1. Meet the Science Faculty and Staff

Meet the Science Faculty and Staff

Catherine Alexander, PhD, Department Chair and Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Dr Alexander teaches chemistry at all levels of coursework.

Lawrence Bird, MCS, Instructor of Biology

Professor Bird teaches biology labs and microbiology.

Paul Britt, MS, Assistant Professor of Mathematics I was born in neighboring Mississippi and did my undergraduate work at Millsaps College in Jackson. I came to LSU for graduate work in 1978. I fell in love with the people, the state and teaching and stayed for a lifetime. After 37 years I retired from LSU as a Senior Instructor, in August of 2015. I was awarded a position as an assistant professor of mathematics at FranU that same month. I have been married to my wonderful wife, Renee, for 46 years. I have 2 grown daughters, three grandchildren and a houseful of pets. The opportunity to work at a small college, with dedicated, responsible students is, for me, a dream come true. I enjoy teaching mathematics and I look forward to teaching at the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University for many years to come. After 44 years as an educator, I still rise in the mornings and drive to school thinking I am not going to work, but I am just going to talk to people about things I love. I have been blessed with the greatest job in the world

Eliska Davis, MRC, Assistant Professor of Biology

Eliska Davis has been in academia for over 20 years with 13 of those years in dental education, where she served as senior clinic supervisor in the dental hygiene program at LSUHSC School of Dentistry in New Orleans. She presented continuing education classes at dental conferences and was director of an advanced certification course for dental personnel. Professor Davis is an assistant professor in the Biology teaching anatomy and physiology and also in the School of Nursing.

Dixie Gautreaux, PhD, Professor of Chemistry

Dr. Gautreaux earned her BS in Chemistry from Nicholls State University & her PhD in Solid-State Chemistry from LSU. She has published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and presented her work in solid-state chemistry & physics worldwide. She has mentored numerous student research projects throughout the years and presented at local and national research conferences.

Emily Kosh, PhD, MA, Associate Professor of Mathematics

Dr Kosh teaches college algebra and statistics.

Natalie Lenard, PhD, Professor of Biology

Dr. Natalie Lenard serves as the Biology program director and advises several students in the Human Medicine, 3+2 PA, and 3+3 DPT tracks. She teaches upper-level courses in biochemistry, neuroanatomy and neurophysiology, immunology, and research and mentors both course-related and independent student research. Dr. Lenard completed her doctoral degree in Pharmacology with a minor in Neuroscience at LSUHSC-Shreveport and postdoctoral training at Pennington Biomedical Research Center. She has published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and presentations in the basic biomedical sciences.

Daphne Moore, MS, Assistant Professor of Chemistry Professor Daphne Moore serves as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Franciscan University, with an emphasis on Organic Chemistry. She is a proud alumni of Our Lady of the Lake College (2012) and South Dakota State University (2017), and holds degree specializations in Chemistry, Biology, Forensic Science, and Chemical Education. Professor Moore's graduate work focuses on the analysis and interpretation of environmental PAHs generated during biomass burning, and her pedagogical work focuses on improving undergraduate perception of Organic Chemistry. She also maintains an academic interest in emerging illicit substances. Professor Moore accepts undergraduate researchers on an ongoing basis via CHEM 4915 and BIOL 4915.

Barbara Napoli, MBA, OFS, Assistant Professor of Mathematics

Professor Napoli teaches college algebra and statistics.

Carmen Nichols, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biology and Director of the Forensic Science Certificate

Dr. Nichols serves as Assistant Professor of Biology and the Director of the Forensic Science Certificate Program. Her primary teaching responsibilities include General Biology I & II, Criminalistics, Forensic Chemistry, Bioinorganic Chemistry, Toxicology, and other courses needed by the department. Dr. Nichols completed her doctoral degree and postdoctoral training in Biology with an emphasis in Toxicology at the University of North Texas. She has published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and presented her research at international conferences. She has mentored both undergraduate and graduate student research projects throughout her years in academia and her expertise is centered on the adverse effects of pharmaceuticals and personal care products, particularly metabolism and gene expression

Latoya Paul, PhD, Assistant Professor of Biology

Dr. Latoya Paul is currently serving as an Assistant Professor in the department of Biology. She received her Bachelors of Science Degree in Biology from Southern University Baton Rouge. She then enrolled in the biological sciences doctoral program at Louisiana State University (LSU). After receiving her doctorate in biological sciences with a concentration in developmental biology/neurobiology, she accepted a post doc position at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). During her post-doc training, Dr. Paul studied neurodegenerative diseases in mice and embryonic developmental disorders in zebrafish. Dr. Paul currently oversees FranU’s first animal research facility which houses adult zebrafish (Danio rerio). Dr. Paul’s research interests are animal behavior and development using the model organism zebrafish.

Kristina Porthouse, DVM, MS, Assistant Professor of Biology and A&P Laboratory Coordinator

Dr Porthouse coordinates and teaches the anatomy and physiology laboratory courses alongside histology and anatomy and physiology lecture courses.

Rhoda Reddix, PhD, MPH, Associate Professor of Biology

Dr Reddix teaches in the service-learning courses pathophysiology I and II.

William Sheffield, MS, Instructor of Chemistry

Professor Sheffield teaches chemistry coursework and coordinates chemistry laboratory courses and maintains the instrumentation.

Dawn Simms, MS, Assistant Professor of Biology, Microbiology Laboratory Coordinator, and Chemical Hygiene Officer

Professor Simms’s expertise includes microbiology, virology, cell culture, electrophoresis, genotyping, gene expression, and DNA sequencing. She has authored dozens of peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations, is an assistant professor of biology and biology lab coordinator, and is the university’s Chemical Hygiene Officer. She is focused on enhancing student engagement and learning assessment. Her primary teaching responsibilities include Microbiology Fundamentals and Pathogenic Microbiology. She is also a mentor for the LABS and SIRE stipend programs.

Denise Vigee, ND, MS, Assistant Professor of Biology Professor Vigee teaches anatomy and physiology, kinesiology, and computerized gross anatomy courses.

Meet the Staff

Mariah Craig, Administrative Assistant, Sciences Building

Lekeisha Taylor, Secretary, Biology Building