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Department Chair

Department Chair KC Russell
K.C. Russell
Professor & Chair
SC 204G
(859) 572-5409
Full-Time Faculty
Senior Lecturer P.J. Ball
P.J. Ball
Senior Lecturer
SC 454
(859) 572-6960
Professor Charlisa Daniels
Charlisa Daniels
Associate Professor
SC 446
(859) 572-5408
Professor John Farrar
John Farrar
Associate Professor
SC 453
(859) 572-7636
Senior Lecturer Gwen Fields
Gwen Fields
Senior Lecturer
SC 442
(859) 572-6681
Associate Professor Kebede Gemene
Kebede Gemene
Associate Professor
SC 447
(859) 572-7543
Assistant Professor Michael Guy
Michael Guy
Associate Professor
SC 445
Phone: (859) 572-6552
Associate Professor Patrick Hare
Patrick Hare
Associate Professor
SC 348
(859) 572-1928
Associate Professor Isabelle Lagadic
Isabelle Lagadic
Associate Professor
SC 449
(859) 572-7785
Associate Professor Lili Ma
Lili Ma
SC 448
(859) 572-6961
Associate Professor Amber Onorato
Amber Onorato
Associate Professor
SC 349
(859) 572-5733
Lecturer Betty Russell
Betty Russell
SC 450
(859) 572-1956
Professor K. C. Russell
K. C. Russell
Professor & Chair
SC 350
(859) 572-6110
Assistant Professor Dr. Catherine Shelton
Catie Shelton
Assistant Professor
SC 351
(859) 572-5409
Senior Lecturer Brad Sieve
Brad Sieve
Senior Lecturer
SC 452
(859) 572-6547
Part-Time Faculty

Dick Bloss

SC 322

(859) 572-6360


Susan Crane

SC 322

(859) 572-6360


Anna Kautz

SC 443

(859) 572-5407

Stuart Oehrle

Stuart Oehrle

SC 341/313


Staff Members
Academic Coordinator Christine Yankovsky
Christine Yankovsky
Academic Coordinator
SC 204F
(859) 572-5409
Stockroom Coordinator Kris Mason
Kris Mason
Stockroom Coordinator
SC 441
(859) 572-6669
Lab Coordinator
Laboratory Coordinator
SC 441
(859) 572-6669

Emeritus Faculty
Julia Yang-Bedell

Julia Yang Bedell, Professor Emeritus


In 1992, Julia Yang Bedell joined the department as a lecturer.  She earned her M.S. from Duke University in 1987. Julia taught various classes including discovering chemistry with laboratory, introduction to chemistry, and general chemistry labs. In addition to teaching, Julia served as the master advisor and retention specialist for the department starting in 2014.  She received NKU's Outstanding Academic Advising Award in 2019. 

Vern Hicks

Vern Hicks, Professor Emeritus


In 1972, Vern Hicks began his career as NKU’s first and only Physical Chemist and remained as such until his retirement in 2010.  In addition to Physical Chemistry, Vern also taught general chemistry, chemistry and society, introduction to chemistry and his beloved quantum mechanics.  He received his B.S. in 1965 from Emory and Henry College and his Ph.D. from Vanderbilt in 1974. Hicks was named 2008 Cincinnati Chemist of the Year by the Cincinnati section of the American Chemical Society. His other honors include: NKU Outstanding Professor Award in 1993, the KSTA Outstanding Science Teacher Award for Post-Secondary Teachers in 2000, and the prestigious Acorn Award in 2010.

Robert Kempton

Robert Kempton, Regents Professor Emeritus


Following two years as a postdoctoral student at University of Illinois, Dr. Robert Kempton started teaching organic chemistry at NKU in 1976. He received his Ph.D. from Fordham University in 1975, M.S. from Auburn in 1969 and B.S. from St. Peter's College in 1966. Kempton has been the leader in establishing undergraduate research on campus and still works with students. He taught organic chemistry, spectroscopy and advanced organic synthesis and received the honor of Regents Professor in 1993.

Vinay Kumar

Vinay Kumar, Professor Emeritus


Dr. Vinay Kumar began teaching general chemistry in the fall 1970 and holds the distinction of being the first chemistry faculty hired by NKU (then Northern Kentucky State College). Kumar received his M.S. from State University of New York at Oswego in 1967 and his Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati in 1970. Kumar taught analytical chemistry, instrumental analysis, chemistry and society and introduction to chemistry.

James Niewahner

James Niewahner, Professor Emeritus


Dr. Jim Niewahner began his career at NKU in 1970 as an academic counselor and financial aid officer after receiving his Ph.D. from Colorado State University. He taught mostly general chemistry in addition to organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, physiological chemistry and chemistry and society. 

William Oliver

William Oliver, Professor Emeritus and ACS Fellow


Dr. Bill Oliver joined NKU in 1972.  He earned his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at Iowa State University in 1969 and worked at Procter and Gamble three years before moving to Northern.  He taught organic chemistry, general chemistry, biochemistry, physical organic chemistry, physiological chemistry, and chemistry and society.  He became the first chair of the chemistry department when it was formed in 1988 and served 16 years in that position.  He retired in 2007.