The goal of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics is to offer quality instruction in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines to prepare our graduates for rewarding careers. The College offers baccalaureate degrees in Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, and Mathematics. Additionally, it has robust programs for pre-engineering and a Bachelor of General Studies with a Concentration in Professional Aviation. Interdisciplinary opportunities are also available to prepare students for professional training or careers in actuarial science, field biology, forensics, and secondary school teaching. We encourage students to explore our programs for more details. The College offers comprehensive programs within three departments - Biological Sciences, Chemistry & Physics, and Mathematics & Computer Science.
Nathan Ponder, Ph.D.
Dr. Nathan Ponder is a native of Ruston, Louisiana, and holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Tulane University. He has been Chair of the Mathematics and Physical Sciences Department at LSUA since 2010 and has also served interim leadership positions in the Office of the Registrar, the Department of Biological Sciences, the Department of Arts, English and Humanities. Dr. Ponder was co-PI on two successful NSF grants totaling almost $2 million.
The Louisiana State University of Alexandria is often recognized for its “family” atmosphere. For one graduate and her son, the attribute takes on a whole different meaning.
Elaine Smith and her son, Khalil, attended LSUA together this past year. Elaine is graduating this month with an Associate of Science in Nursing and Khalil just finished his freshmen year. He is currently enrolled in the chemistry degree program and hopes to become a doctor.
The medically-minded family knew that LSUA was a perfect fit for them.
While previously living in the Midwest several years ago, Elaine had enrolled in another nursing degree program. Not feeling very welcomed, she did not continue. Fast forward several years to the family’s move to Pineville, Elaine decided to try one more time and enrolled in the LSUA Department of Nursing ASN program to become an RN. It was an immediate fit.
“It was such a welcoming environment. Everyone was so nice and helpful. I knew that achieving my degree was doable at LSUA,” said Elaine.
Pleased with her choice, she recruited her son, Khalil, to also enroll in LSUA for his freshman year.
“I convinced him it (LSUA) is a great school and it would be a perfect fit for him too. I witnessed first-hand just how awesome this school is and knew he would feel the same, especially since he didn’t want to go far from home,” Elaine continued.
Khalil, in fact, enrolled and has already found his niche in the chemistry degree program under the auspices of Dr. Gerard Dumancas, Associate Professor of Chemistry at LSUA.
Despite the fact that Khalil was just a freshman, Dumancas encouraged him to participate in this year’s annual Scholar Day event which highlights student research. Through Dumancas’ mentorship, Khalil was able to complete his research amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
“It was a challenge for him (Khalil) to finish during the pandemic. He had the option of not continuing, but Dr. Dumancas really encouraged him to stay the course since he had already done so much work on the project. I’m so proud of Khalil for his work and appreciative of Dr. Dumancas for bringing out the best in my son,” said Elaine.
With the school-year finally over, Elaine and Khalil intend on continuing to spend quality time together and with the rest of their family before Elaine begins work in September.
“I’ll never regret my decision to attend LSUA. It has been a true family affair.”
If you would like to know more about the College of Natural Sciences & Mathematics, please give us a call at 318-473-6591 or drop by and see us in Mulder 312.