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Illinois State alumni magazine cover summer 2017 showing a glass sculpture ofa man with one hand under his chin and the other grabbing his shoulder
Fragile: For alum Dean Allison, glass portraits are an artistic expression of the human condition.

Volume 18 • Number 1 • Summer 2017

Dean Allison's work "Float" shows girl blowing bubbles

A life in glass: Alum’s unique portraits gain national acclaim

Glass artist Dean Allison sees a lot in a human face. He sees what has been trapped on the skin. He sees the person’s facial expression, wrinkles, and pores. He sees a life lived as he attempts to capture a moment.

bronze bust of Reggie Redbird

Meet me at the Bird: Redbird Plaza is ISU’s new gathering place

There’s a new gathering place on campus: Redbird Plaza. Ten years in the making, the landmark has quickly become a popular space for conversation and events.

Nancy Svoboda during the Employee Service Awards at Pat Bowlen Fieldhouse in Centennial, Colorado, May 18, 2017.

Different playing field: Alumna executive team member of Broncos

Nancy Svoboda is a coach’s kid from Joliet. Working in sports would consequently seem like a good fit, which it definitely is, yet it was never her career goal. It’s just sort of the way the ball bounced. In her case, that ball was a football.

Associate Professor Glen Sagers works with student Andrew Pelletier.

Hacked! ISU intensifies fight against cyber theft

Months before graduation, Ben Bradley ’17 already had a cybersecurity job lined up as an analyst searching for threats to his employer’s computer network.

Bridgid Burge (left), a graduate assistant from Lexington, Michigan, is the resident expert on all things prop shop. In her own words: “We are the executors of all the prop needs for all the shows.” Katie Capp (right), a sophomore double major in acting and theatre education, is from Deerfield. Devon Rodlund, a sophomore majoring in design production, with an emphasis on sound. Normal is his hometown.

Inside look: Prop shop

In a place like the prop shop, located on the lower level of Centennial East, things aren’t always as they appear.

Anthropology Professor Maria Smith is working with students like Katharine Woollen to study remains unearthed from the Schroeder Mounds in order to answer questions about a mysterious pre-Columbian people. (Editor’s note: The bones in this photograph are replica skeletal remains.)

Students research skeletal remains to understand Pre-Columbian people

In the 1970s, the skeletal remains of about 120 Native Americans were retrieved from an ancient mound complex on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River valley in Western Illinois.

Professor Emeritus Bill Semlak

Where are they now? Bill Semlak

What he likes to do now is fish. But for 26 years, Bill Semlak enjoyed teaching students to talk to each other, debate, and navigate through France.

R.C. McBride

Alumnus named to GLT general manager position

ISU’s public radio station is now under the leadership of R.C. McBride ’99, who has been named general manager.

Illinois State Police guard the flagpole on Illinois State’s Quad on May 19, 1970

Mail to the Editor: August 2017

Letters to the editor for the August 2017 issue.

Illinois State softball team on field near Tri-Towers

Sensational softball: Season of milestones for head coach, team celebrated

The success of Illinois State’s 2017 softball season will long be remembered, as the team earned a share of the MVC title for the first time since 2011.

Kristen Gillespie

New leadership for women’s basketball team

Kristen Gillespie has been named the eighth women’s head basketball coach. She replaces Barb Smith, who led the Redbirds four seasons.

Dan Muller accepting the the trophy for MVC Coach of the Year with MVC officials

Muller gains coaching honor, opportunity

Men’s basketball head coach Dan Muller ’98 has been named an Illinois Basketball Coaches Association NCAA Division I Coach of the Year.

Trent Wallace swinging a golf club

Golfer advances to NCAA Championship

Sophomore standout Trent Wallace became the first men’s golfer to compete in the NCAA Division I championship since the ISU team qualified in 1975 under the leadership of D.A. Weibring ’75.

Larry Lyons

MVC welcomes new team

The Missouri Valley Conference has added Valparaiso University to the league following the departure of Wichita State.

Students on an Irish cliff

Photos: Big Red Marching Machine takes on Ireland

See photos and hear from students who traveled to Ireland with Illinois State University’s Big Red Marching Machine band over spring break 2017.

two people pose outside building

Annual event set for Legacy families

All Redbirds share the common bond of enjoying their collegiate years on the University campus. For some, the tie is made even stronger by a family connection.

Alumni Center

Directors chosen for Alumni Association

There is new leadership within the Alumni Association following the annual meeting in June. Four alumni were elected to three-year terms on the board of directors.

Coach Steve Fisher

Pause for applause

Please applaud these Illinois State alumni’s accomplishments.

Laura Dawson and Sarah Miller at work.

HR careers take Illinois State alums to video game maker NetherRealm

Illinois State alums Sarah Miller ’05 and Laura Dawson ’13 are living in a fantasy world. The two now work at the Wrigleyville-based video game developer NetherRealm Studios.

Mary Ellen Moehle ’71 and Lonny King ’72

How we met: Mary Ellen Moehle and Lonny King

For Lonny King ’72 and Mary Ellen Moehle ’71, it was an evening marked by more than political discussions.

Redbird family members include, front row from left, Antonia Durnil ’20; Debbie ’87, M.S. ’88; Jackie Durnil ’17; Tina ’90 and Tony Durnil ’89. Back row, from left, are Kevin Convey ’87; Micaela Convey ’16; and Kelly Sullivan ’87, a cousin to sisters Debbie and Tina.

Redbird legacy: ISU family affair for Bloomington sisters

For sisters Tina Durnil ’90 and Debbie Convey ’87, M.S. ’88, Illinois State University has become a family affair.

An alumna picks out colors for a glass paperweight with Tyler Wolf, a senior art major, at an alumni event.

Alumni events fund art student’s scholarship to Pilchuck Glass School

Three alumni events helped award a senior art major the chance to study at the Pilchuck Glass School this summer.