Science & Engineering

Science & Engineering

Department Overview
The Science and Engineering Department offers students opportunities both inside and outside the classroom, both online classes and face-to-face, to develop the knowledge and skills to pursue successful careers in STEM fields. Employment opportunities in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) are among the most sought-after in the nation. The average STEM salary in New Jersey is $52,800. In New Jersey alone, 269,000 STEM and STEM-related jobs will need to be filled by 2018.

Our courses are taught by highly trained faculty in small classes that foster direct student-faculty engagement. As a student you have the opportunity to participate in hands-on research projects and become involved in numerous student clubs and events within the Department that will enhance your knowledge of science.

Our graduates have continued their education at such prestigious colleges and universities as Cornell University, University of California at Berkeley, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Rutgers University.

Two New Programs

The Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT) Associate of Applied Science degree program was created in partnership with LabCorp to provide students with a direct pathway to a great career in the healthcare industry.  Through a combination of classroom and laboratory instruction and offsite clinical experiences, students will learn how to perform diagnostic laboratory tests used in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease.  This program will prepare students for national certification and immediate employment.

The Mechanical Engineering Technology (MET) Associate of Science degree program is perfect for students with an interest in engineering who prefer hands-on instruction and applied technical problem solving.  This program includes instruction in RVCC’s state-of-the-art Advanced Manufacturing Training Center and was designed for seamless transfer into NJIT’s Engineering Technology Bachelor of Science degree program in either the Mechanical Engineering or Manufacturing Engineering track.

Discovering the Possibilities
Are you curious? Do you have an analytical mind? Are you creative and enjoy solving problems? Do you like working in teams? A career in science or engineering may be just right for you. The Science and Engineering Department has programs designed for transfer to a four-year school or direct entry into the workforce.  Step into a state-of-the-art lab in the expanded Whitman Science Center and you’ll experience the energy, passion, and commitment our outstanding faculty have for teaching and scientific discovery.


Assistant Professor - Chemistry

Academic degrees achieved:  Chemistry Honors, Royal Society of Chemistry (Institute of Chemistry, Sri Lanka), Sri Lanka; B.Sc. Chemistry Honors, University of Colombo, Faculty of Science, Colombo, Sri Lanka; Post-Doctoral Research Scientist, Columbia University, Department of Chemistry &  Genome Center, New York; Ph.D. in (Organic Chemistry), The City University of New York, New York


  • 2009 - Travel Grant, Gordon Research Conference (GRC) selected presenter, New Hampshire
  • 2003 - Recognized in The Indicator (ACS, June 2003), for being a panelist at the “Graduate School Reality Check Workshop” ACS 222nd  National Meeting
  • 2002 - Wiley Publishers - Travel Fellowship, selected participant in “Chemistry Focus Group” discussions on teaching and designing text books for chemistry teachers, ACS 224th National Meeting, Boston, MA
  • 2001 - Recognized in Chemical and Engineering News (September 10, 2001, page 41) for the oral presentation in the professional relationships section, 222nd  ACS National Meeting, Chicago, IL  
  • 2001 - National Science Foundation - Travel Fellowship, selected participant in “Academic Careers in Chemistry" workshop, Eastern Analytical Symposium, Atlantic City, NJ
  • 2001 - Preparing Future Faculty Program (PFF) - Full Fellowship, selected participant in PFF National meeting, Colorado
  • 2001-2003 - Preparing Future Faculty Program (PFF) - Travel & Full Fellowship, selected participant in research presentations, ACS National Meetings
  • 2001 - 2003 - Writing Fellowship, Writing Across the Curriculum Initiative City University of New York, (one of the five selected from Queens College, City University of New York)
    • Visited science classes in the division of Math & Natural Sciences as a guest speaker to teach various aspects of writing scientific papers, reports, abstracts and research articles
    • Facilitated writing workshops and “Queens College Writers at Work” events for faculty and students
  • 2000-2004 - Graduate Center of the City University of New York - Travel Fellowship, selected participant in research presentations, ACS National meetings
  • 1998-2000 - Graduate Teaching Fellowship, University Fellowship, University Tuition Scholarship, City University of New York, NY (two awarded in the Chemistry department)
  • 1997 - University of Brussels, Belgium - Fellowship, selected participant in the molecular biology workshop, University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka
  • 1993 - Merit award, second best overall performance, Royal Society of Chemistry, Graduate examination of  the Institute of Chemistry Sri Lanka


I have experience in conducting research in Organic, Bioorganic, Medicinal and Biochemistry. My research interests are developing biologically important small molecules as potential therapeutics.

At Stevens (Tenure-Track Assistant Prof), the main thrust of my independent research program was in developing potential therapeutics for treating cancer. To ascertain the pharmacological activities of the compounds I had synthesized, I collaborated with research groups at Harvard Medical School and Memorial Sloane Kettering Cancer Center. Several undergraduates also made significant contributions to this synthetic project; in fact, I have mentored approximately thirty undergraduates, graduates, and postdoctoral researchers.

At Columbia University, NY I participated in synthetic and bioorganic studies on age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and  my approach was to design and synthesize antigen molecules to generate antibodies for the detection of disease-related compounds with the aim of finding effective remedies. My  doctoral research was designing novel phenanthroline derivatives as DNA intercalators, and into structure-activity relationships of Protein Kinase C (PKC) inhibitors as potential drug candidates. Using new methodology I developed, a series of novel quinoline analogs were synthesized. These compounds have shown outstanding potency as PKC inhibitors. During my graduate studies, I also worked at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center with Dr. Christopher Borella on developing concise synthetic routes for the asymmetric synthesis of actinonin analogs in the treatment of cancer .

August 2008 - August 2013  Research accomplishments at Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ (Tenure-track Assistant Professor)

Grant Funding: Stevens Institute of Technology start-up grants-$400,000
•    Designed and synthesized potential anticancer agents as new therapeutics in drug-discovery.
•    Synthesized a library of 24 novel Histone Deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors which were demonstrated to be highly selective and exceptionally active even at picomolar concentration.
•    These compounds were drastically different from currently available HDAC inhibitors used as anti- cancer agents.
•    These selective inhibitors would be more effective as chemotherapeutic agents with less side effects.
•    Synthesized a group of novel Peptide Deformylase (PDF) inhibitors.
•    These compounds demonstrated a greater potency than the gold-standard natural product.  
       actinonin, consider as the best available PDF inhibitor for cancer therapy.
•    Developed active and selective HDAC and PDF lead compounds as potential anticancer agents
•    Submitted a patent application for the newly synthesized library of HDAC inhibitors.
•    Developed a “one-pot efficient synthesis of benzimidazoles.


Collaborators for biological assay studies:  

HADC Research:  Dr. James Bradner,
Physician Scientist, Former President of the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical research
Previously worked at Harvard Medical School, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, MA

PDF Research:  Dr. David A. Scheinberg, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York

October 2006-August 2008, Post Doctoral Research, Columbia University Genome Center, New York  
•    Developed new technologies in DNA sequencing for modern biology and medicine
•    DNA sequencing by synthesis (SBS) using cleavable fluorescent nucleotides as
      reversible terminators
•    Discovered an efficient synthesis for coupling millions of DNA onto micro-sized beads

February 2005- September 2006, Post Doctoral Research, Columbia University, Department of Chemistry, New York
•    Synthetic and bioorganic studies of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
•    Designed and synthesized retinal-based molecules as immunoconjugates to generate
      antibodies specific for the disease-related compounds
•    Key discoveries include the first antibody-based approach for the detection of disease-related compounds to find effective remedies

August 1998 - April 2004, Ph.D. (Organic Chemistry), City University of New York, New York

Doctoral Thesis: Synthesis and Characterization of Biologically Active Phenanthrolines, Quinolines and Related Materials       
•    Design and synthesis of novel phenanthroline derivatives for use as DNA intercalators
•    Key synthetic discoveries include the first examples of an efficient and high-yield synthesis
       of  4’,7’-phenanthrolino-5,6:5’6’-pyrazine (PPZ) and derivatives
•    Synthesis and Structure-Activity Relationships (SAR) of anticancer agents based on  
       dequalinium  diiodide analogs and study of their relative activities toward Protein Kinase C
•    Established a facile synthesis and initiated computational studies to guide SAR  
•    Developed microwave-assisted synthesis of analogs difficult to prepare by conventional    

2002 - 2003, Rockefeller Research Institute, Memorial Sloan- Kettering Cancer Center, New York

Designed and synthesized anti-cancer agents based on actinonin natural product
•    Developed a concise synthetic route via multistep synthesis leading to the asymmetric synthesis of a variety of potent actinonin analogs as Peptide Deformylase (PDF) inhibitors a as anti-cancer agents



1.  Abeywickrama, C.; Matsuda, H .; Jockusch, S.; Zhou, J.; Jang, Y. P.; Chen, Bi-X.; Itagaki, Y.; Turro, N. J.; Erlanger,  B. F.; Nakanishi, K.; Sparrow, J. R. “Immunochemical Recognition of A2E, a Pigment in the Lipofuscin of Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (PNAS), 2007, 104, 14610-14615.

2.  Abeywickrama, C.; Baker, A. D.; Rotenberg, S. A. “Inhibition of Protein Kinase C by Dequalinium Analogues: Structure-Activity Studies on Head Group Variations,”  Bioorg. Med. Chem., 2006, 14, 7796-7803.

3.  Abeywickrama, C.; Baker, A. D. “Efficient Synthesis of 1,4,5,12-Tetraazatriphenylene and Derivatives,” J. Org.  Chem., 2004, 69, 7741-7744.

4.  Samarakkody, R. P.; Abeywickrama, C.; Yalegama, S. S. B. “Comparison of the Results of West-Gaeke Method  with those of the Automated  Pulse Fluorescent Method in the Determination of Ambient Sulphur  Dioxide,” Proc. Sri Lanka Assoc. Advt. Sci. 1997, 53, 325.

5. Abeywickrama, C.; Bradner, J. E.; Paranal, R.; Ponnala, S.;, Kingman, A. K.; DeCarlo, C. “Development of  Selective Histone Deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors as potential anti-cancer agents” Manuscript in preparation.

6. Marma, M.; Abeywickrama, C.; Wu, J.; Kim, D; Li, Z.; Romu, A.; Shi, S.; Turro, N. J.; Ju, J. “3'-O-DTM-dNTPs as Reductively Cleavable Nucleotide Terminators: Synthesis and Incorporation Studies” Manuscript in preparation

7. Abeywickrama, C.; Ponnala, S.;, Kingman, A. K.; DeCarlo, C. “One pot efficient synthesis of Benzimidazoles from 2-nitro anilines”, Manuscript in preparation              


C. Abeywickrama, J. E. Bradner,R.  Paranal, S. Ponnala, A. K. Kingman, C. DeCarlo, “Development of Selective Histone Deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors as potential anti-cancer agents, Nakanishi Symposium, Columbia   
University, New York, USA, May 2013 (Oral)

C. Abeywickrama, S. Jockusch, J. Zhou, B. F. Erlanger, K. Nakanishi, N. J. Turro, J. R. Sparrow, “Immunological Approach to Age Related Macular Degeneration: Synthesis of Retinal-Based Molecules and Immunoconjugates Targeted Towards A2E, Gordon Research Conference (GRC), New Hampshire, USA, August 2009 (Poster)

C. Abeywickrama, A. D. Baker. “Synthesis and characterization of substituted 1,4,5,12-tetraazatriphenyles” ACS, 228th National Meeting, Anaheim, CA, USA, March 2004, ORGN-142 (Poster)

C. Abeywickrama , A. D. Baker. “An efficient synthesis of 1,4,5,12-tetraazatriphenylene and derivatives” ACS 228th National Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, USA, August 2004, ORGN-727 (Oral)

C. Abeywickrama, A. D. Baker, S. A. Rotenberg. “Synthesis and structure –activity relationship of dequalinium analogs” ACS, 225th National Meeting, New Orleans, LA, USA, March 2003, MEDI-095 (Poster)

C. Abeywickrama, A. D. Baker. “Synthesis of novel phenanthrolines and phthalocyanines” ACS, 227th National Meeting , New York, NY, USA, September 2003, ORGN-366 (Poster)

C. Abeywickrama, A. D. Baker, S. A. Rotenberg. “Inhibition of protein kinase C by dequalinium analogs” ACS, 223rd National Meeting, Orlando, FL, USA, April 2002, MEDI-201(Poster)

C. Abeywickrama, A. D. Baker, S. A. Rotenberg. “Protein kinase C inhibitors of dequalinium analogs: Structure-activity relationship” ACS, 224th National Meeting, Boston, MA, USA, August 2002, MEDI-114 (Poster)
C. Abeywickrama, T. C. Strekas, “Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) as an aid for an academic career” ACS, 222nd National Meeting, Chicago, IL, USA, August 2001, PROF-014 (Oral)   

C. Abeywickrama, A. D. Baker, S. A. Rotenberg. “Inhibition of protein kinase C by dequalinium analogs” ACS, 222nd National Meeting, Chicago, IL, USA, August 2001, ORGN-461 (Poster)

C. Abeywickrama, A. D. Baker, S. A. Rotenberg. “Synthesis of dequalinium analogs and their relative activities toward protein kinase C. ACS, 221st National Meeting, San Diego, CA, USA, April 2001,ORGN-705(Oral)    




Area of Expertise
General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry, LECTURES & Laboratory courses

Professor - Anatomy & Physiology

Academic Degrees Achieved: Ph.D.,
B.A., Rutgers University; Program Evaluation Certificate from Montclair State University

Area of Expertise
Anatomy & Physiology

Instructor - Chemistry

Academic degrees achieved: Ph.D., Duke University; B.S., Saint Joseph's University

Area of Expertise
General & Organic Chemistry


Academic Degrees Achieved: Ph.D., Rutgers University; M.Ed.,
M.S., East Stroudsburg University; Teaching Certificate, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; B.S., University of Scranton

Area of Expertise
Microbiology & Molecular Genetics

Associate Professor - Physics

Academic Degrees Achieved: Ph.D., University of Kansas; M.S., Purdue University; M.S., Northeastern University; B.S., University of Southern Colorado

Physics Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at University of South Carolina, Columbia SC.  Conducted Experimental Elementary Particle Physics research at: Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Illinois, Stanford University Linear Accelerator Center, Cornell University Colliding Beam Facility. Complete list of publications at:

Area of Expertise
Experimental Elementary Particle Physics

Professor - Chemistry

Academic Degrees Achieved: Ph. D.,
B.S., Rutgers University; A.S., Raritan Valley Community College

Area of Expertise
General Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Computational Chemistry

Instructor - Mechanical Engineering Technology
Academic degrees achieved: M.B.A., Rutgers University; M.S., Mechanical Engineering New Jersey Institute of Technology; B.S., Mechanical Engineering New Jersey Institute of Technology

Area of Expertise
Coordinator for Mechanical Engineering Technology Program

Assistant Professor/ Coordinator Medical Lab Tech

Academic Degrees Achieved: M.S., Biotech-Bioinformatics, University of Maryland Global Campus

Awards and Grants:
Certification, American Society for Clinical Pathology ASCP


Assistant Professor, Automotive Technology

Academic Degrees Achieved:
1- Bachelor's Degree Queens College;
2- Master's Degree Capella University;
3- A4, A5, A6 & G1 Certifications from the National Institute for Automotive Service of Excellence;
4- Apex Technical School Certificate;
5- SVA Certificate;
6- NJ CEAS Teacher of Automotive Technology Standard Certificate;
7- NYS Initial Teacher Certificate in Vehicle Maintenance and Repair (including heavy equipment repair) 7-12;
8- Automotive Inspector Certification - NYS Dept. of Motor Vehicles; &
9- MACS Refrigerant Recycling and Service License & Instructor Certificate

Area of Expertise
Automotive Technology & Repair

Associate Professor

Academic Degrees Achieved:
Ph.D., University of Massachusetts; B.A., University of San Diego 

Kelly J. Gauger, Stefanie Giera, David S. Sharlin, Ruby Bansal, Eric Iannacone, and R. Thomas Zoeller (2007).  Polychlorinated Biphenyls 105 And 118 Form Thyroid Hormone Receptor Agonists Following Cytochrome P4501A1 Activation In Rat Pituitary GH3 Cells.  Environmental Health Perspectives, 115, V11:1623-1630  Iannacone, EA, Yan, AW, Gauger, KJ, Dowling, ALS, Zoeller, RT (2002). Thyroid Hormone Exerts Site-Specific Effects on SRC-1 and N-coR Expression Selectively in the Neonatal Rat Brain.  Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 186:49-59  Zoeller, RT, Dowling, ALS, Herzig CTA, Iannacone, EA, Gauger, KJ, Bansal, R (2002).  Thyroid Hormone Brain Development, and the Environment.  Environmental Health Perspectives.  110 (suppl 3): 355-361.  Dowling, ALS, Iannacone, EA, Zoeller, RT (2001) Hypothyroidism Selectively Affects the Expression of Neuroendocrine-Specific Protein-A mRNA in the Fetal Rat Brain.  Endocrinology 142(1) 390-399. 

Area of Expertise
Anatomy & Physiology

Associate Professor - Anatomy & Physiology

Academic Degrees Achieved: Ph.D., Tohoku University Diploma in Zoology, Bachelor in Biological science, Damascus University

2014, American Society for Clinical Oncology Conquer Cancer Foundation Merit Award (San Francisco). 2009, Cell & Molecular Biology Young Scientist Travel Award for the abstract submitted to the European Respiratory Society. (Vienna, Austria) 2004-2010, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in Japan scholarship for Ph.D. degree.

Area of Expertise
Anatomy & Physiology, Stem Cells biology, Cancer Biology, Cellular & Molecular Biology

Professor - Biology

Academic Degrees Achieved: Ph.D., B.A., Rutgers University

NSF SENCER-ISE (Science Education for New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities) (2013-2015) Conducted research with RVCC students and citizen scientists at NJ Audubon to study the effects of invasive plant species, deer herbivory and land use on forest regeneration, bird communities and other aspects of forest health in central New Jersey.   Clean Ocean Action (2014) - Conducted surveys of marine debris accumulation areas along the tidal portions of the Delaware River, NJ.  NJ Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Natural Lands Management/New Jersey Natural Heritage Program (2001 – present) Conduct status surveys, ecological studies, management, and monitoring activities for the 800+ rare and endangered plant species of New Jersey and the region.   U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (2007 – 2013) Conducted surveys for the federally threatened plant species, Helonias bullata (swamp pink), in NJ, and the Candidate species for listing, Narthecium americanum (bog asphodel).  ANJEC (Association of New Jersey Environmental Commissions (2013-2014) Integrative Forest Restoration: Connecting People, Plants and Places. Involved students in the restoration of a local forest preserve by making traditional forest products and supporting student conservation internships through their sale. Conducted in partnership with the Readington Environmental Commission RVCC Sabbatical Award (Fall 2013) – Conducted research and submitted manuscripts for publication on endangered plant species ecology and conservation in NJ.  NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, Greenbelt Native Plant Center, Natural Resources Group (2011 – 2012, 2007 – 2009) Studied the ecology, taxonomy and restoration of endangered Pycnanthemum species in Staten Island, New York; Served as ecological consultant conducting biological assessment and endangered species surveys at Ridgewood Reservoir in Queens, NY, a new acquisition in the NYC park system  RVCC Faculty Research Grant (2011) – GIS analysis of transportation demand at RVCC Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition (2010), Representative Frank Pallone, NJ, for research and education efforts related to plastic ocean pollution  Beach Sweeps Research Award (2010), Clean Ocean Action, 25th Anniversary   RVCC Student Government Association (2008-2010) – Environmental Club Awards: Best Program/Event, Community Service, Campus Outreach, Best Advisor  Pinelands Preservation Alliance (2006) Studied the habitat characteristics of historic and de novo sites for reintroduction of the endangered Schwalbea americana (American chaffseed) in the New Jersey Pine Barrens  Rutgers University, Agriculture Experiment Station (2003) Researched control methods for a cooperative extension report on overabundant deer populations in New Jersey  Carnegie Museum of Natural History (2000) Studied the effects of stream acidification on the foraging ecology and reproductive success of Louisiana Waterthrush in the Laurel Highlands of southwestern Pennsylvania  South Florida Water Management District, Everglades Research Division (1999) Conducted experimental studies and field research on wading bird foraging ecology and avian seed dispersal on tree islands for the Everglades Restoration Project  Virginia Polytechnic Institute, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service (1998) Studied the foraging ecology and translocation potential of the critically endangered Laysan Duck (Anas laysanensis); Laysan Island, Hawaiian Islands N.W.R.; Assisted with biological monitoring of breeding seabird populations, endangered Green Sea Turtles, endangered Hawaiian Monk Seal, and exotic invasive plants (Cenchrus spp.);   U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division (1998) Studied the demography and life history characteristics of endangered Hawaiian honeycreepers and other rainforest birds; Hakalau N.W.R., HI  Rutgers University (1996 – 1998) Assisted in various restoration ecology studies on closed landfill sites in Staten Island, NY; Assisted in various mitigation and restoration efforts in Staten Island, Queens, and Coney Island, NY; Studied the effects of hydrology on Atlantic White Cedar regeneration; Lebanon State Forest, NJ; Studied the foraging ecology of migratory shorebird species; Cape May, NJ and DE  Selected Publications: Kelly, J.F. 2014, accepted. Status surveys for the endangered Narthecium americanum (bog asphodel) in the New Jersey Pine Barrens, using remote sensing and GIS. Journal of the Torrey Botanical Society Kelly, J.F. 2014. Effects of human activities (raking, scraping, off-road vehicles) and natural resource protections on the spatial distribution of beach vegetation and related shoreline features in New Jersey. Journal of Coastal Conservation 18:383-398.  Kelly, J. and J. Stentzel. 2013. “Seabeach Amaranth (Amaranthus pumilus)” Pgs. 144-147 In E. Kiviat and E.A. Johnson (Eds.) Biodiversity Assessment Handbook for New York City. American Museum of Natural History, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, New York, NY, and Hudsonia Ltd., Annandale, NY.  Kelly, J.F. 2013. Status and distribution of Amaranthus pumilus (seabeach amaranth) and other rare beach plant species in New Jersey: Field surveys and historical records. Bartonia 66:28-60.  Kelly, J.F. 2013. Status of the federally listed Threatened plant species, Helonias bullata (swamp pink) in New Jersey. Final Report submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Raritan Valley Community College, Round Mountain Ecological LLC.  Kelly, J.F. 2012. Studies of rare mountain-mint species (Pyncanthemum) in Staten Island, NY. Final Report submitted to the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, Greenbelt Native Plant Nursery. Raritan Valley Community College, Round Mountain Ecological LLC.  Kelly, J.F. 2010. Update on the Status of Honckenya peploides var. robusta (Seabeach Sandwort) in New Jersey, 2001-2010. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Forestry, Office of Natural Lands Management.   Kelly, J.F. and D. LaPuma. 2008. Biological assessment of Ridgewood Reservoir, Queens, New York. Round Mountain Ecological LLC, Report prepared for M. K. Morrison Associates and the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation.   Kelly, J.F., M.I. Palmer and M.P. Forup. 2007. The biogeography, ecology and monitoring of Narthecium americanum (bog asphodel) in New Jersey. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Parks and Forestry, Office of Natural Lands Management.  Breden, T., J.M. Hartman, M. Anzelone, and J.F. Kelly. 2006. Endangered Plant Species in New Jersey: Population Health and Threats. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Office of Policy, Planning and Science, Division of Science, Research and Technology.  Kelly, J.F. 2005. Habitat assessment of the endangered Schwalbea americana (New Jersey). Ecological Restoration 23:60-61.  Kelly, J.F., D.E. Gawlik and D. Kieckbusch. 2003. An updated account of wading bird foraging behavior. Wilson Bulletin 115(1):105-107.  Cartica, R. and J.F. Kelly. 2003. Field survey for Isotria medeioloides (Small-whorled Pogonia) in Norvin Green State Forest, NJ. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Parks and Forestry, Office of Natural Lands Management. Confidential Report.  Drake, D., M. Lock, and J. Kelly. 2002. Managing New Jersey’s Deer Population. New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, Rutgers University Press.   

Area of Expertise
Ecology & Conservation

Professor - Biology

Academic Degrees Achieved: Ph.D., University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ; B.S., Rutgers University

Principal Investigator – “Quality Matters: Enhancing the Biotechnology Program at RVCC”.  Funded from 7/1/05 – 6/30/09 for $371,319.  National Science Foundation Award # DUE – 0501912  Co-Principal Investigator “Transforming the General Biology Laboratory for Undergraduate Students”. Funded 5/18/11 - 6/1/13 for $170,930. National Science Foundation Award # TUES - 1044699.         Mid-Career Fellowship Program - Princeton University, 2014-2015.

Area of Expertise
Cell Biology, Genetics, Cancer Biology

Instructor - Chemistry
Academic degrees achieved:
Ph.D. in Chemistry, University of Miami
B.S. in Chemistry, Nankai University

Courses Taught
Introductory Chemistry
General Chemistry
Organic Chemistry

Past Research Projects

1.  Supramolecular Polymerization of Porphyrin-Based Organic Dyes  
Synthesized a library of structurally complicated porphyrin derivatives with novel aggregation-triggering structural motifs, studied their supramolecular polymerization behaviors and mechanisms, revealed the relationship between their photophysical, morphological, and potentiometric properties, modulated their nanostructures using different fabrication methods (reported the first-ever free-standing monolayer nanostructure formed by covalently bridged porphyrin oligomers), and programmed their self-assembly using physical and chemical triggers.

2.  Drug Release from Hydrogel-Coated Microelectrode Arrays
Developed a novel approach to surface modification of a polyimide-coated platinum–iridium microelectrode array platform, constructed drug-loaded hydrogel materials covalently anchored on the platform, and optimized the drug release profile of dexamethasone-loaded hydrogel-coated microwire arrays for brain machine interfaces designed to attenuate foreign body response in paralysis studies and treatment.
Research Publications
•    V. Paulino, A. Mukhopadhyay, I. Tsironi, K. Liu, D. Husainy, C. Liu, K. Meier*, and J.-H. Olivier*, Molecular Engineering of Water-Soluble Oligomers to Elucidate Radical p–Anion Interactions in n-Doped Nanoscale Objects, J. Phys. Chem. C, 2021, 125, 10526-10538.
•    A. Mukhopadhyay, V. Paulino, K. Liu, C. L. Donley, B. Bernard, A. Shomar, C. Liu, and J.-H. Olivier*, Leveraging the Assembly of a Rylene Dye to Tune the Semiconducting Properties of Functionalized n-Type, Hybrid Si Interfaces, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2021, 13, 4665-4675.
•    K. Liu, V. Paulino, A. Mukhopadhyay, B. Bernard, A. Kumbhar, C. Liu, J.-H. Olivier*, How to Reprogram the Excitonic Properties and Solid-State Morphologies of p-Conjugated Supramolecular Polymers, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2021, 23, 2703-2714.
•    C. Liu, K. Liu, A. Mukhopadhyay, V. Paulino, B. Bernard, J.-H. Olivier*, Butadiyne-Bridged (Porphinato)Zinc(II) Chromophores Assemble into Free-Standing Nanosheets, Organometallics, 2020, 39, 2984-2990.
•    C. Liu, M. A. Nguyen, A. A.-C. M. Franklin, C. Bennett, J. B. Domena, N. C. Kleinhenz, G. A. Blanco C., S. Duque, A. F. Chebbi, B. Bernard, J.-H. Olivier*, A. Prasad*, Surface Modifications of an Organic Polymer-Based Microwire Platform for Sustained Release of an Anti-Inflammatory Drug, ACS Appl. Bio Mater., 2020, 3, 4613.
•    A. Ashcraft, K. Liu, A. Mukhopadhyay, V. Paulino, C. Liu, B. Bernard, D. Husainy, T. Phan, J.-H. Olivier*, A Molecular Strategy to Lock-In the Conformation of a Perylene Bisimide-Derived Supramolecular Polymer, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2020, 59, 7487.
•    A. Mukhopadhyay, B. Bernard, K. Liu, V. Paulino, C. Liu, C. Donley, J.-H. Olivier*, Molecular Strategies to Modulate the Electrochemical Properties of P-Type Si(111) Surfaces Covalently Functionalized with Ferrocene and Naphthalene Diimide, J. Phys. Chem. B, 2019, 123, 11026.
•    K. Liu, A. Mukhopadhyay, A. Ashcraft, C. Liu, A. Levy, P. Blackwelder, J.-H. Olivier*, Reconfiguration of p-Conjugated Superstructures Enabled by Redox-Assisted Assembly, Chem. Commun., 2019, 55, 5603.
•    C. Liu, K. Liu, J. Klutke, A. Ashcraft, S. Steefel, J.-H. Olivier*, Deciphering the Potentiometric Properties of (Porphinato)zinc(II)-Derived Supramolecular Polymers and Related Superstructures, J. Mater. Chem. C, 2018, 6, 11980. Featured on Inside Back Cover.
•    K. Liu, A. Levy, C. Liu, J.-H. Olivier*, Tuning Structure-Function Properties of p-Conjugated Superstructures by Redox-Assisted Self-Assembly, Chem. Mater., 2018, 30, 2143.
•    Y. Zhou, C. X. Guzman, L. C. Helguero-Kelley, C. Liu, S. R. Peurifoy, B. Captain, A. B. Braunschweig*, Diketopyrrolopyrrole Assembly into J-Aggregates, J. Phys. Org. Chem., 2016, 29, 689.
•    L. Guo, X. Song, C. Lin, Q. Li*, C. Liu, W. Wang, F. Xu*, Synthesis of Multi-Imidazolium Salt Ligands Containing Calixarene Fragments and Their N-Heterocyclic Carbene Ag(I) Macrocyclic Complexes, Polyhedron, 2015, 85, 732.
•    W. Jiang, F. Hu*, H. Gu, C. Liu, N. Wei, L. Wan, S. Ren, J. Wang, F. Xu*, Synthesis and Fungicidal Activity of Methyl 2-Methoxyimino-2-polysubstituted-phenylacetates, Chinese J. Org. Chem., 2014, 34, 774.



Area of Expertise
Organic Chemistry
Organic Synthesis

Associate Professor of Physics
Academic degrees achieved:  B.A., Cum Laude, with Honors in Applied Mathematics, Queens College; B.A., Cum Laude, with Honors in Physics, Queens College; M.A., Physics, Queens College; M.Phil., Physics, The City University of New York; Ph.D., Physics, The City University of New York

Any awards, research & grants:

•    Will Scientists Ever Find a Theory of Everything?; Space & Physics, Quantum Physics, Scientific American, Aug 19, 2023—D. Nicolaides.
•    The Quantum Mechanics of Motion and the Paradoxes of Zeno, London Ancient Science Conference, London, UK, Feb 15-17, 2023—D. Nicolaides.
•    National Conference on Undergraduate Research presentation award in Natural and Physical Sciences, 2022—D. Nicolaides, D. L. King, S. M. Cristobal.
•    Book, In Search of a Theory of Everything: The Philosophy Behind Physics, Oxford University Press, 2020—D. Nicolaides.

Area of Expertise
Theoretical Physics

Professor - Engineering

Academic Degrees Achieved:
Ph.D., B.S., University of Naples, Italy

Area of Expertise
Engineering & Materials Science

Associate Professor - Biology

Academic Degrees Achieved: Ph.D., B.Sc., Rutgers University

Awards, Research, Grants: National Academies of Education Fellow in Science 2015 – 2016. New Day Fund Grant – Biotechnology internship 2015. Rockfall Foundation Grant – Environmental Biology Workshop Mentorship 2015. Ph.D. thesis: “Iron Oxide Reduction by a Clostridial Consortium: Insights from Physiological and Genome Analyses” 2013. Koft Umbreit Fellowship, Rutgers University 2011. Robinson Award for Excellence in Graduate Education 2011.

Area of Expertise
Biology, Microbiology, Environmental Science, molecular biology and genomics


Academic Degrees Achieved: Ph.D., Rutgers University; Sc.B., Brown University

Grants: NSF S-STEM (Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), 2015-2019, $625,000, Co-PI with Cynthia Geoffroy; funding and programming for ~35 partial and full scholarships to improve retention of academically talented, financially needy STEM majors at RVCC  NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant, 2005-2007, $12,000, Co-PI with advisor Dr. Joan Ehrenfeld; funded dual isotope analysis at Dr. Daniel Sigman’s laboratory at Princeton University  EPA STAR Graduate Fellow, 2004-2007, $110,000, Sole PI; partially funded throughfall and soil leachate portion of dissertation research  New Jersey Water Resources Research Institute Graduate Student Grant, 2004-2005, $5,000, Sole PI; partially funded throughfall and soil leachate portion of dissertation research  New Jersey Water Resources Research Institute Graduate Student Grant, 2003-2004, $5,000, Sole PI; partially funded soil nitrogen cycling portion of dissertation research 

Awards: Member of team awarded EPA’s 2010 Bronze Medal and nominated for agency-wide EPA Science Achievement (Engineering) for the design and construction of a porous pavement and rain garden research and demonstration site  Member of team awarded 2010 Sustainable Leadership Award from the Portland Cement Association for “advancing the concept and implementation of sustainable development in your community through the porous pavement stormwater management research program”  Member of team awarded EPA 2009 Sustainability Champion, Leading Edge Award for showing leadership in reducing EPA’s environmental footprint through the parking lot and rain garden research and demonstration project  Superior Accomplishment Recognition Award (“S” Award) for noteworthy high quality performance from Environmental Protection Agency, August 2008 and August 2009  Outstanding Student Paper Award, Biogeosciences Section of the American Geophysical  Union, AGU Joint Assembly, Baltimore, May 2006 

Publications: Lautze, J., E. Stander, P. Drechsel, A. K. da Silva, and B. Keraita. 2014. Global Experiences in Water Reuse. Resource Recovery & Reuse Series 4, International Water Management Institute, Sri Lanka.  Gilchrist, S., M. Borst and E. K. Stander. 2014. Factorial study of rain garden design for nitrogen removal. Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering 140(3), 0403016.  Felson, A. J., M. Pavao-Zuckerman, T. Carter, F. Montalto, W. Shuster, N. Springer, E. K. Stander, and O. Starry. 2013. Mapping the design process for urban ecological researchers. BioScience 63(11): 854-865.  Stander, E. K., A. A. Rowe, M. Borst, and T. P. O’Connor. 2013. A novel use of time domain reflectometry in infiltration-based low impact development practices. Journal of Irrigation and Drainage Engineering 139(8): 625-634.  Passeport, E., P. Vidon, K. Forshay, L. Harris, S. S. Kaushal, D. Q. Kellogg, J. Lazar, P. M. Mayer, and E. K. Stander. 2013. Ecological engineering practices for the reduction of excess nitrogen in human influenced landscapes: A guide for watershed managers. Environmental Management 51(2): 392-413.  Lautze, J., E. Stander, P. Drechsel, B. Keraita, and A. da Silva. 2012. Global experiences in water reuse. In EPA 2012 Water Reuse Guidelines. EPA/600/R-12/618.  Stander, E. K. and J. G. Ehrenfeld. 2010. Urban Riparian Function. In Urban Ecosystem Ecology, J. Peterson and A. Volder (eds.). ASA-CSSA-SSSA Books, Madison, WI.   Ehrenfeld, J. G. and E. K. Stander. 2010. Habitat Functions in Urban Riparian Zones.  In Urban Ecosystem Ecology, J. Peterson and A. Volder (eds.). ASA-CSSA-SSSA Books, Madison, WI.   Ehrenfeld, J. G., M. Palta, and E. K. Stander. 2010. Wetlands in Urban Environments.  In An Encyclopaedia of Urban Ecology, I. Douglas, D. Goode, M. Houck, and R. Wang (eds.).  Routledge, Abingdon, UK.  Collins, K. A. T. J. Lawrence, E. K. Stander, R. J. Jontos, S. S. Kaushal, T. A. Newcomer, N. B. Grimm, and M. C. Ekberg. 2010. Opportunities and challenges for managing nitrogen in urban storm water: A review and synthesis. Ecological Engineering 36: 1507-1519.  Stander, E. K. and M. Borst. 2010. A hydraulic test of a bioretention media carbon amendment.  Journal of Hydrologic Engineering 15(6): 531-536.   Stander, E. K. and J. G. Ehrenfeld. 2009. Rapid assessment of urban wetlands: functional assessment model development and evaluation. Wetlands 29(1): 261-276.   Stander, E. K. and J. G. Ehrenfeld. 2009. Rapid assessment of urban wetlands: do hydrogeomorphic classification and reference criteria work? Environmental Management  43(4): 725-742.  Groffman, P. M., K. Butterbach-Bahl, W. Fulweiler, A. J. Gold, J. Morse, E. K. Stander, C. Tague, C. Tonitto, and P. Vidon. 2009. Incorporating spatially and temporally explicit phenomena (hotspots and hot moments) in denitrification models. Biogeochemistry 93(1-2): 49-77.  Ehrenfeld, J. G., H. Bowman Cutway, R. Hamilton IV, and E. Stander. 2003. Hydrologic description of forested wetlands in northeastern New Jersey, USA – an urban/suburban region.  Wetlands 23(4):685-700. 

Area of Expertise
Ecosystem Ecology, Wetland Ecology, Green Stormwater Management, Water Resources Management, International Development

Professor - Biology

Academic Degrees Achieved: Ph.D., University of Wisconsin; B.S., Moravian College

Awards and Grants:  Award for Innovative Excellence in Teaching, Learning, and Technology. International Teaching and Learning Conference.   Best Overall Course. SoftChalk Lesson Builder Challenge.   Best Higher Ed Lesson - Honorable Mention. SoftChalk Lesson Builder Challenge.   HP Technology for Teaching Higher Education Leadership grant.  Hewlett-Packard.   Top Technology Innovator – Nominee. Chronicle of Higher Education.   Publications MicroBooster Video Tutorials. Pearson Publishing.    Lab Exercises in Microbiology.  Bluedoor Publishing.   Principles of Biology Laboratory Manual. Bluedoor Publishing.     

Area of Expertise
Educational Technology, Flipped Classroom, Microbiology Education

Raritan Valley Community College online courses, as well as face-to-face classes, are taught by accomplished adjunct and full-time faculty.

Hamid Alouach

Jephte Augustin
B.S., M.S., PHD., Mechanical Engineer, Drexel University

Patricia Bakos
Master of Science in Human Nutrition, Columbia University
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Montclair State University
Bachelor of Arts in Biology, Rutgers University, Rutgers College 

Pete Barra
A.S. Chemistry, Middlesex County College  
B.A. Biology, Rutgers University  
M.A.T.L. Instructional Technology, Nova Southeastern University

John Campetella
B.S., M.S., College of Staten Island

Shuang Chen
B.E., Chemical and Molecular Engineering, Stony Brook University
Ph.D., Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Rutgers University

Denise L. Cullerton
M.S. Chemistry, Rutgers University Graduate Teaching Certification, Chemistry 7-12, Southern Connecticut State University
M.S. Textile Chemistry, Clemson University B.S. with Distinction Textile Science, University of Delaware

Robert A. Del Vecchio
M.S. Biology, Fairleigh Dickinson University

Peter H. Dobbelaar, Ph.D.
B.A., Drew University M.S., Seton Hall University
Ph.D., Seton Hall University

Jeffrey Fox
B.S., Chemical & Biochemical Engineering, University of Maryland
M.S., Chemical & Biochemical Engineering, Rutgers University

Chrismol George
M.B.B.S., Medical, JJM Medical College
M.S., Biology, Fairleigh Dickinson University

Alireza Gharavi
B.S., University of New Orleans
PHD., Tulane University

Jonathan Harris
B.S., Rutgers University
M.S. North Carolina State University

Sharareh Hashemi
M.S., Rutgers University

Gregory Herman
M.S., University of Connecticut
PHD., Rutgers University

Mary Ho
B.S., Biological Science (Biochemistry), Cornell University
Ph.D., Biochemistry & Molecular Biophysics, University of Pennsylvania

Craig A Hoppe
Ph.D, Johns Hopkins University
M.S., Case Western Reserve University
M.S.,The Ohio State University
B.A., The College of Wooster

Olugbenga Ige
M.A., Teaching, William Patterson University
PHD., Geology, Nigeria

Lois A. Johnson
PhD. Meteoritics, Rutgers University
M.S. Soil Mineralogy, Cook College, Rutgers Univeristy
B.S. Agronomy, Cook College, Rutgers University

Arthur V. Ketterer
B.S., Stevens Institute of Technology MEE New York University
M.S. Mathematics, Stevens Institute of Technology

John Koscinski
B.S., M.S., Monmouth University

Lawrence B. Kramer
B.S., Albright College
Ph.D., Rutgers University

Gayathri Varior Krishnan
PhD. Molecular Immunology and Virology, Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon, France

Edlynn Lewis
Doctor of Medicine, University of Perpetual Help-Rizal  
B.S. Biology, De La Salle University

Priya Mangano
B.S. Biology, The College of New Jersey 2006
M.S. Secondary Science, The College of New Jersey 2008

Grace G. Martin. MS, RD
B.A., St. John's University, Psychology
M.S., Rutgers University, Food and Nutrition

Jolene Mason
B.S., M.S., Biological Science, California State University
Ph.D., University of California

Gorky Massache
B.A., Biology, Kean University
D.C., Chiropractic, New York Chiropractic College

Clare McEnroe
B.S. Home Economics, Montclair State College 
M.S. Clinical Nutrition, New York University 
Teacher certification in Family and Consumer Science,St. Peter's Universi

Nicholas Milton

Frank Minnella
B.S.A.S.T., Architectural Design, Thomas Edison State College

Ahmed Mohamed
M.S., PHD., Queen’s University

Buvaneswari Narayanan
PHD., University of Maryland College Park

Yelena Naumova
B.S./M.S. Chemistry, St-Petersburg State University
M.S. Environmental Engineering, Manhattan College
Ph.D. Environmental Science, Rutgers University

Allan Phillip Piechowski
B.S. Chemistry, Villanova University
M.S. Analytical Chemistry, Rutgers University 
Ph.D. Physical Chemistry  

Kathy Piparo
B.S. Biochemistry, Douglass College, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Ph.D. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey

 Diane Ratner
B.A. Biology, Bucknell University
M.S. Athletic Training, California University of Pennsylvania

Renee Rehfuss
B.A., Kean University
M.S., Montclair State University

Tanya Rohrbach
B.A. Biology, Rutgers University
M.S. Geography, Rutgers University

Anthony Rosania

Brenda Rosenau
B.S., Ball State University
M.S., University of Mass Amherst

Sandhya Royan
PHD., Northern Illinois University

Arpita Saha
M.S. Biology, Visva Bhararti University

Seema M Sahni
PhD (Organic Chemistry), Simon Fraser University, B.C. Canada 

Shyamali Hiranthi Samaranayake
M.Sc. Plant Breeding and Selections
PhD. Plant Science and Biology

Aqsa Sheikh
B.S., Kean University

David A. Smith
B.S. Administration of Justice / Psychology, Rutgers University Master of Architecture

Emmelina Stanescu
M.S., Fairleigh Dickinson University

Viveca Sulich
B.S. Biology, Montclair State University
M.A. Biology, Montcllair State University

Gregory Suran
M.S. Physics and Teaching, Uzhhorod National University, Ukraine
Physics Graduate School of Education, Rutgers State University, Specialist in Education

Muzaffer Tabanli
M.S., Missouri University of Science & Technology
Darcy Taylor
B.S., Environmental Science, Nazareth College of Rochester
Ed.M., Biology, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey

Dr. Ann Tilak
Ph.D - IIT, Kanpur, India (consortium of 9 American Universites)

Gayathri Varior-Krishnan
PhD. Molecular Immunology and Virology, Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon, France

Cristiane Veloso Neves Hermont
B.A., Psychology, Federal University of Minas, Brazil

Jerry Vinski
M.S. Science Education, Clarion University

Jonathan Wagar
B.S., Stockton University; M.F., Yale University

Yue Wang
M.A., Eugene Lang College

Karen Weiner
B.A., Biology, Colgate University
M.S., Ph.D., Biochemistry, Albany College of Pharmacy


Special Galileo Scholarships are available for science and engineering majors. The scholarships are awarded to students majoring in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) programs, who qualify based on their academic success. Scholars receive many benefits including opportunities to:
  • Seamlessly transfer to partnering institutions of higher education
  • Explore career possibilities in their chosen STEM discipline
  • Receive advice and academic support from faculty in their discipline area
  • Participate in many STEM-related activities on campus

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