Charlene Aaron, PhD, RN

Chancellor, Professor

PhD: University of Iowa 
MSN: Illinois State University
BSN: Illinois Wesleyan University
Diploma: Methodist Medical Center School of Nursing


Dr. Aaron comes to St. John’s College of Nursing from Illinois State University’s Mennonite College of Nursing where she most recently served as an assistant professor. She has worked at ISU’s nursing college since 2005. Prior to that, Aaron served as the director of nursing for various nursing homes and retirement communities in Livingston County. She began her career in nursing as a post-surgical nurse in 1978 at St. James Hospital in Pontiac.

Dr. Aaron received her doctorate of nursing in aging from the University of Iowa. Her dissertation research focus was on the self-management of diabetes in African American female caregivers of persons with dementia. She received her MSN in nursing systems administration from ISU, her BSN from Illinois Wesleyan University, her diploma in nursing from Methodist Medical Center School of Nursing and her licensed practical nursing (LPN) license from Kankakee Community College.

Dr. Aaron has received several honors throughout the years for her distinguished career at ISU’s nursing college. In 2015, she received the Illinois Nurse Leader Fellowship from the Illinois Organization of Nurse Leaders and the Kathleen A. Hogan Endowed Faculty Development Award.

Judy Shackelford, PhD, RN

Dean of Academic Affairs, Professor

PhD: University of Missouri
MS: University of Illinois
BSN: Southern Illinois University Edwardsville


Judy Shackelford, PhD, has been an educator for 29+ years. She is a Faith Community Nurse and  medical/surgical “generalist” with a research focus in education to improve health care outcomes in the areas of adult asthma self-management, breast cancer awareness in underserved populations, and colorectal cancer screening in rural populations.  Dr. Shackelford has been the lead investigator for Faith Community Nursing in grants with published works and awards in the areas of breast cancer awareness education for underserved populations, and colorectal cancer screening in rural communities. She is a founding board member for Faith Community Nursing International (FCNI), is Chair of the FCNI Education Committee, and is currently coauthoring a textbook on faith community nursing. She is passionate about nursing and research with a career goal to expand nursing research utilization to improve health care practice and outcomes for the health care consumer. She has vast experience in curriculum development at the undergraduate and graduate level.

She has done program development in continuing education for professionals in the areas of leadership and faculty development, spirituality and Faith Community Nursing.

She serves on the editorial board for The International Journal of Faith Community Nursing. She has served on the board of Nu Pi at-large Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau’s Nursing Honor Society in a variety of roles, including president.

Dr. Shackelford considers it an honor to work for an institution where Christian values are foundational to its mission, and a blessing to serve in a profession that recognizes the importance of God’s healing presence.