Although many in-person conferences and professional development opportunities have been cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, the Illinois State University Alumni Association has several services that offer continued learning and growth from the comfort of a home.

Illinois State Insights: Webinars and Livestreams

Illinois State Insights, a webinar and livestream platform, encompasses a variety of topics presented by authors, field professionals, Illinois State faculty/staff, and even Redbirds like you, all for free. The complimentary platform kicked off last October with New York Times best-selling author James Clear. He covered his book Atomic Habits, explaining how the surprising power of small habits has a huge impact on life. Following the launch topics covered included finding a career you love, learning the art and science of creativity, making a difference, willpower, and negotiation. April and May sessions include the following

  • Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less, April 3 @ 11 a.m. (CDT)
  • Humor that Works: The Missing Skill for Success and Happiness at Work, April 9 @ 11 a.m. (CDT)
  • Couples That Work: How Dual-Career Couples Can Thrive in Love and Work, April 21 @ 11 a.m. (CDT)
  • Bring Your Brain to Work: Using Cognitive Science to Get a Job, Do it Well, and Advance Your Career, May 6 @ Noon (CDT)
  • Pivot: The Only Move That Matters Is Your Next One, May 13 @ 11 a.m. (CDT)
  • Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life, May 20 @ noon (CDT)

Visit the Illinois State Insights website to register for these and future webinars and livestreams.

Online Book Club

Did you know people who read at least seven business books per year earn over 230 percent more than people reading just one book per year? Or that reading improves your intelligence and reasoning ability and has been linked to reducing the chance of Alzheimer’s? Over 900 alumni and friends feel that way and have joined the Illinois State online book club.

Throughout the year, members of the club vote on books to read and discuss. Topics include professional development, fiction, nonfiction, and continuing education options. All books provide a chance of enlightenment, growth, and, sometimes, opportunities to practice new ideas and skills. The book club is free to join. Members’ obligation is to find a copy of the selected book.

The current book, A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell, has just started so there is time to join the discussion and catch up as the first two chapters will be discussed by April 2.

Alumni Award Nominations

Now is the perfect time to consider a Redbird to nominate for the 2021 Alumni Association Alumni Awards.

Established in 1971 with just one award, the program has grown to five award categories. The awards—Outstanding Young Alumni Award, Alumni Achievement Award, E. Burton Mercier Service Award, Distinguished Alumni Award, and the Senator John Maitland Jr. Commitment to Education Award—are presented annually during the Founding Celebration.

The new and improved nomination process is simple with the option for the nominator or nominee to complete the form and also suggest names for letters of recommendation. The deadline to submit for the 2021 awards is May 31, 2020.