This Month at Illinois Wesleyan

▷ See more photos

“March on. Do not tarry. To go forward is to move toward perfection.” These words by poet and writer Kahlil Gibran inspired us to think of March neither as proper noun nor month of spring’s arrival, but as a verb, as motivation, and as conviction. Before we move toward, let us pause ever briefly to look back — at success and celebrations — these past four weeks.   

This was our March.

Meg Stanley

Meg Stanley ’17 reacts to her first-place finish and school record-setting time in the 500 freestyle at the NCAA Division III Championships on March 15. Trailing with 25 yards to go, Stanley charged to the wall to finish at 4:50.76, becoming Illinois Wesleyan’s first-ever national champion in swimming. Two days later, Stanley finished third in the 1650 freestyle event, smashing her own school record in that event.  Stanley is a history/secondary education major. (Photo courtesy of the NCAA)

Beatrice Koka

Now a graduate student in the School of Labor & Employment Relations at the University of Illinois, Beatrice Koka ’16 returned to campus as organizer of a ‘lunch & learn’ program for IWU students seeking information on her master’s program. Koka’s interest in human resource management was sparked by a Diversity & Inclusion internship at COUNTRY Financial while she was an Illinois Wesleyan student. “The internship also gave me the chance to receive direct guidance and support from COUNTRY employees working in the field,” she said. She’ll continue her internship experiences this summer at an assignment for Texas Instruments in Dallas. (Photo by Tana Smithsakol ’18)


Former president of Mexico Felipe Calderón visited campus March 23 as a speaker in the Adlai E. Stevenson Memorial Lecture Series. The founder and president of the Sustainable Human Development Foundation and chairman of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, Calderón said governments and businesses have been reluctant to take action on climate change because they think it will harm economic growth. Calderon’s message was that it is possible to have both, but changes will have to take place in large systems associated with urbanization, land-use practices and energy. (Photo by Tana Smithsakol ’18)

ASB Rebecca Cauthorn ’20 (far left), Yinzhe (Ricardo) Lu ’20 and Paola Lehman-Cabrera ’19 peer down from the roof of a Habitat for Humanity home in Fort Smith, Arkansas. A group of 20 students and two staff members traveled to Arkansas for the Habitat build as part of Alternative Spring Break. (Photo courtesy of Ziyan Liu ’19)

Baseball Jumping, Jake Stewart

Infielder Jake Stewart ’20 gets some serious air as his teammates congratulate him at home plate for his walk-off home run in the team’s opening-game win over Loras College. The leap prompted Nate Atkins ’17 to playfully ask IWU’s track and field team on Twitter if Stewart could compete for them in high jump. (Photo by Nate Atkins ’17)

Lisa Elleson She Speaks

Back by popular demand, the She Speaks event powered by PechaKucha was a well-attended offering at the annual summit sponsored by the Council for IWU Women. Under the theme of “Raise Your Voice,” 10 faculty, staff, alumni and students shared their personal stories on topics of importance to them. Lisa Elleson ’16 spoke about her struggle with eating disorders. (Photo by Tana Smithsakol ’18)


Thanks to the IWU Entrepreneurial Fellowship, Claudia Richman ’19 is launching 1890 Lacrosse, a company providing lacrosse-themed apparel for youth girls through female college players. She’s the third recipient of the fellowship, which provides a $5,000 stipend to help a student develop his or her idea and take it to market. “I am learning how to drive a business and become business savvy,” said Richman, a psychology major who also plays for the Titan women’s lacrosse team. “Not many people can say they ran their own company while still a student and an athlete.” (Photo by Robert Frank III ’14)

Cornelius Eady at IWU Poet Cornelius Eady presented a reading of his work March 30 at the invitation of the campus literary magazine Tributaries, Sigma Tau Delta English honor society, Lyrical Graffiti and the Department of English. The founder of Cave Canem, a national organization committed to supporting African American poets, Eady is the author of eight books of poetry and has also received an NEA Fellowship in Literature, a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry, along with many other honors. (Photo by Phone Vilailuck ’18)

Amelia Glueck

Amelia Glueck ’18 finished fourth in the long jump at the NCAA Division III national indoor championships on March 10. Glueck, who was the national outdoor long jump champion last May, placed second in the indoor long jump event as a first-year student and fifth as a sophomore. (Photo by Steve Woltmann)

Jessica Choreography

For three intense nights, Jessica Deahr ’04 (right) stretched IWU dance students to their limits when she returned to campus March 6-8 to teach master classes and choreography for the biennial Faculty Choreographed Dance Concert coming in April. “This choreography is intense, physically demanding — near abusive. It’s a little out of their comfort zone,” said Deahr, who found herself back in her comfort zone at IWU. “I have the best memories of dancing here.” She's now artistic director for Chicago Dance Crash, a fusion-style contemporary dance company. (Photo by Tana Smithsakol ’18)

Scholarship Calderon

Council for IWU Women scholarship committee member Laura Kraynak ’07 (left) presents a scholarship award to Yesenia Martinez Calderon ’20, a double major in Hispanic Studies and secondary education, at the Council’s annual summit. Since 2008, the Council for IWU Women has awarded scholarships to four women – one from each class year. (Photo by Tana Smithsakol ’18)  

McLean Country SBDC

Karen Bussone (far left) and Provost Jonathan Green receive a proclamation from Illinois State representatives Keith Sommer and Dan Brady (far right) at a March 1 event launching the McLean County Small Business Development Center (SBDC), housed in State Farm Hall on Illinois Wesleyan’s campus. In addition to providing free business consulting and low-cost training services to existing small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs, the SBDC will offer students opportunities for internships and other projects in support of local entrepreneurs. A visiting professor of business administration for the past nine years, Bussone will direct the SBDC. (Photo by Robert Frank III ’14)

Jarvis with Students

Professor of Nursing Carolyn Jarvis was selected Student Senate Professor of the Year in an annual vote of the student body. Here she leads students, including Marissa Smith ’19 (foreground) in a “Wednesdays With Jarvis” weekly tutoring session focusing on drugs and how they work in the body. “I believe in teaching our nursing students the basic cellular mechanisms on how diseases affect the body and on how drugs work. If they understand the basic mechanisms, they will be better able to monitor patients in the hospital and to teach them what to look for when they return home.” Jarvis said the Student Senate honor was “a thrill” and that it “feels like a vote of confidence from our students that we all value the same content and we all see it as important for patient care.” As Professor of the Year, Jarvis will address the Class of 2017 during Commencement on May 7. (Photo by Kim Hill)

Andy and Margaret

One of many students traveling to conferences, sporting events or performances over spring break, Zhenghao (Andy) Ding '17 gave a poster presentation on experimental analysis of light’s angular momentum at the 2017 American Physical Society March meeting. At the conference, Ding reconnected with former physics classmate Margaret McCarter ’15. As an Illinois Wesleyan student, McCarter received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and is now working on her Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley.  (Photo courtesy of Andy Ding ’17)

Nolan, Collins, and Diego

John Nolan ’18 (left), a student in the course “Time Series Analysis” discusses the forecasts on four key economics indicators with Economics Professor Diego Mendez-Carbajo (far right). All students in the course are playing FREDcast, an online interactive forecasting game from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Three IWU students, including Chris Collins ’18 (second from right), are among the top 10 “All Time” players, ranked by how closely their predictions match actual economic-indicator numbers. (Photo by Kim Hill)

Donald, Co-Choir in NYC

Temperatures hovering in the 20s couldn’t freeze the enthusiasm of these Collegiate Choir members enjoying Times Square on an off-day during the choir’s annual spring tour to New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana. Pictured from left: Thomas Bravos ’17, Celia Williams ’17, Robert Kuntz ’18, Donald Brown ’17 and Sara Caligiuri ’18. (Photo courtesy of Donald Brown)

Group Session

Students selected for the Career Immersion Excursion (CIE) listen to a presentation during four fast-paced days and nights in Washington, D.C. The trip included panel discussions and individual meetings with more than 20 alumni, plus visits to an international law firm, the Brookings Institution, national trade associations and more, along with small group dinners and networking with D.C.-based Titans. The CIE program was first launched last year with a trip to Chicago, and is made possible by the support of the family of Cathy Carswell, an IWU trustee and 1965 graduate. (Photo by Hart Career Center Director Warren Kistner ’83)


LeeAnna Studt ’17 (left) and Megan Sperger ’18 are pictured in a scene from the School of Theatre Arts’ Lab Theatre production of Ladyish . The comedy depicts fictionalized Kardashian sisters chasing the dream of their own present-day reality show, and fictionalized Bronte sisters in 1801 England pursuing the dream of an advantageous marriage. (Photo by Marc Featherly)

Fig. 1 Rubber Frog

Associate Professor of Biology Edgar Lehr answered media inquiries worldwide on March 7 when news broke that a frog Lehr discovered had been named for Sir David Attenborough, the beloved British broadcaster and naturalist. Lehr and his research team discovered the new fleshbelly frog in the Peruvian Andes, where Lehr has participated in three separate expeditions. Media outlets from India, Germany and the United Kingdom interviewed Lehr, who told The Independent he frequently uses material from Attenborough’s documentaries in his classes and got the idea for the name after watching a TV program celebrating the broadcaster’s 90th birthday. “I probably should have done it much earlier,” said Lehr, who has been involved in the discovery of 89 new species. (Photo courtesy of Edgar Lehr)

Pacchetti Presentation

Ed Pacchetti ’91 (right) presents a session on his work on reforming the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) through his job as director of customer analytics, Federal Student Aid. Pacchetti was one of more than two dozen alumni participating in panel discussions, leading tours, or hosting small groups dinners for the 19 students selected for the Career Immersion Excursion (CIE) to Washington, D.C. CIE is coordinated by the Hart Career Center, and made possible thanks to the Carswell family and kind contributions of alumni like Pacchetti and participating employers. (Photo by Director of Alumni Engagement Adriane Powell)

Ethics Bowl

Ethics Bowl team members (from left) Alani Sweezy ’19, Gus Castro ’19, Adeline Schultz ’20, Nick Milcik ’20 and Katrina Zhu ’19 discuss an issue in preparation for the Bioethics Bowl competition April 8 in Utah. (Photo by Phone Vilailuck ’18)

Kristin Kitchen

Students and faculty packed the CNS Auditorium to hear entrepreneur Kristin Kitchen talk about her experiences as the owner of a successful Cincinnati-based bed and breakfast in a former Underground Railroad property, along with her vision for a new business endeavor, Sojourn Heritage Accommodations, which would capitalize on the fast-growing heritage tourism market. (Photo by Tana Smithsakol ’18)

Pretty Campus

A sea of Scilla , a genus of more than 50 bulb-forming perennials, brings springtime color to the Eckley Quadrangle. (Photo by Reilly Kasprak ’17)