Faculty/Staff Directory

Marina Smitherman, D.Phil, MPH

Marina Smitherman, D.Phil, MPH

Chair, Department of Life Sciences; Coordinator, Committee for Academic Excellence, and Professor of Biology

Peeples Hall
Room 305C
650 College Dr. Dalton, GA 30720

Office Hours

Mondays-Thursdays 8:30am -4:00pm, Fridays 8:30am-12pm.




D.Phil. - Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Medicine from the University of Oxford, England.

M.P.H. - Master of Public Health from the University of Manchester, England.

B.Sc. (Hons) - Bachelor of Science with 2:1 honors from the University of Nottingham, England. 


I am orginally from England and I have been teaching at Dalton State for twelve years. I am currently serving as the Chair for the department of Life Sciences in the School of Arts and Sciences. I also serve as the Coordinator for our Committee on Academic Excellence responsible for our year-long cohort-based New Faculty Academy and select Faculty Development at Dalton State. I provide interactive faculty development workshops on Evidence-Based Teaching & Learning Techniques including High Impact Practices, Transparency in Teaching & Learning, and Excellence in Undergraduate Research Program Design and Mentorship. My book entitled "Taking Flight: Making your Center for Teaching and Learning soar" is being published by Stylus in 2020.

I am extremely passionate about Undergraduate Research and I mentor students who are interested in the Clinical Medicine and Public Health fields. I chartered and co-advise our Beta Chi Nu chapter of the Biological Honors society Beta Beta Beta. This provides recognition of academic achievements, leadership opportunities, peer-mentorship, and engagement in Biology outside of the classroom all of which are vital for student development, particularly those headed to Graduate or Professional School. Our relatively new chapter has been award-winning at the District and National levels since it was chartered in 2013.

My teaching style is extremely interactive, student-centered, and focused on active and experiential learning wherever possible. Be prepared to make friends, work hard, and with my encouragement and support achieve beyond your highest expectations in my classroom.  I work hard to encourage a positive growth academic mindset for all those I work with and firmly believe every student can achieve great things if given the right tools to succeed.

If you have questions about Faculty Development, Undergraduate Research, Beta Chi Nu, applying to graduate schools in the Clinical Medicine & Public Health disciplines, or any of the courses that I teach, please feel free to visit me at any time during the office hours listed above. 


Course Name/Overview

Course Name Course Overview
BIOL 2212K - Human Anatomy & Physiology I
BIOL 2213K - Human Anatomy & Physiology II
BIOL 3000 - Research Methods & Scientific Communication
BIOL 3340 - Microbiology
BIOL 3900 - Readings in Biology
BIOL 4960 - Research in Biology
BIOL 4800 - Service Learning in Biology
BIOL 4900 - Special Topics: Epidemiology
BIOL 4900 - Special Topics: Pathology


I chaired the Georgia Consortium of Teaching & Learning Directors, am a member of the Professional Organizational Development (POD) Network, a CUR Liaision, and an AAC&U Representative. I was the 2014 Excellence in Teaching and 2013 Excellence in Service Award Winner at Dalton State. I am an alumni of the AAC&U Project Kaleidoscope Summer Leadership Institute. I was honored to receive the University System of Georgia's Felton Jenkins Jr. Faculty Fall of Fame Award in February 2020.