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Illinois State alumni magazine cover summer 2016 showing a camera lens with the U.S. flag reflection
Behind the lens: Griffin Hammond has seen it all covering the unprecedented presidential campaign for Bloomberg Politics.

Volume 17 • Number 1 • Summer 2016

Griffin Hammond at a political rally

Trailblazer: Young alum covers campaign for Bloomberg Politics

Bloomberg Politics videographer Griffin Hammond ’07, M.S. ’09, has seen it all.

Graphic showing student going through stages of college

Passing grade: The secret behind ISU’s graduation rate

August is the month when colleges and universities across the country welcome incoming freshmen to campus.

Brooklyn Bridge and the Lower Manhattan skyline at sunset, as viewed from Manhattan Bridge

15 years later: FBI agent recalls nation’s greatest test

Most of us can appreciate that there was an America we knew before September 11, 2001, versus the country we know now. Two different places separated by a few short, horrific hours that changed everything.

boy in front of home with teddy bear

One child, one home: Alumna works to reform foster care

Not a terribly popular thing to say around a table of foster parents. Meyer’s next sentence was even more powerful: If they were looking for someone to transform the U.S. child welfare system—starting with their Midwestern nonprofit—she could do it. Fifteen years later, Meyer has stayed true to her word as CEO of Anu Family

Workers remove time capsule from cornerstone

South Campus demolition unearths two time capsules

Two time capsules were unearthed by demolition crews tearing down Hamilton-Whitten and Atkin-Colby residence halls.

Quad aerial

Illinois State an economic engine for McLean County

Spending by Illinois State University, its employees, and its students directly contributes more than $550 million to the McLean County economy.

Professor Emeritus Larry Quane on the golf course

Where are they now: Larry Quane

Larry Quane ’66 became a faculty member in the Department of Industrial Technology in 1967. Returning to campus one year after he earned an undergraduate degree in mathematics, Quane taught safety courses while completing his doctorate at Michigan State University.

A 1956 broadcast, opposite page, captures the educational programming done from the 1930s into the 1950s. WJBC offered airtime to the ISU station. (Courtesy of the Dr. Jo Ann Rayfield Archives at Illinois State University)

Mail to the Editor: August 2016

Mail to the Editor for the August 2016 issue.

Doug Collins

Redbird great Doug Collins to be inducted into national Hall of Fame

Illinois State men’s basketball great Doug Collins ’73 will be inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in November.

football players run onto field

Athletes remain strong in classroom

This year’s Academic Progress Rate (APR) report by the NCAA shows that 11 of Illinois State’s 19 sports equaled or exceeded the national average for public universities in their sport.

Jaelyn Keene

Volleyball stand-out in Olympic training

Junior Jaelyn Keene has been selected to train as part of the U.S. Collegiate National Team.

Trent Wallace

Redbird golfer takes MVC championship

Trent Wallace had a memorable freshman year on the ISU men’s golf team.

Ashley Rosch

Senior athletes celebrated

Senior student-athletes were recognized in the spring. The 73 helped secure more than 580 victories, seven regular-season conference championships, six conference tournament championships and 12 postseason appearances during their time at ISU.

Recruiting Redbirds collage_GRAC

Recruiting Redbirds: Alumni experiences encourage enrollment

Wearing red on Fridays, encouraging campus visits and communicating what it means to be a Redbird are just a few ways alumni can impact the decision of prospective students.

alumni at a football watch party

Redbirds scattered far across the country

With an alumni base of more than 200,000, it’s not surprising that graduates have settled in just about every state of the nation.

Tim Pantaleone ’07

Directors chosen for Alumni Association

There is new leadership within the Alumni Association following the annual meeting in June.

Bill Shields teaches

Why is Bill Shields such a rock star at Illinois State?

Lecturing to about 700 students on subtropical deserts, when many of them have just rolled out of bed, is a tough assignment. But Bill Shields ’99, M.S. ’01, has done it 32 semesters in a row, waking mostly freshmen with his stories of growing up in the 1800s and hammering shoes on mules. Some of

Julio Cesar Contreras

Pause for applause: Julio Cesar Contreras

Each year Education Week profiles innovative school district leaders. Among the 13 chosen in 2016 is ISU College of Education graduate Julio Cesar Contreras ’01, who overcame obstacles to soar in education.

Justin Dearborn

Pause for applause: Justin Dearborn

Accounting alum Justin Dearborn ’91 took on a new challenge this year as CEO of the Tribune Publishing Company, which owns the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, and nine other major daily newspapers.

Christine Mitchell-Endsley

Pause for applause: Christine Mitchell-Endsley

Christine Mitchell-Endsley, Ph.D. ’03, earned the 2016 Illinois School Psychologists Association Ted Smith Practitioner of the Year award.

Sam Alex

Pause for applause: Sam Alex

Education major Sam Alex ’07 has felt comfortable behind a microphone since his days as a public address announcer for ISU Athletics.

Nicole Davila and Raul Rodriguez

How we met: Raul Rodriguez and Nicole Davila

So often the reason for choosing a college is a familial one. Raul Rodriguez ’10, already knew Illinois State pretty well because his brother was an alum.

Laura Simonton holding photo

Redbird legacy: Alumna follows in footsteps of great-grandmother

Laura Simonton is a two-time alum of Illinois State University. She graduated in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in history and then earned another bachelor’s in 2011 in history education.

The Alumni Center bookshelf.

Reggie Reads: August 2016

Illinois State is proud to be able to acknowledge the work of graduates who are successful authors.