Dr. Karen Swan, professor in the College of Education and Human Services at the University of Illinois at Springfield, has been named the first James J. Stukel Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership. She assumed her duties on January 2.
The James J. Stukel Distinguished Professorship was created by the University of Illinois Foundation to honor James Stukel, the 15th president of the University of Illinois system (1995-2005). The professorship includes support for research and grant work and was created for a candidate who possesses expertise in and scholarly accomplishments relating to online teaching and learning issues.
Dr. Larry Stonecipher, dean of the UIS College of Education and Human Services, noted, “Karen Swan is recognized as the leading researcher in the nation with regard to effectiveness in online teaching and learning. Her work in communities of inquiry as well as a host of aspects of cultivating and assessing quality in the online teaching and learning process is leading the emerging best practices in the field. We are most fortunate to have Dr. Swan on our faculty.”
Swan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Connecticut, a Master of Education in Curriculum & Instruction from Keene State College, and Master of Education and Doctor of Education degrees in Instructional Technology from Columbia University.
She came to UIS from Kent State University, where she was Research Professor at the Research Center for Educational Technology in the College & Graduate School of Education, Health and Human Services since 2003.
In 2006, Dr. Swan received the Sloan Consortium for Asynchronous Learning Networks Award for “Most Outstanding Achievement in Online Learning by an Individual.” This award recognized her for national innovation, research and service in online learning.
During the spring 2009 semester, Dr. Swan will teach two online graduate courses and continue her research on a collaborative project called “Thinking with Data,” which is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. The project involves the development of a middle school data literacy curriculum and its testing in two middle schools in Kent, Ohio.
The professorship will allow Swan to embrace her love of teaching within the Department of Educational Leadership, in addition to supporting ongoing and future research projects.
A formal investiture ceremony honoring Swan is being planned.