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Women in STEM: Women in STEM at Duquesne

Women in STEM at Duquesne

Lyndsie Ferrara

Lyndsie FerraraLyndsie Ferrara has been an instructor in the Forensic Science and Law program at Duquesne since 2014. She received both her BS and MS from Duquesne, and worked in the US Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory as a biologist. She was also a forensics specialist for the Department of Justice. She collaborates regularly with the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence.

She is currently working on her PhD in healthcare ethics and her research focuses on improving ethics education for forensic scientists.

Rachael Neilan

Dr. Rachael Miller Neilan is an assistant professor of Mathematics and Computer Science at Duquesne. She received her BS from Drexel, and her MS and PhD from the University of Tennessee. Her research interests are multidisciplinary and include agent-based models to evaluate the effects of policies on populations in an environment. Dr. Neilan also works to predict the effects of ocean dead zones on fish and to prevent the spread of diseases using mathematical models.

She is part of the leadership board for WIS@DU. Visit Dr. Neilan's website here.

Learn more:

Anna Haensch

Anna HaenschDr. Anna Haensch is an assistant professor of Mathematics at Duquesne. She earned her PhD in math from Wesleyan, and since earning her PhD she has worked as a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Mathematics and the University of Hong Kong. Dr. Haensch also collaborated on the L-functions and Modular Forms Database, a database that shows connections among L-functions and that will be important to cryptography and cyber security. Dr. Haensch is particularly interested in communicating with the public about math and in 2013 worked at National Public Radio's Science Desk as an AAAS-AMS Mass Media Fellow. Her most recent grants include an American Institute of Mathematics SQuaRE grant and Brown University's Collaborate@ICERM. Visit her website here.

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Sarah Woodley

Dr. Sarah Woodley is an associate professor of Biological Sciences at Duquesne. After receiving a BS in Biology and a BA in French at Indiana University, she received an MS in Ecology and Evolution from the University of Chicago and then earned her PhD in Biology at Arizona State University. She has received many awards for her teaching, including the 2016 award for Creative Teaching from Duquesne's Center for Teaching Excellence. Dr. Woodley's research is currently centered on the effects of environmental stressors on amphibians. Additionally, she studies the vomeronasal organ (an olfactory organ) in salamanders to better understand sex differences. She uses the Application Based Service Learning pedagogy in her classes.


WIS@DU logo Women in Science at Duquesne University is a forum for Duquesne's women in STEM. It provides mentorship, recognition, and networking. See their website for info on upcoming events and to sign up for the listserv.

Allyson O'Donnell

Allyson O'DonnellDr. Allyson O'Donnell is an Assistant Professor in Biology at Duquesne who is currently studying  α-arrestins, a class of protein trafficking adaptors. After earning a BS in Biochemistry and MS in Biology (both from the University of New Brunswick), she earned her PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Dalhousie University. She began her work on α-arrestins as a post-doctoral research at Stanford and UC Berkeley, and continues that work as the head of the O'Donnell Lab at Duquesne. Additionally, she received a highly competitive, 5-year Early Career Development Program Grant from the National Science Foundation. The grant, which is for over $1 million, will allow O'Donnell's lab to study cell adaption to stress.

Dr. O'Donnell is also one of the founding members of Women in Science at Duquesne (WIS@DU).

Read more about the O'Donnell lab here. 

Misook Heo

Dr. Misook Heo is a professor in the School of Education at Duquesne. She earned her M.S. and Ph.D. in Information Science from the University of Pittsburgh. Her research interests include information visualization, motivation, and knowledge sharing. As a Fulbright Scholar she traveled to Pusan National University in South Korea, where she studied Koreans' reluctance to contribute to co-creative knowledge sharing sites (like Wikipedia). Dr. Heo has received multiple grants from the National Research Foundation of Korea. She is also a member of the WIS@DU leadership.

Nancy Trun

Dr. Nancy Trun is an associate professor in Biology at Duquesne. She received her BS in microbiology from Ohio State, and her PhD in molecular biology from Princeton.

She is currently studying microbes' ability to detoxify contaminated water, by doing research on the settling ponds at Wingfield Pines in Western Pennsylvania. Dr. Trun has won several teaching awards, including the 2016 Spirit of Learning Award, and is a member of the Duquesne University Office of Research Hall of Fame. She has also been awarded multiple grants from the National Science Foundation.

Learn more about her award-winning teaching pedagogy, Application Based Service Learning, here and here.