Faculty Biographies

Dr. Phil Blau

Dr. Phil Blau received his Mathematics Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts in the area of ring theory.  After teaching at Boston University‚Äôs College of General Studies, he has been at Shawnee State University since the Fall of 2000, where he is currently a Professor of Mathematical Sciences and the Director of the General Education Program.  He is an active member of the MAA Ohio Section, serving as President in 2013-14, being on numerous committees, as well as handling the local arrangements for the 2007 Spring Meeting.  His current interests include studying original source material in mathematics.

Dr. Doug Darbro

Dr. Doug Darbro is a Professor of Mathematics and Director of Graduate Studies in Mathematics.  He began teaching at Shawnee State in 1994, and teaches statistics, finite math, and calculus.  He currently teaches Regression I and II, Quantitative Methods, and the Research sequence for the graduate program.  Dr. Darbro enjoys golfing, scuba diving, traveling, and all University of Kentucky sports!

Dr. David DeSario

Dr. David DeSario began teaching at Shawnee State University in the fall of 2013.  He enjoys teaching all levels of undergraduate math and looks forward to teaching Number Theory for the new graduate math program.  His dissertation research in discrete geometry involved extending the idea of angles into higher dimensions and his current work in number theory involves teaching basic properties of the natural numbers to his two young sons.

Dr. Mitra Devkota

Dr. Mitra Devkota received his Ph.D. in Computational Science and Statistics in May, 2014 from South Dakota State University, Brookings, South Dakota. He started teaching in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Shawnee State University in the fall of 2014 and is currently an Assistant Professor of Mathematics. His primary research interests are in the areas of Spatial Statistics, Longitudinal Data Analysis, Bayesian Biostatistics, and Statistical Computation and Simulation.  He enjoys teaching a wide range of Undergraduate Mathematics, Statistics, and Actuarial Science courses and is looking forward to teaching Regression Sequence in the new Graduate Program in the Department. He has authored several textbooks in Mathematics for primary and junior high Schools. He enjoys hiking and spending time with his family.

Dr. Jinlu Li

(Biography coming soon)

Dr. Valerie Long

Dr. Valerie Long received her Ph.D. in mathematics education in 2009 from Ohio University.  After receiving her Ph.D., she worked as a math program coordinator for a 1st through 12th independent school in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Long enjoys working with teachers, pre-service and those currently in the field, helping them cultivate a deeper understanding of how students learn mathematics. In her free time, she loves to travel, read, and cook for family and friends.

Dr. Preston Nichols

Dr. Preston Nichols has been teaching in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Shawnee State University since 2005, after having held teaching positions at colleges and universities including Gustavus Adolphus College and Carnegie Mellon University.  At Shawnee State he has taught a wide variety of mathematics courses, including Precalculus, Calculus, Differential Equations, Dynamical Systems, Geometry, and Modern Algebra.  His PhD, from the University of Minnesota, focused on Geometric Analysis; his ongoing interests include anything with connections to geometry, and the use of computer algebra systems in mathematics at all levels.

Dr. John Whitaker

Dr. John Whitaker received his Ph.D. in mathematics in 1999 from Louisiana State University.  His field of mathematics is probability and he has interest analysis topics.  After receiving his Ph.D., Dr. Whitaker has been a visiting professor at Wittenberg University and Furman University.  He has been a faculty member at Shawnee State University since 2003 and is currently an associate professor of mathematics.  He enjoys teaching a variety of courses including probability, analysis, linear algebra, calculus sequence, and basic algebra courses, but delights in working with students on their math senior research projects.  Outside the classroom, he loves spending time with his family and watching Alabama Crimson Tide sporting events.

Master of Science (M.S.) in Mathematical Sciences

Contact Information

Shawnee State University
940 Second Street
Portsmouth, OH 45662

Graduate Center
(740) 351-3177


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