This Month at Illinois Wesleyan

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February might be the shortest month of the year in terms of number of days, but some of those days felt oh-so-long. There was much to do: essays to write, meetings and rehearsals to attend, athletic contests to win, points to ponder delivered by renowned speakers, presentations for which to prepare ... you get the idea.

Take a look at just a few of those moments from our February.

Children in Red Dresses

Children from Ballet Folklorico de Central Illinois were a charming addition to the entertainment at Barrio Fiesta, an annual event sponsored by the Spanish and Latino Student Association (SALSA). The festival celebrates cultures from several Latin American countries through food, dance, song and other activities. (Photo by Tana Smithsakol ’18)

Dr. Mona Founders Day"There are Flints everywhere,” Mona Hanna-Attisha warned a packed Founders' Day audience in Westbrook Auditorium. Director of the pediatric residency program at Hurley Children’s Hospital in Flint, Michigan, Hanna-Attisha was key to revealing the crisis which led to a federal state of emergency being declared last year when over 100,000 residents were potentially exposed to high levels of lead in the drinking water. The pediatrician led a study that found lead levels in the blood of children had doubled after the city switched its water supply to the Flint River. That water was not treated to prevent corrosion, which resulted in corroding pipes leaching lead — a powerful neurotoxin that causes behavioral and developmental problems — into the water. Noting that lead and other environmental problems disproportionately affect poor areas, Hanna-Attish faced considerable professional risk in exposing the problem but added in her address at IWU that “every single number in my research was not a statistic – it was a kid.” (Photo by Robert Frank III ’14)

Dance Marathon

More than 100 participants danced the day away Feb. 25, raising more than $9,000 for the Children’s Hospital of Illinois in Peoria and Children’s Miracle Network. Dance Marathon Executive Chair Jenny Murphy ’19 said the fundraising total beat last year’s event by nearly $1,500. (Photo by Robert Frank III ’14)

Adam Devine on Stage

An appearance by comedian and actor Adam Devine on Feb. 12 at the Shirk Center was one stop on his Weird Life Tour 2017. Best known as the co-creator, writer and star of the hit Comedy Central series Workaholics, Devine also co-starred in the film Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates and Pitch Perfect. Devine’s appearance was sponsored by the Office of Student Activities. (Photo by Marc Featherly)

Shanks Basketball

Sydney Shanks ’20 goes for the layup during the women’s basketball 85-45 win over Carroll University on “Pink Zone” night Feb. 4, an annual game which raises money and awareness for breast cancer. After finishing their regular season with a 18-9 record, the Titans received an at-large bid for play in the NCAA Division III championships. This is the women's basketball team first appearance in the tournament since taking the national title in 2012. (Photo by Robert Frank III ’14)

Tullman at 1871Serial entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and educator Howard Tullman was a featured speaker at a networking event and kickoff to the Illinois Wesleyan Entrepreneurial Society on Feb. 15, attended by alumni, trustees, students, faculty and administrators. The event was held at 1871 - Chicago's Technology & Entrepreneurship Center. Led by Tullman, 1871 is home to "1000-plus+ inventors, designers, creators, and do-ers that are building better, faster, cleaner solutions to everyday problems," according to its website. (Photo by Marc Featherly)

Carmen Hui at Gatsby

Ka Man Hui ’18 was one of the approximately 150 students, prospective students and guests who dressed in their finest retro attire for a Great Gatsby-themed interactive comedic murder mystery show sponsored by the Office of Student Activities. Acting as detectives, actors/organizers brought audience members on stage as suspects and involved the crowd to help solve the 'crime.' (Photo by Phone Vilailuck ’18)

TAG Postcards

Students wrote approximately 1,900 postcards, including those pictured here, on Thank A Giver (TAG) Day on Feb. 19, which marks the point in the academic year when, symbolically, financial support from donors kicks in after tuition dollars run out. TAG Day gives students and others a chance to thank alumni and friends whose gifts make an Illinois Wesleyan education possible. (Photo by Kim Hill)

BSU Speaker Jamilah Lemieux

Jamilah Lemieux, an activist and former editor of Ebony Magazine, was the keynote speaker Feb. 26 for the annual Black History Month banquet sponsored by the Black Student Union. Lemieux, who is considered a leading millennial voice around issues of race, gender and sexuality, also presented a master class on Feb. 27. (Photo by Phone Vilailuck '18)

Eckley Economics Lecture

Feminist economist and World Bank consultant Yana van der Meulen Rodgers delivered the Eckley Lecture in Economics Feb. 8. An expert on Asian and East Asian economies, Rodgers told the Hansen Student Center audience that research indicates an additional dollar in the hands of women tends to be spent more on resources that benefit children, such as food, healthcare and school supplies, while men are more likely to spend that dollar on adult substances like cigarettes and alcohol. Such findings have prompted initiatives in developing countries called 'conditional cash transfer' programs where cash is transferred to women only, Rodgers explained. The late President Emeritus Robert S. Eckley, his wife Nell and the Eckley Family Foundation made a gift to the University establishing the Eckley Lecture in Economics. (Photo by Tana Smithsakol ’18) 

State Farm Scholars 2017

Many of this year’s 100 scholarship recipients who are supported by the State Farm Companies Foundation program took the opportunity to express their gratitude on Feb. 22. Above, State Farm representatives and student scholarship recipients gathered for a photo at the annual luncheon celebrating the close ties between the Bloomington-based company and the University. Speaking on behalf of all recipients, Anna Kerr-Carpenter ’17 of Elk Grove, Calif., told the audience “scholarships like this one allow Illinois Wesleyan to continue to thrive and bring together driven, passionate and diverse students and future world-changers. On behalf of everyone here today, thank you, State Farm, for investing in our education and our lives.” (Photo by Robert Frank III ’14)

Laura Wexler's Lecture

Yale University professor Laura Wexler visited campus Feb. 9-10 through the Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar Program. In a public lecture and classroom visits, Wexler discussed the views of abolitionist and former slave Frederick Douglass, who saw the potential for photography to help build a more perfect union and who himself was among the most photographed persons of the 19th century. In her lecture at Beckman Auditorium, Wexler said Douglass saw photos of himself and others as an effective means to counter “badly distorted visual representations" and racial stereotypes. Wexler is the founding director of Yale's Photographic Memory Workshop. (Photo by Makenna Merritt ’17)  

Jonathan Green at Pride Summit

Sporting his new rainbow-hued bow tie, Provost Jonathan Green listens to presenters at the annual Pride Summit. The event connects alumni, students, faculty, staff, family and friends of the University in support of members of the LGBT+ TGNC community. The Pride Alumni Community (PAC) bestowed Green with the neckwear, adding to his already vast collection, as thanks for his support of Pride Alumni and as a going-away gift. Green will become president of Susquehanna University in Pennsylvania this summer. (Photo by Carlos Miranda)

Nate Wilkins at BSU

Nate Wilkins ’17 performs as part of the Black History Month banquet sponsored by the Black Student Union (BSU). The event has been held annually for decades. (Photo by Phone Vilailuck '18)

Senior Day Men's Basketball

Honored on Seniors’ Night Feb. 18 were men’s basketball team members (pictured from left in their Titan warm-ups) Austin Amann, Alec Bausch, Trevor Seibring and Andy Stempel, along with their families. During their tenure as Titans, IWU teams totaled 77-35 wins, with two 20-win seasons. (Photo by Claire Hoverson ’17)

Being Exceptional

Educational Studies majors Amber Stringer ’18, Emma Lewis ’18 and Sydney Seeman ’18 organized a Feb. 1 event for the campus community to learn more about people with disabilities, with presentations ranging from media depictions and stereotypes, to the ongoing impact of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Prior to the event, attendees were invited to scribble on yellow post-it notes with words or phrases from the prompt: “What does the word ‘disability’ mean to you?” and at the event's conclusion, students and others were asked to indicate their learning on blue notes from the prompt “What does the word ‘disability’ mean to you now?” (Photo by Kim Hill) 

Adam Devine Selfie

Comedian Adam Devine gave a performance in the Shirk Center, which included a meet-and-greet for a limited number of fans. Madi Vukich '17 (right), her troll doll and Devine take a selfie after his performance, part of his Weird Life Tour 2017. (Photo by Marc Featherly)

1997 Team Reunion

The 1997 men’s basketball NCAA Division III championship team was honored on the 20th anniversary of its national title. Coached by Dennie Bridges (holding microphone), who introduced his players at halftime of the Feb. 4 game against Carroll, the 1997 team finished 29-2 overall and defeated Nebraska Wesleyan, 89-86, in the championship game. Bryan Crabtree (standing, far left) was chosen Division III “Player of the Year” in 1997. (Photo by Robert Frank III ’14)

BOOST Week Scale

During one of the “BOOST Week” activities, students were encouraged to write insightful or humorous messages of positivity on a bathroom scale before they had a chance to take a mallet to the scale and smash it. The annual event is designed to spread awareness of the importance of high self-esteem and positive body image, and is sponsored by Students Organizing Campus Awareness (S.O.C.A) and co-sponsored by Counseling and Consultation Services. (Photo by Vi Kakares ’20)

Ania Bui 1871

Natalie Williams (far left) and her husband, Kelvin '90, listen to Ania Bui '18 explain the work she and fellow student interns are doing to bring a product to market at a networking event Feb. 15 at 1871- Chicago’s Technology & Entrepreneurship Center. Natalie and Kelvin's son Robin is a member of the IWU Class of 2020. (Photo by Marc Featherly)

Polar Plunge 2017

Several of the nearly 100 student-athletes and their coaches who braved the chilly waters of Miller Park Lake on Feb. 25 are pictured during the annual Polar Plunge to raise money for Special Olympics. "Yes, we plunged. No, I still can't feel my toes. Yes, I would do it again," women's golf team member Elizabeth Mavrogenes '17 posted to her Instagram account post-plunge. (Photo by former women's golf head coach Kathy Niepagen)

Crystal and Dancers

Crystal Ocampo-Fernandez ’18 (center, in red skirt) dances "Chichicastenango Guatemala,” set to a traditional folkloric dance from Guatemala, with other members of the Spanish and Latino Student Association (SALSA) at Barrio Fiesta. Also pictured are: (from far left) Marissa Alcala ’20, Lucero Sanchez ’17, Dilyetna Gebru ’20, Monica Muñoz ’19, and Yesenia Martinez-Calderon ’20. (Photo by Tana Smithsakol ’18)

Maddison Zimmer

Led by first-place finishes from Maddison Zimmer '17 in the 400 and 800, the women's track team scored 120.50 points and finished second to Wheaton in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin indoor track and field championship. The Titan men's team finished fifth in the event. (Photo by Sports Information Director Stew Salowitz '76)

Allie Torres '13

As BOOST Week's featured speaker, Allie Torres '13 said she has struggled with an eating disorder since she was 15. Noting that eating disorders are complex conditions arising from a combination of long-standing behavioral, biological, emotional, psychological, interpersonal and social factors, Torres noted “there is no magic bullet” for eating disorder recovery. “I honestly wish I could tell you the answer in how to be better overnight,” said Torres, who is a community educator for the National Eating Disorders Association and a recovery mentor and community educator with the Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders. “Let’s also change the way we think about our bodies,” Torres said. “Take stock of all the things your body can do and that you’re grateful for, and think less of it as something to be changed or made perfect.” (Photo by Phone Vilailuck ’18)

Hedding Bell with Snow

“The Hedding Bell is one of my favorite subjects to photograph on campus,” said Web Designer Robert Frank III ’14, “and I like hinting at its location in relation to other iconic buildings near it to show that it sits almost in the center of our Quad.” The bell’s age and history makes us think of it as an object from long ago, but a fresh blanket of snow renders it lovingly new. “It also just looks insanely beautiful,” Frank noted. (Photo by Robert Frank III ’14)