Illinois State’s spring 2017 commencement ceremony will feature a new podium designed and built by Technology and Engineering Education students Josh Rolen, Joseph Rosel, and Andrew Wiercinski under the advisement of Professor Chris Merrill.

The Athletics/Redbird Arena maintenance staff commissioned the design and building of the new podium. The podium was constructed from both solid red oak and ¾-inch oak plywood. The University seal and side trim were stained, and four coats of lacquer were applied. The Illinois State seal was constructed from solid oak and machined using a CNC wood router.

The podium took approximately two weeks to complete over the 2016 winter break.

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In January 2016, three Technology and Engineering Education students, Alexandra Dunfee, Philip Tschammer, and Wiercinski, constructed two 23-inch emblems featuring the uniform patch that honors the seven Redbird men who were killed in a plane crash on April 7, 2015.

The podium was a fundraising project to help Technology and Engineering Education students raise funds to attend the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association Conference in Dallas in March 2017. For additional information regarding other fundraising opportunities for the Technology and Engineering Education students, please contact Merrill at