Docking Institute Policy Fellows

Paul Adams, Ph.D.


Senior policy fellow Paul Adams is the founder and director of the Science and Mathematics Education Institute and the Dean of the College of Education at Fort Hays State University. He teaches courses in science education and physics; his areas of research interest lie in science education and public outreach in science. He has worked on and led science education projects at the local, state, national, and international levels, and serves as the Anschutz Endowed Professor of Education. Paul received his Ph.D. in Science Education from Purdue University, M.S. in Physics from Washington University, and his B.S. in Physics/Math from Heidelberg University.

Joseph Aistrup, Ph.D.

Joseph Aistrup is a senior policy fellow of the Institute and professor and dean of Auburn University's College of Liberal Arts at Auburn University, Alabama. He was assistant director of the Institute from 1993 to 1999 and director from 1999 to June 2002. He is the co-author of Kansas Politics and Government: The Clash of Political Cultures (2010, University of Nebraska Press) and sole author of The Southern Strategy Revisited: Republican Top-Down Advancement in the South, which was nominated for the V.O. Key Award in 1997. He has published in Economic Development Review, Economic Development Quarterly, Soviet Studies, American Review of Politics, Kansas Business Review, Kansas Government Journal, Congressional Quarterly and Court Review. Joe received his Ph.D. from Indiana University in 1989.

Micki Armstrong, M.S.
Micki Armstrong

Micki Armstrong is an Academic Advisor for virtual students seeking degrees in the disciplines of Sociology, Psychology and Political Science at Fort Hays State University. She is also an adjunct faculty in the Sociology and Social Work Department at FHSU and has taught courses in family, multiculturalism, mediation, sociology and cultural anthropology. She was previously employed from 1978-1998 by the 23rd Judicial District as a Court Services Officer and has been a trainer and consultant to Hays area schools for their peer mediation programs. She is a state approved mediator/trainer in the areas of Core, Civil, Parent/Child, Domestic mediation and an approved mediator in Farm mediation. She is also trained in case management for highly conflicted families. She was a past board member of Heartland Mediators Association and is a current member of the Office of Judicial Administration Dispute Resolution Advisory Council for the State of Kansas. She co-authored the Northwest Kansas Community Planning Team Comprehensive Strategic Plan presented to the Kansas Juvenile Justice Authority in the Fall of 1999. She co-authored an article on the Indigent Mediation Program at FHSU which was published in 2001 in the Family Court Review, an interdisciplinary journal. Micki received her master's degree in counseling at FHSU.

Mark Bannister, J.D.
Mark Bannister

Mark Bannister is the Dean of the Robbins College of Business and Entrepreneurship at Fort Hays State University. The college offers significant business, information technology, and media programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels on campus, through domestic distance learning and international partnerships. He is a Senior Policy Fellow of the Docking Institute of Public Affairs and a principal in Bannister Capital Advisors. He teaches course work on legal issues and management of information technologies and supervises and participates in research and programming on telecommunications, strategic planning, and community development. He has published academic articles in publications including The Federal Communications Law Journal, Economic Development Review, Economic Development Journal, Kansas Policy Review, Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy, the proceedings of the Colloquium on Information Systems Security, Journal of Business and Leadership, and the Kansas Business Review. His writing and research focuses on telecommunications and technology regulation, intellectual property, information security, and economic development.

As Chair of the Department of Information Networking and Telecommunications at Fort Hays State University from 1990-2009, he led the growth of the program from 58 undergraduate students to more than 350 undergraduate and graduate students. The department was named the "Outstanding Undergraduate Program of the Year" in 2008 by the International Telecommunications Education and Research Association and was designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance in 2009.

Mark previously served as director of the Docking Institute of Public Affairs and executive assistant/general counsel to the president of Fort Hays State University. Prior to arriving at Fort Hays State University, he served professionally as chief of staff for the Kansas Senate president and as associate general counsel to the Kansas Board of Regents. Mark earned a juris doctorate in law and a masters of communication studies from the University of Kansas. His bachelor's degree is from Fort Hays State University.

Bannister has been recognized by the International Telecommunications Education and Research Association as a Senior Fellow.

Emily Breit, Ph.D.
Emily Breit

Emily Breit is an Associate Professor of Economics Finance and Accounting at Fort Hays State University. She focuses her research on commercial banking, corporate governance, and corporate finance. She has taught courses in bank management, financial management, financial markets and institutions, money and banking, and investments. Emily serves as the banking program director for the department and as the assistant to the Dean for assessment and AACSB accreditation. She received the 2009 Outstanding Teacher Award from the College of Business. Emily received her B.B.A and M.B.A. from Fort Hays State University, and Ph.D in Finance (Minor: Economics) from Oklahoma State University-Stillwater.

Gary Brinker, Ph.D.
Dr. Gary Brinker

Dr. Gary Brinker served as director of the Docking Institute from 2008-2017. He has been a professor in the Department of Sociology at Fort Hays State University since August 2011. He was previously the director of the Center for Social Sciences and Public Policy Research at Missouri State University, from May 2002 to July of 2008, and the associate director from August 1997 to May 2002. His teaching interests include research methods, social problems and quantitative analysis. His sponsored research projects define an eclectic research agenda. Gary has been the principal investigator for more than 100 applied research projects, including program evaluations, needs assessments, economic impact studies, population projections and public opinion surveys in the areas of education, substance abuse, environment, education, politics, family planning, aging, community health and marketing. He is the editor of the Missouri Electronic Journal of Sociology and a member of the Midwest Sociological Society, and the Southwest Social Sciences Society. He has published articles in the International Journal of Sociology of the Family, Free Inquiry in Creative Sociology, Journal of Applied Sociology, North American Journal of Psychology, Social Development Issues, Journal of Population and International Review of Modern Sociology. Gary earned a Master of Arts degree in sociology in 1994 and a doctorate degree in applied sociology in 1997 at Baylor University.

Curt Brungardt, Ph.D.
Curt Brungardt

Curt Brungardt was appointed the Omer G. Voss Distinguished Professor of Leadership Studies at FHSU and is the executive director of the Center for Civic Leadership, and teaches courses in leadership studies. Curt has been involved in a variety of projects for the Docking Institute since 1989, including grant writing projects, strategic planning, and leadership training. Over the last ten years, Curt has presented and facilitated more than 100 workshops throughout America. He has also published numerous articles and books in the field of organizational theory and development. His books include Social Change Leadership, Risk Leadership, and Understanding Leadership: Theories and Concepts. Curt received his master's degree from Fort Hays State University and his Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from Kansas State University.

Amanda Buday, Ph.D.

Dr. Buday received her M.A. in Sociology in 2012 and her Ph.D. in Sociology in 2016 from Southern Illinois University. She currently teaches sociology of families, women’s and gender studies, and contemporary social movements. Her research interests include rural communities and natural resource uses, and the politics of land and energy development. She is a member of the American Sociological Association and the Rural Sociological Society and is faculty co-adviser to the FHSU Young Democrats and the Sociology Club at FHSU. Amanda's research on political conflict surrounding unconventional oil and gas extraction appears in Social Currents and Sociological Perspectives. For an update on current projects, including the 2018 Hays Residential Water Survey, please follow Amanda at:


Keith Campbell, Ph.D.
Keith Campbell

Keith Campbell is a professor and coordinator of the Grant Proposal Writing Certificate Program at FHSU. Although his early research was in social psychology, his focus for the last two decades has been on cultural diversity and indigenous peoples. Research activities have taken him to Alaska more than 30 times to work with the Kenaitze Indian Tribe on such issues as subsistence, land loss and discrimination. In 1996, he conducted interviews of women who homesteaded in Alaska in the 1950s and 1960s. His most current research involves a study of isolated rural villages in Henan Province, China. A nonprofit Keith recently started, the Community Health Partnership, has provided free assistance to Santee Sioux, Hmong refugees, and Somali refugees. Keith does consulting work in grant proposal development and program evaluation, with a special focus on rural health issues. Keith received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Melissa Dixon, B.A.

Melissa Dixon is the Executive Director of Hays Convention and Visitors Bureau. She received a Bachelors degree in Fine Art from Mississippi State University. She began her graphic design career in the in-house graphic design department at the University of Georgia's Center for Continuing Education. She later joined the design team at Blufish Design Studio in Tempe, Arizona where she created national ad campaigns for homebuilders in Phoenix, Denver, Dallas, and San Diego. After three years, Dixon opened a branch of the studio in Starkville, Mississippi and developed a working partnership with her alma mater, Mississippi State University. Her team helped local and regional businesses market themselves through print, web and social media. She recently was the social media coordinator at Fort Hays State University. Her community involvement included Chamber of Commerce board member, Renasant Bank board member, Starkville Main Street Association board member, Convention and Visitor's Bureau board member, Rotary member, and Public Relations Association of Mississippi member. She was voted into Starkville's Top 40 Under 40, and her agency was voted Best Ad Agency in 2013 in the Starkville Daily News Annual Readership Poll.

Larry Dreiling, M.S.
larry dreiling

Larry Dreiling is a senior field editor for High Plains Journal, where he is the agricultural weekly's principal reporter on farm policy as well as rural finance and development issues. In his nearly 35 years as a journalist, Larry has reported from more than 20 countries on subjects as diverse as government farm programs, rural trauma care, and antique tractor restoration. Larry served as 2000-01 President of the American Agricultural Editors' Association (AAEA) and as 2005-06 President of the association of North American Agricultural Journalists (NAAJ). In April 1999,he received NAAJ's J.S. Russell Memorial Award for setting high ethical standards for his peers and his life of service to his profession. Larry is an AAEA Master Writer and an early winner in AAEA's writing contest for Best News reporting for the internet. He is also the first U.S. reporter to win the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists Star Report Prize for outstanding foreign coverage. Larry earned bachelor's degrees in political science and communication from FHSU in 1980 and his Master of Science in Communication degree from FHSU in 1985. While in graduate school, Larry won the College Media Advisers National Award for Business and Economics Reporting for his coverage in the University Leader of the closing of the Hays facility of Travenol Laboratories and its aftermath on the community.

Robert Duffy, M.A.
Robert Duffy

Robert E. Duffy has been the Coordinator of the Drug and Alcohol Wellness Network at FHSU since September 1997. In that capacity, he is a Kansas Addiction and Prevention Services certified counselor and directs a state-licensed Outpatient Counseling, Diagnostic, and Referral Service on campus. Bob has collaborated with the Institute in the development, testing, and analysis of an annual student drinking behavior study as part of a social norms marketing campaign to reduce high-risk drinking at FHSU. He is a cofounder of The Partnership for a Safer Community, which has established a successful Safe-Ride program in Hays. Duffy received his master's degree in counseling psychology from the University of Connecticut in 1997.

Nathan Elwood, M.A. 

Nathan Elwood is the Instruction and Electronic Access Librarian at FHSU. At Forsyth Library he provides information literacy instruction and research assistance to a diverse community of students, faculty, and staff and ensures users have consistent, reliable, and effective access to the broad range of e-resources provided through Forsyth Library. He seeks to increase course integration with library resources, foster information literacy among the student body, and promote digital access to information resources provided through Forsyth Library.

Nathan holds a Bachelor of Arts In English and a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Missouri. He earned his Master of Arts in Library and Information Science from the University of Missouri in 2015. He has previously worked in academic libraries at The University of Missouri and Logan University. He also worked as a Communication and Media Specialist for Moniteau County Public Library, where he aided a successful tax levy campaign that transitioned the local municipal library to a full county library.

Preston Gilson, Ph.D.

Senior Policy Fellow Preston Gilson is a professor emeritus of finance at FHSU. Preston taught in the areas of international finance, risk management, real estate, financial institutions, commercial banks, managerial finance, and corporate finance. He also taught in the Public Administration Training Program and taught workshops for the Small Business Development Center. Preston's areas of expertise at the Docking Institute include housing, economic impact studies and strategic planning. His recent projects include an economic impact study for the Kansas Department of Commerce. He earned his Ph.D. from Saint Louis University.

Larry Gould, Ph.D.
Larry Gould

Senior Policy Fellow Larry Gould is founder and former director of the Docking Institute. He established the Center's Telepower Conference in 1992 and is the author of a telecommunications report that initiated the state strategic telecommunications plan. He is an Associate Professor with the political science department at Fort Hays State University.

Larry was the 1998 recipient of the FHSU Alumni Association's Pilot Award as the outstanding faculty member of the year. The Hays Chamber of Commerce named him Most Valuable Citizen and inducted him into the Chamber's Hall of Fame in 1996. Previously, he was provost,director of the FHSU Model United Nations Program; Faculty Senate president; executive assistant to the president; and, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. In 2000, he was granted the Pacesetter Award from the National Academic Advising Association. In 2008, he was awarded the William Plater Award by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. One of the few national awards for provosts, the Plater Award recognizes those chief academic officers who have advanced the civic mission of the campus through curricular reform, public advocacy, accountability for institutional citizenship, faculty development and recruitment, and partnerships with community organizations. He holds a B.A. in history from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, an M.S. in political science from Eastern New Mexico University and a Ph.D. in political science from Purdue University.

W. Trey Hill, Ph.D.
hill, trey

W. Trey Hill is an Assistant Professor and the interim department Chair in the Department of Psychology at Fort Hays State University. He teaches courses in research design, statistics, and cognitive and evolutionary psychology. Trey's research focuses on human judgment and decision making, and often incorporates various theoretical perspectives from other fields such as behavioral economics and biology. Trey received a B.S. from Oklahoma State University, an M.S. from the University of Louisiana at Monroe, and a Ph.D. from Kansas State University, all with an emphasis in experimental psychology. An Oklahoman by birth, and a Kansan by choice, Trey has a passion for using his skill-set to help individuals in the Midwest, a region he cares about deeply.


Thomas Johansen, Ph.D.
Thomas Johansen

Thomas Johansen is a professor of economics, finance & accounting at Fort Hays State University. Johansen also has consulting experience in small business valuation and investment strategy. Tom received his B.S. and M.B.A. from FHSU, earning a PH.D from Oklahoma State University (Stillwater).

Scott R. Jones, Ed.S
Scott Jones

Scott R. Jones is the director and an instructor of the Center for Economic Education at FHSU. Scott works extensively with the Business Education program. He teaches courses in Business Education, Corporate Communications, Business Technology Applications, and is a sponsor of the Marketing Management Association. He received the Collegiate DECA Outstanding Advisor award in 2013 and was also selected as the Navigator (outstanding academic advising). He has been nominated for the Pilot Award multiple years. Mr. Jones has research interests in Career and Technical Education, Teaching Licensure, and information systems/data management.

Richard Lisichenko, Ph.D.
Richard Lisichenko

Richard Lisichenko is a professor of geosciences at Fort Hays State University. His primary specialization is in geographic information systems (GIS) in conjunction with other geospatical technologies. Rich has worked on GIS projects at the local, state, and federal levels. Another area of research interest is geographic education. Aside from his research activities, he has served as an editor for both geography & social studies journals. Rich received his Ph.D. in education and M.A. in geography from Kansas State University, and B.S. in geography from SUNY Oneonta, New York.



Deborah Ludwig, M.S. 
D Ludwig

Deborah Ludwig is Dean of the Library at Fort Hays State University. Forsyth Library services include support for faculty and student research, resources for scholarly communication and publishing, and copyright consultation. Ms. Ludwig's areas of specialization include library leadership, assessment, technology, collection development and management, digitization, and scholarly communication. She has published and presented widely in areas of library and information science, including open access publishing, technology, digital preservation, and management of faculty researcher data. From 2012-2014 she served as the principle investigator for a multi-institutional IMLS National Leadership Planning Grant charged with planning collaborative solutions to managing researcher data. Ms. Ludwig holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Kansas and a Master of Library Science degree from Texas Woman's University. She has also participated in the Harvard Leadership Institute for Librarians . Her academic career includes leadership positions at Fort Hays State University, the University of Kansas, and Johnson County Community College. In addition to academic appointments, she has served as a public and school librarian.


Jean Majercin, M.P.A.

Jeannie Majercin is a professional grant proposal writer and adjunct instructor of sociology with Fort Hays State University. She earned certifications for Grant Proposal Writing& Program Evaluation and Social Entrepreneurship from FHSU and is a member of the Grant Professionals Association. Her expertise includes researching, identifyingand developing successful grants to fund programs benefiting underserved populations in need. Jeannie has provided consultation and grant proposal writing for a diverse range of nonprofit entities. She has written programmatic, capital, and operational grants that focus on meeting educational, therapeutic, and basic needs in rural regions, intervention and prevention services to empower adolescent girls, and programs benefiting individuals and families facing socioeconomic challenges.

Jeannie is a graduate of Fort Hays State University, earning her Master of Professional Studies (with a major in Social Entrepreneurship) and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. For her Master's culminating project, Jeannie conducted research regarding the status of nonprofit organizations providing services in the state of Kansas, with an emphasis on grassroots efforts. In addition to grant proposal writing, Jeannie currently teaches courses in diversity and multi-culturalism in the Virtual College at Fort Hays State University.

Mary Martin, Ph.D.
Mary Martin

Mary Martin is a professor of marketing at Fort Hays State University. She teaches marketing principles, consumer behavior, marketing management, seminar in e-business, strategic electronic marketing, and database marketing. Prior to joining the faculty at FHSU, Mary was co-founder of a strategic consulting firm in Charlotte, NC that offered clients marketing plans, marketing research, organizational strategy, business plans, and e-business seminars. Prior to that, she was director of marketing for a company that produced interior decorative coatings for aircraft. While there, she developed web-driven and traditional marketing strategies, including website promotion, design, construction, and maintenance. Mary was previously a member of the graduate faculty of The University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC Charlotte) and Winthrop University. Her research interests include e-business, the effects of advertising on children, and innovative teaching strategies. She has published her research in such journals as the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, The Journal of Advertising, Psychology and Marketing, Journal of E-Business, Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, Journal of Business and Leadership: Research, Practice, and Teaching, The Journal of Educators Online, Southwestern Business Administration Journal, and Research in Consumer Behavior. She received her B.S. in advertising from Kansas State University, M.B.A. from Fort Hays State University, and Ph.D. in marketing from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Kate McGonigal, Ph.D.
K McGonigal

Kate McGonigal is an associate professor of sociology at Fort Hays State University where she teaches introduction to sociology, social deviance, social inequalities and the core study courses. She recently authored Mabel Agnes Elliott: Pioneering Feminist, Pacifist Sociologist, published by Lexington Books. In April 2009 at the Des Moines, IA meeting of the Midwest Sociological Society, she presented a paper on women bull riders. Kate received her Ph.D and M.A. from the University of Missouri, Columbia, and her B.A. from Drake University in Des Moines.



Leslie Paige, M.S., Ed.S
leslie paige bw

Senior Policy Fellow Leslie Paige is the director of the Fort Hays State University Office of Scholarship and Sponsored Projects. She has extensive experience with federal, state and foundation grants, project development and management, and conducts strategic planning activities for non-profit organizations. Leslie is also experienced as a peer reviewer and field reader for federal grant competitions. Honors include the National Association of School Psychologists School Psychologist of the Year and FHSU Alumni Achievement Award. Leslie has conducted over 100 workshops and presentations at national, state, and local levels on grant writing, school safety and violence prevention, crisis response planning, and research ethics and compliance. Leslie received her master of science and educational specialist degrees in school psychology from FHSU. She is currently an officer of the National Association of School Psychologists Board of Directors.

Lori Peek, Ph.D.
Lori Peek

Lori Peek is a professor of sociology and director of the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado-Boulder. Lori is the author of Behind the Backlash: Muslim Americans after 9/11 (Temple University Press, 2010) and co-editor of Displaced: Life in the Katrina Diaspora (University of Texas Press, 2010). Lori teaches classes on race and ethnic relations, the sociology of disaster, and qualitative research methods. In 2007, she received the Best Teacher Award from the CSU Alumni Association and the Excellence in Teaching Award from the College of Liberal Arts. Lori received her B.A. in sociology (summa cum laude) from Ottawa University, her master's in education from Colorado State University, and her Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is a native of Waverly, Kansas.

Chapman Rackaway, Ph.D.

Dr. Chapman Rackaway serves the University of West Georgia as Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science. Dr. Rackayway's teaching and scholarly interests focus on the intersection of republican democracy and professional electioneering. Dr. Rackaway teaches classes in Political Parties, Political Campaign Management, Interest Groups and Lobbying, and Campaign Finance.

Dr. Rackaway has published more than twenty articles and book chapters as well as six books. Rackaway is the author of Civic Failure and Its Threat to American Democracy: Operator Error (Lexington Press 2016) co-editor of Parties Under Pressure (Palgrave 2017) as well as other books on American politics, political communication, and voting behavior.

Kevin A. Shaffer, M.S.
Kevin Shaffer

Kevin Shaffer works as an associate professor within the department of Informatics. He graduated from the University of Colorado with a master of science in telecommunications in 1998 and is currently pursuing his doctoral degree in Information Systems through Nova Southeastern University. Prior to graduate school, Kevin lived in Osaka, Japan for six years. Kevin's research interests include international message telephone service (IMTS) economics and the promotion of broadband internetworking services to assist rural development. Kevin Shaffer is a Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) and a Cisco Certified Design Professional (CCDP). His instructional responsibilities include data communications, internetworking and telecommunications courses.

Kevin L. Smith, J.D.
Smith Kevin

Kevin Smith became the Dean of Libraries at the University of Kansas in May 2016, after ten years as Director of Copyright and Scholarly Communications at the Duke University Libraries. As both a librarian and a lawyer specializing in intellectual property issues, Smith's role at Duke was to advise faculty, staff, and students about the impact of copyright, licensing, and the changing nature of scholarly publishing on higher education. Prior to that, Smith was director of the Pilgrim Library at Defiance College in Ohio, where he also taught constitutional law. His teaching experience is various, having taught courses in theology, law, and library science. Smith is the author of numerous articles on the impact of copyright law and the internet on scholarly research as well as libraries' role in the academy. He has been a highly regarded blogger on these issues for many years, and in 2013 published Owning and Using Scholarship: An IP Handbook for Teachers and Researchers with the Association of College and Research Libraries.

Smith holds a B.A. from Hamilton College in Clinton, N.Y., an M.A. from Yale Divinity School, an M.L.S. from Kent State University, and a J.D. from Capital University. He did doctoral work in theology and literature at the University of Chicago.

Smith has been admitted to the bar in Ohio and North Carolina.

Michael A. Smith, Ph.D.

Michael A. Smith, Ph.D. is a professor of Political Science and Chair of Social Sciences at Emporia State University. His teaching interests include state and local government, campaigns and elections, legislative politics, and political philosophy. Michael is the lead author of the book State Voting Laws in America: Historical Statutes and Their Contemporary Interpretations (Palgrave Pivot: 2014), co-authored by Docking Policy Fellow Chapman Rackaway, and Dr. Kevin Anderson. Michael has also published another book, Bring Representation Home: State Legislators Among Their Constituencies (Missouri: 2003), articles in PS: Political Science and Politics, Perspectives on Politics, and other journals, plus numerous book chapters. Michael writes a newspaper column as part of the Insight Kansas group and appears regularly on KAKE's This Week in Kansas.

April Terry, Ph.D.
Terry, April

April Terry is Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, specializing broadly in four lines of research: juvenile corrections, gender and crime, rural criminology, and gender-based violence. Her research spans the interdisciplinary spectrum of sociology, psychology, and criminology. April has obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in both Psychology and Criminal Justice, a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology, and a PhD in Sociology (concentration in Criminology and Gender Studies). Prior to her appointment at FHSU, she worked for the state of Kansas as a Licensed Master’s Level Psychologist providing community psychosexual evaluations and mental health treatment for incarcerated youth.

Greg Weisenborn, Ph.D.
Greg Weisenborn

Greg Weisenborn is an associate professor in the Department of Management at Fort Hays State University. He teaches production & operations management and other related business operations courses in the College of Business & Leadership. Prior to joining the faculty at FHSU, Dr. Weisenborn worked as a manufacturing and supply chain consultant, where typical projects focused on business process efficiency & effectiveness, ERP systems implementations, and manufacturing systems improvement. Prior to FHSU, Greg was a research associate at the Veterans Administration VISN8 Patient Safety Center, was a faculty member at St. Petersburg College, and was an adjunct professor at the University of South Florida. His research and consulting interests include business operations and manufacturing process efficiency, scarce inventory allocation, ergonomics and safe patient handling, and student learning styles. Dr. Weisenborn earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from Kansas State University and a Ph.D. in industrial engineering the University of South Florida.

Benjamin D. Wheeler, B.A.
Benjamin Wheeler

Benjamin Wheeler received his M.S. in biology from FHSU in 2007. His thesis research involves the conservation of birds relative to the Conservation Reserve Program. He has been involved with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks on several projects. His research interests at the Docking Institute include the relationships between society and the conservation of natural resources. Ben obtained his B.A. in environmental biology from Bethel College in Mishawaka, Indiana in 2003.

Brett Zollinger, Ph.D.

Dr. Brett Zollinger was a research scientist at the Docking Institute from 1998 to 2008, and served as the Institute's director from 2002 to 2008. He is chair of the Sociology Department at FHSU. His work has been nationally recognized. He received the Rural Sociological Society's Dissertation Award in 1997. He has been published in several academic journals including Rural Sociology, Journal of the Community Development Society, Research in Community Sociology, Economic Development Quarterly, Complimentary Health Practice Review, the Online Journal of Rural Research and Policy, and e-journal of Public Affairs. He also has a book chapter in the edited book, Mad about Wildlife. He has designed and conducted survey research projects at local, state and regional levels on a wide variety of topics including the following: public health/wellness awareness, attitudes toward wildlife management approaches and recreational hunting practices, labor availability, health care needs assessment, housing and city services satisfaction, quality of life, crime and domestic victims issues, and use of conservation tree plantings. He also conducted dozens of program evaluation studies and organizational and community development strategic planning sessions. One of most notable research and strategic planning projects was the statewide 2005 Kansas Prosperity Summit research and planning process on behalf of the Kansas Department of Commerce and five partner state agencies, which culminated in an economic development plan for Kansas issued by Governor Kathleen Sebelius. He has over $2.5 million of applied research and planning funded. Dr. Zollinger's primary research interests are in the areas of natural resource sociology, human dimensions of wildlife management, community development, and public health/wellness programming. Prior to joining the Docking Institute in 1998, Dr. Zollinger earned his Ph.D. in sociology from Utah State University and worked in USU's Institute for Social Science Research on Natural Resources. In his spare time he enjoys golfing and spending time with his family.



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