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.


 Shannon Harding, Ph.D. – Department of Psychology, Program Director

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!


 Linda Henkel, Ph.D. - Department of Psychology

Dr. Linda Henkel completed her PhD at Stony Brook University in 1994, and has been teaching at Fairfield University since 2001.  Her research explores memory and cognition in applied settings, such as how eyewitnesses to crimes misremember what really happened, how and when people falsely confess to doing things they did not do, and how taking and looking at photos can shape our memories.  When she is not exploring the mysteries of the human mind, she fills her time going to music festivals, hiking, and adding to her 200+ collection of Pez dispensers.


 Margaret McClure, Ph.D. - Department of Psychology

Dr. Margaret McClure completed her Ph.D. at Fordham University in 2005, and has been teaching at Fairfield since 2012.  Her research focuses on neuropsychological deficits experienced by people with schizophrenia spectrum and personality disorders, as well as ways to treat those symptoms in order to help people achieve recovery.  She also examines factors that are associated with dating violence in college students.  Dr. McClure is the mom of five children, and she spends her free time having adventures with her family.  She also loves music and mystery novels.  


 Shelley Phelan, Ph.D. – Department of Biology
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. 


Shanon Reckinger, Ph.D. - Department of Mechanical Engineering
Dr. Shanon Reckinger received her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2011 and joined the School of Engineering faculty at Fairfield University in 2011.  Her research focuses on computational fluid dynamics and ocean circulation modeling.  For fun, she enjoys being outside, playing sports, hiking, traveling, cooking, dancing, and being with her dog and husband.