Chair of Department of Natural Sciences & Associate Professor of Natural Sciences
Direct Line: 423-636-7332
Campus Phone: Ext. 5332
Campus Mail: P.O. Box 5020
Office: Meen 114A
Department: College of Science, Technology & Mathematics
Campus or Site Location: Greeneville
Dr. Pearson’s doctorate was earned in the laboratory of Elizabeth Gross at Ohio State, focusing on photosynthetic electron transport and computational modeling of protein-protein interactions involving mobile electron carriers in the lumen of the thylakoid, especially plastocyanin and cytochrome c6. He completed one of the early molecular models of the soluble domain of the cytochrome f subunit of the cytochrome b6f complex and successfully predicted the nature of plastocyanin/cytochrome f association. He still retains interest in those proteins and is restarting undergraduate research on molecular mechanics modeling of their behavior.
Following a brief postdoctoral at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, Pearson began a career focused in freshman/sophomore level teaching, serving at institutions across the Southern and Central Appalachians. The general physics and general chemistry course sequences have been the focus of his scholarship of teaching, although he also has been actively engaged in course development for science literacy and non-majors general education and he also enjoys teaching his upper-division responsibilities at Tusculum, biochemistry and physical chemistry. He has also taught molecular and cellular biology and general biology while at Tusculum, in addition to an honors seminar on science and religious experience.
Pearson is a staunch advocate for open educational resources (OER), both to address student costs in higher education and to give students greater ownership of their learning. His proudest academic achievements are his role as one of the reviewers of the first OpenStax OER textbook, College Physics, and the publication of his philosophy of teaching, “Just Listen”, in the Fleming College Open Faculty Patchbook.
He’s an ever-present on social media; follow @ShorterPearson on Twitter and Instagram.
- Ph.D. (Biophysics), The Ohio State University, 1999
- B.S. (Physics), Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, 1993