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Martinelli-Fernandez to Deliver 15th John Hallwas Liberal Arts Lecture Sept. 13-14

July 10, 2017

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MACOMB, IL – Western Illinois University College of Arts and Sciences Dean Sue Martinelli-Fernandez will deliver the 15th annual John Hallwas Liberal Arts Lecture Wednesday-Thursday, Sept. 13-14.

The lecture, "Two Cooks and a Barber: Cultivating the Liberal Arts in Childhood," deals with the crucial problem of fading commitment to the liberal arts in our time and examines how we prepare younger Americans, from early childhood through their high school years, for appreciating those fields. The lecture will be presented at the WIU-QC campus at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13, Riverfront Hall, room 103/104. The lecture will be held on the Macomb campus at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept 14 in the University Union Grand Ballroom.

Martinelli-Fernandez came to Western in 1993 as a faculty member in WIU's Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies. She moved from philosophy professor to associate CAS dean in 2005, and was named interim CAS dean in 2009 and, after a national search, CAS Dean in 2010.

Martinelli-Fernandez served as the interim associate director of Western's Centennial Honors College (2004-05), co-designing Western's First Year Experience (FYE) initiative pilot program in the Honors College. FYE, a program designed to assist students transitioning from high school to college, became a part of Western's general education curriculum in May 2005.

Prior to joining Western's faculty, she was an adjunct faculty member at the College of St. Francis (now University of St. Francis) (1988-89) and at Mundelein College (now Loyola University) (1988).

In Spring 2005, Martinelli-Fernandez received the College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Faculty Award for Teaching and was inducted into Western's chapter of Phi Kappa Phi honor society; having served as its president. She is an honorary faculty member of Western's Golden Key International Honour Society and has served as adviser and co-adviser. Martinelli-Fernandez also served as co-director of Western's Program for the Study of Ethics and an executive board member of the International Society of Ethics Across the Curriculum. Most recently, she helped complete a 3 + 3 agreement with John Marshall Law School to WIU, working with the chairs of WIU's history, political science and English departments. She earned her doctorate and master's degrees from the University of Chicago and her bachelor's degree from Mundelein College.

The John Hallwas Liberal Arts Lecture is named for WIU Professor Emeritus and Historian John Hallwas, who delivered the inaugural Arts and Sciences lecture in September 2003. The Liberal Arts Lecture is an outgrowth of the College of Arts and Sciences liberal arts discussion group, formed in 2002 as a way to express commitment to a liberal arts education at Western and share approaches for maintaining a high quality educational program.

"In the face of increasing vocational emphasis in higher education, pervasive shallowness in our culture, and excessive individualism (that overlooks social commitment), we believe that the liberal arts component of our bachelor's degree program should dare to assert that there is inherent value in learning, that human purposes must always receive reflective reconsideration, that coherence of thought and clarity of expression are essential values, that breadth of outlook and cultural sensitivity are indispensable, and most importantly, that transformation of the self to prepare for civic responsibility should be central to the undergraduate experience," said Hallwas.

The College of Arts and Sciences announced the renaming of the lecture to the John Hallwas Liberal Arts Lecture in September 2004 at Hallwas' retirement reception, where he was honored for 34 years of service to Western Illinois as an English professor and archivist, as well as a public scholar, regional historian and community activist.

For more information about the Hallwas Lecture, visit

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