Dr. Jennifer Varriale Carson serves as the Director of the Honors College and is also a Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at UCM. She holds a Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Maryland in Criminology and Criminal Justice and a B.S. in Child Psychology from the University of Minnesota, where she herself was an honors student (magna cum laude). Dr. Carson started her research career at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, a former Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence. These beginnings led her to focus her work on policy evaluation through the use of quasi-experimental and experimental methods, with a concentration on U.S. counterterrorism efforts and the use of virtual reality technology. Dr. Carson’s work can be found in a number of academic outlets including the Journal of Research on Crime and Delinquency, Criminology and Public Policy, and the Journal of Quantitative Criminology and has been featured in Congressional Quarterly Researcher, the New Scientist, and Bloomberg News. She has also served as the Executive Counselor for the American Society of Criminology’s Division on Terrorism and Bias Crimes and was the recipient of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences’ Bracey/Joseph New Women Scholar Award. Dr. Carson frequently teaches courses on research methods, terrorism, and homeland security & loves to incorporate students into her research. She will be teaching an online honors colloquium on gender and crime this summer.
Dr. Darlena Ciraulo is a UCM Professor of English who specializes in British Renaissance Literature, especially Shakespeare. Her work in the field of Shakespeare and popular culture has appeared in numerous journals and book chapters where she has written on film, print culture, and illustration. She is co-editor of Performing Shakespeare Appropriations (FDUP, 2022), a collection of essays that explores a broad range of Shakespearean adaptations in diverse media. Her current research focuses on popular adaptations of Shakespearean poetry.
Dr. David Kreiner earned a B.A Psychology in 1985 and a Ph.D. in Human Experimental Psychology in 1990 from the University of Texas- Austin. He has been with UCM since 1990, where he teaches Orientation to Psychology, General Psychology, Research Design and Analysis, Cognitive Psychology, and the History of Psychology. Dr. Kreiner’s research interests include language, memory, and scholarship on teaching and learning. He is the Faculty Advisor for the UCM chapter of Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology and is active in service with the Society of Teaching of Psychology. Dr. Kreiner is a fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, American Psychological Association, Midwestern Psychological Association, and the Psychonomic Society.
Dr. Kimberly Stark earned a B.A. in Psychology and Spanish from the University of Minnesota-Morris, a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, and is a licensed psychologist in the state of Missouri. Dr. Stark has over 20 years of experience with teaching General Psychology at UCM and has taught several other undergraduate (e.g., Abnormal Psychology, History of Psychology, and Psychology of Learning) and graduate (e.g., Ethics & Professional Issues in Psychology and Adult Psychopathology) courses. She frequently collaborates with students on research projects, resulting in over 40 presentations with students at professional conferences, such as the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (APA). Her most recent work, with Honors student Grant Decker, investigated the potential role of personality traits in predicting the effectiveness of interventions designed to enhance wellbeing. Dr. Stark enjoys mentoring students outside of the classroom and finds this part of her work especially rewarding.
Dr. Jon Taylor earned his Ph.D. at the University of Missouri-Columbia and has taught introductory undergraduate and graduate courses in U.S. History for eighteen years. He is the author of four books on the life, political career, and legacy of Harry Truman. A President, a Church and Trails West: Competing Histories in Independence, (University of Missouri Press, 2008); Truman’s Grandview Farm, (History Press, 2011); Freedom to Serve: Truman, Civil Rights, and EO 9981, (Routledge, 2012); Harry Truman’s Independence: The Center of the World, (History Press, 2013). Dr. Taylor is currently working on a book about Harry Truman's Senate career and serves on the board of the Jackson County Historical Society. He also coordinates the History Department's Missouri State Archives Internship Program and directs www.historicmissouri.org, which provides curated content to the public about the important people, places, and stories of Missouri through a web interface and mobile app experience.