FACULTY

Associate Professor; Chair and Unit Head, Department of Education
Ed.D, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
M.A., Marshall University, Huntington, WV
B.S., Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
Phone: 815-394-5071
E-mail: CMccullough@rockford.edu
Assistant Professor of Education, Interim Director of Early Childhood Education Programs
M.Ed. - Integrated Studies Brock University St. Catherine's, Ontario, Canada
B.Ed., Elementary Education K-8, University of Ottawa (Ottawa, Ontario)
H.B.O.R., Honors Bachelor of Outdoor Recreation, Certificate in Tourism and Recreation, Lakehead University (Thunder Bay, Ontario)
B.A., Geography/English, Lakehead University (Thunder Bay, Ontario)
Phone: 815-226-5172
E-mail: EBott@rockford.edu
Elisa Bott, assistant professor of Education and interim director of Early Childhood Education programs, has enjoyed a varied career of over 20 years in education in both the public and private systems in Canada and abroad. She began her career as an outdoor education teacher, then taught in preschools and elementary schools, was an instructional coach, and a curriculum consultant for both Literacy and Numeracy (Kindergarten through high school).

She has presented at numerous international conferences on teacher professional development strategies and effective implementation of best practice in Literacy and Numeracy. While in Shanghai China, she worked as an Assistant Principal at the British International School of Shanghai. Lisa has published numerous articles and book reviews on teacher professional development. She has always been and remains a passionate advocate for effective teacher education and professional development. Her favorite role however, is that of Mom to her three boys.
Adjunct Professor of Education
Dean, College of Social Sciences, Commerce and Education; Professor of Education
Ph.D., Education, Curriculum and Instruction, Southern Illinois University
M.Ed., Education, Salisbury State University
B.Mus., Music Education, West Virginia University
Phone: 815-394-5204
E-mail: DDew@rockford.edu
Dr. Debra Dew serves as the Director of Elementary Education. In addition to securing clinical placements for students seeking elementary certification, she teaches the middle school programs class, the elementary student teaching seminar, and the field experience class. She has extensive experience as a K-12 music teacher in the Maryland Public Schools.

Dr. Dew received her BMUS from West Virginia University, her MS from Salisbury State University, and her Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University. She is a member of the Association of Teacher Educators, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, and Phi Delta Kappa.Debra Dew is a former public school music teacher. She teaches middle and secondary education methods courses and specializes in effective practice related to teacher education. An active member of the Association of Teacher Educators (ATE), Dr. Dew has served on several national committees.
Unit Compliance Accreditation Specialist
M.A.T., Teacher Leadership, University of Illinois-Springfield
B.S., Early Childhood Education, University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign
Phone: 815-394-4377
E-mail: LEaston@rockford.edu

Laura Easton serves as the Education Unit’s Accreditation Compliance Specialist, who oversees the assessment plan and federal and state accreditation projects for the Education program. Laura is also an early childhood adjunct instructor. She has experience in teaching kindergarten and early elementary students in the greater Rockford area.

Assistant Professor of Education
Ed.D., Northern Illinois University
M.S., Northern Illinois University
B.A., Northern Illinois University
Phone: 815-226-3365
E-mail: LGerzel-Short@rockford.edu
Assistant Director of the Library of Congress Project
Phone: 815-226-3336
E-mail: MGriffith@rockford.edu
Assistant Professor of Education
Ph.D., History of Education, Indiana University
M.A., Ethnomusicology, University of Limerick (Ireland)
B.M., Music Education, Ithaca College
Phone: 815-226-4097
E-mail: JHardesty@rockford.edu
Jacob Hardesty is an Assistant Professor of Education at Rockford University, where he teaches foundations courses in educational history and research methods.  He completed his Ph.D. in 2013 at Indiana University in educational history.  His work has appeared in the High Ability Studies, American Educational History Journal, a forthcoming issue of History of Education Quarterly, and edited volumes.  He also serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Historical Research in Music Education.  Dr. Hardesty has a B.M. in Music Education from Ithaca College and an M.A. in Ethnomusicology from the University of Limerick, Ireland.  Before coming to Rockford, he taught music for four years in public and Catholic schools, as well as education courses at DePauw University and Indiana University.

Dr. Hardesty’s primary research interest involves the historical connections and tensions between popular culture and public education. His dissertation, which he is currently revising as a book, explores educators’ perceptions and responses toward the impact jazz would have on young people in the 1920s. More than a musical genre, jazz operated as the clearest diving line between a Victorianist ethos of restraint and an emerging modernist alternative. Despite a general dislike among both groups, university faculty and administrators allowed students more agency to shape the culture of their institutions than their secondary school colleagues, who sought to minimize young people’s exposure to jazz.
Adjunct Associate Professor of Education, Visiting Lecture, & 1st Year Advisor
Phone: 815-226-4174
E-mail: RJames@rockford.edu
Licensure Officer
Phone: 815-226-4159
E-mail: EJohnson-Lovett@rockford.edu
Elizabeth Johnson-Lovett is the Licensure Officer with the Education Department at Rockford University. Elizabeth started working at Rockford in the Education Department as the Administrative Assistant. After working with the Education Department and Education students for four years, she took on the role as the Certification/Licensure Officer. Elizabeth is the liaison to the Illinois State Board of Education and entitles teacher candidates with their teaching licenses and endorsements.

Elizabeth has been involved in teaching and education for a number of years. She has a passion to help students learn so they can become productive and engaging community members. She currently serves as a school board member to a local school district and has been serving since 2005. Elizabeth has also been teaching CCD at her church for over 20 years. She has taught grades Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grade.

By being employed at Rockford University, Elizabeth was able to complete her long time goal to complete her Bachelor’s Degree. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Management Studies in May 2011. Elizabeth proved to her two daughters that you are never too old to learn and achieve your goal. Both of Elizabeth’s daughters have attended Rockford University. Her oldest daughter is currently working on her Bachelor’s Degree in Management Studies while also working full time.
Adjunct Professor of Education
Director of Licensure Programs
M.A., Anthropology, McGill University (Montreal, Canada)
B.S., Education, Northern Illinois University
B.A., Philosophy, Macalester College
Phone: 815-226-4096
E-mail: MLagunas@rockford.edu
Maitreyi Lagunas has worked in private and public schools in DeKalb and Rockford, Illinois teaching elementary and middle school.  Maitreyi is presently pursuing her Reading Specialist.  She lives in Rockford with her husband and 3 children, and in her free time, she enjoys reading, gardening, and exercising.
Administrative Assistant Library of Congress Grant
Phone: 815-394-5044
E-mail: NMorris@rockford.edu
Director of Elementary Education, Assistant Professor of Education
Ed.D., Educational Leadership, Northern Illinois University
M.Ed., Educational Leadership, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
B.A., Education, Eastern Illinois University
Phone: 815-226-3337
E-mail: SueSmith@rockford.edu
I have been involved in the field of Education since 1974. During my time in Prek-12 education, I have been a high school English/Journalism teacher, an elementary principal, middle school principal, assistant superintendent and a superintendent. During my eighteen years in the classroom, I coached several sports including tennis, cross-country, and track.

As an administrator for 15 years, I worked with all of facets of administration including the administration of the bilingual, Title 1, and school improvement grants as well as being in charge of the day-to-day operation of a building or district. Since I have come to Rockford University, I have continued to serve the field of education by preparing future educators by teaching classes in middle school methods, classroom management, and student teaching.
Associate Professor of Education
M.A.T., Reading Specialist, Rockford University
M.S., Education, Administration, Northern Illinois University
M.S., Education, Special Education, Loyola University, Maryland
B.S., Theology, Way College of Biblical Research, Indiana
B.S., Physical Education, Towson University, Maryland
A.A., Harford Junior College
Phone: 815-226-4181
E-mail: LStafford@rockford.edu
Professor Stafford brings to the Rockford University community teaching expertise from the regular classroom to separate setting special education classrooms; preschool to adult; recreation, camps and conferences; instruction to supervision.  She received the “Excellence in Teaching” award for Rockford University in 2013 and has been acknowledged by the Illinois Board of Education as “Those Who Excel” for classroom teacher.  She serves as Special Education Faculty in the Education Department providing instruction on exceptional children – Survey, Methods, Classroom and Behavior Management, Literacy, and Diagnosis. Lynn is a member of the Council of Exceptional Children, Kappa Delta Pi, Illinois Reading Council and the Association and Supervision of Curriculum Instruction.  She has served on accreditation university teams for ISBE, Content Test review teams for Pearson and is a qualified scorer for licensure for edTPA. She provides professional development for local agencies and serves as a tutor for the Rockford Area Literacy Council.
Assistant Professor of Education: Director, Reading Specialist program
M.A.T., Reading, National University, Costa Mesa, California
B.A., Liberal Studies, Concordia University, Irvine, California
Phone: 815-226-4178
E-mail: KWagner@rockford.edu
Kimberlee Wagner is an Assistant Professor in the Education Department. She teaches literacy courses in the early childhood, elementary, and reading specialist programs. Professor Wagner spent six years teaching elementary grades in Southern California. After moving to Illinois in 2003, Professor Wagner taught art, music, Title I Reading, and Reading Recovery in several local school districts.  Professor Wagner received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies from Concordia University in Irvine, California, and her MAT in Reading from National University in Costa Mesa, California. She is currently in the dissertation phase of an Ed.D in Reading, Language, and Literacy at National Louis University. Her research interests are guided reading and professional development practices for teachers.
Adjunct Professor of Education
Adjunct Professor of Education
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Education
Adjunct Professor of Education
Adjunct Professor of Education

DEPARTMENT INFORMATION

Education

5050 E. State
Rockford, IL 61108
815-394-5071
815-394-5249
Dr. Christopher McCullough
CMccullough@rockford.edu

Education Unit Head & Chair