The McKearn Team

Vice Provost

Anne Birberick, Ph.D. is the Vice Provost. She earned her Ph.D. in French from the University of Virginia and studies seventeenth-century French literature. As Vice Provost, she is responsible for coordinating  activities pertaining to the undergraduate curriculum as well as to undergraduate academic standards and admissions policies, overseeing undergraduate academic support units, and coordinating certain state and institutional initiatives related to undergraduate education.

spears_juliaJulia Spears, Ph.D., is the Director of the Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning (OSEEL). She has 19 years of experience working in non-profits and higher educational institutions to support student engagement in co-curricular activities that help individuals realize academic and professional goals. As the Founder and Director of the Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning (OSEEL), she is particularly interested in developing pathways for underrepresented, first generation and low income students to engage in faculty mentored research endeavors.  In addition to connecting students to undergraduate research opportunities, she works to encourage student participation in service learning and other civic engagement programs.

J. D. Bowers, Associate Vice Provost of University Honors

J.D. Bowers is the Associate Vice Provost of University Honors and an Associate Professor of History. His research and teaching interests focus on genocide, human rights, religion, and the role of the U.S. in the world.  His two current research/writing projects are a history of the intersections of colonialism and genocide and an examination of various dimensions of the Cyprus conflict since 1960.  In addition to his twelve years at NIU, he has taught secondary school in Hawaii and Virginia and at the university-level in Indiana, Cyprus, Turkey, and the Netherlands.

Stephanie Zobac

Stephanie Zobac is an Assistant Director of OSEEL.





Jason Goode

Jason Goode is the Assistant to the Associate Vice Provost of University Honors Program where he is also liaison to the Office of Scholarships, the Office of Financial Aid and the diverse array of honor societies at NIU. Before joining the honors program, he worked as a Student Success Specialist with the Office of Student Academic Success, representing the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

K.M.  VolmerKimberly (K.M.) Volmer is a Graduate Assistant with the McKearn Summer Fellows Program and with the Women’s Studies Program. She is a doctoral candidate in English, specializing in American and British Women’s Literature and Women’s Studies. She is currently working on her dissertation: a narratological study of the spinster/unmarried woman figure in post-1960s trans-Atlantic novels written by women. She has taught composition and rhetoric at the community college and university levels as well as introductory courses in fiction and science fiction.


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