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Illinois State alumni magazine cover spring 2014 showing students walking into a hole in a large tree in the Costa Rican rain forest
Jungle classroom: Biology students’ quest for learning leads to Costa Rican adventure

Volume 14 • Number 4 • Spring 2014

costa rica hollowed tree

Costa Rican jungle becomes living classroom for biology students

For 10 days over the Thanksgiving break, 12 students in the School of Biological Sciences came eyeball-to-eyeball with tropical monkeys, snakes, and ants in one of the liveliest places in the world.

John Flynn inside his theater

Rogue producer: Alum creates original theater in the land of TV

Illinois State alum John Flynn has achieved a theatrical goal that critics and theatergoers alike would have said was impossible a decade ago. He has created and sustained a theatrical enterprise heavily devoted to launching new works.

Lauren Karplus at work in a village

Former Peace Corps volunteers speak on panel March 25

Students and alumni from Illinois State’s Stevenson Center for Community and Economic Development who recently served with the Peace Corps will speak at noon Wednesday, March 25, in the Prairie Room of the Bone Student Center.

Illustration of a bully and victim

Breaking a bully’s grip

As the largest preparer of Illinois teachers, Illinois State University faculty, staff, and students are taking a stand against bullying through research, curricula, and programming.

Larry Dietz with students

Larry Dietz named Illinois State’s 19th president

The Board of Trustees of Illinois State University has appointed Larry Dietz, vice president for Student Affairs, as the University’s 19th president.

Dixie Mills

Where are they now: Dixie Mills

Dixie Mills came to Illinois State in 1980 and never left! She happily joined a thriving business school nearing AACSB accreditation as I completed her Ph.D. in finance at the University of Cincinnati. It was the right decision.

Students on the Illinois State Normal University Quad in 1959

Mail to the Editor: May 2014

Mail to the Illinois State magazine editor for May 2014.

Mike Zimmer at practice

Illinois State alum Mike Zimmer named Vikings head coach

Illinois State alum Mike Zimmer was named the new head coach of the Minnesota Vikings, his first top job in the NFL after more than 20 years of coaching.

Red Alert students at a game

Red Alert wins 2014 Naismith MVC Student Section of the Year

For the second consecutive year, Illinois State’s Red Alert was named the Missouri Valley Conference 2014 Naismith Student Section of the Year, as announced by The Collegiate Licensing Co. (CLC) and Atlanta Tipoff Club earlier this month.

Darrell and Karen Kehl

Couple honored with Golden Redbird Award

Darrell ’64 and Karen Kehl of Hudson were named the recipients of the 2014 Joseph F. Warner Golden Redbird Award.

Carl Kasten

Distinguished Alumni Award: Carl Kasten

Carl Kasten’s involvement at ISU has included leadership roles with the Alumni Association Board of Directors and serving as a founder and member of ISU’s Attorneys Advisory Council.

John “Jack” Hartung

Alumni Achievement Award: Jack Hartung

Chipotle was a privately held company with fewer than 200 restaurants when ISU alumnus Jack Hartung became chief financial officer in 2002.

Jessica Rau

Outstanding Young Alumni Award: Jessica Rau

Jessica Rau is cofounder and field liaison officer for McDonald’s Young Professionals Network. She sits on ISU’s College of Business Marketing Advisory Board.

Willie Brown

Senator John W. Maitland Jr. Commitment to Education Award: Willie Brown

Willie Brown began his career at State Farm in 1971 before completing a business administration degree. He worked there until 2009, retiring as senior executive vice president.

Kathleen Hogan

E. Burton Mercier Alumni Service Award: Kathleen Hogan

Kathleen Hogan served Mennonite College of Nursing for 30 years. Under her direction, the college became the first single-purpose, upper-division bachelor of science nursing program in the country accredited by the National League for Nursing.

Illinois State men's club soccer game

ISU looking for alumni who played club sports

There are 30 sport clubs, all established and run by students through Campus Recreation. Some have been in existence since the 1960s and 1970s.

Homecoming Prince and Princess

Nominations sought for 2014 Homecoming royalty

The Alumni Association Homecoming committee is seeking nominations for the 2014 Homecoming court alumni king and queen, and the prince and princess.

#RedbirdProud contest graphic

Capture your Redbird pride when traveling

From tropical beaches to famous landmarks or maybe even a family reunion, Redbirds are gearing up to roam during the upcoming summer months. Don’t forget to take along your ISU red!

Isaiah Roberts

At 19, student set to become Illinois State’s youngest graduate

Isaiah Roberts, a marketing sales major at Illinois State who plans to go to law school, will make history when he walks at December commencement at 7,055 days old. He will be the youngest grad on record.

Matthew Lawrence

Education alum named Hawaii’s 2014 State Teacher of the Year

Elementary education major Matthew Lawrence ’00 is Hawaii’s 2014 State Teacher of the Year, and an automatic contender for the National Teacher of the Year honor this spring.

Michelle (Hillman) Hanneken

Criminal justice grad gets White House honor

As the homeland security program manager for the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, dual criminal justice sciences graduate Michelle (Hillman) Hanneken is dedicated to helping communities prepare for disaster.

John Boyer

Math alum honored for health care advocacy, philanthropy

John Boyer is chairman of the MAXIMUS Foundation and MAXIMUS Federal Services, which is a leading operator of government health and human services programs in five countries, including the U.S.

Kevin Fett

Alum’s trade show firm lands top rankings

Kevin Fett co-founded Evo Exhibits in 2009 with a vision for helping trade show exhibitors market their products by offering displays and services to fit any need.

Hoss family poses at ISU

How we met: Jim Hoss and Karen Iggins

Jim Hoss ’80 and Karen Iggins ’79 met in 1977. Having mutual friends, they spent much of their time together. One activity they both enjoyed? Foosball.

Taylor sisters posed at ISU

Redbird legacy: The Taylor sisters

Growing up in the small Illinois community of Bartlett, the Taylor sisters wanted a warm campus where they could easily transition to college life. All three found that and so much more at ISU.

Chuck and Gwen Yurieci

Backing the ‘Birds: Couple’s steady support crosses three decades

Chuck and Gwen Yurieci were surprised to learn that they have financially supported Illinois State University for 31 consecutive years, making them among the most loyal of Redbird donors.