Sean Beckmann joined the department of Chemical and Biological Sciences in 2011 as Assistant Professor of Biology. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology from Stetson University (DeLand, FL). In the following years he received training in a number of areas of biological research, as well as veterinary medicine, before beginning graduate school. He holds a Ph.D. in biology from the University of Miami with focuses in molecular ecology, evolutionary biology, and population genetics. While in graduate school he taught a number of laboratory courses as well as a lecture in ecology.
Following graduate school he joined the faculty of Rockford University where he teaches a number of major courses in both organismal and cellular/molecular biology, as well as non-major and interdisciplinary courses. His courses include: Principles of Biology, Cell Physiology, Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy, Vertebrate Physiology, and Mammalogy. He also co-teaches the Introduction to Research class for Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Biology majors. In addition to teaching Sean serves as a member of the first year advising team, which mentors incoming first year students, and is also the faculty advisor for Alpha Helix, the student science club on campus. He is a member of the National Association for Advisors for the Health Professions (NAAHP), Sigma Xi, Beta Beta Beta, the American Society of Mammalogists, and the Ecological Society of America.
His research interests focus on the intersection of molecular biology, evolution, and ecology. Students are currently working with him to study the effects of controlled burns and prairie restoration on the species and genetic diversity of small mammals. Other research areas include the impact of urbanization on migration and gene flow in small mammals, as well as the phylogeography of a number of species.
Troy Skwor, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biology
B.S., Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Ph.D., Medical Sciences, Texas A&M University College of Medicine
Postdoctoral Fellow, Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute, Oakland, CA
Dr. Troy Skwor is a native midwesterner from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He joined Rockford University CBS Department in Fall 2011 and teaches a variety of courses including Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (BIOL 230), Microbiology (BIOL 308), Genetics (BIOL 333), Immunology (BIOL 358), Virology (BIOL 360), Molecular Biology, Oncology, Molecular Mechanisms of Microbial Pathogenesis, and Principles of Biology lab (BIOL 150).
His research primarily focuses on bacteria associated with human diseases. One aspect of his research is analyzing the prevalence of antibiotic resistance from bacterial populations within the Rock River and the effect of different human and agricultural contaminants on resistant levels. These studies utilize microbial and molecular techniques identifying molecular genes associated with antibiotic resistance and furthermore determine if these bacteria can potentially cause human disease. Another research area of Dr. Skwor's lab is developing alternative treatments to combat multiple drug resistant bacterial populations and cancer using visible light with different photosensitizers, also known as photodynamic therapy.
Gidget Tay, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
B.S., Chemistry, University of California, San Diego
Ph.D., Organic Chemistry, University of California, Irvine
Dr. Gidget Tay is originally from California, born and raised. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry with a minor in Dance from the University of California, San Diego. She obtained a Ph.D. in organic chemistry, specializing in total synthetic chemistry from the University of California, Irvine. While in graduate school, she helped develop the general chemistry laboratory course and taught a variety of chemistry laboratory and lecture courses.
Dr. Tay joined Rockford University’s CBS Department in Fall 2015 and teaches primarily organic chemistry (Chem 205 and 206). Her research mainly focuses on methodology development to synthesize chiral 1,3-amino alcohols. She also dabbles in an interdisciplinary project, creating educational videos that explain chemistry concepts using dancers.
CBS Lab Supervisor
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