Faculty at Eastern Illinois University have one key quality in common - they are committed to bringing out the best in their students. Faculty are constantly finding ways to enhance the classroom experience, whether through integrative learning or by contributing to their own specific disciplines. They work with students on research, help them apply for grants and scholarships, serve the larger community beyond campus and do all that they can to prepare students for graduate school or a solid career after graduation. The handful of faculty featured on this site exemplify the love of teaching found among the faculty as a whole.
Dr. Kiran Padmaraju
Associate Professor, Early Childhood, Elementary & Middle Level Education
1322 Buzzard Hall
Dr. Kiran Padmaraju considers teaching to be her strongest forte as an Associate Professor. The undergraduate courses she teaches are: Instructional Strategies for Elementary School, Language Arts Teaching Methods, Integrating Technology into the Classroom. The graduate courses she teaches are: Teaching Language Arts, and Action Research for Classroom Teachers. The course that she is most passionate about is the Action Research course at the graduate level. For her, the best part of teaching this course is witnessing the transformation of the in-service teachers from being reflective practitioners to reflective classroom researchers. This is the capstone course for the graduate program in her department and she loves to guide the graduate students through the process of planning, implementing and documenting an action research project in their classrooms. Every student is highly engaged in the process and towards the end of the semester, when they are done presenting their findings to departmental faculty committees, she loves to celebrate their success with them. The course provides an amazing closure to the graduate program and helps these graduate students to see the immense benefits of trying out new teaching strategies in their classrooms after careful planning and consideration of the needs of the students in their own classrooms.
Another area that she cares deeply about is providing Study Abroad opportunities for students. She participated in the Toronto Study Abroad program for two years and her experiences during these trips inspired her to develop a study abroad program for India. After being awarded a Study Abroad grant in 2012, Dr. Padmaraju and two of her colleagues (Dr. Carter and Mrs. Maheshwari) went on a scouting trip to India (in Summer 2012) and put together a program in place. The program: ‘Incredible India: Creating Global Educators’ was first offered for Winter Break in December 2012 and while there were enough students to make it possible, the trip couldn’t make it due to unavailability of train tickets within India for the students to travel from one city to another. Learning from this experience, she and the other two faculty leaders have redesigned the program for a Summer Study Abroad program, and it is being offered for the Summer 2014. She is very excited about this possibility as the program has been redesigned to be a little bit longer (July 29th to August 14th) and includes additional experiences built into it. Being a summer program, she hopes to have plenty of time to get the tickets for travel to India and within India (no train tickets this time, only flights with multiple options). There is already a buzz about this program in the college and she hopes that there will be enough students interested in going for the trip to make.
Dr. Michael Gillespie
Assistant Professor of Sociology
3139 Blair Hall
Dr. Gillespie has the distinguished honor to teach the required applied statistics course in the Department of Sociology/Anthropology. This course, for which students most often only enroll because it is a program requirement, is therefore met with much anxiety and skepticism by Sociology majors. However, integrating statistical literacy with a pirate, props, M&M chocolate candies, and real world applications, Dr. Gillespie develops for his students a critical eye toward social statistics that, in hopes, lives and breathes outside of the classroom.
Inspired by bell hooks, Paulo Freire, and Parker Palmer, teaching sociology and statistics with a critical pedagogical orientation is an opportunity, not an impediment, which necessarily combines his passions for education, statistics, and sociology with a group of diverse students who have their own biography, struggles, and passions. When these worlds collide, as Carl Sagan writes, ‘something incredible is waiting to be known’. Entering the classroom is not just an effort to teach, but to connect with the social and educational needs of his students. Meeting students where they are at as experts in their own lived experience—as no one enters the classroom as a blank slate—necessitates connecting with students as social human beings; that is, with respect to who they are as people and students.
Also to these ends-- reflecting his commitment to the whole life of the students—Dr. Gillespie serves as a Faculty Fellow for Lawson Hall, is the adviser for the Sociology/Anthropology Club, advises the newly formed Hunger Action Team, is an honored (and honorary) member of EIU’s chapter of the National Residence Hall Honorary, and serves as an allied faculty member in the Women’s Studies Program.
Dr. Gillespie’s research focuses on the historical and contemporary circumstances of poverty and food insecurity at the national, state, and local levels. His work compares trends in assistance programs for poor persons and families with other social, economic, and political conditions over time, and follows how policies and procedures generate and perpetuate social inequalities. As a scholar activist, he is currently looking at such conditions in the East-Central Illinois region, using government data and geographical mapping techniques to educate stakeholders about the incidence of poverty, inequality, and food insecurity in Coles County and surrounding areas.
Dr. Richard Flight
Associate Professor and Assistant Chair of Marketing, School of Business
4611 Lumpkin Hall
Dr. Flight currently serves as an Associate Professor and the Assistant Chair for Marketing at EIU. He teaches courses in Marketing Strategy and Principles of Marketing and has previously designed courses in Marketing Management, Marketing Research, New Product Development, Promotions and Advertising Management, and Electronic Commerce. In addition to traditional on-campus courses Dr. Flight has co-led study abroad programs three of the last four summers to the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Croatia.
Flight’s active research areas include innovation characteristics and diffusion; brand constellations; and compulsive and impulsive buying behaviors. He has presented his research at numerous international conferences and is published in Journal of Business Research, Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, Journal of Product and Brand Management, Journal of Marketing Channels, International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, and Atlantic Marketing Journal.
Dr. Flight is the Chair of the School of Business Curriculum Committee and has been actively involved with the Intercollegiate Athletic Board for the past five years. In 2010 he traveled to Erbil, Iraq and delivered a week long Business Development seminar to NGO leaders on behalf of the U.S. State Department. In the academe Dr. Flight serves on the editorial review board for Journal of Business Research, Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, and Journal of Small Business Management.
Dr. Flight, a native of St. Johnsbury, Vermont, received his Ph.D. in Marketing in 2007 from the University of Alabama and holds a M.A. in Economics from the University of Alabama as well as a M.B.A. and B.S. in Business Administration from Samford University in Birmingham, Alabama. Prior to his engagement in higher education Flight worked for nine years (1994-2002) in sports marketing and management.
Dr. Michael Menze
Assistant Professor, Biological Sciences
2029 Life Science
Dr. Menze was awarded his PhD in the fields of comparative animal physiology and molecular biophysics as part of a joint project between the Institute for Animal Physiology in Düsseldorf and the Institute for Molecular Biophysics in Mainz, Germany. His work focused on the complex allosteric interactions of small molecules and respiratory pigments that allow crustaceans to survive times of reduced oxygen availability. Dr. Menze completed his postdoctoral training with Dr. Steven Hands at Louisiana State University, and his research continued to focus on the molecular strategies that animals employ to survive temporary environmental insults. After finishing his postdoctoral training he continued to work at Louisiana State University as an Assistant Research Professor until he joined Eastern Illinois University.
Dr. Menze's research centers around three main questions: how can some animals (extremophiles) survive environmental insults such as complete dehydration, freezing, or lack of oxygen? can we apply strategies used by extremophiles to improve mammalian cell and tissue storage? how does the mitochondrion responds to physiological insults in extremophiles and in human diseases such as Alzheimer's and diabetes?
Dr. Menze fosters a strong student centered research program at EIU. Prospective undergraduate and graduate students are strongly encouraged to contact Dr. Menze directly to inquire about current research opportunities.
Dr. Michael Dobbs
Assistant Professor of Management
3010 - Lumpkin Hall
Dr. Dobbs consistently creates integrative learning opportunities that encourage students to connect information and experiences across different business disciplines and to bridge the divide between the classroom and the "real world." His MBA 5000 students have the opportunity to serve as strategic management consultants for organizations in the community; and Dr. Dobbs presents hundreds of examples of real world applications through case studies, videos, and interactive lecture and exercises – always with a focus on practical applications.
Prior to joining the faculty at Eastern, Dr. Dobbs taught at Southern Methodist University (SMU), LeTourneau University, and Arkansas State University; and he and his students consulted for Bell Helicopter, Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Nortel, Re/Max, Abbott Labs, and dozens of others including the Ferguson Road Initiative for which he and the university were recognized with a Proclamation by City of Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert.
His research and publications are primarily focused on Strategic Management issues related to sport, nonprofits, and small business. His work has appeared in journals such as Competitiveness Review, International Journal of Sport Management, and Competition Forum; and he serves on the editorial board of YouthFirst: The Journal of Youth Sports and the Journal of Biblical Integration in Business.
Dr. Dobbs recently won best paper awards at the American Society for Competitiveness in Washington, D.C. (October, 2012), and the MBAA International Conference in Chicago, IL (March, 2012). Both papers were descriptions of strategic management analysis techniques developed by Dr. Dobbs and used by his students and in his consulting. Dr. Dobbs has also been honored with the Outstanding Service Award (2012) and Outstanding Teaching Award (2011) in the School of Business, and a Balanced Achievement and Contribution Award (2011) for teaching, research, and service at Eastern Illinois University.
Dr. Janet Marquardt
Janet Marquardt received her doctorate in medieval art history from UCLA in 1986 and holds the rank of Distinguished Professor at Eastern Illinois University (2010). Besides Art History, she has also taught Feminist Theory for the Women's Studies minor—the best interdisciplinary program at EIU and the home where she met most of her closest friends. Marquardt began publishing as a way to rethink the traditional two-semester survey course in art history, co-authoring a thematic textbook Frames of Reference: Art, History, and the World (McGraw-Hill 2004) with Stephen Eskilson (Art). For her specialized research, Marquardt currently studies the epistemological meanings of cultural heritage and the ideological function of patrimony, i.e, how we construct the past through the conservation, renovation, exhibition, and narrative about historical monuments and objects. She is most concerned with eleventh- and twelfth-century French examples and her monograph on the afterlife of the ruined Abbey of Cluny, From Martyr to Monument: The Abbey of Cluny as Cultural Patrimony, came out in 2007 (pb2009) while she was co-editing (with Alyce Jordan) the anthology Medieval Art after the Middle Ages (2009/pb2011). Her most recent editing project, Françoise Henry: The Inishkea Journals, Four Courts Press (2012), is an annotated translation of a French archaeologist's personal diaries in Ireland from 1937/8, 1946, and 1950. She was very excited that it was launched in Dublin by one of her great heroes, Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and UN high commissioner for human rights. Zodiaque: Making Medieval Modern (Penn State Press, 2013) will be a study of the famous Zodiaque books 1951-2001 from the abbey of La Pierre-qui-Vire in Burgundy, continuing her research into French Romanesque historiography by considering how photographs function to both document and (re)shape our appreciation for early cultures. Marquardt was a Visiting Professor at the CESCM in Poitiers (2006) and a Humanities Fellow at Trinity College Dublin (2011). She is currently on the Board of Directors and Membership and Promotions committee chair for the International Center of Medieval Art, the Director of EIU's Paris Study Abroad Program (since 1996) and Director of the new Center for the Humanities (2010). Marquardt is proudest, however, of her terrific son and daughter who are studying medicine and law, respectively. Between them and the literally thousands of students she has taught over her career since 1977, she hopes to have had a small part in a promising future of critical thinkers.
Dr. Mona Y. Davenport
Director, Minority Affairs
1124 Blair Hall
Dr. Mona Davenport is an EIU Alumni and has worked in higher education in the State of Illinois since 1991. Her twenty-one years in post-secondary education includes working with Admission, Student Support Services (TRiO), University Housing Services and she currently serves as Director of Minority Affairs. She provides leadership and support to under-represented students through the (1) Gateway Program – program to assist freshmen transition from high school to college; (2) Student Support Services (TRiO) – Department of Education federally funded program for first-generation, low-income and/or disabled students; (3) Peer Helper program- mentorship program for freshmen and transfer students and; (4) Minority Internship Program (MIP) – a program to assist students of color find practical experience in their field of study. Cultural awareness on predominantly white campuses is crucial. Under her guidance, her office coordinates African American, Latino, Native American and Asian Heritage months on the campus. Her desire to work with underrepresented students led her to pursue a life-time dream of working on a doctoral degree in higher education at Illinois State University. As a graduate, her interest lies in the areas of student involvement for students of color.
Her Educational Philosophy is: The quality of student life has an important impact on the persistence of students. Learning both inside and outside of the classroom is crucial to the academic success of underrepresented students. The more involvement (recognized student organizations, study abroad, major clubs, National Student Exchange, etc) and the better acclimated they are to the institution, the higher rate of retention. Mona believes her primary responsibility on the campus of EIU is to be a catalyst for students and assist students to that big day - "GRADUATION!!!'
Recently published work:
Davenport, M. (2012). Examining Involvement as a Critical Factor: Perceptions from First-Generation and Non-First-Generation Students. In Hicks, T. & Pitre, A. (Eds.), Research studies in higher education: Educating multicultural college students
Book Review for Culture Centers in Higher Education: Perspectives on Identity; Theory and Practice – The Review of Higher Education Journal – Publication Date: Summer 2013 issue
Dr. Terri A. Fredrick
Associate Professor, English
3070 Coleman Hall
Dr. Fredrick is passionate about teaching and civic engagement. In her classes, students apply their communication skills through partnership projects with nonprofit organizations, local government offices, and EIU departments. She coordinates internships for the English department and works closely with senior professional writing minors as they prepare for life after the BA. Much of Dr. Fredrick's research mirrors this interest in student learning and experiential education: she writes and presents on service learning, classroom collaborative projects, and evaluation and assessment of student writing. In addition, she works closely with current and future college teachers through the graduate composition program and as a staff member of the Wakonse Conference on College Teaching. Dr. Fredrick is also a co-advisor to PRIDE (the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and ally student organization at EIU) and a member of the LGBTQA Advisory Committee. She serves on committees in Women's Studies and is the recent co-editor of Getting In Is Not Enough: Women and the Global Workplace.
Dr. Thomas R. Hawkins
Dr. Thomas R. Hawkins is associate professor in the School of Technology. He teaches undergraduate courses in facilitating learning and project groups, strategies and processes of teaching/training adults, organizational leadership, and conflict management. He currently completed certification in appreciative inquiry and other strengths-based approaches to organizational change as well as strengths-based coaching and mentoring. In addition to his teaching responsibilities, Dr. Hawkins is associate chair of the School of Technology. He has published in the areas of organizational leadership in religious and non-governmental organizations and a book proposal on new approaches to organizational learning is under consideration with a publisher.
Dr. Catherine Polydore
Dr. Polydore is an assistant professor in the Department of Counseling and Student development. Her
research focuses on teaching and learning effectiveness especially as it relates to traditionally under-
represented groups. Dr. Polydore is also an educational psychologist by training. This past summer she
had the opportunity to attend the Wakonse Conference on College Teaching sponsored by the Office of
Faculty Development. This came at a time when self-doubt and disillusionment in the “meaningfulness”
of the teaching profession were beginning to creep in. Dr .Polydore found renewed energy and fervor
after spending time with instructors from different campuses who sought to become more effective
teachers. She described the experience as “Totally awesome”, and says “I found myself”. She left the
conference with the quote “My own self, at my very best, all the time” and a book that serves as a
constant reminder of why she loves teaching: Palmer’s “The Courage to Teach”.
Dr. T.M. Linda Scholz
Assistant Professor, Communication Studies
2030 Coleman Hall
Dr. Scholz’s research draws on rhetorical theory, postcolonial theory, subaltern studies, feminist theory,
and Latina/Chicana and Latin American Critical Communication Studies. Working from within these
bodies of literature, she articulates how Latin American subjects come to voice in testimonio texts,
illustrating and building theories of rhetorical agency. She also is concerned with revealing the nuanced
ways that Latin American women challenge dominant paradigms that typically erase or silence their
voices. Her most recent work (under review) magnifies current understandings of rhetorical agency as
collaborative and communal, using the testimonio of María Teresa Tula of the Salvadoran human rights
organization CO-MADRES as an exemplar. She is also working on a project that problematizes celebrity
commodification of human rights narratives. In her free time, Dr. Scholz enjoys fitness activities, and
spending time with her partner Marko, her two cats (Ceniza and Jack) and her dog Mirrhi.
Dr. Bailey Young
When he received the Distinguished Faculty Award in May 2012, History Professor Dr. Bailey K. Young
thanked his colleagues, students and friends for making EIU such a great place to work, and also the
European archaeological colleagues he has been digging amongst for forty years. Since 1998, he has
been bringing students from EIU and other universities along with him to Belgium to learn the basics of
medieval archaeology at Walhain Castle, a project made possible by a unique, innovative partnership
with the Catholic University of Louvain, founded in 1425. Belgian Cultural TV was so intrigued by the
idea of American students coming over to explore and help preserve their heritage that they made
a program (broadcast May 11, 2012), entitled Un Américain à Walhain, even sending a film crew to
Charleston for footage of Dr. Young teaching in Coleman Hall. Dr. Young lived in France for fifteen years
before coming to EIU in 1994; he served on the faculty at the Universities of Paris and of Lille - teaching
the French their own early history, in French. Since resettling on this side of the Atlantic, he has often
arranged for European colleagues to present their work at conferences like the International Medieval
Congress held yearly at Kalamazoo, Michigan, where he has also presented his own work as invited
speaker. In November 2011, at a conference held at France’s national archaeology museum in Saint-
Germain-en-Laye (which used to be a royal palace where Louis XIV grew up), he introduced a gathering
of archaeologists concerned with burial mounds in the Old World to examples from the American
Midwest, at Cahokia in Illinois and in the Ohio Valley. Dr. Young firmly believes that Americans and
Europeans have a lot to learn from one another and a lot to share, and he enjoys the role he has been
able to play in helping this happen.
Dr. Alan Baharlou
During his 25 years at Eastern Illinois University, Dr. Alan Baharlou brought his passion for education and
interest in the wider world to his work as chair of the Geology/Geography department and as founding
member and longtime chair of the International Program's Advisory Committee (now the International
Education Committee) from 1997 – 2005 when he retired. Retiring after 38 years of academic and
administrative experience, Dr. Baharlou has continued to serve both this institution and the larger
community in numerous ways. Among his many contributions, Dr. Baharlou has been an ardent
advocate for EIU Annuitants, serving first as Vice-President of EIUAA, then as President, and currently as
the EIUAA's Newsletter Editor and Legislative Chair.
Dr. David Gracon
David Gracon’s current project is titled, “Walls of Sound — A Look Inside the House of Records.” This documentary video (approximately 90 minutes) is a case study of the House of Records, a brick and mortar independent record store based in Eugene, Oregon. The store has been in operation since 1972 and it currently struggles to exist in the midst of digital downloading (both legal and illegal) and the corporate consolidation of culture (in terms of corporate chain, big-box stores and online music stores). The video is an ethnographic study that combines interviews with the owner and employees, as well as various customers of the store. The video addresses the socio-cultural significance and various folkloric narratives of the store on a number of levels. It considers how the store provides cultural diversity and alternative media, as they cater to the musical fringes and a broad range of musical styles. It is argued the store is akin to a library and acts as an archive of obscure and out-of-print music, where the store-workers share their musical expertise with the customers. The video also addresses the importance of the vernacular design of the physical space (the store is situated in an old house) and tangible musical artifacts, especially the “resurgence” of vinyl records. Lastly, it addresses the importance of face-to-face interaction as the store acts as a community gathering space between the store-workers and customers — one that is ostensibly anti-corporate, fiercely local and subcultural in scope.
Ms. Sonja Foster
Ms. Foster is passionate about educating future Family and Consumer Sciences professionals on how advocacy and public policy influence social change. She prepares students to serve individuals, families, and communities through integrative learning and critical thinking activities; as well as lively class discussions. Her research interests include: the effects of parental incarceration on children and exploring how human services and higher education should collaborate to meet the holistic needs of college students, especially historically underrepresented groups. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Ms. Foster is a faculty mentor for Web@ - Women Exploring Business and Technology, faculty fellow in Taylor Hall and campus advisor for Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. – Delta Beta chapter.
Dr. Dejan Magoc
Dr. Magoc is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Studies where he primarily teaches undergraduate courses for students majoring in health studies, teacher education, and kinesiology. His main area of research involves the promotion of physical activity and healthy behaviors using behavior change theories. Of particular interest to him is determining the most important constructs from behavioral theories in changing somebody's behavior toward physical activity, healthy eating, or simply a healthy lifestyle, in general. This area of behavior change theories and decision making offers an interdisciplinary framework that borrows from and has potential to benefit many fields including kinesiology, health promotion, psychology, sociology, and nursing and rehabilitation. One of main goals in his research is to modify known theoretical techniques to suit particular practical situations and therefore make the theory of decision making useful in practice. Dr. Magoc is currently involved in two grant projects as Co-Principal Investigator. One project is collaboration with the Faculty of Physical Education at University of Novi sad, Serbia, and it has a goal to examine challenges and perspectives of inclusive physical education in European schools. The other project is collaboration with New Mexico State University, and it has a goal to develop an interactive afterschool physical activity and health program for middle school students in Las Cruces, New Mexico. He is the Chair of the International Education Council and serve on several other international committees, including the Study Abroad committee with a great interest in developing a study abroad program for students interested in studying as well as teaching or completing their internship abroad. In addition, he is currently serving on the screening committee for the position Director of International Students and Scholars.
Dr. Daiva Markelis
Dr. Chuck Eberly
Dr. Jinhee Lee
Dr. Tesa Leonce
Dr. Judy Barford
"Teaching EIU courses for a faculty-led study abroad can change the way you see yourself as teacher. In Toronto, the faculty directors have discovered Paolo Freire's interactive spaces where shared learning experience lives between educatee and educator and where the two actors easily change roles. This expanding learning is partly due to time. We may be with student travelers 8 hours per day. Away from normal EIU routines, faculty can interact with students, taking things in, conversing, reacting, debriefing, applying course work. Being there is a wake up call in itself -- just perceiving the reality of the city, its people, its multicultural community, religious houses, universities, schools. Effort is another factor. We concur with York University faculty hosts on every workshop, tour, and placement, comparing possibilities to the overall objective of Toronto for Teachers: multicultural understanding. On site, our opportunities are the same as the students'. We attend every workshop and tour. We visit every student in every placement school. Getting behind and learning with and from students makes faculty-led study abroad continuously fulfilling. For both faculty and students, new levels of understanding make a real difference in campus classes and long-term professional endeavors... such as planning for next year's study abroad!"
Dr. Janice Collins
Dr. Collins' research focus is self esteem and leadership development in college students. One of the results of her research reveal that while many researchers will agree that a student's self esteem develops before entering college, it may also be influenced by the style of leadership used by the professor once they're in college. Transformational, Transactional, and Resonant Leadership styles all may play roles in the increase or decrease in a student's sense of self and their ability to lead. She is interested in exploring what form of leadership assists in student leadership development and how and if a professor's pedagogical style can assist in increasing a student's self esteem. Her favorite part of teaching is interacting with her students and watching them mature as they become confident standing in their own footprints. Collins is also a multi-Emmy award winning producer, editor, writer and videojournalist and is currently working on potential video projects that will cover stories from the shores of the Sea Islands along the US coastline to the shores of South and West Africa.
Dr. Marko Grunhagen
Dr. Grunhagen is currently working on multiple research projects that relate to consumer survey data that he collected in China in the fall of 2010. The data shows, among other things, how Chinese brands have reached a level of quality perception that has allowed them to take back market share from Western market leaders in the domestic China market in recent years. Chinese consumers are reverting back to choosing Chinese brands as an expression of rising consumer power. A reversal of consumer preferences toward now-competitive domestic Chinese alternatives is underway.
Dr. Jeffrey Stowell
Dr. Stowell is interested in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). A recent pursuit of his involves developing a technique to better understand what makes teachers effective in the classroom. With the help of his colleague Eric Landrum at Boise State University, they recorded more than 80 hours of classroom lectures from faculty of various disciplines at BSU and EIU. Using sports “highlight reel” software, they are tagging segments of these classroom lecture videos at times where the instructor is displaying one or more of eight teaching behaviors that are characteristic of master teachers. Dr. Stowell hopes to share video clips of exemplary teachers to help other faculty improve their teaching. Furthermore, he is interested in how faculty’s classroom behaviors influence student attitudes about the instructor.
Dr. John Best
Professor Best is currently investigating characteristics of the cognitive structure underlying conditional reasoning (“if-then” reasoning). The ultimate objective of this research is to produce a model of the neural substrate that lets us understand how the cognitive system creates a cognitive structure that enables the computation of valid conclusions, and the avoidance of invalid ones in deduction.
Dr. Rebecca Cook
Dr. Cook thinks that her strongest area is teaching as she uses a highly interactive approach as she tries to simulate situations for the teacher candidates to experience. She also is developing a manual for kindergarten teachers consisting of evidenced-based strategies for children who are struggling to learn that are aligned with the Illinois Kindergarten Standards. Dr. Cook is currently starting some research in systematically teaching the reflective process to teacher candidates in her program. Her other area of interest is teacher induction and she plans to follow their teacher candidates in their first two years of teaching to explore the continued development of their reflective skills.
Dr. Russell Gruber
Dr. Gruber’s research is interesting, but a bit controversial. Previously, he studied dreams for many years – Currently he is studying mental telepathy.
Dr. Beleyat Khan
Dr. Khan remains active with his teaching, research, and service commitments to the university. His regular course offerings include Climatology, Weather and Climate, Quantitative Methods, Geography and Culture of Asia, and Spaceship Earth. Additionally, he frequently teaches off-campus courses and leads a number of climate related workshops. His research primarily concentrates on climate variability and weather anomalies with a focus on South Asia. His passion for academia has been recognized on numerous occasions and he has been fortunate to receive several excellence awards for teaching. Dr. Khan immensely enjoys working with the students, and also wants to sincerely thank his colleagues for their support.
Dr. Danelle Larson
Dr. Larson is interested in student centered learning in music ensembles. Her dissertation research used quantitative techniques and focused on the changes in motivation, attitudes, and performance achievement among high school band students who experienced student led chamber music ensembles in addition to full ensemble experience. She is currently completing a qualitative study that explores students' perceptions of student led work in ensemble classes. Dr. Larson interviewed students who participated in chamber ensembles and found three main themes that emerged from their discussions: the importance of having choices in ensemble classes, the social implications of ensembles, and the notion that participation in student led small ensembles raises self-confidence. She will present her paper in March at the Conference on Music Learning and Teaching at Oakland University's Center for Applied Research in Musical Understanding. She will also share research in this area at the American Educational Research Association's conference in April in New Orleans, LA, and at the Instrumental Music Teacher Educators conference in May. Dr. Larson next plans to investigate the possible link between variety of musical experiences offered in high school curriculum and life-long music making.