Dean Ralph Keen

Ralph Keen, Interim Dean of Honors College

Ralph Keen, Interim Dean of the Honors College (2015-16), was a classics major as an undergraduate and received his PhD in the history of Christianity. Before he came to UIC in 2010 as professor of history and Schmitt Chair in Catholic Studies, he taught in the Religious Studies department at the University of Iowa, where he was also Director of Undergraduate Studies and Honors Advisor (as well as supervisor of dozens of senior research projects). He has also been a visiting professor at Harvard Divinity School.

Honors mentoring, he feels, calls for allowing oneself to be challenged and stimulated by a student’s plans. What’s your dream? How far do you want to go? A good advisor and teacher listens to the Honors College student and guides that person on a path toward realizing that goal. All our students, Keen feels, are impressive on paper and in person; but it’s when working with them that they inspire their professors. The best students bring out the best efforts in those lucky enough to work with them. Mr. Keen sees his job as making those productive relationships possible.

Dean Hui-Ching Chang

Hui-Ching Chang, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

As a Fulbright Scholar to Ukraine (2010-2011), Prof. Chang is also Chair Professor of the College of Journalism at Xiamen University, China, 2009-2012. She was also visiting scholar to Hong Kong Baptist University (2007); National Taiwan University (2003-2004); and President of the Association for Chinese Communication Studies of the National Communication Association (1995-1996). She continues to serve as curriculum advisor to several universities in Taiwan and China. Dr. Chang earned her LL.B. from National Taiwan University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Speech Communication from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has been a faculty member in the Department of Communication since 1994, and an Honors College Faculty Fellow since 2002. In the Department, she has served as Director of Undergraduate Studies since 2007, and as Director of Graduate Studies from 1996 to 2001. She is also a trained mediator for UIC's Dispute Resolution Service.

Her research focuses on interpersonal and intercultural communication, especially on Chinese language patterns and more recently on Taiwanese national identity as constituted through discursive practices. She has received several grants and top paper awards for her research and has been an invited keynote speaker at numerous international conferences. In addition to her many articles published in scholarly journals, her most recent book, Clever, Creative, Modest: The Chinese Language Practice (2010), is published by Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press. She is currently working on her second book analyzing names used by Taiwan for China, with the support of a Scholar's Grant from Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation for International Scholarly Exchange (2011).


Dean Stacie Williams

Stacie Williams, Associate Dean

Dean Williams has been working in the Honors College since 1992 after completing her degree in education.  She went on to complete her Master’s degree in teaching of mathematics in 1995.  She works with students throughout their entire time in the Honors College, beginning with admission, serving as an academic advisor, and coordinating the graduation convocation.  Dean Williams also works on planning Honors College courses, and maintaining student records.

Dr. Vernon Lindsay

Vernon Lindsay, Post-Doctoral Fellow in Teaching and Mentoring

Vernon Lindsay earned his PhD in Policy Studies in Urban Education from the University of Illinois at Chicago. His research interests include: youth development theory, critical race theory in education, resistance theory, critical pedagogy and Africana studies. Among others, Dr. Lindsay has presented his research at the American Educational Research Association’s national conference and the UIC’s Critical Race Theory and Education in Praxis conference. Dr. Lindsay’s current research involves the use of the African-Brazilian martial art of Capoeira to encourage positive self-esteem and increase academic achievement in K-12 educational settings.

Dr. Lindsay has received several awards, grants and fellowships for his academic accomplishments and commitments to community service. This list includes: the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship, the Diversifying Faculty in Higher Education Fellowship, the African-American Studies Departmental Award and the American Sociological Association/National Science Foundation’s Fund for the Advancement of the Discipline Award.

As a Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Lindsay teaches freshman core classes and the Honors Freshman Seminar, advises a cohort of honors freshmen and senior Honors Capstone thesis students, and co-directs Chicago Signature Honors Programming.

Anthony Keevan

Anthony Keevan, Assistant Dean of Administration

Anthony earned a BA in Information Technology from Tulane University and a MBA from the University of Hartford. Prior to joining the Honors College he worked at Tufts University as a Manager and Director of Administration. At the University of Hartford he was the Director of Institutional Research. Anthony oversees financial and business operations by planning, organizing and directing the operations of the College.

Tiana Johnsen

Tiana Johnsen, Business Manager

Tiana Johnsen, a self-proclaimed "island girl" from Hawaii, is a graduate of the University of Hawaii with experience in human resources and marketing. Tiana supports the Honors College in the areas of human resources, accounting, and event planning. Johnsen's desire to work in academia led her to UIC, but it is the "aloha spirit" that makes her feel that she has found a home away from home at the Honors College.

Brian Ward

Brian Ward, Assistant Director for Admissions

Brian is responsible for the admission and recruitment functions of the Honors College.  He also handles student records, serves as an academic advisor, and instructs the freshmen first-year experience course, Honors 101. 

Brian has spent many years in the University of Illinois system.  He received his B.S. in advertising from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his M.Ed in educational policy from UIC.  Brian has worked at UIC for 6 years, first in the Office of Admissions and Records and currently in the Honors College.  When he is not telling prospective students about the extraordinary benefits of the Honors College, Brian can be found searching the nation for a new roller coaster to conquer.

Christina Ruiz

Christina Ruiz , Assistant to the Dean of the Honors College

Christina is an alumna of UIC with a Bachelor’s in Psychology and an M.Ed. in Instructional Leadership - Educational Studies from the College of Education. In November 2008, Christina began working at the University as Assistant to the Dean of the Honors College. She teaches Freshman seminars, has taught an Honors 201 seminar on the topic of youth mentoring, assists with various programs, and coordinates the dean’s calendar.

Eliza Callahan

Eliza Callahan, Academic Advisor and Program Specialist

Eliza joined the Honors College in the Fall of 2010.  Prior to moving to Chicago in May 2010, she lived in the Washington, D.C. area and worked in the Department of Nursing at Georgetown University.  She received her Master’s in Higher Education Administration from George Washington University and her B.A. in Anthropology from McGill University.  Eliza works with the Associate Deans for Academic Affairs regarding the Honors College course schedule, the Capstone requirement, and the Faculty Fellows program.  In addition, she advises students, administers the Honors College scholarships, and develops the Alumni Mentoring Program.

Sara Mehta

Sara Mehta, Academic Advisor and Program Specialist

Sara advises students, instructs the Honors 101 first-year experience course, and handles the communication efforts for the Honors College, including the Honors College Announcements, the Handbook, and the Facebook page. She is also the liaison for The Ampersand, a student newsletter. Sara joined the Honors College staff in the Spring of 2013. Prior to coming to UIC, Sara worked with service-learning programs at Saint Xavier University and at the University of Michigan. Originally from southern Illinois, she earned a B.A. in International Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an M.A. in Higher Education from the University of Michigan..

Stephanie O’Leary

Stephanie O’Leary, Academic Advisor and Program Specialist

Stephanie hails from Zanesville, Ohio and joined the Honors College in August 2013 after moving to the Chicago area. She completed her B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Notre Dame and her Ed.M. in Higher Education from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). Prior to joining the Honors College advising staff at UIC, Stephanie worked as an academic advisor at UIUC and McHenry County College in Crystal Lake, Illinois. In addition to advising students and teaching HON 101, Stephanie develops initiatives related to career development and pre-professional preparation. In her spare time, she loves cooking with her husband and friends and is always on the lookout for new recipes to try.

Brianna Noll

Brianna Noll, Postdoctoral Fellow in Teaching and Mentoring.

Brianna Noll received her Ph.D. in English from the Program for Writers at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She specializes in creative writing, with poetry as her primary genre, and her research interests include: the history and theory of lyric poetry, lyric subjectivity, literary figuration, utopian literature, speculative literature, and the relation between poetic form and politics. Her current research examines the role of poetry, nostalgia, and collectivity in the history of utopian literature.

Dr. Noll’s first book of poetry, Flavor Is the Price of Scarlet, was the inaugural poetry selection for the University Press of Kentucky’s Contemporary Poetry and Prose Series and is forthcoming in Spring 2017. Her poems and book reviews have appeared in The Georgia Review, the Kenyon Review Online, The Missouri Review, Ninth Letter, Passages North, and the American Book Review, among other journals.

In her position as a Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Noll teaches freshman core classes and the Honors Freshman Seminar, advises a cohort of honors students, and co-directs the Chicago Signature Honors Programming.

Julio Chavarria

Julio Chavarria, IT Technical Associate

Julio is a UIC alum with a Bachelors in Computer Engineering. Prior to joining the Honors College he was the Network Analyst for UIC's Great Lakes ADA Center. As the IT Technical Associate, Julio manages the daily operations of the IT office for the Honors College and assesses all aspects of the IT infrastructure to identify opportunities for improvement and efficiency. This includes databases, the computer lab, backup/restore functions, etc. As the College's webmaster, Julio also makes technical additions and changes to the college's website to ensure that all constituents have up-to-date information at their fingertips.

UPDATED: July 1, 2015