College of Science Leadership Bios

Office of the Dean

Dean Ata

Ata Sarajedini, Ph.D.

Dean, Charles E. Schmidt College of Science

Ata Sarajedini is the Dean of the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. Before coming to FAU in January of 2017, he served as Associate Dean for Natural Sciences and Mathematics as well as Associate Dean for Research in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Florida. Before that, he was Associate Chair and Acting Chair of the Department of Astronomy. After receiving his Ph.D. in Astronomy at Yale in 1992, he spent seven years as a postdoctoral researcher and a Hubble Fellow at Kitt Peak National Observatory and San Francisco State University. Dr. Sarajedini spent two years at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT as an Assistant Professor before moving to the University of Florida in 2001. He received an NSF CAREER award in 2001, a University of Florida Research Professor award in 2006, and was the principal investigator of a large Treasury project with the Hubble Space Telescope starting in 2014.  Dr. Sarajedini has over 500 publications, which have over 11,000 citations. Of these publications, over 200 have appeared in the peer-reviewed literature. His Hirsch Index according to Google Scholar is 63.

His research is focused on resolved stellar populations in Local Group galaxies. These include field stars, open and globular clusters in the Milky Way, M31, M33, the Magellanic Clouds, and the numerous nearby dwarf galaxies. When we resolve individual stars in these systems, we can apply our knowledge of star formation and stellar evolution to understanding the process of galaxy formation and evolution.

Deans Assistant: Margaret Flood, 561-297-3288, mflood1@fau.edu 

 

Deans Assistant

Margaret Flood

Assistant to the Dean 

Margaret Flood began as Dean Ata Sarajedini’s Assistant in 2017.  Margaret joined FAU with a great deal of experience as the Administrative Assistant to the Dean of the College of Science and Allied Health at Sacramento City College in California.  Before that, she served as the Executive Assistant to two Deputy City Managers in the City of Coral Springs, Florida.

She is a native of Canada, where she earned her degree from the University of Toronto.

 

Associate Deans and Chairs

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Evonne Rezler, Ph.D.

Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies, Charles E. Schmidt College of Science 

Dr. Rezler serves as Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the College of Science. She leads the College of Science and Pre-Health advising teams to help students achieve their academic, career, and timely graduation goals. In 2016-17, she also served as Special Assistant to Provost for student success leading the development and promotion of curricular and advising strategies to improve student success FAU-wide. Dr. Rezler received her B.S. with Honors (1996) and Ph.D. (2001) degrees in Chemistry from the University of Sydney, Australia. In 2002, she accepted a Postdoctoral position in the laboratory of Dr. Laurence Hurley at the Arizona Cancer Center, where she carried out research investigating the formation and structure of G-quadruplexes in the promoter regions of oncogenes and their putative role in the onset and progression of various cancers. In 2004, Dr. Rezler joined the research group of Dr. Gregg Fields at FAU, where her research involved: developing drug delivery systems targeted to cellular receptors in metastatic melanoma cells, and investigating the mechanism of drug delivery by cell selective cell penetrating peptides (CPPs).

For her research in the Fields’ Lab Dr. Rezler was recognized with BioFlorida’s Legacy in Life Science Award. Dr. Rezler joined FAU’s Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in 2006, teaching Organic and Inorganic Chemistry lab and lecture courses, and conducting Chemical Education research. Her current research focuses on the adaptation and incorporation of novel spectroscopy-based approaches into the undergraduate curriculum to enhance active participation and increases student engagement in the learning process. Dr. Rezler was recently a PI of a NSF Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science (TUES) grant: “Vertical Integration of Raman Spectroscopy into the Chemistry Curriculum” that successfully incorporated a 'spectroscopy-to-learn' approach in the chemistry curriculum at FAU.

Dr. Rezler is currently co-PI of the National Science Foundation (NSF) ADVANCE Institutional Transformation-Catalyst (IT-Catalyst) grant: “Transforming Faculty Gender Diversity at Florida Atlantic University” 2016-2020, ($249,519); the NSF Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) Program GP-IMPACT grant: “A Geopathway Utilizing High-Tech Geoscience Experiences for Recruitment and Retention-A Collaboration between PBSC and FAU” 2019-2022, ($258,076); and the NSF Hispanic Serving Institutions IUSE Program grant: “STEM Articulation and Transfer Collaborative Project” with Palm Beach State College, 2019-2024, ($920,504).

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Warner Miller, Ph.D.

Associate Dean for Research, Charles E. Schmidt College of Science

Warner A. Miller is the Associate Dean for Research Dean of the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science and served for over twelve years as Chair of the Department of Physics. Before coming to FAU in January of 2003, he served as Chair of the Theoretical Astrophysics Group in the Theoretical Division of Los Alamos National Laboratory. Before that, he was a J. Robert Oppenheimer Fellow and Technical Staff Member at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Warner Miller served in the USAF for 28 years and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. In the USAF, he received the Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, was awarded an Ira C. Eaker Fellowship, and was the 1998 recipient of the 1989 USAF Basic Research Award. He was the commander of the operating location at Los Alamos AFRL/OLAL. He received his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Texas at Austin under the mentorship of John Archibald Wheeler.

He has had consistent federal funding for his research. He has supervised four Ph.D. students and one Master's student, and currently, has two Ph.D. students. His research is focused on discrete geometry and its applications to Einstein’s geometric theory of gravitation. He is currently collaborating with Professor Shing-Tung Yau of Harvard University on discrete Ricci flow and on a measure of quasi-local mass in general relativity. He is also exploring general relativistic effects on global quantum communication networks with Professor Doyeol Ahn of the University of Seoul.

 

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Dr. William Kalies

Associate Dean for Graduate Studies

Dr. William Kalies is a Professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences. Before joining FAU in 1998, he received his Ph.D. in Mathematics from Cornell University and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His research is in dynamical systems and differential equations with a focus on computational methods, including computational topology and topological data analysis. Dr. Kalies' research has been funded through the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and currently the Army Research Office.

 

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Lianfen Qian, Ph.D.

Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Charles E. Schmidt College of Science

Lianfen Qian is the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs of the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science, Professor and Statistics Supervisor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences. She is a Project NExT Fellow from 1997-1998 chosen by the Mathematical Association of American. She received her Ph.D. in Statistics from Michigan State University in 1996, her M.S. degree in Statistics in 1989 and B.S. degree in Mathematics in 1984 from Zhejiang University in China. She was a lecturer in the Department of Mathematics at Zhejiang University from 1984 to 1991. Dr. Qian's research focuses on the detection and estimation of structural changes in various types of data such as time series, survival data, environmental data, financial data, and genomic data via the parametric and nonparametric approaches.

She has published about fifty refereed journal papers in statistics and serves as a Math Appliance mentor and a member of editorial boards for several statistics journals, a reviewer for the American Mathematical Reviews and Technometrics. She has successfully mentored the first place award in US 2015 Undergraduate Statistics Research Project Competition sponsored by ASA/CAUSE and many MS and Ph.D. students.

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Gary W. Perry, Ph.D.

Director of the Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences, Charles E. Schmidt College of Science.

Dr. Perry currently serves as Director of the Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences and is a tenured Professor of Neuroscience in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science,. He joined the Center for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences and the Department of Psychology at FAU in 1989. He has taught extensively in the graduate and undergraduate programs at FAU and he has been involved in the development of several interdisciplinary graduate programs, initially the Ph.D. program in Complex Systems and Brain Sciences, as well as the joint graduate Ph.D. program in Integrative Biology and Neuroscience with the Max Planck Florida Institute for Neuroscience. His research interests have included molecular and cellular mechanisms regulating neural development, neural regeneration, and neuroplasticity; and more recently the evolving field of Educational Neuroscience. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Manchester (1977) and B.Sc. in Biochemistry from the University of London (1973) in the UK.

Previously, Dr. Perry served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at FAU (2014 - 2018) following nine months as Interim Provost (2013-2014), as well as Dean of the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science (2006-2013), FAU's Interim Graduate Dean (2004-2006), and Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies in the College (1998-2004).

  

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Dale Gawlik, Ph.D.

Director of the Environmental Sciences Program, Charles E. Schmidt College of Science

Dale Gawlik is Director of Florida Atlantic University’s Environmental Science Program and a Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences. His research focuses on waterbird ecology and conservation, wetland and intertidal ecosystems, restoration ecology, and the use of birds in aquatic ecosystem management. He has published over 70 papers, many focused on how hydrologic processes control wading bird populations in the Everglades of Florida. He and his students have developed heron, stork, and ibis habitat models that link bird populations to the hydrologic management and restoration of the Everglades. Dale serves on the Steering Committee for the IUCN Heron Specialists Group, and he is a member of the IUCN Stork, Ibis, and Spoonbill Specialist Group and of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Wood Stork Working Group. Dale is currently the Secretary of the Association of Field Ornithologists and is a Councilor for the Wilson Ornithological Society and for the Waterbird Society.

 

Department Chairs

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Predrag Cudic, Ph.D.

Chair, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Charles E. Schmidt College of Science

 

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Rainer Steinwandt, Ph.D.

Chair, Department of Mathematical Sciences, Charles E. Schmidt College of Science

Rainer Steinwandt serves as Chair of the Department of Mathematical Sciences. Before joining FAU in 2005, he was with the Univ. of Karlsruhe in Germany, where he completed his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in computer science in 1998 and 2000, respectively, researching topics in computer algebra. Today, his research focus is in cryptology, including quantum cryptanalysis and quantum-safe cryptography. He currently serves as director of FAU's Center for Cryptology and Information Security and is a managing editor of de Gruyter's J. of Mathematical Cryptology. Dr. Steinwandt's research has been funded through the Air Force Research Laboratory, the German Federal Office for Information Security, the National Science Foundation, and the NATO Science for Peace and Security program.

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Sarah Milton, Ph.D.

Chair, Department of Biological Sciences, Charles E. Schmidt College of Science

Dr. Sarah L. Milton is Interim Chair of the Department of Biological Sciences.  Dr. Milton previously served as the Associate Director of the Graduate Program in Integrative Biology at FAU, and is co-director of the Master’s Program in Marine Science and Oceanography.  She graduated magna cum laude from Cornell University with a B.A. in Biology (1988) and earned her doctoral degree in Biological Oceanography at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences in 1994.

Dr. Milton initially worked at FAU as a Research Assistant Professor prior to her appointment as a tenure-track Assistant Professor in 2006.  She was promoted to Associate Professor in 2011 and to Full Professor in 2019.  Her research interests lie in environmental physiology, investigating the effects of environmental stressors on animal physiology and adaptive mechanisms of survival.  This includes two main branches: (1) survival of the brain in the absence of oxygen, and (2) sea turtle physiology and conservation. She has nearly 50 peer-reviewed publications covering a broad range of topics in these areas

 

 

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Michael Whitehurst, Ph.D.

Chair, Department of Exercise Science and Health Promotion Charles E. Schmidt College of Science

Michael Whitehurst is a professor and Chair of the Department of Exercise Science & Health Promotion. He received his BSE degree in physical education from the University of Arizona and masters and doctorate degrees from the University of Georgia where he studied motor learning/control. As chair, he has helped develop the exercise biochemistry laboratory, fostered a culture of basic and translational research emphasizing molecular mechanisms associated with physical inactivity-related chronic diseases and overseen the emergence of the fourth largest undergraduate program at FAU.  His research has spanned the use of isokinetic exercise modalities post knee/hip arthroplasty, the relationship between physical fitness and executive function in older adults, children’s metabolic response in a spontaneous free play environment and more recently the role of exercise as a means to leverage brain health via growth factor expression in a murine model of AD.

 

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Teresa Wilcox, Ph.D.

Chair, Department of Psychology, Charles E. Schmidt College of Science

Teresa Wilcox is Chair of the Department of Psychology. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in 1993 and was Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Illinois. Before joining FAU in 2018, Dr. Wilcox was a faculty at Texas A&M University, where she also served as Assistant Provost for Graduate and Professional Studies, Graduate Student Ombuds Officer, and Research Fellow in the Division of Research.  She is an internationally known expert in infant perception and cognition and a pioneer in the use of Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) with infants.  Her research has been funded by NIH and NSF for over 20 years. 

 

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Luc T. Wille, Ph.D.

Chair, Department of Physics, Charles E. Schmidt College of Science

Luc T. Wille is the Chair of the Physics Department. He holds a B.S. (1980) and Ph. D. (1983) in Physics from Ghent University (Belgium). He subsequently earned an M.S. in Computer Science (1985). He was a postdoctoral researcher at Daresbury Laboratory (UK) and the University of California at Berkeley. He came to FAU in 1989 as an Assistant Professor, was promoted to Associate Professor in 1991, and to Professor in 1995. He has won three awards for excellence in teaching, including the Distinguished Teacher of the Year award (1996), and one award for excellence in undergraduate advising. His research covers a wide range of topics, all centered around the collective behavior of complex systems. Some recent examples include synchronization of oscillators, protein folding, DNA denaturation, and magnetic nano structures. He has published over 160 papers and edited 11 books.

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Zhixiao Xie, Ph.D.

Chair, Department of Geosciences, Charles E. Schmidt College of Science

 

Administration

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Mary Beth Mudrick, B.S.

Interim Director of Development, Charles E. Schmidt College of Science

Mary Beth has had the pleasure of serving the Charles E. Schmidt College since 2009. She is a native of South Florida and brings a gift for translating science into everyday language for a lay audience and close interdisciplinary working relationships to fund raising. She began her career in FAU’s Florida Center for Environmental Studies and was fortunate to work directly with the Center’s Director on issues related to Everglades Restoration, sea level rise, and educational outreach. A highlight of this position was the opportunity to meet the many partners involved in the broad scope of this center and to contribute to Senate and EPA testimonies and awarded grants. She joined The Charles E. Schmidt College of Science in 2014.

Mary Beth graduated from Nova Southeastern University with a Bachelor’s of Science and honors. She is the co-author and illustrator of Federal Style Patterns 1780-1820, published by John Wiley & Sons.

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Zachary Greathouse

Director of Communications, College E. Schmidt College of Science

Zach joins the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science after six years at FAU’s Graduate College, where he served as Director of Marketing and Communications. In that role, he has been instrumental in the development of the Pathways to Graduate Education initiative, the University’s Three Minute Thesis Competition, the Graduate Fellowship Awards, and other initiatives.  He earned his B.S. in marketing from UCF and his MBA from FAU.

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Dominique Blanchard

Business Manager, Charles E. Schmidt College of Science  

Dominique Blanchard is the Business Manager of the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. Before joining the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science, Dominique was the Associate Director of Research Accounting and served the Division of Research for 13 years. She received her MBA at Florida Atlantic University in 2014

Information Technology

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Jay Paredes

Director of Information Technology, Charles E. Schmidt College of Science

Jay Paredes has served as the Director of Information Technology for the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science since November 2006. Prior to joining FAU, he spent more than a decade in Healthcare Information Technology helping to implement the new HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) guidelines. Earlier in his career, Mr. Paredes worked for the Design and Human Factors division of IBM; designing operating system user interfaces and testing assistive computer technologies for people with disabilities.

He is also a nature photographer and has provided images for conservation and governmental agencies such as the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and FAU research.

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Kristen Morano

Webmaster, Charles E. Schmidt College of Science

Kristen Morano has recently been assigned as the Webmaster for the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. Coming from the University of Florida in Gainesville as a media coordinator, Kristen has helped manage several departments on campus as well as events throughout the whole college. She has a bachelors degree in Telecommunications and specializing in production. However, her background includes everything from producing videos to building websites, capturing events through photography, and creation of web content. Kristen plans to bring more than just updates, she plans on utilizing her skills to tell stories that will help engage students, faculty, staff, and an even greater audience.