Faculty and Staff

Chair, Department of Biology

Eric Phelps, Ph.D

Chair, Department of Biology

  • B.S., Oklahoma Christian University
  • Ph.D., University of Oklahoma HSC

Dr. Phelps received his Ph.D. in Cell Biology from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. As a graduate student, Dr. Phelps was awarded a pre-doctoral grant from the American Heart Association to study how vascular cells regulate expression of genes involved in blood vessel development. After graduation, Dr. Phelps changed research fields for his post-doctoral fellowship to study how microscopic parasites communicate with the host cells they infect. Dr. Phelps most recent research on these parasites was published in the March 2011 issue of PLoS One. 

Dr. Phelps has now transitioned his research to industry as a Senior Scientist at the Oklahoma-based pharmaceutical company Charlesson LLC at Research Park in Oklahoma City.  His research at Charlesson focuses on ophthalmic diseases using diabetic and retinal degeneration models where he  works in collaboration with Charlesson's Chemistry Division on multiple projects.  Dr. Phelps and Charlesson LLC were recently awarded a two year research grant from the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST).  This grant will enable Dr. Phelps to develop industry-based research opportunities for undergraduates at Charlesson LLC.  His affiliation with a private pharmaceutical company now provides advanced OC students the opportunity to do industrial research and learn about its direct clinical applications.  Dr. Phelps is also incorporating aspects of this area of research into his classes and labs at OC.  His latest research related to the eye was published in the May 2014 issue of Investigative and Opthamology and Visual Science.

Dr. Phelps enjoys "teaching about the complexities of God's creation through biology", and "hopes to help every OC student find their passion". He and his wife Shannon attend the Memorial Road Church of Christ with their children Alexandra, Gabrielle, and Isaiah.


Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology

Sara Alcon, Ph.D

Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology

  • B.S. Oklahoma Christian University
  • Ph.D. University of New Mexico

Dr. Alcon earned her Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of New Mexico. Her graduate work examined the role of estrogen regulation in fibroblasts involved in breast cancer metastasis.

Beginning with her time at OC as a lab assistant, Dr. Alcon has been teaching and working with middle school, high school, and college students in a wide range of settings over the past ten years. A highlight of her time in graduate school was training undergraduate students in the Undergraduate Pipeline Network at UNM. This experience working with summer undergraduate research students provided the opportunity for Dr. Alcon to realize how much she enjoyed teaching. She has enjoyed the opportunity afforded by OC to combine her love of science and God in the classroom.

Dr. Alcon has also developed a passion for mentoring teenage girls, encouraging them to find their identity in the deep love of God. She has taught weekly Bible studies and Sunday morning classes for the young ladies of the youth group. She has served as an executive committee member for the New Mexico Churches of Christ Annual Ladies Retreat and continues to be involved with the work at the Albuquerque Christian Children’s Home serving at-risk children.


Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology

Lori Garman, Ph.D

Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology

  • B.S. University of Oklahoma
  • Ph.D. University of Oklahoma Health Science Center

Dr. Lori Garman received her Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. As a graduate student, Dr. Garman studied the role of multiple factors in the ability of anthrax vaccination to generate a protective response against Bacillus anthracis. In post-doctoral training, Dr. Garman focused on the specific characteristics of antibodies capable of neutralizing anthrax lethal toxin.  Her most recent work was published in August of 2014. Dr. Garman continues multiple research relationships with OUHSC and OMRF, and is currently pursuing avenues of bringing collaborative work to students at OC.  She intends to continue the development of novel biological therapeutics from isolated immune cells, work she has been a part of since 2007.

Dr. Garman believes that greater knowledge of the depth of intricacy and purposefulness in biological systems leads one directly to the incontrovertible truth of God's intelligence and power. She strives to emulate Christ in His compassionate leading of others to the truth. 


Professor of Biology

Al Mikel, Ph.D

Professor of Biology

  • B.S., University of Alabama
  • B.S., University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • M.S., Auburn University
  • Ph.D., Virginia Tech University

Associate Professor of Biology

Landon Moore, Ph.D

Associate Professor of Biology

  • B.S. Purdue University
  • Ph.D. Purdue University

Program Coordinator, Adjunct Instructor for Medical Laboratory Science

Evelyn Paxton, M.S. MT(ASCP)

Program Coordinator, Adjunct Instructor for Medical Laboratory Science

  • B.S. University of Oklahoma
  • M.S. Oklahoma State University
  • MT (ASCP), Baptist Hospital School of Medical Technology

Certifications

  • American Society of Clinical Pathologists, MLS(ASCP), Lic.#69727

Professional Memberships:

      American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science, served Oklahoma State President six years, currently serving as 2015 Spring CLS Seminar Chair.

      National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science: currently serving on the national review committee for accredited programs (RCAP), former MLT Discipline Lead.

Hobbies: reading, swimming, golf and grandchildren


Adjunct Professor of Biology

Rex Stith, Ph.D

Adjunct Professor of Biology

  • B.S. Oklahoma State University
  • M.S. Oklahoma State University
  • Ph.D. Purdue

Adjunct Professor of Biology

Timothy VanWagoner

Adjunct Professor of Biology

  • A.S. York College
  • B.S. Oklahoma Christian University
  • Ph.D. University of Oklahoma

Dr. VanWagoner received a Post-Doctoral Fellowship from the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. His research interests include pathogenicity factors in bacterial infectious diseases, bioinformatics, and bioethics.  Dr. VanWagoner has published twelve articles in peer reviewed journals.  He is a member of the American Society for Microbiology.  Dr. VanWagoner is also an Assistant Professor of Research in Pediatrics at OUHSC, an affiliation that provides enhanced research opportunities for OC students.

Dr. VanWagoner works at OC “to be a positive role model and mentor for students in order to encourage more people of faith to be actively engaged in the sciences.”  His favorite memory of OC was meeting his wife Aimee.  He attends Mayfair Church of Christ.


Adjunct Professor of Nutrition

Jenny Witherspoon, M.S.

Adjunct Professor of Nutrition

  • B.S.E Oklahoma Christian University
  • M.S. University of Oklahoma Health Science Center

Administrative Assistant for Biology

Becky Russell

Administrative Assistant for Biology

  • B.S. Oklahoma Christian University

Becky Russell is new to the College of Natural and Health Sciences this year. She enjoys getting to know the wonderful faculty and students as she learns the responsibilities of her position. A 1994 alumni of Oklahoma Christian, she lives in Edmond with her 5 beautiful children and her husband Wayne, a 1988 alum. She and her family are members of the Memorial Road church of Christ.