This Month at Illinois Wesleyan

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“In November, people are good to each other.” Judging from the actions of the Titan family this month, those words from Newberry Medal-winning children’s author Cynthia Rylant ring true. Students picked up trash, packed boxes of school supplies and toys, collected canned goods, and even traveled more than 900 miles to personally deliver coats and food. We congratulated student leaders, award-winning student-athletes and long-suffering sports allegiances. And in the days following the most unpredictable and divisive presidential campaign in the modern era, the Illinois Wesleyan campus came together in a town hall forum to ask each other, “What’s next?”

We tried to be good to each other, even when we disagreed. We invite you to take a look at our November.

Wayne at World Series Game 3

Wayne Messmer ’72 (shown on the big screen), who has sung the national anthem for the Chicago Cubs through many of the team’s challenging years, does the honors at a big one -- Game 3 of the World Series. “Thank you Chicago Cubs. I am overwhelmingly grateful to have had a chance to (literally) step up to the plate at a World Series played at Wrigley Field and do what I love to do ... sing,” the School of Music alumnus wrote on his Facebook page. He’s also performed The Star-Spangled Banner for the Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Bears, Chicago White Sox and other sports teams. In 2003, he was awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters from Illinois Wesleyan. 

Kenny Tran

Dromio of Ephesus (played by Kenny Tran ’17) figures out why he and his master, Antipholus, have been mistaken for another Antipholus-Dromio duo by gazing into the crystal of the Seeress (Megan Sperger ’18) in the second act of The Boys from Syracuse. The School of Theatre Arts presented the Rodgers and Hart musical farce to enthusiastic patrons. (Photo by Marc Featherly)

Maddie BollingerMaddie Bollinger ’20 competes in one of the freestyle races at the Illinois Wesleyan Invitational at Fort Natatorium. The Titan women finished second in the seven-team event. (Photo by Robert Frank III ’14)

Meghan and Paige

Paige Buschman ’17 (right) is the University’s 2016 Student Laureate of the Lincoln Academy of Illinois. As a summer Eckley Scholar, the sociology major conducted research on the effects of socialization around issues of gender on sexual assault on college campuses. She is also a campus leader as a lead sustainability educator in ORL and as president of the IWU Pride Alliance, and has been elected to several honor societies. Chair and Associate Professor of Sociology Meghan Burke accompanied Buschman to the Student Laureate Convocation in Springfield.

Sarah Mmari '97

For the first time in 20 years, Sarah Mmari ’97 (center) visited the IWU campus with her mother (left) and a family friend. Mmari, a native of Tanzania, returned to her home country after finishing her coursework in business administration in December 1996. “IWU gave me the tools to start my life in Tanzania,” she said. “When you graduate from here, you have the confidence to be able to do anything.” After working in banking for several years, Mmari now owns a small logistics company with her husband. Her visit to campus included a serendipitous meeting with Admissions Counselor Nicole Chlebek ’16, who studied abroad in Tanzania as a student. Chlebek recorded the visit with her phone. (Photo by Robert Frank III ’14) 

Standing Rock

Anthropology majors Anna Kerr-Carpenter, Lucy Bullock and Jordan Prats, all seniors, spent Thanksgiving break at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota, where protests against the building of a 1,168-mile Dakota Access Pipeline have made national headlines in the past year. Tribe officials say the pipeline destroys sacred sites and threatens a river that’s a source of water for millions. The students delivered winter clothes, food and other donations at the two largest camps: Sacred Stones and Oceti Sakowin. On Thanksgiving, the three joined a sunset prayer circle at the base of a burial mound the Lakota call Turtle Island, where Kerr-Carpenter took this photo. “The camps, which have had continuously fluid and dynamic leadership since the movement started, are very well organized and fortified in constant, daily ceremony and prayer,” she said. “For now, we are all still processing our experience.” (Photo by Anna Kerr-Carpenter ’17)

Warren and Adam

Adam Menendez '17 (left) provides Hart Career Center Director Warren Kistner ’83 with a recap following the financial services major’s on-campus interview for a full-time position. In 2015-16, the most recent statistics available from the Career Center, 21 employers interviewed 283 students on campus. (Photo by Kim Hill) 

Lucy Sanchez Mural

Drawing on her study-abroad experiences and a desire to “say something big,” art and business administration double major Lucy Sanchez ’17 designed and painted La Lucha de Colores (“The Struggle of Colors”) for the Multicultural Center on campus. The 15-foot-long and 8-foot-high mural depicts the journey of a student of color as he or she progresses through the Illinois Wesleyan experience. The work also acknowledges the current atmosphere of racial relations in society. (Photo by Robert Frank III ’14)

Circle K Club

Illinois Wesleyan and Illinois State University Circle K members joined forces with Illinois Wesleyan’s Alpha Phi Omega chapter to help restore the Towanda Route 66 Bike Trail. IWU’s Circle K club also packed 12 shoeboxes of school supplies, toys, t-shirts and more as part of Operation Christmas Child, a program developed by Samaritan’s Purse, an international humanitarian aid organization.  

Women's Soccer

After a 2-1 win over Wheaton College, the women’s soccer team won the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin tournament title, earning an automatic NCAA tournament bid. Playing at home in the first round of the NCAA championships, Illinois Wesleyan lost to Hanover College, ending the season with a record of 12-6-3. Four players were selected to the first team of the 2016 all-conference squads. Skyler Tomko ’17, Sarah Trach ’17, and Alison Seger ’17, along with defender Ellie Crabtree ’20, were named to the first team while Dave Barrett won his second-straight (fifth overall) CCIW “Coach of the Year” honor. Later in November Tomko was also elected to the third team of the Division III Women’s Soccer Academic All-America Team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America. It was the second straight year for the honor for Tomko, who has a 3.95 grade-point average as a nursing major. (Photo by Michael Hudson Photography)

African Culture Night

Approximately 70 people attended African Culture Night, where attendees dined together and were entertained by several groups. Nursing major Nubari Kanee ’17 of St. Louis performs a dance entitled “Skelewu,” a Nigerian dance made popular by the contemporary artist Davido. The annual event is sponsored by the African Students Association, a registered student organization that works to inspire campus-wide appreciation for the traditions, religions, customs, food, dance and music of various African countries.  (Photo by Phone Vilailuck '18)

Harvesting Help Paul O'Toole

Paul O’Toole ’20 works in the IWU Peace Garden as part of the third annual IWU Interfaith Service Day. More than 30 participants spent a Saturday learning about hunger and food insecurity experienced on a daily basis by more than 800 million people. The students also repackaged bulk rice for distribution, and volunteered at the Midwest Food Bank or the Peace Garden. O’Toole told another student participant that “it’s hard to realize how many people [food insecurity] affects in the community” when IWU students have their meal plans and nearly unlimited amounts of food are available to them. (Photo by Cadyn Williamson ’18) 

Jac Jemc

Presenting a reading of her newest work as part of the Colwell Lecture and Reading Series, author and former English major Jac Jemc ’05 also spoke to Professor of English Kathleen O’Gorman’s "Short Story" course. Jemc’s senior project became the first draft of her book My Only Wife, which was a finalist for the 2013/PEN Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction. Chicago-based Jemc’s third book, The Grip of It, is forthcoming from Farrar, Straus and Giroux. (Photo by Marc Featherly)

Nursing Fair

Katie Walker, a human resources recruiter for Carle Foundation Hospital, and nursing major Tony Hall ’18 show off their vocational pride at the annual Nursing Career Fair co-sponsored by the School of Nursing and the Hart Career Center. More than 30 employers or graduate school representatives met with IWU students. (Photo by School of Nursing Recruitment Coordinator Kim Schultz)

Veterans Day

In a brief but poignant Veterans Day ceremony, IT Computer Support Specialist Tom Olsen (left) led fellow veterans in a salute of the American flag while Provost Jonathan Green sang Taps. Olsen served in the U.S. Army, 82nd Airborne Division, from 1968-1970. (Photo by Kim Hill)

Tyler and Kim

Tyler Brown ’19 (right) is the first Titan ever selected to the first team of the Division III All-American squad chosen by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. An outside hitter, Brown led the 20-9 Titans with 475 kills and a team-best 456 digs. She’s pictured with her coach (and mom) Kim Nelson-Brown.


Musical numbers in the Illinois Wesleyan Opera Theatre production of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro (“The Marriage of Figaro”) featured the Illinois Wesleyan Symphony Orchestra, an ensemble similar in size and make-up to the orchestra for which Mozart composed. “Before this revolutionary work, orchestras often tagged along with singers. Here, text and music merge into an organic whole,” Nancy Steele Brokaw ’71 wrote in the production’s program notes. Performers included (from left): Kelsey Maka’18 as Countess Almaviva, Celia Williams ’17 (Susanna), John McHugh ’17 (Figaro), and Sara Caligiuri ’18 (Marcellina). (Photo by Crystal Muro ’19)

Ram Mohan

Nana Ingram '17 (left) uses an IR spectrophotometer to determine the identity of an organic molecule in Wendell and Loretta Hess Professor of Chemistry Ram Mohan's "Organic Chemistry" Lab. The American Chemical Society's Committee on Environmental Improvement announced this month that it is honoring Mohan for his efforts to incorporate green chemistry principles and sustainability into chemistry education. He'll formally receive the award next year at the 253rd ACS National Meeting & Exposition, where he will give an invited talk on his work in green chemistry education. (Photo by Makenna Merritt '17)

H.A. Evans - Male Swimmer

For the second time this season, Illinois Wesleyan hosted a meet at Fort Natatorium, which reopened in August after renovations to the eight-lane pool were completed. H.A. Evans ’19 is shown competing in the 200-yard medley relay. The IWU men’s team finished third in the seven-team Illinois Wesleyan Invitational on Nov. 19. (Photo by Robert Frank III ’14)

Sigma Kappas

In honor of its Founders Day on Nov. 9, Sigma Kappa chapters nationwide served their local communities in a Week of Giving. Members of IWU’s Eta chapter participated in a trash pickup on campus and in the neighborhood surrounding Illinois Wesleyan. Later in the week the women wrote letters to residents of the Sugar Creek Alzheimer’s Special Care Center and collected cans of food, along with other charitable acts.

Morgan Luther

Nursing major Morgan Luther ’18 captured this stunning image on her cellphone as she left State Farm Hall late one afternoon after class. “I really do love this campus,” Luther posted to her Instagram account. “The sun was creeping through the trees, and the scenery just painted a beautiful fall picture,” the Rockford, Ill. native recalled of her timely shot. “We are so lucky to have such beautiful trees on our Quad.”