Meet the staff for the Center for Civic Engagement.
Katy Strzepek became the first director of the Center for Civic Engagement team in February 2020. She was previously the director of the Women and Gender Studies Program and WGS Resource Center at St. Ambrose University, Davenport, Iowa. She also organized the Ambrose Women for Social Justice Conference, bringing globally renowned human rights activists to campus, including Leymah Gbowee, a Nobel Peace Prize winner from Liberia.
Strzepek received a bachelor’s degree in history from Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio; a master’s degree in African history from Northwestern University; and a doctorate in higher education administration and foundations from Illinois State University.
Harriett Steinbach joined the Center for Civic Engagement team in summer 2017. She previously worked for 10 years in the Dean of Students Office at Illinois State University. Serving in several capacities, Steinbach worked most significantly with Parent and Family Services, off-campus living, leadership development, and community service. Prior to her time at Illinois State, she worked at The Salvation Army and the McLean County Museum of History.
Steinbach received her B.A. in Political Science and History from Eureka College and her M.S. in Political Science with an emphasis in Public Service from Illinois State University. She is currently studying in the Doctor of Public Administration program through the University of Illinois Springfield, with a Leadership of Public and Nonprofit Organizations specialization.
Assistant Director, Assessment, Data Management, Grant Writing
Phone: (309) 438-1133
Christine Bruckner started as the Assistant Director of Assessment, Data Management, and Grant Writing in December 2016. Before working for the center, Bruckner was a Research and Planning Analyst for the Office of Planning, Research, and Policy Analysis at Illinois State University. Prior to working at Illinois State, she worked as a Research and Program Evaluation Specialist at the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies in Bloomington, and as a high school speech and English teacher.
Bruckner is a double alumna from Illinois State University having received a B.A. in Communication Studies Teacher Education (with recognition as a Bone Scholar) and a M.S. in Communication.
Assistant Director, Co-Curricular Programs
Phone: (309) 438-0708
Annjanette (Annie) Weaver joined the Center for Civic Engagement team in summer 2017. Previously she worked as the Senior Specialist for Leadership and Community Connections in the Dean of Students Office at Illinois State University. Her work in both the Dean of Students Office and now the Center includes working with the Alternative Breaks program and on several community service initiatives. Before arriving at Illinois State, Weaver was the Coordinator of Student Involvement for Greek Life and Civic Engagement at Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL, working with fraternities and sororities, service programming, and Relay For Life.
Weaver received her B.A.A. from Central Michigan University in Broadcast and Cinematic Arts and Theatre and her M.S Ed. from the University of Nebraska-Kearney in Counseling-Student Affairs.
Assistant Director, Marketing and Communication
Phone: (309) 438-1166
Emily Nafziger joined Illinois State University and the Center for Civic Engagement in August 2018. Prior to that, she worked for over 18 years at a nonprofit organization in Urbana, Illinois. Her work at the National Council of Teachers of English involved marketing, communications, information technology project management, program management, and convention planning.
Nafziger received her B.A in Public Relations and Mass Communication from Illinois State University and was recognized as a Bone Scholar. She received her M.B.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a focus in general management.
Beth Porter joined Illinois State University and the Center for Civic Engagement in June 2019. Prior to joining the Center, she worked at the Heyworth Public Library for 12 years, serving as the library director for 9 years of those years. She also worked at Unit 4 School District in Heyworth as a special education aide.
Porter is a graduate of Illinois State University with a degree in Political Science. Her passion is growing communities and outreach.
Graduate Assistant, Civic Education and Political Engagement
Phone: (309) 438-1177
Joshua Crockett earned his B.S. in Political Science with a minor in Civic Engagement and Responsibility from Illinois State University in May of 2021 and is currently a graduate student pursuing a master’s in communication. During his undergraduate studies, Crockett worked at the Center for Civic Engagement as a Census Fellow and Election Fellow to encourage student participation in the 2020 census and election. Prior to his time at Illinois State University, he attended Heartland Community College where he served as Student Trustee and later secured a spot on the Board of Trustee in the April 6, 2021, elections. He is thrilled to continue engaging students in the important work of civic education and political engagement.
Graduate Assistant, Alternative Spring Breaks
Phone: (309) 438-8548
Shey Hughes earned her B.A. in history and secondary education from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, IA, in May 2021. She is a current first-year graduate student pursuing her Master’s in College Student Personnel Administration with a graduate certificate in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. During her undergraduate years, Hughes fulfilled roles in various professional fields and was involved in a variety of areas of student life such as Greek life, residence life, TRIO/academic achievement program, and admissions. Outside of the office, she enjoys being active and has earned her personal trainer and nutritionist certifications.
Graduate Assistant, Community Service Projects
Phone: (309) 438-8116
McKenna Myers earned her B.S. in secondary mathematics education with a minor in leadership studies from Ball State University in December 2020 and is currently a graduate student pursuing her Master’s in College Student Personnel Administration. During her undergraduate years, Myers was involved in the Cardinal Leadership and Service Seminar (a summer bridge/mentorship program), Student Voluntary Services, Cardinal Kitchen (an on-campus food pantry), College Mentors for Kids, and the Excellence in Leadership program at Ball State University. She also has experience as a Welcome Week leader, LateNite@BSU staff member, and an undergraduate intern for the Office of Admissions. In pursuit of her Leadership Studies minor, Myers assisted with and presented at the Beneficence Leadership Conference, an annual university-wide symposium for students.
Graduate Assistant, Alternative Winter Breaks
Phone: (309) 438-8548
Doug Whiston earned his B.A. in political science from the University of Kansas in August 2013 and is currently a second-year graduate student pursuing his Master's in College Student Personnel Administration. Whiston will be serving as the Graduate Assistant for Alternative Winter Breaks. During his undergraduate years, he founded the Kansas Quidditch Club which kickstarted his passion for student affairs and enhancing the student experience. He has previously held an assistantship with Leadership Education in the Dean of Students Office at Illinois State. Whiston is passionate about developing students’ civic education and competencies in their personal and pre-professional lives.