Tawnya J. Adkins Covert

Dr. Tawnya Adkins Covert is a professor of sociology at Western Illinois University. She has been working at WIU since 2000, and has been a full professor since 2012.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology at Marshall University in 1994, in Huntington, WV. In 1996, she received her Master of Science degree in sociology. In 2001, she received her Doctoral Degree in sociology from Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN.

Dr. Adkins Covert’s research has focused on mass media, political sociology and economic and gender inequality. She has published three books and numerous journal articles examining media bias, mass media representations of women’s roles during the Second World War and political socialization.

Dr. Adkins Covert is the recipient of two College of Arts and Sciences Awards for Outstanding Teaching (2015) and Outstanding Teaching with Technology (2011). She has worked with dozens of graduates and undergraduates on master’s and Honor’s theses, internships and non-thesis papers. From 2005-2009, she served as director of the graduate program in sociology.

Currently, Dr. Adkins Covert is studying the impact of “critical journalism”     on media coverage of the current presidential administration in mass market newspapers.


Brian Bellott

Dr. Bellott joined the faculty at Western Illinois University in Fall 2012. He is currently an assistant professor in the WIU Department of Chemistry.

Over the course of Dr. Bellott’s career at WIU, he has mentored more than 60 WIU undergraduate students, 10 WIU graduate students, has received more than

$800,000 in grant funding, and published seven papers in scientific journals.

Dr. Bellott graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry and from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with a Doctoral Degree in chemistry.

After his Ph.D, he moved to Northwestern, where he completed a two-year joint appointment with the Northwestern and Argonne national lab.

Dr. Bellott teaches in the areas of general chemistry, chemical calculations and advanced inorganic chemistry.

Jasmine Crighton

Jasmine Crighton, an Emmy award-winning technical director, is a broadcast journalism instructor and the news coordinator in the Western Illinois University Department of Broadcasting and Journalism. She supervises NEWS3, the student- produced newscast, at Western.

In 2018, Crighton was awarded two advisor of the year honors from national media organizations for her work at WIU. She received the Jeff Tellis Outstanding Advisor Award for College Television by the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System in March. The award recognizes outstanding leadership, dedication and service to college television stations. She was also recognized as Advisor of the Year by the National Broadcasting Society for her work with WIU’s NBS-AERho chapter.

Crighton serves on the Board of Governors for the Mid-America chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. She is also the recording secretary of the Illinois News Broadcasters Association, a member of the Friends Advisory Board of Tri States Public Radio and a member of the National Broadcasting Society, College Media Association and Broadcast Education Association.

Crighton earned her Master of Arts in Journalism and Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she also taught courses in television production. She started her broadcasting career in Las Vegas working in production and was awarded a regional Emmy for technical directing by the NATAS Pacific Southwest chapter in 2009. Crighton has also taught broadcast journalism at West Liberty University and worked as a news producer in Steubenville, OH.


Algerian Hart

Dr. Algerian Hart is the Sport Management Graduate Coordinator and an associate professor in the Western Illinois University Kinesiology Department.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Long Beach State University, and his Master’s Degree and Doctoral Degree from Washington State University.

Dr. Hart previously served as director of Diversity Research and Educational Resources. He was also a faculty member in the Sports Education Leadership department at the University of Nevada (UNLV), Las Vegas.

Dr. Hart was a former elite athlete and coach. He was a recognized National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) speaker for dazing, drugs and alcohol awareness.

He is the author of “The Student Athlete’s Guide to College Success.” Dr. Hart received the 2014 and 2016 College of Education and Human Services (COEHS) award for Internationalizing the Campus and Excellence in Multicultural Teaching. He was the 2008 and 2010 Faculty of Excellence Award recipient at UNLV for student centered dedication and exemplary teaching skills.

He was selected to the 2010 Who’s Who in Black Las Vegas, The Inaugural Edition, highlighting the achievements of African Americans who have lived and worked in Las Vegas.

Dr. Hart is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

He currently serves as chair of the Diversity and Conference Climate Committee for the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport. He has written extensively in the areas of NCAA governed student-athlete matriculation and academic programming, which is designed to empower marginalized populations within higher education and collegiate sport.




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