School of Science, Engineering and Technology welcomes seven new faculty members

The School of Science, Engineering and Technology at St. Mary’s University welcomed seven new faculty members this fall.

Pius Adelani, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Inorganic Chemistry, has research interests in the areas of structural elucidation and physicochemical properties. Before coming to St. Mary’s, Adelani served as an assistant lecturer with the Department of Industrial Chemistry at Crawford University in Nigeria.

George Anquandah, Ph.D., Instructor of Chemistry, received his doctorate in Analytical Chemistry, and was a visiting assistant professor at St. Olaf College in Minnesota before coming to St. Mary’s.

Tafesse Borena, Ph.D., Visiting Assistant Professor of Industrial Engineering, received his doctorate in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee in 2000. His research interests include computer-integrated manufacturing, automation and robotics, and optimization of manufacturing processes.

Samantha Franklin, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Physics, graduated from St. Mary’s University with a bachelor’s degree in 2010 and received her Ph.D. in 2016. Her main research area is functional nanomaterials for biological applications.

Oscar Hernandez, Instructor of Engineering, received his master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley in 2013. His research interests include aerodynamics and propulsion.

Kathryn Lemons, Instructor of Mathematics, enjoyed 10 years as a high school mathematics teacher and tennis coach before joining the St. Mary’s faculty. After receiving her master’s degree in 2012, she served four years as an adjunct professor at San Antonio College.

Juan Ocampo, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2013. Ocampo has performed consulting activities in the development of a business jet, and his research in structural integrity has been published in many academic journals.

The School of Science, Engineering and Technology hired two new staff members as well: Vernon Wier, Engineering Lab Technician, and Carly Friedman, Ph.D., Pre-health Professions Adviser, who will oversee the school’s Pre-health Professional Programs and mentor pre-med students.

“We are also excited to welcome Father Richard Villa, S.M., as our new school chaplain,” said Dean Winston Erevelles, Ph.D. “I am working with Father Villa and Brother Tim Pieprzyca, S.M., as well as SET Marianist Educational Associates to develop our fall 2016 retreat on our work in STEM as a Catholic and Marianist educational institution.”


St. Mary's University, founded in 1852, is the first institution of higher learning in San Antonio and the oldest Catholic university in the Southwest. It offers 75 programs, including doctoral and law programs, and has a diverse student population of about 3,800 of all faiths and backgrounds. Its vision, as a Catholic and Marianist liberal arts institution, is to become one of the finest private universities in the region, a gateway for graduates to professional lives as ethical leaders in Texas, the nation and the world.

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