Centennial Honors College

University Honors Council

The University Honors Council advises the Director of the Honors College. The council reviews and approves general honors courses, seminars, departmental honors requirements, honors program initiatives, honors scholarships and awards, honors research grants, and Honors College policies and procedures.

2013-2014 Meetings

Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Wednesday, April 23, 2014

2013-2014 Honors Council Members


Ginny Boynton, History (2015)
Virginia Jelatis, History (2014)
Bill Knox, English (2016)



George Mangalaraj, Computer Science & Information Systems (2015)
Hongbok Lee, Accounting & Finance (2016)
Anna Valeva, Economics & Decision Science (2014)



Melissa Stinnett (Fall 2013 only)
Katherine Pawelko, Recreation Park and Tourism Administration (2015)
Todd Lough, Law Enforcement & Justice Administration (2013)
Jill Myers, Law Enforcement Justice Administration (2016)



John McMurtery, School of Music (2016)
Keith Holz, Art (2014)
Jeff Brown, School of Music (2015)



Krista Bowers Sharpe, University Libraries (2015)



Chris Fidecki
Paris Hamm



Rick Hardy, Director, Centennial Honors College.
Molly Homer, Academic Advisor, Centennial Honors College.
Jen McNabb, Associate Director, Centennial Honors College.
Michele Aurand, Academic Advisor, Centennial Honors College.

John McMurtyJohn McMurtery is Assistant Professor of Flute at Western Illinois University and section flutist of the New York City Opera orchestra. He has served as acting piccoloist with the Oregon Symphony and has performed with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the New Jersey Symphony, and the Detroit Symphony. He has appeared as soloist with the New York Symphonic Ensemble, the Artemis Chamber Ensemble, the Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, and at the 2005 Lincoln Center Festival. McMurtery performs with Memphis-based ensemble Luna Nova, the Society for Chromatic Art (New York), and UpTown Flutes.



Dr. Melissa StinnettDr. Melissa Stinnett is an associate professor of Reading at Western Illinois University in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses. Dr. Stinnett has worked in the public schools teaching early literacy and remedial reading. She is a frequent presenter at state and national literacy conferences. After completing her graduate work at University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, she taught at University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. She has been living and working in Macomb since 2007.


Dr. Bill KnoxDr. Bill Knox is a Professor of English and Journalism who received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Prior to coming to WIU, he taught at Illinois State University (B.A. and M.A.) and Northern Michigan University where he served as Director of Freshman English, English Thesis Chair, and Charter Director of the Honors Program. A presenter of academic papers at a variety of state, regional, and national conferences on college writing and honors education, he has also published in these same areas. A former director of the Centennial Honors College, he taught 100-, 200-, and 300-level General Honors courses, chaired the Thomas E. Helm Undergraduate Research Day Committee, and serves as Faculty Advisor for the Presidents Institute.

Paris HammParis Hamm is a Junior at Western Illinois University pursuing a major in Biology with a Medical Sciences option and French. She is also minoring in Chemistry and Neuroscience and hopes to complete University Honors through the Honors College. She is from Macomb and is attending WIU with the hope that she will go on to Medical School. While at Western she has been involved in various organizations including Pre-Professional Health Club, Roteract, Student Honors Association, Phi Eta Sigma. She is currently the President of Unity which takes up most of her time. She also mentors through the Honors College and with the FYE U100 classes.

Council Members

Dr. Ginny Boynton


In terms of Honors connections, Ginny Boynton taught an Honors FYE class, supervised several Honors theses, and supervised multiple in-class Honors projects, including a historical research paper (by Jessica Toops) that won the Department's Thompson Paper Award for the best undergraduate History paper written in 2011 and will be published in the next issue of the Western Illinois Historical Review. This Spring (2013) she will be teaching a section of GH 301 that focuses on the history of colonial Latin American women.

Dr. Jeffrey Brown


Jeffrey Brown is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, where he earned the Performer's Certificate, Master of Music, and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees. He has concertized extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Recent performance highlights include the Dame Myra Hess Series in Chicago, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., and two chamber music tours of China.

Dr. Katharine Pawelko


Dr. Katharine A. Pawelko is a Professor in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration at Western Illinois University. Dr. Pawelko has also worked for the Maryland-National Park and Planning Commission, National Park Service, and U.S. Forest Service on various applied projects in the field. She has been a presenter at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources "Becoming an Outdoorswoman" workshops and member of the Conservation Caucus. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses dealing with research and evaluation methods, measurement and statistical analysis, and the human dimensions of natural resource management.

Dr. Todd Lough


Dr. Todd Lough earned his Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Arts from Concordia College in 1986, where he majored in Political Science. He subsequently attended Loyola University Chicago, earning both an M.A. (1990) and Ph.D. (1998) in American Politics. His research at Loyola examined the effects of scandal on elections for the U.S. House of Representatives. Prior to coming to Western in the fall of 2007, Dr. Lough worked for nine years as a Chicago Police Officer. During his tenure with the CPD, he worked in a number of different capacities, including patrol officer, gang and tactical officer, neighborhood relations officer, and gang violence analyst. As a gang violence analyst Dr. Lough worked in the Chicago Police Department's Deployment Operations Center where he conducted a weekly analysis of street gang-related shootings in an effort to deploy department resources to combat gang violence and reduce the city's homicide rate. His research interests include policing issues, private and public security concerns, and multi-jurisdictional responses to terrorism.

Krista Bowers Sharpe


Krista Bowers Sharpe is an assistant professor in the WIU Libraries. Her degrees are in history (BA), library & information science (MA), and sociology (MA), the last from WIU. A highlight of her current position at the Malpass Library is working one-on-one with students at the reference desk . In addition, Krista teaches research skills, serves as liaison to three departments, and coordinates the library's annual banned books celebration. Before coming to WIU, she held positions at Cornell College (IA), the University of Iowa Engineering Library, and Monmouth College.

Chris Fidecki


Chris Fidecki is a Sophomore Law Enforcement and Justice Administration major at WIU and is serving as a student representative on Honors Council.