Contact Us

Deborah Halperin, ARC Director

Deborah is the Director of the Action Research Center at Illinois Wesleyan University.  In her role, she facilitates community-university partnerships, assists faculty with co-curricular service learning projects and teaches courses in community-based research and grant writing.

Deborah serves on the Board of Directors for Milestones Early Learning Center and Preschool and the West Bloomington Revitalization Project. Deborah has also been a part of the United Way Income Vision Council, Conexiones, the MultiCultural Leadership Program, and the McLean County Wellness Coalition.

Deborah has been honored as a YWCA Woman of Distinction in the category of Social Services and was one of the community’s Top 20 under 40.  Deborah has been a featured speaker at local as well as national conferences concerning community partnerships and higher education. Deborah has also been participated in a local TEDx Youth program where she co-presented with her children.

With 25 years of experience in not-for-profits, Deborah’s professional career includes the American Red Cross, MADD, the National Runaway Switchboard, Planned Parenthood, and the YWCA.  She has also worked as a grant writer and a strategic planning consultant. 

Deborah has a Bachelor's degree in sociology from Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa. She also has a Master of Science degree in Human Service Administration.

Originally from Hawaii, Deborah has lived in Bloomington since 2003.  Her husband, Greg, is an ophthalmologist at the Gailey Eye Clinic and she has three children: Griffin, Tess, and Leo. 

Contact Deborah at dhalperi@iwu.


Bevin Choban, ARC Coordinator

Bevin Cowie
Bevin Choban

Bevin is a Coordinator for the Action Research Center at Illinois Wesleyan University. Her responsibilities include coordinating the Give A Day Campaign, organizing the McLean County Quarterly Non-Profit Collaboration Meetings, supervising and mentoring interns, and organizing TEDxIWU.

Bevin is an active IWU alum and enjoys living close to campus. Before working at the Action Research Center, Bevin was the Director of Supported Employment at Marcfirst for four years, a local nonprofit supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She currently serves on the West Bloomington Revitalization Project board and chairs the Economic Development Committee.

Bevin received her Bachelor's degree in sociology and psychology from Illinois Wesleyan University. She is a local homeowner and loves using The Tool Library for her many DIY projects. Bevin and her husband, Alexander, enjoy spending their free time with their dog, Trevor, and two cats, Lefty and Suki. 

Contact Bevin at