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COEHS to Honor Three Alumni at Scholarship & Distinguished Alumni Gala Sept. 15 in Naperville

August 31, 2012

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MACOMB, IL – Three Western Illinois University College of Education and Human Services' alumni will be honored in September at the COEHS Caribbean Nights Scholarship and Distinguished Alumni Gala in Naperville (IL). WIU kinesiology major and newly crowned Miss Illinois Megan Ervin will serve as the emcee at the Saturday, Sept. 15 event at the Chicago Naperville Marriott.

According to COEHS Director of Development, Marketing and Community Relations Dana Moon, the three distinguished alumni to be honored include Charles Adams (Aurora, IL), instructional design and technology, M.S. 1999; Karen Bloch (Long Beach, CA), athletic training, B.S. 1998; and Carolyn Parks (Atlanta, GA), health education, M.S. 1984.

"We will be honoring Charles, Karen and Carolyn at the Caribbean-themed event, and all proceeds raised will go toward student scholarships. Charles is being honored for his accomplishments in his chosen field; Karen is being honored for her service and/or significant contributions to WIU; and Carolyn is being honored for her service at the local, state or national level," Moon said.

Tickets are $100 per person, and full tables are available. Moon said that festive attire is requested, and individuals can register online at (Hotel information is also available at this web address.)

Distinguished Alumni Information

Charles Adams earned his master's degree in instructional design and technology (formerly instructional technology and telecommunications) in 1999. Currently, he works as a global talent development operations leader/delivery leader for Aon Hewitt (Chicago, IL), where he is responsible for managing the teams and technology platforms supporting training deployment and delivery. His operations group has responsibility for global training deployment, North American budgeting and vendor management and global metrics and reporting. The delivery group reporting to him is responsible for aligning and executing training delivery in North America, the United Kingdom and Ireland, as well as Europe and Middle East. Prior to joining Aon Hewitt in 2004, Adams served as a senior instructional designer and instructional designer at Tellabs, Inc., in Naperville. Adams also earned his bachelor's degree in U.S. history from Western (1995).

Karen Bloch earned her bachelor's degree in athletic training in 1998. She currently is the head athletic trainer, chiropractor for USA Water Polo and Olympics and the co-owner of the business Complete Koncepts in Long Beach (CA). She is a National Athletic Training Association (NATA) and certified strength and conditioning trainer and serves as an advisory member for the kinesiology department's Athletic Training Education Program. She mentors/supervises WIU athletic training student interns. Bloch has covered the USA Olympic Water Polo program for the past two summer Olympics (Beijing 2008 and London 2012). During her career as an athletic trainer, Bloch has worked with the Women's Professional Softball League and a variety of USA National teams, including softball, bobsled, volleyball, weight lifting, judo and water polo. In 2001, she served as an athletic training fellow at the U.S. Olympic Committee in Colorado Springs. She has also served as a staff athletic trainer at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Her sports performance and injury prevention business, Complete Koncepts, is based in Long Beach (CA). Bloch earned her master's degree in health and human performance at Oklahoma State University (2001) and her doctor of chiropractics from Southern California University (2012).

Carolyn Parks earned her master's degree in health education, community health, in 1994. Parks is currently employed at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There, she is on the science application team in the capacity building branch in the division of HIV/AIDS prevention, and her current work includes serving as a technical monitor and behavioral scientist for three women-focused interventions: WILLOW, Sister-to-Sister and Healthy Love. In 2012, Parks was admitted to Cohort 14 of the International Experience and Technical Assistance Program (IETA) in the division of global health, where she will perform a four-month TDY (temporary duty) in Nairobi, Kenya, working with CDC Kenya to adapt and scale up HIV/AIDS interventions for women. She has published peer-reviewed articles in such scholarly publications as the Journal of Religion and Health; Health Promotion Practice; and the Journal of Health Education. She is a member of the American Academy of Health Behavior, American Association for Health Education and American Public Health Association. Parks earned her bachelor's degree in biology from Wheaton College (Wheaton, IL) in 1981 and her Ph.D. in education, health education emphasis, from the University of Tennessee (Knoxville) in 1993.

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