Dr. Deshani Fernando

Associate Professor: School of Science

Video: Meet Dr. Fernando
Phone: 405-692-3297
Email: [email protected]

Growing up in a family surrounded by teachers always inspired me to teach whatever I learned new, even at a very young age. However, my desire and passion for chemistry started to grow due to a teacher that I met in high school. As a result, a subject that became hard for most of my colleagues in my class became an interesting subject for me. Due to my interest in Chemistry, in the year 2009, I completed my B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka.

After completing my undergraduate studies, I started working as a Teaching Assistant (2009- 2010) at the University of Kelaniya where I completed my B.Sc. During this period, I conducted analytical chemistry and physical chemistry laboratory classes for undergraduate students. In the year 2010, I got an opportunity to work as a research scientist at a well-reputed research institute in Sri Lanka called “Sri Lanka Institute of Nanotechnology” (SLINTEC). I mainly got involved in material chemistry research projects where I was able to bring the lab-scale research to the pilot plant level, and I gained knowledge in various analytical chemistry techniques. I also had the opportunity to train and guide newly hired scientists and interns at SLINTEC. 

Being inspired to become a professor in Chemistry, I started a new journey at Oklahoma State University (OSU) in the year 2012 as a Graduate Teaching/Research Assistant in Chemistry. This allowed me to lay a stronger foundation as an instructor where I conducted chemistry laboratory classes, discussions, and tutoring sessions for students. As a Graduate Research Assistant at OSU, I mentored undergraduate and graduate students to be successful in their research. My doctoral research involved the synthesis of nanoparticles, surface functionalization, characterization, studying their properties, and cellular studies with cancer cells. I gained knowledge in various analytical chemistry, material chemistry, and cell biology techniques and published three peer-reviewed research articles in reputed international journals. I have given or contributed to more than ten presentations at regional and national level conferences. 

With the completion of my Ph.D. in the year 2017, I started working as an Adjunct Professor in Chemistry (Jan. 2018- Dec. 2018) at Oklahoma City Community College (OCCC). At OCCC, I conducted General Chemistry I course, and the Survey of General, Organic, and Biochemistry course for a diverse population of students. Due to this diversity among students, working at OCCC became an extremely new experience for me. The teaching techniques that I mastered as a graduate teaching assistant at OSU became very useful when I started my career as a chemistry professor. 

While working as Adjunct Professor in Chemistry at OCCC, I started my career as an Associate Professor in Chemistry at MACU. During my time at MACU, I developed General Chemistry (I & II), Organic Chemistry (I & II), and Principles of Biochemistry courses. Furthermore, I am currently working as an advisor for biology students at MACU while guiding them to be successful in their studies and achieve their future goals.