The University of Illinois Springfield honored three newly named distinguished professors during a Ceremony of Investiture on September 25, 2009 at Sangamon Auditorium.
Dr. Matthew Holden Jr., Professor of Political Science; Dr. Karen Swan, Professor of Educational Leadership; and Dr. Keith Miller, Professor in Computer Science received medallions that symbolize their new positions. Investiture is one of the highest honors that a faculty member can receive and gives them the financial resources to continue their research.
“Having three investitures-- and in three of UIS colleges at once-- is really very rare. It is a real testament to the investment of our citizens and businesses that we now have through private gift support funds for six named professorships and one named chair, with additional chairs on the horizon,” said Vicki Megginson, Associate Chancellor of Development at UIS and Senior Vice President, University of Illinois Foundation.
The university and students benefit enormously from professorships. They allow UIS to attract top-level academics that have extensive expertise, who deepen and broaden our curriculum, and who serve as beacons to other professors who want to come and work with them.
“Each of these professors adds vigor to UIS’ academic excellence and strengthens our ability to provide a challenging yet intimate learning experience for our students,” said UIS Chancellor Richard D. Ringeisen.
Dr. Matthew Holden, Jr., professor in Political Science was named the Margaret L. Wepner Distinguished Professor of Political Science. Dr. Holden, previously the Henry L. and Grace M. Doherty Professor Emeritus of Politics at the University of Virginia, has wide-ranging scholarly interests in political science, other social sciences, history, and law. His current work includes research on public administration and political power, executive politics, energy and climate change politics, and the Department of Justice as a working system.
Related to the legacy of Abraham Lincoln is his interest in how democratic systems can accommodate the facts of multi-racial and multi-ethnic populations. A widely published author, Dr. Holden’s 1973 book, The Politics of the Black “Nation,” along with its companion, The White Man’s Burden, was a classic in the early political scholarship on race and politics.
Dr. Holden, who retired from the University of Virginia in 2002, also taught at Wayne State University, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
He served as president of the American Political Science Association in 1998-99. He was also President of the Policy Studies Organization, and Editor of the National Political Science Review. He is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Senior Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.
His public service work includes service on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Wisconsin Public Service Commission, and a variety of local, state, and Federal advisory committees. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science from Northwestern University.
Dr. Karen Swan, professor in Education Leadership was named the James J. Stukel Distinguished Professor of Educational Leadership. Dr. Swan’s research has been focused mainly in the general area of media and learning, and her current research focuses on online learning, data literacy, and ubiquitous computing.
She is particularly known for her research into the effectiveness of online teaching and learning, and for her work on communities of inquiry as it relates to online education.
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.
Dr. Swan has published over 70 journal articles and book chapters as well as two books and several multimedia applications on educational media and technology topics. She serves on the editorial boards of several journals, on the program committees for three educational technology conferences, and currently chairs the Sloan-C International Conference on Online Learning.
Dr. Swan 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.
She 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 Teachers College, Columbia University.
Dr. Keith Miller, a professor in Computer Science since 1993 was named the Louise Hartman Schewe and Karl Schewe Professor in Liberal Arts and Sciences. Dr. Miller’s research specialties are computer ethics and software testing. He is author or co-author of over 300 publications and presentations and is currently the editor-in-chief of IEEE Technology and Society and associate editor of IT Professional magazine. He was one of the authors of a code of ethics for software engineers adopted by international organizations and translated into seven languages.
Dr. Miller’s research is aggressively inter-disciplinary. He has collaborated with computer scientists, biologists, philosophers, lawyers and psychologists, and he is the associate director of UIS’ newly named Alfred O. and Barbara Cordwell Therkildsen Field Station at Emiquon, site of The Nature Conservancy’s floodplain restoration project on the Illinois River. He is also pleased to serve as an associate faculty member in UIS’ Philosophy Department.
Named a University of Illinois Scholar in 2000, Dr. Miller has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Illinois Board of Higher Education, and the Sloan Foundation. He also received the Outstanding Service award from the Association of Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Computers and Society in 2006.
An early adopter of online education at UIS, Dr. Miller earned his Bachelor of Science in Education from Concordia Teachers College in Seward, Nebraska; his Master of Science in Mathematics from the College of William and Mary; and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Iowa.
About the Awards:
A member of the Committee for Higher Education in Central Illinois, Wilbur Wepner helped found Sangamon State University (now UIS) in 1969. His wife, Margaret, supported her husband’s efforts. He died in 1994. Before her death in 2005, Mrs. Wepner cast the couple’s final vote of confidence in UIS’ future by leaving an “unrestricted” estate gift of $1.2 million to the university, part of which was used to create a distinguished professorship named in her honor.
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.
Louise Hartman Schewe was a teacher and active civic leader whose interests included the Springfield Art Association and the Illinois Symphony Guild. Karl Schewe was a member of the Chicago Board of Trade and A.G. Edwards and Sons, Springfield. Upon her death in 2006, Louise Schewe left a generous bequest to the University of Illinois Springfield to support initially a professorship, and eventually a chair in Liberal Arts and Sciences.
To watch the video of the Investiture click on the link below