Meet our Faculty

Adriana Piatti-Crocker, Professor of Political Science, Co-Director of the Global Studies ProgramPhoto Professor Crocker

Adriana Piatti-Crocker is a professor of Political Science and teaches comparative politics and international relations courses with an emphasis on Latin American politics.  Her most recent book, Gender Quotas in South America’s Big Three: National and Subnational Impacts (Lexington Books with Gregory Schmidt and Clara Araújo) focuses on policies intended to promote the inclusion of women in Latin America’s legislatures, and their effects.  More recently, she has published peer-reviewed articles on the status of gender-parity legislation in Latin America.

Dr. Piatti-Crocker received the distinguished 2016 Pearson Faculty Award that recognizes a faculty member whose performance exemplifies UIS’ commitment to excellence in teaching and who stands among the very best teachers on campus.  In 2018, Professor Piatti-Crocker became the first Presidential Fellow from UIS and was re-appointed in 2019.  She is also the current President of the Midwest Association for Latin American Studies (MALAS).

Sibel Oktay, Associate Professor of Political Science and Global StudiesPhoto Professor Oktay

Dr. Sibel Oktay specializes in Foreign Policy Analysis. She investigates how domestic political institutions influence foreign policy decision-making processes and foreign policy behavior; the impact of foreign policy on public opinion and voting behavior; and how the psychological traits of political leaders affect these relationships. Her refereed articles have been published in the European Journal of Political Research, Journal of European Public Policy, British Journal of Politics and International Relations, and European Security, among other outlets.

She is also an affiliate faculty member in the Doctorate of Public Administration Program at UIS and teaches for the Capital Scholars Honors Programs. For Global Studies, Dr. Oktay teaches the Global Studies Capstone, Introduction to International Relations, Foreign Policy Analysis, International Politics of the Middle East, War and Peace, and Politics of Western Europe.

Dr. Oktay holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Syracuse University. She received her M.A. and BA in Political from Sabanci University in Istanbul, Turkey, and studied abroad for one semester at Vrije Universitaet Amsterdam. Prior to joining UIS, she was a visiting predoctoral fellow at Northwestern University’s Buffett Institute for Global Affairs between 2012 and 2014.

Roberto Rincon, Lecturer of Political Science

Roberto Rincon is the 2018-2019 Doctoral Dissertation Fellow at the University of Illinois Springfield.  Mr. Rincon will join the Political Science and Global Studies faculty as an Assistant Professor in the Fall of 2019.  He is completing his Ph.D. in the Political Science Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  His dissertation, Migrating Identities: A Transnational Study of Afro-Mexican Racial Identification offers a transnational analysis of the ways in which legal status, phenotype and political context shape the black racial identification of Afro-Mexicans as they migrate within and across national borders.  His work is based on multi-sited ethnographic research in the Costa Chica region of Southern Mexico and in​ Afro-Mexican communities in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  His research interests include 20th and 21st century Racial and Ethnic Politics in Latin America; Afro-Mexican Studies, LatinX Studies, Social Movements Theory; Cultural Studies, and Postcolonial Theory. 

Global Studies Advisory Council

advises on curriculum development and program assessment

Adriana Crocker (Co-Director, Political Science), Sibel Oktay (Co-Director, Political Science), Kristi Barnwell (History), Amie Kincaid (Communication), Jennifer Manthei (Sociology/Anthropology), and Roberto Rincon (Political Science).

Emerita Faculty

Dr. Steve Schwark, Professor Emeritus of Global Studies and Political Science    E-mail:

Steve Schwark’s research and writing focused on international relations and American foreign policy, with a particular interest in the presidential foreign policies of John Kennedy and Jimmy Carter.  A former scholar of US-Soviet relations during the Cold War, he later concentrated primarily on American foreign policy in the Middle East.  His research on Carter explored the impact of Carter’s religious views on his diplomacy in that region; the initial work looked at Carter’s peacemaking efforts leading to the Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel. 

Dr. Hilary Anne Frost, Professor Emeritus of Global Studies     E-mail:

Dr. Frost holds the Ph.D. in cultural geography from Pennsylvania State University; an M.A. in international studies from the University of Iowa; an M.P.A. with specialization in arts administration from Ohio State University; and a B.A. in history from Michigan State University.  From 1978 to 1992 she worked in the field of arts management doing fund raising, marketing and strategic management with a variety of multi-disciplinary arts organizations.  From 1992 to 2019 she worked in academia, teaching cultural geography, international studies, non-profit management and arts administration.  Her research interests are as eclectic as her degrees: geography, geology, international studies, the role of the arts in community development, and Africa.  She retired in 2019 as the Director of the Global Studies Program.