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College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

New CSBS Faculty & Staff

Kim Baker

Kimberly Baker

Kimberly Baker has joined the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology as an assistant professor of criminology.  She has an M.T.S. from Vanderbilt Divinity School, a sociology M.A. from The New School for Social Research, and a sociology Ph.D. from University of Texas at Austin.  Most recently Baker was an assistant professor at Ithaca College.  Her current research is on addiction in reality TV shows like Intervention and Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. Baker is interested how narratives of addiction and recovery are used to teach non-addicts what it means to be a good citizen.

Leisl Carr Childers

Leisl Carr Childers

Leisl Carr Childers has arrived on campus as an assistant professor of history.  With a B.A. and M.A. from Pepperdine and a Ph.D. from UNLV, her areas of interest are public history and the American Northwest.  Carr Childers was most recently at Northern Arizona University--a peer institution of UNI--and has worked for museums and on oral history projects.  She has a deep interest in the topics of wild horses and nuclear bombs, and she enjoys riding horses too.


Matt Gordon

Matt Gordon joined the CSBS Information Technology staff as an information technology specialist on November 1.  Originally from Cherokee, Iowa, Gordon graduated from UNI in 1997 with a B.A. in public administration.  Most recently he was a contract server administrator with Rockwell Collins.  Gordon’s main hobbies are travel, reading, and exercise. 


William Henninger

Although he’s already been teaching on campus in this area—as well as in counseling and special education—William Henninger is now an assistant professor of family studies in the college’s School of Applied Human Sciences.  Henninger is a graduate of Iowa State University, with a B.S. in psychology and an M.S and Ph.D in Human Development and Family Studies (with a specialization in early childhood special education).  He also completed a postdoc at the University of Colorado - Denver conducting research in the Center for Evidence Based Practices in Early Learning. Outside work, Henninger enjoys running and doing Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Eric Hiris

Eric Hiris

Eric Hiris is the department head and professor in the Department of Psychology.  His Ph.D. and M.A. are from Vanderbilt and his B.A. in psychology from Oakland University in Michigan.  Previously the psychology department chair at St. Mary's College in Maryland, Hiris’s research areas are sensation and perception, particularly motion and biological motion perception.  In his spare time, Eric hikes, bikes, and kayaks. He has also been known to acquire and refurbish Victrolas and collects records from the 20s and 30s.

Glen Keith

Glen Keith

Glen Keith is the new head of the Department of Military Science.


Bingqing Liang

After three years as a term instructor in the Department of Geography, Bingqing Liang is now an assistant professor of geography.  She hold a B.S. in geography education from South China Normal University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in geography from Indiana State University.  Originally from Guangzhou in southern China, Liang has spent the last 10 years in the U.S.  In addition to all the reading she does in her discipline, she also enjoys reading novels. 

Matt Makarios

Matthew Makarios

Matthew Makarios is an assistant professor of criminology in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology.  He was most recently an assistant professor of criminal justice at University of Wisconsin–Parkside.  He holds a B.A. in criminology from University of Minnesota Duluth, an M.S. in criminal justice from Washington State University, and a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from University of Cincinnati.  Makarios’s research interests involve understanding the effectiveness of correctional programs and life-course criminology.  Originally from southeastern Minnesota, he is very excited to now be closer to home.  Makarios is an avid Vikings fan and enjoys distance running.

kristin meany-walen

Kristin Meany-Whalen

Kristin Meany-Walen is the newest assistant professor of counseling in CSBS’s School of Applied Human Sciences.  She’s not new to UNI, however, having been an instructor for two years and earning her M.A. in mental health counseling here.  Her B.A. in psychology and sociology is from Upper Iowa University and her Ph.D. in counseling, with a specialization in play therapy, is from the University of North Texas. Meany-Walen’s major areas of research are effectiveness of play-based interventions for children, and she is a registered play therapist. Meany-Walen also skis with the local Waterhawks team.

steven onken

Steven Onken

Steven Onken has joined the Department of Social Work as an associate professor.  He holds a B.A. from the University of Iowa and a Master of Science in Social Work and Ph.D. from University of Texas at Austin. Most recently, Onken was with the Social Science Research Institute, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, and served as the director of evaluation for Hawai‘i’s Mental Health Transformation State Incentive Grant.  Describing himself as a recovery guide, his research focuses on innovative ways to capture an emerging evidence base for consumer, indigenous and cultural approaches to mental health wellbeing and recovery.  His own “self-care” activities include rowing, outrigger canoe paddling, biking, reading and traveling.

gloria stafford

Gloria Stafford

Gloria Stafford is in the first of a two-year term as an instructor of interior design in CSBS’s School of Applied Human Sciences.  With a B.A from University of Minnesota and an M.A. from Savannah College of Art & Design, Stafford previously taught at North Dakota State.  Her research interests include non-institutional residential environments for older adults as well as factors contributing to successful aging-in-place, and her personal interests include gardening, decorating, and her dog Domino. 


Roberto Swazo

Roberto Swazo has joined the School of Applied Human Sciences as associate professor and coordinator of the graduate program in counseling.  He has an M.Ed. in school counseling from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, and a Ph.D. in counselor education from Oregon State University. Swazo was most recently an associate professor and coordinator of the counselor education program at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. He has taken 13 groups to international countries to teach a multicultural counseling course and will be doing a study trip this May.  In his spare time, he likes to swim and travel internationally.


Brian Warby

Brian Warby is spending the year in the Department of Political Science as an instructor.  Warby is finishing his Ph.D. in political science from the University of South Carolina and also holds a B.A. from Brigham Young University.  His research interests include the politics of development as well as conflict, international crime, and problems brought on by globalization. Warby enjoys running (including marathons) and sailing (currently impacted by living in Iowa).