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Thomas J. Reeder (Bolingbrook, IL), Music Education, is the Centennial Honors College Scholar
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Alyse Marie Thompson (West Chicago, IL), Journalism and Spanish, is the College of Arts and Sciences Scholar
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Brittany Marie Pieper (Bushnell, IL), Agricultural Business, is the College of Business and Technology Scholar
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Victoria Ann Wilkin (Hampshire, IL), Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration, is the College of Education and Human Services Scholar
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Steven Solomon (Chicago, IL) is the College of Fine Arts and Communication Scholar
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Angela Jo Veith (Rushville, IL) is the School of Distance Learning, International Studies and Outreach Scholar
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Fall 2012 College, Departmental, Honors Scholars

December 13, 2012


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MACOMB, IL – Six students participating in Western Illinois University's 2012 Fall Commencement Ceremonies Dec.14-15 in Macomb have received the highest recognition from their colleges for their overall academic excellence by being named a Cecile A. Christison Sterrett College Scholar.

The 5:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14 Academic Honors Convocation in Western Hall will honor College Scholars, Departmental Scholars and Honors Scholars who have earned academic distinction throughout their Western Illinois University careers. Students receive a medallion for each honor, which they wear at Commencement ceremonies. College Scholars also receive a cash award from the WIU Foundation.

College Scholars are determined by their outstanding academic excellence and service through the dean's offices, upon recommendation by faculty. A Departmental Scholar is an outstanding degree candidate in an academic major as determined by the faculty in the major department. An Honors Scholar is a student in the Centennial Honors College who has completed a set of honors requirements and has achieved a grade point average of at least 3.4 on a 4.0 scale.

Approximately 10 percent of graduating seniors achieve academic distinction, which is designed as Summa Cum Laude, highest academic distinction, with a minimum grade point average of 3.90; Magna Cum Laude, high academic distinction, with a GPA of 3.75-3.89; and Cum Laude, academic distinction, with a GPA between 3.60-3.74.

Convocation Speaker

Maya J. Stainback (Bellwood, IL), an Honors Scholar and the Departmental Scholar for Political Science and Departmental Scholar for African American Studies, is the Academic Convocation Speaker. Stainback will speak to her classmates about "The Western Evolution." She is the recipient of the Illinois General Assembly Scholarship and the Roland P. Burke Scholarship in Political Science. She was on the dean's list every semester while at Western, and she has been inducted into the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society and the Golden Key Honorary Society.

Centennial Honors College Scholar

Thomas J. Reeder (Bolingbrook, IL), Music Education, is the Centennial Honors College Scholar, and he will graduate with highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude. In 2012, Reeder was accepted to give the podium presentation at WIU's annual Thomas E. Helm Undergraduate Research Day, where he gave the presentation, "Sell Out! With Me Tonight: Audience-Artist Relations in the Commercial Electronic Music Industry." As a member of various performing ensembles through the University and outside of it, Reeder has given more than 200 performances during his undergraduate career at a variety of venues, including Carnegie Hall in New York City, Orchestra Hall in Chicago, as well as at several venues and events in the Macomb community. Reeder is a member of the Phi Eta Sigma National Honors Society and Phi Kappa Phi National Honors Society. He said he plans to begin graduate school in Fall 2013 to pursue an advanced degree in musicology and intends to take German-language classes in the spring to better prepare himself for his graduate studies.

College of Arts and Sciences Scholar

Alyse Marie Thompson (West Chicago, IL), Journalism and Spanish, is the College of Arts and Sciences Scholar, the Journalism Departmental Scholar and an Honors Scholar and will graduate with highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude. In Fall 2012, Thompson served as the managing editor of Western's student newspaper, the Western Courier. She also served as the president of Western's Society for Professional Journalists and served as a staff writer/photographer for Western Illinois Magazine, a student-produced publication published twice a year. During her undergraduate career, Thompson has completed two editorial internships with Reflejos Bilingual Journal (Arlington Heights, IL) and with Candy Industry Magazine (Deerfield, IL). Her goals include pursuing a position at a newspaper or magazine, and she said she is considering applying for journalism graduate programs.

College of Business and Technology Scholar

Brittany Marie Pieper (Bushnell, IL), Agricultural Business, is the College of Business and Technology Scholar, the Agriculture Departmental Scholar and an Honors Scholar and will graduate with highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude. She has been actively involved in the Collegiate FFA, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, Alpha Zeta, as well as in intramural softball and volleyball. During her undergraduate career, Pieper completed an internship with the Cook County Farm Bureau. She has also served as a volunteer for the Bushnell Horse Show and the Canton (IL) to Peoria (IL) St. Jude Run. Pieper's professional goals include pursuing a career in agricultural finance.

College of Education and Human Services Scholar

Victoria Ann Wilkin (Hampshire, IL), Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration, is the College of Education and Human Services Scholar and will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude. During her undergraduate career, she completed a study abroad program in Spain during which she studied Spanish sports, recreation and leisure. Wilkin also was involved with the University Union Board (UUB) and served on the Family Weekend Committee, as well as the After Hours Committee. Extracurricular activities in her field of study include her membership in the Student Commercial Recreation and Tourism Society (SCRTS). Through her involvement in the SCRTS, she volunteered at the Governor's Conference on Tourism. She also has served as a volunteer for many organizations during her college career, including at the Countryview Care Center in Macomb in order "to gain a better understanding of therapeutic recreation." She also worked as an annual fund phonathon caller while at Western. After graduation, Wilkin intends to "seek opportunities to gain experience, and she said she would like to go back to school to earn a master's degree.

College of Fine Arts and Communication Scholar

Steven Solomon (Chicago, IL) is the College of Fine Arts and Communication Scholar, the Music Departmental Scholar (Bachelor of Music) and an Honors Scholar and will graduate with highest academic honors (Summa Cum Laude). During his time at Western, Solomon served as the vice president for the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) and was actively involved in WIU Hillel, WIU Marching Band, Jazz Studio Orchestra, Jazz Combo One, and he served as a student section leader in the WIU Vocal Jazz program. He is also a member of the Jazz Institute of Chicago, the Jewish Community Hillel Group of Chicago and the Alliance of Midwest India Association. Solomon as taught piano to students taking classes in the WIU Community Music School and has logged more than 400 paid piano professional performances from age 10 through the present, including at an event featuring former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley. In 2011, his Steven Solomon Trio was hired as the opening act for the annual Al Sears Jazz Festival in Macomb. Solomon's future plans include teaching at a Chicago Public School or other secondary school in Illinois, and he said he looks forward to continue to perform jazz, classical and rock music in Chicago and around the Chicago area while he is teaching.

School of Distance Learning, International Studies and Outreach Scholar

Angela Jo Veith (Rushville, IL) is the School of Distance Learning, International Studies and Outreach Scholar. Currently a full-time employee in WIU's Center for International Studies, Veith has worked at Western for the past 13 years. On campus, she has participated in Employee Wellness events, Heart Smart for Women, Leathernecks in Training and the Western Walks-a-Thon. Off campus, she has taken part in various fundraisers, including benefits for St. Jude's Children's Hospital and CrossFit for Hope in Rushville. She also coached participants in the CrossFit for Hope fundraiser, and she maintains that organization's website. In her community, she serves as a volunteer to help clean her church every month, teaches in her church's toddler room and helps with the annual school-supply giveaway. Upon graduation, Veith plans to pursue an advanced degree at WIU.

Departmental and Honors Scholars, Academic Distinction


By Illinois counties and out of state:
Adams County
Quincy (62301) — Nathaniel J. Bruns, Network Technologies Departmental Scholar

Cook County
Bellwood (60104) — Maya J. Stainback, Political Science Departmental Scholar and African American Studies Departmental Scholar, Honors Scholar

Crestwood (60445) — Dylan W. O'Meara, Construction Management, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Des Plaines (60018) — Richard J. Sloma, Physical Education K-12, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

Palos Heights (60463) — Joseph A. Illichman, Mathematics, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Palos Hills (60465) — Joshua Gentile, Philosophy, Honors Scholar, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Chicago
60613 — Daniela Medina Elizondo, Theatre, will graduate with high academic distinction Magna Cum Laude

60629 — Jasmine N. Scott, Music, Honors Scholar

60660 — Steven R. Solomon, Music Departmental Scholar (Bachelor of Music), Honors Scholar, will graduate with highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude

Bureau County
Depue (61322) — Rosa E. Sandoval, Spanish Departmental Scholar

La Moille (61330) — Andrew R. Davis, Law Enforcement and Justice Administration, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

Carroll County
Lanark (61046) — Paige Gordon, Family Consumer Sciences (Hotel and Restaurant Management) Departmental Scholar

Mount Carroll (61053) — Christopher D. Foltz, Special Education, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

Dekalb County
Somonauk (60552) — Greg L. Myers, Music, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

DuPage County
Downers Grove (60515) — Jared A. Wissmiller, Mathematics Departmental Scholar, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Glen Ellyn (60137) — Shannon L. Redini, Elementary Education, will graduate with highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude

Glendale Heights (60139) — Atif Bukhari, Law Enforcement and Justice Administration, Honors Scholar

Naperville
60564 — Caitlin R. Edwards, Music Departmental Scholar (Bachelor of Arts)

60565 — Carter C. Stirtz, Law Enforcement and Justice Administration, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

West Chicago (60185) — Alyse M. Thompson, Journalism Departmental Scholar, Spanish, Honors Scholar, will graduate with highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude

Clinton County
Breese (62230) — Amy A. Huelsmann, Meteorology, Honors Scholar

Fulton County
Canton (61520) — Lindsay N. Bockoven, Psychology, Honors Scholar; Robert A. Culbertson, Elementary Education, will graduate with highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude; Lauren N. Simmons, Music, Honors Scholar will graduate with highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude

Lewiston (61542) — Emily J. Valencia, Art Departmental Scholar, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

Table Grove (61482) — Brennan P. Parks, Computer Science Departmental Scholar, will graduate with highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude; Seth D. Windsor, History, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Hancock County
Bowen (62316) — Amy K. Bell, Music, Honors Scholar

Dallas City (62330) — Derek J. VanFleet, Construction Management, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

La Harpe (61450) — Breanne R. Helmers, Psychology Departmental Scholar, Honors Scholar, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

Henry County
Coal Valley (61240) — Sarah L. Helderman, Elementary Education, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

Colona (61421) — Brittany A. Cothron, Elementary Education, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

Galva (61434) — Dawn S. Gale, Elementary Education, will graduate with highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude; Anna M. Olson, Elementary Education, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Geneseo (61254) — Amanda E. Hoste, Management, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude; Mary E. Pearl, Law Enforcement and Justice Administration Departmental Scholar, Honors Scholar, will graduate with highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude; Kristen S. Stradt, English Departmental Scholar, will graduate with highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude

Orion (61273) — Natalie B. Crose, Elementary Education, will graduate with highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude

Kane County
Aurora (60506) — Chelsey A. Moore, Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration and Spanish, Honors Scholar

Elgin (60123) — Allison S. Christopoulos, Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration Departmental Scholar, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Hampshire (60140) — Victoria A. Wilkin, Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration, College of Education and Human Services Scholar, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

North Aurora (60542) — Melissa A. Viksne, Finance Departmental Scholar

Kendall County
Oswego (60543) — Gregory J. Wooley, English, Honors Scholar, will graduate with highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude

Knox County
East Galesburg (61430) — Samantha J. Rice, Sociology Departmental Scholar

Logan County
Atlanta (61723) — Shelby J. Hawkins, Law Enforcement and Justice Administration, Honors Scholar, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Madison County
Troy (62294) — Kyle G. Fenimore, Construction Management, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude; Trent A. Ross, Law Enforcement and Justice Administration, Honors Scholar; Assanatou Sow, Journalism and French, Honors Scholar

Mason County
Easton (62633) — Katelyn Wurth, Accountancy and Finance, Honors Scholar

Mason City (62664) — Kortnie B. Klassen, Elementary Education, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

Kilbourne (62655) — Jennie M. Miller, Elementary Education, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

Mercer County
North Henderson (61466) — Celicia J. Thomas, Nursing Departmental (Bachelor of Nursing) Scholar

Morgan County
Meredosia (62665) — Rachel E. Presley, Instructional Design and Technology Departmental Scholar

McHenry County
Crystal Lake (60012) — Peter J. Shimp, History, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Lake in the Hills (60156) — Brandon M. Stroh, Special Education Departmental Scholar, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

Woodstock (60098) — Sherry L. Tietjen, Special Education, Honors Scholar, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

McDonough County
Bushnell (61422) — Brittany M. Pieper Agriculture Departmental Scholar, Honors Scholar, will graduate with highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude

Colchester (62326) — Hannah S. Chapin, Communication Sciences and Disorders Departmental Scholar, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Macomb (61455) — Diesel A. Baldwin, Anthropology Departmental Scholar, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude; Andrew S. Brophy, Engineering Technology, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude; Tara M. Brownlow, Accountancy, will graduate with highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude; Henry T. Cantleberry, Philosophy Departmental Scholar; Lorree J. Kerr, Elementary Education, will graduate with highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude; Michael R. Wilkinson, Computer Science, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude; Caitlin M. Wood, Computer Science, Honors Scholar, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Ogle County
Chana (61015) — Austin L. Anderson, Agriculture, Honors Scholar

Oregon (61061) — Kelsey M. Wolfe, Journalism, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

Peoria County
Glasford (61533) — Courtney R. Cluney, Biological Sciences, Honors Scholar, will graduate with highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude

Rock Island County
Cordova (61242) — Maureen J. Robinson, Accountancy Departmental Scholar, Honors Scholar, will graduate with highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude

East Moline (61244) — Robert E. Barajas, Law Enforcement and Justice Administration, will graduate with highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude; Weston L. Wassell, Elementary Education, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Moline (61265) — Kyle J. Ambrozi, Liberal Arts and Sciences Departmental Scholar

Rock Island (61201) — Lindsey M. Havens, Special Education, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude; Kara J. McNall, Elementary Education, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude; Meghan R. Miers, Special Education, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude; Michael D. Taylor, Communication Departmental Scholar, French Departmental Scholar, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

Silvis (61282) — Corey C. Whitcomb, Management Departmental Scholar, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

Sangamon County
Auburn (62615) — Lauren N. Armstead, History Departmental Scholar, Lincoln Academy of Illinois Student Laureate, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Springfield (62711) — Brian P. Sneath, Biological Sciences Departmental Scholar, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

Stephenson County
Davis (61019) — Erika A. Lawson, Mathematics, Honors Scholar, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

Whiteside County
Erie (61250) — Taylor A. Froeliger, Elementary Education, will graduate with highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude

Prophetstown (61277) — Dennis R. Behrens, Elementary Education, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

Will County
Bolingbrook (60440) — Thomas J. Reeder, Centennial Honors College Scholar, Honors Scholar, will graduate with highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude

Channahon (60410) — Elizabeth M. Jones, Physical Education K-12 Departmental Scholar, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

Homer Glen (60491) — Robert J. Carroll, Hotel and Restaurant Management, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

Winnebago County
Bolingbrook (61108) — Traci Hart, Women's Studies Departmental Scholar

Out of State

Arizona
Phoenix (85008) — Victoria A. Borne, Graphic Communication Departmental Scholar

Iowa
Bettendorf (52722) — Stacia L. Moyes, Elementary Education, will graduate with highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude; Elizabeth M. Preston, Elementary Education, will graduate with highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude

Clinton (52732) — Alana S. Johnson, Construction Management Departmental Scholar

Davenport (52803) — Vanessa A. Haberman, Engineering Departmental Scholar

Davenport (52804) — Terry L. Williams, Engineering Technology Departmental Scholar

Davenport (52806) — Sarah A. Myer, Elementary Education, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

Fort Madison (52627) — Elizabeth S. Helling, Elementary Education Departmental Scholar, Honors Scholar, will graduate with academic distinction, Cum Laude

Keokuk (52632) — Lindsey J. Roe, Anthropology, Honors Scholar; Kacey L. Swainey, Accountancy, will graduate with high academic distinction, Magna Cum Laude

Mount Pleasant (52641) — Erik V. Brawner, Geology Departmental Scholar

Muscatine (52761) — Sarah K. Anderson, Agriculture, will graduate with highest academic distinction, Summa Cum Laude

Kansas
Manhattan (66503) — Aaron G. Appel, Supply Chain Management Departmental Scholar

Posted By: WIU News (U-Relations@wiu.edu)
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