Why I Teach
To inspire undergraduates to be resilient, collaborative, and successful.
My personal goal is to inspire undergraduates, especially those from underrepresented groups, to be resilient, collaborative, and successful. To accomplish this goal and effectively manage and execute federal and state STEM grants, I laid the groundwork to establish the Wesley College-sponsored research office. I launched undergraduate research activities by developing an inclusive and successful mentored undergraduate research (UR) program. Also, to design appropriate support systems, I have established strong ties with our Delaware higher education, hospital, medical laboratories, and industrial partners.
Through my office and many ongoing collaborations, NIH, NSF, NASA, NOAA, and State of Delaware support have provided for expanded research space; equipment and supplies; cyberinfrastructure, including smart-board technologies and advanced computing; bioinformatics and data science laboratories; wet lab space and storeroom improvements; student success and retention case management programs; faculty release time and/or summer support; UR stipends; conference travel funds; remote library access; and access to advanced instrumentation at our partner institutions. Furthermore, and purely through grant-support, data analyses, (oral/written) communication, peer-to-peer collaboration, and ethical standards are emphasized within all STEM courses and in the College’s liberal-arts core-curriculum.
In the academic year (AY) 2007-2008, I developed a robust undergraduate biological chemistry program between Wesley College and Delaware State University (DSU). Between 2010 and 2013, through close collaborations with the Provost and the College faculty, Wesley transformed the liberal-arts core curriculum to include a signature UR component. In AY 2014-2015, with a principal goal of increasing persistence and success in the STEM fields, I developed the NSF S-STEM Cannon Scholar STEM learning community (LC) for Wesley’s underrepresented population. Over the past six years, 82% of Cannon Scholars are sponsored UR participants, and 100% of the CS graduates are placed in STEM fields.
In AY 2015-2016, in collaboration with my mathematics colleagues, informatics minor and certificate programs were developed. Coursework includes applied statistics for problem-solving, data mining using SAS programming tools, and geospatial analysis that analyze patterns and relationships using ArcGIS. All Wesley majors have access to the two data-mining and geospatial analysis courses. Both are embedded in level-3 (junior year) of the College core, and the informatics certificate is a biological chemistry program requirement. In 2019, we launched a cybersecurity policy program with Wesley’s law & justice department.
To prepare graduates as generalists in the occupational therapy field and with NIH IDeA program support, Wesley launched (2016) a master’s in occupational therapy program. In this program, emerging niches of health and wellness, chronic disease management, prevention, and inter-professional collaboration encompass the curriculum.
To further engage women and minorities in research and specifically build a STEM-capable Delaware workforce, I created the Undergraduate Research Center for Analytics, Talent, and Success (UR-CATS) in 2017. Through UR-CATS programming beginning in the freshman year, STEM students participate in course-initiated discovery-based research. They are also encouraged to participate in sponsored projects with faculty mentors outside of the classroom (in the directed-research and the summer internship programs). Our undergraduate research success has changed the culture of Wesley as well as individual
students. Scholars Day, in which students present research, posters, and performances related to their advanced work, is now an annual event celebrating undergraduate research participation across campus.
Being tuition-dependent, Wesley enrolls freshmen (57%) who are not prepared for higher education. The majority (77%) are from zip-codes with concentrated high poverty. To focus on these disadvantaged students’ needs and growth, we provide a tuition-free, residential, enriching, and challenging, 3-week Success in STEM (SIS) transitional bridge program (launched in 2018). Each summer through UR-CATS, SIS hosts 30 borderline first-year students who place into Pre-Calculus I or a lower math course. Using a boot-camp approach for academic success, the SIS bridge program introduces and reinforces mathematics, chemistry, and scientific writing concepts.
Together with our Delaware’s NIH IDeA (DE-INBRE) program partners, I helped initiate (in 2019) MCUREs, that are course-embedded inquiry-based experiences targeted at strengthening the biomedical pipeline in Delaware. This DE-INBRE supported program seeks to push the envelope by supporting PUI faculty who transform their biomedical curriculum by incorporating inquiry-based pedagogical practices in Delaware.
In closing, I have successfully administered $16.3 M in NIH, NSF, NOAA, and NASA projects (e.g., staffing, research, budget), collaborated with other researchers and produced several peer-reviewed publications (102 publications with 94 undergraduate co-authors). In total, I have mentored 302 undergraduates (69% underrepresented), and 132 Wesley College undergraduates trained in my laboratory have earned national and regional awards, and twenty-seven mentees earned terminal degrees (Ph.D.; MD; DDS; DMD; DVM; PharmD; JD; PA). Because of my prior experiences, I am aware of the importance of budget timelines, the overall communication planning and management framework, and the critical role in realistic challenge assumptions and effective risk oversight. In summary, I have a demonstrated record of accomplished and productive undergraduate research projects, and my expertise and experience have prepared me to continue to lead this successful Wesley College-sponsored program.
2009 50th Anniversary Alumni Award, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL (to mark its 50th anniversary, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Northern Illinois University, recognized me for my accomplishments as one of its 50 most distinguished alumni amongst 77,000 alumni)
- 2010 The Sidney A. McNairy Jr. Award – finalist, NIH NCRR-INBRE
- 2012 E. Emmett Reid Award for Excellence in Teaching at a Small College, American Chemical Society, Mid-Atlantic Region
- 2014 The Sidney A. McNairy Jr. Award – finalist, NIH NIGMS-IDeA
- 2016 The Sidney A. McNairy Jr. Award – NIH NIGMS-IDeA
- 2016 Delaware Bio-Science Association Educator of the Year in Higher Education
- 2018 Delaware Bio-Science Association, Ignitor Award
- 2019 Delaware Bio-Science Association, Ignitor Award
Publications (Past 5 Years)
- “Twenty-Year (1999-2018) Observational Death Certificate Study Shows Rising Alcohol-Attributable Death Profiles in the US and in Delaware,” D’Souza, M. J. Li, R. C., Wentzien, D. E. In 2020 Signal Processing in Medicine and Biology (SPMB20), IEEE Xplore, 2020. In Review.
- “The Influence of a Terminal Chlorine Substituent on the Kinetics and the Mechanism of the Solvolyses of n-Alkyl Chloroformates in Hydroxylic Solvents.” D’Souza, M. J.; Wirick, J.; Mahmoud, O.; Kevill, D. N.; Kyong, J.-B. Int. J. Mol. Sci., 2020, 21(12), 4387, PMCID: PMC7353074
- “Delaware’s 1999-2017 Leading Causes of Death Information Illustrates Its Obesity and Obesity-Related Life-Limiting Disease Burdens.” D’Souza, M. J.; Li R. C.; Wentzien, D. E. Res Health Sci. 2019;4(4):327–346. PMCID: PMC6876633.
- “1997–2017 Leading Causes of Death Information Due to Diabetes, Neoplasms, and Diseases of the Circulatory System, Issues Cautionary Weight-Related Lesson to the US Population at Large,” D’Souza, M. J.; Li, R. C.; Gannon, M. L.; Wentzien, D. E. IEEE Netw. 2019; 2019: 1–6. PMC6800725.
- “Undergraduate Research, Data-Science Courses, and Volunteer Projects, Inform and Accelerate Wesley College’s Retention Among First- and Second-Year Students,” Neff, L. S.; D’Souza, M. J. In Proc Natl Conf Undergrad Res. 2019; 2019: 1434, pp. 35-43. PMC6750058.
- “Data-intensive Undergraduate Research Project Informs to Advance Healthcare Analytics,” D’Souza, M. J.; Wentzien, D. E.; Bautista, R. C.; Santana, J. R.; Skivers, M.; Stotts, S.; Fiedler, F. In 2018 Signal Processing in Medicine and Biology (SPMB18), IEEE Xplore, 2018, 1-8. PMC6345265.
- “Classical tosylate/chloride leaving group approach supports a tetrahedral transition state for additions to trigonal carbon,” D’Souza, M. J.; Wirick, J.; Deol, J.; Kevill, D. N. Research Trends in Organic Chemistry, 2018, 19(1), 1-11. PMC6366630.
- “Data Talks: Obesity-Related Influences on US Mortality Rates,” D’Souza, M. J.; Bautista, R. C.; Wentzien, D. E. Research Health Science, 2018, 3(3), 65-78, PMCID: PMC6070145.
- “Correlation of the Rates of Solvolysis of α-Bromoisobutyrophenone Using Both Simple and Extended Forms of the Grunwald-Winstein Equation and the Application of Correlation Analysis to Related Studies,” Kevill, D. N.; Kim, C. -B.; D’Souza, M. J. European Journal of Chemistry, 2018, 9(1), 1-6, PMCID: PMC5909717.
- “Working with the Wesley College Cannon Scholar Program: Improving Retention, Persistence, and Success,” D’Souza, M. J.; Shuman, K. E.; Wentzien, D. E.; Roeske, K. P. Journal STEM Education, 2018, 19(1), 31-40, PMCID: PMC6059652.
- “Free Inventory Platform Manages Chemical Risks, Addresses Chemical Accountability, And Measures Cost-Effectiveness,” D’Souza, M. J.; Roeske, K. P.; Neff, L. S. International Journal of Advances in Science, Engineering, and Technology, 2017, 5(3, Spl. Issue 1), 25-29, PMCID: PMC5731657.
- “Investigation of Obesity-Related Mortality Rates in Delaware,” D’Souza, M. J.; Wentzien, D. E.; Bautista, R. C.; Gross, C. E. American Journal of Health Sciences, 2017, 8(1), 19-32, PMCID: PMC5501276.
- “Correlation of the Rates of Solvolysis of 4-Bromopiperidine a Reaction following a Grob Fragmentation Pathway,” Kevill, D. N.; Ryu, Z. H.; D’Souza, M. J. European Journal of Chemistry, 2017, 8(2), 162-167, PMCID: PMC5515489.
- Descriptive and Inferential Statistics in Undergraduate Data Science Research Projects. In T. Hokimoto, Hokkaido Information University, (Ed.), In Advances in Statistical Methodologies and Their Application to Real Problems (pp. 295-315). D’Souza, M. J.; Brandenburg, E. A.; Wentzien, D. E.; Bautista, R. C.; Nwogbaga, A. P.; Miller, R. G.; & Olsen, P. E. (April 2017). Japan: InTech. doi: 10.5772/65721.
- “Integrative Approach for a Transformative Freshman-Level STEM Curriculum,” D’Souza, M.J.; Curran, K.L.; Olsen, P.E.; Nwogbaga, A.P.; Stotts, S. Journal College Teaching & Learning, 2016, 13 (2), 47-64. PMCID: PMC4824183.
- “Mechanistic Studies of the Solvolyses of Carbamoyl Chlorides and Related Reactions,” Review Chapter, D’Souza, M.J.; Kevill, D.N. International Journal of Molecular Science, 2016, 17 (111), 20 pages, doi:10.3390/ijms17010111. PMCID: PMC4730352.
- D’Souza, M. J. (2016, May 09). Projecting the Future: STEM Job Prospects Will Boom. The News Journal, Delawareonline, Web. 9 May 2016.
- Ph.D., Organic Chemistry, Northern Illinois University
- M.S., Organic Chemistry, Northern Illinois University
- M.S., Inorganic Chemistry, University of Bombay
- B.S., Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, University of Bombay
- BI406 Research Methods
- BI407 Experimental and Project Research
- CH130 Chemistry for Allied Health
- CH200 Organic Chemistry I
- CH210 Organic Chemistry II
- CH265/365 Directed Research
- CH326 Biochemistry
- Location: Cannon 204
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: (302) 736-2528