This Month at Illinois Wesleyan
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New semester, new year, new experiences both on campus and off ... January gave us
a chance to reflect on where we’ve been, what we’ve done and what lies ahead. Here
is the month at Illinois Wesleyan.
More than 500 people stopped by the Shirk Athletic Center to see the Chicago Cubs'
World Series trophy that is currently touring around the country. Officially known
as the Commissioner’s Trophy, the award was moved to Illinois State University after
its IWU stop. The Pantagraph newspaper reported that the first fan arrived at the Shirk Center at about 8 p.m.
Tuesday — 12 hours before the doors opened. (Photo by Robert Frank III ’14)
An enduring crowd favorite, the Mount Pisgah Sunbeam Choir performs at the 27th Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr., National Holiday Gospel Festival. The festival was founded
by the United Community Gospel Singers and Illinois Wesleyan. (Photo by Tana Smithsakol
Announced this month, study abroad photo contest winners included the “Judges’ Choice,”
a work entitled “Sombreros” by Kaitlyn O'Brien ’19. During a six-week internship in
Mexico last May, O’Brien shadowed teachers and student-taught at the JFK American
School of Querétaro but also had time for travel to nearby San Miguel de Allende,
where the photo was taken. “Traveling to other countries and learning about other
cultures helps me broaden the knowledge I have about myself and my own culture,” said
O’Brien, a Hispanic Studies and secondary education double major who aspires to teach
high school Spanish after graduation. “Each time I travel, I notice my Spanish improves
immensely, and I enjoy learning about the accents of each Spanish-speaking country.
Throughout life, and in my teaching career, I know I will meet people who come from
different backgrounds, and that is why I believe it is really important to be well-rounded
in my knowledge about as many Spanish-speaking countries as possible.” O’Brien’s international
experience continues in February, when she begins a semester in Chile thanks, in part,
to the Luis Leal Endowed Scholarship.
Guard Colin Bonnett ’19 had a career-high 19 points in the Titans’ valiant effort
at Carroll University on Jan. 21. The men’s basketball team fell short in a comeback,
losing 67-63 to the Pioneers. Head coach Ron Rose told WJBC Radio that “for the last
10 minutes of the game, I loved my team, but was disappointed in the first 30 minutes.
With a heightened sense of urgency, we controlled everything the last six-seven minutes.”
(Photo by Steve Frommell/D3Photography)
Vocal jazz ensemble Unlicensed Syncopation traveled to New Orleans in early January
for the 2017 Jazz Education Network (JEN) Conference and the JENerations Jazz Festival,
where student ensembles performed for and took clinics with notable jazz artists and
educators. “JEN increased my interest in vocal and instrumental jazz and has instilled
a long-lasting passion for this line of music in my life,” said ensemble member Brock
Taylor ’18, a biology major.
Ayrren Calhoun ’18 makes a point during a question-and-answer session at the annual
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Teach-In in the Hansen Student Center. Opportunities
for discussion historically have been an important aspect of the Teach-In’s format.
(Photo by Marc Featherly)
The volleyball team took its first international trip over the winter break. The Titans
played a series of three exhibition matches in Costa Rica during the trip, which also
included time for sightseeing natural wonders and other activities such as zip-lining.
From left are: Taylor Krueger ’20, Emily Kase ’20, Anna Clausen ’19 and Emily Steininger
’20. The NCAA allows Division III programs to travel internationally once every three
Art major Nancy Qu ’17 flameworks glass at a Carlisle CC torch as she learns how to
manipulate a clear rod of glass to create sculpture. The School of Art now has a designated
flameworking area — complete with a new ventilation system and lighting as well as
a flameworking kiln used to heat and cool the students’ works of art in glass. The
new area is a “really exciting and great place to work,” said Adjunct Assistant Professor
Carmen Lozar, who teaches the course “3-Dimensional Glass.” (Photo by Robert Frank
Author, activist and independent scholar Barbara Smith spoke about women’s power and
social justice at the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Teach-In on Jan. 16. Smith
was among the first scholars to define an African American women’s literary tradition
and to advance Black women’s studies and Black feminism in the United States. (Photo
by Marc Featherly)
As she was measured for her graduation cap by a Herff Jones representative, theatre
arts major Kristin Solodar ’17 expressed conflicting emotions about her upcoming Commencement.
“I’m excited for the new opportunities [graduation will bring], but I’m not excited
to live more than five minutes away from my friends,” she said. “I’m trying to make
the most of my remaining time with them.” (Photo by Vi Kakares ’20)
In early January, Ames Professor of Physics Gabe Spalding gave an invited talk, and
Toan Le ’17 and Andy Ding ’17 presented papers at the 2017 Optics and Photonics Winter
School & Workshop at the University of Arizona. “Dr. Spalding always says science
is one big conversation, and attending the workshop showed me that,” said Ding. “The
talks, lectures and presentations at the workshop showed me the incredibly broad field
of optics and photonics, which is one of the fastest developing fields of science.
The experience brought me closer into this community where people with the same interests
can share ideas and research results.” (Photo by workshop participant Kelsey Leinbach,
student at Oregon Institute of Technology).
Guard Dani Strejc ’20 garners some playing time in the team’s first-ever victory over
Carroll University on Jan. 21. The team got 39 points from the bench in the Titans’
92-56 rout. (Photo by Steve Frommell/D3Photography)
Brittany Straznickas ’17 presented a poster at the annual meeting of the Society of
Integrative and Comparative Biology in New Orleans in early January. Straznickas’s
work as a Bruce and Norma Criley Summer Research Fellow helped inform the research
presented through her conference poster, which was entitled “Feeding on the unseen:
Ingestion and assimilation of bacteriophages by Brachionus plicatilis (Rotifera)," which was co-authored by Professor of Biology William Jaeckle. Straznickas
said her experience at the national conference helped her realize that there are often
more questions than answers in science. After graduation, the biology major plans
to work as a medical scribe for a year before applying to medical school.
Jamie Gradishar '17 competes in the pole vault at the I-55 Triangular on Jan. 21 at
the Shirk Center. The men’s and women’s indoor track teams claimed five first-place
finishes at the meet. (Photo by Sports Information Director Stew Salowitz '76)
Lena Kincaid ’19 (far left), Linh Le ’19, and Ngan Pham ’19 strike a pose after performing
the Vietnamese Nón Lá Dance, which incorporates traditional palm-leaf conical hats
used to shade farmers from the sun. Approximately 100 students, faculty, staff and
community members enjoyed Pan-Asian foods and musical performances during the annual
Lunar New Year celebration. (Photo by Vi Karakes ’20)
On a cold winter evening, the Triple Helix sculpture provides an inspiring vision in the rotunda entrance to the Ames School
of Art building.