Dr. Jeffrey Hancks


Dr. Jeffrey Hancks is the Baxter-Snyder Professor of Regional and Icarian Studies and the Director of Archives and Special Collections at WIU Libraries. A Quad Cities native, Dr. Hancks joined the WIU faculty in 2005 after two years on the Central Michigan University faculty. He also serves as an adjunct professor in the graduate library science programs at Wayne State University in Michigan and Clarion University in Pennsylvania. He earned his Bachelor's degree in Scandinavian Languages at Chicago's North Park University. He earned Master's degrees in Scandinavian Languages and Library and Information Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He earned his doctoral degree in Adult and Community Education at Northern Illinois University. Dr. Hancks has a diverse research agenda including Midwestern utopian communities, Midwestern immigration history, and rural librarianship. He is the author of Scandinavians in Michigan (2006, Michigan State University Press), Western Illinois University: A Campus History (2009, Arcadia Press), and numerous articles in academic journals including Public Library Quarterly, Scandinavian Library Quarterly, and Journal of Access Services. He is also the founding editor of the forthcoming book series Celebrating the Peoples of Illinois at Southern Illinois University Press, a frequent presenter at the Conference on Illinois History, and serves on the advisory board of the Illinois State Historical Society. 


Dr. Redina L. Herman


Dr. Herman has been teaching at WIU for 10 years and loves her job! She teaches a wide range of courses, including: Intro to Weather and Climate, Severe and Unusual Weather, Dynamic Meteorology I and II, Natural Hazards, Physical Meteorology, Principles of Meteorological Instrumentation and Senior Thesis. Her first love, however, was actually not meteorology; it was physics and math. She received her BS from Florida Institute of Technology in Physics. Her love for weather came when she took her first Atmospheric Physics class. Dr. Herman received her PhD in Atmospheric Sciences in 2003 from the University of Illinois. Her area of specialization was atmospheric dynamics. After completing her PhD, she stayed at the University of Illinois for two years as a postdoctoral associate studying radiative transfer, climate change and the impact of aviation on climate. Her current areas of research include science education, climate change and contrails, radiative transfer and atmospheric dynamics. She has recently become involved in building weather instruments and other gadgets using Arduino. She regularly includes students in her research. She is also an advisor for the Severe Weather Club and one of the founding members of the recently formed Women in Science group.

Dr. Kishor T. Kapale


Dr. Kishor T.  Kapale is currently serving as associate professor at the Department of Physics, Western Illinois University. Prior to joining WIU faculty in Fall 2007, Dr. Kapale held the prestigious National Research Council Research Associate position at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, CA during 2004-2007 timeframe. Dr. Kapale received his Ph.D. in Physics from the Texas A&M University in December 2002. His thesis research was centered on developing fundamental theoretical understanding of the new state of ultra-cold matter that is termed as Bose-Einstein Condensate. He currently conducts research in the area of quantum optics, which involves study of interaction between light and matter at the microscopic level, and quantum information science, which is a new paradigm in information processing, for development of better, faster, and more secure quantum computers. Recently, Dr. Kapale has been interested in development of ultra-powerful optical microscopes for unobtrusive imaging of live biological samples using the techniques of quantum optics. Dr. Kapale has more than 30 publications to his credit that have appeared in the journals of international repute in the area of physics. Dr. Kapale’s recent research in the area of super-resolution has been recognized and featured in the American Physical Society’s weekly publication spotlighting exceptional physics research. Dr. Kapale has delved into artistic adventures recently---he is teaching himself classical guitar and he appeared as the character of Prince in the local production of the ballet “Nutcracker” in December 2014.

Dr. Hongbok Lee


Dr. Hongbok Lee received a B.A. degree in Economics from Kyungpook National University in 1983. After working at Korea Exchange Bank in Seoul, South Korea for over ten years, he came to the United States with financial support from his bank to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he received a M.S. degree in Economics in 1998. He then joined the Ph.D. program at the University of Missouri-Columbia, receiving his Ph.D. degree in Finance in 2002. In the fall of 2002, he began to work as an Assistant Professor of Finance at Western Illinois University, and was promoted to Full Professor in the fall of 2012. Dr. Lee’s areas of interest for both teaching and research are investments, security analysis, and corporate finance. At WIU he has been teaching investments, financial management, introduction to finance, financial institutions and markets, personal financial planning for undergraduate students, and graduate-level financial management and finance for managers for graduate students. He has published papers in various academic journals including Review of Financial Economics, Managerial Finance, Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Advances in Financial Economics, Applied Economics, Applied Financial Economics, and Advances in Financial Education.

Dr. James R. Olsen


James Olsen has been teaching at Western Illinois University since the Fall of 1994. After graduating from Doane College (1979). he taught high school mathematics for ten years. He was also the head boys basketball coach for nine years at Centura HS in Cairo, NE. He holds master's degrees in Mathematics and Mathematics Education. His PhD, in Educational Mathematics, is from the University of Northern Colorado (1994). At Western Dr. Olsen is a professor in the Mathematics Department. He teaches mathematics courses and teaching methods courses for prospective and practicing teachers. He also provides professional development workshops for teachers in the western Illinois region. His research interests include mental math; student understanding of the function concept; educational uses of technology; student understanding of fractions, decimals, and percents; and problem solving.


Dr. Richard J. Hardy


Richard J. (Rick) Hardy is Professor of Political Science and Director of the Centennial Honors College at Western Illinois University. He received his undergraduate degree with honors in political science at Western Illinois University and earned his Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. He has served on the faculties of Northern State University, Duke University and the University of Missouri-Columbia, and has taught a wide range of courses in American politics, constitutional law, and civic leadership. His administrative positions at the University of Missouri included: Assistant Director of the Honors College, Director of Undergraduate Studies, Director of the Masters’ Program in Public Policy, Director of the National Institute for Advanced Civic Studies, Director of Internships, and Founder and Director of the Institute for Leadership in Civic Education. At Western he completed a four-year term as Chair of the Political Science Department and is now finishing his fourth year as Director of the Honors College.


To date, Dr. Hardy has garnered over 60 significant teaching and civic leadership awards, including the University of Missouri’s four-campus Burlington Northern Faculty Achievement Award, the prestigious William Kemper Award (first recipient), the Missouri Bar Association’s Civic Education Award, two campus nominations for the Case National Professor of the Year Award, and selection to the Electoral College. At Western Illinois University, he won several campus awards and was selected to deliver the John Hallwas Lecture in the Liberal Arts. Finally, he has published or edited seven books, including two widely used textbooks--Government in America (Houghton Mifflin) and Missouri Government and Politics (University of Missouri Press). His articles have appeared in many professional journals, including the American Journal of Political Science, Law and Society Review, Publius—The Journal of Federalism, Journal of College & Character, Public Policy Journal, Teaching Political Science, PS—Politics and Policy, Insight on the Law, and National Civic Review.  

Dr. Russell E. Morgan


Dr. Russell Morgan is currently a professor of psychology and the associate dean for curriculum and student affairs in the College of Arts and Sciences at Western Illinois University. He grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and received his Ph.D. (1994) and master’s degree (1992) from Kent State University (Ohio), and bachelor’s degree (1990) from Miami University (Ohio). Russ completed a 3-year postdoctoral research appointment at Cornell University (NY) before arriving at WIU in 1997.


Dr. Morgan has taught courses in psychopharmacology, neuroscience, research methods, and statistics in the Psychology Department at WIU. He also supervises an active research lab that investigates the effects of both recreational and prescription drugs and environmental toxins on the development of cognitive function, including memory and attention.


At WIU, Dr. Morgan has served as interim chair of the Department of Foreign Languages, as chair of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, grievance officer for the University Professionals of Illinois (UPI), and also served as the experimental psychology graduate program coordinator. He has chaired or served on more than 20 master's theses committees, and he has an extensive list of publications and awarded grants to his credit.



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