Biology Department
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Biology Department

What We Do:

Our department is home to one of the largest majors on campus. We promote an engaging culture of excellence in teaching and research to ensure our students are active participants in the learning process.

Our goal is to transform our "students" into "scholars" who are deeply committed to the process of independent learning through inquiry. With one-on-one interaction with our faculty, our students gain in-depth experience in the process of science, learn laboratory techniques, as well as share in the excitement of scientific discovery.

How We Stand Out:

  • Small classes foster close collaboration between students and faculty.
  • Dynamic learning environment with accomplished professors whose enthusiasm for biology is infectious.
  • Laboratory courses in the new state-of-the art Loyola Science Center integrate independent research and inquiry.
  • Values-based education based on Jesuit principles. 
  • Mission to nurture students of competence, conscience and compassion.


  • Biology - The study of the living world around us. It explores the structure and function of living organisms including animals, plants, bacteria, and viruses.

Meet Our Faculty:

The Biology faculty at The University of Scranton maintain a strong commitment to teaching and research excellence, as well as firmly believe that students are active participants in the learning process. As a result of our philosophy and of our small class sizes, faculty get to know the students very well, and encourage students to be involved in every aspect of their research.

In addition, faculty are involved in all aspects of campus life: academics, scholarship, student affairs, and other extracurricular activities.

For many faculty members, their passion for Biology stems from a personal experience that has shaped their scholarship. For example, Dr. Janice Voltzow grew up on the Florida Gulf Coast where she collected seashells during her childhood. Today, her research involves marine snails. You can read all about it here

It is fascinating to see the amazing diversity of animals, and to examine all the different ways animals function and the structures that enable these functions.

Dr. Janice Voltzow, Professor of Biology

Terrence Sweeney, Ph.D.


Department Chair


B.A., Colgate University
M.S., Ph.D., University of Rochester

Phone: 570-941-7623
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Timothy Cadigan, Ph.D.


Assistant Professor

B.S., St. Louis University
M.Div., Th.M. Weston School of Theology
M.S., Ph.D., Georgetown University

Phone: 570-941-4348
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Michael Carey, Ph.D.



B.A., Wittenberg University
M.A., Ph.D., Indiana University

Phone: 570-941-7544
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John Conway, Ph.D.


Associate Professor

B.S., The Ohio State University
M.A., Ph.D., University of Colorado

Phone: 570-941-6216
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Kathleen Dwyer, Ph.D.



B.S., East Stroudsburg University
M.A., Ph.D., Princeton University

Phone: 570-941-6386
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Tara Fay, M.S.


Faculty Specialist

B.S., University of Massachusetts
M.S., University of Colorado

Phone: 570-941-4395
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George Gomez, Ph.D.


Associate Professor

B.S., University of the Philippines
Ph.D., Boston University

Phone: 570-941-6355
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Michael Hardisky, Ph.D.



B.S., Lebanon Valley College
M.S., Ph.D., University of Delaware

Phone: 570-941-7514
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Gary Kwiecinski, Ph.D.



B.S., Cornell University ��
M.S., Rutgers University
Ph.D., Cornell University

Phone: 570-941-6387
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Erica Lasek-Nesselquist, Ph.D.


Assistant Professor

B.A., Smith College
Ph.D., Brown University

Phone: 570-941-7469
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Vincent Marshall, Ph.D.


Faculty Specialist

[credentials needed]

Phone: 570-941-5439
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Christine McDermott, Ph.D.


Assistant Professor

B.A., California State University at Fresno
Ph.D., University of Tennessee

Phone: 570-941-7506
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Marc Seid, Ph.D.


Assistant Professor

B.S., M.S., Brigham Young University
Ph.D., Boston University

Phone: 570-941-7970
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Robert Smith, Ph.D.


Associate Professor

B.S., Alma College
M.S., Central Michigan University
Ph.D., The University of Southern Mississippi

Phone: 570-941-6581
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Maria Squire, Ph.D.


Associate Professor

B.S., The University of Scranton
M.S., Ph.D., Stony Brook University

Phone: 570-941-4742
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Michael Sulzinski, Ph.D.



B.S., The Pennsylvania State University
Ph.D., Cornell University

Phone: 570-941-4306
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Daniel Townsend, Ph.D.



B.A., College of the Holy Cross
M.S., Central Michigan University
Ph.D., State University of New York at Albany

Phone: 570-941-6217
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Janice Voltzow. Ph.D.



B.S., Yale University
Ph.D., Duke University

Phone: 570 941-4378
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Robert Waldeck, Ph.D.


Associate Professor

B.A., Lehigh University
M.P.A., University of Delaware
M.A., Ph.D., Temple University

Phone: 570-941-4324
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Inside the Classroom

  • Rigorous academics
  • Project-based learning
  • Faculty-mentored research opportunities

Our small class sizes allow students close personal interaction with our faculty, allowing close collaboration in the learning environments and instruction directed towards the individual student.

Many of our laboratory courses integrate independent research and inquiry, allowing students to be active participants in the learning process.

Students also have the opportunity to participate in travel courses such as Tropical Biology, Philippine Tropical Organisms and Ecosystems and Extreme Physiology. There’s also the option to visit the marshes of Georgia and Louisiana in a weeklong trip during the laboratory portion of Estuarine Ecology.

Faculty-Mentored Student Research

We firmly believe that research is a critical and integral part of the educational process. The faculty of the Biology Department is deeply committed to involving students in their research endeavors.

Students work hand-in-hand with faculty collaborators. Students are also encouraged to attend and participate in local and national scientific meetings and conferences, allowing them to hone their scientific communication skills as well as network with other students and scientists from around the globe.

For more information about research opportunities in the Biology department click here.


Kelsey Murphy ‘14, Shannon Lavelle ’12, John Miller '08 and Timothy Smilnak ’10 assisted Dr. Terrence Sweeney, professor of biology, in building a patent-pending mechanical model that simulates the functions of the human cardiovascular system. Read about it here


Nicole McAndrew '16, a biology major with a minor in spanish, recently presented her research at the American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB) annual conference in Philadelphia. Her research focuses on retinoic acid signaling in neuroblastoma growth, differentiation, and death. Read more.

Research at the undergraduate level encourages students to apply their knowledge - it transforms them from ‘students’ into ‘scholars'.

George Gomez, Associate Professor of Biology

Career Outcomes:

You’ll find Scranton biology graduates working in diverse fields such as:

  • Healthcare (e.g., doctors, dentists, EMT)
  • Pharmaceutical sales
  • Government (e.g., USDA, US Fish & Wildlife, Game Commission)
  • Education (e.g., elementary, secondary, universities)
  • Biotechnology
  • Public utilities (e.g., water, power)

With our Jesuit educational philosophy of developing the “whole person,” we provide graduates with the flexibility to pursue opportunities in non-science related fields as well.  Here are examples of other occupations of recent graduates:

  • Law school
  • Management positions
  • Self-employed/start your own business
  • Writers 
  • Military service
  • Social services (for example, working with the City of Philadelphia)
  • Ecotourism travel agent/guide

For more information about what you can do with a Biology degree, click here