University News

Fundraiser Underway for WIU's Atlantis Program

December 4, 2020

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MACOMB, IL – A fundraising initiative for Western Illinois University's Atlantis program, through the College of Business and Technology, is underway and will end Jan. 31. The goal is to raise at least $5,000 for scholarships to cover tuition and other related expenses for students entering the program.

Founded in 2007, Atlantis is a Transatlantic Dual-Degree Program that fosters academic excellence and provides qualified students an opportunity to obtain a transatlantic dual degree and undergraduate or graduate degree in the same time it typically takes to earn one degree. Students spend their junior year abroad at INSEEC in Lyon France and Linköping University in Sweden.

After students complete their studies, they earn a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Linköping University. Following graduation, students return to WIU to obtain a second bachelor's degree or a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree.

"The Atlantis program is the only program of its kind. The program develops student knowledge and understanding in Information Technology and Business Administration; and prepares graduates to be effective leaders and face the convergence of technology, business and globalization," said Atlantis Director and WIU Assistant Professor of Marketing Donna Wiencek. "Our graduates have been placed in executive roles within several top companies throughout the world including Adobe, Deloitte, Facebook, IBM, Mattel, Microsoft, Navistar and Vanguard; and became entrepreneurs. The Atlantis alumni network consists of 236 alumni to date from France, Sweden and the U.S."

Atlantis is a highly-recognized program that strengthens a graduates' professional résumé by showcasing their academic achievements and exposure to European commerce and culture. One of the program's alumni is Ian Kresnak, a DePaul graduate who is now chief of staff of the Investment Strategy Group for Vanguard.

"I would say the Atlantis program gave me a global perspective on business and economics, while allowing me to connect and collaborate with a diverse group of peers," said Kresnak. "Those experiences prepared me well for success at a global company."

Vincent Anter was a student in the Atlantis program from 2008-10, and he currently hosts and produces the Amazon Prime show "V is for Vino." He said the program changed his life.

"I've since spent every waking hour working toward seeing the world and experiencing people and places from all walks of life," he said. "From there, I launched my show, 'V is for Vino,' in an effort to educate people on wine, travel, food and other cultures. I hope I can help people understand the healing nature of travel and experience. In addition, I made lifelong friendships, and two of my groomsmen were people I met through the program."

To make a donation to the program, visit For more information about the program email Wiencek at

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