The sandy shore, tropical climate and exotic adventures are what attract most travelers to the state of Hawaii. The idea of living there intrigues many, but few ever attain it.
For the last few years, Dr. Chris Lucas, a new assistant professor in the College of Education and Health Sciences, has been teaching at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, a university Lucas describes as a large research school.
When it came time to find a position that better fit his educational background and growing expertise, Lucas discovered Bradley.
“I was looking for a full-time faculty position in human services,” said Lucas. “Hawaii, like the rest of the country, is suffering for job openings, and Bradley just fit.”
Born and raised in Indiana, Lucas’s transition back to the Midwest hasn’t been too challenging, but there are a few things he misses about Hawaii.
“It’s a beautiful place, great people and was a new experience,” said Lucas.
While Peoria can’t rival Hawaii when it comes to weather, Lucas is taking the transition in stride by focusing on the many benefits of being in the Midwest.
“The weather’s troublesome,” said Lucas, “but I have many good friends and family, so that helps.”
As an instructor and coordinator for the masters program in human services administration and an advisor and instructor of leadership studies, Lucas has wasted no time diving into the work.
“The Masters program is good for those looking to go into nonprofit careers, whether it be in higher education, a traditional nonprofit setting, or through a church group,” Lucas said.
The kindness of his colleagues has been invaluable.
“I have a lot of good colleagues,” Lucas said. “Katie McGinn has been great. Nathan Thomas has really helped the transition. It makes my job easier to have folks to lean on.”
For someone who has spent the last few years teaching at a large campus on an island, Bradley’s campus is certainly a change, but for Lucas, it is a welcome one.
“I haven’t worked at a campus like this before, especially the size. I like Bradley a great deal.”
Even though he has only been on campus since August, Lucas is already impressed with Bradley and its Peoria surroundings.
“My impressions are good,” Lucas said. “Peoria has everything you need.”