Math, Science, and Engineering
The Mathematics, Science and Engineering (MSE) Department at SMCC comprises multiple disciplines with course offerings that align with many rewarding and challenging careers in various industries. The vision and mission of MSE programs and courses is to prepare students to develop the knowledge and skills to pursue successful careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields.
Employment opportunities in STEM are among the most sought-after in the nation. The average STEM salary in Arizona is $59,781. In Arizona alone, 118,000 STEM and STEM-related jobs will need to be filled by 2030. Developing the next generation of scientists, engineers, and mathematicians is necessary to produce breakthroughs and advancements in medical treatments, greener technologies, space exploration, and more.
Our courses are taught by highly trained faculty in small classes that foster direct student-faculty engagement. Students are provided advanced educational experiences whether they seek to transfer, complete an Associate’s degree, or expand their own horizons.
Our Biology, Geology, or Chemistry classes will get you started toward an exciting career.
Our Biological Sciences program serves as a great springboard for pursuing a career in medicine, veterinary studies, pharmacology, research, genetics counseling, farming, and urban planning - to name a few.
This program is a stepping stone to transfer to a university to earn a bachelor or graduate degree in Chemistry, where you can pursue a job as a chemist, chemical engineer, materials scientist, or a chemistry professor.
Whether it's Mathematics, Physics, or Engineering, our MSE courses will give you the foundation you need.
In educating the next generation of engineers, this program teaches the engineering essentials of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) — the cornerstones of a good engineer.
Our Mathematics program can prepare you to transfer to a four-year university to earn a bachelor's degree in math, actuarial science, statistics, computational mathematical science, or related fields.
Our Physics program is designed to provide you with the first two years of a four-year curriculum if you wish to specialize in physics or are preparing to apply for professional graduate programs in various medical fields.
Math, Science, and Engineering
Mr. Bechir Amdouni (ABD Applied Math, MS. Applied Math, MEd):
Mr. Bechir Amdouni has been a Residential Math Faculty at SMCC since 2021 but began his teaching career in 2010. He has taught MAT115 - College Algebra Prep, MAT145 - College Math, MAT151 - College Algebra, MAT155 - College Algebra/functions with Review, MAT187 - Precalculus, MA 213 - Brief Calculus, and MAT225 - Introduction to Linear Algebra. He is a passionate teacher who wants to make students comfortable with math and master the concepts with real life applications.
Dr. Sudipta Biswas:
Dr. Sudipta Biswas is a Residential Biology Faculty at South Mountain Community college. She has a master’s degree in Zoology and Ph.D. in Neuroscience. She previously worked at A.S.U as a post-doctoral researcher and instructor for upper division neuroscience courses. She has been teaching in Maricopa since 2014 and currently develops and teaches general biology, allied health, anatomy & physiology along with being the co-lead Health Sciences FOI coordinator.
Dr. Paul Bosch has been teaching biology at SMCC since 2005, but began his teaching career in 1985. He teaches primarily Human Anatomy and Physiology (Bio 201 & 202) and Environmental Biology (Bio 105), but also teaches most other biology classes. His goal is to help students master the concepts and major principles of each class, so that they can be informed citizens and successful in future science related careers.
Mr. Bradley Bush has been a Math Faculty member at South Mountain Community College since 2014 and loves helping students understand math! He has a bachelors in International Studies and Linguistics from Utah State University, a masters in Industrial Math from Utah State University, a masters in International Relations from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and is currently finishing his Doctorate in Applied Math at Arizona State University. His research interests are in machine learning and data science.
Ms. Jessica Diaz is a Laboratory Specialist Supervisor in the Physical Sciences department at South Mountain Community College.
Dr. Yvette Espinosa:
Dr. Yvette Espinosa has been a biology faculty for 20 years, for the last 17 years at SMCC. She is the coordinator for the Biology Majors Program and teaches BIO 181, BIO 182, BIO 105 and BIO 107.
Dr. Espinosa has worked as a lab manager coordinating and conducting research at NAU’s Immunology department and the U of A’s Microbiology and Veterinary Science department. She also conducted research at the U of A’s College of Nursing and the Ecology and Evolution department.
Dr. Charlene Estrada:
I have loved geosciences since I can remember! As a toddler, I would collect rocks and play in my mother's rock garden, and I knew way too much about our Solar System by age 10. I became a Geosciences major at the University of Arizona, where I earned my Bachelor's Degree in 2009. I then earned a Master's (2011) and Ph.D. in Earth & Planetary Sciences at Johns Hopkins University, where I studied how rock/mineral surfaces might play a role in the origins of life on our planet! I have carried out several postdoctoral studies in astrobiology, geochemistry, and paleontology at the University of Akron, the Geophysical Laboratory at the Carnegie Institution for Science, and Arizona State University. I am thrilled to share what I have learned as your instructor!
Ms. Irene S. Gaither:
Ms. Gaither mostly teaches Developmental Math (MAT115 Pre College Algebra) and College Math (MAT145). Teaching experience is more than 30 years. My passion is to make my students critically think and use analytical thinking to align with their logic. In my undergraduate Math Teacher Training, Bandung, Indonesia; we believe in 3 C’s Characters, Contents, and Connections. (Japanese Curriculum). My philosophy of teaching: “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand” “Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.” I teach in-person and online classes as well. I am certified to Teach Online by U of A.
Dr. Jacqueline A. Levy:
Dr. Levy has been teaching in the Life Sciences discipline at Maricopa Community Colleges since 2006 and at South Mountain Community College since 2010. The courses she has taught include Microbiology, General Biology, Biotechnology, Anatomy and Physiology, Environmental Biology, and Sustainability. Dr Levy’s main focus and passion is in coordinating the Microbiology courses to ensure that regular updates are implemented to the curriculum to meet the needs of the changes in the Allied Health field.
Dr. Chelsea McIntosh:
Dr. Chelsea McIntosh is residential chemistry faculty at South Mountain Community College, where she teaches both general and organic chemistry. Prior to entering the education field, she received her B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Oklahoma in 2006 and her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Arizona State University in 2012. She spent two years as a post-doctoral researcher at Washington University in St. Louis before relocating to Phoenix and beginning her teaching career at ASU Polytechnic in 2014. Since then, she’s taught various courses in both chemistry and biochemistry at ASU and SMCC.
Courses I teach: CHM151/151LL, CHM152/152LL, CHM235/235LL, CHM236/CHM236LL
Dr. Gita Perkins:
Dr. Gita Perkins is Chemistry in the Physical Sciences department. She currently teaches CHM130 - Fundamental Chemistry, CHM130LL - Fundamental Chemistry Laboratory, and CHM151LL - General Chemistry I Laboratory. Dr. Perkins has a PhD in Chemistry Education, Curriculum & Instruction, from the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University, a MS in Bio-Analytical Chemistry from Oklahoma State University, Stillwater and a BSc from Mount Carmel College in Bangalore, India.
Ms. Lorrie Shelton is an Administrative Specialist Sr. for the Math, Science and Engineering Division. She is a lifelong South Phoenician, a graduate from SMCC and completed her Bachelor’s in Business Administration in 2021 from the University of Dubuque.
Marianne Smith has been teaching Mathematics at Maricopa Community Colleges since 2006 and at South Mountain Community College since 2014. The courses she has taught include College Mathematics, Elements of Statistics. Brief Calculus, Analysis for Business and Discrete Mathematics. Ms. Smith is focused on strategies to improve students’ retention and success, as well as helping them appreciate the power and beauty of mathematics.
Dr. Mark Spencer:
Before coming to South Mountain Community College in 2013, Dr. Mark Spencer spent many years teaching and doing research, at Stony Brook University, Duke University, the University of Colorado, and Arizona State University. He earned his Ph.D. in 1995 with a research specialty in human evolution, focusing on human functional anatomy, and has published extensively in this area. He has taught a wide range of courses and students, from beginning undergraduate through Ph.D. students. At SMCC he oversees non-major courses in biology and teaches introductory courses in biology and biological anthropology, and courses in human anatomy and physiology.
Mr. Kurt Stangel is a Mathematics Physics Faculty member and currently teaches MAT187 - Precalculus, MAT221 - Calculus with Analytic Geometry I, PHY121 - University Physics I: Mechanics, PHY131 - University Physics II: Electricity and Magnetism and PHY241 - University Physics III: Thermodynamics, Optics, and Wave Phenomena.
Travis C. Steele Jr:
Travis C. Steele Jr.’s father is a civil engineer that is still in business for himself. His mother was a very valuable homemaker that had a degree in business and kept the home in working order. She was also an accomplished pianist and taught all her children Spanish, her first language, knowing that it would broaden their horizons and make them more complete and giving them connection to their Mexican heritage.
He had been working in civil engineering since he was 15 years old and had worked in the engineering industry until 2008. His last major project was as the project manager of the improvement project for a portion of Baseline Road near SMCC from a dusty 2 lane country road to what it is now.
He has also been teaching and tutoring since the early 80’s. His first official teaching job was at SMCC in the fall of 1991. He taught part-time at SMCC until he went back to get his graduate degree in theoretical math at ASU with an emphasis in Algebras and Differential Equations. His research work was in biological systems and the interactions between predators and prey (such as Covid-19 and humans!). He has worked at many places including ASU, MCC, Tempe Prep, SMCC, SCC, and CGCC. After teaching as an OYO or OSO or doing engineering, he was hired full time at SMCC in 2008.
He has taught or tutored the full spectrum of course that have been offered by the district plus a few upper-level math courses and a general business course. He has also worked on various NSF programs involving Engineering programs and Native American programs on reservations throughout the state.
His philosophy and definition of success of a student is not the letter grade they earn or how well they do in the next class, but in how they do in all the other classes after they finish his course, and success is also measured in how they do when they reach the workforce. With that said, he wants them to leave his class with the greatest number of tools available to them to sharpen and refine as they move through their academic life.
Dr. Dolores Urbieta:
Dr. Urbieta has been teaching mathematics to students from preschool through calculus since 1994. She has taught with Maricopa Community Colleges since 2005 and at South Mountain Community College since 2012. As a college student, Dr. Urbieta worked as an engineering intern four summers in a row for AT&T Bell Laboratories in New Jersey, Hewlett-Packard in Northern California, and Motorola in Tempe, Arizona. She has an interest in cooperative learning strategies and helping students develop as stronger individuals through their college experience. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Arizona State University, as well as two master’s degrees and a doctorate degree from Northern Arizona University.
Ms. Felice Weiner:
Ms. Felice Weiner is a Math Faculty member in the Math, Science, and Engineering Division. She currently teaches MAT151 - College Algebra/Functions and MAT155 - College Algebra/Functions with Review.
Dr. Carl Whitesel:
Dr. Whitesel has been teaching Engineering since 2006. He has been at South Mountain Community College since 2017, and focuses on Introductory engineering courses, EPICS, and electrical engineering courses. In the past, he has also taught Robotics, Automation, Electronics, and Manufacturing. Dr. Whitesel started his engineering career after earning an Associate degree in Electrical Engineering Technology, and spent years working in the textile industry, as well as electrical power systems integration, after earning his BSET in Electrical Engineering. He has earned an MS in Engineering Management, as well as an MSE in Industrial Engineering, and his doctorate is in Engineering Education. His passion is guiding his students in learning the hands-on skills they will need to earn real world jobs, supported by understanding the theory so that they can explain their awesomeness to the rest of the world.