Ralph Keen, Dean of Honors College
Ralph Keen, 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.
Stacie McCloud Williams, Associate Dean
Dean McCloud 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 McCloud Williams also works on planning Honors College courses, and maintaining student records.
Eliza Callahan, Assistant Dean for Student Services
Eliza has been a member of the Honors College staff since 2010. Eliza is the coordinator for the Guaranteed Professional Program Admissions (GPPA) initiative. She also serves as an academic advisor and HON 101 instructor. Eliza also works to coordinate the advising and initiatives of the Honors College. She is an active member of the National Association of Advisors in the Health Professions (NAAHP), the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) and the Illinois Academic Advising Association (ILACADA). She received her Master’s in Higher Education Administration from George Washington University and her B.A. in Anthropology from McGill University.
Michele McCrillis, Assistant Dean of Curriculum and Outreach Programs
Michele McCrillis is an Art Historian and prior to joining the Honors College in 2017, taught at Columbus State University (CSU) in Georgia for seventeen years, where she was Associate Professor of Art History specializing in 19th and 20th century art. While at CSU, McCrillis created and taught courses for the Honors College and collaborated with faculty across disciplines to develop and teach Freshman Learning Communities and International Learning Communities. She also taught Study Abroad programs in Italy and the United Kingdom. She received several teaching awards, including Outstanding Teacher of Writing in 2012. In 2015 she was nominated by her university for the Council of Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) US Professor of the Year. Her duties for the Honors College at UIC include curriculum programming, working with the Faculty Fellows and developing outreach programming and grants for externally funded projects. She is very excited to be back in Chicago, where she received her Masters in Art History, Theory and Criticism from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is originally from London, England.
Nikki Gottleib, Academic Advisor and Program Specialist
Nikki joined the Honors College staff in the fall of 2016, and advises students, teaches in HON 101, and creates programming around leadership and service. She completed her B.A. in Communications and Theatre & Drama at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her M.Ed. in Higher Education at Loyola University Chicago. Nikki grew up in Wisconsin, but has been in Chicago since 2008 and has worked at Loyola, the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, the Illinois Institute of Technology, and in the virtual world at Kaplan University. On the side, she freelances as an event coordinator and you can sometimes find her on a trolley during the holiday season, leading tours around the city. Nikki is an avid theatre fan, a big reader and book collector, obsessed with her dog, and often retains too much knowledge of pop culture.
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.
Massiel De los Santos, Academic Advisor and Program Specialist
Massiel joined the Honors College in August 2017. Originally from the Dominican Republic and Boston, MA, she completed her Bachelor of Arts in Latin American Studies at Smith College and her Master of Arts in Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Before joining the Honors College staff, Massiel worked as a Success Counselor in Bottom Line, where she provided academic, financial aid, career, and life counseling to first-generation, low-income students in the Chicago area. In addition to advising students and teaching HON 101, Massiel coordinates the first-year programming, the Honors Ambassadors program, and the weekly Honors College Announcements. During her free time, she enjoys traveling with her wife and family, reading, researching feminism in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, and volunteering. Massiel is a native Spanish speaker.
Julianne Angeli, Academic Advisor and Program Specialist
Julianne advises students, teaches the HON 101 first-year experience course, and supports the UIC chapters of Phi Eta Sigma and Phi Kappa Phi national honor societies. Her programming areas are scholarships and study abroad. Studying in France for an academic year during her undergraduate inspired her to pursue a career in higher education, and she is thrilled to be supporting Honors College students in enhancing their undergraduate experience through experiential learning. She earned a B.A. in French, Literary Studies, and Creative Writing from Beloit College. After graduating, she served with AmeriCorps in Chicago, worked in study abroad advising, and spent a year teaching English in Turkey on a Fulbright grant before deciding to pursue a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis-Higher Education at the University of Missouri. During her graduate program, she co-led a service-learning trip to Nicaragua, worked in fellowships advising, and earned a certificate in grant writing. In her free time, Julianne enjoys reading, writing, volunteering, traveling, and studying languages.