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Back row, left to right: Emily Marvin, Sandy Tracy, Kathryne Valentin, Alejandra Ozuna; Front row, left to right: Oluwatobi Olorunsola, Joanne Hooper, Joseph Maluck. Not pictured: Gail Sndyer, Jessica Longshore, Emeric Solymossy
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Phi Beta Delta Inductees at WIU

April 18, 2013

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MACOMB, IL – Ten individuals were inducted into Phi Beta Delta, the Eta Epsilon chapter, on the Western Illinois University Macomb campus last week.

An honor society dedicated to recognizing scholarly achievement in international education, Phi Beta Delta was founded at California State University, Long Beach, in 1986, and the purpose of the Eta Epsilon chapter is to recognize and encourage high professional, intellectual, academic and personal achievements in the field of international education.

WIU 2013 inductees include:

  • Joanne Hooper (Macomb, IL) recently retired from the University Counseling Center. Hooper's international experiences have included a semester as a student in Siena, Italy, where she studied Italian Renaissance art, symphonic literature, ceramics and Italian language and culture. In addition, she has been actively involved in a variety of aspects of the all-volunteer Danish exchange program for Macomb high school students, including fundraising activities and hosting a Danish student annually.

  • Jessica Longshore (Macomb, IL), a junior French language and literature major, has been active in encouraging students to study abroad. She has served as the vice president of Western's Ambassadors for Study Abroad student organization, and she now serves as the president. Currently, she serves as an intern in the education abroad area of the WIU's Center for International Studies. She said will realize her dream of studying abroad by participating in a French immersion program in Cannes, France, in Spring 2014.

  • Joseph Maluck (Worth, IL), a junior studying law enforcement and justice administration, has traveled abroad as "a warrior and a scholar." He served in the Marine Corps in Kuwait and Iraq at different times and returned to that area of the world last year as part of an education abroad group studying in Turkey. He has participated in international activities on campus by being a conversation mentor with international students, hosting international students participating in international neighbors and volunteering as a Western ambassador for study abroad.

  • Emily Marvin (Washington, IL), a graduate student in history, participated in a study abroad program in Turkey in March 2012. She said of her experience: "[It was] an opportunity to know definitively that feeling 'at home' is far more a state of mind than it is a geographical reality, and it provided the only chance at true independence I've ever experienced. Knowing that I can navigate the Metros of Istanbul and the winding cobblestone streets of lzmir provided a confidence that I've never known before, and understanding that making friends really is as universal as a smile and an effort makes me much, much happier about the future of humanity. The trip to Turkey certainly led me to greater academic understanding, but more than anything else, it gave me the chance to learn to realize my full potential as a scholar and a citizen of a global community."

  • Oluwatobi Olorunsola (Lagos, Nigeria) is a graduate student studying physics, specializing in the study of electromagnetic theory and laser physics. He said of his experience at Western: "The impact over the past few months has enhanced my global mindedness and has increased my understanding of cultural differences. Daily interactions with scholars from different parts of the world have catalyzed my zeal to contribute to solving some of the world's toughest challenges as a physicist."

  • Alejandra Ozuna (Beardstown, IL), a senior studying bilingual/bicultural education, was born in Mexico, but she came to the U.S. at a very young age. She credits her study abroad experience in Spain with solidifying her academic understanding of her native language. She has tutored an English language learner in the Macomb school district and has volunteered as Spanish language teacher. She said her international living experience gave her the opportunity to experience what it is like to enter another culture as an adult, which will help her be more understanding of the issues her students will face in living in this culture.

  • Gail Snyder (San José, CA) is a senior earning a bachelor of arts degree in general studies. His experience as the director of hardware development for Tandberg Television enabled him to work in the United Kingdom six different times (from 2007-09). In addition, Mr. Snyder participated in Western's 2011 European business study course in London and Paris. He was also served as a contributor to a human development conference in Kathmandu, Nepal, in 2012.

  • Emeric Solymossy is professor of management and marketing at the WIU-QC campus and is the first inductee from the WIU-QC campus. Solymossy speaks Hungarian, German, French and Spanish. Born in Germany, he had had teaching experiences in at least eight different countries besides the U.S. He has also served as a Fulbright Scholar and led international study group programs.

  • Sandra Tracy is a community member who has served as an instructor in WIU's social work department. While living in Guam, she collaborated with others on presentations (covering overcoming oppression) presented in Hong Kong. She also co-edited the book, "Poetry without Limits," which is comprised of poetry, short stories, drawings and photographs created by those associated with an organization called Guma Mami in Guam. She also has participated in or facilitated a number of theatrical or poetry reading artistic events focusing on social justice issues.

  • Kathryne Valentin (Canton, IL) is a freshman majoring in bilingual-bicultural education and Spanish. She spent two years in Panama during her father's tour of duty. From September 2011-March 2012, she was a Rotary Youth Exchange high school student at Colegio de Santa Cruz in Temuco, Chile. She continues to help with Rotary Youth Exchange students in the local area, as well as participates in WIU's Association of Bilingual/Bicultural Education (ABBES) student organization and the Latin American Student Organization (LASO) at WIU, as well as serves as a conversation mentor for Western's English as a Second Language (WESL) Institute.

Also during Spring 2013, the Western's Eta Epsilon Chapter was honored with Phi Beta Delta's annual award for the Midwest region, as well as the national organization's Eileen Evans Overall Outstanding Chapter Award. Named after the former Phi Beta Delta Executive Director Eileen Evans, the award "is given each year to the chapter that has most notably demonstrated qualities such as growth and development, expanded outreach within and beyond the academic community and service Phi Beta Delta," according to Eta Epsilon chapter's award letter.

More information about WIU's chapter of Phi Beta Delta is available at Learn more about about Phi Beta Delta at

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