College Student Personnel program

Faculty & Staff

 Tracy Davis






Tracy Davis

Professor and College Student Personnel Program Coordinator of the Part-Time Track
Ph.D., The University of Iowa
M.A., The University of Iowa
B.A., The University of Iowa

Tracy has worked professionally in the areas of gifted education, student activities, and Greek life. His research interests include social justice education, mindfulness & contemplative practices, sexual assault prevention, identity, and men's development. In 2011, he became the founding Director of the Center for the Study of Masculinities and Men’s Development.

Throughout his career, Davis has been engaged in research, sharing what he learns with others, and promoting the growth and development of emerging professionals. Publications including empirical studies in refereed journals, book chapters, and four books/monographs -- Gender-Aware Practices: Intersectional Approaches to Applying Masculinities in Student Affairs (in press), Advancing Social Justice: Tools, Pedagogies, and Strategies to Transform Your Campus (2013), Masculinities in Higher Education: Theoretical and Practical Considerations(2011), and Developing Social Justice Allies (2004). He has served on the Executive Council for the ACPA: College Student Educators International (ACPA), the ACPA Commission on Professional Preparation Directorate, and recently completed service as an ACPA Senior Scholar. Tracy frequently presents at professional conferences and consults with colleges and universities regarding men's development and social justice.

The student affairs and academic community have acknowledged his contributions as a scholar, teacher, and social justice advocate widely.  Most importantly, he remains wildly unfinished.

Recent Publications:
Davis, T. & Moody, B. (in press). Mindful masculinities. In C. Catalano, R. Wagner, & T. Davis (Eds.), New Directions in Student Services: Gender-Aware Practices: Intersectional Approaches to Applying Masculinities in Student Affairs.  San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Catalano, C., Wagner, R. & Davis, T. (in press). Gender-Aware Practices: Intersectional Approaches to Applying Masculinities in Student Affairs.  San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Davis, T. (in press). Afterward.  In D. Tillapaugh & B. McGowan (Eds.), Men & Masculinities on Campus: Theoretical Foundations and Promising Practices. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.
Tillapaugh, D., Catalano, C., & Davis, T. (in press). Theoretical complexities of men & masculinities.  In D. Tillapaugh & B. McGowan (Eds.), Men & Masculinities on Campus: Theoretical Foundations and Promising Practices. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.
Davis, T. & Klobassa, V. (2017). Honoring the face behind the mask: Interrogating masculine performatives as counter-hegemonic practice. In P. L. Eddy, K. Ward, & T. Khwaja (Eds.), Critical Approaches to Women and Gender in Higher Education.  New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Foste, Z. & Davis, T. (2017). Am I doing this right? A qualitative exploration of how college men make meaning of gendered expectations. Men and Masculinities, 20(1), .



Laila McCloud

Assistant Professor and Faculty Coordinator of the Full-Time Track

Ph.D., The University of Iowa
M.Ed., DePaul University
B.A., DePaul University

Laila joined the CSP program in 2018 after gaining a wealth of experience as a student affairs practitioner, specifically in multicultural student affairs at private liberal arts institutions where she has served in roles such as Assistant Dean of Students, Director of Student Success & Retention, and Director of Multicultural Student Engagement.

Laila's research interests critically examine issues of race and equity within higher education with a focus on the academic and social experiences of Black college students. Laila earned her doctoral degree from the  University of Iowa in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program. During her time at Iowa, Laila has served as a Research Assistant in the Center for Research on Undergraduate Education (CRUE) at Iowa for the Emory Integrity Project.

She is an active member of the American College Personnel Association (ACPA), the American Educational Research Association (AERA), and the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE).  


NASPA IV-E 2017 Graduate Student Rising Star 
University of Iowa College of Education 2017 Minority Student Award
2015 Outstanding Contribution to the ACPA Coalition for Multicultural Affairs 


Recent Publications: 

Jourian, T., & McCloud, L. I. (2020). “I don’t know where I stand”: Black trans masculine students’ re/de/constructions of Black masculinity.  Journal of College Student Development   61 (6), 733-749. 
Miller, G. N., Lynn, F. B., & McCloud, L. I. (2020). By lack of reciprocity: Positioning historically Black colleges and universities in the organizational field of higher education.  The Journal of Higher Education , 1-33.  

Selected Presentations: 

Taylor, R., McCloud, L., Williams, Q., Burr, K., Barnhardt, C., (2018). “Speaking Up When I Disagree…”: A Case Study on Campus Climate for Engaging with Difference. Association for the Study of Higher Education in Tampa, FL.
McCloud, L., Hernández, E., Hill, R.I., Williams, B.M., Palmer, G., Reddick, R.J., (2018). #WokeDocStudents and Faculty Socialization: Differentiated Risks in Public Scholarship.  Association for the Study of Higher Education in Tampa, FL. 
McCloud, L., (2018). Transforming Campus Culture on Integrity: An In-Depth Look at Perspective Taking.  Jon C. Dalton Institute on College Student Values in Tallahassee, FL.
Miller, G., Lynn, F., McCloud, L. (2017) Aren’t They All the Same? Positioning Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the Organizational Field of Higher Education.  Association for the Study of Higher Education in Houston, Texas 
McCloud, L., Watt, S.K., Pasquesi, K. (2017). Multicultural Initiatives Reconsidered: Are you programming for survival or inclusion? American College Personnel Association International Convention in Columbus, Ohio 
McCloud, L., Linley, J.L. (2017). Leadership from the Margins: Supporting Black Women Student Leaders. American College Personnel Association International Convention in Columbus, Ohio. 
Williams, B., Karikari, S., McCloud, L., Anderson, D. (2017). SisterPhD: Lessons from Year Two. American College Personnel Association International Convention in Columbus, Ohio 
Barnhardt, C., Liddel, D., McCloud, L., Young, R. (2017). Transforming Campus Culture on Integrity: Initial Findings.  American College Personnel Association International Convention in Columbus, Ohio


Jeff Hancks

Jeff Hancks


Ed.D. Northern Illinois University
M.A., M.A. University of Wisconsin-Madison
B.A. North Park University

Jeff joined the WIU faculty in 2005 as the inaugural Baxter-Snyder Professor of Regional Studies in the University Archives. He was responsible for maintaining the University's historical records and documenting the history and culture of the western Illinois region.  He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in Scandinavian Studies, a master's in Library and Information Studies, and a doctorate in Adult and Higher Education.

From 2016-2019 Jeff served WIU as the Executive Director of the School of Global Education and Outreach where he led the University's international initiatives and administered WIU's third largest degree program, the Bachelor of Arts in General Studies. 

Jeff began teaching in the College Student Personnel program in 2020. A native Rock Islander, he has a special interest in growing the Higher Education Leadership track in the Quad Cities. His higher education interests include community colleges, finance, fundraising, and internationalization.


Holly Nikels

Chair, Department of Counselor Education and College Student Personnel  
Ph.D., University of South Dakota  
M.S., University of Nebraska at Kearney  
B.Ed., University of Nebraska at Kearney

Dr. Nikels received her bachelor's degree in Human Development/Early Childhood Education from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Her master's and specialist's degrees in Community Counseling were also awarded from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. Dr. Nikels earned her doctorate in Counselor Education with an emphasis in Supervision of School Counseling Services from the University of South Dakota. Her professional counseling experiences include work in Employee Assistance Programs, In-patient mental health hospital facility, School Based therapist and School Counseling at the Elementary and High School levels. Additionally, she has worked in Student Affairs / Student Activities and Greek Life. She provides consultation services to local schools and agencies on a regular basis. Nikels has published extensively in academic journals, presented at numerous regional, state and national and international conferences and received grants totaling more than $500,000. Recently, she served as co-editor and author for the text,  Handbook of Strengths Based Clinical Practices.  Nikels is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in Illinois and an Approved Clinical Supervisor.


Diane Heisner

Office Manager  
B.Ed., Western Illinois University  
A.A., Kishwaukee College

Diane is the Department's Office Manager. She earned her Associates degree from Kishwaukee College in Malta, Illinois and her Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from WIU. Diane began her WIU-QC career as a Secretary IV in September 2003 and was promoted to her current position in August 2007. Diane's main responsibility is to assist the chair, faculty, graduate assistants, and current and future students in the Counselor Education Department. Diane lives in Prophetstown, Illinois with her husband Frank and they have three grown children and three granddaughters. In her free time she enjoys reading, knitting, camping, watching movies and spending time with family and friends.