Michael D. Gillespie is the Director of the Faculty Development and Innovation Center and Professor of Sociology at Eastern Illinois University.
At the FDIC, I strive to work alongside my peers and share how teaching and learning are not opposing forces, but are incredibly entwined. Teaching is a form of leadership - and at the end of the day, it is simply about helping another human being to learn.
My research interests in the scholarship of teaching and learning focuses on experiential and active learning, alternative assessment strategies, and statistical literacy and quantitative reasoning.
I also have the honor to teach the required applied statistics course in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology. 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 and Criminal Justice majors. However, integrating statistical literacy with a pirate, props, M&M chocolate candies, and real world applications, I seek to develop an appreciative, but critical eye toward social statistics that, in hopes, lives and breathes outside of the classroom.
I am inspired by bell hooks, Paulo Freire, and Parker Palmer, and teach sociology and statistics with a critical pedagogical orientation. I have a passion for education, statistics, sociology, and working with my peers in faculty development and empowerment.
Working with a diverse group of students and faculty who have their own biography, struggles, and passions is inspiring. When these worlds collide, as Carl Sagan writes, ‘something incredible is waiting to be known’.
"I am hopeful, not out of mere stubbornness, but out of an existential concrete imperative" ~Paulo Freire
Sociology 3630: Statistical Analysis of Social Data
Sociology 4131: Sociology of Poverty and Social Welfare
Sociology 4900: Current Issues in Sociology
Ph.D. (Western Michigan University, 2010)
M.S.W. (University of Michigan, 2003)
B.A. (University of Michigan-Dearborn, 2001)
Midwest Sociological Society
Society for the Study of Social Problems
American Association of University Professors
Currently, Dr. Gillespie is conducting a multi-year study of the food insecurity and associated academic, social, and health risks of EIU students. College students, in our present era, are often asked to bear much of the burden of attempting to complete their college degrees while also attempting to maintain a standard of living of subsistence and resilience; Dr. Gillespie's focus is to unwrap the level of risk of not having access to a healthy, adequate, stable source of food and potential impacts on the students' college experience.
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.
In general, Dr. Gillespie’s research focuses on the historical and contemporary circumstances of poverty and food insecurity at the national, state, and local levels. His previous research compared 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.