direct edit

Meet the Team


Ellene Tratras Contis, PhD

Ellene (Nina) Tratras Contis is the Director of the CSIE program and Professor of Chemistry at EMU. She is a full Professor with research interests in the study of short-lived fission products of 235U; the use of electronic technology in chemical education; issues for women in science; and the study of trace elements in water. On the international scene, Ellene chairs the International Activities Committee of the American Chemical Society. She is an ACS Fellow and a Fulbright Specialist – Pakistan. Her passions focus on globalizing chemistry education and building networks for both students and chemists.


Steven Francoeur, PhD

Steven Francoeur is a Biology department faculty member and was one of CSIE’s first Faculty Fellows in 2006. Steve's research involves submerged surfaces in lakes, river, and wetlands covered with microbes has been integrated into one of our specialty CSIE courses, CSIE 150L2 -Cyanobacteria in the Huron River taught together, with Dr. Steven Pernecky, another CSIE Faculty Fellow and Interim Associate Dean, from the Chemistry department. His research is mainly focused on the ecology of periphyton, with emphasis on the algal component. The two main themes of the research are: 1) understanding how biological, physical, and chemical factors affect the abundance, distribution, and activity of periphytic microbes, and 2) understanding microbial interactions within periphyton communities.


Jose Vites, PhD

Jose is a chemistry professor and teaches several of the CSIE courses, including Cyanobacteria, Scientific Presentation, Water Analysis.  He also developed the Scientific Learning course and Monday Night Chemistry. Most of his research projects involve the manipulation of air-sensitive compounds using Schlenk-ware and vacuum lines, cannula and syringe techniques, a variety of chromatographic techniques (gas, plate, column, flash), and the use of infrared and 1H, 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopies. His projects also involve the synthesis of organic and inorganic ligands.


Jacinda Lisi, MS

Jace is a CSIE Program Coordinator and a Lecturer in the Departments of Physics and Astronomy and Chemistry.  She earned her graduate degree from EMU (in Chemistry), with research projects on 3rd Generation Inhibitors of the Plasminogen Activating Inhibitor – 1 Inhibitor proteins (PAI-1 Inhibitors) and on PET radiotracers for acetylcholinesterase activity as a diagnostic tool in Alzheimer’s Disease.  Jace is involved in increasing STEM education and awareness and created the CSIE’s summer STEM-a-thon program for STEM students. She also created alongside Mark Fairclough the CSIE 278L2 course – Understanding Life in the Universe.


Omid Hajihassani

Omid is a fourth-year undergraduate biochemistry student in the Chemistry department. He has been working with CSIE for the past two plus years.  He is a teaching assistant for CSIE courses and helps tutor in Monday Night Chemistry and STEM-a-Thon.  His primary research is on water quality on the Huron River with an emphasis on analytical techniques to measure chemical species in water. In addition, Omid works with Dr. Hoeschle on cis-platinum complexes in chemotherapy protocols.