University News

Joseph Balogh, Academic Honors Convocation Speaker
[Download Print-Quality Image]

Julia Remes, College of Arts and Sciences Scholar
[Download Print-Quality Image]

Emily Lounsberry, College of Business and Technology Scholar
[Download Print-Quality Image]

Maria Montoya, College of Education and Human Services Scholar
[Download Print-Quality Image]

Jeffrey Padgett, College of Fine Arts and Communication Scholar
[Download Print-Quality Image]

Courtney Clippert, Centennial Honors College Scholar
[Download Print-Quality Image]

Krista Skien, School of Extended Studies Scholar
[Download Print-Quality Image]

Spring 2008 College Scholars, Convocation Speaker Named; Departmental, Honors Scholars

May 5, 2008

Printer friendly version

MACOMB, IL - - Seven students participating in Western Illinois University's Spring 2008 Commencement Weekend Ceremonies May 9-10 in Macomb and May 11 at the i wireless Center (formerly The MARK of the Quad Cities) in Moline have received the highest recognition from their college faculty for their overall academic excellence by being named a Cecile A. Christison Sterrett College Scholar and the Academic Honors Convocation Speaker.

The 2 p.m. Friday, May 9 Academic Honors Convocation in Western Hall will honor College Scholars, Departmental Scholars, Honors Scholars and graduate candidates who have earned academic distinction throughout their Western Illinois undergraduate career. Students receive a medallion for each honor, which they wear at Commencement ceremonies. In addition, College Scholars receive a $150 cash award from the WIU Foundation.

Academic Convocation Speaker
Joseph "Joe" Balogh (Rosemont, IL), a law enforcement and justice administration major with a computer science – microcomputer minor, was selected by Western's Centennial Honors College to present the Academic Convocation Speech May 9. The title of his speech is "The Power of One."

"I want to leave my fellow graduates with the attitude that they can always do more and give that one extra degree in life," Balogh said. "By doing so they will be astonished by the number of doors they open for themselves and the number of opportunities and rewards they can gain from it. Going the extra mile has extraordinary benefits."

An Honors Scholar, Balogh is a member of Lambda Alpha Epsilon, a chapter of the American Criminal Justice Association; as well as Blue Key Honor Society and Golden Key International Honour Society for students in honors organizations. The past two years he has served as vice president of Western's Inter-Hall Council (IHC). Balogh was elected to the Great Lakes Affiliate of College and University Residence Halls (GLACURA) Regional Board of Directors as the associate director of finance and administration. He was also named 2007 Student of the Year for the Illinois Residence Hall Association (IRHA) and 2008 Student of the Year for GLACURA.

Balogh will return to Western's LEJA program for graduate studies and serve as an assistant complex director for one of the residence halls. His career goals are to work in law enforcement within a federal department.

Balogh is on track to graduate in summer with honors (Cum Laude). Joe, a 2005 graduate of East Lyden High School, Franklin Park, IL, is the son of Ed and Mary Balogh of Rosemont.

College of Arts and Sciences Scholar
Julia Remes (Arden Hills, MN), a political science major and a Pre-Law Honors minor, is the College of Arts and Sciences College Scholar, the Political Science Departmental Scholar and an Honors Scholar. She will graduate with highest academic honors, Summa Cum Laude.

Remes, a student in Western's Centennial Honors College and a four-year competitor with the NCAA I Westerwinds soccer team, was the University's 2007-2008 Lincoln Academy of Illinois Student Laureate. The Lincoln Academy of Illinois annually honors one student at each of the four-year degree-granting institutions in Illinois for overall excellence in academics and extracurricular activities. She also was selected to attend the 50th annual Air Force Academy Assembly, a prestigious political science forum hosted by the United States Air Force (USAF) and jointly sponsored by Columbia University's American Assembly; and she was Western Illinois' nominee for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, which recognizes college juniors with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in government, the nonprofit or advocacy sectors, education or other public service and provides them with financial support for continuing studies.

In Fall 2007 Remes served as the student coordinator for Western's mock presidential election, which included planning, organizing and orchestrating the five-day campuswide event as well as educating, delegating and directing more than 2,000 student participants. Important to Remes in her overall education is helping others; she and the Westerwinds soccer team donated more than 700 hours of community service during the 2006-2007 year, volunteering with Macomb's Big Brothers Big Sisters, tutoring local grade school children and working on campus beautification projects. She is president this year of Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society; served as a College of Arts and Sciences Student Council member representing the political science department (2006-2007); and served an internship in the McDonough County Public Defender's Office (2007).

Remes will enter law school in the St. Paul/Minneapolis area with a goal to work in government.

"I want to use my law degree to get involved in my community, and to work my way up from a prosecutor to become a judge," she said.

Julia, a 2003 graduate of Totino-Grace High School, Fridley, MN, is the daughter of Bill and Amy Remes of St. Paul, MN.

College of Business and Technology Scholar
Emily Lounsberry (Oakford, IL), a finance major and Spanish minor, is the College of Business and Technology Scholar, the Finance Departmental Scholar and an Honors Scholar. She will graduate with highest honors (Summa Cum Laude).

A member of Western's Centennial Honors College, Lounsberry has been active in academic honor societies and in community volunteerism. She serves as treasurer for Golden Key International Honour Society and secretary of the WIU Finance Club, and she is member of Phi Kappa Phi Scholastic Honorary Society, Beta Gamma Sigma Business Honorary Society and Sigma Iota Epsilon Management Honorary Fraternity. Her volunteer activities have included the Salvation Army Tornado Disaster Relief in Springfield, IL; St. Peter Church (Lexington, KY) Mission Trip with Habitat for Humanity; the Big Pink volleyball fundraiser for breast cancer; American Cancer Society's Relay for Life; and working on a number of local food drives.

Lounsberry has served as a student assistant in Western's Department of Curriculum and Instruction since August 2006. During Summers 2005-2007, she interned in the Illinois Office of the Comptroller in Springfield, where she was responsible for balancing and approving daily deposits of up to $400 million and completing annual audits on employee payroll files.

"My career goal is to find a job in the financial industry that is both fulfilling and enjoyable," said Lounsberry, who also plans on earning an MBA "after working for a few years."

Emily, a 2004 graduate of Petersburg PORTA High School, is the daughter of Jeff and Sharon Lounsberry of Oakford.

College of Education and Human Services Scholar
Maria Montoya (Elmwood, IL), a kinesiology major with an emphasis in exercise science and fitness and a minor in nutrition, is the College of Education and Human Services Scholar and the Kinesiology Departmental Scholar. She will graduate with highest honors (Summa Cum Laude).

Montoya served as president of Western's TEAMLEAD (Together Everyone Achieves Mentoring, Leadership, Empowerment and Development) from January 2006-August 2007; was a two-year resident assistant, and co-chaired her residence hall capstone project; was a student orientation leader, volunteered at OSF St. Francis Medical Center (Peoria) during summers (2003-2005); and was a two-year student representative to the Elmwood Community Foundation (2003-2005). Among her honors are being named to the National Residence Hall Honorary (2007); being named a Resident Assistant of the Year nominee (2007); earning the Jawaan Arrington Outstanding First Year Involvement Award (2005); and receiving the Caroline Grote Hall Government Representative Award (2005).

Montoya has taken advantage of many opportunities for advanced training and work. In Spring 2007, she served as a geriatric fitness instructor at a local senior health care center. She conducted blood glucose screenings and nutrition and fitness assessments on undergraduate students in Fall 2007. She was also a teaching assistant in an aerobic dance class, a personal trainer and a fitness room supervisor in Fall 2007. This spring (2008), Montoya served a cardiac rehabilitation internship at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington (IL).

"The next step is to continue following my passion. I greatly appreciate the education I have received at Western Illinois University, and the faculty and staff in the kinesiology department have encouraged to me further develop my knowledge and skills in the exercise physiology field," Montoya said. "I intend to pursue a master's degree, and I also intend to remain involved in the community by participating in community wellness and group fitness efforts.

"Individual career goals include not only successful work in a cardiac rehabilitation facility, but also enjoyment for what I do," Montoya added. "Western Illinois University has not only assisted me in the development of my knowledge and skills, but the faculty and staff in the department have modeled an appreciation for the health and fitness world."

Maria, a 2004 graduate of Elmwood High School, is the daughter of Edmundo and Sandra Montoya of Elmwood.

College of Fine Arts and Communication Scholar
Jeffrey Padgett (Dixon, IL), a music-instrumental performance major (oboe/English horn) with an emphasis in music composition and in music theory, is the College of Fine Arts and Communication Scholar, the Music (Bachelor of Music) Departmental Scholar and an Honors Scholar. He will graduate with highest honors (Summa Cum Laude).

A student of Michael Ericson in Western's School of Music, Padgett earned first place in the college division of the Midwest Oboe Competition, which was held as part of the University of Iowa OctOBOEfest in Fall 2007. He was also a finalist in the 2007 MasterWorks Festival Concerto Competition. He was accepted into the John Mack Oboe Camp (2007) and the MasterWorks Festival (2007), and he worked the Interlochen Arts Academy (2006).

Padgett, a Presidential Scholar within Western's Centennial Honors College, was honored with induction into Phi Kappa Phi Scholastic Honorary Society and Golden Key International Honour Society. He holds professional membership in the International Double Reed Society, the National Band Association and MENC: The National Association for Music Education. At Western, Padgett kept busy as a member of the WIU Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Wind Ensemble; an opinion columnist for the student-run newspaper, the Western Courier; recording engineer for the School of Music; and an active member of Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and Campus Students for Christ. He also performs as a freelance oboist and teaches private music lessons.

"I chose Western ultimately because I was impressed by the caliber of the music faculty," Padgett said. "The faculty is professional, friendly and extremely accessible, so I liked it. And Western is a less expensive school, kind of a diamond in the rough, I suppose."

Padgett will get some more polishing beginning in the fall when he begins advanced study at DePaul University with the principle oboist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Eugene Izotov.

"I feel extremely fortunate to be accepted into his small studio; and to get a full tuition scholarship on top of that, I can't wait!" added Padgett, who was also offered a full tuition music performance scholarship to Northwestern University, as well as a professional English hornist position with the Terra Haute Symphony Orchestra (Terra Haute, IN).

Padgett said his career goal is "to become a music professor and play in a major orchestra, and to bring music to all types of people, and bless them through it."

Jeffrey, a 2004 graduate of Dixon High School, is the son of Charles and Mary Padgett of Dixon.

Centennial Honors College Scholar
Courtney Clippert (Keokuk, IA), a psychology major and sociology minor, is the Centennial Honors College Scholar and an Honors Scholar. She will graduate with highest honors (Summa Cum Laude).

Clippert is a member of Western's Centennial Honors College and has worked with the psychology research team co-chaired by Robert Intrieri and Paige Goodwin since Fall 2006. She was among an elite group of 11 collegians from a nationwide pool of more than 350 applicants to be selected as a student fellow in the Center for Cognitive Sciences University of Minnesota Research for Undergraduate Experience (REU) program.

During the 10-week REU, funded by the National Science Foundation, Clippert worked with Dr. Arthur Reynolds who directs the Chicago Longitudinal Study (CLS), which has examined the effects of early childhood intervention and adult outcomes over the last 23 years. She developed a project using CLS data titled "Preschool Participation and High School Completion: A Subgroup Analysis," which she presented to the REU faculty and students and which will be published in the REU program proceedings. She has also presented research findings at the 2007 ILLOWA Undergraduate Psychology Conference in Canton, MO.

Among her numerous accolades are Psi Chi, psychology's national honor society; Golden Key International Honour Society for students in honors organizations, for which she served as co-president; Order of Omega Honor Society for students in Greek life, based on scholarship and leadership; Phi Kappa Phi, and Mortar Board Senior Honorary Society. Clippert served in several leadership roles for Chi Omega Sorority, including vice president and scholarship chair. She was also a First Year Experience (FYE) Peer Mentor for Philosophy 120, "Contemporary Moral Problems."

Clippert has been a four-year participant in Relay for Life and Big Pink volleyball cancer fundraisers, Habitat for Humanity and Make a Wish Foundation; and a two-year participant in Take Back the Night.

"I chose to attend Western because I liked the smaller campus atmosphere, and I liked the low professor-student ratio," Clippert said. "I didn't want to be a known as a number in a large lecture hall. I wanted to establish relationships with my professors. I am happy that I attended Western because I was able to grow academically, professionally and personally."

In August Clipper will begin working toward a master's degree in clinical psychology, followed by doctorate in clinical psychology so that she can establish a private practice.

Courtney, a 2004 graduate of Keokuk High School, is the daughter of Doug and Mitzi Clippert of Keokuk.

School of Extended Studies Scholar
Krista Skien (Bushnell, IL), a Board of Trustees Bachelor of Arts (BOT/BA) degree program major with a minor in information systems, is the School of Extended Studies Scholar. She will graduate with honors (Cum Laude).

Skien, who has two teenage children, has served as secretary in Western Illinois' social work department since 1999, working fulltime while earning her BOT/BA degree. She has taken leadership roles on Western's Civil Service Employees Council (CSEC), serving as vice president in 2004-2005 and as president in 2005-2006. While on the CSEC, Skien initiated the group's participation in the annual We Care campus beautification project and the Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl for Kids' Sake fundraiser, and chaired the civil service salary committee. She earned the Civil Service Employee of the Month Award (November 2001) and WIU's Distinguished Service Award (April 2004). Skien was also inducted into Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society and Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honor Society for nontraditional/adult students. Prior to working at Western, Skein worked as a legal secretary and medical transcriptionist.

A resident of Bushnell, IL, Skien serves as president of the Bushnell Park District and as interim treasurer. She was vice president of the board from May 2005-May 2007. She is also a volunteer for the Bushnell-Prairie City Athletics Booster Club and After-Prom, and she coaches girl's softball.

"My experience at Western has been invaluable both professionally and personally," Skien said. "Even as an older student who already has a family, a job, and somewhat of a path already laid out, there is still room for challenge, and opportunity and growth.

"The combination of traditional and nontraditional classes also provided me with a well-rounded education from different perspectives," she added.

Skien said she will take a semester or two off from classes before starting graduate school.

"My immediate goal is to continue working at Western. I like it here. I have learned so much between my job and my education, and I'd like to continue exploring new things," Skien said. "I've developed an interest in different areas of the educational system, especially technology, communications and student services. I am sure that grad school and future plans will involve one of those areas."

Krista and her husband, Michael, are parents to Nick, 17, and Alayna Burr, 13. Krista is the daughter of Dayle Minkler and the late Bernard Minkler of Streator, IL.

Departmental Scholars and Honors Scholars are, listed by county and city in Illinois, followed by other states.

LORAINE (62349) - Luke Kessler, Music (Bachelor of Arts) Departmental Scholar and Honors Scholar
QUINCY (62305) - Scott Beenes, Instructional Design and Technology Departmental Scholar;
Sarah Cane, Mathematics Departmental Scholar and Honors Scholar

SORENTO (62086) - Joshua Voyles, Interdisciplinary Studies Departmental Scholar

BELVIDERE (61008) - Megan Diedrick, Honors Scholar

THOMSON (61285) - Shannon Durward, Supply Chain Management Departmental Scholar

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS (60005) - Victoria Zanotti, Health Services Management Departmental Scholar
Berwyn (60402) - Jose Hernandez, Honors Scholar

CHICAGO (60629) - Natalia Galvan, 3200 block of W. 61st Place, Honors Scholar;
(60616) Thomas Palmisano, 2800 block of S. Emerld Avenue, Honors Scholar
HANOVER PARK (60133) - Danelle Foley, Honors Scholar
HOFFMAN ESTATES (60169) - John Keacher, Law Enforcement and Justice Administration Departmental Scholar
ORLAND PARK (60467) - Lauren Gogolew, Honors Scholar
PALATINE (60074) - Mary Vojta, Honors Scholar
RIVER FOREST (60305) - Timothy Ocasek, Honors Scholar
ROLLING MEADOWS (60008) - Jenna Pirok, Sociology (Bachelor of Arts) Departmental Scholar
SCHAUMBURG (60173) - Sadiya Moten, Honors Scholar
TINLEY PARK (60487) - Meghan Soustek, Chemistry Departmental Scholar

DEKALB (60115) - Kelsea Quillin, Special Education Departmental Scholar

NAPERVILLE (60563) - Katherine Schaefer, Human Resource Management Departmental Scholar; Alicia Atkins, Honors Scholar;
Jennifer Bresnahan, Honors Scholar
WHEATON (60187) - Ryan Brownell, Honors Scholar

CANTON (61520) - Yvonne Zaborac, Information Systems Departmental Scholar;
Benjamin Snowden, Journalism Departmental Scholar and Honors Scholar;
James Werry, Honors Scholar;
Melissa Williams, Honors Scholar
CUBA (61427) - Sally Jo Shields, Women's Studies Departmental Scholar
LONDON MILLS (61544) - Ryan Lambert, History Departmental Scholar and Honors Scholar

DALLAS CITY (62330) - Laura Clark, Honors Scholar
LA HARPE (61450) - Lacie Neff, Clinical Laboratory Science Departmental Scholar

LOMAX (61454) - Shayla Painter Troutman, Graphic Communication Departmental Scholar

ATKINSON (61235) - Cassie VanHyfte, Honors Scholar
COLONA (61241) - Adam Carton, Psychology Departmental Scholar

LODA (60948) - Walter Willis, Honors Scholar

AURORA (60506) - Julia Thurlow, Musical Theatre (Bachelor of Fine Arts) Departmental Scholar and Honors Scholar;
Anne Millen, Honors Scholar

BATAVIA (60510) - Barbara Cordes, Family and Consumer Sciences Departmental Scholar
GENEVA (60134) - Andrew Johnson, Physics Departmental Scholar
SAINT CHARLES (60175) - Marie Kubala, Honors Scholar
SUGAR GROVE (60554) - Sara Gregory, Honors Scholar

MANTENO (60950) - Brian Kellery, Honors Scholar

YORKVILLE (60560) - Kelly McMinn, Honors Scholar

GALESBURG (61401) - Krista Winters, Honors Scholar

LAKE ZURICH (60047) - Shannon Gallagher, Art (Bachelor of Fine Arts) Departmental Scholar

SPARLAND (61565) - Katherine Bogner, Honors Scholar

MACOMB (61455) - Varqa Buehrer, Broadcasting Departmental Scholar and Honors Scholar;
Kevin Schmelzer, Computer Science Departmental Scholar;
Joshua Carrigan, Economics (Bachelor of Arts) Departmental Scholar;
Laura Pfeiffer, Honors Scholar;
Joshua Simmons, Honors Scholar;
Bethany Worrell, Honors Scholar

SCIOTA (61475) - Melissa Yeast, Agriculture Departmental Scholar and Honors Scholar

ALGONQUIN (60102) - Tiffany McKibben, Honors Scholar
CRYSTAL LAKE (60012) - Jeremy Bauer, Honors Scholar
MCHENRY (60031) Corinne Kennebeck, Honors Scholar

PETERSBURG (62675) - Ami Serena, Honors Scholar

ALEXIS (61412) - Donald Sims, Manufacturing Engineering Technology Departmental Scholar

CHAPIN (62628) - Jessica Strattman, Communication Departmental Scholar
JACKSONVILLE (62650) - Adam Rawe, Geology Departmental Scholar

HANNA CITY (61536) - Amy Wolford, Honors Scholar
PEORIA (61603) - Mark Andrews, Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration Departmental Scholar

MONTICELLO (61856) - Kateah McMasters, Honors Scholar

COAL VALLEY (61240) - Douglas Reiling, Accountancy Departmental Scholar
EAST MOLINE (61244) - Matthew Hahn, Honors Scholar
MILAN (61264) - Dana Deem Wright, Bilingual/Bicultural Education Departmental Scholar
MOLINE (61265) - Jamie Bauschka, Elementary Education Departmental Scholar;
Michael Segura, Geography Departmental Scholar;
Miranda Baker, Honors Scholar
ROCK ISLAND (61201) - Nicholas Langston, Philosophy Departmental Scholar

O'FALLON (62269) - Annette Glotfelty, English Departmental Scholar and Honors Scholar;
Allison Campbell, Honors Scholar

PLEASANT PLAINS (62677) - Mary Sylvester Butts, Honors Scholar
SPRINGFIELD (62703) - Charles Davis, Honors Scholar

SHELBYVILLE (62565) - Matthew Boester, Honors Scholar

FREEPORT (61032) - Heath Roush, Honors Scholar
LENA (61048) - Nick Youngblut, Honors Scholar

EAST PEORIA (61611) – Allisha marian Langdon, Honors Scholar
PEKIN (61554) - Erik Heuck, Emergency Management Departmental Scholar;
Amanda Wertz, Meteorology Departmental Scholar;
Sarah Cash, Honors Scholar

MORRISON (61270) - Brady Popkin, Biology Departmental Scholar and Honors Scholar

MOKENA (60448) - Wendy Bulthuis, Honors Scholar
NEW LENOX (60451) - Gerald O'Malley, Honors Scholar
ROMEOVILLE (60446) - Brooke Bauma, Honors Scholar

ROCKFORD (61107) - Sara Aupperle, Honors Scholar
ROSCOE (61073) - Jacob Webb-White, Honors Scholar

DYER - Jennifer Madgiak, Honors Scholar

BURLINGTON - Kyle Schulte - Construction Management Departmental Scholar; David Rappenecker, Honors Scholar
DAVENPORT - Emily Grothus, Art (Bachelor of Art) Departmental Scholar;
Justin Lockett, Management Departmental Scholar
DECORAH - Mitchell Emerson, Economics (Bachelor of Business) Departmental Scholar
FORT MADISON - Stefanie Caruso, Communication Sciences and Disorders Departmental Scholar
OTTUMWA - Melissa Jay, Honors Scholar
PLEASANT HILL - Breanne Hoffman, Honors Scholar
WILTON - Jamie Peeters, Honors Scholar

CAPE GIRADEAU - Kegan Storms, Honors Scholar
SAINT LOUIS - Samuel Weller, Theatre Departmental Scholar

LINCOLN - Elizabeth Rapp, Marketing Departmental Scholar

Posted By: University Communications (
Office of University Communications & Marketing