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Faculty Notes: Spring 2021

Honors & Awards

Ms. Kelly Chanay, Assistant Professor of Applied Health Sciences, was appointed to the position of president-elect of the Kansas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (KSAND).

Dr. Marcus Childress, Vice President for Academic Affairs, was a “Breakfast With Champions” Honoree at the 2019 Association for Educational Communications and Technology International Convention. The breakfast allows convention attendees to engage in conversations on research topics and interests with 30 top scholars and leaders in the field.

Dr. Will Duncan, ’12, Assistant Professor of Mathematics, was awarded the KU Chancellor’s Outstanding GTA Award for the 2019-2020 academic year. In May he was named the 2020-2021 recipient of the Charles W. Oswald Teaching Award for Graduate Teaching Assistants in economic at KU, and he also successfully defended his doctoral dissertation in economics at the University of Kansas and was passed with honors.

Last spring, Dr. Lowell Jacobsen, Rhodes Professor of International Business, was awarded the Distinguished Scholarship Award.

Last spring, Dr. Erin Joyce, Professor of French, received the Distinguished Faculty Award.

Dr. Trilla Lyerla, Professor of Music and Baker University’s institutional representative to the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), has been elected to serve a three-year term to the NASM Commission on Accreditation.

Director of Bands Dr. Frank Perez was appointed the technology manager for the first virtual Kansas Music Educators Association State Conference in February.

Mr. Howard Rhoden was awarded the Bob Campbell Outstanding Faculty Service Award at the October 2019 SPGS Faculty Meeting. Mr. Rhoden has been a member of the SPGS faculty since 2001. During that time, the retired Army officer and aviator taught 1,234 Baker students, 102 sections of various courses, and 10 different subjects, including writing, critical thinking, and orientation courses. Recipients of the annual award are selected by SPGS students as a talented faculty member who best supports the teaching and learning process at SPGS.

Publications & Presentations

Dr. Regena Aye, Assistant Professor of Education, served as a keynote speaker at the Civil Air Patrol Virtual National Conference in August 2020. More than 10,000 people signed up for the virtual conference.

Dr. Li Chen-Bouckhas continued to advance the field through publication and conference presentations.

  • Published a journal article “Relations of Chinese Mothers’ Cultural Values and Parental Control to Early Adolescents’ Self-Construals” in the Journal of Early Adolescence with her coauthor M. M. Patterson.
  • Served as a reviewer for the Learning and Individual Differences journal published by Elsevier.

Dr. Marcus Childress, Vice President for Academic Affairs, presented two panel sessions at the 2019 Association for Educational Communications and Technology International Convention: “Moving Up the Organizational Food Chain: From Faculty Member to Administrator” and “Effective Administration Inspired by Technology.” Dr. Childress gave an invited presentation at the 2019 Global HR Forum in Seoul, South Korea. The topic of his presentation was “The Role of Education in Creating a Dynamic Society.”

Dr. Kyunghwaha Cho, Research Analyst and Assistant Professor, and colleagues submitted a manuscript titled “Relevance of the S-O-R Paradigm in a Cross-Cultural Examination of Apparel Online Purchase Intentions” to the Journal of Global Fashion Marketing. Dr. Kyunghwaha Cho recently had an article selected for publication in an academic journal. “Revisiting critical factors on teachers’ technology integration: The difference between elementary and secondary teachers” appears in the Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 39(4), 548-561 with the reference. The citation is Jung, Y., Cho, K., & Shin, W. (2019).

Dr. Verneda Edwards, a professor at both the undergraduate and doctoral levels at the School of Education, had an article accepted for publication in February in the national publication Strategies: A Journal for Physical and Sport Educators.“It Is Time to Use Technology.”

  • Contributed four essays to the recent publication of the book How to Be an Outstanding PE Teacher: The Stories of MAD PE Teachers Who Have Made a Difference, edited by Artie Kamiya and published in July.
  • Reviewed an article for publication for ICPEL, a peer-reviewed journal, in September.
  • Designed and delivered two professional development sessions to physical and health educators across Kansas. The sessions included 12 one-hour sessions for educators teaching virtually and face-to-face and a workshop conducted to support educators wanting to develop online courses for this fall.
  • Presented in July the workshop What Are You Going to Do? How to Teach During This Crazy Time.

Dr. Alan Grant, Professor of Business and Economics, published the second edition of his textbook, Economic Analysis of Social Issues, as well as a new pop economics book with Linda Ghent, Seinfeld and Economics: Lessons on Everything From the Show About Nothing.

Dr. Don Hatcher, Professor of Philosophy and Walter Bailey Chair of Humanities, completed a year-long sabbatical, during which he completed the sixth edition of Science, Ethics, and Technological Assessment and wrote a new book on critical thinking, Logic for Critical Thinkers. He authored a paper with Dr. Molly Ireland, ’06, “Does One’s Major Affect Critical Thinking Scores?” in Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines (in press). He also coauthored with Kevin Possin, “Thinking Critically About Critical-Thinking Assessment, a chapter in Critical Thinking and Reasoning: Current Research, Theories, and Practice.

Dr. Randy Miller, Research Assistant Professor, has completed the following publications (*=Bakerstudent,**=Bakerprofessor).

  • Miller, W.R.**, McCowan, P.J.*, Perry, E.S.,  Schulze, S.L., Shannon, R.K. and Henry, C.B.S.** 2020. Tardigrades  of  North America: New records  of  occurrence for three species  of  green tardigrades (Heterotardigrada, Echiniscoidea,  Echiniscidae, Viridiscus). Transactions  of  the Kansas Academy  of  Science 123(1-2):235-241.  
  • Cortes, L.T.*, Cortes, B.W. and Miller, W.R.** 2020. Tardigrades  of  Hardin County, Iowa: Seven new records from Iowa, USA. Transactions  of  the Kansas Academy of Science 123(1-2):203-212. DOI:10.1660/062.123.0117 
  • Villella, J., Miller, J.E.D., Young, A.R.*, Carey, G., Emanuels, A.*, and Miller, W.R.** 2020.  Tardigrades in the Forest Canopy: Associations with Tree Vole Nests in Southwest Oregon. Northwest Science 94(1):24-30. 

Dr. Ryan Olsen, Director of Choral Activities, presented two sessions at the Kansas Music Educators Association (KMEA) In-Service Workshop, February 27-29 in Wichita, Kansas. 

Director of Bands  Dr. Frank Perez  presented at these webinars and conferences: “Tips for Students Recording Auditions and Festival Solos” at the Kansas Bandmasters (KBA) Webinar Series and “Kansas Professorial Summit II” at the Kansas Music Educators Association In-Service Workshop.   

Dr. Nicholaus Pumphrey, Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Curator of the Quayle Bible Collection, published a chapter about religion and race, “Ms. Marvel and Marvel NOW! An Attempt to Disrupt the White Privilege of Fanboys” in Ms. Marvel’s America: No Normal, edited by Jessica Baldanzi and Hussein Rashid. He also published an article about superheroes and religion in the Biblical Archaeology Review

Dr. Dean Richards, member of the School of Education undergraduate faculty, presented at the Education for Empowerment Conference at Emporia State University. 


Faculty from biology, chemistry, mathematics and education received a $1 million Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Grant from the National Science Foundation to recruit and support 24 aspiring teachers of biology, chemistry, and mathematics to teach in high-need schools. Baker faculty in these departments will prepare these teacher candidates for the classroom by providing preservice teaching experiences, professional development opportunities, and an innovative mentorship program with in-service teachers. Noyce Scholars will receive a scholarship award of $11,000 during their junior and senior years. Read more about this program.

Ms. Kim Glackin, a member of the SPGS adjunct faculty since 2018, is working on a grant through the National Science Foundation to continue her research on the effects the use of virtual reality in the class has on college student engagement and knowledge of course content. To date, Glackin has completed experiments in an introductory sociology course with promising results. The goal is to implement this program in calculus, chemistry, psychology, and biology. Also, she is assessing three terms of data on student reports of self-efficacy, which were assessed at three different points in the semester. Glackin is studying to learn whether the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic affected students’ perception of self-efficacy.

Last summer, Dr. Randy Miller, Research Assistant Professor, Dr. Robert Schukei, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Dr. Mahmoud Al-Kofahi, Professor of Physics, and Dr. Scott Kimball, Associate Professor of Biology, were awarded a National Science Foundation Infrastructure Innovation for Biological Research grant in the amount of $256,849 for their project “Cross Departmental Development of an Automated Species Identification System for the Phylum Tardigrada Found on Birds.” In collaboration with Dr. Lynn Kimsey at the Bohart Museum of Entomology, University of California at Davis, they will begin this three-year project with Baker University undergraduate students in the Department of Biology and Chemistry and the Department of Math, Physics, and Computer Science to collect tardigrades from birds and habitats at the Baker University Wetlands and to design technologies for automatically building a slide-based collection of tardigrades and automatically identifying the specimens. In addition, they will work with Dr. Irene Unger, Associate Professor of Biology and Director of the Wetlands, to take advantage of the new housing and research facilities at the Wetlands, where the work will be based.

Notable Mentions

Dr. Chad Gerber, Assistant Professor of Sports Administration, began as faculty advisor to the Sports Admin Club in the fall of 2020. Students from the club started the weekly “The Heating Up Podcast,” with sports talk and news about the Sports Admin Club. Because of the pandemic, the group members networked through two guest speakers instead of site visits: Dan Popik, Vice President, Youth Business Development, Sporting Kansas City; and Don Costante, Senior Director, Event Presentation and Production, Kansas City Royals.

Last summer, Associate Professor of Theatre Tom Heiman was invited to be part of a webinar on sound design by Stage Directions magazine. He posed questions to two professional sound designers with a virtual audience of high school students and teachers. He is also on the organizing committee for the new Heart of America College Theatre Auditions, an online resource for students to virtually audition and interview for theatre scholarships at 32 Midwestern colleges.

Dr. Randy Miller, Research Assistant Professor, served on two master’s student committees (Rutgers University and the University of North Texas), has performed two reviews for grant funding requests for the Polish Academy of Science, and completed three professional reviews for peer-reviewed journals of manuscripts about tardigrades. He also presented a professional seminar at the University of North Texas by Zoom.

In September, Associate Professor of History Dr. Leonard Ortiz was interviewed by the Kansas City PBS radio station KTBG 90.9 to discuss Hispanic Heritage Month, specifically Hispanic activism in the Kansas City area during the late 1960s and early 1970s. The inquiry was based on an article he wrote on the subject.

Dr. J.D. Parr, former Professor of Music (and current adjunct professor), made the news in Muskegon, Michigan, in August for playing his accordion live for a retirement community that had been largely locked down since the previous March. Parr played songs for each section of the Park Terrace Retirement Community, and the residents watched the performance from their balconies.

Dr. Charlsie Prosser, Associate Professor of Education, will have the opportunity to teach for a semester at Harlaxton. She will teach Children’s and Adolescent Literature and Diversity in Education where students will be placed in local schools for practicum hours, and the class Autism in the Media. Prosser will be joined at Harlaxton by her son Chance and daughter Michaela. Both are Baker students and will be students at Harlaxton that semester.

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