One of the things that I really enjoy doing is traveling. In the past several years we have been fortunate enough to have the ability to take some rather exciting trips. We have tried to take at least one major vacation each year to either a historical location or one that will provide the kids with a cultural experience. With these goals in mind, here is what we have done and are planning.

Recent Trips

  • November 2015 - Las Vegas
  • May 2015 - Orlando
  • Spring Break 2015 - Cruise Eight: Mexico, Honduras, Guatamala
  • Summer 2014 - Ireland and Northern Ireland
  • Summer 2013
    • New Zealand, Australia
    • Utah
    • Barbados
  • Spring 2013 - Disney World (class project)
  • Fall 2012 - Barbados
  • Fall 2012 - Utah
  • Fall 2012 - Orlando
  • Summer 2011 - New Zealand, Australia
  • Christmas 2010 - Cruise Seven: Mexico
  • Summer 2010 - New Zealand, Australia
  • Spring 2010 - Cruise Six: Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Dominica, Granada, Bonaire, Aruba
  • Summer 2009 - New Zealand, Australia
  • Spring 2009 - Cruise Five: Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. Maarten
  • Fall 2007 - Cruise Four: Bahamas, Grand Caymans, and Jamaica
  • Spring 2007 - Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon, Flagstaff area
  • Winter 2006 - Cruise Three: Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama
  • Summer 2006 - New Zealand, Australia
  • Spring 2006 - Cruise Two: Miami, Nassau Bahamas, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Miami
  • Spring 2005 - Williamsburg Va
  • Fall 2004 - Cruise One: Tampa, Grand Cayman Island, Cozumel Mexico, Tampa

Future Trips

  • Spring 2016 - Costa Rica
  • Spring 2016 - Austin Tx. 
  • Summer 2016 - New Zealand and Australia

Early Planning

  • Eastern Europe
  • Alaska Cruise
  • Mediterranean Cruise
  • South East Asia Cruise

I started this last thing I have done in a number of categories because it seemed a fun way to help people keep track of typical things I do. It is a way to spark conversation and is great for student scavenger hunts. So, if anyone is looking for gift ideas, below are some ideas.

Last books read:

Spring 2017

Research Methods

  • Designing and Managing a Research Project: A Business Student's Guide - Michael J. Polonsky and Waller, David S. 
  • Advertising and Public Relations Research - Donald Jugenheimer, Larry Kelley, Jerry Hudson, Samuel Bradley
  • Designing and Conducting Survey Research:  A Comprehensive Guide - Louis Rea and Richard Parker
  • Excel Data Analysis:  Your Visual Blueprint for Analyzing Data, Charts, and PivotTables - Paul McFedries
  • Communication Research Methods - Joanna Keyton
  • Quantitative Research Methods - Allen, Titsworth, Hunt
  • Understanding Quantitative Research Methods - Croucher and Cronn-Mills


  • Google Analytics Demystified:  A hands-on approach - Joel Davis
  • Google Analytics for Beginners - SSRC Solutions

Data Display

  • The Wall Street Journal Guide to Information Graphics - Dona M. Wong
  • Visual Insights - Katy Borner and David Polley
  • Slide:ology - Nancy Duarte
  • Cool Infographics:  Effective Communication with Data Visualization and Design - Randy Krum
  • Presenting Data:  How to Communicate Your Message Effectively - Ed Swires-Hennessy
  • Data Visualization for Dummies - Mico Yuk and Sephanie Diamond

Student learning

  • Why Don't Students Like School?  A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions about how the Mind Works and What it Means for the Classroom - Daniel Willingham
  • e-Learning and the Science of Instruction:  Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers of Multimedia Learning - Michael Polonsky and David Waller
  • A Guide to Online Course Design:  Strategies for Student Success - Tina Stavredes and Tiffany Herder
  • Talent is Overrated:  What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everydody Else - Geoff Colvin
  • Training and Development - Jason Wrench, Danette Johnson, and Maryalice Citera

ROI Social Media

  • Ask, Measure, Learn:  Using Social Media Analytics to Understand and Influence Custome rBeahvior - Lutz Finger and Scumitra Dutta
  • Social Media ROI:  Managing and MEasuring Social Media Efforts in YOur own Organization - Oliver Blanchard


  • Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse series by Shawn Chesser
  • The Weak and the Innocent - Ryk Brown
  • Escape to Earth Series by Saxon Andrew
  • Battlecruiser Alamo SEies by Richard Tongue
  • Deaths Bright Day - David Drake
  • DNA - Laurence Dahners
  • Fire Touched - Patricia Briggs
  • Kings and Emperors - Dewey Lambdin
  • A Hard Cruel Shore - Dewey Lambdin
  • Tyger - Julian Stockwell
  • Pasha - Julian Stockwell
  • After it Happened Series - Devon C. Ford 

Last CD's/Mixes bought/received:

  • Airborne Toxic Event - All at Once
  • Bare naked Ladies - Silverball
  • Bastille - Bad Blood
  • The Decemberists - What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World
  • Imagine Dragons - Smoke + Mirrors
  • Indigo girls - One Lost Day
  • Mumford and Sons - Wilder Mind
  • Of Monsters and Men - Beneath the Skin
  • Pitbull - Global Warming:  Meltdown

Last movies:

  • Logan


Trips Scheduled:

  • Ireland (May 2017)
  • Barbados (Summer 2017)

Trips Taken:

  • Las Vegas (November 2015)
  • Orlando (May 2015)
  • Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico (March 2015)
  • Ireland (May 2014)
  • New Zealand and Australia (June 2013)
  • Utah (May 2013)
  • Barbados (May 2013)

Last mugs bought:

  • Love:  Beatles Tribute
  • Honduras
  • Ireland


Cate is working on starting her own nonprofit organization to assist parents with IEP's and other issues related to special education and school systems. Anna is 22. She is enrolled at Georgia Military College in Valdosta. 

Drew is 23 and a Senior at Eastern Illinois University majoring in History with an emphasis in International Relations, a major in Spanish, and a  minor in Political Science.

Drew enjoys playing computer games, playing his PS4, and reading.   He likes to travel.  He went to Australia for 21 days when he was 12 as part of a People-to-People exchange program. In 2012 he went to New Zealand.  In 2014 he visited Ireland on a faculty-led study abroad program.  Spring of 2016 he studied in Costa Rica. 


I never really thought about it but when I look over a list of my hobbies it becomes obvious that I enjoy the outdoors. I like activities that are not straining but ones that you can have fun doing.

  • Travel -- I love to see new things and I don't get to travel as much as I would like. In the last few years we have begun to stretch our wings a little. We have gone on several cruises to the Eastern and Western Caribbean. We have visited the islands of St. Thomas, St. Maarten, Bahamas, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Dominica, Granada, Bonaire, Aruba, Barbados, and the Caymans. We have also visited Cozumel and Costa Maya Mexico, Panama and Costa Rica. In 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2013 I spent a month in Australia and New Zealand. I spent about a month in total over two trips to Barbados in 2013. In 2014, I spent a month in Ireland.  
  • Photography - I have always liked to take pictures.  Recently I became serious about it. I had my first show January 2013 at Jackson Avenue Cafe.  YI have put up a Personal Gallery if you are interested.  

  • Reading - I do a lot of reading.  I especially like Science Fiction/Fantasy space operas and 17th and 18th century British sea novels.  
  • Swimming - If you have seen some of the photos I have posted, I like casual swimming. Put another way, I like snorkeling, helmet diving, and would like to learn how to scuba dive some day. 
  • Bass Fishing -- Yes, I own a 1979 16' ranger boat with all the bells and whistles. It needs some work but I can't wait until next summer when I can fix it up and take my kids fishing. 
  • Camping -- You may have already seen the picture of our travel trailer. We own a 1967 16' Frolic travel trailer. It sleeps four and is very comfortable. We generally camp in Illinois but have taken the occasional long trip such as to Disney World. It is great for quick escapes.
  • Collecting Coffee Mugs -- I guess everyone needs to collect something. I decided to collect coffee mugs (you should see my office). They are relatively inexpensive (so if they get broken it is not the end of the world) and they can reflect unique characteristics of the place you are visiting. Besides, I like coffee.