CLAS welcomes new chairs

NIU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will begin the 2016-17 academic year with new leadership in eight of its units.

Carl Campbell
Carl Campbell

Carl Campbell is returning as the chair of economics, a position he held from 2009-2012.

Before coming to Northern Illinois University in 1999, Professor Campbell taught at Mount Holyoke College, Colgate University, Dartmouth College and the University of Virginia. He served as the department’s assistant chair from 2000-2009 and 2014-2015. As a member of the faculty, Campbell teaches macroeconomics at the graduate and undergraduate levels and teaches a senior undergraduate research course.

In addition, he has supervised a number of undergraduate and graduate students in research projects. Campbell has published 17 referred journal articles, and his research is widely cited. His research has appeared on graduate reading lists of schools such as Harvard, MIT, Berkeley, the University of Chicago, Dartmouth, Stockholm University and Oxford.

He earned his M.A. and his Ph.D. from Princeton University.

David Changnon
David Changnon

David Changnon is the new chair of geography.

An atmospheric scientist specializing in climatological studies, he has been a faculty member in the department for 24 years, largely teaching and advising in the meteorology program. His major expertise rests in developing climatological information and models for use by weather-sensitive decision makers in agriculture, utilities, insurance and transportation.

He has served on various committees of two scientific societies and participated in the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and on a National Research Council (NRC) Panel titled “Estimating and Communicating Uncertainty in Weather and Seasonal Climate Forecasts.”

He has been awarded NIU’s Presidential Teaching Professorship (2008) and Board of Trustees Professorship (2010). Changnon earned his doctorate at Colorado State University.

Jon Miller
Jon Miller

Jon Miller will serve as the director of the Center for Secondary Science and Mathematics Education, one of the driving forces that keeps NIU among the top producers of new teachers in the math and science disciplines.

He taught high school biology, human anatomy and physiology, and chemistry for nearly 25 years before coming to NIU to serve as the Teacher Licensure director for Biology. In his role at CSSME, he works with colleagues, students, teachers and administrators to identify new ways to inspire excitement in the teaching and learning of science.

In addition to teaching courses related to science teacher education, he works with school districts on curriculum reform and implementation of the Next Generation science standards and Common Core state standards.

Miller earned his doctorate at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Kathleen Renk
Kathleen Renk

Kathleen Renk will serve as chair of the Department of English.

She has taught at NIU since 2004, and served as director of undergraduate studies from 2008-2012. In addition to serving on the department’s undergraduate and graduate studies committees, she has served as a mentor to new faculty.

Prior to coming to NIU Renk taught at Indiana State University, University of Iowa, and Augustana College. She has authored two books and 17 articles in addition to presenting at national and international conferences. Specializing in 20th-century British Literature, Postcolonial and Women’s Literature, she has taught summer seminars at both Oxford and Trinity Colleges.

She earned her doctorate degree from the University of Iowa.

Scot Schraufnagel
Scot Schraufnagel

Scot Schraufnagel will serve in the top leadership position in political science.

Since coming to NIU in 2009, he has served as director of both undergraduate and graduate studies for the department and served as an interim associate dean for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. His research and teaching specialties are the U.S. Congress, political parties, elections, and state government, with an emphasis on promoting a civil, representative, and effective legislative process in the United States.

His many published works have dealt with specific public policy innovations, institutional arrangements that promote effective elections, partisan difference in the U.S. Congress, and the factors associated with a productive U.S. legislature.

He earned his doctorate from Florida State University.

Ralph Wheeler
Ralph Wheeler

Ralph Wheeler comes to NIU after six years at Duquesne University where he served as chair of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

Wheeler earned his doctorate from Cornell University. After working as an NIH postdoctoral fellow at the University of Houston, he taught in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry at the University of Oklahoma for 20 years.  While at Oklahoma, he served as director of Supercomputing Laboratory for Electronic Properties of Materials, spearheading acquisitions and maintaining facilities.

In addition to mentoring 15 graduate students, he mentored 29 undergraduates who conducted research and co-authored five publications. In 2010, he was named a Fellow of the American Chemical Society. Wheeler has published more than 85 referred journal articles and edited volumes.

He currently serves as a governing board member of the Council for Chemical Research and chair of their Advocacy Task Force; councilor of the American Chemical Society Computers in Chemistry Division and editorial board member for the Journal of Molecular Graphics and Modeling.

Two other faculty members have been named to interim posts for the Division of Statistics and the Center for Non-Governmental Organization Leadership and Development (NGOLD).

Alan Polansky
Alan Polansky

Alan Polansky, associate professor of statistics, will serve as the interim director of that division.

A San Antonio native, he has taught at NIU since 1995 and served as director of graduate and undergraduate studies.

Prior to arriving in DeKalb, he held a combination of teaching and data manager/analyst positions at Southern Methodist University, Texas A&M, Cuplex and University of Texas at San Antonio. In addition to a large number of publications and presentations, he authored “Observed Confidence Levels: Theory and Application” in 2007 and “An Introduction to Statistical Limit Theory” in 2011. He is a senior member of the American Society for Quality and a member of the American Statistical Association.

Polansky earned his doctorate in statistical science from Southern Methodist University.

Anne Hanley
Anne Hanley

Anne Hanley, associate professor of history, is interim director of the Center for NGO Leadership and Development (NGOLD).

She has been at NIU since 1999, teaching courses on Latin America and Brazil and serving as affiliated faculty for NGOLD and the Center for Latino and Latin American Studies. Her research interests extend to economic, business and urban history.

In addition to authoring two books and several articles on Brazilian capital market development and public finance, she is working on a new book project centered around the year 1872 when Brazil conducted its first national census and introduced the metric system of weights and measures.

She has presented at a number of national and international conferences on the history of Brazilian and Latin American economics and finance. Fluent in Portuguese, Hanley earned her doctorate from Stanford University.

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