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Outstanding FYE Faculty Members (L-R) Sarah Craddock, Peer Mentor Coordinator; Stacey Macchi, Communication; Christine Lloyd, Economics; Provost Joe Rallo (not pictured: Danny Terry, Dennis Crowe)
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Outstanding FYE Peer Mentors (L-R) Sarah Craddock, Peer Mentor coordinator; Jason McDermott, Katie Pickford, Elizabeth Savage, Dan Tieken, Provost Joe Rallo
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First Year Experience Students, Faculty Recognized

December 14, 2005

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MACOMB, IL - - Four Western Illinois University students serving as peer mentors and four faculty members recently were recognized for their outstanding work in the University’s First Year Experience program (

Western’s First Year Experience (FYE) offers new students one FYE course during their first and second semester to help them become familiar with the activities, events and facilities offered at the University. FYE classes are small, allowing for personal interaction with the professor and peer mentor, as well as classmates. Students also attend co-curricular events such as concerts, theatre productions and art exhibitions in FYE groups.

Recognized as outstanding peer mentors were senior history major Elizabeth Savage (Ingleside, IL), junior biology major Katie Pickford (Sterling, IL), senior theatre major Daniel Tieken (Quincy, IL) and Jason McDermott.

In his nomination of Savage, Dean of Libraries James Husemann and professor of an FYE American history course said, “Elizabeth has been an integral part of this class since last spring. From the moment I interviewed Elizabeth, I knew that I was a lucky faculty member indeed. We discussed what we wanted to strive for in the class – to increase the discussion elements to include all the members of the class, to create a community among our students and to bring the early history of the United States alive in their understanding.”

Biology Associate Professor Eric Ribbens said, in his nomination of Pickford, “Katie has fit in gracefully with my class style, and she has found ways, often quite simple and subtle, to make a difference. Often real learning occurs in odd intervals and cannot be planned or scheduled. By being willing to commit, Katie has made a difference in my class, a difference I deeply appreciate.”

Tieken was nominated by theatre and dance instructor Christiane Morel, who stated, “What really impresses me about Dan is that he is his own person; he has his own style and is very passionate about the art of theatre. He engages students in conversation and makes them think. He shares his knowledge of theatre with them, and his enthusiasm is catching.”

McDermott was nominated by FYE student Patrick Burks (Pekin, IL)a freshman law enforcement and justice administration major, who stated, “Jason McDermott should get an award for the best FYE peer mentor because he relates to all in his class so well. He has helped me, not only in class, but in things that need to be done and where I can find certain everyday things, such as haircuts and auto repair. He has organized many study sessions for our class, and they have definitely helped us all on the tests. He has organized several events to get our class together for social activities such as the town square clean-up day and a bowling event. Jason is not only someone whom I look up to, but someone who deserves more recognition.”

Faculty members were recognized for their teaching and work in one of Western’s four core values: academic excellence, educational opportunity, personal growth and social responsibility.

Christine Lloyd, associate economics professor, was named an outstanding FYE faculty member in the areas of academic excellence and educational opportunity. Her nominators were peer mentor Ryan Thomas (Grayslake, IL), a senior accounting major and economics minor; Warren Jones, economics department chair; and graduate student Sarah Craddock (Macomb, IL), peer mentor coordinator. Nominators wrote, “Dr. Lloyd is in tune with her students’ needs, stresses, learning abilities, as well as their personal issues. She has also engaged students in many co-curricular activities and used them for educational purposes.”

Stacey Macchi, communication instructor, was named an outstanding FYE faculty member in the areas of academic excellence and educational opportunity. Her nominator was peer mentor Kristin White (Bristol, IL), a senior communication major. “Dr. Macchi integrates the values of FYE into each facet of her course, and she feels that FYE is an integral part of her students’ freshman year,” White wrote. “Her mantra is that attitude is everything, and she exudes such optimism about this program that her students cannot help but take notice and be inspired by her infectious positivism.”

Danny Terry, agriculture professor, was named an outstanding FYE faculty member in the area of social responsibility. His nominator, peer mentor Lindsay McQueen (Franklin, IL), a junior agriculture major, said, “Dr. Terry likes to have open communication with his students and reaches out to those who are sick or not in class by giving calls and making hospital visits. The FYE students, peer mentor and Dr. Terry have been involved in many activities this past year dealing directly with the campus. It is a requirement for the class that you attend at least 15 WIU functions. And volunteering is also a great way to let the community know we care. We have worked with Habitat for Humanity, the Elm City Center, YMCA, the animal center and many more organizations around the Macomb area. I cannot say enough about Dr. Terry.”

Dennis Crowe, recreation, park and tourism administration (RPTA) professor, was named an outstanding FYE faculty member in the area of personal growth. His nominator, peer mentor Kristine Lorenz (Lake Forest, IL), a junior RPTA major, said, “Through the course of the semester Dr. Crowe has been nothing but understanding. I have experienced some personal/family problems…and he has been supportive and understanding. I feel motivated enough to keep moving forward, and for that I am grateful.”

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