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WIU Mourns Student Death

June 16, 2022

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Update: Jorie's complete tribute can be found at


MACOMB, IL -- The Western Illinois University community is saddened by the death of WIU junior Jorie Siuciak, 19, of Naperville (IL), who died Friday, June 3.

"We extend our deepest condolences to Jorie's family and friends. We are incredibly saddened by her sudden passing," said WIU President Guiyou Huang.

Siuciak, a music (music therapy) major and sociology minor, joined Western as a first-year student in Fall 2020. A graduate of Neuqua Valley High School, she was member of the Young Naperville Singers for 11 years. At WIU, Siuciak was a member of the WIU School of Music Jazz Guitar and Classical Guitar ensembles, the WIU Concert Choir and Mu Phi Epsilon - Beta Omicron music honorary.

"Jorie was a beautiful light in this dark world. She never failed to put a smile on my face," said Madeline Weiss, Jorie's friend and classmate at WIU. "We were the same major, so we would often play guitar together. I will miss her more than words can describe."

Music Professor and Director of Music Therapy Jennifer Jones was Siuciak's academic adviser and clinical supervisor in the music therapy practicum.

"From the first music therapy session, Jorie supported her client. She was an incredibly smart and compassionate person," Jones said. "Jorie also shared her musical talents with WIU's concert choir and guitar ensembles. Her growth as a musician was evident every time I heard her perform. Jorie was a valued member of the School of Music and music therapy program, and she will be sorely missed by faculty and students."

Sociology Professor Robert Hironimus-Wendt, who was one of Siuciak's sociology professors, noted she was a special student, who was prepared for academic success.

"From the first day of Fall 2021 semester when we returned to face-to-face seminars, Jorie was clearly excited to re-engage the teaching and learning process. There was a fire in her eyes that burned with every topic and every seminar discussion in our sociology classes," Hironimus-Wendt shared. "Jorie's presence in the classroom was a gift not just to me as a teacher, but to her colleagues who knew and loved her. She was always well-prepared to engage the materials, and was a perfect role model for student success and leadership, and she inspired me to give my best efforts, each day."

The University Counseling Center is available for students at (309) 298-2453.

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