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Watch the 140th Commencement ceremony live. Saturday, May 11 at 10 a.m.


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Meet Our Professors

Professor with straight, dark hair and colorful handkerchief at Cottey College



Iva Corpstein Chair and Department Coordinator

Ph.D., Southern Illinois University Carbondale
B.S., University of Sri Jeyawardenepura, Sri Lanka

Dr. Ganga Fernando grew up in Sri Lanka; a small island in Indian Ocean. She obtained her BS degree in Chemistry (honors) at the University of Sri Jayawardenepura, Sri Lanka and Attorney at Law degree from Sri Lanka Law College in Colombo. In 2002, she joined University of Texas at Arlington for her doctoral studies in Analytical Chemistry (she still considers Texas ‘my US home’).

In 2005, she moved to Southern Illinois University, Carbondale to continue her research under Dr. Gary Kinsel. She received her PhD in Chemistry in 2009. Her research thesis topic is “Pulsed Plasma Modified surfaces for On-Probe affinity fractionation of complex protein mixtures and analysis by Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization (MALDI) Mass Spectrometry.”


Additional Information

Dr. Fernando Joined Cottey College in 2008 and is an active member of American Chemical Society, American Society for Mass Spectrometrists, SigmaXi scientific research society and Alpha Chi Sigma professional chemists society.

In addition to teaching General Chemistry, Introduction to Forensic Chemistry, Principles of Analytical Chemistry and Quantitative analysis classes and laboratories, she offers Research in Chemistry every semester. She was awarded a Missouri Campus Compact mini grant for her Chemistry Outreach project “C3O – Cottey Chemistry Community Outreach”. She is active in field of Mass Spectrometry and continues to attend conferences and pursue research opportunities during summer months. She serves as the advisor of the International Student Organization at Cottey College.

In 2018, Dr. Fernando attended the college sponsored 12 day trip to Sri Lanka and India during Spring break. Dr. Fernando and Dr. Roy accompanied 10 Cottey college students on this amazing learning and service learning opportunity to their home countries.


Proteomic Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization (MALDI) Mass Spectrometry

Forensic Application of mass spectrometry

Cyanotoxins analysis in lakes and drinking water supplies around Nevada, MO

Effect of heavy metals on the growth of cyanobacteria

Disability and Rehabilitation in Developing Nations: Sabbatical Research in Sri Lanka

During the summer and fall 2017 semesters, Dr. Ganga Fernando spent seven months in her native country of Sri Lanka in order to gain knowledge of access to healthcare for disabled children following the 25-year civil war. Dr. Fernando conducted her research in collaboration with two colleagues who specialize in the healthcare field and received permission to complete this work from Rajarata University and from His Excellency, the President of Sri Lanka.

The research was composed of meeting with specialized healthcare providers at healthcare facilities, visiting special programs and schools for disabled children, and conducting home visits with parents of disabled children in rural locations throughout the country. Shortly after arrival in Sri Lanka, Dr. Fernando attended the 3rd International Conference on Public HealthStrengthening the Public Health Infrastructure Towards Healthy Communities in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. In November, Dr. Fernando attended the 2nd World Conference on Disability and Rehabilitation: Inspiring Possibilities…Enhancing Opportunities for Ability in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

During the spring-break trip to Sri Lanka this March, Dr. Fernando will introduce students to her collaborators and visit one of the healthcare facilities with which she became familiar as part of her research project. Dr. Fernando hopes to present her research next year at the 4th Global Health Conference Midwest hosted by the Creighton University School of Medicine).


Kolli, V., Roth, H. A., De La Cruz, G., Fernando, G.S., Dodds, E. D., “The role of proton mobility in determining the energy-resolved vibrational activation/dissociation channels of N-glycopeptide ions”, Analytica Chimica Acta 896 (2015) 85-92.

Rathore, D., Aboufazeli, F., Huang, Y., Kolli, V., Fernando, G. S., Dodds, E. D., “Ion Dissociation Methods in Proteomics”, Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry, Online: 10 Sep 2015, DOI: 10.1002/9780470027318.a9310.

Wong V.N., Fernando, G., Wagner, A.R., Zhang, J., Kinsel, G.R., Zauscher, S., Dyer, D.J. “Separation of Peptides with Polyionic Nanosponges for MALDI-MS Analysis” Langmuir2009, 25 (3), 1459–1465.

Li, M., Fernando, G., Van Waasbergen, L.G., Cheng, X., Ratner, B.D., Kinsel, G.R. “Thermoresponsive MALDI probe surfaces as a tool for protein on-probe fractionation” Analytical chemistry2007, 79, 6840-6844.