Endowed Chairs and Professorships | Hastings College

Endowed Chairs and Professorships

Endowed Chairs and Professorships

Endowed chairs and professorships are established by Hastings College alumni and friends who wish to make a significant, long-lasting impact on academics at Hastings College.

The following endowed professorships and lectureships at Hastings College includes a brief description of those who currently hold these positions.

Distinguished Professorship in Music

Dr. Byron Jensen, Professor of Music

Byron Jensen at Hastings CollegeDr. Byron Jensen joined the Hastings College Music Department in 2003. Dr. Jensen has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction and a master’s degree in music history from Kansas State University, an honorary master’s of humane letters from Ottawa University, a bachelor of music education degree from the University of Northern Colorado, and an associate of arts degree from Nebraska Western College (now Western Nebraska Community College).

Dr. Jensen teaches courses in music history and instrumental music education, oversees the strings studio, is founder and conductor of the Hastings College Handbell Choir, and is co-sponsor for the collegiate chapters of the National Association for Music Education, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and Sigma Alpha Iota. He also serves on the state committee of the Handbell Musicians of America and is immediate-past president of the Nebraska chapter of the American String Teachers Association.

 Dr. Jensen is a member of the Curriculum Committee of the Faculty Senate and is fine arts representative on the Continual Improvement and Assessment Committee charged with preparing for the Higher Learning Commission’s assessment visit. Within the community, Dr. Jensen is conductor/artistic director of the Hastings Symphony Orchestra and conductor of the Chancel Choir and Bell Choir at First Presbyterian Church. He has extensive performance experience on electric and string bass, low brass and voice, and has conducted all levels of ensembles from elementary programs to college/community orchestras.

Morton and Ella Steinhart Distinguished Professorship in Art

Tom Kreager, Professor of Art, Department Chair

Tom Kreager teaches glass art, sculpture and 3-dimensional design. He has taught art to the Post-Graduate class at the Tokyo Glass Art institute. He has been a visiting artist at many schools including the Ohio State University, University of Wisconsin, University of Nebraska at Kearney and Chadron State College. He is serving his second term on the Board of Directors of the International Glass Art Society. He has worked and/or taught at Pilchuck Glass School, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts and Penland School of Crafts. He has also assisted for artists with Dale Chihuly, William Morris, Richard Marquis, Richard Harned and others.

received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Illinois and his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Ohio State University.

Lawrence and Jeannette James Distinguished Professorship in Communication Arts, Business and Economics

Chad Power, Assistant Professor of Journalism and Media Arts

Chad Power at Hastings College communication artsChad Power is Chair of the Journalism and Media Arts Department at Hastings College, where he has taught broadcast media and new media courses since 1998. He served as the Director of New Media at Hastings College from 2000 to 2003, and, from 1998 to 2000, he was the Assistant Director of Telecommunications. Prior to that, he served as Executive Assistant to the Director of Telecommunications and Admissions Counselor from 1994 to 1998.

Power is a 1994 graduate of Hastings College, where he received his bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts with emphases in broadcasting and management. He received his Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Hastings in 1998 and completed his teaching certificate with a K-8 Education endorsement in 1999.

Named as the 2004 Vondrak Outstanding Advisor, Power is involved in numerous Hastings College leadership committees and fulfills several advisory roles. He is a member of the Faculty Senate, the Admissions Committee and the Media Assessment Committee, and he serves as secretary on the Curriculum Committee. He is director of the Media Scholarship Program, the Media Work Study Program and the Media Equipment Library System. Power is the HC Media Online faculty advisor and has served as faculty sponsor for the HC Media Div. II Women’s National Basketball Tournament since 2004. He served as executive director for the Nebraska Collegiate Media Association from 2004 to 2007, and he is a member of the Broadcast Education Association and was selected honorary member of the Society for Collegiate Journalists. In addition, he has created several Hastings College and community video productions.

Edgar and Frances Reynolds Distinguished Lectureship in Communication Arts, Business and Economics

Dr. Douglas Kinnear, Professor of Economics

Dr. Douglas Kinnear at Hastings College business department.Dr. Douglas Kinnear joined Hastings College in 2004. A summa cum laude graduate of Mankato State University, Dr. Kinnear earned his master’s degree and Ph.D. in economics at Colorado State University, where he served as senior lecturer. His areas of academic expertise include labor economics, the history of economic thought, and political economy.

Dr. Kinnear co-edited The Collected Works of Edward Everett Hale and co-authored the widely-cited journal article “Unchained Melody: A Price Discrimination-Based Policy Proposal for Addressing the MP3 Revolution.” He has also written many other articles, book chapters, and book reviews and has presented papers at dozens of economics and political science conferences.

Selected by all-campus vote to deliver one of two Invited Faculty Lectures during the 2009-10 academic year, Dr. Kinnear has served as president of the Hastings College Faculty Senate and a member of the Faculty Affairs Committee and numerous other committees. He co-advises Hastings College’s chapter of Omicron Delta Epsilon, the international economics honor society. Since August 2012, he has served as Chair of the Department of Business and Economics.

Dorothy Weyer Creigh Distinguished Professorship in History

Dr. Robert Babcock, Professor of History

Dr. Rob Babcock at Hastings College history departmentDr. Robert Babcock joined the Hastings College History Department in 1992. Dr. Babcock has a Ph.D. in history from the University of California at Santa Barbara, a master’s degree in history from the University of Missouri at Columbia, and bachelor’s degrees in classical civilizations and English composition from Beloit College.

Before coming to Hastings College, Dr. Babcock was a lecturer and teaching assistant in the history department at the University of California at Santa Barbara from 1986 to 1992. He is experienced teaching a variety of classes such as Western Civilization, Irish History, and Survey of British History. Chair of the Hastings College History Department from 2004 to 2011, he has written articles published in history journals and has also given presentations at numerous conferences.

Dr. Babcock received the Distinguished Senior Faculty Award at Hastings College in 2008 and was named Alpha Chi Honors Society Outstanding Teacher in 1994 and 2008. He received the Outstanding Adviser Award in 1999 and the Faculty Achievement Award in 1998. He received a Fulbright Grant to study at University College in Aberystwyth, Wales from 1990 to 1991.

Waldean C. McIntire Distinguished Professorship in Biological Sciences

Dr. Amy Morris, Professor of Biology

Dr. Amy Morris at Hastings College biology departmentDr. Amy Morris joined the Hastings College Biology Department in 2001. Dr. Morris has a Ph.D. in biological sciences from Idaho State University and a master’s degree in biological sciences from Marshall University in Huntington, WV. She earned her bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from Bethany College in Bethany, WV.

Dr. Morris teaches a variety of courses in the department, is responsible for student recruiting and advising, and developed online courses in botany, backyard botany, and techniques for teaching evolution. Under her direction, Beta Beta Beta Student Honorary won the Outstanding Chapter Award from 2010 to 2012. Dr. Morris received second place for the Beta Beta Beta Bertholf Award in 2008. She won a Nebraska Academy of Sciences Travel Grant in 2007 and was Hastings College’s nominee for Nebraska Professor of the Year Award in 2007.

Dr. Morris has written numerous articles published in biology journals and has given many presentations at National Association of Biology Teacher conferences. She is a member of several professional organizations, including Beta Beta Beta, the Ecological Society of America, the National Association of Biology Teachers, the Nebraska Academy of Sciences, and Sigma Xi. She is active on faculty committees and serves within the community, including the Hastings YMCA Board of Directors from 2008 to 2011.

Elvena and Hattie Holling Distinguished Professorship in Science

Dr. Steven Bever, Professor of Physics

Dr. Steven Bever at Hastings College physics department.Dr. Steven Bever joined the Hastings College Physics Department in 2003. Dr. Bever has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University, a bachelor’s degree in physics from Manchester College in North Manchester, Indiana, and an associate of arts degree in broadcast media from Manchester College.

Before coming to Hastings College, Dr. Bever was an instructor, assistant professor, and associate professor of physics at Wabash College in Crawfordsville, Ind., from 1989 to 2002.

Dr. Bever is experienced teaching a variety of classes including astronomy, general physics, electronics, electromagnetic theory, modern physics and quantum mechanics. He has written several articles published in science journals and has successfully acquired grant funding to purchase instructional equipment. Active on numerous Hastings College faculty committees, Dr. Bever is also involved in the community and supervises Hastings College’s Sachtleben Observatory.

Richard B. and Dorothy K. Tickler Distinguished Professorship in Science

Dr. David Cooke, Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science

Dr. David Cooke is Professor of Mathematics & Computer Science and is Chair of the Mathematics and Computer Science Department. He has been at Hastings College since 1989 and has interests in differential geometry, mathematical physics, game theory, computer game development, C++, VB, asp and artificial intelligence. He is also co-director of the Hastings College Math Invitational.

Dr. Cooke received his B.S. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.


Dr. Neil and Enola McDonald Distinguished Professorship Political Science

Dr. Robert Amyot, Professor of Political Science

Dr. Robert Amyot is Associate Professor of Political Science and Chair of the Political Science Department.

His specialty areas include American politics, negative campaigning and pedagogy. Dr. Amyot is also the Hastings College Pre-Law Adviser. His most recent research has been on the effectiveness of simulations and other teaching methods on learning.

Dr. Amyot received a B.A. in Economics from the University of Massachusetts (Amherst) and his M.Phil. and Ph.D. from The George Washington University in American Politics, Comparative Politics and Methodology.