Faculty Overview

Faculty listed below are presently serving on our program committee. Other affiliated faculty are available to teach and to serve on student committees.

Beverly Bunch

B.S. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, M.P.A. Syracuse University, Ph.D. Carnegie-Mellon University.

Research interests: state and local government budgeting and financial management, intergovernmental relations, and policy analysis.

Adriana Crocker

Adriana is a J.D. from the National University of La Plata, Argentina and a Ph.D. from Northern Illinois University.

She specializes in Latin American politics and has a strong background in international law. Her research interests include the study of gender quota legislation and other institutional mechanisms for women, and international and regional organizations, particularly those concerned with gender, such as the Inter-American Commission of Women (OAS).
She is also interested in the broader fields of human rights and women’s rights.

Jay Gilliam

Jay Gilliam is an assistant professor of Criminal Justice, joins UIS after three years on the faculty in the Department of Criminology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Gilliam’s research interests include the relationship among drugs, alcohol, and crime; ecological factors of crime; and issues of juvenile justice. His work has been published in the journal Deviant Behavior and he has made numerous presentations at national academic conferences. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Oklahoma in 2006.

Sharron Lafollette

Sharron LaFollette, Ph.D. is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Public Health at University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS) with a joint faculty appointment in the Institute for Legal and Policy Studies. She received her Ph.D. in Toxicology from Oregon State University. Prior to joining academia, she spent eight years in Illinois government conducting multi-media risk assessments and providing risk communication and educational programs for physicians, public health professionals, and the general public. She taught and was director of the Environmental Health Program at Illinois State University for eight years before coming to UIS, and was Chair of the Department of Environmental Health prior to her current appointment. She teaches Environmental Toxicology; Environmental Risk Assessment sequence (leads to Certificate of Risk Assessment); Risk Management and Communication; and Environmental Policy: Air Quality, Solid and Hazardous Waste Technology and Policy , and Public Policy at the graduate level. She is currently the Graduate Chair of the National Environmental Health Science & Protection Accreditation Council (EHAC), past-president of EHAC past-president of the Association of Environmental Health Academic Programs, and past-president of the Illinois Environmental Health Association. Her research and consulting are in risk evaluation, risk communication, workforce development, indoor air quality impact on health, and radon levels related to building dynamics. She has over 28 years experience in conference and workshop planning and delivery in the multidisciplinary area of environmental health.

Will Miller

Will Miller, Professor and chair of Public Administration, was the founding director of the doctoral program in public policy at the University of Arkansas. He has also worked as a policy analyst for St. Louis University and with numerous community-based advocacy and service groups. His professional focus is on public policy in such areas as desegregation policy, church and state issues, citizen participation in economic development, financial ratios, equal employment, and the use of race in research. His work has appeared in Public Administration Review, American Review of Public Administration, Women and Politics, State and Local Government Review, and The American Journal of Political Science. He holds an M. Div. from Eden Theological Seminary and earned a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from St. Louis University in 1991.

Dennis Ruiz

Dennis received his Ph.D. in geological sciences from The University of Texas at Austin in 2007 and joins UIS after spending three years teaching at Auburn University. Dennis is a vertebrate paleontologist with research interests inthe relationship of past climate change and fossil mammal communities. This includes the rigorous testing of paleoecological models and developing new quantifiable methods of examining past environmental change. To this end, Dennis has done field work throughout the US – coast to coast, and border to border. His work is published both in regional journals and international ones (including Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, Journal of Human Evolution, and Journal of Paleontology).

John Transue

Professor Transue is assistant professor of Political Studies with an appointment in the Institute for Legal, Legislative, and Policy Studies, was an assistant professor of Political Science at Duke University before coming to UIS. His research primarily involves social identity, public opinion, political participation, and the relationships between political events and financial markets. His research has been published in the American Journal of Political Science, Political Psychology, Annual Review of Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, and Public Opinion Quarterly. He received his Ph.D. in Political Science with an interdisciplinary minor in Political Psychology from the University of Minnesota in 2001.

Junfeng Wang

Professor Wang is an assistant professor in the Department of Public Administration. She received a PhD in Public Policy from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and a MPA degree from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Her research interests focus on urban development policy, environmental policy, and comparative studies. Her most recent research is to assess the health impacts of brownfield redevelopment.

Pinky Wassenberg

Dr. Pinky S. Wassenberg
Professor of Political Science & Legal Studies
Director, Doctorate of Public Administration Program
E-mail: pwass1@uis.edu
Telephone: (217) 206-7892
Office: PAC 420

Pinky Wassenberg is the Director of the UIS Doctorate of Public Administration Program. She is a Professor of Political Science and Legal Studies, jointly appointed between the Political Science Department and the Legal Studies Department. Dr. Wassenberg received a Ph.D. in Political Science from Washington State University and a J.D. from Lewis and Clark School of Law. From 2004-2006, she was Interim Dean of the College of Public Affairs and Administration and from 2006-2012, she served as Dean of that college. Dr. Wassenberg’s teaching focuses on issues of public policy and the law, in particular, national security policy and the law. Prior to entering campus administration, her research focused broadly on the evaluation of innovative court service programs in Illinois.

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