Christopher M. Jones is the associate vice provost for university honors. He is responsible for directing NIU's University Honors Program and chairs the University Scholarship Committee. Prior to his appointment on July 1, 2011, Dr. Jones held three administrative roles in NIU's Department of Political Science: director of undergraduate studies, assistant chair, and department chair.
During his five-year tenure as chair, the Political Science Department completed a major faculty recruitment process, instituted a number of changes to its graduate program, and launched several successful initiatives at the undergraduate level, including a congressional internship program in Washington, D.C., a leadership development seminar for high achieving students, a Pre-Law Society, and an award-winning Model United Nations club. The department also gained a permanent presence in NIU's highly regarded Oxford University study abroad program, instituted a rigorous and multidimensional honors program, and worked creatively to market its undergraduate major to prospective students.
As a faculty member, Jones manifested a strong commitment to the University Honors Program. He regularly taught Honors courses on an overload basis, directed honors capstones, coordinated the visits of guest speakers, delivered special presentations, and served as a member of the University Honors Committee. In 2008 Jones received the University Honors Program's Great Professor Award. He is also a recipient of NIU's Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award and NIU's Outstanding International Educator Award. He has been recognized for teaching excellence by Syracuse University, Whittier College, student organizations, the American Political Science Association, and the National Political Science Honor Society.
Jones is professor of political science. His specialties are U.S. foreign policy and national security policy with an emphasis on the domestic determinants of such policies. His journal articles and refereed book chapters have examined a range of subjects, including bureaucratic politics, arms control, diplomacy, export control policy, leadership accountability, weapons procurement, intelligence, NATO enlargement, and organizational change within the foreign policy bureaucracy. He is co-editor of The Handbook of American Foreign Policy (2011), coauthor of American Foreign Policy: Pattern and Process (2008), and co-editor of The Future of American Foreign Policy (1999). He is completing a book manuscript on the politics of U.S. foreign policymaking. He is a two-term, past president of the Foreign Policy Analysis Section of the International Studies Association.
Dr. Jones is a High Honors and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Binghamton University (State University of New York), where he also earned his M.A. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from The Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs at Syracuse University.
A native of northern California, Dr. Jes Cisneros has more than a decade of experience working as the Assistant Director of the University Honors Program. While Dr. Cisneros is responsible for all aspects of advising within Honors and is glad to work with all students, his advising role within the office focuses on working closely with junior/senior level students as they enter the second half of the program and prepare for the senior Honors Capstone Projects.
Dr. Cisneros served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the early process of his higher education. He earned a B.A. in History from the University of California at Santa Cruz, an M.A. in History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and finally, a M.S.Ed. and Ed.D. in Educational Technology, Research, and Assessment from Northern Illinois University. "Educational technology" aside, Dr. Cisneros very much considers himself a historian who happens to focus on education, schools, and the process of schooling in America. As such, he has presented at and been involved with the American Educational Research Association, and History of Education Society. His work has been published in both educational technology as well as history of education journals.
Dr. Cisneros regularly teaches an Honors section of EPFE 201 (Education as an agent for change) and EPFE 321 (History of American Education) in the Department of Educational Psychology and Foundations of Education. He is also the faculty advisor to the Honors Student Association. In 2010, he was the recipient of NIU's Supportive Professional Staff Presidential Award for Excellence.
Jason Goode joined the University Honors Administrative team as the Assistant to the Associate Vice Provost for university Honors in November 2012. He is a high-level management support professional who develops, recommends, and implements appropriate goals, policies, procedures, assessment, and long-term planning related to national scholarships, fellowships, and academic awards and recognitions for the University Honors Program’s academically motivated student body. He is also the University Honors Program’s liaison to the Office of Scholarships, the Office of Financial Aid, and the diverse array of honor societies at Northern Illinois University (NIU).
Prior to his appointment at University Honors, Jason worked in NIU’s Office of Student Academic Success as a Student Success Specialist (SSS). He was responsible for representing the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. This position was new to the campus and Jason helped brand the identity of the SSS through piloting a version of the Absence Tracking Program with an emphasis on English 103, English 104, and Communication 100. He also launched Soup & Success, a program that provides students with lunch as they engage in sessions related to time management, reading strategies, public speaking, financial aid, scholarships, and test anxiety. Jason advanced the development and piloting of a new advising tool created for NIU by the Educational Advisory Board. He has also co-hosted brown bag discussions and training sessions related to Making Achieving Possible (MAP)-Works on campus.
Jason’s previous employment includes serving as an account manager on the preferred team at Motorola Solutions, working as an admissions advisor for Colorado Technical University Online, and teaching COMS 100 as a graduate assistant at NIU. Jason is a proud NIU alumnus with a B.A. in Communication with a focus on media production and a M.A. in Communication Media Studies.
Vanessa Segundo joined the University Honors Program as the Assistant Director of Programming and Communication in June 2012. She is responsible for assisting in the development of programs, policies, and objectives related to academic and engaged learning opportunities outside the classroom, faculty support, internal and external communications, new student recruitment, and the University Honors living-learning community.
In her previous role as the Research and Project Specialist at NIU’s Latino Resource Center, Vanessa launched a number of exciting new programs and student-centered initiatives, including the Adela de la Torre Honor Society and the first university resource guide in the State of Illinois for assisting undocumented students. Vanessa has also been a guest presenter at various conferences and community events where she has covered topics on college access and success, language and cultural sensitivity, and parent engagement. Vanessa’s other previous employment includes serving as an Ambassador for the KnowHow2Go Campaign (Washington, D.C.), College Adviser for the Illinois College Advising Corps, and Instructional Assistant for Educational Talent Search. Committed to the value of community, Vanessa is part of the Community Advisory Committee for East Aurora High School where she helps coordinated college access and success initiatives in District 131, such as Latino Parent University and the area’s first Student Leadership Summit.
Vanessa earned a B.A. in Political Science at the University of Illinois, Chicago and is completing her M.S. Ed. in Adult and Higher Education at NIU. Her academic interests in student development theory, diversity in higher education, and critical race theory are apparent through her work.
Joanne Ganshirt has worked at the University Honors Program, and Northern Illinois University, for 23 years. As a result, she is an excellent resource person for information about the Honors Program, campus resources, and NIU as a whole. In 2000, Ganshirt was recognized as one of four Outstanding Service Award winners for her dedication and significant contributions to the university community. Joanne oversees the day-to-day functioning of the office, processes student applications, and manages the department budget. She is also the recording secretary for the University Honors Committee and the Committee for the Improvement of Undergraduate Education and is the assistant to the Associate Vice Provost for University Honors.
Anne Quinlan, Honors Program Adviser, joined the University Honors Program in the fall of 1999. She grew up in DeKalb and attended DeKalb schools; McMurry Elementary, the University Lab School and DeKalb High School. After high school graduation she attended Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois for two and a half years and graduated from Northern Illinois University with a B.S. degree in Business Education. She was a Business Education teacher at Shabbona High School and an advisor to the school newspaper. Anne evaluates credentials and interprets and analyzes students' records. She informs the students of the requirements needed to complete their Honors Program of Lower Division Honors, Upper Division Honors and University Honors. Anne enjoys talking to students and her door is always open to review a student's file for clarification.
Dr. David S. Ballantine, Jr., received his B.S. in Chemistry in 1977 from the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and his Ph.D. in Chemistry in 1983 from the University of Maryland at College Park. After several years as a researcher at the Naval Research Labs in Washington D.C., Dr. Ballantine joined the faculty in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Northern Illinois University in 1989. He was awarded NIU’s Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award in 1998, and served as faculty advisor to the NIU Chemistry Club, an ACS Student Affiliate program, from 1998 through 2010. Dr. Ballantine has served as the coordinator for his department’s introductory and general chemistry program and has supervised the laboratory teaching assistants since 1998. Presently, he serves as Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, a position that he has held since 2010.
Professor Castle has been a faculty member at NIU for over 20 years first in the Rehabilitation Counseling program of the School of Allied Health and Communicative Disorders and currently in teaching in the Community Leadership and Civic Engagement major operated out of the NIU Center on Nongovernmental Organization Leadership and Development (NGOLD). She teaches an Honors Seminar called Class Meets Community which puts students and community agencies together on projects of importance to the community. Her research and teaching interests are in the area of civic engagement and service-learning. She also serves as the coordinator of NIU's service-learning efforts working with faculty across campus who wish to incorporate service-learning into their course curricula. As such, she is a part of the Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning (OSEEL).
Dr. Castle served as the Interim Director of the Honors Program for the 2008 - 2009 academic year and since that time has been a faculty advisor to the Honors House living-learning community. She serves as the ad hoc chair of the Alumni Relations and Development Committee of the Honors Advisory Council and works as a liaison with the NIU Alumni Association.
David Changnon is an atmospheric scientist specializing in climatological studies and has been a faculty member in the Department of Geography at Northern Illinois University (NIU) for 20 years. 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 participated in NIU’s Strategic Planning Initiative, serving as the chairperson for the Curricular Innovations Task Force, and the President’s Vision 2020 effort. He has been awarded NIU’s Presidential Teaching Professorship (2008) and Board of Trustees Professorship (2010). He has served as a faculty mentor on more than 25 University Honors in-course projects and has directed more than 10 University Honors capstones. As acting associate vice provost during the 2010-2011 academic year, he participated on the Honors Committee, a role which he will continue in as faculty advisor to the Honors House. Dr. Changnon earned his doctorate at Colorado State University.
Luke Krueger has been a member of the faculty at NIU’s School of Theatre and Dance since 2010, teaching playwriting, theatre history, script analysis and contemporary theatre. He is an accomplished playwright, and a number of his works have been produced around the country. Most recently these include: Father-Daughter Dance (Manhattan Theatre Source); (c)Sullivan: The Place Where People Come to Die (Simple Theatre, Chicago); The Kicker (Outfest, Louisiana State University); and Los Angeles! …Is Underwater and Young Goodman Brown (Northern Illinois University). This year, his adaptation of The Canterbury Tales and a new play Burning Times will open at NIU. (c)Sullivan was published by Next Stage Press in 2011, and Young Goodman Brown was published by Playscripts Inc., in 2012. Prior to working at NIU, he was the first playwright to be named the Emerging Writer in Residence at Penn State University (based at its Altoona branch). He also served as a resident playwright at Northern Stage, a LORT company in Vermont. Previous teaching experience includes stints at Arizona State University, Lake Forest College, and Loyola University (Chicago). He holds a B.A. in English from Miami University and an MFA in Creative Writing (playwriting focus) from Arizona State University. He resides in DeKalb with his wife Christina.