Student Spotlight

Emilie Mathura, OMS I

Class of 2023

  • Hometown: Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Undergraduate Studies: Bachelor of Science degree in Human Biology
  • Clubs and Activities: Student Government Association, OB/GYN Club, American Medical Women's Association, and Medical Students for Choice.

Why did you choose RVUCOM? The Urban Underserved Track and the sabbatical program which will allow me to complete my Master of Public Health...
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Faculty Spotlight

Cathy Ruff, MS, PA-C

Program Director and Chair of Physician Assistant Studies
Associate Professor of Physician Assistant Studies

  • Hometown: Dearborn, Michigan
  • Undergraduate Studies: Bachelor of Science degree in Cellular Biology
  • Graduate Studies: Master of Science degree in Cellular/Molecular Biology. Physician Assistant Training at the University of Colorado Health Science Center.

What class/classes do you teach? I teach professionalism topics, Physical Exam, and small group skills. Why did you choose...
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Vickie Roettger, PhD

Associate Professor of Physiology
Department of Biomedical Sciences

Co-Director of Global Medicine Track
Tracks and Special Programs • 720-795-9720
RVUCOM-CO Campus • FC-03


Education | Professional Experience | Certification and Licenses | Service and Contributions | Publications and Presentations | Honors and Awards | Research Interests | Biographical Information


  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
    Biomedical Sciences: Neurophysiology
    Wright State University
    Dayton, OH
  • Master of Science
    University of Iowa
    Iowa City, IA
  • Bachelor of Science
    General Health/Allied Health
    University of Iowa
    Iowa City, IA

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Professional Experience

  • 2018 – present: Associate Professor of Physiology
    Rocky Vista University
  • 2008-2018: Full Professor of Biology
    Missouri Southern State University
  • 2016-2017: Interim Dept. Chair 
    Missouri Southern State University
  • 2002-2008: Associate Professor of Biology
    Missouri Southern State University
  • 1997-2002: Assistant Professor of Biology
    Missouri Southern State University
  • 1994 – 1997: Research Associate – Oregon Health Sciences University
    Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  • 1991-1994: Postdoctoral Fellow – Dept. of Physiology
    University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • 1987-1991: Teaching Assistant – Medical School of Neuroscience
    Wright State University
  • 1986-1987: Teaching Assistant – Microbiology
    Wright State University
  • 1981-1986: Medical Technologist
    University of Iowa


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Certifications and Licenses

  • MT Certification – Medical Technologist (1980)
    University of Iowa

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Service and Contributions


  • Chair, Faculty Welfare Committee, 2017 – 2018
  • Master Advisor, 2008 – 2018
  • Freeman Hospital Institutional Review Board member (Human Subject Clinical Trials), 2000 – 2018
  • Interim Chair, Department of Biology & EH, 2016 – 2017
  • Chairman, Biology Department Faculty Search Committees, 2016 – 2017
  • Internship Co-Director, 1998 – 2015
  • Academic Policies Committee, 2011 – 2014
  • Editor, General Biology Lab Manual, 2007 – 2014
  • Biology Department Biomes Trip – assistant faculty supervisor, 1999, 2012
  • State Curriculum Meetings Participant for Natural Sciences, 2007 – 2008
  • Member, Respiratory Tech Program Review Committee, 2007 – 2008
  • Past President, Faculty Senate, 2005 – 2006
  • President, Faculty Senate, 2004 – 2005
  • Math and Science Seminar committee – co-founder and secretary, 2000 – 2005
  • President Elect, Faculty Senate, 2003 – 2004
  • Secretary, Faculty Senate, 2002 – 2003
  • At-Large Representative, Faculty Senate, 2002 – 2006
  • Faculty Senate Representative to Teaching and Learning Committee, 2002 – 2004
  • Secretary, Teaching and Learning Committee, 2002 – 2003
  • Panel Discussion Participant – Philosophy and Science Class, 2002 – present
  • Faculty Representative to Summer Oxford Program, 2002
  • Moderator – Biology Break-out Session at Career Day, 2001, 2004
  • Chairman, Teaching and Learning Committee, 2000 – 2002
  • Chairman, General Biology Restructuring Committee, 2000 – 2001
  • Secretary – Teaching and Learning Committee, 1999 – 2000
  • Faculty Supervisor – Belize Trip for Pre-medical students, 1999
  • Psychology Department Human Subjects Review Committee, 1998 – 2005

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Publications and Presentations



  • Living History Re-enactment, “The Man Behind the Science”
    Great Britain Semester Presentation
  • Darwin and 150th anniversary of publication
    Brown Bag
  • Missouri London Program
    Brown Bag
  • Medieval Medicine
    Brown bag
  • Biology Labs
    Brown Bag
  • Oxford trip
    Brown Bag
  • IDEAs conference on assessment
    Brown Bag
  • The role of glutamate in stroke
    Math and Science seminar participants
  • National meeting on science writing for the lay public
    National Science Teachers Association
  • Presented and attended
    NSTA Annual Meeting
  • Biology Biomes trip to Costa Rica
    Brown Bag
  • Use of microscopes and wet mounts
    UMKC Advanced Health Assessment class
  • Medical trip to Belize
    Brown Bag
  • Use of electrophoresis to separate DNA and proteins
    Area high school teachers

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Honors and Awards

  • Faculty Grant for International Travel (2018)
    Institute of International Studies
  • Faculty Grant for International Travel (2017)
    Institute of International Studies
  • Sabbatical
    One Semester
  • Faculty Travel Grant for Professional Development
    APS Institute on Teaching and Learning
  • Faculty Grant for International Travel (2007)
    Institute of International Studies
  • Faculty Grant for International Travel (2002)
    Institute of International Studies
  • Faculty Development Grant
    HAPS Meeting
  • Faculty Grant for International Travel (2000)
    Institute of International Travel
  • Merit Recipient
    Biology Department
  • Faculty Grant for International Travel (1999)
    Institute of International Studies
  • Research Fellowship
    Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  • PHS Individual NRSA Fellowship Competitive Renewal
  • PHS Individual NRSA Fellowship for Post-doctoral Research
  • Physiology and Biophysics Department student ombudsman
    (appointed by department chair)
  • Sigma XI Student Research Colloquium – first place
  • Award for Outstanding Achievement
    Wright State University Graduate Program

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Research Interests

  • “Effect of undergraduate human dissection course on medical school gross anatomy grade,” (2017-present)
  • “Do learning communities enhance grades, retention, and graduation rates?” (2017-present)
  • BIO101 General Biology themed course redesign
  • BIO498/598 Physiological Pharmacology course design
  • Darwin/Mendel research
  • Science Fair Grant for Funding

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Biographical Information

Dr. Roettger was born in Massachusetts and grew up in Iowa. She earned both her Bachelor of Science in Allied Health and Medical Technology and Master of Science in Pathology from the University of Iowa, and then a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences focusing on neurophysiology from Wright State University. Prior to RVU, Dr. Roettger spent three years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison conducting research on the role of the glutamate re-uptake transporter in stroke and three years at Oregon Health Sciences University conducting research on molecular biology and development of excitatory amino acid re-uptake transporters. For 21 years, she advised and taught undergraduate biology majors at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, Missouri. In addition to teaching students, she supervised student research, taught a semester in London, and co-supervised numerous student trips to Belize, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Italy, Poland, and the desert Southwest. Now teaching at the graduate level, Dr. Roettger is excited for the challenge “of preparing students to actually become medical professionals and to see the students succeed in their chosen profession”.

In her spare time, Dr. Roettger enjoys spending time with her immediate family, Toffee, a 15 year-old long-hair domestic cat, and her extended family: Mom, two older sisters, two younger brothers, eight nieces and nephews, and numerous great-nieces and nephews.

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