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Meet the Bedfords: At the crossroads of music and education

Janet Bedford

Janet Bedford

Janet Bedford graduated from Illinois State University in 1985 with a Ph.D. in higher education administration with an emphasis in technology. Before her doctoral degree, Bedford and her husband, Professor Russell Bedford (who is also a professional bassoonist), lived and worked all over the United States.

While her husband performed in symphony orchestras and taught music in universities, Janet Bedford taught and provided media services from kindergarten through the university level. With a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Michigan, she went on to complete her master’s degree in educational administration in educational media from the University of Nebraska.

“Through the Illinois State University Foundation, we have designated funding for an annual, self-sufficient, endowed scholarship in each of our areas to give back what was given to us.” -Janet Bedford

Although Bedford started her career teaching kindergarteners, she transitioned to media and technology services in higher education. She taught media communication and children’s literature to teacher education students (courses open to all students) at Illinois Wesleyan University, while coordinating media services university-wide to faculty and students. Her doctoral degree helped her become co-director of instructional technology services at San Diego State University.

Bedford spearheaded the development of the latest technologies in higher education, including faculty controlled media and recorded systems for classrooms, video teleconferencing smart classrooms, and computer technology for university-level teaching. She was a highly respected expert in technology for higher education and traveled nationally to educational conferences and university campuses to demonstrate and present new technologies. She was the first woman elected chair of the California State University Media Administrators. She was also elected to the board of directors for the Consortium of College and University Media Centers (CCUMC).

Upon retirement, the Bedfords returned to Bloomington-Normal to be with their children, grandchildren, and greatgrandchildren. According to Janet and Russell Bedford, scholarships had been critical to their ability to pursue their degrees and essential to their success in their professions. Now they desire to help students today to attain their educational goals.

“Both of us have always considered education very important to us and our family. Through the Illinois State University Foundation, we have designated funding for an annual, self-sufficient, endowed scholarship in each of our areas to give back what was given to us.” said Janet and Russell Bedford.

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