Schulz Article Published

Chuck Schulz (Physics and Astronomy) and collaborators from the University of Notre Dame and Soochow University have a new publication in print:
“Hydrogen-Bonding Effects in Five-Coordinate High-Spin Imidazole-Ligated Iron(II) Porphyrinates” Chuanjiang Hu, Bruce C. Noll, Charles E. Schulz, and W. Robert Scheidt, Inorganic Chemistry 57, 793-803 (2018).

Welcome Daniella Irle to Knox

Dear Knox Community,

Please join us in welcoming Daniella Irle, our new director of athletics, to campus tomorrow as she takes up the leadership of Prairie Fire athletics.

Daniella brings more than 20 years of experience as a coach and administrator to her role here at Knox, most recently as assistant athletics director and deputy director of athletics and senior woman administrator at the University of North Dakota (UND). She is also an award-winning swimming and diving coach, working with students at Tulane University, Fresno State University, Louisiana State University, and the University of Texas at Austin. Her commitment to the holistic development of student-athletes can be seen in the success of UND athletes under her tenure, including more than 20 regular season or conference play championships and the receipt of NCAA Elite Awards and Postgraduate Scholarships and Academic All-Americans.

Since we first announced Daniella’s new role at Knox, she has been hard at work getting to know Prairie Fire athletics and the Knox community as a whole. She has already set up Twitter (@KnoxCollegeAD) and Instagram (Knox_College_AD) accounts and even traveled to Galesburg from North Dakota to attend the basketball reunion in January. That’s commitment!

Thanks to the AD search committee for their work bringing Daniella to Knox, particularly co-chairs Kim Schrader, Title IX coordinator, and Larry Welch, professor of chemistry and faculty athletic representative, along with Andrew Civettini, associate professor of political science; Danielle Fatkin, associate professor of history; Jordan Anderson ’19; Laurel J. Andrew ’86, trustee; and Naja Woods ’18.

We’d like to take this opportunity to also thank Scott Sunderland and Lexie Vernon, who have expertly and tirelessly served as co-interim athletic directors for the last seven months. Their leadership and guidance through this fall and winter—and three Midwest Conference Tournament appearances—has been greatly appreciated by all of us who cheer for the Prairie Fire.

If you see Daniella on or around campus this week, be sure to give her a warm Knox greeting.

Go Fire!

Teresa & Mike

Michael A. Schneider
Interim Vice-President for Academic Affairs /
Dean of the College

T​eresa L. Amott

Ferrigno Included in Exhibition at University of Alabama

Andrea Ferrigno’s (Art and Art History) work was selected by Dr. Abigail Yoder of the St. Louis Art Museum, for inclusion in an exhibition presented by the Alabama Women’s Caucus for Art. The show Paper/Work, an exhibition of works on and of paper, is up currently and will remain on view through March 2 at the University of Alabama Huntsville in the Salmon Library Gallery.

Thrall Guest Edits Journal Issue on Religion and Science Fiction

James Thrall (Religious Studies) has been invited to serve as guest editor for a special issue of Religions journal on the subject of religion and science fiction. Titled “So Say We All: Religion and Society in Science Fiction,” the issue will focus on the ways science fiction constructs social systems of meaning that are either explicitly or implicitly religious. Religions is an international, interdisciplinary, open access journal that publishes articles on a range of topics related to religions and theology.

Dooley Publishes Book Review

John Dooley, the William and Marilyn Ingersoll Professor Emeritus of Computer Science has published a book review in the scholarly journal Cryptologia. The book is “A Mind at Play: How Claude Shannon Invented the Information Age” ( and covers the life of Claude Shannon, who produced seminal papers in computer architecture, information theory, and cryptology. Shannon is credited with firmly placing cryptology inside mathematics, presaging all of modern crypto.

Dean of the College Announcement

From Teresa Amott:

Dear Knox Community,

On behalf of the Search Committee, I am delighted to announce that Dr. Garikai Campbell has accepted our offer to join the Knox community as provost and dean of the College. He joins Knox after serving as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Morehouse College for the last four years. From the Search Committee’s first consideration of the candidate pool, Kai Campbell stood out as one of the top candidates, with more than 20 years of experience at residential liberal arts colleges as a student, faculty member, and academic administrator. The Committee was particularly drawn to his experiences leading strategic planning and his dedication to strengthening diversity among academic communities. He will take up his new duties in June.

You will note that this appointment also brings with it the new title of provost, replacing the “vice president for academic affairs” title used at Knox in the past. The new title does not carry with it any change in duties, reporting lines, or the structure of the Division of Academic Affairs, but it better aligns the description of his role at Knox with his previous administrative experience.

Campbell received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Swarthmore, where he was a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow and an Academic All-American wrestler, and earned his Ph.D. in mathematics from Rutgers University. He returned to Swarthmore as a Consortium for Faculty Diversity Fellow in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, followed by an appointment to the faculty. While at Swarthmore, Campbell held several leadership positions, including associate dean for academic affairs, acting dean of students, and associate vice president for strategic planning and special assistant to the president.

In 2013, Campbell was appointed provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Morehouse, where he facilitated the first change to the general education program in nearly three decades, enhanced the culture of shared governance, and reshaped the academic leadership. He played an instrumental role in securing resources for academic programs and broader institutional needs, including a $2.5 million gift to support STEM programs; a $1.2M grant from the Gates Foundation to develop and evaluate innovative student success initiatives; and a $1.25M Lilly Endowment grant to strengthen career pathways for students through improved curricular and co-curricular programming, structured internship opportunities, and enhanced advising.

Campbell’s work in his field of mathematics has focused predominantly on exploring particular properties of elliptic curves and exploiting those properties to solve select problems in number theory. He is the recipient of many awards for his teaching and research, including the Minority Graduate Fellowship from the National Science Foundation; the Lindback Minority Junior Faculty Grant; the Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellowship; and the Henry Alder Award for Distinguished Teaching from the Mathematical Association of America.

He is also recognized for his innovative work to shape programs designed to engage and retain students underrepresented in STEM disciplines. In particular, he has worked with the Professional Development Program at the University of California, Berkeley to boost enrollment of African American, Latinx, and Native American students in graduate mathematics programs; helped design and administer alternative assessments for the Vanguard Scholarship Program of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME); and taught and consulted for the Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education (EDGE) Program to strengthen women’s success in graduate mathematics programs. In addition, he has served on the advisory boards for the Math is Power and Figure This! Campaigns, promoting math and science literacy to elementary and middle school-aged children and their parents. He is currently a Scholar in Residence at the New York University Tisch School of the Arts in the Interactive Telecommunications Program, where he is investigating, writing, and serving as a thought partner on topics at the intersection of technology, identity, art, and higher education.

I want to take this final opportunity to highlight the thoughtful work over the past five months by the Search Committee and the search consultants from Storbeck, Pimentel, all of whom worked tirelessly and diligently on our behalf. Thanks, again, to Anne Ehrlich, vice president for student development, and Chuck Schulz, professor of physics, who co-chaired the Committee, and to committee members Sam Arrez ’18, student representative; Nancy Eberhardt, professor of anthropology and chair of anthropology and sociology; Gina Franco, associate professor of English; Andy Hertel, assistant professor of psychology; Brandon Polite, associate professor of philosophy; Laura Rosene ’90, trustee and chair of the Academic Affairs Committee; and Nate Williams, assistant professor of educational studies.

From its first meeting in late August through two full days at O’Hare Airport interviewing semi-finalists and its final meetings with me to present its recommendations, the Committee has shown remarkable dedication and collegiality in representing Knox’s special qualities and core values to the candidates. We would not have been able to attract Kai to the campus without the embodiment of humor, wisdom, and critical thinking in this committee, and I am very grateful to them all.

I look forward to welcoming Kai to the Knox community later this spring and to his leadership as we continue to navigate the opportunities and challenges facing higher education today.