Christopher Coy, MA


Professor Christopher Coy has been teaching biology for over 40 years.  He began his teaching and coaching career in 1973 in middle school while the majority of it was spent teaching biology, advanced placement biology and zoology at Blackford High School in Hartford City, Indiana.  He has been on the staff at Indiana Wesleyan since 2008.

Professor Coy is the “utility player” for the biology department at Indiana Wesleyan.  Originally hired to revamp, reorganize, and oversee the anatomy and physiology laboratory experience for students at IWU, his responsibilities have evolved into teaching a number of non-majors courses including heredity and disease, environmental biology and human biology as well as biology majors courses including entomology, field biology and animal biology.  His background is diverse, but his interests are predominantly zoological with an emphasis toward environmental studies. He received both his BS and MAE degrees from Ball State University.

Professor Coy has received over twenty awards for outstanding teaching through the years at the local, state and national levels.  He has served as a guest clinician for both teaching and coaching for a number of seminars and clinics. He is a member of the Taylor University Athletic Hall of Fame, honored in 2006 for coaching achievements including 129 All-Americans, 25 National Champions and 8 National records in track and field and cross country that spanned seventeen years.  He continues to coach track and field with Coach John Foss and the Indiana Wesleyan Track and Field Program.

He is married to his wife, Tiann, for thirty-eight years.  She is an interior designer and owns her own company, Tiann Designs Inc.  In addition, the pair manage and run De’Coy’s Bed and Breakfast in Hartford City.  They have two children and one grandson!


Jolie Leonard, PhD



Jolie Leonard, an IWU alumnus, obtained a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  While there, she studied the mechanisms by which HIV proteins alter the normal function of infected cells in order to evade detection by the immune system.  Jolie completed a 3-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington in Seattle, designing and testing candidate influenza and HIV vaccines.  Jolie joined the Department of Biology at Indiana Wesleyan University in 2014 and is continuing to research the manner in which HIV alters cellular enzyme functions to influence virus infectivity.


Mark Asnicar, MS, PhD



Dr. Mark Asnicar took a circuitous route to join the faculty at IWU in 2007.  He earned his Bachelor’s Degree at Anderson University and soon thereafter entered the St. John’s School of Medical Technology.  After successfully completing his training and earning his certification, he worked as a Medical Technologist in an ASCP-Certified clinical laboratory in Anderson, IN for 10 years.  During the last two years of this experience he went back to graduate school at IUPUI and eventually attained a Master’s Degree and then a Ph.D. in Experimental Pathology.  Next, it was on to two Postdoctoral Fellowships; one 4-year position at Eli Lilly and Co. in the Endocrinology Division performing gene targeting and phenotype analysis of genetically altered mice; and one 5-year position at the Huffington Center on Aging at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas coordinating the Director’s laboratory.  At IWU, he teaches anatomy and physiology to students in pre-allied health programs, and Principles of Biology, Cell Biology, Molecular Biology, Immunology, Endocrinology, and Histology to science majors.  The addition of Ott Hall of Science and Nursing to the IWU campus provided space specifically designed for housing mice and Dr. Asnicar is just launching his research using these mammalian models.  He will be mentoring students as they investigate the activity of insulin secretagogues on insulin release during glucose challenges.  Additionally his research group intends to further investigate the phenotype of the targeted mice he generated at Eli Lilly and Co.



Matthew Sattley, PhD



Matthew Sattley obtained a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Blackburn College and a Ph.D. in Microbiology from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, where he studied cold-adapted bacteria from permanently frozen Antarctic lakes. After completing a two-year postdoctoral appointment in the Department of Biology at Washington University in St. Louis, he served as a biology faculty member for two years at MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas. He joined the Department of Biology at Indiana Wesleyan University in 2010. Dr. Sattley studies the ecology, physiology and genomics of microorganisms that inhabit extreme environments. His current research focus is the culture and characterization of cold-adapted, carbon- and sulfur-cycling bacteria from Antarctic lakes.


Russell Schwarte, PhD



Dr. Schwarte attended Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU), where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Political Science. He returned to his home state of Virginia to complete his PhD in Biomedical Sciences at Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) and Old Dominion University. While at EVMS, Dr. Schwarte was privileged to be part of a team of scientists that studied the effects of microgravity on the development of the jellyfish Aurelia aurita as part of the Second International Microgravity Laboratory (IML-2) that flew aboard the Columbia space shuttle. For his doctoral work, he studied synapse formation using the African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) neuromuscular junction as a model. During his time as a graduate student, Dr. Schwarte developed a keen interest in microscopy and saw the potential of both the jellyfish and frog models for studying developmental and physiological processes using various imaging methods. He has continued to use the Aurelia and Xenopus model to study synapse formation and other aspects of neural development since returning to IWU in 2008.



Stephen Conrad, MS, PhD



Dr. Stephen Conrad joined the IWU faculty in the fall of 2000 after serving for three years as an assistant professor of Biology at the College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri. His focus on the outdoors lead him to Missouri as he studied vertebrate animals of the Ozarks region after completing his PhD in Ecology from Indiana State University. While in Missouri his students studied mammals, fish and herptiles while he directed students in individual research of species common in the Ozarks. Dr. Conrad has an interest and background in vertebrate species of Indiana. As a trained ecologist and a native “Hoosier” his interests lie in the natural areas of Indiana and is energized as he introduces students to natural areas of Indiana through many field trips exploring the wonders of Indiana.

His research students have been involved in deer behavior, woodpecker foraging, bird surveys, fish surveys, camera surveys for state endangered swamp rabbits, squirrel relocation, nest box inhabitants, efficacy of parasite medicines and determining genomic differences in two closely related chickadee species.

At Indiana Wesleyan he has been involved in teaching environmental science, ecology, and integrated life science. His love of students has caused him to be involved in various local volunteer efforts to bring science to younger students in camps and annual “science night” events. His students preparing for elementary teaching exit class with materials and exercises for immediate use in the classroom.

Dr. Conrad has served as a reader and a table leader for the College Board as he has been involved in the grading of AP Environmental Science exams for nine years. On his recent sabbatical Dr. Conrad completed the yearlong “Centurion Program” and is now a certified Colson Center Fellow. He also has been developing the curriculum for an environmental science major and a major in Intercultural Biology at Indiana Wesleyan University. He is currently serving as the Coordinator of the Biology Department.


Tara Renbarger, PhD



Dr. Tara Renbarger grew up in Greentown, IN, which is a half an hour west of the Indiana Wesleyan University campus. She earned her Ph.D. in Microbiology & Immunology from the Indiana University School of Medicine. There she investigated the molecular pathways critical for the virulence of the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease. Upon completing her degree, she married Bryson. They reside on the family farm in Converse, IN and have three sons: Baer, Cael, and Bayne. Professor Renbarger’s research interest combines her love of microbes with farming. She is interested in how methods in agriculture impact plant and livestock health, associated bacteria, as well as the final product that reaches the consumer.



Benjamin Linger, PhD



Dr. Benjamin Linger joined IWU’s Chemistry Department in the fall of 2010.  He completed his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry at Mount Vernon Nazarene University and obtained his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Purdue University.  Following graduate school, he was a postdoctoral research associate in the Cancer and Cell Biology Department at the University of Cincinnati before coming to IWU.  Dr. Linger’s primary research interest is the functional analysis of telomeres, protective complexes at the ends of linear chromosomes in eukaryotic organisms. His specific focus is functional characterization of the telomere proteins in the model organism Tetrahymena thermophila.  He is also interested in the development of molecular tools to study protein function and gene expression in T. thermophila.






David Duecker received a BS in chemistry from Indiana Wesleyan University in 1975.  He worked at Marion Waste Water Treatment Plant as an analytical chemist before attending the University of Cincinnati where he earned a PhD in physical chemistry in 1988.  He worked for Borden Chemical, Inc. from 1988 until 2003 during which he formulated UV curable coatings, inks and adhesives.  He holds multiple patents for materials used to manufacture fiber optics.  He joined Indiana Wesleyan University faculty in the fall of 2003 and is now an Associate Professor of Chemistry.  He served as the department coordinator from 2010 – 2015.

Research Interests

Surfactants, polymers and nano-particles. 


Jonathan M. Dunn, David C. Duecker; “Using an Ink-Jet Printer as an Applicator for Polymer Coatings”,   HSRI Colloquium 2013.

David C. Duecker; “Radiation-Curable Composition for Optical Fiber Matrix Material”, US Patent 6,449,413 B1, Sep. 10, 2002.

David C. Duecker; “Radiation-Curable Composition for Optical Fiber Matrix Material”, US Patent 6,122,428, Sep. 19, 2000.

David C. Duecker, “Radiation-Cured Matrix Material; Optical Fiber Ribbons Containing Same; and Process for Preparing Said Optical Fiber Ribbons”, US Patent 5,881,194, Mar. 9, 1999.

David Duecker, T. Meyers; “Aging Properties of UV Coatings Containing Various Additives”, Radtech Report, March/April, 1998.

Camille J. Rechel, David C. Duecker, Kelvin Turner, Mark Kristoff; “Why UV-Curable Inks?” Wire Journal International, April, 1998.

David C. Duecker, M. Linda Moorman, Kelvin T. Turner; “Method for “On-Fiber” Color Results of UV Curable Inks Using Flat Films”, International Wire and Cable Symposium Proceedings, 1995

Estel D. Sprague, J. M. Denton, David C. Duecker; “Size and Solution Behavior of Sodium 10-undecenoate Oligomers”, J. Phys. Chem., 97, 756, 1993.

David C. Duecker; “Micellization, polymerization and polymeric properties of sodium 10-undecenoate” University of Cincinnati Dissertation, 1988.

David C. Duecker, Estel D. Sprague, “Size and Solution Behavior of Poly(Sodium 10-undecenoate), presented at the 18th ACS Central Regional Meeting; June 4, 1986; Bowling Green State University.

Estel D. Sprague, David C. Duecker, C. E. Larrabee, Jr.; “The Effect of a Terminal Double Bond on the Micellization of a Simple Ionic Surfactant”, J. Colloid Interface Sci., Vol. 92, No. 2, April 1983, 416-421.

Estel D. Sprague, David C. Duecker, C. E. Larrabee, Jr.; “Association of Spin-Labeled Substrate Molecules with Poly(sodium 10-undecenoate) and Sodium 10-undecenoate Micelle”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1981, 103, 6797-6800.

Grant Proposals:

HSRI, summer 2013, “Modified Ink Jet Printer as an Applicator for Forming Composite Polymer Membranes”, funded: $ 7,980.


Director of Hodson Summer Research Institute (2011 -2014).

Faculty Senate (2007)

Academic Media Committee (2008 -2009)

Safety Committee (2009 – 2011)

Academic Affairs Committee (2013 -2014)


Eric Kern, MS


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John Lakanen, PhD


Administrative Assignment: Interim Associate Dean School of Physical and Applied Sciences

Department Assignment: Associate Professor of Chemistry

Hometown:  Muskegon Michigan

At IWU: Since 1995

Research Interests: Production of Energy via Sustainable Methods


Hope College BS-ACS Chemistry

The University of Michigan M.S., PhD Chemistry

Columbia International University Certificate in Biblical Studies



Stephen Leonard, PhD



Stephen Leonard received a B.A. in Chemistry from Indiana Wesleyan University and a Ph.D. in Chemical Biology from the University of Michigan developing tools chemical tools to investigate cysteine oxidation under the guidance of Dr. Kate Carroll. His post-doctoral work with Dr. Dustin Maly at the University of Washington involved chemical genetic techniques to study Src-family kinase conformations. Dr. Leonard rejoined Indiana Wesleyan University in 2014. His current research focus is developing selective bivalent inhibitors of the tyrosine phosphatase SHP-2.


Steven Smith, PhD



Dr. Smith is teaching Physical Science, College and University Physics, Astronomy, Electronics, Earth Science, and upper level undergraduate Physics courses at Indiana Wesleyan University. He endeavors to bring science and cultural issues into the science classroom where appropriate, i.e. 2nd Law of Thermodynamics and its implication for macroevolution. He is also an active astronomy enthusiast. For the period 1989-91 Steven Smith carried out research at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)  as a NASA-NRC Resident Research Associate.  In 1992 he became member of Technical Staff, Earth and Space Sciences Division, JPL.   Until July, 2007 he was engaged in a variety of experiments in electron-collisions with highly-charged ions (HCI), including excitation, measurement of lifetimes ofmetastable HCI states, and charge-exchange of HCIs with atoms and molecules, including measurement of X-ray emission spectra.  Dr. Smith was also involved through JPL’s Technology Affiliates Program (TAP) with Beckman Coulter, Inc. in the development of the Rotating Field Mass Spectrometer, for analysis of large organic (protein) compounds.  He has been an active member of the C. S. Lewis Society of Southern California, and is currently involved with C.S. Lewis and Friends Society at Taylor University, near Upland, IN.


Ph.D., Physics, Wayne State University, 1989“Positron and Electron Differential Elastic Cross Section Measurements for Neon, Argon, Krypton, Xenon, and Methane”. Thesis advisers Prof. Talbert Stein, Prof Walter Kauppila.


M.S., Physics, Wayne State University, 1984 “Absolute Total Cross-Section Measurements for Positron and Electron Collisions with O2 and SF6”. Thesis adviser Prof. Talbert Stein, Prof. Walter Kauppila.


B.S., Physics, Wayne State University, 1982.



Professional Experience Professional Experience

  • Associate Professor of Physics, Indiana Wesleyan University 2010-Present.  This included the role as Physics Department Coordinator for 2 years.
  • Assistant Professor of Physics, Indiana Wesleyan University 2007-2009
  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Member of Technical Staff (Atomic and Molecular Collisions, Mass Spectrometry) 1991-2007.
  • National Research Council, Research Associate 1989-1991.




Besides many research areas in biophysics, Dr. Van De Merwe’s main focus is currently on investigating the impact of (current and expected future) science on faith and society.