University News

WIU Nominees for Illinois Student Laureate Award

October 23, 2006


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2006 Lincoln Academy of Illinois Student Laureate Award

MACOMB, IL - - Each of Western Illinois UniversityÂ’s academic divisions recently nominated one student for the prestigious Lincoln Academy of Illinois Student Laureate Award, which is presented annually to an outstanding senior from each of IllinoisÂ’ four-year degree-granting institutions.

College of Fine Arts and Communication (COFAC) nominee Farah Zolghadr (Springfield, IL), a 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 Student Laureate Award. She 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, where 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.

Lincoln Academy nominees include:


  • Nicholas Handell (Aurora, IL), a philosophy major with minors in sociology and psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences;

  • Melissa Yeast (Sciota, IL), a agribusiness major with minors in management and international relations in the College of Business and Technology;

  • Meagan Greenfield (Lewistown, IL), a social work major with a minor in religious studies in the College of Education and Human Services; and

  • Joseph Roselieb (Prophetstown, IL), in the interdisciplinary studies program, housed within the WesternÂ’s Centennial Honors College.

Handell, who is scheduled to graduate in December, has been named the Philosophy and Religious Studies Departmental Scholar for Fall 2006. He is a member of Western’s Centennial Honors College, a four-year Foundation Honors Scholar and the recipient of Western’s Mary Olive Woods Scholarship through the department. He served the department as the student representative and liaison on the grade appeals board (2004-2006) and was vice president of the College of Arts and Sciences Student Council (2005-2006). Handell served as a First Year Experience Peer Mentor in Associate Professor Gordon Pettit’s Philosophy 105 “Philosophical Explorations” class, and was the student speaker at the Fall 2005 Scholars Recognition Ceremony. He is a longtime member of the St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Newman Center Student Newman Council, which he has served as outreach and public relations chair, vice president and president. Handell has led multiple religious retreats for college, high school and middle school students and has taught Catholic religious education classes to local high school students. For the past three years Handell has served on the Relay for Life executive board chairing the luminary committee. The Spring 2006 Relay for Life set a WIU record with more than $52,000 raised. He is a 2003 graduate of Marmion Military Academy in Aurora.

Yeast, a McDonough County native, has been a prime example of the University’s theme in action – “Global Challenges and Personal Responsibility – Cultural Diversity.” As a senior at the former Northwestern High School (now West Prairie High School), Yeast participated in a year-long Rotary exchange cultural and language immersion exchange program to São Paulo, Brazil, living with host families and attending high school. In Summer 2004, she was part of Learning to Lead, Western’s premier leadership development institute, which combined intensive classroom study followed by an internship at the National Community for Latino Leadership (NCLL), under NCLL President Alfred Ramirez. Yeast returned to Brazil and the Universidade Estadual de Ponta Grossa in Paraná in Spring 2005 on an exchange program through Western’s agriculture department to study agronomy. In Spring 2006 she joined Associate Management Professor Barbara Ribbens and three Western MBA students at the Universidad Panamericana in Guadalajara, Mexico, to work with three agricultural firms in analyzing business and agricultural practices. Yeast, a member of Western’s Centennial Honors College, has served as a student assistant in Western’s director of admissions, giving tours to incoming students and their families. She has been inducted into Phi Kappa Phi, Blue Key, Mortar Board, Golden Key and Alpha Zeta Agricultural honor societies. She is a member of WAVE (Western’s All-Volunteer Effort), a Student Orientation Staff Leader, an inter-organizational liaison for the Bureau of Cultural Affairs and a Conversation Partner with international students. She has also been a First Year Experience Peer Mentor and participated in Peer Mentor training workshops.

Greenfield is a member of WesternÂ’s Centennial Honors College, president of Phi Alpha social work honor society and a member of Mortar Board, a service-oriented honor society. In addition to her full-time school work, she works part-time as a student assistant in the University Housing and Dining Services office; is a direct support associate at Mosaic, providing car for adults with developmental disabilities; and serves as a campus intern for the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Macomb. Greenfield also volunteers with Big Brothers Big Sisters of McDonough County and serves as a peer minister with the WIU Wesley Foundation. She has made two trips to Costa Rica with Strong Missions to work with impoverished families and orphans and to help build safe homes and a general store, and she will return there in January 2007 on a third mission trip. Greenfield served as a peer mentor for WesternÂ’s First Year Experience pilot program in Fall 2004. She is scheduled to graduate in Spring 2007 and is looking toward earning a Master of Social Work degree. Greenfield, who was born in Springfield (IL), is a 2003 graduate of Jacksonville High School (Morgan County).

Roselieb interdisciplinary studies major includes a personalized emphasis in entertainment management, with the addition of music business, broadcasting, theatre, marketing and management classes. He has worked with Western Technical Services (WESTEC), a student- run sound, light and production service for many of the entertainment events and productions on campus, since his sophomore year setting-up and running sound. This year he was promoted to the WESTEC executive board, serving as public relations manager. He participated in a Fall 2006 Leadership Summit at Western, has worked with WesternÂ’s residence hall Move-In Crew each fall, serves as a University Housing and Dining Services facility assistant and program director of lofts for the residence halls. He has been an active intramural participant, a member of the Purple Posse student group supporting Western Illinois athletics and volunteered with sound set-up and entertainment for Relay for Life. Roselieb has completed three diverse internships to gain experiences in entertainment management. He worked with a sound and light company in northern Illinois, setting up for concerts with regional and national entertainers including Ronnie Milsap and Ashlee Simpson; he interned with a Kane County entertainment magazine, participating in sales, promotions and photography; and he served a facility management internship with WesternÂ’s College of Fine Arts and Communication. Roselieb is a 2003 graduate of Prophetstown High School


Posted By: WIU News (U-Relations@wiu.edu)
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