Dr. Brian Waldkowski
Ph.D - Chemistry – Stanford University
Dr. Brian Wladkowski has been teaching chemistry at McDaniel College since 1995, and has taught nearly every course offered by the Chemistry Department from introductory courses to advanced physical chemistry courses. Dr. Wladkowski also developed the popular Forensic Science program at McDaniel nearly ten years ago and teaches the introductory course in that program.
Outside of chemistry, Dr. Wladkowski also teaches a fishing class in the Florida Keys and takes students scuba diving around the world as part of a course offered during January Term. Dr. Wladkowski has had many areas of research interest over the years including computational modeling of enzyme active site and the study of various types of spectroscopy in chemical applications. Most recently, he and his undergraduate research students have been interested in alternative energy research, specifically Bio-diesel processing. The long-term goal of this most recent project is to develop a processor that will convert used cooking oil produced by McDaniel's cafeteria into usable fuel for campus vehicles.
Dr. Jeffrey Marx
Professor of Physics
Chairman, Department of Physics
Ph.D - Physics - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Dr. Marx has been a physics professor at McDaniel College since 2000 and enjoys teaching classes at all levels, from general science courses, such as Astronomy and The Nature of Science, up through senior-level Quantum Mechanics. Outside of the Physics Department, Dr. Marx also teaches backpacking, juggling, and a tropical marine biology trip in the Bahamas. In 2004, Dr. Marx was awarded the Ira G. Zepp Distinguished Teaching Award, which is the highest honor McDaniel College bestows on its faculty.
Dr. Marx’s research centers on two areas: pedagogy and theoretical modeling. His pedagogy research focuses on improving how students learn physics, and he is the author of many peer-reviewed publications on developing students’ problem-solving abilities, shifting their attitudes about science, and understanding students’ fundamental misconceptions about physical concepts. He is currently co-authoring a calculus-based physics textbook for introductory undergraduate physics to be published by Wiley. On his other research front, Dr. Marx works closely with undergraduate science students developing comprehensive theoretical models of intriguing physical systems. Some recent examples include determining the optimal grip on a lacrosse stick for an overhand throw, detailing the interaction and paths of two orbit-swapping moons circling Saturn, and characterizing and constructing a wireless power transmission system.
Ms. Kathy Saghy
Administrative Assistant, Math & Computer Science, Physics, and Sociology
M.S. – Human Resources Development – McDaniel College
Kathy is the Program Coordinator for the Summer Science Academy at McDaniel College, and also serves as the Administrative Assistant of McDaniel’s Mathematics,
Computer Science, Physics, and Sociology Departments. She has a bachelor’s degree in Studio Art & Art History with a minor in Accounting, and a Master’s degree in Human Resources Development. Kathy has worked at McDaniel College for 21 years. She enjoys working with students and being a part of the difference that college makes in their lives. In her free time, Kathy enjoys being with her family, reading, making scrapbooks, and watching her children play basketball and volleyball.
Dr. Jack Arnal
Associate Professor of Psychology
Ph.D. – Psychology – University of Arkansas
Dr. Arnal joined McDaniel College in 2009 as a specialist in cognitive psychology and psychological methods and statistics. Outside of psychology, Dr. Arnal has also taught interdisciplinary courses about the science behind zombies and pranking as a form communication/information processing. He will also be teaching a first year seminar on Doctor Who and metacognition in the Fall.
Dr. Arnal is a cognitive psychologist with special interest in human memory processes and metacognition. He collaborates with students in his Cognitive Psychology and Psychology Method and Statistics courses on studies of false memory and prospective memory. He is particularly interested in memory used in forensic settings, such as the prospective memory of eyewitnesses and whether they remember to contact the authorities when a suspect is spotted.
Dr. Katie Staab
Assistant Professor of Biology
Ph.D. – Biology – George Washington University
Dr. Staab joined the faculty of the McDaniel College Biology Department in 2013. She is the resident vertebrate morphologist and teaches upper level courses like Comparative Anatomy of the Vertebrates and Animal Physiology as well as introductory courses like Animals as Machines (biomechanics) and a First-Year Seminar course called Tinkering with Discovery. She completed her doctorate and postdoctoral work at The George Washington University prior to joining McDaniel. Her research focus has always been fish morphology and in addition to exploring the massive fish collection at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, her scientific investigations have also taken her to several marine labs from Puget Sound to the California Coast. Dr. Staab has most recently worked on a lab on a brigantine ship while sailing in the Caribbean, in collaboration with the SEA Semester study abroad program.
Her particular research focus is how fish use the anatomy that they have to function in an aquatic world that is much denser and more viscous than life on land. Dr. Staab’s research students use histological techniques to look at the bones, muscles, and cartilage in fish heads, which have evolved to function much like a turkey baster during suction feeding. Her engaging teaching and collaborative research training techniques have recently earned her the Charles A. Boehlke Engaged Faculty Fellow award, which rewards faculty for exceptional records of student mentorship and support for experiential learning.
Dr. Peter Craig
Associate Professor of Chemistry
Ph.D. – Chemistry – University of Auckland
Dr. Craig is a New Zealand American. He has been teaching since 2001, starting at the The College of Idaho for five years and then at McDaniel College after that. He teaches Analytical, Inorganic, and Introductory Chemistry, a Food Chemistry First Year Seminar, and does research with students on heavy-metal chelating agents and metal complexes designed to function as antibacterial, anticancer or antiviral agents. Outside College, he has given chemistry demos at Celebree daycare and West Middle School. He is excited to join the summer science academy for the first time this year.
Physics Major, McDaniel College ‘18
Bryn is a junior, physics major at McDaniel College. She is a member of the college’s swim team, the co-VP of the Society of Physics Students, a writing center tutor, and a member of the honors program. She was a swim team coach for 4 years and she has been a lifeguard for 6 years. Bryn studied abroad at McDaniel’s sister campus in Budapest, Hungary in the fall semester; she visited 9 countries in her time overseas. When she’s not taking classes or going to practice, Bryn enjoys spending time outdoors, reading, working out, or watching an episode (or 5) of FRIENDS.
Social Work Major, McDaniel College ‘19
My name is Emma Bartels-Jones. I am 20 years old, and I am a rising Junior at McDaniel College. At McDaniel I study social work, but my real passion is in helping people any way that I can. For 6 years I have worked at the Maryland Science Center guiding future scientists, and I'm excited to be helping out with science camp this year!
Physics Major, McDaniel College ‘18
Hey guys. My name is Gabriel Lisek. I am a retuning counselor from last year and I am excited for another fun summer with SSA. I am a rising senior, physic major and I am always interested in science. I am a certified lifeguard through the American Red Cross. Some fun things about me is that I know how to play the guitar. During the semester I am involved in the theater on campus, and I am a member of the theater honors society Alpha Psi Omega. I am also a member of the Society of Physics Students.