Our Faculty, Staff and Advisory Board

Chemistry Faculty

Cevdet Akbay, Ph.D.

Professor of Chemistry, Chair

Analytical Chemistry
B.S., Inonu University, Turkey
M.S. & Ph.D., Louisiana State University
Office: Science and Technology Building (STB) 305C
Phone: (910) 672-1943
E-mail: cakbay@uncfsu.edu

Research interests: Separation of small and large molecules using capillary electrophoresis (CE) - micellar electrokinetic chromatography (MEKC) 

Daniel Autrey, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Chemistry, Assistant Chair

E-mail: dautrey@uncfsu.edu

Physical Chemistry

B.S., Southeast Missouri State University
Ph.D., Texas A & M University
Office: Science and Technology Building (STB) 305B
Phone: (910) 672-1354

Research interests: Biological Raman spectroscopy

Bidisha Bose-Basu, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Chemistry

Organic Chemistry

B.S. & M.S. University of Calcutta, India
Ph.D., University of Notre Dame, IN
Office: Science and Technology Building (STB) 311
Phone: (910) 672-1052
E-mail: bbosebas@uncfsu.edu.

Research interests: Carbohydrate and nucleic acid structure, and structural aspects of protein-DNA interaction.  Initiating new research on natural products

Jonathan Breitzer, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Inorganic Chemistry

B.A., Grinnell College
Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Office: Science and Technology Building (STB) 310
Phone: (910) 672-1176
E-mail: jbreitzer@uncfsu.edu
Research interests: Cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries; sulfur-rich molecules; synthesis of nanoscale materials; demonstrations for chemical education

Jairo Castillo-Chara, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Chemistry

Physical Chemistry
B.S., Universidad del Valle, Cali-Colombia
M.S., University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez , PR
Ph.D., Texas A & M University, College Station, TX
Office: Science and Technology Building (STB) 313
Phone: (910) 672-2062
E-mail: jcastill@uncfsu.edu

Research interests: Computational chemistry

Shubo Han, Ph.D.

Professor of Chemistry, Coordinator of FSU/NCSU 3+2 Dual Degree Engineering Programs

Analytical Chemistry, Nanoscience

B.E., Hebei University of Science and Technology
M.S. & Ph.D., University of Science and Technology of China
Office: Lyons Science Annex Building (LSA) 334

Phone: (910) 672-1303

E-mail: shan@uncfsu.edu
Research interests: Protein interactions in neurodegenerative diseases, nanomaterials, biosensors, electrochemistry

Hengguang Li, Ph.D.

Lecturrer/Core Facility Supervisor

Organic and Medical Chemistry
B.S., M.S., Ph.D., Sichuan University, Chengdu, China
Office: Science and Technology Building (STB) 307
Phone: 910-672-2651
E-mail: hli@uncfsu.edu
Research Interests: Bioactive molecules including small molecules and macro compounds in application of medicine, pharmaceuticals, materials, agriculture, environment, and new energy. Particular interest is aptamer and aptbody.

Subir Nagdas, Ph.D.

Professor of Biochemistry

B.S. & M.S., Calcutta University, Calcutta, India

Ph.D., Jadavpur University, Calcutta, India
Office: Lyons Science Annex Building (LSA) 336
Phone: (910) 672-2073
E-mail: snagdas@uncfsu.edu.

Research interests: Identification and characterization of acrosomal enzymes and acrosomal protein-protein interactions to elucidate their physiological roles in mammalian fertilization

Darren Pearson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Chemistry

Organic Chemistry
B.S., Virgina Politechnic Institute and State University
Ph.D., University of South Carolina - Columbia
Office: Lyons Science Annex Building (LSA) 336
Phone: (910) 672-2073
E-mail: dpearson@uncfsu.edu.

Research interests: Synthesis, characterization, and application of conducting rigid rod organic oligomers for use in molecular rectifiers, transistors, and other electronic devices

Ali Siamaki, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Chemistry
Organic Chemistry
B.S., Azad University, Iran

M.S., University of Calgary, Canada

Ph.D., McGill University, Canada
Office: Science and Technology Building (STB) 320
Phone: (910) 672-1619
E-mail: asiamaki@uncfsu.edu

Research interests: Heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysis, metal nanoparticles synthesis and characterization, metal catalyzed reactions including cross coupling reactions, and Microwave and continuous flow reactions.

Physics and Materials Science Faculty

Abdirahman Abokor, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Physics

B.S., Somali National University
Ph.D., Texas Tech University
Office: Science and Technology Building (STB) 321

Phone: (910) 672-1358

E-mail: aabokor@uncfsu.edu

Research interests: Theoretical nuclear structure, particularly the hadron-quark hybrid model and the structure of light nuclei using wave functions derived from realistic potentials  


Bhoj Raj Gautam, Ph. D.  

Assistant Professor of Physical Science 

B.S.  Tribhuvan University, Nepal 
M.S.  Tribhuvan University, Nepal 
Ph. D. University of Utah, UT 
Office: Science and Technology Building (STB) 315 
Phone: (910) 672-1653 

Email: bgautam@uncfsu.edu 

Research Interests: Steady state and time resolved optical spectroscopy, charge and thermal transport in light harvesting materials, energy up-conversion in polymer and organic inorganic perovskites, polymer chemistry, material science and solid state physics.

Daryush Ila, Ph.D. 

Professor of Physics
Associate Vice Chancellor for Research
B.S., Physics - Tehran University
M.S., Nuclear Physics - M.I.T.
Ph.D., Condensed Matter Physics - U. Mass Lowell
Office: Lyons Science Annex Building (LSA) 320
Phone: (910) 672-2417
E-mail: dila@uncfsu.edu
Research Interests: Surface and interface processing at nanoscale; fundamental and applied ion matter interaction;thermoelectric properties nanoscale materials (regimented quantum dots); biomaterials and cell/matter interface studies.

Joseph W. Kabbes, M.S.
Lecturer/Planetarium Manager
B.S., Civil Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana
M.S., Astronomy, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia
Office: Science and Technology Building (STB) 312
Phone: (910) 672-2651 
E-mail: jkabbes@uncfsu.edu.

Research Interests: Astronomy education and public outreach activities; create educational programs and increase public knowledge of planetarium and observatory.

Zhiping Luo, Ph.D.

Professor of Materials Science 
SENCR-MIC Director
Materials Science and Engineering
B.E., Dalian Jiaotong University, China
M.S.E., Southwest Jiaotong University, China
Ph.D., Chinese Aeronautical Establishment
Office: Lyons Science Building 129
Phone: (910) 672-2647
E-mail: zluo@uncfsu.edu

Research interests: Fabrication of novel nanostructured materials with enhanced performance for energy-related applications; material structures through electron microscopy; material structure-property correlations.

John Mattox, Ph.D.
Professor of Astronomy & Physics
B.S., University of Florida
Ph.D., Stanford University
Office: Science and Technology Building (STB) 319
Phone: (910) 672-1652
E-mail: jmattox@uncfsu.edu.

Research interests: astrophysics, sustainability, and physics education.

Alex Umantsev, Ph.D.
Professor of Physics
B.S., Moscow Institute for Physics and Technology
M.S., Moscow Institute for Transportation and Engineering
Ph.D., National Research Lab for Metallurgy, Moscow
Office: Lyons Science Annex Building (LSA) 322
Phone: (910) 672-1449
E-mail: aumantsev@uncfsu.edu

Research interests: Condensed- and soft-matter physics, computational materials physics and biophysics; particularly processes of pattern formation, nonequilibrium thermodynamic and dynamics of interfaces, theoretical methods and computer 

Retired Faculty

Rahi, Gurcharan

Professor of Physical Sciences


Wu, Jianshi

Professor of Physics


Brenda Fuller

Administrative Associate
Science and Technology B. 305
Phone: (910) 672-2441
E-mail: bfuller@uncfsu.edu

Ivy Rittenhouse
Research Operation Coordinator

Lyons Science B. 305

Science and Technology B. 440
Phone: (910) 672-1054

E-mail: irittenhouse@uncfsu.edu

Grace Chavis, M.S.

Research Technician

Science and Technology B. 232A

Phone: (910) 672-1860

E-mail: gchavis@uncfsu.edu

Andrea N. Bennett, M.S.

Academic Advisor

Science and Technology B. 112

Phone: 910-672-2913

Email: abenne18@uncfsu.edu

Adjunct Faculty

Edward Barnes, M.S.
Physical Science
E-mail: ebarnesj@uncfsu.edu

Jainab Khatun, Ph.D.
Adjunct Assistant Professor
Theoretical Physical Science
B.S., M.S.: University of Calcutta, India
Ph.D.:Jadavpur University, Calcutta-India
E-mail: jkhatun@uncfsu.edu

Research Interests: Bioinformatics, biostatistics, proteomics and genomics. Specific interest is to develope software for predictive modeling and to aid in data analysis processes. 

Ana Claudia Lemes da Silva, Ph.D.

Adjunct Assistant Professor
Analytical Chemistry
B.S., M.S., Ph.D.: Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Brazil
E-mail: adasilva@uncfsu.edu
Research Interests: Chemical education: Development of experiments and other resources to facilitate the learning of chemical concepts. Analytical Chemistry: method development. Chromatography and separation methods. Solid phase micro extraction.

Caroline Sloan, Ph.D.

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Chemistry EducationB.S., Concordia University
M.S., University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign
Ph.D., North Carolina State University
Office: Science and Technology Building (STB) 314
Phone: (910) 672-2487
E-mail: csloan3@uncfsu.edu

Research interests: New assessment methods for chemistry students; student-centered active learning environment with flipped learning/teaching methdos

External Advisory Board

The Mission of the Board of Advisors is to promote continued excellence in the Department of Chemistry and Physics' teaching, research and development programs.The Board of Advisors will...

  1. provide guidance and counsel, in relevant matters, to the Department Head, faculty and students

  2. review the programs of the Department and recommend areas of opportunity

  3. influence the Department, University, State, and Nation by assisting the Department Chair in creating excellence in teaching, research, and service programs

  4. provide advice and recommendations to the Department in developing professionals for industry, government, and academia

  5. serve as a liaison between the Department, industry, government and the community at large

  6. assist in fund-raising efforts for the department

  7. motivate students and develop employment opportunities through association with board members

Members of the Board of Advisors are leading scientists from a variety of industries, and many are Fayetteville State University and Department of Chemistry and Physics alumni.

Members of the Board of Advisors

(Alphabetical Order)

Val Applewhite

Ms. Val Applewhite is an Air Force veteran with more than 25 years of honorable service. As a former 3 term Fayetteville City Councilwoman, she facilitated partnerships with the Chamber of Commerce and other local, county, state and Congressional representatives on matters of economic policy, job creation, and military affairs. She has a Bachelors degree in Business Administration from Strayer University, cum laude, and Associates degrees in Information Systems and Instructional Technology from the Community College of the Air Force. Ms. Applewhite is currently the Southeastern Organizer for Democracy North Carolina, a nonprofit organization that utilizes research and advocacy to ensure a government "Of, By and For" the people.

Dr. Marcus A. Hunt

Dr. Marcus A. Hunt earned his PhD in Fiber & Polymer Science from North Carolina State University. Dr. Hunt is a polymer scientist with a diverse background in government, academic, and industry sectors. He completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a US Department of Energy facility in Tennessee, where he developed next-generation carbon fiber for the automobile industry. He also taught at Fayetteville State University prior to joining the Chemours Company at the Fayetteville Works site. Dr. Hunt's current role at Chemours is polymer analytical chemist supporting the Ion Exchange Materials Business.

Dr. Susan Miller

Dr. Susan M. Miller received her B.A. in Chemistry from the University of Southern California (1990), her Doctorate in Pharmacy from Campbell University (1998) and her Master's in Business Administration with a Healthcare Focus from Fayetteville State University (2007). Dr. Miller completed a pharmacy practice residency at the University of California- San Francisco. After residency she was a clinical pharmacist at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, faculty at the University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Medicine, and the Drug Information Specialist and Clinical Coordinator at Cape Fear Valley Health.  In 2005, Dr. Miller became the Director of Pharmacotherapy at the Southern Regional Area Health Education Center. She holds faculty positions with the Duke/ SHAHEC Family Medicine Residency Program, the University of North Carolina Eshelman School Of Pharmacy, and the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine. She works closely with pharmacy students, medical students, and medical residents in the clinical and didactic settings. In 2007, she developed the region's first pharmacy residency program, and currently serves as the program director. Dr. Miller is active on a state and national level with a variety of pharmacy organizations. She helped to develop and continues to support the FSU Pre-Pharmacy Club. She is well known in the Fayetteville community among the pharmacy profession for her clinical expertise and teaching accolades.  

Dr. Phillips
Dr. Brandon N. Phillips specializes in retina care and comprehensive ophthalmology. Dr. Phillips completed his undergraduate work in Chemistry at Fayetteville State University before going on to attend the Medical College of Wisconsin. He completed both his internship and residency at Walter Reed Medical Facility. Dr. Phillips maintains membership with the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Dr. Assad A. Tavakoli

Dr. Assad Tavakoli has earned his PhD in management from University of Aston and an MBA from Birmingham University in England. Dr. Tavakoli served as dean of the Fayetteville State University College of Business and Economics for eight years until 2015 when he decided to step down from the deanship. He has since joined the faculty as the W.T. Brown endowed chair. He teaches entrepreneurship and new venture creation. He is a certified small business consultant, and has a passion for preparing students to participate in regional and national business plan competitions. Over the years, his students have won numerous top prizes in regional and national competitions. He also has extensive research, publication, and consulting experience with several organizations and corporations, including, U.S. Federal Highway Administration, North Carolina Department of Transportation, Black & Decker, and Cape Fear Valley Health System.