Dr. Wilson Shafer

Contact ⇒ Wilson.Shafer@Asbury.edu

Professional Experience

Dr. Shafer was born and raised in Lexington, Kentucky. He attended the University of Kentucky to pursue chemistry, but ended up in music after graduating with a degree in chemistry. After he graduated, he moved to Nashville for a brief period of time.

In 2004, Dr. Shafer entered into the master’s program at Eastern Kentucky University Under Dr. Smith. Dr. Shafer’s research was in collaboration with the USDA in developing a method on an LC –ESI -MS/MS for verification and quantification of Ergot alkaloids; a vaso-restrictive compound produced by endophytes that survive in a symbiotic relationship with tall fescue. He defended his MS in Chemistry in 2007 at EKU.

After this, Dr. Shafer began his career at Center for Apup_highplied Energy Research (CAER) at the University of Kentucky under Dr. Burtron Davis. In 2011, after working full-time for 4 years, under the work of Dr.  Davis, he was able to once again attend school to complete his Ph.D. part-time, while working full-time. He  defended his dissertation to graduate in 2015 with a Ph.D. in Chemistry – specifically in catalysis. During his time at CAER, Dr. Shafer focus was on industrial catalysis; e.g., water gas shift (WGS), aromatization, Fischer-Tropsch (FT) and carbon dioxide utilization. In 2017, Dr. Shafer accepted an inorganic chemistry faculty position at Asbury University, where he plans to continue his research itch. Given the opportunities of a small liberal Arts University, Dr. Shafer has paired with Dr. Coulliette to build a collaborative research group.

Dr. Shafer’s Curriculum Vitae

Some educational fun…

The Science of Color

How Is Silver, Silver?

It’s Chemistry!


In 2004, Dr. Shafer, and his better half were married and now have two wonderful kids. During orangebushis downtime, Will loves to play music (bass), read (mainly catalysis or history of catalysis), and play with his kids.

My life has happened in chapters, all of which ended in a series of No’s. When I thought I was going to be a youth pastor, I never got the call. The summer we moved to Nashville and I was convinced I was going to do music for the rest of my life, God shut the door. I then moved back to Lexington and re-positioned my life back toward chemistry, to become a full-time researcher. Once I graduated with my degree in 2015 and I could be a full-time researcher on paper, God again said “No.” However the door opened at Asbury, where Dr. Shafer is currently, and now has the ability to research, teach, and play music.

My God is Impossible; an impossible God will simply not be observed. Never the less, my science career, coupled with my faith, many would consider an oxymoron. Yet, for myself, I love the hunt for an understanding, the pursuit for the scientific unknown, simply because it allows me to have a greater appreciation of The Artist through His breath-taking artwork.


During Dr. Shafer’s second year of undergraduate studies, he played in an aggressive acoustic style band called Wake. The band’s adage was Ephesians 5:14, “This is why it is said: Wake up, oh sleeper, and Christ will shine upon you.” The band took off and over the next five years we toured all over Kentucky, parts of Ohio, and Illinois sharing the Gospel of Christ. We were blessed to produce two full albums (Turning Pictures and Blackberry Winter) and even play at larger venues including second and third stages of Ichthus, and Winter Blitz. The Band eventually changed their name to Cash Dansby, produced one more full album and moved to Nashville. Once in Nashville, Dr. Shafer felt called to head back into Chemistry and move away from music. During this time, Dr. Shafer was able to still play in some additional groups that also produced some albums – Something Autumn with his last band Simple Drive. Currently, Dr. Shafer still plays and is slowly working a few additional projects as music is just as much in his life as is chemistry.