Michael Jay Schillaci, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Physics


  • University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas Ph.D. Physics
    Developed a mathematical model for the description of low-energy atomic collisions and scattering cross-sections; where necessary, native code was developed to simulate relevant processes.

  • University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas  M.A. Physics
    Contributed to the design and testing of a ring-laser system for the study of near-threshold photon statistics; participated in grant writing and hardware acquisition.

  • State University of New York, Brockport, New York B.S. Physics and Mathematics
    Conducted advanced research in Photo-Chemistry and in Nuclear Physics; served as a teaching assistant in Physics and as a tutor for Mathematics and Economics.


About Dr. Schillaci

Dr. Schillaci is Associate Professor of Physics at Roberts Wesleyan College and serves as Program Director for SC STEPs to STEM – an NSF funded initiative hosted at the University of South Carolina that is focused on the recruitment and retention of transfer students into Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields of study.

 Dr. Schillaci formerly served as Assistant Director of the Center for Science Education and as Managing Director of the McCausland Center for Brain Imaging, also at the University of South Carolina. He has held research and teaching posts in both Physics and Psychology and his research interests include computational physics, models of human cognition using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and electroencephalographic (EEG) data, and multi-disciplinary curriculum development. Dr. Schillaci has a PhD in physics from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and was formerly Assistant Professor of Physics at Francis Marion University. He is a member of the American Physical Society and the Cognitive Neurosciences Society.

Dr.  Schillaci is passionate about the dialogue between Science and Religion and  grew up here in Western, New York where he attended the Roman Catholic Church  with his grandmother. He rededicated his life in Christ while in graduate  school and now attends St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Rochester.

For more information on his research and personal interests please visit his personal website at: http://www.evsis.org.

Membership in Professional Societies

  • American Physical Society
  • American Physical Society's Forum on Education (FEd)
  • Member Division of Atomic Molecular and Optical Physics (APS)
  • Member Southeast Section of the American Physical Society (SESAPS)
  • Cognitive Neurosciences Society

Honors, Awards and Activities

Member STEM research advisory committee for the NIH sponsored program at Benedict College. (September 2010-Present)

Board Member Science and Religion Initiative (SRI) at the University of South Carolina.     

Faculty Senator Francis Marion University (Elected position: 2001-2003).     

Sigma Pi Sigma Undergraduate Research Award in Chemistry. (SUNY Brockport 1991)     

Ronald E. McNair Scholarship Recipient. (NSF 1991-1992 Academic year and summer research support.)

Selected Publications

Katz, J., Wandersman, A., Robert Goodman, Schillaci, M.J., Griffin, S., Wilson- King, D., Updating FORECAST: Contributions to Formative Evaluation Theory and Practice. Evaluation and Program Planning. (Submitted for publication in July 2012.)

G. Townley, J. Katz, A. Wandersman, B. Skiles, M. J. Schillaci, B. E. Timmerman, T. A. Mousseau, Exploring the Role of Sense of Community in the Undergraduate Transfer Student Experience. (Forthcoming Journal of Community Psychology 2012).

Schillaci, M.J., Total Tomography, Computing in Science and Engineering, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 12-13, March/April, Jun, 2009.

Vendemia, J.M., *Schillaci, M.J., Buzan, R. F., Green, E. P., & Meek, S. W., Chapter 13: Alternate Technologies for the Detection of Deception. In, Daniel Wilcox (Editor), The Use of the Polygraph in Assessing, Treating and Supervising Sex Offenders: Practitioner's Guide. Wiley Series in Psychology of Crime, Policing and Law, 2009.

Schillaci, M.J., Computationally Complete, Computing in Science and Engineering, vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 3-6, May/Jun, 2007.

Grants and Funding

2009 - 2012: Co-PI and  Project Director NSF Grant # 0653164 (PI Timothy

Mousseau, University  of South Carolina) - SC  STEPs to STEM. $2,000,000

2010 - 2012: Co-PI and  Project Director NSF Grant # 0850208 (PI Timothy A Mousseau,University  of South Carolina) - SC  Graduate Steps to STEM. $600,000

2007 - 2009: Co-PI  USAMRAA (PI Jennifer Vendemia) - Continuation Brain Imaging

Research. $1,250,000 

2005 – 2008: Co-PI  USAMRAA (PI Jennifer Vendemia) - Brain Imaging Research. $3,660,000

2003 – 2004: PI Francis  Marion University  (competitive) internal and State Lottery matching funds awarded to establish a Computational  Physics Laboratory. $11,000

Courses Taught

PHY 101 & lab  (General Physics I)

PHY 201 & lab (Physics for Engineers & Scientists I)

PHY 102 & lab (General Physics II)

PHY 202 lab only (Physics for Engineers & Scientists II)

PHY 203 lab only (Physics for Engineers & Scientists III)

PHY 301 (Classical Mechanics)

PHY 401 Quantum Mechanics