Meet Our Faculty
Dr. Don Petcher, Professor of Physics and Chair of the department, is a graduate of Covenant College, who, while still an undergraduate, became interested in the mysteries of quantum theory and the philosophical questions that surround it, and the integration of faith and science. He subsequently went on to do graduate work in theoretical elementary particle physics, and then spent a dozen years in research, working in such areas as quantum field theory, lattice gauge theory, two dimensional models and superstring theory, and computational physics. He has published over three dozen papers in these fields while at the same time continuing his interests in interdisciplinary issues of faith and science. He returned to Covenant in 1993 from a research faculty position at Washington University in St. Louis to pursue these interdisciplinary questions and to help prepare the next generation of Christians in the sciences. While at Covenant, he has taught extensively in the core, has developed a course for non-majors on the "hot topics" of science in their philosophical, historical, and theological perspectives with Dr. Tim Morris of the biology department, and he has taught the philosophy of mathematics and regularly helps with the philosophy of science course taught by Dr. Bill Davis. His first book, a book on theology and science entitled Science and Grace, was co-authored with Dr. Morris and published originally by Crossway Books in Spring, 2006 and now published through Amazon. He continues his interest in theoretical physics of all kinds, in computational physics and programming in general, and in interdisciplinary work relating philosophy, theology, and science.
Dr. Phill Broussard, Professor of Physics, graduated from Lousiana State University and did his Masters and Ph.D. degrees in the Department of Applied Physics at Stanford University. His Ph.D. is in experimental studies of superconducting Nb/Ta multilayer thin films. Subsequently his career took him to the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington D.C. where he spent over a dozen years in research in thin film superconducitivity and magnetism with numerous publications and commensurate experience. Dr. Broussard has always been interested in science from a young age, and consequently his curiosity has led him to collect a plethora of facts and details of the physical world which he shares with students, and with his long term experience in laboratory work, he represents the experimental strength of the physics department at Covenant. Dr. Broussard, while growing up a Catholic, did not come to know the Lord until already deep into his physics research career. This transition to serving the Lord ultimately led him to seek a position in a college with a Reformed commitment so he could help train the next generation of scientists in a context in which they would also obtain a firm grounding in philosophy and theology, in order to help reach the next generation of scientists. Dr. Broussard joined the Covenant College faculty in January, 2000. See his own story as to why he came to Covenant here.
Dr. Curt Stern, professor of Engineering and director of the Engineering Dual Degree Program, graduated from MIT and did his Masters and Ph.D. degrees in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at University of California, Berkeley. He enjoyed many years of teaching and research at Virginia Tech before joining our faculty at Covenant.
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