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Kentucky State University

Colleges & Schools



DEAN,  College of Mathematics, Sciences, Technology and Health

Professor of Biology (1977); B.S., Stetson University; M.A., Wake Forest University; Ph.D., University of Kentucky.

Following the examples set by his parents, and his math teacher in high school, Chuck Bennett knew at a young age that he wanted to be a successful teacher.  He prides himself on setting high academic standards and expectations for his students.  From 1967 through 1973, Dr. Bennett was involved with NASA in the Apollo lunar landing program, where he assisted in training astronauts to successfully complete their lunar missions. 
He began his teaching career at Kentucky State University as an instructor in 1976, and was hired as an assistant professor the following year. He has served the University in many capacities during his tenure at Kentucky State, but he considers his role as the biology education advisor the most significant of his contributions.  During the period 1995 through 2004, he was the faculty representative on the University’s Board of Regents. He is especially proud that the annual summer youth health program, which he coordinates, was recently recognized as the top non-credit summer program of its type in the United States. Dr. Bennett is active in the Frankfort community, serving on the Board of the local men’s homeless shelter and “soup kitchen.”  He and his wife, Theresa, a KSU graduate, reside in Frankfort.


Professor, Division of Mathematics and Sciences (1975);  B.S., Morris College; M.S., Ohio State University; Ph.D., Ohio State University.





Associate Professor of Mathematics/Chairperson, Division of Mathematics and Sciences (1991); B.S., University of Kentucky; M.S., University  of Kentucky; Ph.D., University of Kentucky.

Dr. Bigdeli has taught a variety of mathematics courses such as Intermediate and College Algebra, Contemporary Mathematics, Precalculus, Calculus I, II, and III, Advanced Calculus (Real Analysis), Numerical Analysis, Mathematical Programming and Modern Algebra. Dr. Bigdeli is the curriculum coordinator for the NSF/TEAMS (National Science Foundation/ Teams Enhancing Access for Minorities in Sciences) program. She is also the local PI (Principal Investigator) for the AMSP (Appalachian Mathematics and Science Partnership.    


Professor of Mathematics (1989); B.S., Seoul National University, Korea; M.S., Seoul National University, Korea; Ph.D., Rutgers University.

 Professor Cho teaches College Algebra, Pre-calculus, Modern Geometry, Topology, and Dynamical Systems.
He also helps students with individual research  projects, specially relating to applications
of mathematics to engineering and biomedical sciences. Students interested in applied
mathematics, financial mathematics, mathematical and  statistical modeling and simulation of empirical data are encouraged to contact him.


Assistant Professor of Mathematics (2001); B.S., University of Wisconsin; M.S., University of Kentucky; A.B.D, University of Kentucky.

Ms. Foege teaches both upper level and lower level mathematics courses, including the calculus sequence, modern algebra, and developmental mathematics.  She generates interest in mathematics through seminars and the NSF TEAMS program as a member of the curriculum committee.




Assistant Professor of Biology (2000); B.A., Indiana University; M.S., University of Kentucky.

Mr. Griffis regularly teaches Life Science for non-Biology majors, Anatomy & Physiology I and II for Nursing students, and Principles of Biology, Human Anatomy, and Human Physiology for Biology majors.  Mr. Griffis has research experience in neuromuscular physiology and recently has been involved with the Appalachian Math Science Partnership’s Biology group whose goal is to improve Biology education and training at all levels – K-12 students, pre-service teachers, and in-service teachers for its partner districts.

Mr. Griffis has served as the Biology Education advisor since 2005.  In that role, he teaches EDU 413 Methods of Teaching High School Science and serves on the Teacher Education Committee. He takes great pride in seeing students become classroom leaders.


Assistant Professor of Math (2000); B.S., Tennessee Technological University; M.S., Tennessee Technological University; Ph.D., University of Kentucky.

Dr. Hebble teaches the courses that prepares students for Calculus, the Calculus sequence, and Real Analysis. His research interests include Discrete Mathematics and Topology. In addition to teaching, Dr. Hebble serves as the Coordinator of the Appalachian Mathematics and Sciences Partnership’s Explorer Program and as the Mathematics Coordinator of the National Science Foundations Teams Enhancing Access to Minorities in the Sciences Project at Kentucky State University. Off campus his interests include kayaking, raft guiding, hiking and playing bass for the Frankfort area jazz band Raybyrd.



Associate Professor of Chemistry (1996); B.S., Dickinson College; M.S., Clarkson University; Ph.D., Clarkson University.

Dr. Javed primarily teaches the general chemistry courses along with the general chemistry laboratory courses and the physical chemistry I & II courses.  His current research interest is in the area of nanoscience and nanotechnology, particularly synthesis and characterization of multiwalled carbon nanotubes.  Dr. Javed is one of the KSU faculty members working with the Appalachian Math and Science Partnership project to enhance science education in this region.  He is also serving as the co-director of the KSU Center for Environmental Education.  


Associate Professor of Mathematics (2005);
B.S. University of Kentucky; M.A. University of Kentucky; Ph.D. Vanderbilt University

Dr. Jones is a native of Franklin County.  Before coming to Kentucky State he taught in South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia, and also ran a small business in South Carolina.  His areas of mathematical interest include geometry, topology, and mathematics education.  His other areas of interest include outdoor activities such as camping and fishing, and he enjoys singing shaped-note music.


Professor of Biology (1980); B.S., University of Delhi, India; M.S., University of Delhi, India; Ph.D., University  of Kentucky.

Dr. Karan Kaul has been a Professor of Biology and a member of  the faculty of Kentucky State University since the  fall of 1980.  Dr. Kaul teaches Life Science, Modern Topics in Biology, Principles of Biology, Vertebrate Embryology, Histology, and  Cell Biology.   Dr. Kaul is an advisor for pre-health professional students at Kentucky State University.  Dr. Kaul’s research interests include the study of growth and development of plants.  Dr. Kaul’s awards and honors include Distinguished Professor of KSU (1995), Outstanding Teacher in Science (College/University Level) Award of the Kentucky Academy of Science (1996), "Who's Who among America's Teachers" ( 1996, 1998, 2000, 2004), College of Arts and Sciences Excellence in Scholarship/Creative Activities Award (2002).


Professor of Biology (1974); B.S., University of Delhi; M.S., University of Delhi; Ph.D., University of Kentucky.

Dr. T. S. Kochhar, Professor of Biology, received his B.Sc. (Honors) in Botany and M.Sc. in Botany from the University of Delhi, India. He received his Ph.D. in Biology with  specialization in Plant Tissue Culture from the University of Kentucky. After a brief post-doctoral research work at U.K and teaching at Eastern Kentucky University, Dr. Kochhar joined Kentucky State University as a biology faculty in 1974.

At Kentucky State, Dr. Kochhar has taught courses like Life Science, Modern Topics in Biology, General Botany, Plant Physiology, Plants and Society, General Microbiology, and Microbiology for Nursing Students. Dr. Kochhar is faculty in charge of KSU BIO-CHEM Club. The function of club is to disseminate information on undergraduate summer research opportunities, graduate programs in biomedical disciplines, and other fellowship opportunities. He was formerly the Director of NIH’s MBRS Program (1986-99). Currently, he is the PI on the NIH’s EARDA grant that provide funds for student research. He is also the Campus Coordinator for recently funded NSF’s KY-WVA Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) grant which provide stipends for incoming minority students in STEM disciplines.

Dr. Kochhar’s research interest is in Environmental Toxicology and natural products from plant sources. He has received several travel awards to present his data at national and international meetings. Other honors include KSU Distinguished Professor for 1993 and recipient of prestigious Fulbright Senior Specialist Award in Environmental Sciences to visit Philippines in 2006.


Professor of Physics (1986); B.S., Michigan Technological University; M.S., Michigan Technological University; Ph.D., Virginia Polytechnic  Institute and State University.

Dr. Robert C. Mania Jr. received his undergraduate and master's degrees in physics from Michigan Technological University with additional work in mathematics and metallurical engineering.  He received his doctorate in physics from Virginia Tech with additional work in material science.
Dr. Mania has performed research in composite material for the US Army Research and Engineering facilities at Ft. Belvoir, VA and has performed work in nuclear and environmental science for the US Air Force at Brooks Air Force Base and for the US Navy at the Naval Research Labs.
Dr. Mania is currently the pre-engineering advisor and the director of the NSF TEAMS Program, and he is also actively involved in curriculum development work funded by NSF and NASA.  He has modified courses to use inquiry based learning and is currently actively involved in the three state AMSP initiative funded by NSF.
Dr. Mania has had approximately $5,500,000 of grant money including matching funds.  The NSF TEAMS Program is a five year $5,000,000 program to increase the number of minority students entering graduate school in math and science areas.  The grant is funded by NSF and KSU.


Associate Professor of Chemistry (1997); B.S., Davidson College; Ph.D., Emory University.
Dr. Polson enjoys teaching Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry, and General Chemistry, including the corresponding labs.  She also serves as one of two pre-health professions advisors.  She has served as a faculty consultant for the Chemistry AP Exam since 1999.  Dr. P's preferred extra-curricular activity is line-dancing, including a stint in the SuperBowl Half-time Show in 1994.


Asst. Professor of Biology (2004); B.S., University of Madras; M.S. and Ph.D., Bharathidasan University;  Molecular Biology Ph.D. courses, University of California-Irvine

Dr. Raj has 21 years of research and teaching experience from various universities like Cornell University-NY (Nanobiotechnology), University of Louisville (Oral Bacteriology), University of California-Irvine (Molecular Biology), University of Cincinnati-Medical Center (Molecular Probing), Michigan State University (Microbial Remediation), Philips University-Germany (Genetic Engineering) and Anna University-India (Biotechnology).   He received the prestigious Alexander von Humboldt (AvH) international fellowship (Germany), DAAD fellowship (Germany), QEM faculty fellowship award (Washington DC), DFG-Germany and European Union project scholarships.  He published many peer-reviewed research papers, 2 books, 4 book-chapters and authored 2 Biotechnology videos for UGC. One of his popular book-chapters on peptide synthetase was edited by Sir. Derek Barton (Nobel laureate).  Dr. Raj had presented his research works at many international conferences like Berlin (Germany), Sienna (Italy), Toronto (Canada), Assam (India) and several in the United States. He severed as research guide for graduate students and reviewer for undergraduate biology text book. He taught MS graduate courses in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (MBB 500, 501 502, 520, 630) at SIU (West Virginia) and M.Tech Biotechnology in India. Currently he teaches General Microbiology, Fundamental of Microbiology, Life Science, and Modern Topics in Biology. He served as a Project Director in BIO 410, Special Problems in Biology. He developed an “Applied Biotechnology” course with a support of USDA capacity grant, and a research facility with a KBRIN biomedical grant. Currently he is conducting Molecular Microbiology research. He received recognition for “Outstanding Service” as mentor from ASM and serving in Faculty Senate at KSU. He is an active member of the prestigious American Society of Microbiology (Washington DC ).


Associate Professor of Biology (1994); B.S., Saint Mary College; M.S. Western Carolina University; Ph.D., University of Chicago.

Dr. Reagan Wallin regularly teaches Anatomy and Physiology (BIO 107 and 108) to nursing students, and Principles of Biology (BIO 111), General Zoology (BIO 210), Genetics (BIO 307), and Ecology (BIO 316) to biology majors. She serves as instructor of record for the biology internship course (BIO 495) and occasionally teaches a biology elective course in Animal Behavior (BIO 415). Dr. Reagan Wallin is a broadly trained biologist with special emphasis on evolution. She is particularly interested in the evolution of reproductive isolation – a necessary phenomenon for speciation to occur. She has published a number of articles concerning life history of salamanders, spiders, and fish, evolution of sexual isolation in salamanders, and pheromonal communication in salamanders and cockroaches. In addition to her teaching duties, Dr. Reagan Wallin is the Biology Area Coordinator and serves on several university committees including the Faculty Senate.


Associate Professor of Chemistry (1995); B.S., the University of  Guyana; M.Phil., Leeds University; Ph.D.,  Loyola University of Chicago.

David Rockcliffe came to Kentucky State University from Texas A&M University where he was involved in research on copper coordination chemistry. He teaches courses in General Chemistry, Quantitative Analysis, Instrumental Analysis and Inorganic Chemistry. Dr. Rockcliffe is the Chemistry Area Coordinator and also serves as the Research Experience Coordinator for the NSF-funded TEAMS project in the Division of Mathematics and Sciences. His general research interest is the role of metal ions in biological systems and his current research projects investigate peptide compounds that mimic the structure and function of the active sites of copper-containing proteins and enzymes. He has presented several papers on functional models for the protein oxyhemocyanin, at scientific conferences. Dr. Rockcliffe is also involved in course and curriculum development in the Aquaculture Area, related to chemical aspects of water quality management. He is currently the Vice-Chair for the Lexington Bluegrass Section of the American Chemical Society.


Associate Professor of Physics (1997); B.S., University of  Dacca; M.S., University of Alabama; M.S., University of Alabama; Ph.D., University of Alabama.






Assistant Professor of Biology (2005); B.S., M.S., University of Louisville; Ph.D., Environmental Biology,University of Louisville.

Professor Sluss-Elkins was born in Ashland, Kentucky.  She graduated from the University of Louisville in 2000 (B.S. Biology) and remained there for her graduate work as a university fellow (M.S., Biology;   Ph.D., Environmental Biology).  For her graduate work she studied the ecology of zooplankton in large rivers, specifically the Ohio River.  She studied the effects of navigation dams on zooplankton community structure and population growth rates.  For the experimental portion of her dissertation, she used mesocosms (large tanks) to test the effects of water turbulence on zooplankton community assemblages and their impact on algal grazing.  Portions of her dissertation are in preparation for publication.  She is extremely fascinated by the effects of hydrological variables (velocity, discharge, turbulence) on the ecology and behavior of aquatic organisms.  Her other research interests include environmental science, stream ecology and restoration, water quality, invertebrate biology, and carbon dynamics in lotic systems.   

Dr. Sluss-Elkins taught for several years at Jefferson Community College in Louisville, KY., while conducting her graduate research.  Dr. Sluss-Elkins joined the KSU biology faculty as an Assistant Professor in August, 2005.  She teaches Anatomy and Physiology I and II for nursing students, Life Science for non-majors, Modern Topics in Biology, and Ecology.  She will propose a new Aquatic Ecology course to be taught in Fall, 2007.  She currently serves on the Academic Policies Committee of the Faculty Senate.

Dr. Sluss-Elkins enjoys spending time with her family:  Justin (husband) and daughters Olivia (4 years old) and Harper (3 months old).  Her family spends a lot of time outdoors, especially rock climbing. 

Dr. Sluss-Elkins received an NSF EPSCoR Research Enhancement Grant in May, 2006.  If you have an interest in environmental science, ecology, or any topic related to water, please contact Dr. Sluss-Elkins (597-6977) for collaboration.



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