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Farah Zolghadr, right, pictured with Andrea Redcay Graves, associate music professor and director of the Western Illinois University Flute Studio
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Farah Zolghadr Named Western's Lincoln Laureate

October 23, 2006

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WIU Nominees for Illinois Student Laureate Award

MACOMB, IL - - Farah Zolghadr (Springfield, IL), a Western Illinois University senior with a double major in music/instrumental performance and political science/international relations-comparative politics, was selected as the University's recipient of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois Student Laureate Award.

The prestigious Lincoln Academy of Illinois Student Laureate Award is presented annually to an outstanding senior from each of Illinois' four-year degree- granting institutions, to honor them for overall academic excellence and extracurricular activities.

Zolghadr, the College of Fine Arts and Communication (COFAC) nominee, and COFAC Dean Paul Kreider will attend the 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 28 Student Laureate Award Ceremony in the Hall of Representatives Chamber at the Old State Capitol in Springfield. Zoldhadr will receive the Lincoln Academy Student Medallion, a certificate of achievement and a check for $150 in recognition of her outstanding achievement. Following the ceremony is a luncheon, hosted by Gov. Rod Blagojevich, at the Executive Mansion.

A student in Andrea Redcay Graves’ Western Illinois University Flute Choir, Zolghadr is the principal flutist for the University’s Chamber Winds and Symphony Orchestra and co-principal flutist for the Symphonic Wind Ensemble.

In Spring 2006, competing against students from Illinois, Missouri and Indiana, she was named the College Division Winner of the inaugural St. Louis Flute Society Young Artist Scholarship Competition, which was adjudicated by Mark Sparks, principal flutist of the St. Louis Symphony. She also won Western’s annual Student Conductor’s Competition and was selected to conduct the WIU Concert Band. In Summer 2006, Zolghadr attended the ARIA International Summer Music Academy for advanced music students, where she performed Elliott Carter’s “Enchanted Preludes” for flute and cello.

A member of Western’s Centennial Honors College, Zolghadr is president of Western’s chapter of Golden Key International Honour Society. She is also active in the Beta Omicron chapter of Mu Phi Epsilon, the Student Honors Association and the Associated Students of Political Science, each of which she served as vice president in 2005-06.

Zolghadr has served as a First Year Experience Peer Mentor for Associate Professor Keith Boeckelman’s Political Science 122 “American Government and Politics” class; and she presented the project “Persian Classical Music as a Reflection of Iranian Society” at Western’s 2005 Undergraduate Research Day.

Zolghadr is a Foundation Honors Scholar who has received several other named scholarships at Western. She has also been inducted into Phi Kappa Phi and Mortar Board honor societies.

The 2003 salutatorian of Springfield Southeast High School was also named the 2003 Bank One Student of the Year in Springfield and was recognized for achieving a perfect ACT score of 36. As a 15-year-old sophomore at Southeast, Zolghadr was among only 15 students nationally to compete on Teen Jeopardy, hosted by Alex Trebek.

Farah is the daughter of Abbas and Julie Zolghadr of Springfield. In her leisure time she volunteers and assists coaching with her parents’ soccer team of seven-year-olds.

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