New General Manager for Knox Dining Services

Dear Knox Community,

Knox College and Bon Appetit Management Company are pleased to announce that we have selected Douglas Stenfeldt as General Manager for Dining Services at Knox College. Doug comes to us with more than 20 years experience in higher education food service. He grew up locally in Aledo, IL, and graduated from Monmouth College. He is enjoying the opportunity to come back to his roots and be with his family who live in and around the area. Doug ​impressed us with his passion for great food ​ and commitment to college students, and he ​looks forward to building deeper relationships with the campus community​ and enhancing the quality of food service at Knox​. Join us in welcoming Doug to the Knox ​ community and stop by the Gizmo in the coming weeks to meet him in person. As we transition to new management, I want to extend my thanks to Mark Daniels for serving us so ably in the interim period.



Thrall article published

The June issue of the journal Literature and Theology includes the article “Shifting Histories, Blurred Borders, and Mediated Sacred Texts in Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle” by James H. Thrall (Religious Studies). Thrall’s article examines Dick’s alternate history novel in which the Axis powers won World War II, along with the novel’s recent reconceptualization as a television series. An abstract of the article is available here:

Berlin Poems Published

Monica Berlin (English) published three poems. [On the idea of art, every ambiguity,]; [Came home to the clothesline come] & [Because the parking lot was & now isn’t] appear in the most recent issue of Denver Quarterly 52.3 (summer 2018): 7-9.

Forsberg Research Published

Ole J. Forsberg (Mathematics) and Benjamin G. Solomon (University of Albany) recently published research on estimating the improvement of the oral reading fluency (ORF) scores for elementary students. ORF scores are used to determine if the reading ability of students is improving at the expected rate. The novel advancement in this research is the use of Bayesian statistics to incorporate current understanding into the estimation procedure.

This research was published in the American Psychology journal School Psychology Quarterly as “Bayesian asymmetric regression as a means to estimate and evaluate oral reading fluency slopes.” 32(4): 539–551.

Kasser was Speaker at Conference

Tim Kasser (Psychology) was recently an invited speaker at the Whatever it Takes Conference in Galesburg. He spoke on “Children, Values and Consumer Culture,” and his co-presenter was a teacher at Cuba High School.

Thank You for a Wonderful Commencement

Dear Knox Community,

It was a glorious day in Galesburg for the 173rd Commencement, with so many uniquely Knox touches. Our honorary degree guests remarked on the beauty of the campus, the joyful spirit of the event and the warmth​ and closeness​ of ​our community.

On behalf of all the graduates and their families, I thank everyone who worked on this annual and all-consuming project. I am so grateful to Knox staff in Alumni Relations, Advancement, the Business Office, Campus Safety, Communications, the many offices led by the Dean of the College, Dining Services, Facilities, Student Development, the Registrar’s Office, and the President’s Office, with special thanks to Kathleen Ridlon and all the volunteers who served as ushers. All of this was overseen by Karrie Heartlein and her skilled committee, building on tradition and finding creative innovations so that every class feels they have had the best Commencement ever.

This year, I was especially moved that the faculty chose to bestow the ​Faculty Achievement Award on our distinguished and beloved colleague Fred Hord, in recognition of his extensive scholarship, his decades-long work establishing and leading an Africana Studies program, and his determined advocacy and care for students, faculty and staff of color.

Without the heroic work under deadline of Tim Gray, Karen Benedict and Tim Foster, those diplomas would never have passed into our graduates’ hands. The faculty completed the high-pressure work of senior grades with their usual care, and 312 students walked across the stage…in order!

Please join me in thanking Mike Schneider, for his remarkable work as Interim Dean of the College. Mike will be taking a long-delayed sabbatical leave next year, which he has truly earned by virtue of his stewardship of the curriculum, faculty hiring, College governance, and all the many emergencies that come to the Dean’s attention every day. I have much benefited from having his institutional perspective as the faculty worked to re-imagine the Knox curriculum, and will miss his sense of humor, encyclopedic knowledge, and willingness to take on every task, no matter how daunting.

​Today, the cycle begins again as we launch our preparations for the entering students, who will be the Class of 2022! I know that your dedication ensures that four years from now another joyous Commencement ceremony will take place on the South Lawn.

​My best wishes to you all​,


Tenure and Promotion Congratulations

Dear Knox Community,

It gives me very great pleasure to announce formally that at its June meeting, the Knox College Board of Trustees accepted my recommendations and awarded tenure and promotion to Associate Professor to two faculty members: William Hope, Anthropology-Sociology and Helen Hoyt, Chemistry. I was honored to bring these valued colleagues forward to the Board upon the recommendations of the Faculty Personnel Committee and Interim Dean Schneider.

William Hope, Anthropology-Sociology, earned his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, M.A. from Winthrop University, and his B.A. from the College of Charleston. William’s teaching interests span such diverse topics as Music and Culture in the Americas, the Anthropology of the Senses, Sound Cultures, and the Global Dimensions of the Cuban Revolution. His research in Cuban popular music has resulted in his publication, “Controversia Cubana: The Poetic Politics of Punto Guajiro,” Latin American Music Review (forthcoming). He has also pursued new pedagogy and research interests in ecological design. He presented in this new area of research at the Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, November 2017, in his paper, “Knowledge Moves: Correspondences of Skill and Movement in Ecological Design.” He played a leading role in alumni and student trips to Cuba to share his interests broadly. In recognition of his innovative teaching, he received the Philip Green Wright-Lombard College Prize for Excellence in Teaching for Untenured Faculty in 2015. He has been active in service to his colleagues as a member of the Curriculum Committee, Cultural Events Committee, Off Campus Study Committee, the President’s Sustainability Council, member of numerous search committees and director of the McNair Sophomore Seminar.

Helen Hoyt, Chemistry, earned her Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and her B.A. from Knox College. Helen is an active and creative researcher in the field of “green chemistry,” the study of using readily available starting materials in chemical processes while minimizing the amount of wasteful byproducts. She was the lead author of “Aryl-Substituted BIAN Complexes of Iron Dibromide: Synthesis, X-ray and Electronic Structure, and Catalytic Hydrosilylation Activity.” Polyhedron 2016, 114(C), 403-413, a study completed with Knox colleagues and undergraduate researchers. She has also a co-author of “Establishing Groups in the College or University Classroom: Using VIEW to Form Better Cooperative Groups and Improve Learning Outcomes,” Educational Research Quarterly 2015, Vol. 39.2, 3-35. She has been a collaborator of two National Science Foundation Major Instrumentation Grants and received a grant from the American Chemical Society to support student researchers. She brought her passion for developing problem solving skills to her lectures and laboratories in General Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Green Chemistry and Physical Organic Chemistry, while also contributing to First Year Preceptorial. In 2017, she received the Philip Green Wright-Lombard College Prize for Excellence in Teaching for Untenured Faculty. Helen has served her colleagues on the Academic Standing Committee and Curriculum Committee, in leadership of the Knox chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, and as a frequent contributor to Admission Office events and summer academic advising.