Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Lagomarcino Laureate, and Professor of Educational Technology, Research, and Assessment
What year did you start working at NIU? 2003.
Where is your hometown, and where do you live now?
Crosby, MN; Sycamore, IL.
Where did you attend college and what degree(s) have you earned?
St. Olaf College: B.A.; Iowa State University of Science and Technology: M.A.; Iowa State University of Science and Technology: Ph.D.
What do you like about working at NIU?
My faculty and professional staff colleagues are the best and are really thoughtful people who make NIU and the College of Education a rewarding and fun place to grow and experience. Our NIU students make me proud every day to serve them and be part of the Huskie family.
What advice would you give to students currently attending NIU?
Be present and enjoy this unique moment in time in your lives. Take advantage of all of the wonderful academic and co-curricular opportunities that NIU offers. Also, engage in student leadership experiences. You never know what opportunities may arise from these experiences or who may come into your life as a friend or mentor.
Tell us about a research or engaged learning project you have led.
When I teach a graduate applied social science statistics class, each student performs a culminating experience in the class where they actually collect their own data and then go through a lengthy research process. We have a mini-conference at the end of the semester where each student presents a research poster related to their study. We interact with one another engaging in student-based questions and feedback. It is really insightful and great to see the students become the experts and elaborate upon their work.
What do you hope students take away from your class?
I hope that the students have a positive set of engaging experiences with statistics and quantitative research. I also hope that the class is a quality and useful aspect of their student preparation process for pending thesis and/or dissertation research work.
What is your favorite campus event?
The College of Education's student welcome event in August is a highlight for me. It is the start of a new academic year, new Huskies are joining our college family, and there seems to be an air of unlimited possibility at the event. Plus, my wife is a farmer, and she brings one of our spring-born baby goats to the event for student pictures and meet and greet.
What is your favorite memory of NIU?
Probably my first NIU football game way back in August of 2003 when Maryland and ESPN came to town and we beat the Terps in overtime. The stadium was electric, the students stormed the field, we were on national TV, and I thought “What a place to be” — and we beat Alabama a few weeks later)!
Who has influenced your professional path?
So many people have influenced my professional path. I owe a lot of people my gratitude related to where I am in my career. They all helped me tremendously along this journey.
What did you want to be when you were growing up? Are you currently doing it? If not, what changed your path?
I wanted to be either an NBA player or a play professionally in a rock band. Neither came to fruition, but when I have some time I do like to shoot hoops and noodle on the guitar.
Are you a member of or hold a position within a professional organization? If so, what organization? What is the purpose of that organization and how does being part of this organization benefit you in your role at NIU?
I am the Past President of the Mid-Western Educational Research Association, which comprises about 13 states and focuses on issues of social science research.
What community organizations are you involved in?
What do you do to relax or recharge?
To relax and recharge, I like to walk, camp, hike, be in the forest, or be in a canoe on a lake or river. Sitting around an outdoor fire with the night stars out or in a snow storm is really peaceful to me.