Biology, A.S.

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Make a living in Biology with a degree from Carroll!

BiologyOvervewImageFrom genetics testing to saving endangered species, Carroll’s Biology program prepares you with engaging classroom environments and authentic field and research experiences.

Biology is one of the most diverse launching points for a rewarding career that can take you all over the world, beneath the oceans, into the smallest cells, even into space. Whether your interests are indigenous people and innovative medicines from the rainforest, teasing out the hidden messages in our genes, or studying potential life on other planets, a degree in Biology can provide the educational foundation you need. 

Why study Biology at  Carroll? 

  • Save money without sacrificing quality
    Our Associate of Science (AS) degree in Biology prepares you for transfer to a 4-year institution with full junior status, but at considerable savings. Our faculty are experts in their fields, with decades of experience in innovative teaching and research covering many diverse areas of Biology.
  • Engaging experiences in and out of the classroom
    Carroll’s small classes allow for caring, individualized attention and the opportunity to make connections. Students can immerse themselves in active, hands-on classroom experiences, a myriad of field trips and Biology-focused campus clubs and events.
  • Authentic research experiences
    Carroll’s Biology courses feature both lab and field research experiences. Students may also participate in research opportunities through internships at local industries and laboratories. In addition, Carroll’s STEM Scholars Honors Program offers scholarships, career training and an intense research experience.


Dr. Gregory S. Leppert, Program Director


Carroll's STEM Scholars annual program is designed for motivated high school and college students who want to pursue opportunities in science, technology, engineering or mathematics and transfer to a four-year institution after completion of their associate degree at Carroll Community College.  Apply to become a STEM Scholar


Carroll faculty members are scholars, researchers and distinguished leaders who are selected for their academic and industry credentials as well as for their teaching abilities. 

Faculty Spotlight

Joyce Davis is an Associate Professor of Sciences at Carroll. Upon earning her Bachelor of Science in Microbiology at The University of Maryland, she assisted with fungal genetic research at the U.S. Department of Agriculture. She briefly studied Occupational Therapy at Towson University before deciding on a career in education. Professor Davis received her Master of Science degree in Education from Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College). Currently she is the lead professor for Microbiology at Carroll. Her interests include travel (she has explored Australia, New Zealand, China, Alaska and Hawaii), science fiction films, Washington Capitals hockey, reading and music (especially movie soundtracks).
Office: M250-H
Contact: or 410-386-8218

Dr. Jennifer Fain-Thornton is an Assistant Professor of Sciences at Carroll. She is also a STEM Club advisor. While earning her Bachelor of Science degree at Alabama A&M University, she participated in programs at NASA, MIT and the EPA. She earned both her Master of Science degree and Ph.D. from Ohio State University. Dr. Fain-Thornton also has research experience working with adeno-associated viruses at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and with transposons in yeast (“jumping genes”) at The Johns Hopkins University. Currently she teaches Microbiology and Anatomy & Physiology at Carroll. Her interests include encouraging students to achieve academic excellence as they pursue a variety of career options in the biological sciences. Dr. Fain-Thornton enjoys all types of films, comedy and college football. 
Office: M250-Q
Contact: or 410-386-8213

Dr. Lena Garrison is an Associate Professor of Sciences at Carroll. While earning her Bachelor of Arts degree from Duke University, she studied primate behavior and evolution and worked in the Lemur Conservation Center. Continuing these studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she earned her Master of Arts degree, and conducted research in primate vocal behavior and learning at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Garrison earned her Ph.D. from Northern Illinois University, where she researched marsupial evolutionary anatomy. Currently Dr. Garrison teaches both Anatomy and Physiology and Introduction to Evolution. Her interests include bluegrass guitar, kayaking, hiking, journaling and exploring the National Wildlife Refuges.
Office: M250-N
Contact: or 410-386-8468

Dr. Gregory S. Leppert is an Assistant Professor of Sciences at Carroll and the Program Director for the Associate of Science degree in Biology. Dr. Leppert earned his Bachelor of Science degree and Ph.D. from The Catholic University of America. After nine years serving as Co-Founder and Vice President of the biotechnology education and consulting firm Exon-Intron, Inc., Dr. Leppert completed a post-doctoral research fellowship at The Wilmer Ophthalmological Institute at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He also served as Senior Staff Scientist in the Bio-Trac program for the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences (FAES) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Currently Dr. Leppert is the lead professor for Genetics at Carroll. He also teaches Fundamentals of Biology and Anatomy & Physiology. His interests include increasing public awareness in scientific literacy in general and genetic literacy in particular. He also enjoys sports, crossword puzzles and beer can collecting.
Office: M250-I
Contact: or 410-386-8232

Samala Lewis is a Biology Instructor and is currently the lead professor for Fundamentals of Biology 1 at Carroll. She has over 15 years of teaching science and health courses in the Baltimore region.  Professor Lewis earned her B.S in Biology an M.S. in Interdisciplinary Biology from Morgan State University, the premier HBCU in Maryland. She has completed scientific research in the fields of environmental science concerning the control of harmful algal blooms and eukaryotic biology concernin neural tube defects.  Samala has a passion for both science and culture and has taken the time to travel nationally and globally, even living in Malaga, Spain and Dominica, West Indies. Samala is currently working on her Doctorate in Science Education, where she conducts science education research to help increase the undergraduate Biology scores, increase the cultural proficiency of science teachers, and recognizing inequity and disparity in STEM education.
Office: M250-J
Contact: or 410-386-8276

Dr. Stacy Zell is an Associate Professor of Sciences at Carroll. She is also a professor in Carroll’s Hill Scholars Program. Dr. Zell earned a Bachelor of Science degree from The University of Maryland and a Master of Arts and Ph.D. from Virginia Tech. Combining her scientific and educational interests, while in graduate school she developed and directed a mentoring program that served rural female children and urban African-American children. Since graduating, Dr. Zell has worked at the USDA in the Human Nutrition Lab, and has performed service work with conservation groups such as those that support Florida panther populations. Currently Dr. Zell is the lead professor for both Human Biology and General Biology at Carroll. Her interests include researching the international stewardship of fragile resources, Chesapeake Bay ecology and biodiversity preservation in Maryland. She also enjoys hiking, playing music and being on or near the Chesapeake Bay. 
Office: M250-R
Contact: or 410-386-8241 

Lab Sciences staff for the Associate of Science degree in Biology 

Shelley Paterno received her Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Goucher College and her Master of Science in Biotechnology from Johns Hopkins University. While obtaining her degree, she worked as a lab technician at Carnegie Institute of Washington Embryology Department where she ran a large-scale genetic screen to create a Drosophila melanogaster library for developmental studies. Her interests include true crime, horseback riding and cooking.   
Office: A217
Contact: or 410-386-8244

Ellen Sperber earned her Bachelor of Science from Washington College and her Master of Science from The American University, where she investigated the development of anti-idiotypic monoclonal antibodies to a tumor-specific monoclonal antibody. Ms. Sperber also teaches as an adjunct for Carroll in courses such as Microbiology and Fundamentals of Biology. Her interests include crocheting and needlework, cooking and hiking.
Office: A217A

Contact: or 410-386-8245

The Advisory Board for Science

Our program is continuously reviewed by an advisory board of industry experts and representatives from local four-year institutions, ensuring the program meets all current and projected skill and knowledge requirements. Our advisory board members also provide degree program students with networking and internship opportunities. You can visit our Advisory Boards page to see the list of Science Advisory Board members, as well as advisory board members for our other programs.

Biology Tuition and Fees ImageCarroll offers an exceptional education at an extraordinary value. In addition, the transfer agreements between Carroll and many regional 4-year institutions, such as Stevenson and Towson Universities (see Career & Transfer) include scholarships, degree completion incentives and other transfer incentives.  


Program runs for 4 semesters and 1 summer course, totaling 60 credits. Visit  Tuition and Fees page for the latest rates.  


Explore the following options:

Biology Forensics


Carroll’s Associate of Science Program in Biology is intentionally designed to align with the first two years of a Biology majors program at most Maryland colleges and universities. In addition, Carroll has specific transfer agreements with popular transfer institutions like Stevenson University and Towson University.

Because requirements at 4-year institutions may vary, Carroll students should check with their chosen transfer institution and routinely consult an academic advisor while at Carroll.


Biology is a broad and diverse field with many different employment areas and opportunities. Use the Explore Career Options link to the left to explore Biology-related careers such as: Agricultural and Food Scientists, Environmental and Conservation Scientists, Veterinary and Animal Researchers, Biotechnicians, Marine Biologists, Forensic Scientists, and Zoologist or Wildlife Biologists. 

According to the Maryland Department of Commerce, the state represents one of the largest biology clusters in the U.S., with more than 500 biotech firms, 2000 life science companies, the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland.


Projects and Presentation

A principal component of the biology experience at Carroll includes individual and collaborative class and field projects.  Supported by relevant scholarly resources, projects include research into genetic diseases, their causes and potential for amelioration; forensic analysis of skeletal remains for victim identification; microbial analysis in health and disease and a microbial villain project; biological field research; and investigations into evolution as a unifying concept in the biological sciences.

Many courses require students to represent their findings in posters and/or presentations to their peers giving them the essential presentation skills sought by government, universities, and private institutions undergoing biological research. Students also have the opportunity to showcase their work, which is available to students, faculty, and staff at the College and members of the local community.     

Stem Scholars Honors Program

Carroll's STEM Scholars honors program is designed for motivated high school and college students who want to pursue opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics and transfer to a 4-year institution after completion of their Associate degree at Carroll Community College. Apply to become a STEM Scholar.

Past Field Trips include:

  • Area zoos
  • Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
  • INOVA Cardiovascular Institute
  • Biotech Facilities

Clubs and Activities include:

  • Service learning opportunities
  • DNA Day
  • Maryland Collegiate STEM Conference
  • STEM Club
  • Ready, Set, STEM at Shiloh Middle School
  • STEM activities for children at the Random House Book Fair