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Two New Faculty Join Math, Science and Technology Department at the U of M, Crookston
July 15, 2008

Contact: William Peterson, Math, Science and Technology, 218-281-8265 (, Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director of communications, 218-281-8432 (

Crookston, Minn. (July 16, 2008) – Two new faculty members are joining the Math, Science and Technology Department (MST) at the University of Minnesota, Crookston. The campus welcomes assistant professors Venugopal Mukku, Ph.D., in chemistry and Katy Smith, Ph.D., in biology. They will begin their new roles on the Crookston campus for fall semester 2008.

Venugopal Mukku, Ph.D., will teach organic chemistry and biochemistry at the U of M,
Venugopal Mukku, Ph.D.
Venugopal Mukku, Ph.D.
Crookston in the MST Department. Most recently, Mukku was a visiting assistant professor in the Department of chemistry at Austin College in Sherman, Texas. He holds a doctorate from Andhra University in Visakhapatnam, India, and his master’s and bachelor’s degrees are from Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning in Prasanthi Nilayam, India. From 2003-06, Mukku served as a faculty research associate at the Center for Cancer Research at Arizona State University in Tempe. He is a member of the American Chemical Society and the American Society of Pharmacognosy.

Katy Smith, Ph.D.
Katy Smith, Ph.D.
Katy Smith, Ph.D.
, will teach biology in the MST Department at the U of M, Crookston. Her teaching responsibilities will include plant physiology, molecular techniques, plant form and function and botany. She holds a doctorate in environmental soil science from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. Her bachelor’s degree is in biology from the Department of Biology at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. Smith most recently worked as a soil scientist for the United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service at the National Soil Dynamics Laboratory in Auburn, Ala. Her research interests include soil science; environmental science; soil-plant-atmosphere interactions; global environmental change and others.

The applied, "hands-on" mission of the Crookston campus offers an opportunity for students in the MST Department to apply the theory they learn directly to real-world applications and projects.

The biology program at the U of M, Crookston provides students with a broad knowledge of the biological sciences, introduces them to the practical skills needed in today’s biotech industries and provides the background required to be successful applicants to graduate programs. A biology minor is also available and introduces students to the core concepts in a broad range of biological areas with two possible emphases in animal or plant biology.

For more information on programs in the MST Department at the U of M, Crookston, visit

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers more than 25 applied-science undergraduate degree programs and 50 concentrations, including several online degrees, in agriculture; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; math, science and technology; and natural resources. To learn more, visit