along with the basic course work, you will also:

  • Learn about the impact of science and technology in today's society
  • Understand the global and societal impacts of biology and biological research
  • Learn how to become a critical thinker and properly apply your knowledge
  • Sharpen your skills of effective communication with your peers and professionals
  • Prepare yourself for opportunities beyond your wildest imagination

To learn more about our courses, visit the Course Catalog

What Will You Do?

Obtaining a degree in biology will open the door to career paths in research, education, and health care related fields, such as medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy. Many students move on to graduate or professional schools to further their education in the sciences.


1. Q: Where is the Biology Department office? A: In Lyons Science Annex Room 124.

2. Q: I have been getting my PIN from my advisor, has the process changed? A: We have hired a permanent academic advisor who will guide you and give you the PIN. Her name is Shawnta Cummings. Her office is in LSA 220, (910) 672 2625,

3. Q: What is a CAPP? A: Your CAPP is a degree audit. A degree audit is done by the banner system. It compares your transcript to the curriculum you are in and identified which courses are needed to progress in your program. You can access banner HERE. You should run you own CAPP each semester and go over it with an advisor.4. Q: I have a learning disability and need special conditions when I take exams. How does this work at FSU? A: Please contact Ms. Victoria Ratcliff:

Center For Personal Development:
Spaulding Building, Room 155
1200 Murchison Road
Fayetteville, NC 28301.4298
Office Phone: 910.672.1222/1203
Fax Number: 910.672.1389

You will need to bring documentation of your disability. Once approved, Ms. Ratcliff will draft a letter and send it to your instructors. You must remind your instructor prior to exams so they may make any special exam arrangements.


Organismal Biology

Plant Biology

Biotechnology and Molecular Biology


Name Title Office E-mail
1692 Kassem, Abdelmajid Prof. & Chair LSA 124
2253 AbuBakr, Samer Assist. Prof. LS 225        
1427 Chao, Shirley L. Professor LS 329        
1660 Cooper, Melanie S. Adj. Assist. Prof. LS 308                         
2304 Czado, Natalia Lecturer STEC 323
1046 Delaney-Nguyen, Kristen Assist. Prof. LS 309        
1688 Fleming, Valeria P.                  Prof. Emeritus LSA 326
1055 Fortune, Danielle Assist. Prof. STB 409
2436 Haddad, Eid Assist. Prof. STEC 426
1650 Lodhi, Khalid Professor STEC 322
1656 Okeagu, Jonas E. Professor STEC 411
1023 Raynor, James E. Jr. Professor LS 232        
2103 Salek, Stephen J. Assist. Prof. LS 105        
1304 Senter, Phil Professor LS 126        
1128 White, Erin N. Assoc. Prof./ Director of Honors
and Undergraduate Research
HH 118
Yuan, Jiazheng (John) Assist. Prof. STB 407
1655 Zhu, Lieceng Professor /Assist. Chair STEC 417

Dr. Abdelmajid Kassem, Ph.D.

Dr. Abdelmajid Kassem, Ph.D.Professor and Department Chair
Office: LSA 124
Phone: (910) 672-1692
E-mail: mkassem@uncfsu.ed

In 1999, Dr. Kassem joined the Center for Excellence in Soybean Research, Teaching, and Outreach, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL, USA. Kassem joined Kean University as Assistant Professor of Botany in 2004 and Fayetteville State University (FSU) as an Associate Professor of Botany in 2006. At FSU, he was promoted to Full Professor in 2009 and Dept. Chair in 2010. Dr. Kassem also served as the Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at the American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK) for one year (2014-2015) and rejoined his position as Dept. Chair at FSU in August 2015. Dr. Kassem serves as an Advisory Board member of Scientific Journals International (SJI), an Associate Editor of Journal of Forestry, Horticulture, and Soil Science, a member of the Editorial Board of Journal of Biotech Research, and a reviewer for several international journals and funding agencies.

Dr. Eid Haddad, Ph.D.

Assistant professor of Physiology
Office: Science and Technology Building #426
Phone: (910) 672-2436

Eid Haddad, Ph.D. is currently serving as Assistant Professor at the Department of Biological Sciences, Fayetteville State University, North Carolina (NC). Prior to that, Dr. Haddad joined ImmunoBio Inc. (IBI) as its Senior Research Scientist in February 2006. In 2008, Dr. Haddad became the vice president of research and development at IBI. Dr. Haddad was also a visiting scientist at North Carolina State University. During his tenure at IBI and NCSU, Dr. Haddad conducted research on the application of a novel vaccine technology toward the development of viral and bacterial vaccines for human applications. Prior to joining IBI, Dr. Haddad held several positions with the most recent being Senior Manager, Global Product Development, at Embrex Inc., (currently Zoetis Inc.,). Dr. Haddad worked on the development of vaccines for animal health applications and his research culminated in the company successfully receiving regulatory approval for two vaccines here in the USA and for one of them in many countries. Dr. Haddad has publications and scientific presentations in this area. Dr. Haddad earned his Ph.D. in Physiology from the Pennsylvania State University and worked as a post-doctoral fellow at PSU, then as a post-doctoral research associate at University of Arkansas. His current research focus on novel approaches to developing biosuperior vaccines and upping immune competency as well as research into profile of steroid hormones during early stages of chick embryonic development.

Dr. Khalid Lodhi

Professor and Director of the Forensics Program
Office: STB 322
Phone: (910) 672-1650

He is a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Fayetteville State University. In addition, he serves as the Director of the forensic science program. Dr. Lodhi started his forensic career at ReliaGene Technologies, Inc. as a Senior Scientist, where he was a member of team who worked on forensic DNA database. He then joined Indianapolis Marion County Forensic Services Agency as a forensic scientist, where he investigated over 100 criminal cases involving DNA, and testified as an expert witness. Dr. Lodhi received several scholarships and prestigious awards to receive his education and career advancements such as NUFFIC/FAO fellowship, UNESCO research fellowship, Asia 21 Scholarship, Yoneyama Rotary Scholarship, Kenan Fellowship, and Fulbright Specialist award. Dr. Lodhi's current research interest involve: (1) The identification of one or more individual(s) using Low Copy Number DNA from a touched object;(2) Innovative methods of forensic education.(3) Identification of one or more individual(s) from Hematophagous insects.Dr. Lodhi supervises the research of graduate, undergraduate and high school students on these projects. He is the author of several high-ranking international peer reviewed journals. He serves on the Editorial Board of Journal of Forensic Research. He is the member of American Academy of Forensic Sciences, International Association for Identification, Southern Association of Forensic Scientists, Council of Forensic Science Educators, and North Carolina Academy of Science.

Dr. Lieceng Zhu

Professor/ Assistant Chair
Office: STB 417
Phone: (910) 672-1655

Dr. Lieceng Zhu is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences (DOBS) at Fayetteville State University (FSU). She teaches a variety of Biology, Zoology, and Forensic Science courses including BIOL/FORS 431, Population Genetics; FORS 410, Technical Writing in Forensic Science; and ZOOL 310, Principle of Genetics. Dr. Zhu's research focuses on the impact of environmental stresses on resistance of wheat plants to the Hessian fly. Since 2009, she has trained 25 students in research and publications at FSU. Dr. Zhu has published 27 papers in peer-reviewed journals and given 20 presentations in international, national and regional conferences. Because of her efforts and accomplishments in research, Dr. Zhu was selected as the 2015-2016 Academician of the Year in both DOBS and the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS). Additionally, Dr. Zhu has devoted herself to the success of students, faculty, and the university through service. She has served as the Assistant Chair for five years, and served as the Interim Chair of the DOBS during the 2014-2015 academic year.

Dr. Erin White

Associate Professor/ Director of Honors and Undergraduate Research
Office: LS 230
Phone: (910) 672-1128

Dr. Erin White is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences (DOB) and Interim Director of Honors Program at Fayetteville State University. Dr. White brings to Fayetteville State University her expertise in Molecular Biology. Since joining the Fayetteville State University family, in August 2005, Dr. White has taught courses in General Biology, Cell and Molecular Biology, Molecular Genetics, Molecular Biology, Scientific Communication and various Biotechnology courses. Dr. White serves(d) as Principal and Co-Principal Investigator on grants funded by the US Department of Education, National Science Foundation and NC Biotechnology Center. These grants supported the development of web-based courses in STEM disciplines, recruitment and retention of underrepresented minorities and women in STEM disciplines, academic support for STEM undergraduates, preparing K-12 STEM educators and professional development workshops for K-12 STEM educators. Since 2005, Dr. White has published in several peer-reviewed journals and given presentations at international and national conferences. Previously her research interest involved studying the differences among mammalian flavin-containing monooxygenases (FMOs), in regards to catalytic activity and substrate specificity, and how this relates to structure-function of the enzymes. At present, her research interest is more focused towards undergraduate science education; student retention in STEM, and strategies to improve undergraduate science and math achievement. Dr. White has been recognized by the university as a recipient of the 2014-2015 Advisor of the Year and twice received the DOB Teacher of the Year Award (2009-2010 and 2015-2016).

Ms. Natalia Czado

Office: STB 323
Phone: (910) 672-2304

Ms. Czado has a broad range of interests in the forensic sciences. She has interned with the City-County Bureau of Identification and the San Diego Police Department Forensic Biology Unit. She currently focuses on forensic science research. Ms. Czado's research interests include DNA degradation and alternate markers for human identification. She has completed previous research utilizing bi-allelic markers, such as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and Insertion/Deletions (INDELs) to yield more genomic information from degraded samples that failed to yield a traditional short tandem repeat (STR) profile. She has experience working with cadavers and sampling their remains, both embalmed and decomposed, for research purposes. Ms. Czado has a manuscript in progress entitled, "The Effectiveness of Various Strategies to Improve DNA Analysis of Formaldehyde-Damaged Tissues from Embalmed Cadavers for Human Identification Purposes", based on her previous research. She presented this research during a poster session at the 2016 American Academy of Forensic Sciences Annual Meeting. In addition to her DNA research, Ms. Czado utilizes her diverse background in trace evidence, microscopy, forensic anthropology, and crime scene investigation to teach several forensic science courses at FSU. In addition to her role as a lecturer, Ms. Czado is also the faculty advisor for the Forensic Science Club.

Dr. Melanie Shorter Cooper

Adjunct Assistant Professor
Office: Lyons Science Room 308
Phone: (910) 672-1660

Dr. Cooper is a former dentist that joined the department in August of 2014. She has a passion for teaching and mentoring students interested in pursuing careers in dentistry, medicine, pharmacy, etc. Her experience in teaching dates all the way back to 2003 as a seventh grade science teacher. Dr. Cooper currently teaches Anatomy and Physiology, Medical Terminology, and General Biology. When she is not teaching or assisting students with dissections, she can be found helping students with professional school applications as the advisor of the Pre-Health Professional Society. Her background in dentistry makes her an asset to this department.


Name Title Office E-mail
2625 Cummings, Shawnta' Acad. Advisor LSA 220
1148 Drummond, Tarshae Research Tech. LS 121
1695 Keller, Deborah Admin. Assist. LSA 124
1135 Ratcliff, Pamela Horticulture Tech. Spec. /Research Tech. LS 125
2668 Naik, Amita RISE Lab Mgr. LS 103
1147 Washington, Tony Research Tech. LSA 324

Ms. Deborah Keller

Administrative Assistant
Office: LSA 124
Phone: (910) 672-1692

Ms. Keller joined the Department of Biological Sciences on September 2, 2014. She has been a part of the Fayetteville State University family for nearly 13 years. Prior to joining the Department of Biological Sciences she served as the Assistant to the Dean of the Graduate School from 2008-2014 and as the Assistant to the Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences from 2005-2008. Ms. Keller was also the administrative support for the Coastal Rural Systemic Initiative (CRSI) grant program at FSU from February 2004 until it ended in September 2005. Ms. Keller brought with her to FSU a considerable amount of knowledge and experience and she has a long history of volunteerism and community service. As your first point of contact when you visit our department, she is happy to assist you or direct you to needed resources.

Ms. Shawnta' Cummings

Academic Advisor
Office: LSA 220
Phone: (910) 672-2625

Ms. Cummings brings several years of experience working with College Access Programs to assist students in their academic success. She has worked as an Academic Advisor for TRiO Talent Search, as a Site Coordinator for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program, and held positions in the GEAR UP Program. She is passionate about helping others. Mrs. Cummings is proud to be a part of the FSU family and to do her part in ensuring students receive advisement to reach their academic and professional goals.

Student Achievements

Many of our students have received internships, conducted and presented research, obtained employment in biology and related fields, and enrolled in graduate degree programs.