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Ashley Eberle, Academic Honors Convocation Speaker, Centennial Honors College Scholar, History Departmental Scholar, Honors Scholar
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Alyssa Campagnoni, College of Arts and Sciences Scholar, Spanish Departmental Scholar, Honors Scholar
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Jason Hartweg, College of Business and Technology Scholar, Management Departmental Scholar
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Jessica Wade McKeown, College of Education and Human Services Scholar, Elementary Education Departmental Scholar
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Chad Ruter, College of Fine Arts and Communication Scholar, Broadcasting Departmental Scholar
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College, Departmental and Honors Scholars Named

November 30, 2007

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MACOMB, IL - - Six students participating in Western Illinois University's Fall 2007 Commencement Weekend Ceremonies Dec. 14-15 in Macomb have received the highest recognition from their college faculty for their overall academic excellence by being named Cecile A. Christison Sterrett College Scholars and the Academic Honors Convocation/Commencement Speaker.

The 3 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14 Academic Honors Convocation in Western Hall will honor College Scholars, Departmental Scholars, Centennial Honor College Honors Scholars and graduate candidates who have earned academic distinction throughout their Western Illinois undergraduate career. Students will receive a medallion for each honor, which they will wear at Commencement ceremonies on Saturday, Dec. 15. In addition, College Scholars received a $150 cash award from the WIU Foundation.

Academic Honors Convocation Speaker/Centennial Honors College Scholar
Ashley Eberle (Spring Grove, IL/McHenry County), a history major with minors in Spanish and sociology, is the Academic Honors Convocation speaker, the Centennial Honors College Scholar, the History Departmental Scholar and an Honors Scholar. She will graduate with high honors, Magna Cum Laude.

In her Convocation speech, "Learning From Our Past," Eberle will discuss the importance of learning from past experiences as she and her classmates move forward.

"The purpose of my address is to remind those in attendance of the critical importance of learning from the past, both in our own lives and in our collective society," Eberle said. "Indeed, our past experiences are the only reliable tool we have that can help us to make better decisions in the future.

"I hope to empower my graduating class to use their past experiences in order to become more effective leaders. The example I discuss – President Roosevelt's response to the Great Depression – provides insight into the importance of inspiring confidence in others, talking bold action in the future, and caring for those around us," she added. "We can apply the lessons of history to our lives as we leave Western Illinois University and become leaders in communities."

Eberle, who has done continuing research on the topic of portrayals of powerful women in history, received nearly $5,300 in grants for presentation of her research at two professional conferences and at Western's Undergraduate Research Colloquium and for a study abroad trip to Rome from the College of Arts and Sciences, the history department and Western's Center for International Studies. She also earned the "Best Undergraduate Paper" for her ongoing research "The Personal is Political: The History of the Chicago Women's Liberation Union," at the Phi Alpha Theta (national history honor society) Regional Conference held at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in November.

She serves as vice president of Western's Phi Alpha Theta chapter; she has served as vice president of Phi Kappa Phi; and she is past president of the Associated Students of History. Eberle's University service also includes a three-time peer mentor to First Year Experience classes; the history representative to the College of Arts and Sciences Student Council; a volunteer in the Women's Center; and a field worker in Western's Fall 2007 mock presidential election.

After graduation, Eberle will complete a project she began in Summer 2006 - - documenting, through interviews and archival research, the Lake County (IL) Federation of Teachers 70-year history. Her educational goals include earning a doctorate in 20th century U.S. history.

"I want to educate future scholars at the college level and to produce research in American social history, particularly women's history, social movements and labor," Eberle said. "My professors have helped me to focus my interests with significant research experience. Starting my sophomore year, they guided me through original research projects that helped to sharpen my critical thinking, clear writing, and research skills. They have played an important role in my desire to instill knowledge in others."

Ashley is the daughter of Susan Eberle of Spring Grove.

College of Arts and Sciences Scholar
Alyssa Campagnoni (Winfield, IL/DuPage County), a Spanish major with a minor in international relations, is the College of Arts and Sciences Scholar, the Spanish Departmental Scholar and an Honors Scholar. She will graduate with highest academic honors, Summa Cum Laude.

A four-year member of Western's Centennial Honors College, Campagnoni started school as a bilingual-bicultural education major and served the Association of Bilingual-Bicultural Education Students as social and publicity chair.

"A teacher education political science course ignited my interest and curiosity, and I began my junior year with a new major and new minor," Campagnoni said.

"I answer the question of my academic interests confidently now, drawing upon my experiences in many programs and opportunities that Western has to offer; for example, (Western Illinois Spanish Experience) WISE-Mexico, WISE-Spain and Learning to Lead," she added. "My interests lie in the Spanish language and culture and the study on connectivity in an increasingly diverse international community."

This past summer, as part of Western's Learning to Lead program, Campagnoni interned with the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) in Washington, D.C., in both the marketing and corporate relations departments, and attended the 2007 USHCC Convention, International Pavilion and Business Expo in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Campagnoni, a WIU Foundation Scholar, was inducted into Blue Key, Phi Kappa Phi and Golden Key honor societies. She worked as an assistant in the foreign language lab; tutored in Spanish; worked for Campus Recreation as a group fitness instructor; and served as a campaign manager for Barack Obama for Western's mock presidential election.

As for her future, "I have a few options. I may return to D.C. to work in a newly-created position at the Chamber, or I may begin work for a large company around Chicago," she said.

She plans on going on to graduate school, perhaps for an MBA or to study international affairs. Her goals, "in general, include great success, opportunities to travel, perhaps some connection to federal government or politics and to give back on a community level or otherwise."

"My time at Western has expanded my thinking. Western has made the entire world accessible. I have learned that opportunity is there for those who seek it. This has been a wonderful place to learn, to work and to live," Campagnoni said.

Alyssa is the daughter of Arthur and Linda Campagnoni of Winfield.

College of Business and Technology Scholar
Jason Hartweg (Carthage, IL/Hancock County), a management major, is the College of Business and Technology Scholar and the Management Departmental Scholar. He is on track to graduate with highest academic honors, Summa Cum Laude.

Hartweg is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the national scholastic honor society for business, and Golden Key International Honor Society. He has been employed on his family's farm; he is a four-year student assistant in University Advising and Academic Services; and he is the owner and operator of Spud Sound and Light Productions. Hartweg also stays active in his hometown church as an audio/visual technician, youth group leader, confirmation camp staff member and Sunday school teacher.

He said his interests include business law, especially the formation of businesses and contractual obligations as well as marketing and small business management and their applications in actual business settings. Hartweg's goals are to start a small business with the option to expand into multiple locations.

"I believe that WIU has prepared me well to undertake this challenge. I learned a lot about starting a business and the how to be successful," he said.

Jason is the son of David and Judy Hartweg of Carthage.

College of Education and Human Services Scholar

Jessica Wade McKeown (Rushville, IL/Schuyler County), an elementary education major, is the College of Education and Human Services Scholar and the Elementary Education Departmental Scholar. She will graduate with high honors, Magna Cum Laude.

McKeown is completing her student teaching this semester at North Scott Junior High in Eldridge, IA. She had pre-student teaching experiences at Bushnell-Prairie City Elementary, Bushnell, IL, Spring 2007; Industry (IL) Elementary School, Fall 2006; and Edison Middle School, Macomb, Spring 2006. She has also tutored fifth grade students in math, through the America Counts Program, and has worked as a private tutor.

A nominee for the Outstanding Pre-Service Teaching Award, McKeown is a member of Kappa Delta Pi Education Honor Society, Phi Kappa Phi and Golden Key International Honor Society.

"The main reason I went into teaching is because I think it is important to have teachers that reach the students," McKeown said. "I want my students to learn more than just the required academic information; I want them to become good citizens and realize they can reach their goals if they just try their hardest.

"Western has definitely prepared me to be the teacher that I want to be," she added. "I have learned so many things from my professors and my field experiences. All this really helped me improve as a person and as a future teacher."

Jessica is the daughter of Wade and Yvonne McKwown of Rushville.

College of Fine Arts and Communication Scholar
Chad Ruter (Shannon, IL/Carroll County), a broadcasting major and business minor, is the College of Fine Arts and Communication College Scholar and the Broadcasting Departmental Scholar. He will graduate with highest academic honors, Summa Cum Laude.

Ruter has experience in all forms of communication and broadcasting, serving as the senior sports writer for the Western Courier, WIU's student-run newspaper; working behind the mic for the student radio station WIUS-FM 88.3 "The Dog;" and calling play-by-play for Western's athletics competition for WIUTV-3. He has also been the sports and programming director and has hosted a sports show for "The Dog."

Among his honors include a third place award for Television Sports Reporting in the Spring 2007 Student in the Illinois News Broadcasters Association (SINBA) competition. Within Western's broadcasting department, Ruter was honored for the Best Video Play-by-Play in 2007; and in 2006 he took two awards: Best PSA or Commercial Script and Best Radio Play-by-Play Announcer.

"I would love to be the play-by-play announcer for a college or professional sports team," Ruter said.

Chad is the son of Tim and Barb Ruter of Shannon.

School of Extended Studies Scholar
William "Bill" Cottrell (Northfield , IL/Cook County) is the Fall 2007 School of Extended Studies Scholar . He will earn Western Illinois University's Board of Trustees Bachelor of Arts (BOT/BA) degree.

Cottrell is a firefighter and paramedic with the Niles (IL) Fire Department in northwest suburban Chicago. He joined the Niles department in 2000, two years after starting his firefighting career.

"I am truly honored to be receiving this award," Cottrell said. "I would recommend Western's degrees at a distance program for anyone who is unable to attend a college due to geographic or scheduling issues. The flexibility enabled me to obtain my degree when I would otherwise not be able to."

Cottrell transferred six semesters of credit from Oakton Community College when he began his degree in Spring 2005. He said he plans to continue his education within the fire service.

The BOT/BA degree program was created in 1973 to serve adult students who are unable to attend a traditional college program due to family, work and community obligations. Rather than requiring a specific major, the program allows the student to design her or his program to meet individual educational goals.

Departmental Scholars and Honors Scholars are, listed by county and city in Illinois, followed by out of state and other countries.

Milledgeville (61051) – Nathan Leigh Johnson, Honors Scholar
Shannon (61078) - Chad Ruter, Broadcasting Departmental Scholar

Chicago (60631) - Christine Marie Monaghan, Economics Departmental Scholar
Orland Park (60467) - Gwendolyn I. Smith, Honors Scholar
Palos Heights (60463) - Jennifer M. Douglass, Special Education Departmental Scholar
Streamwood (60107) – April Colleen Eichele, Honors Scholar
Tinley Park (60487) – Krystina M. Gomez, Honors Scholar

Naperville (60540) – Eve L. Goldsher, Honors Scholar; Melissa A. Prokop, Bilingual/Bicultural Education Departmental Scholar
West Chicago (60185) - Jamie Lynn Hall, Marketing Departmental Scholar
Winfield (60190) - Alyssa Marie Campagnoni, Spanish Departmental Scholar
Wood Dale (60191) - Leigh-Anne Mihalopoulos, Honors Scholar

Canton (61520) - Tyler S. Higgs, Psychology Departmental Scholar and Honors Scholar
Farmington (61531) - Seth Holmstrom, Accountancy Departmental Scholar
Lewistown (61542) - Amanda Sue Chenoweth, Honors Scholar

Carthage (62321) - Jason Craig Hartweg, Management Departmental Scholar
Hamilton (62341) - David K. Hanan, Supply Chain Management Departmental Scholar; Nathan James Schlatter, Finance Departmental Scholar

Geneseo (61254) – Samantha Renee Daily, Honors Scholar

Ashkum (60911) - Tyler Richard Finegan, Law Enforcement and Justice Administration Departmental Scholar

Aurora (60506) - Marianne Bossert, Honors Scholar; Cara Marie Neill, Kinesiology Departmental Scholar; Michael R. Johnson, Music (Bachelor of Arts) Departmental Scholar
Saint Charles (60174) - Christine Renee Weddell, Honors Scholar

Momence (60954) - Daya E. Snapp, Meteorology Departmental Scholar

Ottawa (61350) - Nicole C. Devine, Honors Scholar

Mount Pulaski (62548) - Caleb Lynn Whitson, Agriculture Departmental Scholar

Benld (62009) - Jessica Jean Makler, English Departmental Scholar and Honors Scholar

Blandinsville (61420) - Kimberly A. Cramer, Mathematics Departmental Scholar
Macomb (61455) - Denise N. Droege, Honors Scholar; Shauna L. Mason, Human Resource Management Departmental Scholar; Floyd Wombacher III, Political Science Departmental Scholar

Spring Grove (60081) - Ashley Marie Eberle, History Departmental Scholar

Franklin (62638) - Shirene R. Garner, Information Systems Departmental Scholar

Byron (61010) - Katryna P. Hogan, Recreation Park and Tourism Administration Departmental Scholar

Edelstein (61526) - Gregory Nicholas Foster, Theatre Departmental Scholar
Hanna City (61536) - Johnathan A. Walraven, Art (Bachelor of Fine Arts) Departmental Scholar

Pittsfield (62363) - Ashley Ann Thomas, Graphic Communication Departmental Scholar
Pleasant Hill (62366) - Justin David Buchholz, Manufacturing Engineering Technology Departmental Scholar

East Moline (61244) - Michael R. Miller, Computer Science Departmental Scholar

Wyoming (61491) - Cody John Stabler, Construction Management Departmental Scholar

Minier (61759) - Kyle Moss, Journalism Departmental Scholar
Washington (61571) – Janel H. Ensinger, Honors Scholar

Sterling (61081) - Brian Jackson, Communication Departmental Scholar

Homer Glen (60491) - Kelly M. Creger, Communication Sciences and Disorders Departmental Scholars

Rockford (61107) - Lauren C. Ott, Honors Scholar

Indianapolis - Jennifer Marie Hunter, Family and Consumer Science Departmental Scholar

BURLINGTON - Tabitha Copeland, Social Work Departmental Scholar
CONESVILLE - Charles Craig Cherry, Interdisciplinary Studies Departmental Scholar
DAVENPORT - Jessica Wade McKeown, Elementary Education Departmental Scholar
FAIRFIELD - Alison Gritz, Musical Theatre Departmental Scholar
FORT MADISON - Linsay M. Hays, Sociology Departmental Scholar
KEOTA – Sharon K. Heisdorffer, Honors Scholar
STANWOOD - Kimberly Ann Kniess, Music (Bachelor of Music) Departmental Scholar

MILWAUKEE - James John Stefanic, Philosophy Departmental Scholar and Honors Scholar

Kaohsiung, Taiwan - Chia Wei Lu, Instructional Design and Technology Departmental Scholar

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