Dr. Derek Jokisch

photo of Derek Jokisch

Dr. Derek Jokisch

Chair, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Professor of Physics

Office: LSF 103A
Phone: 843-661-4653

I originally come from a small town in West Central Illinois called Carlinville. After graduating high school in 1991, I went to the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. I received my bachelor’s in 1995 in Nuclear Engineering and also completed the Bioengineering Option. While I was at Illinois, I spent a large amount of my time with the bands on campus. In the fall, I was active as a trombone player in the Marching Illini. During the winter I performed in the basketball band. For the last year and a half at Illinois, I worked part time in the Radiation Safety section of the University’s Division of Environmental Health & Safety. It was while working there that I developed a career interest in health physics.

In the fall of 1995, I headed South to the University of Florida and the Department of Nuclear and Radiological Engineering. Working under a Department of Energy Nuclear Engineering/Health Physics fellowship, I received a master’s degree in health physics in 1997, and a doctorate in 1999. My research was in the area of trabecular bone dosimetry, and I worked under Elda Anderson award-winner Dr. Wesley Bolch. As part of the DOE fellowship I spent a summer practicum in 1997 in Oak Ridge, TN at the Radiation Internal Dose Information Center.

In August of 1999 I assumed my current position as an Assistant Professor of Physics/Health Physics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Francis Marion University in Florence, SC.

My marching band experience at Illinois led to an opportunity to work with the Gator Band while at UF. It was there that I met my wife, Kelly. Kelly has a master’s degree in trumpet performance and a bachelor’s in music education. In addition she has spent time studying in Goteborg, Sweden. Currently she is the band director at South Florence High School.

My parents still live in Carlinville. My father, David, recently retired from teaching physical education and math in the high school. He was also a very successful cross country and track coach. My mother, Ardeth, works in the library at one of the two elementary schools. My brother, Matt, is an English teacher in Sycamore, Illinois where he also serves as the cross country coach.


FMU has the lowest cost of attendance of any college in South Carolina, based on rankings from CollegeFactual.com.

Meaningful Academics

The liberal arts remain the foundation of a great education for all FMU students, but we’re developing high-caliber professional programs to meet the 21st century needs of both our students and our community.

The Right Size

No giant lecture halls here. We keep class sizes small and the crowds thin at FMU because that’s the environment that best facilitates learning. A 15:1 student-professor ratio, and right about 4,000 students sound like “just right” numbers to us.


Students can walk our lovely, tree-lined campus in 20 minutes, but most take longer because in a place this pretty, you have to stop and enjoy nature’s beauty.


Francis Marion University has been recognized for five straight years as a “Great College to Work For” Honor Roll university by the Chronicle for Higher Ed. More at http://www.chronicle.com/interactives/greatcolleges16

FMU is consistently ranked among the Best Regional Universities by U.S. News and World Report.
Francis Marion University is in ETC’s top 10 percent of universities that have the most impact on a graduate’s long-term career earnings. More at www.educatetocareer.com.


Download the campus map HERE.


Mailing Address:
PO Box 100547, Florence, SC 29502
Street Address:
4822 E. Palmetto St, Florence, SC 29506

Main Office Numbers

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Francis Marion University follows all state, local, and federal laws banning discrimination in public institutions of higher learning. FMU adheres to all Title IX policies, and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status or any other protected category under applicable state, local, or federal law. General questions regarding Title IX can be directed to the Office of Civil Rights (www.ed.gov/ocr). Specific questions may be referred to the University’s Title IX Coordinator (titleixcoordinator@fmarion.edu) or the University’s Human Resources Office.

Francis Marion’s sexual misconduct (Title IX) procedures define the University’s response to reports of sexual misconduct and explain the recourse and protections afforded complainants and respondents.