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Sept. 13-14 Hallwas Lecture to be Delivered by Martinelli-Fernandez

September 6, 2017

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MACOMB, IL – The 15th annual John Hallwas Liberal Arts Lecture, Wednesday-Thursday, Sept. 13-14, will be delivered by WIU College of Arts and Sciences Dean Sue Martinelli-Fernandez.

"Two Cooks and a Barber: Cultivating the Liberal Arts in Childhood" will be delivered on the WIU-QC campus at 3 p.m. Sept. 13 in rooms 103 and 104 of Riverfront Hall. Martinelli-Fernandez will then give the lecture on the Macomb campus at 7 p.m. Sept. 14 in the University Union Grand Ballroom. The event is open free to the public.

Martinelli-Fernandez's lecture 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.

Martinelli-Fernandez came to the University 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.

In addition, Martinelli-Fernandez served as the interim associate director of Western's Centennial Honors College from 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, Martinelli-Fernandez 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, also 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.

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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