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College of Education

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Teaching Philosophy

Our teaching philosophy is one where professors and students are co-learners working together and assuming shared responsibility to create a high quality learning environment. This philosophy demands that students not only work with their professors to meet their needs and goals, but also be open to new ideas, concepts, and ways of thinking. We strive to be student-centered while ensuring that course materials and instruction are based on what the field demands of its highest-performing professionals. As faculty, our ultimate goal is to challenge students to step outside their comfort zone and achieve to their highest ability.

Faculty and Staff

Royce Ann Collins

Dr. Royce Ann Collins

Associate Professor
Co-Online Program Leader and Fort Leavenworth and Olathe Programs Leader
Adult Learning and Leadership
22201 W. Innovation Drive, Olathe, KS 66061
913-307-7353
racollin@k-state.edu

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Bio

Dr. Collins joined the Adult Education faculty at K-State in 2005 after serving as an administrator of adult degree completion programs for 15 years. As an Assistant Academic Dean at Baker University’s School of Professional and Graduate Studies, she was directly responsible for student services, faculty services, assessment, and curriculum. Specifically, she was charged with developing new degree programs and articulation agreements, ensuring institutional compliance with federal/state/accreditation regulations, completing institutional reports, serving on program review committees, supervising the academic records and prior learning assessment departments, coordinating graduate events, advising students, assessing program learning outcomes and new faculty, sustaining and improving faculty development, and overseeing corporate degree program partnerships. In addition to these administrative duties, she also taught numerous courses for undergraduate and graduate students in the accelerated programs and wrote several course curriculum guides.

At K-State, Dr. Collins teaches several courses: Introduction to Adult Education, Social Foundations, Characteristics of the Adult Learner, Self-Directed Learning, and Principles of Teaching Adults. She has also published several articles and book chapters.

Research Areas
  • Teaching adults
  • Teaching and learning in all delivery formats (online, intensive, accelerated)
  • Assessment and evaluation of programs

→ Curriculum Vitae

Dianna Bartel

Dianna Bartel

Adult Learning and Leadership Program Coordinator
Fort Leavenworth/K-State Olathe
913-307-7415
dibartel@k-state.edu

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Bio

Dianna Bartel is a graduate of Kansas State University. She comes to K-State with 12 years of experience in public school and museum education as well as program planning for adults. Her interests are in the areas of arts-based learning, design thinking and social justice.

Education
  • B.S. - Art Education, Kansas State University
  • M.S. - Adult and Continuing Education, Kansas State University

Susan Yelich Biniecki

Dr. Susan Yelich Biniecki

Associate Professor
Adult Learning and Leadership
361 Bluemont Hall, 1114 Mid-Campus Drive North, Manhattan, KS 66506
785-532-5772
susanyb@k-state.edu

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Bio

Dr. Susan Yelich Biniecki has over 20 years experience as a researcher, adult educator, and administrator in settings such as the College of Education at Kansas State University, the Institute of World Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the U.S. Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, the Military of the Republic of Poland, and multinational organizations. Her research focuses on culture, knowledge construction, and international adult education. She has published in Adult Education Quarterly, Adult Learning, Rocznik Andragogiczny, The Journal of Continuing and Higher Education, and many other forums.

Education
  • B.A. - Sociology-Anthropology, English (Minor), Ripon College
  • M.S. - Administrative Leadership and Supervision in Education, Business Management (Minor), University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Ph.D. - Urban Education, Adult and Continuing Education, Sociology (Minor), University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Courses
  • Social Foundations of Adult Education
  • Introduction to Adult Education Practice
  • Principles and Foundations of Adult Education
  • Program Planning in Adult Education
  • Administration of Adult Education Programs
  • Urban Education
  • Adult and Organizational Learning
  • Continuing Education in the Professions
  • International Adult Education
  • Significant Literature in Adult Education
Research Interests

International adult education; adult learning; knowledge construction; non-formal education; informal learning

→ Curriculum Vitae

Judy Favor

Dr. Judy Favor

Assistant Professor
Adult Learning and Leadership
K-State Olathe, 22201 W. Innovation Drive, Olathe, KS 66061
913-307-7362
jfavor@k-state.edu

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Bio

Judy Favor’s 20-year career in higher education includes stints as an NCAA athletic coach, faculty member, director, and assistant dean. Prior to joining the K-State Olathe faculty in 2012, she spent 9 years in adult education as a university administrator where she oversaw academic services and led recruitment, marketing, enrollment, and new academic programming initiatives.

Research Areas
  • Group dynamics and the impact of personality and sociological factors on group effectiveness and learning
  • Adult health and wellness

Jane Fishback

Dr. Sarah Jane Fishback

Associate Professor
Adult Learning and Leadership
354 Bluemont Hall, 1114 Mid-Campus Drive North, Manhattan, KS 66506
785-532-5554
jfishbac@k-state.edu

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Bio

Dr. Sarah Jane Fishback has over 40 years of experience in education including 14 years at Kansas State University. As a military spouse, she was actively engaged in community development, leadership training, and served as a leadership consultant for the various military organizations in the United States and Europe.

Dr. Fishback graduated from the University of Virginia and has a Master’s and Doctorate of Philosophy from the College of Education at Kansas State University. She was Graduate Student of the Year at Kansas State University in 1997 and received the American College Personnel Association Adult Learner award for her doctoral research. She is a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Delta Kappa. She also currently serves as the Chair on Neuroscience for the Commission of Professors in Adult Education and Consultant on Faculty Development at Kansas State University’s Veterinary School.

Dr. Fishback has presented at numerous national and international conferences on a variety of topics including  motivation, memory, creativity, culture and the brain, college teaching, women and leadership, and the impact of stress on learning. She serves as a member of the Faculty Center for Teaching Excellence at Kansas State University, was a keynote speaker at the first Kansas State University Faculty Teacher Retreat, a Wakonse Scholar and Graduate Teacher of the Year in the College of Education for 2008. She is a co-author of the text Responding to Adult Learners in Higher Education, and has published in the area of neuroscience, women in education and the impact of post-traumatic stress on learners.

Dr. Fishback teaches the following courses: Characteristics of the Adult Learner, Adult Learning and Motivation, Adult Development, Neuroscience and Learning, Foundations of Adult Education, Significant Literature in Adult Education, Social Foundations of Adult Education, and Women, Education and Work.

Research Areas
  • Adult development and learning
  • Neuroscience
  • College teaching and motivation to learn

Haijun Kang

Dr. Haijun Kang

Associate Professor
Adult Learning and Leadership
323 Bluemont Hall, 1114 Mid-Campus Drive North, Manhattan, KS 66506
785-532-2027
hjkang@k-state.edu

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Bio

Dr. Kang has over 15 years of post-secondary instructional experience with adult students in multicultural environments. He started working with adult students in his first job which involved course instruction at a university in China. There, he gained direct knowledge and experience in adult education by teaching adults at a distance. These experiences were enhanced when he earned a Master’s degree in Higher Education from Tsinghua University (China) and then a dual Ph.D. in Adult Education and Comparative & International Education from The Pennsylvania State University.

Dr. Kang’s primary interest is in the area of adult online education. He is interested in exploring online adult learning theories, studying online learners’ learning activities, conducting learning analytics, integrating emerging technologies and social media into online learning programs, and comparing online education development in different countries. He has developed and taught courses on subjects such as adult learning, distance education, online learning design, technology integration into curriculum and research in online education in different learning formats including face-to-face, Internet and Interactive TV. He also has many years of experience working with different institutions and companies on a variety of online learning projects.

Dr. Kang frequently writes grant proposals and conducts research projects in the area of online education. Example research areas include online program development, online learning design, learning analytics, and the use of emerging technology in online learning. He has presented his research findings at major conferences in the field of distance and web-based education and published in several referred scholarly journals. He currently experiments the use of virtual reality technology and simulations to facilitate immersive adult learning, the application of innovative technology to advance online learning design and the adoption of advanced data mining technology to conduct online learning analytics. Dr. Kang joined the K-State Adult Education faculty in 2011.

Research Areas
  • Adult online education
  • Online faculty professional development
  • International online education

Curriculum Vitae

Cheryl Polson

Dr. Cheryl Polson

Professor
Associate Dean, Graduate School
Director, Fort Leavenworth Graduate Programs
Adult Learning and Leadership
cpolson@k-state.edu

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Bio

Dr. Polson has been teaching in the adult education program since 1985. She is Associate Dean of the Graduate School and Director of K-State’s graduate programs at Fort Leavenworth, which are supported by the Department of Defense. Prior to 1985, Dr. Polson was the director of the Non-Traditional Study Program in the Division of Continuing Education at K-State. She earned her doctorate at K-State in Higher Education Administration and completed post-doctoral work in adult education at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Dr. Polson has received numerous awards related to her teaching and advising. In 2008, she was the recipient of the Outstanding Advisor Award given by K-State’s Division of Continuing Education and the College of Education’s Excellence in Graduate Faculty Teaching Award. She is also a past recipient of the Outstanding Advisor Award given by the National Academic Advising Association. Dr. Polson has served in a variety of leadership positions in numerous professional associations, including the executive board of the Commission of Professors of Adult Education.

Dr. Polson recently authored a chapter, Military Contributions to Adult Education, in the 2010 Handbook of Adult and Continuing Education. Additionally, she co-authored the book, Responding to Adult Learners in Higher Education and has published numerous articles. She has also served as the journal editor of Adult Learning, published by the American Association of Adult and Continuing Education.

Research Areas
  • Serving adult learners in higher education
  • Serving the academic needs of active duty and retired military learners

Frank Spikes

Dr. W. Franklin Spikes

Professor and Director of the Adult Education Doctoral Program
Adult Learning and Leadership
351 Bluemont Hall, 1114 Mid-Campus Drive North, Manhattan, KS 66506
785-532-5873
wfs3@k-state.edu

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Bio

Dr. W. Franklin Spikes has more than 30 years of administrative, instructional, and research experience in the field of adult and continuing education in both university and corporate settings. Prior to joining the faculty at K-State, he held administrative and managerial positions at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, Saint Louis University, St. Mary's University in San Antonio, and AT&T. He received his Ed.D. in Adult and Continuing Education from Northern Illinois University and has a B.S.Ed. with an emphasis in industrial education and an M.S. with a focus on adult and vocational education, also from NIU.

Presently, Dr. Spikes teaches Program Planning in Adult Education, Program Evaluation, Principles of Workplace Learning, Workplace Learning Policy, and an Advanced Seminar which focuses upon the preparation of the doctoral dissertation. In addition, he serves as Director of the Doctoral Program in Adult Education at K-State and directs numerous Ed.D. and Ph.D. dissertation research projects and is a member of the university's doctoral faculty.

Dr. Spikes is the author of numerous scholarly and practice-oriented works in the field of adult and continuing education. He has served on the Board of Directors and as President of the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education, a past Fellow of the American Council of Education, a past Fellow of the Project for the Study of Adult Learning, and is the recipient of the Outstanding Alumni Award from the Department of Educational Policy and Leadership Studies. He is a member of the first group of honorees in the International Adult Education Hall of Fame, a member of the Commission on Continuing Legal Education of the Kansas Supreme Court and has recently served as President of the Faculty Senate at K-State.

Research Areas
  • Workplace learning
  • Training and development
  • Educational program planning and evaluation

Jeff Zacharakis

Dr. Jeff Zacharakis

Professor
Co-Online Program Leader
Adult Learning and Leadership
326 Bluemont Hall, 1114 Mid-Campus Drive North, Manhattan, KS 66506
785-532-5872
jzachara@k-state.edu

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Bio

Dr. Zacharakis has over 25 years experience in community development, organizational development, and leadership development in university and community settings. Prior to joining KSU’s faculty in 2004 he was an area community development specialist for Iowa State University Extension and a program coordinator for the Northern Illinois University's Lindeman Center. Examples of his projects include resident management training in Chicago's public housing, comprehensive watershed planning and local community strategic planning in Iowa, and leadership and management training for Kansas's adult learning centers. He received his Ed.D. from Northern Illinois University.

Dr. Zacharakis has published numerous research articles and has presented his research findings at the Adult Education Research Conference, American Educational Research Association, the Midwest to Practice Conference, and at international conferences. He presently is lead editor of Adult Education Quarterly, serves as a review editor for the Journal of Research and Practice for Adult Literacy, Secondary, and Basic Education and the Journal of Transformative Education, and has been a guest editor for Educational Considerations.

Dr. Zacharakis teaches the following courses: Introduction to Adult Education, Social Foundations of Adult Education, Community Education Development, Program Planning in Adult Education, and Organization and Administration in Adult Education. He is an advocate for his students to develop and conduct research projects, and he strongly supports them in developing presentations for regional and national conferences and writing manuscripts to submit to journals.

Research Areas
  • Leadership production and reproduction
  • Organization and planning in nonprofit and grassroots organizations
  • Adult basic education and literacy
  • Popular education
  • History of adult education

→ Curriculum Vitae

David Thompson

Dr. David Thompson

Professor and Chair, Educational Leadership
Distinguished Fellow of Research and Practice, NEFC
363 Bluemont Hall, 1114 Mid-Campus Drive North, Manhattan, KS 66506
785-532-5535
thomsond@k-state.edu

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Bio

Dr. Thompson holds an Ed.D in educational administration from Oklahoma State University and post-doctoral credit in education law from Harvard University. He has been at Kansas State University since 1987, serving from 1989-2006 as Founding Co-Director of the UCEA Center for Education Finance, and serving continuously as Professor and Chair of the Department of Educational Leadership since 1993, for which he was named the Kansas State University Presidential Outstanding Department Head (2012).