(Subject to changes)

Salute to Academic Achievement, college fair and luncheon at iHotel, September 27, 2013. Portrait of James D. Anderson, professor Education Policy, UI Urbana-Champaign.

James Anderson, Dean of the College of Education, UIUC

Keynote Address: What is the American Dream? Reconciliation of Diversity with National Unity

Head of the Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership in the College of Education, Dr. Anderson, an educational historian, is the author of The Education of Blacks in the South, 1860-1935 (1988), which received the Outstanding Book Award that year from the American Educational Research Association. He has published numerous articles and book chapters on the history of education, and has been an adviser and on-air expert for several Public Broadcasting Service documentaries, including “School: The Story of American Public Education” (2001) and “The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow” (2002). Anderson also has served as an expert witness in a series of federal desegregation cases, as well as for the University of Michigan affirmative action case, Gratz v. Michigan that was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. An expert in American education and history, Dr. Anderson has lectured widely internationally. He has been appointed Guest Honorable Professor at Yunnan, Chongquing and China Normal University.

Patricia Avery, President; Champaign County NAACP

Reconciliation of Diversity with National Unity

Patricia Avery, a native of Champaign County, is a graduate of Centennial High School and a continuing education student at Parkland College. Patricia’s interest in philanthropic work grew as she became involved in many and varied organizations, i.e. the Y.W.C.A., study circles, Best Interest of Children, Court Advocate for Victims of Domestic Violence at a Woman’s Fund. In 1996, she was the first African-American Woman ever appointed or elected to a Champaign County office. On December 4, 2000, she became the first woman, the first African-American and the first Democrat to chair the Champaign County Board. She has been bestowed with the Martin Luther King Outstanding Achievement Award.

Nancy Benson, Professor of Journalism, University of Illinois

Modern American Media—Entertaining a Divided Nation

Benson has won awards for her teaching and her reporting. She is a former morning drive anchor and reporter at WMAQ Radio in Chicago. She was a Benton Fellow at the University of Chicago and a Knight International Press Fellow in Eastern Europe. During her more than 30-year career in broadcast journalism at various television and radio stations across the Midwest, Benson has won numerous awards for reporting, including being nominated for a DuPont Columbia award. She is formerly a public affairs consultant with the United Nations World Food Program, Rome. She is listed in Who’s Who in the Midwest.

Arnold Blockman, retired Circuit Judge in Champaign County

Role & Function of the Circuit Court System

The Honorable Arnold F. Blockman serves as an adjunct professor at the College of Law, teaching family law practice. Judge Blockman has presided over the family law division in Champaign County, Illinois since 2000. He received his bachelor’s degree in history and political science from the University of Memphis in 1968 and his JD from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1973. He is a frequent speaker at various Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education and Illinois State Bar Association seminars on various family law issues. He has published articles on various legal issues in a number of publications, including the Illinois Bar Journal and the Southern Illinois Law Journal.


Erez Cohen, Illinois Hillel

Cycles of Modernity and Fundamentalism in American Religion

Born and raised in Tel Aviv, Erez has a BA in Political Science and an MA in Diplomacy from Tel Aviv University. His professional experience includes working in a community center in Tel Aviv, volunteering as a Project Manager in East Africa, serving as the Israel Fellow at UIUC Hillel and fundraising for the Jaffa Institute.


Janice Collins, College of Media, UIUC

Modern American Media—Entertaining a Divided Nation

Dr. Janice Marie Collins is a multi Emmy, Associated Press, Best of Gannett award winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience in the journalism industry and an award-winning professor with 14 years of teaching experience on the university level.  Dr. Collins research focuses on leadership development and issues of self-empowerment, gender and race in media, journalism, and college classrooms/newsrooms.  Dr. Collins is working on a textbook for educators and newsroom leaders on her innovative style of teaching within a collective, called Active Centralized Empowerment. This pedagogy addresses issues of self esteem, marginalization, diversity, and power on multiple fronts.

Matt Ehrlich, Professor of Journalism and Institute of Communication Research, University of Illinois

Modern American Media—Entertaining a Divided Nation

Ehrlich is a winner of the Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, the University of Illinois’ highest teaching honor. Previously he was an assistant professor at the University of Oklahoma. He is also a former reporter, producer, editor and anchor for WILL-AM, Urbana; KANU-FM, Lawrence, Kan.; KCUR-FM, Kansas City; KBIA-FM, Columbia, Mo.; and KOPN-FM, Columbia, Mo. Ehrlich has earned honors from the Ohio State Awards, Society of Professional Journalists, Illinois Broadcasters Association, Indiana Associated Press and Kansas Association of Broadcasters. He holds a M.S. in Education from the University of Kansas and a PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Deborah Feinen, Mayor of Champaign

City Counsel Meeting

Deborah Frank Feinen has been a proud resident of Champaign for more than forty-five years. Deb lives in Champaign with her husband, Chuck, and two children, Karlee and Catherine. A few of her hobbies include running, horseback riding, and photography. She has a passion to serve her community and to make Champaign a great place to live, work, play and stay. Deb was appointed to the Champaign City Council in 2006, as an At-Large representative. She was subsequently re-elected twice and was elected Mayor in 2015. Prior to serving on Council, Deb served as Champaign County Board member for fourteen years and during that time served for several years as the vice-Chair of the County Board.


Gail Ferguson, Human Development and Family Studies, UIUC

Remote Acculturation of Global Youth: Implications for the Well-Being of Secondary School Students (joint session with Bridging Cultures Initiative)

Dr. Ferguson is an assistant professor with a PhD and MA in Child/Adolescent Clinical Psychology from Bowling Green State University.  Her research interests include 21st century globalization and its impact on cultural identity and well-being of adolescents and emerging adults.

In addition, until her arrival at the Illinois Supreme Court, she was the first woman to hold each position. She is presently the second-longest-serving judge and the longest-serving female judge in Illinois. She has received numerous awards including the Illinois Judges Association Lifetime Achievement Award, the Harold Sullivan Award for Judicial Excellence from the Illinois Judges Association, the Spirit of Lincoln Award from the Abraham Lincoln Association, and the Public Interest Law Initiative Distinguished Public Service Award. In March 2017, the Vermilion County Board voted unanimously to rename the county courthouse the “Rita B. Garman Vermilion County Courthouse” in her honor.

Mark Foley, Social Studies Teacher, Urbana High School

Potowatomi Trail of Death Classroom Unit

Mark Foley has taught a number of social studies classes at Urbana High School: AP US History, American Studies, Introduction to Sociology, African-American Studies, American Government. Since 2009, he is the chair of Social Studies department. Prior to working in Urbana High School he taught 8th social studies (U.S. History) and social studies literacy at Urbana Middle School.


Eric Freyfogle, Swanlund Chair and Professor of Law, UIUC

An American Atmosphere: Environmental Protection vs. Private and Public Land Ownership

Professor Eric Freyfogle, a Swanlund Chair at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, received his J.D. summa cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School, where he was managing editor of the Michigan Law Review. Professor Freyfogle is the author or editor of a dozen books dealing with issues of humans and nature, some focused on legal aspects, others reaching to larger cultural and social issues.


Jeffrey Friedman, SUSI Academic Director, UIUC

Global Institute Academic Director, Dr. Friedman holds a PhD in International Education from New York University with specializations in Global Education, English Language Education Policy & Practice, and Internationalization of Social Studies Curriculum.  He holds an appointment in the College of Education, and has taught Social Studies foundations to pre-service teachers, developed a variety of professional development programs for in-service teachers, and taught secondary level Global Studies, advanced placement American History, and English as a Foreign Language. He also holds an MA from Columbia University in American Studies.

Brittany Frieson, PhD student in Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

African American English and Culturally Sustaining Pedagogies

Ms. Frieson’s research interests include African-American English (AAE) speakers in bilingual programs, linguistic identity, critical race theory, and social justice education. She frequently provides professional development surrounding culturally relevant instructional practices and language attitudes to teachers and administrators in the Champaign area. Prior to her doctoral studies, she received a master’s degree in Educational Psychology from North Carolina State University. She was an ESL teacher for a number of years in North Carolina at both the elementary and middle grade levels. During her time in North Carolina, she also worked as a curriculum writer for the school district and designed district-wide assessments for multilingual learners in the lower elementary grades.

Michael W. Frerichs, State Treasurer and former State Senator

Access & Opportunity: A Case Study of Illinois

Mike was born in the Downstate farming community of Gifford, Illinois. He graduated from Yale University and spent two years in Taiwan where he taught English to young students and learned to speak Chinese. He returned to Champaign County and launched his own technology business. He was elected to the Champaign County Board and elected Champaign County Auditor. He also served as a volunteer firefighter. In 2006, Mike was elected Illinois State Senator representing East Central Illinois. As chairman of the Higher Education Committee, Mike championed efforts to make college more affordable. He also served as chairman of the Agriculture and Conservation Committee.

Justice Rita B. Garman, Supreme Court Justice Fourth District

University of Illinois College of Law Mock Trial Room

She received her B.S. degree in economics with highest honors from the University of Illinois in 1965, Bronze Tablet, and her J.D. degree with distinction from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1968. She was Assistant State’s Attorney in Vermilion County for 4 years, and was an Associate Circuit Judge for 12 years. She was assigned to the Appellate Court, Fourth District, in July 1995, and was elected to the position in November 1996.  Justice Garman was appointed to the Supreme Court in 2001, and elected to the Court in 2002. She served as Chief Justice from 2013 to 2016. Justice Garman was the first chief justice to have served in every capacity in the state judiciary. In addition, until her arrival at the Illinois Supreme Court, she was the first woman to hold each position. She is presently the second-longest-serving judge and the longest-serving female judge in Illinois. She has received numerous awards including the Illinois Judges Association Lifetime Achievement Award, the Harold Sullivan Award for Judicial Excellence from the Illinois Judges Association, the Spirit of Lincoln Award from the Abraham Lincoln Association, and the Public Interest Law Initiative Distinguished Public Service Award. In March 2017, the Vermilion County Board voted unanimously to rename the county courthouse the “Rita B. Garman Vermilion County Courthouse” in her honor.

Charlotte Green, Urbana-Champaign Friends Meeting (Quakers)

Cycles of Modernity and Fundamentalism in American Religion

Charlotte is a member of the Urbana-Champaign Friends Meeting. She served as convener of the Meeting’s Peace and Service Committee from 2012 until recently. She continues to be interested in working for criminal justice reform, supporting social service agencies, and building peace. Charlotte earned her MA in Education from the University of Illinois. In the 1990’s, she lived and worked in rural Kentucky, teaching adults to read and preparing adult learners for the GED test (high school equivalency certificate). After moving back to Champaign in 2002, she worked for Community Elements (now Rosecrance) in the Healthy Families Program, providing parenting information to pregnant women and new mothers. Charlotte is currently retired.

Heidi Grove, Mom’s Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

Discussion: Gun Culture in America: Individual Rights and Grass Roots Action

Heidi Grove is a lifelong local social worker and educator. She is involved in the Champaign Urbana Moms Demand Action, a local chapter of the national Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America Organization (MDA). Founded by stay-at-home mom Shannon Watts, MDA, nonpartisan grassroots movement, was created to demand action from legislators, state and federal; companies; and educational institutions to establish common-sense gun reforms. Moms Demand Action envisions a country where all children and families are safe from gun violence. Heidi has been actively involved with MDA for the past year and has worked in various social service roles in the Champaign-Urbana area for 20 years.

Gioconda “Gio” Guerra Pérez, Director of La Casa Cultural House, UIUC

 Reconciliation of Diversity with National Unity

Born and raised in Panama, Gioconda joined La Casa in August 2013. Before joining La Casa, she served as visiting assistant professor at Indiana University Southeast (IUS). She has taught courses on Multicultural Education, Current Social Issues in Education, and Intercultural Relations.  Gio has also developed curricula for K-12 schools to work with Latino families and English Language Learners (ELL). She has provided professional development for K-12 teachers on issues related to ELL and Latino/a students and their cultures.  She received a M.A in Sociology and Communication and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Organizational Development and an M.A. both from the University of Louisville.

Justice Thomas M. Harris, Illinois Fourth District Appellate Court Judge

University of Illinois College of Law Mock Trial Room

Justice Harris received his B.A. degree from the University of Illinois and his J.D. degree from the University of Colorado. He was a civil trial lawyer from 1988 to 2007. He was appointed a judge in 2007 and elected resident circuit judge of Logan County in 2008. He was assigned to the Fourth District Appellate Court on January 3, 2013.  Justice Harris is a member of the Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice and previously served on the Special Supreme Court Committee to Study Courtroom and Judicial Security. He is a past member of the board of directors of the Illinois Bar Foundation. In addition, he is a frequent speaker at professional seminars and a guest lecturer at the University of Illinois College of Law.


Kimberly Hodges, Program Director, Social Justice & Leadership Education, UIUC

Facilitated Inter-Faith Discussion

Kim Hodges serves as Program Director for Social Justice and Leadership Education in Residential Life at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. This role allows her to advise identity specific student groups, conduct inclusiveness training and development sessions, as well as facilitate diversity programming.  She obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Justice Lisa Holder White, Appellate Justice of the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District.

University of Illinois College of Law Mock Trial Room

Judge White graduated magna cum laude from Lewis University in 1990 with a B.A. degree in Political Science. In 1993, she earned her J.D. from the University Of Illinois College of Law, in Champaign-Urbana. Judge White began her career as an Assistant State’s Attorney for Macon County before going into private practice. In 2001, Judge White was sworn in as an Associate Judge in the Sixth Judicial Circuit. In 2008, she became a Circuit Judge, having been appointed to the position by the Illinois Supreme Court to fill a retirement vacancy, and in 2010, was elected to the position. On January 14, 2013, Judge White was sworn in as an Appellate Justice of the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District.Justice Holder White serves on the Illinois Supreme Court Judicial Conference Committee on Education, which is charged with planning and providing continuing judicial education for Illinois judges. She serves as an instructor for “New Judge School” and teaches at the biennial Education Conference, which all Illinois judges are required to attend. She is a member of the Decatur Bar Association, the Illinois Judges Association and currently serves on the boards of the Community Foundation of Macon County and Millikin University.

Faye Jones, College of Law, UIUC

The American Judiciary: Reviewing the Constitution

Faye Jones joined the University of Illinois College of Law in 2015 as Director of the Albert E. Jenner Law Library and Clinical Professor of Law. She has more than 30 years of experience as a law librarian and law teacher, most recently as director and professor at the Florida State University College of Law Research Center. Professor Jones also served on active and reserve duty with the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps. She earned the Navy Achievement Medal for leadership as Commanding Officer, VTU-Law 2207, and retired with the rank of Commander.


Judge Ladd, Judge

Role & Function of the Circuit Court System

Heidi Ladd is a Circuit Judge in Champaign County, where she has served on the bench since 1999.  She currently hears felony and juvenile delinquency cases.  Prior to taking the bench, she was a lead prosecutor in the Champaign County State’s Attorney’s Office, where she worked for 18 years.  Judge Ladd has been both an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois College of Law and instructor for the State Appellate Prosecutor’s Trial Advocacy program since 1993.  She is also appointed to the Supreme Court Rules of Evidence Committee.  Judge Ladd is a true Illini, having obtained her undergraduate and law degrees at the University of Illinois.  She, and her husband Rick, reside along the Salt Fork River with their German shepherd, Tanner.

Joycelyn Landrum Brown, Professor, College of Education, University of Illinois

Reconciliation of Diversity with National Unity


Richard Layton, Professor of Religion, University of Illinois

Cycles of Modernity and Fundamentalism in American Religion

Among his research interest are history and reception of the Bible, development of early Christianity, philosophy and religion in the Greco-Roman World. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, a M.Div from the Emory University, and a B.A. from the University of Virginia. Heb has published two books ,Didymus the Blind and his Circle in Late-Antique Alexandria: Virtue and Narrative in Biblical Scholarship; and Teaching Religion in the Public Schools: Educational Values and Purposes. 

Carol Skalnik Leff, Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies Professor, UIUC

Critical conversations with American Civil Liberties Union

Carol Skalnik Leff is an associate Professor of Political Science, Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, and of LAS Global Studies. Her major research interests are former Soviet/East European domestic and international politics. Currently researching problems of nationalism, and post communist transitions. She is the author of National Conflict in Czechoslovakia (Princeton University Press, 1988). She teaches courses on government and politics of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. She is also affiliated with the Center for Global Studies and the European Union Center.

Karla Lucht, Doctoral Student of Library and Information Science, UIUC

American Literary Resources for the Classroom

Karla Lucht is a graduate studies advisor and doctoral student at the School of Information Sciences (formerly the Graduate School of Library and Information Science). Her research interests  include multicultural representation and social justice advocacy in library collections and services for youth.

Brent McBride, Professor, Human Development; Director, Child Development Laboratory, UIUC

Site Visit: The University of Illinois Child Development Laboratory

Dr. Brent A. McBride is a professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) at the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign, where he also serve as the Director of the Child Development Laboratory (CDL) program, and as a Professor of Nutritional Sciences. As Director of the CDL for the past 26 years, he has been actively engaged in working with investigators from a variety of disciplines on the UIUC campus as they explore protocols and approaches for studying young children’s development in the context of classroom environments as well as in laboratory settings. In addition, in this role he has been actively engaged in the professional development of over 1,500 pre-service and in-service early childhood teachers as they translate theoretical and empirical knowledge to actual practice in working with children and families in classroom environments.

Robert Morrissey, Associate Professor of History, UIUC
Creating an American Character: Diversity and Capitalism in Colonial America

Bob Morrissey specializes in the history of early America and the Atlantic world, American frontier and borderlands history, ethnohistory, and environmental history.  His first book tells the story of French colonists and Native peoples of the Mississippi Valley and Great Lakes in the 17th and 18th centuries.  The book is entitled, “Empire by Collaboration: Indians, Colonists, and Governments in the Colonial Illinois Country, and it appears in the Early American Studies Series from University of Pennsylvania Press.  His next project is entitled “The Illinois and the Edge Effect: People and Animals in the Tallgrass Prairie Borderlands.”  It is a study of the relationship between people and non-human nature in one of North America’s most distinctive ecological and social frontiers from 1200 to 1850.  It will be supported by fellowships by the Illinois Center for Advanced Study and from the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Outside of his work as a professor, Bob is chapter advisor for the Evans Scholar House at Illinois.

Leslie Morrow, Director of LGBT Resource Center, UIUC

Film Discussion: Milk

Leslie holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Master’s in College Student Personnel, both from Miami University. She is currently pursuing her PhD in the Department of Education Policy, Organization and Leadership at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Leslie brings a history of intersectional and on- and off-campus coalition work. She works on a variety of committees at the University of Illinois, many of which are devoted to diversity and social justice. Leslie is also involved nationally and is a member of the National Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals, American Educational Studies Association, and Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education to name a few.

Dr. KimOanh Nguyen-Lam, Director of the Office of English Language Acquisition

Workshop: How foreign language education reinforces National Identity in a Multicultural Society

Nguyen-Lam, served as a member of the Garden Grove Unified School District. She accepted a position from the Office of Post Secondary Education, directing the International and Foreign Language Education Program for the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C. According to Nguyen-Lam, the office is responsible for encouraging and promoting the study of foreign languages and cultures of other countries at the elementary, secondary, and postsecondary levels in the United States. She hold a Doctorate in Transformative Learning from the California Institute of Integral Studies, Master’s degree in Education Administration from Pepperdine University, a Master’s degree in Education Psychology from United States International University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from California State University Long Beach.

Nadina Nicolici, SUSI alumnae

Adventure Quest Project

Originally from Romania, Nadina Nicolici participated on the SUSI program last year at the University of Montana. In her school she is responsible / coordinator of: Head of Department – Language and Communication Curriculum Area; Educational Counselor: Member of the Administrative Board; Responsible of the Committee for Quality in school. She is also a member of the Cambridge English Teacher and a member of TETA Romania (The Association of English Teachers). She attended many local, national and international conferences and symposiums. I published different articles, such as: “ School between rigidity and flexibility” (National Symposium, November 2006), “Intercultural Education” (International Symposium Pro Education – School: cultural center of the community, April 2006). In October 2009 she was elected “Teacher of the Year” in Romania.

Beth Parrott, member of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense

Beth Parrott is currently serving as a local lead for the Be SMART program, which focuses on educating adults on how to protect children from gun violence. She felt compelled to become more involved in this issue when senseless killings such as at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut occurred; although expressions of concern were noted, common sense gun laws, as exist in many other countries, were not enacted. Dr. Parrott is the mother of two college-aged children and has worked in the public schools as an educational audiologist for over twenty-five years and is an adjunct instructor in Speech & Hearing Sciences at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign.

Janice Pea, Professor of Law, UIUC

Private vs. Public Dreams: Reconciling Individualism with National Interest in America

Adjunct Professor Janice Farrell Pea teaches legal writing, legal analysis, and advocacy skills at the University of Illinois College of Law. She has also taught Family Law, Decedents’ Estates & Trusts, Remedies, Sexual Orientation & Law, Religion & Law, and other courses. Her full-time position is Senior Law Clerk to Chief Justice Rita B. Garman of the Illinois Supreme Court. A 1997 summa cum laude graduate of the College of Law, she was first in her class and served as Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review. She also holds an M.B.A. from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, and a B.S. in Health Information Management from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Julie Pryde, Public Health Administrator

Debates on Healthcare (local and national considerations)

Ms. Pryde started at CUPHD in 1989 as a social work intern working under Joan W. Lathrap. After graduating with her Masters in 1992, Julie worked as Program and Policy Consultant for “Hope for the Children”, as a Senior Research Associate for the National Mentor Project, UIUC; and as an Adjunct Faculty UIUC’s School of Social Work. In 2001 she was hired as the Director of the Division of HIV/STD/TB Prevention and Management at CUPHD. In May of 2007 Ms. Pryde was appointed Acting Public Health Administrator by the CUPHD Board of Health. In November of 2008 Ms. Pryde was appointed Public Health Administrator by the CUPHD Board of Health. Ms. Pryde is an accomplished grant writer, researcher, and speaker. She has been published in five professional journals and has presented at such national conferences as the International Mobile Health Conference in Las Vegas, the US Conference on AIDS in Anaheim, and the National Harm Reduction Conference in Seattle.

Claire Ravez, SUSI 2016 Alumni

Internationalization of Education; a Cross Cultural Comparative Approach

Claire has been teaching social studies (history, geography and civic education) in a French public senior high school – the Lycée Fabert, located in Metz, in eastern France – since 2008. Her classes are taught mostly in French but also in German and English, as she also teaches  in dual language programs, called ‘binational’ and ‘European’ sections in France.  An alumna of the Ecole Normale Supérieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines (Lyon), she holds a B.A. in History with a Minor in Geography, a M.A. in History and a complementary university degree in French as as Foreign Language. She specialized in CLIL (content and language integrated learning) as soon as she became a trainee teacher, obtaining teacher certificates in subject teaching in German and English. Her current professional interests primarily focus on teachers’ continuing education and bilingual / intercultural education.

Michael Schlosser, Director, Police Training Institute,U of I

The Legitimate Use of Police Force in 21st Century America: Reflections on Race, Ethnicity, and Civil Rights

Dr. Michael Schlosser is Director of the Police Training Institute (PTI) at the University of Illinois. He retired as a Lieutenant from the Rantoul Police Department after 20 years of service. During this time he held positions as field training officer and supervisor, detective, juvenile officer, wellness director, control tactics instructor, and K-9 supervisor. Dr. Schlosser earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Governor’s State University (2000) and a Doctorate in Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2011). He is currently working on a second Master’s Degree in Legal Studies from the University of Illinois. His instructor certifications include 5th Degree Blackbelt in Karate-Do, Master Arrest & Control Tactics Instructor, Taser Instructor, O.C. Spray Instructor, Verbal Defense & Influence Instructor, and Certified Fitness Trainer.

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Scott Schwartz, Archivist for Music and Fine Arts, UIUC

Rhythm of the Times

Scott Schwartz is an associate professor of Library and Information Science at UIUC.  Before coming to UIUC, he was an archivist at the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Institute and a National Archives and Records Administrator.


Dan Shalmon, External Engagement Coordinator, Cline Center for Democracy, UIUC

Resolved: The Adversarial Process of Debate is Crucial to a Healthy Democracy

Dan Shalmon is an External Engagement Coordinator for Cline Center for Democracy at the University of Illinois. His mission is to transform information into knowledge that advances human flourishing and his primary focus includes international conflict and crisis bargaining, arms control, the law of armed conflict and international humanitarian law.

Areti Sidiropoulou, SUSI Alumni

Internationalization of Education; a Cross Cultural Comparative Approach

Areti Sidiropoulou holds a BA in English language and literature from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and an M. Phil in Applied Linguistics from Trinity College Dublin. She has been teaching English for 10 years in Greek secondary schools. During her career she has developed a special interest in language games, video production with students, project work and the use of ICT in the language class. She is the creator of a new on-line dictionary that is based on songs – www.musiclexis.com. She is keen on travelling herself and she encourages her students to learn English in order to travel to new countries and discover new cultures.

Jamie Singson, Director, Native American House, UIUC

The First Americans: Divergence of National Character

Jamie Singson is the Director of the Native American House, a cultural center dedicated to the educational, cultural, and social needs about Native American cultures on campus and beyond. He has served in this position since 2011. The Native American House is supported by the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations.

 Mathew Stark, Principal, Urbana High School

Matt Stark is a principled professional whose professional commitment is only exceeded by his compassion for people. He has a B.A. in Social Studies and Teacher Education from Purdue University; a M.A. in Education from Indiana Wesleyan University and an Administrative Endorsement, Educational Leadership and Administration from Indiana State University.

Sean Streaty, Co-Anchor of WAND News at 5, 6, and 10:00 pm

Modern American Media—Entertaining a Divided Nation

A Decatur native, Sean graduated from St. Teresa High School and received his degree  in Radio and Television from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale. After graduating from college, Sean joined WSOY Radio (Decatur) as a reporter. He was appointed WSOY News Director in 1992. In 1994, Sean joined WAND as a reporter and eventually became weekend Anchor. In 1996, he was named as the evening news Anchor. Sean has served on the Catholic Charities Board, United Way Allocation Committee, Macon County Conservation Board, American Heart Association, and is a frequent Master of Ceremonies of community events. Sean has also been named among Reader’s Choice Award top winners for Best Local TV Personality.

David Thiel, WILL- TV Program Director, UIUC

Tour of WILL-TV station on campus

David Thiel is the content director for Illinois Public Media (WILL-AM/FM/TV), responsible for screening, acquiring and scheduling programs for broadcast on its television and radio stations. A 1986 graduate from Ball State University, David began his career in public broadcasting as a master control operator at WYIN-TV in northwest Indiana before moving on to WILL-TV in 1989. In 1997 he became its program director, and in 2012 was appointed content director over WILL’s radio stations as well. He has produced several series for WILL-TV, including “Critics’ Choice,” “Mid-American Gardener” and “Illinois Pioneers.”

Ross Wantland, Diversity and Social Justice Education, UIUC

Facilitated Inter-Faith Discussion

Ross Wantland is a farm-raised social justice and violence prevention educator. He received his Master’s in Education in Educational Policy Studies and BS in Psychology with a minor in Women’s Studies, all at the University of Illinois. Since 2009 he has worked as the Assistant Director in the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations, where he coordinates Diversity and Social Justice Education. Prior to this, he worked for eight years with sexual assault prevention at the Women’s Resources Center. Before working at the University, Ross worked in both rape crisis and domestic violence centers, and co-founded Men Against Sexual Violence

Mathew Winters, Political Science, University of Illinois

The U.S. Role in the Changing World

Matthew S. Winters is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University and was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Niehaus Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton University.  His research interests include the political economy of foreign aid and voter attitudes toward corruption.  He has conducted research in Indonesia, Brazil, Bangladesh, and Uganda.  He has published articles in Journal of Politics, Comparative Politics, International Studies Quarterly, World Development, Political Research Quarterly, and World Politics, among other outlets.  He has consulted for USAID, AusAID, and the World Bank’s Independent Evaluations Group.  In the fall of 2016, Winters will be a Council on Foreign Relations / Hitachi International Affairs Fellow in Japan, affiliated with the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS).


Amy Wood, Associate Professor of History, Illinois State University

The “Race” for America

Professor Wood specializes in American cultural history in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and the history of the U.S. South. She is the author of Lynching and Spectacle: Witnessing Racial Violence in America, 1890-1940 (University of North Carolina Press, 2009), which examines visual representations of lynching and the construction of white supremacy in the Jim Crow era. Lynching and Spectacle won the Lillian Smith Book Award and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award in History. She is also the co-guest editor of issue of Mississippi Quarterly on lynching, representation, and memory (2008), and the editor of the volume on violence for the New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture (University of North Carolina Press, 2011). She is currently working on a book project on cultural ideas about criminality in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and is co-editing a book, titled Crime and Punishment in the Jim Crow South.

Jonathan Zimmerman, Professor of History of Education, University of Pennsylvania

Foundations of American Schools: Education for Republicanism

A former Peace Corps volunteer and public school social studies teacher, Dr. Zimmerman holds a Ph.D. in history from the Johns Hopkins University. His scholarship has focused broadly on the ways that different peoples have imagined and debated education across time and space. He has authored books about sex and alcohol education, history and religion in the curriculum, Americans who taught overseas, and historical memory in public schooling. His most recent work examines campus politics in the United States, including controversies over diversity, sexual assault, and “political correctness.”