Educational Studies

Alumni Highlights

Rebecca Baney

Rebecca Baney (M.S.Ed. Educational Leadership graduate, 2017) was promoted to Instructional Coach at Kewanee High School in Kewanee, Illinois.

Imelda Bangun

Imelda Bangun (M.S.Ed. Language/Culture graduate, 2015) started her PhD program this fall in Technology Education at University of South Florida. Imelda received a teaching assistant position that provides a stipend and tuition waiver; a $500 scholarship to pay for textbooks; and, a $5000 scholarship for living expenses per program year.

Merritt Burns

Merritt Burns (M.S.Ed. Educational Leadership graduate, 2017) was promoted to Principal of Washington Junior High School in Olgesby, Illinois.

Matt Hutchins

Matt Hutchins (M.S.Ed. Educational Leadership graduate, 2017) was promoted to Assistant Principal of Sherrard High School in Sherrard, Illinois.

Veronica Moore

Veronica Moore (M.S. College Student Personnel graduate, 2007) was named the WIU College of Education and Human Services Young Alumni Award recipient for 2017. Veronica will be honored along with other alumni of the college on September 29.

Jessica Ruppert

Jessica Ruppert  (2014 M.S.Ed. Educational Studies Language, Culture and Education and TESOL Certification graduate) was recently selected for an English Language Fellow project in 2017-2018. Jessica will be spending the year at Universidad Tecnologica de Gutierrez Zamora in Gutierrez Zamora, Mexico..

Krystle Padilla

Krystle Padilla (M.S.Ed. Educational Leadership graduate, 2017) was promoted to Principal of Midland Elementary School in Lacon, Illinois.

Jim Thompson

Jim Thompson (M.S.Ed. Educational Leadership graduate, 2017) was promoted to Assistant Principal of Alleman Catholic High School in Rock Island, Illinois.

Julie Katzenberger

Julie Katzenberger (M.S.Ed. Educational Leadership graduate, 2016) is currently the president of the Mount Carroll noon Rotary Club and also the new superintendent for the West Carroll school district.

Kyle Willits

Kyle Willits (M.S.Ed. Language/Culture graduate, 2017) was selected by the Japanese Exchange and Teaching Program (JET) to teach English in Japan for at least a year. The JET Program is selective and leads to a paid position. Kyle started teaching in mid-August in Hokkaido, Japan.

Lisa Parker

Lisa Parker (Doctorate of Education, Educational Leadership graduate, 2011) is currently the new superintendent for Streator Elementary District 44.


Faculty/Staff Highlights

Dr. Chase Catalano

Dr. Chase Catalano recently received the American College Personnel Association’s (ACPA) Coalition on Men & Masculinities 2017 Outstanding Research Award. Chase published an article this past January in the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education entitled, Resisting Coherence: Trans Men’s Experiences and the use of Grounded Theory Methods. Dr. Catalano made a presentation at the ACPA National Convention in March in Columbus, Ohio entitled Experiences of Graduate Assistants Overseeing Public Universities’ LGBT Resource Centers. He also produced a webinar for Griffith Coaching and Consulting: Institutional Change is a Constant Struggle: Trans Men in Higher Education and did a research talk for a Brown Bag event at Syracuse University entitled, Trans Enough? The Pressures Trans Men Negotiate in Higher Education. Dr. Catalano very recently accepted an invitation to guest edit an issue of Thresholds in Education with colleagues T.J. Jourian of Oakland University and Rachel Wagner of Clemson.

Dr. Chase Catalano Western Illinois University Assistant Professor of Educational Studies has been selected as a 2018-2020 American College Personnel;  Association College Educators International (ACPA) Emerging Scholar. The Emerging Scholars Program was implemented in 1999 and supports, encourages and honors early-career individuals who are emerging as contributors to student affairs and higher education scholarship. Candidates for the program must; have earned a doctoral degree and must be or become members of ACPA. The award includes a $3,000 research grant and the requirement of undertaking; two leadership commitments, such as providing a scholarly presentation or serving as a peer reviewer for the Journal of College Student Development. "I am both humbled and honored to be recognized as an Emerging Scholar by ACPA," said Catalano. "Additionally, I am excited to engage in a new research project with the support of the grant funding that comes from the award." Only five ACPA Emerging Scholars are named each year. In the first year of the program,scholars participate in a half-day research institute prior to the beginning of the ACPA convention. During the second year, the scholars will present their research at a dedicated symposium. For more information about the ACPA, visit

Dr. Tracy Davis

Dr. Tracy Davis was recently named the University of Iowa’s 2017 Albert B. Hood Outstanding Alumni. Tracy serves as the American College Personnel Association’s (ACPA) Senior Scholar, 2013-2018. In his role as ACPA Senior Scholar, Dr. Davis led the Coalition on Men and Masculinities Scholar in Residence presentation on Engaging Men’s Resistance to Build Mutually Liberating Consciousness and the Coalition’s special session on Developing Scholarship. Dr. Davis’ most recent publications include a book chapter, Honoring the Face behind the Mask: Interrogating Masculine Performatives as Counter-Hegemonic Practice in Critical Approaches to Women and Gender in Higher Education ; an article in the peer reviewed journal, Men and Masculinities, entitled Am I Doing this Right? A Qualitative Exploration of how College Men make Meaning of Gendered Expectations ; and, another book chapter: Unfinished Business, Dirty Laundry, and Hope for Multicultural Campus Communities in the Handbook of Student Affairs Administration , 4th Edition .

Dr. Tracy Davis was recently selected as COEHS' Faculty Award in Scholarly Activity.

Dr. Gloria Delany-Barmann

Dr. Gloria Delany-Barmann , Pedro Bidegaray (Study Abroad/Outreach), and Heather McIlvaine Newsad (Anthropology) recently received notice that their Title VI (US Department of Education) grant was, once again, funded for this year. The grant’s title is Communities as Agents of Change: Language and Area Studies for a Sustainable Future and supports bilingual/sustainability projects in Ecuador and Puerto Rico. This year’s award totals $139,501…and $412,812 over the last three years. Gloria has also received a Fulbright Scholarship to conduct research on language policy and planning in Uruguay as it relates to teacher preparation. Gloria will be conducting that research this spring in Salto, Uruguay (on the Argentina border). The National Association for Public Education (ANEP) will be hosting Gloria’s research visit.

Dr. Gloria Delany-Barmann was recently selected as the 2018 recipient of the COEHS Excellence in Internationalizing the Campus Award. 

New faces of Western

Dr. Gloria Delany-Barmann met with incoming freshman during move in weekend to discuss academic expectations and the Bilingual/ESL Program.

Dr. Andrea Hyde

Dr. Andrea Hyde shared her expertise on mindfulness, yoga, and the impacts of trauma on children this past summer with teachers and hyde child care professionals around the region. On July 6th, Andrea visited with the Child Care Resources and Referrals of Midwestern Illinois organization in Moline conducting a professional development program entitled, Yoga/Mindfulness in Schools: Before or After School Programs. On July 18, she presented Coping with Adverse Childhood Experiences at a professional development meeting of the Monouth Regional Office of Education; and, July 19, Andrea presented at the Illinois Family and Consumer Science Teachers Association Conference where she conducted a professional development workshop on Mindful Classrooms. Dr. Hyde has another workshop scheduled for January 8, 2018 at Horace Mann Early Learning Center in Rock Island. In addition to her Professional Development work, Dr. Hyde has an edited book due to be published in late 2017/early 2018 entitled Qualitative Stories of School Yoga (SUNY Press) and will present at both the Ohio Valley Philosophy of Education Society and the American Educational Studies Association annual meetings this fall.

La Prad,Pettigrew,Rawls

Dr.Jim La Prad Western Illinois University (WIU's) Educational Studies, Mr. Shaka A. Rawls, Principal, Leo Catholic High School and Chaplain Ron Pettigrew, a WIU Academic Advisor and CSP ’09 Grad presented a Masculinity and Antiviolence Talk for Violence Prevention Month on Oct 26, 2017 to 75 men at the Illinois River Correctional Center, Canton Illinois. This talk is part of the WIU’s Restorative Justice Project. It has grown from and out of the continued collaboration between WIU’s Expanding Cultural Diversity Project, CSMMD’s Gender Justice Committee, I.M.P.A.C.T. Consulting and WIU’s Men Advocating Non-Violence organization. This talk is an interactive dialogue with incarcerated men. It engages the participants in the discussion of the intersections of violence and masculinity in our society. The dialogue facilitators bring together statistics, psychological and sociological frameworks and lived experience during their talk. Participants are asked to examine their own lived experience and societal expectations regarding manhood that have historically led to violent behaviors. Facilitators and participants are asked how can we redefine manhood and the stereotypes to create a less violent society.

Dr.Jim La Prad recently received an Excellence in Diversity Award (Education) at the President's Diversity Celebration.

Dr. Deb Miretzky

Dr. Deb Miretzky published an article entitled Teaching the Class with the Class: Debunking the Need for Heroes in the peer reviewed journal, Multicultural Education (Winter, 2017): 40-48.

Dr. Sarah Schoper

Dr. Sarah Schoper was invited to the Boston Conference for the American Student Government Association (ASGA) in August as an expert presenter. Sarah delivered four talks to over 100 student government undergraduate students and advisors from across the country. The topics of these talks included Reaching Student Government Goals, Running a Student Government, the Power of Ongoing Regard in Student Government, and Innovation in Student Government.

Dr. Sarah Schoper received $2,000 from The ACPA Foundation Board to fund Dr. Sarah Schoper's research project,  A Narrative Analysis of the Experience  of Emerging Professionals with Disabilities

Dr. Bridget Sheng

Dr. Bridget Sheng was lead author of an article published in Volume 27 of the peer reviewed Journal of School Leadership entitled Redefining the Principal’s Role as an Instructional Leader. Bridget’s co-authors on that manuscript included Dr. Lora Wolff and Dr. Stuart Yager

Dr. Bridget Sheng  was recently promoted to Full Professor. 

Dr. Stuart Yager

Dr. Stuart Yager recently presented at the IASB, Triple I meeting in Chicago. The title of his presentation was Alternatives to Out-of- school Suspensions: Aligning to Senate Bill 100. Stuart also serves as a Lead Facilitator for the National Institute for School Leadership (NISL) and in that capacity travels the country working with current and future leaders in K-12 education.

Jerrie Walters

Jerrie Walters earned her Master of Science in College Student Personnel—Higher Education Leadership Degree from Western Illinois University this past summer.

Dr. Lora Wolff

Dr. Lora Wolff was lead author for a manuscript published in Schooling entitled Creating a Positive and Effective School-wide Learning Environment: The Effects of a Student Leadership Development Program on Twenty-two Middle School Students . Her co-author included colleague Dr. Stuart Yager .

Dr. Lora Wolff recently earned tenture and promotion to Associate Professor. 

Student Highlights

CSP Students

Several CSP students received Excellence in Diversity Awards at last week's celebration: Abby Moss, (Leadership); Eli Van Sickel (Education); Casa Latina Cultural Center: Yvette Bahena, Elijah Amelse, Lili (Elizabeth) Velazquez (Education); Multicultural Center Team: Yvette Bahena, Elijah Amelse, Lili (Elizabeth) Velazquez, Myranda Anderson, Mychele Montgomery (Service); Natalie Vang and Yvette Bahena (Special Recognition)

Matt DeBaene

Matthew DeBaene (Cohort 11) successfully defended his qualitative dissertation (Hidden Diversity: Generational Perceptions of WorkPlace Values in the Profession of Education; Chair-Lora Wolff) on September 21st. Matt had to keep his defense a secret for eight days as he wanted to surprise is daughters, wife and parents who thought he was defending in the early spring.  The delay was because his parents were traveling when he defended.  Matt is the Assistant Superintendent for the Moline School District and previously was a principal at Geneseo. Matt earned his Bachelor's, Master's, Educational Specialist, and Doctoral degrees from WIU.  Congratulations, Dr. DeBaene.

Anthony McConnell

Anthony McConnell successfully defended his dissertation on Wednesday, August 16th. The title of his dissertation was "The Perceived Self-Leadership Capacity of K-5 Illinois Principals and Its Impact on Student Achievement." Anthony's chair was Dr. Lora Wolff and committee members included Dr. Dean Halverson, Dr. Bridget Sheng, and Dr. Stuart Yager. Anthony earned his Master's degree, principal licensure, and superintendent licensure from WIU. He will graduate with his EdD in Educational Leadership December 2017. Anthony was a teacher at Rock Island and now serves as an Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Learning with the Deerfield School District #109.


Ashley Ehrecke, a graduate student (M.S. Ed. Educational Studies) and department graduate assistant at the Quad Cities campus, has been developing a Mindfulness in Schools Project in partnership with the Healing Heart Center in Davenport, Iowa. Ashley and Center Director, Candice Kundert, conducted a pilot program this past January at Garfield Elementary School in Davenport. That pilot program was so successful that the Mindfulness in Schools Project will expand this fall both at Garfield Elementary (including teacher training) and as an after-school program for at risk teens in the Davenport School District. The goal of mindfulness training is to equip young people with the tools of self-regulation, focus/attention, and stress reduction.


Kate Jennings (EDL Principal Preparation Program) was recently promoted to Curriculum Specialist at Dunlap School District in Dunlap, Illinois.

EDL FL 17 Graduates

FL 2017 EDL Doctoral Graduates    On Saturday, Dec. 16, eight EDL doctoral students earned the right to be called Dr.   From left to right: Dr. Kelle Bunch (Chair: Stuart Yager), Dr. George McKenna (Chair: Dean Halverson), Dr. David Morris (Chair: Carol Webb), Dr. Jeff Schagrin (Chair: Lora Wolff), Dr. Matt DeBaene (Chair Lora Wolff), Dr. Anthony McConnell (Chair: Lora Wolff), and Dr. Larry Sasso (Chair: Lora Wolff). Not pictured: Dr. D.J. Kim (Chair: Carol Webb). Dr. Sara Dail's (Chair: Dean Halverson) degree was also conferred. 


Adam Brumbaugh (EDL Principal and Superintendent Preparation Programs ) was recently promoted to Geneseo School District superintendent.  For more information about Adam's promotion, please visit: