Dr. Felicitas Avendano, associate professor of biology
Earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from the Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Argentina, and she earned her Ph.D. from Michigan State.
Jennifer Donnelly, lab coordinator
Earned her bachelor's in zoology from the University of Maryland College Park and her master's in ecology and evolutionary biology from Iowa State University.
Dr. Bonnie Hall, assistant professor of chemistry
My bachelor’s degrees are in biotechnology and professional chemistry, and I earned my Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of California, Davis. I have done research on viruses that cause leukemia and used genetic studies to examine how steroid hormone signaling works. I am passionate about engaging students in the classroom and teach a variety of courses, including a chemistry course focused on nursing applications, Biochemistry, Advanced Biochemistry and Biochemical Techniques. My current research is focused on enzyme engineering, and I really enjoy getting undergraduate students involved in the lab!
Dr. Idit Hazan, professor of biology, department chair
Hello! I'm happy that you're interested in my area of expertise. I typically teach courses such as Genetics, Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, Intro to Biology, and Biotechnology. I believe in challenging my students while providing excellent support for them as they develop in their understanding of genetics and molecular biology. My door is always open to students and, in exchange, I require that they work very hard. Faculty Website
Dr. Adriana LaGier, assistant professor of biology
I teach and mentor students in topics geared towards General Biology I and Cell Biology. I started my career by earning a master’s in marine biology from Florida International University and a doctorate in molecular immunology from Brown University. Before I joined the GV faculty, I performed post-doctoral work at Yale University and the CDC, supervised a division of biodefense for the Department of Homeland Security, investigated the eye at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, studied air pollution at the EPA, and taught cell biology courses at Florida Gulf Coast University. I am honored to help train the next generation of budding scientists in this ever-changing and (dare I say) fun field of science.
Dr. Michael LaGier, assistant professor of biology
I earned my bachelor's in biology and my Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the State University of New York. In addition to my formal education, I have conducted basic and applied microbiological research as a postdoctoral fellow at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As an NIH-funded postdoctoral fellow at UNC, I also received formal training in undergraduate science education.
Dr. Amethyst Merchant, associate professor of biology
Earned her bachelor's degree from Georgia College and State University; earned her master's degree from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; and earned her Ph.D. from the University of Florida.
Dr. Laura Salazar, professor of chemistry
Hello! I will work with you in courses such as Organic Chemistry, Physical Science and Contemporary Science Issues. I believe in the learner-centered model of teaching that gives students control over their learning and makes them responsible for it. Not only is this an exciting way to learn, it is a thrill to teach. I love spending time with my husband and three children. We like to play outdoors and do outside activities such as hiking, biking and camping. My favorite two places in the world are Kauai, Hawaii, and the Rocky Mountains in Colorado where I grew up.
Dr. Corbin Zea, professor of chemistry, department chair
Welcome to Grand View Science! I realized in high school that I loved math and science so I chose chemistry since it pairs the two so well. I then realized that I enjoyed teaching others about science and how cool it is so I jumped into teaching. So now at Grand View I typically teach General Chemistry and Quantitative Analysis. I feel that students learn best from actively being involved in learning, so I use a lot of active learning approaches. In addition to engaging my students in the classroom I also work with students in the laboratory on various research projects. Recent student projects include looking at the impact of the city of Des Moines and surrounding urban areas on the water quality of the Des Moines and Raccoon Rivers, using wet chemical and computational chemistry to measure carbocation stability, and the synthesis of various phospho sugars.