Chairs & Directors | College of Education and Human Services | SIU

Southern Illinois University



Chairs & Directors

Deborah A. Bruns

Interim Chair, Counseling, Quantitative Methods, and Special Education

Deborah A. Bruns

Wham 223
(618) 453-6747

Deborah A. Bruns


Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2000

Areas of Interest:

Effective practices in early childhood special education, addressing feeding difficulties in young children and developing a profile of care and interventions for children with low incidence trisomy conditions including trisomy 18, trisomy 13 and trisomy 9.

Crystal Shelby-Caffey

Interim Chair, Curriculum and Instruction

Crystal Shelby-Caffey

Wham 327
(618) 536-2441

Teaching Areas:

Elementary Ed. - Reading | Language, Literacies, and Culture

Dr. Crystal Shelby-Caffey is an associate professor of Language, Literacies, and Culture. She teaches literacy courses within the Teacher Education Program as well as courses in the Language, Literacies, and Culture graduate programs. She has taught a range of elementary grade students within the Chicago Public School system and, most recently taught 4th grade in the Carbondale Elementary District No. 95.

With varied interests within the field, Crystal’s research centers on new literacies (the intersection between literacy and technology), two-way immersion programs/bilingual education, culturally responsive teaching, issues concerning access to education, and teachers’ use of technology. In addition, she has developed an interest in flipped learning/flipped classroom.

Saran Donahoo

Chair, Educational Administration & Higher Education

Saran Donahoo

129C Pulliam Hall
(618) 453-6077

Saran Donahoo is also Director, College Student Personnel Program.


Ph.D., Higher Education Administration, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
A. M., History, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
B. A., Secondary Education, University of Arizona

Scholarly Interests:

Educational legal and policy issues, K-16/P-20 systems, the impact of spirituality and religion on educational experiences, the preparation and socialization of student affairs professionals, graduate education, and diversity and equity issues.

Philip Anton

Interim Chair - Kinesiology, Associate Professor and Program Director for Exercise Science

Philip Anton

Davies Hall 109
(618) 453-3116


Ph.D. University of Northern Colorado (Sport and Exercise Science), 2006
M.S. University of Colorado (Kinesiology and Applied Physiology), 1999
B.S., Alma College (Physical Education and Health), 1992

About Dr. Anton:

Dr. Anton is an Associate Professor of Exercise Science and is Undergraduate Exercise Science Program Director. His primary focus of training and study is in the sub disciplinary area of exercise physiology and he serves as the Director of the SIUC Cancer Rehabilitation Laboratory and the Exercise Program Director for the 
Strong Survivors Exercise and Nutrition Program for Cancer Survivors and Caregivers

Dr. Anton’s research interests are in the area of cancer rehabilitation, specifically the use of exercise as a therapeutic tool to help cancer survivors and caregivers maintain/improve their quality of life during the treatment and recovery period. Special attention is paid to the performance of activities of daily living. Numerous data points are collected and tracked on the Strong Survivors participants. 

In addition to being an avenue for important research, Strong Survivors a valuable free service for the southern Illinois community. Participants receive exercise prescriptions that are individualized to their medical/fitness status and quality of life goals. These prescriptions are created and supervised by undergraduate and graduate SIUC students. Students who participate on the Strong Survivors staff receive a professional and personal experience that is truly unique, and this provides them with many benefits post-graduation. 

Dr. Anton’s teaching duties at the undergraduate level include coursework required for exercise science, physical education teacher education, and physical therapist assistant majors and include Exercise Physiology (KIN 320), Principles of Skeletal Muscle Action (KIN 421), and Exercise Programming for Cancer Survivors and Caregivers (KIN 402 - the Strong Survivors staff training course). 420 and 402 are also elective courses at the graduate level and Dr. Anton also teaches an exclusively graduate course, Medical Aspects of Exercise (KIN 506). He was named the 2012-2013 SIUC College of Education and Human Services (COEHS) Outstanding Teacher of the Year. 

Dr. Anton has served his profession as member of the American College of Sports Medicine (Board of Directors member for the Midwest Region Chapter of ACSM) and the Simmons-Cooper Cancer Institute at SIU. He has reviewed for multiple journals, including Cancer and Supportive Care in Cancer. He has been a member of a variety of SIUC committees, including serving as the chair of the COEHS Academic Affairs and COEHS College Advisory Committees, as well as the SIUC Gerontology Certificate Program Advisory Board. He also serves as the Head Saluki Spirit Liaison for the Saluki Spirit Committee (see their Twitter page @SalukiSpirit). In the community, he serves on the Southern Illinois Healthcare Institutional Review Board and coordinates fitness screening for the Southern Illinois Women's Health Conference and Southern Illinois Men's Expo. Dr. Anton was reward for his service and leadership in 2015 with the SIUC Lindell W. Sturgis Memorial Public Service Award and the Southern Illinois Leaders Among Us Award (Southern Illinoisan Business Journal).

Ruth Anne Rehfeldt

Interim Director of Rehabilitation Institute

Ruth Anne Rehfeldt

319A Rehn Hall
(618) 453-8281


Verbal Behavior, Developmental Disabilities, Behavior Theory and Philosophy, Technology-Enabled Instruction

Dr. Rehfeldt holds a BA in psychology from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA (1993), and masters and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Nevada (1998 graduation), where she was a student of Dr. Linda J. Hayes. Dr. Rehfeldt has published nearly 100 articles and book chapters in behavior analysis. Her expertise focuses specifically upon basic and applied investigations of verbal behavior and derived stimulus relations. She recently co-edited a book with Yvonne Barnes-Holmes entitled “Derived Stimulus Relations Applications for Learners with Autism and other Developmental Disorders: A Progressive Guide for Change. Dr. Rehfeldt is the editor and business manager for The Psychological Record, a journal founded by J. R. Kantor in 1937 and for which B. F. Skinner was one of the first editorial board members. She is or has been an editorial board member for a number of journals, including Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy, and the European Journal of Behavior Analysis. Dr. Rehfeldt and her students have delivered over 200 conference presentations over the years. Ruth Anne was the co-founder, program chair, and past President of the Mid-American Association for Behavior Analysis. Ruth Anne has been awarded the Rehabilitation Institute Teacher of the Year award several times. She was the Teacher of the Year for the College of Education and Human Services during 2006 and, in 2010, was awarded the Researcher of the Year Award for the College of Education and Human Services.

Ruth Anne's current research interests include verbal behavior, private events, and mindfulness processes. She also conducts investigations of technology-enabled pedagogy in higher education. Her clinical populations of interest include adults with intellectual disabilities and typically-developing children. She collaborates with Trinity Services, Inc. and Specialized Training and Adult Rehabilitation.

Saliwe M. Kawewe

Director, School of Social Work

Saliwe M. Kawewe

(618) 453-3359

Saliwe Kawewe, B.S.W., M.S.W., Ph.D.  Professor and Acting Director of the School of Social Work. Dr. Kawewe is a Professor and former Graduate Program Director in the School of Social Work at SIUC where she has been a faculty member since 1996. She obtained her Ph.D. from Saint Louis University in 1985, an M.S.W. from George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in Saint Louis in 1979, and a B.S.W. from the University of Zambia in 1974. She has a diverse background experience entailing administration, child welfare, and social work practice in Zambia, Zimbabwe, and in the U.S. Dr. Kawewe has a commendable record of scholarship and has been recognized with numerous academic awards and honors for teaching effectiveness, community organization and professional service. In addition to publishing over 37 refereed articles she has attended numerous conferences and has made over 40 national and international professional presentations in the U.S., the Caribbean Islands, Asia, Europe, and Africa. She is a consulting editor for the Journal of Social Work Education (JSWE); Social Development Issues; Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Services, and the Open Social Science Journal. She has also served on the editorial boards of the National Women Studies Association Journal: NWSA, Journal of African Policy Studies; Journal of Women and Language. She is a regular reviewer of various book and journal manuscripts as well as abstracts for various professional conferences.

Dr. Kawewe has held membership, presented and chaired various committees and conference sessions in professional organizations both within her field and the related fields in which her research has largely focused such as: International Association for Feminist Economics (IAFFE); National Women Studies Association, International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW); International Council on Social Welfare (ICSW); International Association of Schools of Social Work; Peace and Social Justice Center of South Central Kansas; Consortium on International Social Development (formerly Inter-University Consortium on International Social Development); Council on Social Work Education (CSWE); and the National Association of Social Workers (NASW). She has been an active board member of the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), International Commission; Illinois Hunger Coalition; Membership Committee of the Inter-University Consortium for International Social Development (IUCISD); Committee to Enhance Minority, Human and Civil Rights; Illinois Education Association-NEA Contract Negotiating Team Member for the SIUC Faculty Association;  SIUC AIDS Task Force; Advisor for the SIUC African Student Council;  and Graduate Student Association of the School of Social Work, SIUC; Dr. Kawewe has also been a board member of: Southern Illinois District of the Illinois Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers; Southern Illinois HIV Care Consortium; the Peace and Social Justice Center of South Central Kansas; the Global Learning Center; board member-at-large and African Regional representative with the IUCISD; a faculty advisor to various social work student organizations while participating in various committees at SIUC.

Teaching Areas: Graduate:

Child Welfare Policy, Ethnic Diversity and Advanced Generalist Social Work Practice, Program Evaluation Research, Field Practicum Seminars I & II, and Social Work Practice with Groups. Undergraduate: Generalist Social Work Practice, Policy, HBSE, Social Group Work, Human Diversity and Ethnic-Sensitive Social Work Practice and Practicum Seminar(s) and Field Liaison.

Research Interests:

Women and Children’s Human Rights; International and Child Welfare Policy; Third World Women’s Socioeconomic Development and Social Justice; HIV/AIDS; Racial Subcultures and Ethnic-Sensitive Social Work Practice.

Cynthia Sims

Department Representative of Workforce Education and Development

Cynthia Sims

Dean's Office
Wham 115
(618) 453-7314

Cynthia H. Sims Vita

Cynthia Sims, Ed.D., Associate Dean and Department Representative, is a Professor in the Department of Workforce Education and Development, where she served as the Department Chair during 2014-2016. She has served in faculty and staff positions in institutions of higher education for over 25 years. Dr. Sims is an active member of the Academy of Human Resource Development (AHRD) and has presented and published numerous papers and articles in the areas of diversity & inclusion, unearned privilege in the workplace, and the impacts of lookism and colorism on women's careers. Dr. Sims has been a governor-appointed Commissioner for the Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service for seven years, and in 2012, she received a Service Award from the Association for Career and Technical Education. Dr. Sims was also presented the Lifelong Learning Award from the School for New Learning at DePaul University in 2014.

Associate Dean Sims earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Louisville, a Master of Science in Public Service Management from DePaul University, and a Master of Arts in Social Work from the University of Chicago. She received her Doctor of Education in Adult and Higher Education from Northern Illinois University.

Robert McDermott

Interim Chair, Public Health and Recreation Professions

Robert J. McDermott received his BS (1975), MS (1977), and PhD (1981) degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. From 1981 to 1986, he was a faculty member in the Department of Health Education, at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.