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Department of Biology

 

Dr. Jeff French | Chair of Biology, Associate Professor

Jeffrey French, Ph.D.

Chair of the Biology Department 
Associate Dean of Science and Math

Coordinator of the Environmental Science Track
Associate Professor of Biology

Dr. Jeffrey French teaches courses in ecology, natural resource management, environmental science, and genetics. He earned his doctorate from the University of South Carolina in 2008 after managing a graduate program there from 2000 to 2005. He came to NGU in 2007 for the opportunity to direct his academic service towards the higher service of Christ. He enjoys spending time with his wife Karyn at home in Greer, S.C., and playing guitar with his son Jake. They are members of Earle Street Baptist Church in Greenville, S.C.

Dr. Thomas Allen | Dean, College of Science & Mathematics

Thomas C. Allen, Ph.D.

Professor of Biology
Dean Emeritus

Dr. Thomas C. Allen has been teaching at the collegiate level for close to 30 years. He holds his master's in physiology and ecology from the University of Wyoming and his doctorate in human physiology from the University of Cincinnati Medical School. He completed a post doctorate in human oncology at the University of Chicago's Ben May Department for Cancer Research. Allen has previously taught at the University of Louisville Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, as well as at the University of South Carolina Upstate and the Medical University of South Carolina. Prior to his teaching years, Allen was the president and CEO of Reproductive Laboratory Associates. For fun, he and his wife own and manage Allen's Ridge Ranch, where they raise Friesian horses, alpacas, and Great Danes.

Amy Burke M.S. | Instructor

Amy Burke, M.S.

Instructor of Chemistry

Amy Burke is an instructor in chemistry. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Kentucky and a Master of Science in Organic Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After graduating, she worked in commercial product research and development for electronics applications before becoming a full-time wife and mother to three children. Mrs. Burke was previously an adjunct instructor at NGU beginning in 2014. She enjoys relaxing with many different crafts, primarily sewing.

Dr. Heidi Dodson | Associate Professor

Heidi Dodson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology

Dr. Heidi Dodson is no stranger to NGU, as she received her bachelor's degree in biology at NGU in 2005. In 2011, Dobson completed her doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biology from Clemson University. After completing her doctorate, she then pursued and obtained a master's degree in public health at the University of Virginia. When she isn't teaching, Dodson enjoys reading, running, and playing the cello.

Dr. Christina Eddy | Professor

Christina Eddy, Ph.D.

Professor of Biology

Dr. Christina Eddy teaches Microbiology, Cell and Molecular Biology, Immunology, Advanced Molecular Biology, First Year Experience, Sophomore Seminar and introductory biology labs at NGU. Eddy earned her bachelor's with a double major in biology and chemistry from Cornell College in Iowa, where she graduated magna cum laude. She completed her doctorate in molecular biology from Marquette University. Prior to coming to NGU, she taught at Mississippi State University and Skidmore College. She was also a research scientist at the National Renewable Energy Lab. Eddy incorporates teaching, research, and missions to give as many students as possible the opportunity to apply critical thinking and the scientific method to solve practical problems and prepare to share the gospel by meeting the physical needs of people around the world. In her spare time, she enjoys fishing, crocheting, and creating jewelry.

Dr. Jan Foster | Assistant Professor

Jan M. Foster, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biology

Dr. Jan M. Foster teaches primarily Anatomy and Physiology I and II, Human Biology, Histology, and Advanced Physiology in the Biology Department at NGU. She earned her bachelor's degree in biology from Erskine College and her doctorate in biomedical sciences from the Medical College of Georgia, focusing on protein regulation in renal and cardiovascular physiology. She serves on numerous university committees and mentors students in undergraduate research projects using the soil nematode C. elegans. Foster is passionate about teaching all students to become health advocates for themselves and their families. She is married and has two girls. She enjoys spending time outdoors with her family and helping out with her daughters' activities. She is also actively involved in her church. 

Dr. Robert Knepp | Assistant Professor

Robert Knepp, D.C.

Assistant Professor of Biology

Dr. Robert Knepp holds a bachelor's in human biology and a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Texas Chiropractic College. He owned and operated his own chiropractic clinic for a few years, but felt that God had something else for his life. After selling his practice, he began teaching as a full-time high school science teacher. While at the high school, he taught advanced courses in anatomy and physiology. During this time, he also taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, also teaching anatomy and physiology course. Knepp has a passion for teaching others about the human body and currently teaches several different biology classes for both majors and non-majors. He is married and has three children: one son and twin daughters. Knepp enjoys spending time with his active family, watching sports, and painting. 

Ronald C. Marks | Professor

Ronald C. Marks, Ph.D.

Professor of Chemistry

Dr. Ronald C. Marks is a Professor of Chemistry at NGU. He has three degrees in chemistry, all from The University of Tennessee (B.A., 1982; M.S., 1988; Ph.D., 1994). Before coming to NGU, Dr. Marks served for 20 years as an officer in the US Air Force that including teaching at the US Air Force Academy. Ron is an ordained elder and deacon, and has served in these positions in churches across the US. His research interests include novel synthetic techniques, computer-based modeling of chemicals and chemical reactions, and the interface of faith and science. Ron is a member of the Creation Research Society and Creation Study Group in Greenville, SC. When not teaching at NGU, Ron enjoys discussing philosophy, theology, and just about anything else that affects our work as missionaries in this world.


Lee Mitchell, M.S.

Instructor of Physical Science

Lee Mitchell has taught part-time in Physical Sciences at NGU since 2008 and full-time since 2011. He has a BS in Geology from Furman University (1977) and an MS in Geology from the University of South Carolina (1984). He has had the privilege of serving as a Journeyman Missionary in Uganda, drilling water wells and telling others about our Lordís Living Water, and has worked in the field of Uranium Exploration for the US Department of Energy. He also worked 26 years as a hydrogeologist with the SC Department of Natural Resources, covering the Piedmont Region. He loves teaching Earth Science at NGU, and sharing with students his love of the Creation and the Creator. He and his wife are the proud parents of two grown children, one of whom is a North Greenville graduate.

Randall Moss | Instructor

Randall Moss, M.S.

Instructor of Biology

Randall Moss serves as an instructor in the Biology Department at NGU. He earned his bachelorís degree in biology from NGU in 2012 and his masterís degree in biomedical sciences from Mercer University in 2014. Moss enjoys teaching with the aim of helping students experience God more deeply through a biblically sound understanding of the sciences. When heís not teaching, Moss enjoys power lifting, hiking, and spending quality time with his wife and two children. His life goal is to live unashamed of the gospel (Romans 1:16) and to point others to the grace and truth of Jesus Christ.

Dr. Julius Nfor | Assistant Professor of Physics

Julius Nfor Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Physics

Dr. Julius Nfor serves as assistant professor of physics in the College of Science and Mathematics at NGU. Julius earned his Bachelor of Science degree in physics in 2002 from the University of Calabar in Nigeria and a doctorate degree in accelerator physics in 2010 from Kangwon National University in South Korea. Prior to joining NGU, he worked as a post-doctoral research fellow in Kangwon National University and Old Dominion University, respectively. He also taught physics at Presbyterian College for three years. He enjoys reading, mentors teenagers, and does evangelism with his wife Sesonya, who is a violinist and gospel singer.

Dr. Debo Nathaniel | Assistant Professor

Debo Nathaniel, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biology

Dr. Debo Nathaniel earned her doctorate in Biology from Bowling Green State University. Nathaniel has vast experience in teaching in different cultural settings. Prior to coming to NGU in 2012, she taught courses such as Cytogenetics, Ecology, and Plant Biology, Concepts in Biology, and Environmental Science. She has enjoyed teaching at North Greenville University because it provides a unique opportunity of teaching in a godly atmosphere. Nathanielís research interests span the field of ecological genetics and developmental biology. Nathaniel is married with three boys. When she is not teaching or in the lab, she enjoys meeting people and spending quality time with her family.

Marlene Pinner | Professor

Marlene Pinner, M.S.

Instructor of Physical Science

Marlena Pinner has taught for North Greenville University since 2009 in the Biology and Physical Sciences departments. Mrs. Pinner has taught for University of Maryland University College and Big Bend Community College while living in Germany. On the other side of the world (Japan), Marlena earned her certificate of Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and taught Japanese adults and children. She has also taught Chemistry and Physics at Annapolis Area Christian School and worked in industry as a chemist. Marlena worked at the Oconee Nuclear Power Station in South Carolina, and later in Florida at BioEnergy Corporation where she did research into making fuel grade ethanol from biomass (newspapers/cornhusks) using bioengineered Escherichia coli and Klebsiella oxytosa. Mrs. Pinner earned a Masters in Biochemistry from Clemson University and a Bachelors in Premedicine from Bob Jones University. Currently she is teaching Chemistry and Physical Sciences.

Dr. David Stolze | Assistant Professor of Chemistry

David Stolze, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Dr. David Stolze serves as an assistant professor of chemistry at NGU. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from the University of Michigan and a PhD in organic chemistry with a minor in inorganic chemistry from Wayne State University. He completed a post doctorate in organic chemistry at North Carolina State University. Prior to teaching at NGU, Stolze worked in research, process development and quality control in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, specializing in organic, polymer and analytical chemistry. He enjoys spending quality time with his wife Stephanie, traveling and being active in his church.

Gwendolen Watson | Instructor

Gwendolen Watson, M.Ed.

Instructor of Biology

Gwendolen Watson graduated from NGU in 1998. She transferred to the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, receiving her bachelorís degree in marine biology. While at UNCW, she participated in field research as a member of the Marine Mammal Stranding Team. Mrs. Watson also volunteered at the Fort Fisher Aquarium, where she was responsible for the care of the invertebrates, sea turtles, sharks, and stingrays. She received her Masters of Education in 2008 and taught high school biology for a total of 12 years. In 2015, Mrs. Watson returned to NGU as a faculty member where she enjoys teaching in a Christian environment, fostering intellectual and spiritual growth, and appreciates the freedom to pray openly with her students.  Mrs. Watson enjoys spending time with her family. She has 3 daughters and a son. They enjoy arts and crafts and almost any outdoor activity. Mrs. Watson and her family play an active role in church, leading a small group and a support group for spouses. Mrs. Watson is currently working on her Doctorate in Public Health.
 
Charles Wilson | Associate Professor

Charles A. Wilson, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Chemistry

Dr. Charles A. Wilson grew up in Charleston, SC and attended Furman University as an undergraduate. After two years of military service he studied at the University of South Carolina where he received the PhD after doing organic chemistry synthesis research on antitumor agents. After brief stints in the chemical industry with General Electricís Engineering Plastics Division and teaching two years at Furman, he worked 23 years with Union Carbide Corporation in various roles: research chemist in agricultural science, specialty polymers applications group leader, product manager, marketing manager and business manager. In his last three years with Carbide, he led premarketing efforts during the construction of the largest petrochemical plant in Asia (built in Kerteh, Malaysia). Upon returning to the US, he began a second career in 2002 teaching general and organic chemistry at NGU. Dr. Wilson is happily married and has two married daughters and 5 grandsons. He enjoys travel, reading, genealogical research, vegetable gardening and Bible study.

Department of Health Science

 

Christine Haltiwanger | Chair

Christine Haltiwanger, Ph.D.

Chair of the Department of Health Science
Assistant Professor of Health Promotion and Wellness

Dr. Christine Haltiwanger serves as chair of the department of Health Sciene and an assistant professor at NGU. Haltiwanger holds a bachelor's degree in biological sciences from Clemson University, a master's in public health from the University of South Carolina, and a doctorate in public health from the University of Georgia. Before coming to NGU in 2009, Haltiwanger served as a health educator for Palmetto Baptist Hospital in Columbia, S.C., and as a health coordinator for a private insurance brokerage firm in Greenville, S.C. Her research areas include health promotion efforts in corporate wellness settings, health policy and administration strategies, and nutritional needs of older adults. Haltiwanger enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and traveling. She resides in Anderson, S.C., with her husband James and children Laura and Davis.

Steven Pearce | Instructor

Steven Pearce, M.S.

Instructor of Health and Wellness

Steven Pearce serves as an instructor of health promotion and wellness at NGU.  He received his Bachelor of Science in athletic training from Mars Hill University, where he also earned all-conference in cross country. Pearce went on to Appalachian State University, where he earned his master's degree in exercise science, with a concentration in strength and conditioning. Prior to NGU, Pearce worked as a fitness leader at the Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, while also teaching as an adjunct professor in the Health and Exercise Science Department at Appalachian State University. Pearce continues to participate in local road races and enjoys anything outdoors. 

Jillian Pfister, MA | Instructor

Jillian Pfister, M.P.H.

Instructor of Health and Wellness

Jillian Pfister serves as a visiting instructor in the Health Science Department at NGU. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in health science and a minor in outdoor leadership from NGU and a Master of Public Health from The George Washington University. Prior to teaching at NGU, Mrs. Pfister worked as a nutritionist for the state of South Carolina in the WIC department as well as a health screener for the Greenville Health System. In her spare time, Mrs. Pfister enjoys chasing after her one year old and keeping up with her outdoorsy husband.  

Jeff Williams | Assistant Professor

Jeff Williams, DPT

Assistant Professor of Health and Wellness

Dr. Jeff Williams serves as an assistant professor in the Health Promotion and Wellness Department at NGU. After receiving his Bachelor of Science in health promotion and wellness at NGU, he went on to pursue his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at The Medical University of South Carolina. He has previously worked in the physical therapy sector at Sports, Spine, and Industrial Physical Therapy and Physiotherapy Associates, and he has trained with some of the leading PTs and strength coaches across the nation. Williams is an avid surfer and fisherman, and he loves all things outdoors. 

 

Department of Mathematics

 

Kerry Ravan | Instructor

Kerry Ravan, M.A.

Chair of the Department of Mathematics
Instructor of Mathematics

Kerry Ravan has served as a math instructor at NGU since August 2012. She has a bachelor's degree in mathematics ('05) and a master's degree in teaching ('06), both from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to teaching at NGU, Ravan taught secondary mathematics in North Carolina for six years. Because of her secondary education background, she serves as an advisor to NGU's mathematics secondary education students and has written six mathematics recertification classes for NGU's graduate school. She feels it is a privilege to teach mathematics at NGU, where she can openly share both her passion for mathematics and Jesus Christ on a daily basis.

Deborah Batson | Instructor

Deborah Batson M.Ed.

Instructor of Computer Science

Deborah Batson serves as an instructor for the computer science program at NGU. She is a recognized Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP), a recognition awarded to capable experts demonstrating proven proficiency in technical training and Microsoft Office programs. She is a member of Microsoft Partners in Learning for Educators and a participant in Microsoft Teaching with Technology. With a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Master of Education degree, Batson has over 20 years of corporate training and teaching experience. She possesses an understanding of the value of technology literacy and the benefits it brings to education and business. Mrs. Batson has delivered training seminars for school districts in South Carolina, as well as multiple corporations across the Southeastern United States. She and her husband attend Clearview Baptist Church and are parents to Scotty, Stacie, Sandi, and Sara.

Charles Brian Crane | Ph.D. Associate Professor

Charles Brian Crane, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Mathematics

Dr. Charles Brian Crane is a pure mathematician who has been teaching undergraduate college mathematics since 2001. Originally from Greenville, South Carolina, Brian attended Furman University as an undergraduate before earning his doctorate in mathematics from Emory University in 2005. Prior to arriving at North Greenville in 2016, he held teaching positions at Goshen College, Grand Valley State University, and Marygrove College. Brianís primary research interest is graph theory, a branch of discrete mathematics that involves the study of structures used to model connections and relationships between objects. He is particularly interested in problems involving paths, cycles, hamiltonicity, and forbidden subgraphs. Graph theory has many modern applications involving internet modeling, computer networks, social networks (Facebook), utility design, scheduling, and even topics as diverse as psychology, trust,and linguistics. Brianís other mathematical interests include abstract algebra, combinatorics (the science of counting), and calculus. He is always interested in working with undergraduates who want to explore research topics in mathematics. In his free time he loves running, basketball, music, movies, being outdoors, and writing.

Foula Diakomihalis, Ed.D.

Assistant Professor of Mathematics

Dr. Foula Diakomihalis has thirteen years experience teaching mathematics in middle school, high school and higher education institutions. She has taught all levels of algebra, trigonometry, statistics and calculus. Dr. Diakomihalishas earned her Bachelorís of Science in Mathematics and her Masterís of Science in Mathematics Education from Salisbury University in Salisbury, Maryland. She earned her Doctorate of Education and Leadership from Wilmington University in New Castle, Delaware. Her doctorate is based on the physiology and psychology of learning mathematics, studentsí cognitions and teachersí beliefs. Dr. Diakomihalis came to NGU to teach statistics in a godly atmosphere. She moved to Greenville, SC from Maryland in 2012. Any chance she has, she enjoys traveling with her husband on mini vacations specially to visit family in Maryland and in New York.

Pat Freeman | Instructor

Pat Freeman, M.Ed.

Instructor of Mathematics

Pat Freeman serves as a math instructor at NGU. She received her bachelor's degree in mathematics from Furman University and her Master of Education from Clemson University. She has also done postgraduate work at the University of Louisville and at Clemson University.   Having previously taught at NGU for 12 years, she returned in 2015 after teaching at Spartanburg Community College. She is very active in her church at First Baptist North Spartanburg, where she sings in the choir and serves on mission trips. Freeman enjoys hiking, planting flowers in her yard, and riding her bicycle on the beach.

Hyunju Kim | Assistant Professor & Director of Pre-engineering Program

Hyunju Kim, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Director of Pre-Engineering

Dr. Hyunju Kim serves as an assistant professor in the Mathematics Department at NGU. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics at Kyungpook National University, South Korea. He also holds a master's degree in applied mathematics, a master's degree in computational mechanical engineering, and a doctorate in applied and computational mathematics from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He has a short period of researcher experience at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, South Korea. Kim's main interests are tuning up and assembling PCs and IT devices, but he spends his spare time in pursuit of publishing good, quality research papers.

Roy Liu | Ph.D. Assistant Professor

Roy Liu, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Mathematics

Dr. Roy Liu serves as an Assistant Professor in the Mathematics Department at NGU. He earned a PhD degree in Mathematics from Auburn University. He has years of teaching experience on university level. Roy enjoys teaching mathematics and studying bible with others.

Tim Ross | Instructor

Tim Ross, B.S. '14

Instructor of Mathematics

Tim Ross serves as an instructor in the Department of Mathematics for NGU. He earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics from NGU in 2014. After working 20 years in the retail automotive business, Ross felt called by God to return to school at age 46 to pursue a dream he had deferred at age 18. He feels incredibly blessed to be in a position to help shepherd our NGU students who are in pursuit of their dreams and aspirations. He is currently pursuing a graduate degree in mathematics from Western Florida. In his spare time, Ross delights in spending time with his wife, son, and grandson. While he also enjoys fly fishing for trout and playing golf, there is an ongoing debate concerning whether he is more inept as a fisherman or as a golfer. 

Tim Van Den Meiracker | Instructor

Tim Van Den Meiracker, M.S.

Instructor of Computer Science

Tim van den Meiracker serves as an instructor of computer science at NGU. He earned his bachelorís degree in computer science from USC-Spartanburg in 1986. He completed his masterís in computer science at Clemson University in 2006. His research areas involve language and compiler design. Van den Meiracker worked 20 years in various software development areas prior to his position here at NGU, where he has served since 2005.

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