Chemistry Department Faculty

Brandon Magers

Dr. Brandon Magers (2019) Associate Professor of Chemistry and Chair of Chemistry

B.S., Chemistry, Mississippi College
Ph.D., Computational Chemistry, University of Georgia

Dr. D. Brandon Magers joined the Belhaven University faculty in 2019 as an Associate Professor of Chemistry. Dr. Magers received his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia in 2014 in Computational Chemistry. After UGA, he served as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry on the faculty at Taylor University in Indiana. Dr. Magers is particularly interested in undergraduate research and mentorship. He manages an active research group of undergraduate students that present original work at the local, regional, and national levels. Dr. Magers also serves as the 2021 Chair of the Mississippi Local Section of the American Chemical Society serving chemists in central Mississippi.

Reid Bishop

Dr. G. Reid Bishop (2011) Professor of Chemistry, Chair of Division of Science & Mathematics

B.S., Mississippi College
Ph.D., University of Mississippi Medical Center

Dr. Bishop is Professor Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi where he teaches across the chemical sciences. Dr. Bishop also develops and teaches interdisciplinary STEM courses that teach physical sciences through the perspectives of civic engagement and environmental stewardship. Dr. Bishop did his undergraduate work in Biology, Chemistry, and Art at Mississippi College and his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from UMMC in 1997. After graduate school he pursued post-doctoral work at Emory University and the University of Georgia before returning to Mississippi. Dr. Bishop’s research and publications span a broad range of interests from the biophysics and spectroscopy of molecular recognition complexes of small molecule binding to nucleic acids and proteins to the analysis of the molecular diversity of medicinal plant extracts to citizen science projects focusing on ecosystem conservation and environmental health. Dr. Bishop has worked in Christian higher education teaching undergraduate and graduate students for nearly 20 years. Prior to coming to Belhaven University, Dr. Bishop was Director of the National Audubon Society’s Mississippi River Field Institute which is when he began working with environmental partners including the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement. Since that time, he has logged countless hours engaging students in undergraduate research and educational field and laboratory projects with conservation and environmental benefits through a rich network of local and regional partners. Dr. Bishop enjoys exploring God's created world especially the wilderness areas of the Mississippi River.

Shelly Smith

Dr. Shelley Smith (2021), Assistant Professor of Chemistry/Coor. Of COVID-19 Surveillance

B.S., Chemistry, Mississippi College
M.C.S., Chemistry and Physics, Mississippi College
Post-Masters classes, University of Southern Mississippi
Ph.D., Theoretical and Quantum Chemistry, Jackson State University

Dr. Smith came to Belhaven University in November of 2020 with 21 years of teaching experience (16 of those years in college) and 1.5 years of industry experience. Dr. Smith has a Ph.D. in Theoretical and Quantum Chemistry. She was an Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Mississippi College where she taught several different chemistry courses and laboratories. She was also the co-director of the Computational Chemistry Research Group. After working in industry, Dr. Smith embraced the idea of returning to academia and especially returning to a university where she is encouraged to integrate her Christian faith. Dr. Shelley Smith is the Secretary for the Mississippi Section of the American Chemical Society. She is also the pianist at Topeka Baptist Church.

Ariel Kelley

Ariel Kelley (2021), Assistant Professor of Chemistry

B.S., Chemistry, University of Southern Mississippi
Ph.D. (ABD), University of Alabama

Dr. Ariel Kelley came to Belhaven University after receiving her Ph.D. from the University of Alabama where she specialized in Physical Organic Chemistry. During her time in graduate school, she found a passion for teaching chemistry at a university level. The choice to come to Belhaven University was easy for Dr. Kelley due to her interest in combining science and her Christian faith. She will be teaching courses involved with General and Organic Chemistry including the labs.