Dr. Colleen P. Stapleton

Professor of Science
Chair, Department of Science
Department of Science


  • B.A., Macalester College, 1986
  • M.A., University of Texas at Austin, 1991
  • Ph.D., University of Georgia, 2003

Dr. Colleen Stapleton has spent over fifteen years teaching geology and environmental science at Mercer University.  She serves as chair of the Department of Science and is responsible for overseeing the functions of the Department to provide relevant academic programs for adult students in pre-health and science. During her tenure as chair, she has overseen the Department’s commitment to increasing opportunities for working adult students to take part in service learning, research, and civic engagement activities through projects funded by NSF and AAC&U.

Since 2014, Dr. Stapleton has served as assistant dean for the College of Professional Development and represents the College on the University Atlanta Associate Dean Council, Regional Academic Center Academic Integrity Council, and Atlanta Administrative Council. She has also represented faculty on College committees for Curriculum, General Education, Adjunct Credentialing, Faculty Welfare and Development, and Tenure, Promotion and Review.  During 2007-2014, she was appointed as Science Coordinator in the Department, developing science curriculum and overseeing the initiation of online learning in science lab courses.

Dr. Stapleton has served as co-chair of the University General Education Curriculum Committee since 2013 and also served on the University Strategic Planning Relevant Curriculum sub-committee.

Before joining Mercer University, Dr. Stapleton worked at the Corning Museum of Glass, NY contributing to the three-volume series on ancient glasses and other materials. She is co-author with Dr. Robert H. Brill on the third volume Chemical Analyses of Early Glasses: Reports and Essays (2011, Corning Museum of Glass). Prior to this, Dr. Stapleton spent six years working as a scientific officer at the British Museum, London, where she authored papers and book chapters on the technology of archaeological and art historical glass, ceramics, and metal, including Medieval British enamel, 13th century Islamic glass lamps, and glazes from the Warring States period of China. Her dissertation work was on the geochemical analysis of glass objects excavated from the site of Hasanlu in northwestern Iran.

Courses Taught

  • Astronomy
  • Environmental Science
  • General Education Science
  • Geology

Research and professional interests

  • Ancient technology and manufacturing techniques

Leadership Positions in the Profession/Discipline

  • Geological Society of America
  • International Commission on Glass Committee 17: Archaeometry of Glass
  • National Association of Geoscience Teachers

Recent publications

  • Stapleton, C., Bowman, S., Davis, M. (2019) Scientific Analysis of the Glass Inlays on the Carrying Hinge. In A. Lane and M. Redknap, (Eds.), Llangorse Crannog: The Excavation of an Early Medieval Royal Site in the Kingdom of Brycheiniog (pp. 210-215). Oxbow Books.
  • Ben Ramadan, A., Liu F., Stapleton, C. (submitted).  A Case Study: Assessment of Civic Learning Knowledge amongst Informatics Faculty and Undergraduate Students.  Journal of Service-Learning in Higher Education.


Grant-funded projects:

  • Civic Learning in the Informatics Major by Design. Funded by Association of American Colleges and Universities in partnership with the Endeavor Foundation. Liu (PI), C. Stapleton, T. M. Le, A. A. Ben Ramadan, V. Baskaran
  • STEM Education Innovation Lab. Funded by HATponics Inc., Sciberus Inc., and Mercer University. J. Ballenger (PI), C. E. Davis, C. B. Whatley, Z. M. Vokhiwa, d. rosenstein, C. Stapleton.
  • Scientific Thinking and Integrative Reasoning Skills. Funded by: Association of American Colleges and Universities. N. Barker (PI), F. W. Bongiovanni, C. Stapleton
  • Interdisciplinary Teaching about Earth for a Sustainable Future (InTeGrate). Sub-award by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Talent Expansion Program (STEP) via the InTeGrate STEP Center. Stapleton (PI), J. Metty, J. S. Hall, S. Walthall, T. Craker
  • Georgia Governor’s Teaching Fellow. Nominee for Mercer University Vulcan Innovations in Teaching Award

Contact Dr. Stapleton

Office Location: Administration and Conference Center (AACC) Building, Atlanta campus Room 410