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Illinois State cover summer 2019 girl student raising hand in a classroom
Help wanted: Working to solve a teacher shortage

Volume 20 • Number 1 • Summer 2019

Deborah MacPhee has designed a collaborative model of teacher education targeted at bridging the theory and practice gap, in order to better prepare aspiring teachers and improve instructors already in the classroom.

Meeting the national need for teachers

America is facing a critical shortage of teachers, and Illinois State University is working to help fill the gap.

The 1969 Redbird baseball team is still the only national title team in university history.

Diamond memories: Redbird baseball’s 1969 national championship team

The Redbird baseball team won the 1969 College Division World Series, still the only team national championship in Illinois State University history.

Children playing stringed instruments in ISU class at Western Avenue Community Center in Bloomington.

Heart strings: ISU music program reaches out to Bloomington-Normal youth

When the fourth grader was told she would have to turn in her cello at the end of the semester, she hugged her instrument.

Ill child in bed with the founder of an academy that helps ill children

Different kind of cure: Alum’s academy teaches critically ill children

Illinois State University alum Megan Nickels is the founder and faculty director of PedsAcademy at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando, Florida, which creates educational experiences tied to a patient’s disease or condition.

The east entrances to the Bone Student Center have a whole new look.

Better and brighter: Bone Student Center revitalized

The first phase of the Bone Student Center’s transformational revitalization was completed during the spring semester, with more work finished throughout the summer.

campus shot with flowers

ISU surpasses $150 million Redbirds Rising campaign goal; campaign to continue through June 2020

Illinois State University has surpassed the $150 million goal set for Redbirds Rising: The Campaign for Illinois State. Alumni and friends have contributed more than $155.4 million to the campaign, helping the University achieve the goal 13 months ahead of schedule.

Roger Cushman

Where are they now? Roger Cushman

A grimy summer job of detasseling corn gave me enough money in 1951 to buy an old jalopy and plunk down $55 for tuition, activity fees, and book rental for my first semester at Illinois State Normal University.

Redbird Softball signs Team IMPACT recruit

Illinois State softball head coach Melinda Fischer announced the signing of eight-year-old Coen Frambes at a press conference held at Redbird Arena tonight.

Indoor Track and Field Champions

Redbirds capture MVC All-Sport Trophy

For the first time since 2009-2010 season and the 13th time overall, Illinois State has been crowned the Missouri Valley Conference All-Sports Champion.

June 1, 2019: Action between the Louisville Cardinals and Illinois State Redbirds in an NCAA Baseball Regional at Jim Patterson Stadium in Louisville, KY. Kevin Schultz/Illinois State Athletics

Baseball team in NCAA tournament

For the fourth time in program history, the baseball team appeared in the NCAA Tournament in the spring. The team earned an at-large bid and advanced to the regional finals, finishing the season at 36 wins with a loss to Louisville.

Redbird tennis coach Mark Klysner

Tennis coach earns 100th victory at ISU

Six years after joining the University to lead the men’s Redbird tennis team, Mark Klysner captured his 100th win as a head coach.

Trent Wallace swinging a golf club

Golfer, coach top MVC

Trent Wallace was named the 2019 Missouri Valley Conference Golfer of the Year, becoming the first to take the honor since Matt Miller in 2007.

Redbirds visited Springfield to advocate for higher education.

Civic engagement: Redbirds strong advocates for higher education

Thanks to dedicated students and alumni, citizens of the state continue to hear about the need to support higher education in Illinois.

Shot of campus in summer

Stay connected to ISU

Check out the Facebook pages of ISU affinity groups and Redbirds by geographical locations for news and events. Networks are listed at


Directors chosen for Alumni Association

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

daughter and mother in Homecoming shirts

Legacy family event

Anyone with a sibling, parent, or grandparent who attended the University is part of a Redbird legacy family. Legacy families with current students attending Illinois State will be recognized at the annual Legacy Brunch during Family Weekend on Sunday, October 6. Register at

woman styling another woman's hair in front of mirror

Redbird uses hair to create, teach and inspire

Redbird Christal Schanes lives a life that now revolves around custom wigs, toupees, hairpieces, and facial hair and love every minute of it.

Amelia Franck Meyer

Pause for applause

We applaud these Illinois State alumni featured in the August 2019 issue.

Arielle and Kyle included Sadie, left, and Marley in their wedding.

How we met: Arielle De Lisle and Kyle Cadagin

Arielle De Lisle ’15 was a sophomore University Studies major focusing on sociology when she met Kyle Cadagin ’13 during a game of beer pong at an off-campus party.

Members of the Raycraft family who are Redbirds include Lucas and Barbara, seated. Standing, from left, are Laura, Adam, Jim and Dawn.

Redbird legacy: Family’s Redbird ties extend across 3 generations

Barbara (Dunn) Raycraft finished high school in 1953 and chose teaching over nursing and secretarial work—which were the career options for young women at the time.

Daija Nealy performing in Cabaret: A Night to Remember at Illinois State.

Scholarship makes all the difference to theatre major from Texas

Scholarship support made all the difference for Texas native Daija Nealy ’19. The theatre major came to ISU as a freshman after having been recruited by universities across the country.