School of Natural Sciences

The School of Natural Sciences at St. Edward's University encompasses traditional natural sciences (biology, chemistry, biochemistry), computational sciences (mathematics and computer science), clinical laboratory science and bioinformatics, an interdisciplinary research area at the intersection of biology, mathematics and computer science.

Each program provides sound preparation for graduate and professional schools and a variety of careers — among today's most high-demand fields. While each discipline has its own faculty, space and resources, all create an environment for excellence and share a common approach that draws upon these advantages:

  1. Small classes, taught by teachers who take an active role in preparing students for the challenges and opportunities of a global workplace.
  2. Approachable faculty members, whose top priority is ensuring you benefit from a personalized learning experience.
  3. Student-faculty research — conducted in on-campus science and computer labs and in the field — challenges you to create and present original work alongside mentor faculty.
  4. Cross training that shows you how to synthesize information and articulate arguments across the sciences, humanities and arts — valuable, well-rounded skills for scientific collaboration in graduate school or the workplace.

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Dean's Message

Dear Future Natural Sciences Students:

Welcome to the School of Natural Sciences at St. Edward’s University, where our students pursue knowledge through the lens of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines in state-of-the-art, inspirational facilities via 21st Century methodology, all while immersed in the thriving and proud community that is Austin, Texas.

Whether your motivation stems from programming an innovative new app, pushing the frontiers of biochemical research, engaging in the health professions or protecting and exploring an environmental oasis, St. Edward’s School of Natural Sciences enables you to pursue your passion.

Within the last decade, the School of Natural Sciences has brought more than 110,000 square feet of instructional and laboratory space online at its beautiful hilltop location just south of downtown Austin on South Congress Avenue.

St. Edward’s also operates the Wild Basin Creative Research Center and recently began managing the 227-acre Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve, a short 20-minute drive from campus. Faculty, staff, volunteers and the public have direct access to Wild Basin, a small piece of and gateway to the 30,000+ acre Balcones Canyonlands Preserve. 

If you are looking to pursue science in the welcoming atmosphere of a smaller, undergraduate-focused institution, our unique resources will provide you with abundant and amazing opportunities.

Our faculty pride themselves on developing engaging classroom experiences, meaningful experiential learning opportunities and outstanding mentoring relationships. You will develop skills that will not only allow you to succeed in STEM careers, but to live a purposeful and fulfilling life: ethical and critical thinking, effective communication in multiple media, complex problem solving and a dedication to serving society. 

Your educational experience at St. Edward’s culminates in the Senior Seminar, an option during your final year in which you design and execute your own project. At the end of the course, you present your work in a public forum to the faculty, your fellow students and interested members of the community, leveraging and synthesizing the knowledge you have gained during your time at St. Edward’s. Many of our students also present their work at local, regional and national conferences, often winning awards recognizing the quality of their research projects.

Are you looking to push personal frontiers and partner with our faculty in doing the same? Do you hunger for the opportunity to do hands-on science of your own design as an undergraduate? Do you aspire to lead an impactful life that culminates in a better world? Join us at St. Edward’s, where we will empower you to realize your best self.

 Gary A. Morris, PhD

Sincerely,

Gary A. Morris, PhD
Dean, School of Natural Sciences

Faculty

Gary A. Morris, PhD Dean, School of Natural Sciences; Professor of Physics Phone: 512-448-8731
Cynthia Naples, PhD Associate Dean, School of Natural Sciences; Professor of Mathematics Phone: 512-448-8676

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Henry G. Altmiller, PhD Professor of Chemistry Phone: 512-448-8447

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Laura J. Baker, PhD Professor of Computer Science Phone: 512-448-8675

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Trish Baynham Associate Professor of Biological Sciences Phone: 512-233-1675

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Teresa Bilinski Assistant Professor of Biology Phone: 512-637-1995
Jason Callahan, PhD Associate Professor of Mathematics Phone: 512-492-3136

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Monica Cicciarelli Director, Math Tutoring Lab Phone: 512-233-1420

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Edward Early, PhD Associate Professor of Mathematics Phone: 512-637-5639

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Roberta Engel, PhD Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology
Carol G. Gee, PhD Associate Professor of Mathematics Phone: 512-637-5638

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Lisa Goering, PhD Associate Professor of Biology Phone: 512-492-3156

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Emily Hartman Biology Laboratory Coordinator Phone: 512-485-4625
Charles Hauser, PhD Associate Professor of Biology Phone: 512-233-1671

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Paula Raelynn Haynes, PhD Assistant Professor of Biology Phone: 512-416-5841

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Eamonn F. Healy, PhD Professor of Chemistry Phone: 512-448-8467
Michael Kart, PhD Associate Professor of Computer Science Phone: 512-428-1329

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Amanda Kenney, PhD Assistant Professor of Biology
Peter King, PhD Associate Professor of Biology Phone: 512-233-1415
Richard L. Kopec, PhD Professor of Computer Science and Chemistry Phone: 512-448-8464

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Mary A. Kopecki-Fjetland, PhD Associate Professor of Chemistry Phone: 512-464-8881
David Naples Associate Professor of Mathematics Phone: 512-448-8547

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Fidelma O'Leary, PhD Associate Professor of Biology Phone: 512-448-8460
Jeff Potratz, PhD Visiting Assistant Professor Phone: 512-637-5614
William J. Quinn, PhD Professor of Biology and Computer Science Phone: 512-448-8457

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Michael P. Saclolo, PhD Associate Professor of Mathematics Phone: 512-233-1672

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Mike Scioli Instructor of Science Phone: 512-637-1984

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Bilal Shebaro, PhD Assistant Professor of Computer Sciences
Tricia Shepherd, PhD Professor of Chemistry
Casey L. Sherman, PhD Assistant Professor of Mathematics Phone: 512-637-1907

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Carmen Velez, PhD Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry
Paul Walter, PhD Assistant Professor of Science Phone: 512-637-5636

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David P. Wright, PhD Associate Professor of Physics, Mathematics and Computer Science Phone: 512-448-8462

Facilities

John Brooks Williams Natural Sciences Center

Overview

A great science building inspires innovation, discovery and exploration — and creates outstanding opportunities for student-faculty research. The atmosphere within this groundbreaking natural sciences facility reflects the longstanding reputation of St. Edward's for attracting stellar faculty and producing ambitious, accomplished graduates.

As a result, more and more students are choosing St. Edward’s to pursue their dreams and shape their future in the natural sciences — many in pre-med, pre-dental and pre-engineering programs.

South Building

Opened: 2013

Key Features
  • Four computer science classrooms
  • Multi-use auditorium and exposition galleries for research presentations
  • Technology-rich classrooms, cozy study lounges and a tutoring lab
  • High-powered computing laboratories for projects in disciplines as diverse as robotics, environmental science, bioinformatics and medicine
  • 30 faculty offices and Dean’s office
North Building

Opened: 2006

Key Features
  • Interior glass walls allow allowing open viewing of lab activities
  • Large, integrated research space encourages interaction between students in different research groups
  • Modern laboratory instrumentation, courtesy of equipment grants from the National Science Foundation and W.M. Keck Foundation
  • Gallery space for presentations and symposia
  • State-of-the-art greenhouse
  • Many lounges and nooks for small group learning

Native landscaping between the North and South buildings provides an outdoor classroom for studying many species of plant life.


Students also benefit from the interdisciplinary research laboratory and hands-on learning at Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve — a multi-faceted ecosystem in Austin.

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