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Faculty & Staff


  • Katie Burgess

    Dr. Katie Burgess

    Assistant Professor of Biology
    Office: 208E O'Rielly
    Phone: 816.501.3685

    Ph.D., Mayo Clinic College of Medicine


    Started at Avila: 2010

    Courses Taught: Introductory Biology, Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory, and Biochemistry

    Research Interests: Dr. Burgess earned her Ph.D. from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in 2007.  Her research interests focus on molecular and morphological analyses of cell signaling pathways important in animal development and tissue regeneration.

  • Dr. Chad Cooley

    Assistant Professor of Chemistry
    Office: 210A O’Rielly
    Phone: (816) 501-3790

     Ph.D., University of Missouri


    Dr. Cooley earned his Ph.D. at the University of Missouri in 2014. His research focuses on the synthesis of fluorescent molecules and their use in the detection of biologically active molecules. Dr. Cooley teaches organic chemistry and biochemistry.

  • Stephen Daggett

    Dr. Stephen Daggett

    Professor of Biology
    Prehealth Advisor
    Office: 208A O’Rielly
    Phone: 816.501.3654

    Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University


    Dr. Daggett received his Ph.D. at The Pennsylvania State University in 1993, the year he came to Avila. His research interests include any question/problem relating to the history of biology and the biology of microorganisms. Dr. Daggett teaches introductory biology, general microbiology, immunology, and genetics.

    Started at Avila: 1993

    Courses Taught: Bioethics, General Biology, Genetics, General Microbiology, Immunology

    Research Interests: Interested in the history of infectious diseases; the genetics and evolutionary biology of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (commonly known as pond scum); and methods in biology teaching.  Editor of the education journal Bioscene since 2005 for the Association of College and University Biology Educators.

    Hobbies: I enjoy reading, classic movies and piano.

  • Dr. Lida Khalafi

    Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry
    Office: 217A O’Rielly
    Phone: (816) 501-3788

    Ph. D. of Analytical Chemistry, Bu-Ali Sina University, Iran, July 2007.



    Ph. D. of Analytical Chemistry, Bu-Ali Sina University, Iran, July 2007.


    Professional Positions:

    Lecturer and Instructional Specialist, University of Wisconsin-Madison. 2016-2019.

    Assistant Prof. of Chemistry, Azad University, Tehran, Iran, 2008-2014.


    Courses Taught 

    General Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry and Instrumental Analysis.


    Research Interests Development of new pedagogical methods in STEM education.

    Drug delivery and supramolecular chemistry focused on cyclodextrins.

    Electrochemistry of antioxidants and neurotransmitters.



    I enjoy watching and playing basketball, reading and playing with my 4-year-old daughter.

  • Lindsay Beardall, MS

    Laboratory Manager for the Sciences
    Instructor of Biology
    Office: 210C
    Phone: 816.501.2919

    Lindsay Beardall earned her Master of Science degree in Food Science with a graduate certificate in Public Health from Kansas State University in 2016.


    Research Interests

    Food science, microbiology, and public health.


    Outdoor activities with my two dogs, live music events, and reading.

  • Eiko N Gilliford

    Office Manager
    College of Science and Health
    Office: ORI209A
    Phone: 501.3655

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