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At Siena Heights, you are part of an extended family that meets regularly inside and outside of the classroom. In addition to hands-on collaborative learning, students also gather regularly for field trips, special lectures, community projects, or simply to study. 

Working with faculty mentors, students conduct meaningful field and/or lab research with data analysis. Siena Heights University biology students have won numerous national research awards over the past few years.

SHU biology graduates have a 95% acceptance rate into medical, chiropractic, podiatric, veterinary, and graduate school. 

  • About: Biology
  • Meet the Faculty
  • 3 Things: Biology
  • Internships
  • Career Opportunities
  • Clubs & Organizations

The Biology department offers its students unique and distinguishing opportunities:
• As early as freshman year, Siena Heights University students can gain early acceptance into medical, dental, or pharmacy school at the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.
• Students interested in the health sciences can complete advanced coursework at SHU that can lead to physical therapy certifications from the Gray Institute.
• In partnership with the Adrian Dominican Sisters, biology students explore a 7-acre field site to learn permaculture (permanent-agriculture), an ethical design system for land use that emphasizes sustainability, integration, and cooperation with natural systems.
• First-year students can join faculty-led research teams, such as our Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (STARS) group research project.

Where your educational journey leads you depends in part on where you start. In the Biology department, our approach to education, which combines a supportive community learning environment with a broad spectrum of challenging courses, in-depth lab and field experiences, and intensive research projects, has successfully prepared our graduates for their future careers.

Meet the faculty members of the Biology program.

Kaster, Carl

Kaster, Carl

Professor of Biology517-264-7643
Luce, Milson

Luce, Milson

Associate Professor of Biology517-264-7636
Tsuji, Jun

Tsuji, Jun

Professor of Biology517-264-7649
Wassmer, Thomas

Wassmer, Thomas

Associate Professor of Biology517-264-7637

#1: The biology curriculum includes innovative and engaging coursework, including ecological kayaking trips on Cedar Lake and hikes through 400-year-old Gall Woods Old Growth Forest, and are led by outstanding professors such as three-time Rice Outstanding Teaching Award-winner Dr. Carl Kaster.

#2: The biology program offers its majors select opportunities through its affiliated partners, including early acceptance into Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine’s medical, dental, or pharmacy schools. Through a partnership with the Gray Institute, biology students can also complete physical therapy-certification courses. Finally, majors can study sustainable agricultural practices at the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ permaculture site.

#3: Working with faculty mentors, students can conduct scientific research and data analysis. SHU biology students include 28 TriBeta regional award winners and two national research champions.

Learn about internship opportunities available to those majoring in Biology.

Siena Heights University biology students are eligible for hundreds of paid research internships supported by the National Science Foundation. These summer research opportunities allow small groups of students to work in research programs at various host institutions.

Siena Heights University biology majors have interned at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Colorado State University, and Indiana University, for instance. Students are granted stipends and, in many cases, assistance with housing and travel. Local internships and co-ops are also possible.

Former SHU biology students Maria Butler and Joseph Lemanski were awarded summer research internships. Butler conducted her research in Turkey studying the responses of the European honeybees to different odors, including alcohol. Lemanski spent his summer in Texas examining the effects of the 2010 British Petroleum oil spill on the deep-water organisms in the Gulf of Mexico.



Learn about the career opportunities you can have with a degree in Biology.

Careers related to biology include:

  • Anatomist
  • Animal behaviorist
  • Biochemist
  • Cell biologist
  • Chiropractor
  • College professor
  • Dentist
  • Ecologist
  • Editor of scientific publications
  • Entomologist
  • Environmental biologist
  • Evolutionary biologist
  • Forester
  • Geneticist
  • High school teacher
  • Limnologist
  • Marine biologist
  • Microbiologist
  • Molecular biologist
  • Optometrist
  • Osteopath
  • Pharmacist
  • Physical therapist
  • Physician
  • Physiologist
  • Plant biologist
  • Podiatrist
  • Science writer
  • Toxicologist
  • Veterinarian
  • Virologist
  • Wildlife biologist
  • Zoologist

Learn more about the Xi Omega chapter of the Beta Beta Beta (TriBeta) National Biological Society.

The Xi Omega chapter of Beta Beta Beta (TriBeta) National Biological Society is a campus club dedicated to improving the understanding and appreciation of biological study through the stimulation of scholarships, the dissemination of scientific knowledge, and the promotion of biological research.

Members of the Xi Omega chapter of TriBeta attend professional conferences, host speakers, and participate in community projects.

Meet Lacey Wilmot Rao, Class of 2002

Lacey Wilmot Rao

Major: Biology
What Lacey is Doing: Orthopedic surgeon, Tucson, Ariz.

An orthopedic surgeon and active community volunteer in Tucson, Ariz., Lacey Wilmot Rao credited Siena Heights with some important lessons. 

“You don’t go to college to learn ‘things,’ you go to learn how to learn,” she said, noting how quickly things change in medicine. “The faculty at Siena do a tremendous job of teaching more than facts; they teach you how to seek knowledge. I encourage today’s students to remember that much of what we know now will change. Try to focus on refining how to think and learn, as opposed to only memorizing facts.” 

Her experiences as a student and athlete at SHU taught her that “working hard, knowing how to think, and working well with others will make you successful in life. But what will make you happy? The simple answer is, doing what you love and sharing your talents with the world. Choose to do the thing that excites you, that makes you feel proud of your work, and that makes you smile.”

Coe Wins National Biology Research Award

Siena Heights University graduate Lauren Coe '12 won a national biology award for her presentation at the national Beta Beta Beta Biological Honors Society research conference in May 2012 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Coe earned the Frank Brooks Award in ecology for her presentation on the effects of leaf color on the landing choice, egg-laying preference and larval growth of the cabbage white butterfly. Coe was the second Siena Heights student to earn a first place at the national biology conference. Billy Houghteling also received the honor in 1996.

Additional Info


  • Bachelor of Science


  • Division of Computing, Mathematics, and the Sciences


Meet Siena

Faculty & Staff

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Dr. Jun Tsuji

Professor of Biology


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Erika Wolcott Henry '07

Biology Graduate; Owner of Elite Chiropractic, Dunwoody, Ga.
Contact Us at (800) 521-0009.
Siena Heights University Main Campus. 1247 E. Siena Heights Dr. Adrian, MI 49221.