Jana Hunzicker

Assistant Professor, William T. Kemper Fellow

Westlake Hall 237
(309) 677-3201

Ed.D., Curriculum and Instruction, Illinois State University 2006
M.A., Educational Administration, Bradley University 1994
B.S., Elementary Education, Bradley University 1989


Dr. Hunzicker has served in Bradley’s Department of Teacher Education since August 2007. Before coming to Bradley, she taught eighth grade language arts in Pekin District 108, worked as dean of students at Illinois State University's Thomas Metcalf School, and served as an elementary principal in East Peoria District 86 and Washington District 52. She holds a standard elementary teaching certificate, Illinois Type 75 administrative certification, and the Illinois superintendent endorsement. Dr. Hunzicker is a recipient of the Joan L. Sattler Endowed Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching (2013), the College of Education and Health Sciences Faculty Research Award (2012), and the College of Education and Health Sciences Faculty Service Award (2011).


Dr. Hunzicker teaches undergraduate courses in young adolescent development, human development, middle school instruction, and language arts methods. In addition, she teaches two graduate courses in teacher leadership. Her teaching style combines traditional instruction and active learning with emphasis on reflective practice. She tries to enliven her classes with meaningful discussion, activities, and projects to promote higher order thinking and provide opportunities for students to apply information and ideas. Toward this end, she connects each of her classes to actual students, teachers, and schools through field trips, guest speakers, and classroom projects with Bradley’s professional development schools.


    Dr. Hunzicker's research interests include effective teaching practices, teacher learning, professional development, and teacher leadership. She has experience with qualitative and mixed research methods, including ethnography, phenomenology, grounded theory, case study, and survey research. Two current research projects include “Engaging Pre-service Teachers: A Comparison of Two Literacy Methods Courses” (in collaboration with Dr. Twila
    Lukowiak, Assistant Professor, Bradley University) and “Using Best Practices to Improve Writing Instruction in Primary Classrooms” (in collaboration with Dr. Cecile Arquette, Associate Professor, Bradley University, and Ann Quinzio-Zafran, NBCT, Coal City Elementary School, Coal City, IL).

    Current refereed publications include “Understanding How and Why College Students Engage in Learning” published in The Journal of Effective Teaching, “Attitude has a lot to do with It: Dispositions of Emerging Teacher Leadership” published in Teacher Development, and a book chapter entitled “Professional Development and Job-embedded Collaboration: How Teachers Learn to Exercise Leadership” published in A. Alexandrou and S. Swaffield’s edited book Teacher Leadership and Professional Development: Perspectives, Connections, and Prospects (New York: Routledge).


      As William T. Kemper Fellow for Teaching Excellence, Dr. Hunzicker coordinates the Bradley PDS Partnership, a school-university partnership between Bradley’s College of Education and Health Sciences and eight Peoria schools. She also serves as chair for her department’s Recruitment and Retention Committee and as faculty liaison for Bradley’s Golden Apple Scholars. In addition, Dr. Hunzicker serves on several university-level committees, including the University Resources Committee, General Education Subcommittee 4 (Curriculum Models), University Writing Task Force, and Peoria Full Service Community Schools (PFSCS) Advisory Council. Beyond Bradley, she serves as a manuscript reviewer for the Journal on Excellence on College Teaching, Learning Communities Journal, and Educational Research. Since 2003, she has served consecutively on the executive board for Illinois Women in Educational Leadership (IWEL) in various capacities.