Solidarity March and Teach Out – Dec. 12

Posted by University Relations:

MACOMB, IL — Western Illinois University’s Expanding Cultural Diversity Project (ECDP), the Center for the Study of Masculinities and Men’s Development (CSMMD) and the Western Organization for Women (WOW) will host a solidarity march and rally, “WIU Race 4 Justice: Black Lives Matter,” beginning at 1 p.m. Friday, Dec. 12 in the southwest corner of Q-Lot.

According to James La Prad, director of the ECDP and associate professor of educational and interdisciplinary studies and educational leadership, the peaceful demonstration will allow WIU students, faculty and staff, as well as Macomb community members, to show solidarity for racial justice.

“We must stand up and proclaim that all lives matter and we must join together to demand racial justice,” La Prad said. “As members of an educational community, we need to discuss the critical reality that every 28 hours an unarmed black person is killed in this country. The systematic racial and other forms of oppression have been woven into the fabric of our culture since the beginning of our democracy. And we feel fortunate to live in a country where we can raise issues of discrimination and oppression in order to reduce the space between what our democratic contract says and how it is enacted.”

Participants will march from Q-Lot to Sherman Hall, completing the march with a rally at the University Union Plaza, directly north of the Union.

For more information, contact La Prad at (309) 298-1436 or at Follow on Facebook at and on Twitter at #WIUrace4justice and #wiu4blacklives.

RPTA Advisor, Keri Allison, receives Golden Apple award

Goldern Apple PictureNominated by RPTA student Rafael Juarez:

“Golden apple award goes to someone who develops and supports programs for teachers to make them more effective in the classroom. Keri Allison is the advisor for the Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration department. Keri has helped guide, me and many others in the RPTA department through a path to complete our goal in graduating. She not only helps us chose classes that will better our future plans, but sits down with us and knows us personally by our names. She also has an upbeat attitude with the busy schedules and planning for events during the school semesters. The Professional Development Conference is one of the biggest programs that happens for the RPTA department and she is involved with planning it since the beginning of the school year. She encourages us all to do our best in classes but also to get involved in organizations, to get us out there and especially get experiences from those clubs or organizations. Keri Allison is a teacher behind the scene, she isn’t in front of a class teaching all the time, but she is helping everyone achieve their best in this department, as I know she would in any department.”

scaled.NY Trip City picture

GH 299 International Health

Dr. Fetene Gebrewold took his class GH 299 International Health to New York City on November 20th. They visited several places including: the United Nations, UNICEF, the 9/11 Memorial and Museum and the Statue of Liberty.

scaled.NY Trip Ellis Island

West Nile Virus Guest Lecture

Michele Rehbein, a Health Sciences graduate student and Phil Scheibel, a Biology graduate student co-presented a guest lecture on West Nile Virus and its history and critical aspects of how it is transmitted in Dr. Hal Marchand’s (EOS 310) Environmental Health class on Tuesday, November 4. The graduate student team conducted research over the 2014 summer. The presentation stressed the importance of studying West Nile Virus in rural communities within Illinois and the potential vulnerability of rural residents to the virus. Dr. Charles Lydeard, Biological Sciences Department Chair and Dr. Lorette Oden, the Health Sciences and Social Work Department interim Chair attended the presentation. In addition, Dr. Catherine Miller-Hunt of the Biological Sciences Department attended and responded to questions on the topic. Dr. Miller-Hunt oversaw the research on West Nile Virus conducted by the two graduate students.

West Nile Virus is still on the rise with one of the biggest outbreaks having occurred in 2012. There is no vaccine or treatment for this yet which makes it of great importance within human populations. Arboviruses in the United States were inevitable and are also on the rise, whether dealing with West Nile Virus, Dengue, Chikungunya, or others; these are growing public health threats. Vector surveillance in Illinois needs to be accomplished in order to prevent future outbreaks and plays a critical role in understanding the distribution of the virus.

-Dr. Hal Marchand, Department of Health Sciences and Social Work, Western Illinois University.

Rochester’s Bertrand named Illinois Superintendent of the Year

Springfield,Illinois (PR MediaRelease) November 23, 2014

Dr. Thomas Bertrand, superintendent of Rochester Community Unit District 3A, has been selected the 2015 Illinois Superintendent of the Year by the Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA).

The award was presented Sunday (November 23) during the Joint Annual Conference in Chicago co-sponsored by the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB), the Illinois Association of School Business Officials (IASBO) and the IASA.

“It’s a great feeling to be recognized by your peers. It’s a very humbling experience and in some ways I’m a little uncomfortable because I know how hard many of my colleagues work and the great work they do in their school districts,” said Bertrand, who has been an educator for 28 years, including serving as a teacher, coach, principal and assistant superintendent before becoming superintendent in Rochester in 2002. “I look at this as recognition for our schools and our community. Our board, staff and our teachers are all marching to the same beat.”

Bertrand is only the fifth superintendent in Rochester since 1936, which he says “speaks volumes about the community support for our schools.”

Those who nominated Bertrand noted several major accomplishments in his 13-year tenure as superintendent in Rochester, including:

  • Leading Rochester as a pioneer in the “One-to-One” computer world to develop and implement a district-wide digital conversion for students in grades 4 through 12, and completely overhauling the district’s technology infrastructure to ensure Wi-Fi access for all students and staff — including on school buses to allow students in extracurricular activities to do homework on long bus trips.
  • Redesigning the district’s Professional Development program for teachers and administrators to include well-differentiated tracks for professional development.
  • Directing the effort to develop a state- and nationally-acclaimed K-12 bullying prevention program.
  • Leading Rochester to become the first school district in Illinois to utilize Overgrad, a free web-based tracking system that allows students, parents and staff to objectively measure college and career readiness.
  • Facilitating dual-credit classes with Lincoln Land Community College.
  • Actively leading the design and development of multi-stage construction projects that combined for a new campus. He has been part of five successful building referendums.
  • Leading the feasibility study that propelled Rochester to withdraw from a special education cooperative in order to administer its own special education program, with positive results.

Bertrand said his most important guiding goal has been to develop a culture of “kids first, high expectations and continuous improvement” in the K-12 district of about 2,400 students. Rochester students regularly outperform the state average by a wide margin according to the State Interactive Report Card and also have been high achievers in sports, music and the arts.

In his letter of nomination, Rochester School Board President Randy Hawkins wrote “Dr. Bertrand has successfully transformed what could be termed a ‘small-town’ school into a shining example of success in all facets of public education…and he is a pillar of community involvement.”

Bertrand was raised in Quincy and earned his undergraduate degree from Quincy College, his Master’s from Western Illinois University and his Ph.D. from Illinois State University. He credited his father, Harold, who worked in the Ford Tractor Division for 42 years, and his mother, Marilyn, who worked in a school cafeteria for 25 years, with instilling in him “an appreciation for education and a work ethic.”

“Tom Bertrand is an educator who has dedicated his career to what public education is really about: Kids,” said IASA Executive Director Dr. Brent Clark. “His work as the superintendent in Rochester is a testament to that, and he is most deserving to be named Illinois Superintendent of the Year.”

Mike Chamness
Illinois Association of School Administrators
Director of Communications

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DFMH Food and Culture Club

Please join the Food and Culture Club for its banquet titled “National Anthem” to be held Thursday, November 20 at 6 pm in the Grand Ballroom of the Union, seating begins at 5:30. The event is a celebration of the 200th anniversary of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and will feature the history of the national anthem and American flag, ROTC presenting the colors, Fashion of the 1800s, a live choir, the Swing Dance Club, and a talk on food rations in the last 200 years. The evening will end with the banquet meal, which features foods from Colonial American times and is absolutely free! RSVP to or


Stinnett invited by AFT to be on panel

Dr Melissa Stinnett, Curriculum and Instruction, was invited by AFT to be one of five panelists as part of a larger group called Coalition of Teacher Quality held in Washington DC on October 7. Coalition for Teacher Quality rolled out a position statement on teacher and principal preparation issues.  Dr. Stinnett discussed the current state of teacher preparation.

Thank you email

Thank you for a successful Lodge and Libations!

Thank you to the almost 150 people who attended Lodge and Libations in September! We had a great turnout and fantastic fundraising effort for the Outdoor Education Building at Horn Field Campus! We look forward to next year’s event on September 26, 2015!

Photo taken from ATEEC Website,

Photo taken from ATEEC Website,

The WIU Instructional Design and Technology  AECT (Association for Educational Communication and Technology) Student Chapter will be visiting the Advanced Technology Environmental and Energy Center (ATEEC) on October 31. ATEEC develops education and training on sustainable energy. The IDT department has been collaborating with ATEEC on the development of training materials.  ATEEC is located in Davenport, IA.

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