Hilary Anne Frost-kumpf

Hilary Anne Frost-Kumpf Anchor link to John Martin video Professor Frost-Kumpf on what her students bring to the classroom

Meet Hilary Anne Frost-Kumpf
Associate Professor,
Global Studies



  • B.A., History, Michigan State University (1978)
  • M.P.A., Specialization in Arts Administration, Ohio State University (1984)
  • Ph.D., Cultural Geography, Pennsylvania State University (2001)
  • M.A., International Studies, University of Iowa (2007)


  • I have had a diverse education and career which has also allowed me to live in a variety of places. I earned my first degree while living in Michigan. From 1978 to 1992 I worked in the field of arts administration, doing fund raising, marketing and strategic "I think maps are very important and I think every classroom should have a world map posted on the wall." management with a variety of multi-disciplinary arts organizations, while living in Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin and Texas. For the last 18 years I have been working in academia while living in Pennsylvania, Washington, DC, Illinois and Iowa. I began teaching arts and nonprofit management at UIS in 1996. These degree programs eventually were merged into the Department of Public Administration, where I served until 2005. From 2005 to 2007 I took personal leave to seek a degree in international studies from the University of Iowa, which included a summer of study in Tanzania in East Africa. I returned to UIS in the fall of 2007 to begin teaching in the new undergraduate degree in global studies.

Interesting facts:

  • I am the only professionally trained geographer on campus and the only faculty member regularly teaching geography courses. I consider one of my goals is to slay the beast of geographic illiteracy among American young people, or at least among my students at UIS. I think maps are very important and I think every classroom should have a world map posted on the wall.

Best thing about UIS:

  • The best thing about UIS is that its small size has allowed for the development of a strong local community of people who can get to know one another across the institution. As a small campus we don’t suffer from the “silo mentality” that exists on many big campuses where you never meet people from outside your field, and never learn to appreciate the institution as a whole. Our small size creates opportunities to meet and work regularly with people (faculty, staff, students) from across the academic disciplines and across the range of campus services. These opportunities extend from small classes with opportunities for real discussion, to frequent chats with diverse colleagues in the cafeteria, to committee meetings with people from across the university. I think this creates a better environment for cross-disciplinary understanding and problem-solving and better support for one another as colleagues committed not only to our disciplines, but to the larger enterprise of higher education

Learning philosophy:

  • My philosophy is that students learn best when we first meet them where they currently are and then provide the appropriate bridges to what we want them to know. Through my teaching I try to provide students with 1) creative analogies and metaphors that relate their current experience and understanding to new concepts; 2) opportunities to help them connect classroom theory with their real-world experience and contemporary issues of interest to them; 3) diverse and interactive teaching methods that cater to the different ways that different students learn; and 4) diverse educational media such as texts, maps, images, and videos.

Research interests:

  • Geography, geology, international studies, the role of the arts in community development, and Africa.

Major project underway:

  • “A Cross-National Comparison of Global Issues Courses.” This is a pilot study exploring how academic courses in international/global studies reflect national interests. It explores data comparing content and pedagogical approaches of undergraduate “Global Issues” courses.

Listen to Professor Frost-Kumpf on her teaching style:

Advice to prospective students:

  • Take advantage of all the extra-curricular activities available at UIS. This includes not only student activities and organizations, but also the broad range of lectures, workshops, fairs, symposia, and arts events that occur every semester. These events provide a broad range of ideas and experiences that will supplement your educational goals. Many of these are free or available to you at very low cost. In fact, you have paid for many of these events with your student fees. To not take advantage of these extra-curricular elements of your education at UIS is like going to the grocery, paying for your selections, and then leaving half of your purchases on the counter!