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Western Illinois University-Quad Cities Professor Emerita Jeanette Thomas
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Thomas to Deliver Last Lecture April 8

April 1, 2015

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MOLINE, IL - Western Illinois University-Quad Cities Professor Emerita Jeanette Thomas will speak at 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 8 as part of the Last Lecture Series, delivering, "Lessons Learned by a Biologist Dancing Backward in High Heels." Thomas will speak in room 111 at the WIU-Quad Cities campus, 3300 River Dr., Moline, IL.

Thomas has taught college courses in marine mammalogy, mammalogy, bioacoustics, biosystematics and evolution and biological studies in zoos and aquaria. After becoming professor at Western in 1989, she established a program with the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago and developed a graduate certificate in zoo and aquaria studies, which provides students with training aimed at careers with captive animals.

Thomas has a passion for animals, both land and aquatic, and has worked with the unique technology of underwater acoustic research. Her lecture will focus on life lessons learned through interesting and humorous situations she encountered during her 35-year career as a research biologist and 25-year career as a professor at Western.

The concept of a "Last Lecture" became nationally recognized in 2007, with Randy Pausch, who gave his "Last Lecture" speech on Sept. 18, 2007, at Carnegie Mellon University.

Pausch's best-selling book by the same name was chosen as WIU's First Year Experience reading selection for 2010-2011. Since Pausch's presentation, the "Last Lecture" concept has been popularized and offered on college campuses throughout the United States.

The event, open free to the public, is sponsored by The Quad Cities Research and Scholarship Symposium. For more information, contact Mary Hogg at

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