Docking Institute Staff

group photo

Policy Fellows
Student Staff

The Docking Institute's staff and fellows have a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. The Docking Institute draws upon university and field-based experts. The vast levels of expertise allow each person to contribute to the overall success of the Institute. This collection of individuals offers a complete and rounded organization.

The staff and fellows bring specialized knowledge and experience in the areas of program evaluation, research, grants facilitation, economic development, government, natural resource issues, healthcare, business, telecommunications, and education. Each person involved in the success of the Docking Institute is highly qualified to achieve excellence in the field of policy research.

Michael Walker, M.S.

Michael Walker is the director of the Docking Institute and an instructor in the Department of Sociology at Fort Hays State University. He joined the Institute in 2000 as a research scientist and was promoted to assistant director in 2006. In 2017 he was promoted to director. He designs a variety of research projects involving survey and focus group research, strategic planning and program assessment. He has been the lead researcher for 109 of labor and employment studies in Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. Mike is a member of the Rural Sociological Society, the Community Development Society, wKREDA, Hays Area Chamber of Commerce, American Association of Public Opinion Research, and the Population Association of America. Prior to coming to Fort Hays State University, he performed ethnographic and survey research in California, Colorado, Utah, Idaho and Nebraska. Mike also participated in archeological digs in southern Utah, completed a political internship in Washington, DC, and served in the U.S. Army. He regularly teaches urban and rural sociology, community theory and development, social demography and research methods. He is adding environmental sociology to his teaching rotation. Mike received his Master of Science degree in sociology from Utah State University in 1995 and is currently pursuing a doctorate at Kansas State University.

Jian Sun, Ph.D.
Assistant Director

Dr. Jian Sun joined the Docking Institute in July 2007 as a research scientist and was promoted to assistant director in 2017. His responsibilities include survey design, survey administration, data analysis, and report writing. He has been the lead researcher for a variety of projects involving feasibility studies, health needs assessments, program evaluation, public opinion surveys, and housing studies. His personal research interests include housing prices, urban developmental policies, and public administration. Before joining the Docking Institute, he was involved in several planning projects in the United States and China, including land use planning, transportation analysis, and community economic development. He has published in the academic journals Environmental and Planning A, Journal of Real Estate Literature, Journal of Housing Economics, Journal of Urban Affairs, Journal of Public Affairs Education, Real Estate Economics, and Journal of Current Chinese Affairs. Jian is also a professor in FHSU's Department of Political Science, teaching research methods and public administration courses.Jian received his doctorate from the University of Louisville in 2007.

Lynette Ottley, B.A. 

Administrative Specialist

Lynette Ottley joined the Docking Institute in June 2008 as the administrative specialist. Responsibilities include budget records, billing contracts, management of accounts, monitoring of fund balances, assigning expenses, payroll, and maintaining the website. She oversees student employment through Workday and supervises and coordinates the student activities. She is also responsible for design and publication of the Institute's biannual report.. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in communication from Fort Hays State University in 1992.


Luis Montelongo, M.B.A
Research Coordinator


Luis Montelongo joined the Docking Institute in December 2017 as the Research Coordinator. Luis had previously worked at the Docking Institute as a student telephone surveyor supervisor from 2014-2017. His responsibilities include managing all student interviewers and supervisors. Other duties include hiring and training to ensure a full staff of interviewers and supervisors necessary for completing all survey research projects, making sure all survey work stations are operational, tracking work hours and job performance of all student interviewers and supervisors. He also monitors progress of all survey projects, programs the IdSurvey CATI automated survey software, monitors the sample status, along with reporting the status for the survey center and all other survey projects to the directors, and performs other tasks as assigned. Luis has interests in the areas of: economic empowerment, civil rights & social action, education, poverty alleviation, human rights, social services, and technology. Luis received his Master of Business Administration from Fort Hays State University in May, 2017.


Back to top