Quad Cities Campus

WIU-QC Alumni who has a Heart for History

March 25, 2016

Todd Decker

Todd DeDekker is a WIU-QC Alumni who has a heart for history. He began his career teaching social studies at the junior and high school levels. He taught for fifteen years, but decided that it was time for a career change. DeDekker grew up in Henry County and learned that WIU-QC had a museums studies program, which he graduated from in May 2012. While at WIU-Qc DeDekker enjoyed the courses that were taught by professionals that were in the field, from those at the Figge to lawyers. DeDekker was involved in the GEMS program and is now working for the Bishops Hill Heritage Association.

Bishop Hill was founded in 1846 by Erik Jansson. It was a Swedish religious colony that became quite successful and lasted until 1861. Today, Bishop hill consists of 18 pre-civil war buildings, which the staff of the BHHA care for. The most recent restoration was over a three year period, three buildings had their exterior repaired costing upwards of $600,000. This restoration project earned BHHA a Preservation Award from Landmarks Illinois.

DeDekker hopes to continue working for BHHA. Working in a small town museum requires a lot of work, it is much different then working in a big museum, where people are hired for one job. Working at a small town museum means that you get to do all kinds of things. DeDekker is looking for an Intern who is interested in learning about every aspect of a museum, and Western Illinois University Museum Studies students are encouraged to apply. The part is non-paid, but will allow students to gain substantial knowledge and experience working in the field.

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