FACULTY AND STAFF
M.Ed., Education, Salisbury State University
B.Mus., Music Education, West Virginia University
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.
B.S., Early Childhood Education, University of Illinois-Urbana/Champaign
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.
M.A., Ethnomusicology, University of Limerick (Ireland)
B.M., Music Education, Ithaca College
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 doctorate 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.
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.
M.Ed., Educational Leadership, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
B.A., Education, Eastern Illinois University
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.
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
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.
B.A., Liberal Studies, Concordia University, Irvine, California
Kimberlee Wagner is an Associate 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.