Dr. Chris Cunnings has been working in the field of Education for more than fourteen years, and his experience includes both classroom teaching and educational research. Dr. Cunnings received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry (with a minor in Biochemistry) from McKendree University in 2006. He then earned a second Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry Education from Governors State University in 2007. While a student at McKendree University, Dr. Cunnings was a four-year starter on the McKendree University football team, earning All-Conference and All-American honors in 2004. Prior to coming to Millikin University, Dr. Cunnings taught high school science and mathematics at Wilmington High School for eight years. In addition to his two undergraduate degrees, Dr. Cunnings also holds a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership and Administration degree from Olivet Nazarene University and a Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Dr. Cunnings has received local, state, and national accolades for teaching excellence. In 2011, he was featured as WGN-TV’s Teacher of the Month, and in 2013 he was awarded the Illinois Science Teacher Association/Exxon Mobil Outstanding Teacher of Science Award. In 2015, he was invited to Harvard University to share his action research doctoral dissertation project, which focused on implementing digital learning technologies on a 1-to-1 basis in his high school physics classroom. Dr. Cunnings was the 2018 recipient of Millikin University's Alpha Lambda Delta Outstanding Teaching Award, and in 2020 he was the recipient of the James Millikin Estate Professorship in Education.
Dr. Cunnings' research interests include STEAM education, inquiry learning, digital learning technologies, and the impact of extracurricular activities on student success.