North Central College - Naperville, IL

John Zenchak

2006 Ruge Fellow

John Zenchak joined North Central College in 1978 and received the College’s Clarence F. Dissinger Award for Outstanding Junior Faculty in 1984. Described as “a gifted professor, who has an uncanny ability to explain the most complex things so that all the students can understand.” While he specializes in teaching biology topics ranging from freshman level principles of biology to advanced microscopic anatomy, Zenchak’s research has also focused on teacher education in the sciences, improving teacher preparation and elementary science curriculum. He has been a frequent presenter at conferences and workshops sponsored by the Association of Teacher Educators, Associated Colleges of Illinois and National Science Teachers Association. Zenchak holds a B.A. (1966) in pre-med from Youngstown State University and both an M.S. (1970) in zoology and Ph.D. (1976) in reproductive physiology from West Virginia University. Zenchak is a member of the Association for the Education of Teachers in Science and the National Science Teachers Association.


Richard E. Paine

2006 Ruge Fellow

Richard E. Paine joined the faculty at North Central College in 1983 and quickly advanced the forensics program after his arrival. Under his direction, the College has accumulated more than 2,700 individual awards — including a national champion in 1988 and All-American in 2006 — and has placed among the top 20 schools in the country in the National Forensics Association Championships nearly every year since 1988. Pandian described Paine as “a master teacher who wants to reach every single student.” Paine was awarded North Central’s Clarence F. Dissinger Award for Outstanding Senior Faculty in both 1992 and 2004. He recently served as national chair for the National Forensics Association (NFA) Lincoln-Douglas Debate Committee and is a member of the NFA National Council. He holds a B.A. in speech and theatre from Harding University (1976), an M.A. in interpersonal communication from Western Kentucky University (1979) and a Ph.D. in persuasion theory and intercultural communication from the University of Oklahoma (1989).


Lisa A. Long

2007 Ruge Fellow

Lisa A. Long, of Naperville, teaches a range of courses in American and African American literature, gender and women’s studies, writing and American studies in North Central College’s English program, and advises the student humor magazine The Kindling and the Students for Social Justice. Since joining the College faculty in 1998, Long has served in numerous roles including coordinator of the Gender and Women’s Studies Program.

The author of several books and edited texts, most recently White Scholars/African American Texts (Rutgers UP), Long has also written numerous published essays including the forthcoming “Contemporary Women’s Roles Through Hmong, Vietnamese, and American Eyes” in Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies. Long is on the editorial board of Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers and has been a reviewer for several journals including American Literary History, PMLA, and College English. She serves on the advisory board of the Society for the Study of American Women Writers and is a member of the Modern Language Association, the American Studies Association, and the National Council of Teachers of English, among others. She also serves on the board of directors for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois.

Among her past awards and honors are the Norman Foerster Prize for scholarship in American Literature (1997) and the Clarence S. Dissinger Award for excellence in teaching. Long holds a B.A. in English and political science from the University of Minnesota, and an M.A. in English language and literature and a Ph.D. in American literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Karl Kelley

2007 Ruge Fellow

Karl Kelley of North Aurora, chairs North Central College’s Division of Science and serves as faculty advisor to the campus chapter of Psi Chi, the national psychology honor society. A North Central College faculty member since 1988, Kelley’s research, teaching and special interests address social psychology in organizational and educational settings, behavioral science statistics and methodologies; and personal and organizational issues related to work, family and leisure time.

He has published a book, numerous papers, journal articles and book chapters; his current research addresses workplace perceptions and outcomes following employees’ family leave. A reviewer for the Journal of Business & Psychology, Journal of College Student Retention and The Journal of Applied Social Psychology, among others, Kelley has consulted for a number of Chicago-area and national organizations.

He is the recipient of several previous awards for teaching and scholarship, and is a member of The Association of Psychological Science, The Council of Teachers of Undergraduate Psychology, the Council for Undergraduate Research and the Society for Industrial/Organizational Psychologists, among others. Kelley received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D in psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University.


David Fisher

2007 Ruge Fellow

David Fisher of Naperville, teaches the first and last courses in the College’s History of Ideas Program—an interdisciplinary minor engaging faculty and students in study and debate of major ideas and intellectual problems through ancient to modern times. Specializing in ethics, philosophy of law and the history of ideas, Fisher teaches a range of graduate and undergraduate courses and seminars including professional ethics for teachers, biomedical ethics and corporate social responsibility.

Fisher joined the North Central faculty in 1988; a lecturer on corporate and social responsibility, as well as religion and philosophy, he has been a visiting professor or guest lecturer in Pristina, Kosovo; Skopje, Macedonia, and London. A member of the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities and on its journal editorial board; the Society for Phenomenology and Existential Philosophy; and the International Association for Philosophy and Literature, Fisher holds numerous honors for exemplary teaching and scholarship, including the Clarence S. Dissinger Award for excellence in teaching.

Among his many publications are forthcoming titles in the Modern Languages Association’s Options for Teaching Literature and Law and On Philosophy in American Law. Fisher is also an Episcopal priest active in the Diocese of Chicago and services as assisting clergy at Saint James Episcopal Cathedral in Chicago. He holds a B.A. in history from Carleton College, an M.A. in religion and drama from Columbia University, and an M.A. and Ph.D in philosophical theology from Vanderbilt University.


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