Monday, February 4, 2019

Meet Our Faculty: Wesley C. Sanders

Wesley C. Sanders

Assistant Professor
School of: Science, Math and Engineering

What he teaches:
Introduction to Nanotechnology (ENGR 1050)
Introduction to Scanning Probe Microscopy (MSE 2320)
Fundamentals of Microscopy (MSE 1820)
Introduction to Materials Science Engineering/Elements of Materials Science (MSE 2010/MSE 2160)
General Chemistry I (CHEM 1210)

Number of years teaching at SLCC:
Eight years

Western Carolina University

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Virginia Tech

Why working at SLCC matters:

Working at SLCC provides me with an opportunity to give back.  I started my professional career in 1999 as a high school science teacher in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to earn two graduate degrees and to work in a national laboratory as a postdoctoral researcher (Naval Research Laboratory – Washington, DC).  I want to use what I’ve learned in my professional and academic pursuits over the past 20 years to do my part in the preparation of the next generation of scientists, engineers and medical professionals starting their pursuits at SLCC.

Greatest professional challenge:

A fun challenge I’ve been involved with while serving as a faculty member is the development of laboratory exercises and demonstrations for use in SLCC’s introductory nanotechnology and microscopy courses.  Nanotechnology is a scientific discipline that plays a significant role in several of our day-to-day activities, but only a few people are aware of the impact. Academic institutions across the country are recognizing the impact and developing courses and programs in response.  Since the integration of nanotechnology in two-year colleges is relatively new, there are few resources available that provide students with hands-on experiences that emphasize the importance of this field. 

Greatest professional accomplishment:

As a faculty member, I’ve had the good fortune of working with several talented students to develop hands-on laboratory activities that are now routinely used in our nanotechnology coursework.  Many of the activities have been published in the Journal of Chemical Education and have been presented at several national meetings of the American Chemical Society.  In each case, all participating students were listed as authors.

Advice for students or others:

Work hard and do not be afraid of challenges that arise in your academic and professional pursuits. Setting the bar high comes with obstacles. Don’t let the obstacles stop you from your goals and dreams.  If you get knocked down, dust yourself off and keep it moving – it will be worth it in the end.

Future plans:

Working with students to revise existing nanotechnology-based labs and to develop new laboratory investigations. I also plan to work more closely with other colleges and industries to ensure that SLCC’s nanotechnology program is up-to-date and is adequately preparing students for the nanotechnology workforce.


I have a five-year-old daughter, Wesli Azae Sanders.  She likes to draw, paint, go to tumbling class and play with her dogs.


Binge watching YouTube and Netflix.