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Alumna Deb Amdor believes education is the key to the future

Deb Amdor

“We read so much about the educational level of other countries, and how the United States is far behind them,” Deb Amdor ’72 said. “I feel strongly that education is the key to our future, and I want to do my part to help.”

Amdor, a State Farm Insurance project planner, does her part by supporting the Economics Department both financially and with her time as part of the 19-member Economics Advisory Board.  She also has a planned gift for the softball program in Athletics and generally volunteers her time at the annual softball clinic.

In her remaining free time, Amdor volunteers at BroMenn, for her church and with the Millennium Girls program.  She likes to travel, read, scrapbook and stamp.

Amdor was one of five women studying for an economics major in the late ’60s and early ’70s.  She said it was not intimidating to be a woman in a predominately men’s field, but rather fostered a sense of competition to “be as good as the men.”  Amdor chose economics to be “just a little different” than the hundreds of business majors of the ’70s and because “economics is the basis of so much of what touches our lives, with supply and demand controlling the majority of our decisions on how we spend our time and money.”

At State Farm Amdor is a project and resource planner who determines which employees have the skills for various jobs.  She credits Illinois State with preparing her for her professional career. Amdor said education for current students has been enhanced with the proliferation of internship opportunities, which better prepares them for their professional careers..

Amdor said she “learned a great deal about how the ‘real world’ operated by serving on the University Union Board” where she had her “first true experience with government ‘red tape.’” Her involvement with Illinois State continued even after the red tape, real world experience.  As an alumna, Amdor served on the Alumni Board and Athletic Council as well as followed volleyball, men’s and women’s basketball and softball. Her involvement with softball has endured, and she has even traveled to Arizona, Texas, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa and Missouri to watch the Redbirds compete.

James V. Koch was one of her most influential professors, one who “made economics relevant” though Amdor said she is “still a little confused by z-scores.”  She nominated and presented Koch with the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumni Award, and he in turn recommended Amdor for the Economics Advisory Board position.  Economics Chair James Payne said the Board provides feedback to the department regarding curriculum, assists in alumni networking, provides internship opportunities and assists with fundraising. “Deb has been instrumental in utilizing her connections with State Farm in exploring internship opportunities for our students,” Payne said.

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