BASE Camp Faculty

The faculty members that take part in BASE Camp are dedicated and accomplished members of one of the science departments at Fairfield University. They all have experience mentoring students in research and have taken parts in initiatives on campus to promote women in science. In addition, all faculty maintain active research labs. Meet our Faculty for Summer 2014 below.


 Shelley PhelanPh.D. – Department of Biology, Program Director
Dr. Shelley Phelan received her B.A. in Biology from Wellesley College, and her Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology from Harvard University. She joined the faculty at Fairfield University in 1999, and has developed an active research lab investigating the function and regulation of antioxidant proteins in cell biology and human disease, with a recent focus on breast cancer. When not teaching or in her lab, she enjoys dance, music, swimming, and spending time with her husband and two children. 


 Shannon Harding, Ph.D. – Department of Psychology

Dr. Shannon Harding earned her B.A in Psychology from Holy Cross College and her Ph.D. in Biomedical Science / Neuroscience from Mount Sinai School of Medicine / New York University.  She joined the faculty at Fairfield University in 2003 and teaches courses in Behavioral Neuroscience and Psychology.  Her research interests are in social and reproductive behaviors, and in how hormones and drugs of abuse impact the developing nervous system in rats.  Outside of the lab, Dr. Harding enjoys traveling, hiking, reading, and taking her children to the beach. 


 Shannon Gerry, Ph.D. – Department of Biology

Dr. Shannon Gerry received her B.S. in Biology from Bucknell University and her Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from the University of Rhode Island in 2008. Dr. Gerry joined the Biology faculty at Fairfield University in 2011 where she teaches human physiology and functional anatomy. Her research focuses on the biomechanics and physiology of feeding and swimming in fishes. In her free time, she enjoys running, skiing, going to the beach and spending time with her husband and son. 


Amanda Harper-Leatherman, Ph.D. - Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry

Dr. Harper-Leatherman earned her B.A. in Chemistry from St. Olaf College and her Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  She joined the faculty at Fairfield University in 2006.  She teaches a variety of chemistry courses and a forensic science course.  In her research lab, she studies protein interactions with nanomaterials and highly porous aerogels to help ascertain how environmental conditions affect the characteristics of proteins, aiding the future development of bioanalytical devices.   Outside of teaching and research, she enjoys reading, exercising, going on trips, and spending time with her husband and her two sons, one four-year-old and one just born in 2014!


Laura McSweeney, Ph.D., Department of Mathematics

Professor McSweeney received her Ph.D. from the University of New Hampshire in 1999 and has been in the Fairfield Mathematics and Computer Science Department since. Dr. McSweeney's research is in time series analysis and statistical process control.  Outside of the academic setting, she enjoys trying new outdoor adventures, like zip-lining, and spending time with her three nieces.