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Natural and Physical Sciences

Next Stop: Pharmacy School

Jeff Holm, a 2014 graduate who majored in biology with a pre-med concentration and biochemistry minor, had a life-changing decision to make this spring.

Would he attend pharmacy school at the University of Michigan or Ferris State University?

That’s right: he was accepted into both programs. “I can’t explain the excitement I felt,” said Holm.

Read more about Jeff's story.

If you have ever wondered how to extract salicylic acid from willow tree bark to make aspirin, just ask Megahn Piper. As part of her prestigious Cutler Fellowship experience, she'll be doing just that this year.

To learn more about Megahn and Olivet College's Cutler Fellowship, click here


John Wilterding, Ph.D., professor of biology and chair of the Natural and Physical Sciences Department at Olivet College, earned the title of Livingston Professor. Though this is the highest teaching honor presented to a full-time, tenured faculty member at Olivet, don’t expect Prof. Wilterding to take much credit. From his perspective, Olivet’s students, faculty and staff have all helped him become a great professor. “I’ve learned how to be a better teacher from them,” he said. 

For more on Prof. Wilterding, click here.

Last summer, Stephanie Lamb completed an internship with the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory in Colorado. This fall, she plans to conduct a habitat assessment of the Lansing Ricer Walk as part of her prestigious Cutler Fellowship. 

To learn more about Stephanie and her future ambitions, click here

About the Natural and Physical Sciences Department

You love science and are interested in a career in the discipline, but which path is right for you? On the very first day you step on campus, our faculty will help you explore your options – from medicine to the environment, and dentistry to teaching. Our professors are passionate about the work they do. They’ll strive to challenge you, and more importantly, they’ll help you do whatever it takes to be successful.

As a student at Olivet College, you can explore your field of study through independent research opportunities. This allows you to gain hands-on lab experience, work with our outstanding faculty and present – even publish – work before you graduate.

Our science majors take courses ranging from chemistry, biology to physics, but you’ll also learn strong writing and critical thinking skills. Combined, our program sets you up for career success and the development of strong life skills.


John Wilterding, Ph.D.

Professor of Biology and Chair of the Department of Natural and Physical Sciences

Maria Davis, Ph.D.

Provost and Dean of the College; Professor of Biology

Patrick Fields, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Biology

Leah Knapp, D.V.M.

Director, Biology Program; Professor of Biology

Susanne Lewis, Ph.D.

Director, Chemistry Program; Associate Professor of Chemistry

Tori Vratanina-Smoot, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Marco Wiedenhoeft, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Physics and Mathematics

Marcus Wasilevich, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Biology


DaunTrell Hill

"The love is real. Olivet faculty will help you graduate as long as you are willing to help yourself first. Olivet is small, which means small classes and more opportunities to meet one-on-one with faculty. You aren’t just a number."

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