Stephen Case

Associate Professor
College of Arts and Sciences
Chemistry and Geoscience
Ph.D., 2014, University of Notre Dame
M.A., 2007, University of Mississippi
B.S., 2005, Olivet Nazarene University

During Dr. Case's time as a student at Olivet, he worked as a planetarium operator and gained experience on both opto-mechanical and digital projection systems. Today, he is the director of Strickler Planetarium on Olivet's campus and the Associate Director of the University Honors program. He also teaches astronomy, history of science and Honors Program courses.

He brings his cross-disciplinary background to science instruction and research. In 2014, he completed a doctorate degree in the history and philosophy of science at the University of Notre Dame. In 2018, the University of Pittsburgh Press published his first nonfiction book, Making Stars Physical: The Astronomy of Sir John Herschel. This is the first ever book-length treatment about the historically significant contributions Herschel made to astronomy and was short-listed for the History of Science Society's Pfizer Prize.

His interests include the historical and cultural aspects of the physical nature of the stars. While working on his master's degree at the University of Mississippi, he was an NSF GK-8 fellow and conducted research on the Millington-Barnard Instrument Collection, a collection of scientific instruments assembled before the Civil War. 

As Olivet's planetarium director, Dr. Case oversaw the complete refurbishment and update of Strickler Planetarium from a slide-based analogue projection system to a full-dome digital system. These changes greatly enhanced the planetarium's capabilities and turned it into a powerful multimedia instructional tool.

His research has appeared in Journal for the History of Astronomy, Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences, Mercury, Endeavor, Annals of Science, and Zondervan’s Dictionary of Christianity and Science. He has presented his research at the Newberry Library in Chicago and the History of Science Society Annual Meeting. He is active in the international planetarium community, teaching in Italy as part of the International Planetarium Society's exchange program, and serving on the organizing committee of the Biennial Workshop on the History of Astronomy. In 2018, he traveled to Chile as part of the Astronomy in Chile Educator Ambassadors Program and toured major research observations, including ALMA and Cerro Tololo.

Read Dr. Case's curriculum vitae here.

Dr. Case and his wife, Christine — who is a 2005 Olivet graduate — are the parents of four children and live in Kankakee.