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WIU CAS Dean Susan Martinelli-Fernandez Has Retired After 30 Years

September 7, 2023

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MACOMB/MOLINE, IL - - Western Illinois University College of Arts and Science (CAS) dean, Susan Martinelli-Fernandez, has retired after dedicating 30 years of her career to WIU.

Martinelli-Fernandez served as dean of CAS since July 2010 and was named the interim CAS dean in 2009. She was also a professor of philosophy and religious studies, having joined the department in 1993. Martinelli-Fernandez previously held the position of interim associate director of Western's Centennial Honors College from 2004-2005. Prior to working at WIU, she was an adjunct faculty member at the College of St. Francis and Mundelein College in 1988.

In recognition of the excellent work and dedication of civil service employees at WIU, Martinelli-Fernandez and her colleague Polly Radosh have initiated an endowment fund to support civil service employees. Radosh, who retired from WIU in 2008 after serving as a professor of sociology and the founding chair of the Department of Women's Studies for 24 years, will collaborate with Martinelli-Fernandez on this project.

"I promised myself when I was first hired at WIU and saw the amazing work of our civil service office folks as well as understanding the challenges of workload and compensation given my putting myself through college and university while also working full time, that I would help," Martinelli-Fernandez said. "And now, with Polly Radosh, friend, colleague and mentor, I can."

The annual award program will recognize civil service employees who exhibit outstanding achievement, leadership qualities and a strong commitment to serving our students and the Western community. Two awards will be presented, each worth $500 - one for a College of Arts and Sciences civil service employee and one for a civil service employee at any other department within the University.

"Throughout my career at WIU I was supported by dedicated, diligent and engaged office staff," Radosh said. "I could not have accomplished as much as I did in my own career, or in my work for the University if it had not been for the committed and dedicated support staff that I worked with, both in my own department and across the campus. I am honored to partner in this award, which recognizes civil service staff who support, encourage and engage with the University community and contribute to the success of the faculty, staff and administration. Office staff are often the lowest paid and the most hard working staff in the University. This award is a small token of our appreciation for all that they have done and continue to do for WIU."

Donations can be made online at

Jim Schmidt was named WIU CAS interim dean, September 1. For more information on the WIU CAS, please visit

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