May 092017

Robin Roberts ’79 just retired as a teacher and coach from Tri-Valley Middle School (Downs, IL) on September 22nd of 2016 after 33 years of service.

He taught 7th grade World Geography, coached track & cross country, and was a bus driver. He also coordinated a large Civil War Day event each May, since 2005, with over 50 re-enactors from across the state participating. Many area schools attended this annual event.

Robin was honored by the McLean County Museum of History with a plaque in May of 2016 in honor of his students displaying 40 Illinois History Fair Projects for over 20 years at the museum for the general public to view. Many of the projects researched a historically significant person, place, or event from McLean County or Central Illinois. These projects went on to compete at the regional and state levels.

Robin received numerous teaching honors which included the following: 2002 Illinois History Expo Governor’s Award, 2008 Golden Apple Award Finalist, 2009 Bloomington Walmart Teacher of the year, and the 2009 Illinois State Historical Society Olive Foster Teacher of the Year Award.

Robin also officiated high school basketball for 41 years and football for 25 years. He was selected to work the IHSA State Finals in Peoria for boys basketball in 2001, 2002, and 2004. Robin was selected and inducted into the Hall of Fame for basketball officiating by three different organizations: the BNOA (Bloomington-Normal Officials Association), the IBOA (Illini Basketball Officials Association), and the IBCA (Illinois Basketball Coaches Association).

Robin has participated as a chaperone for the McLean County Diversity Project since its inception in 2001. Each year he helps supervise a group of 25 local junior high and high school students on an annual week-long summer trip with the theme varying but always concentrating on the issues of diversity. The group has traveled in the past to such places as New York, Boston, Gettysburg, Vicksburg, Wyoming, Colorado, and Costa Rica. In late June, they will be visiting the Nazi Death Camp at Auschwitz, Poland.

Enjoy your retirement! Look me up at a reenactment. I’m in the 33rd Illinois  Regimental Band.

Apr 172017

Many promotion recipients would be quick to unpack into a new office, but new associate vice president for Academic Affairs Bonnie Campbell has yet to completely settle in. She was previously the dean of Health Professions and director of Nursing before she was hired into this new position last fall.

The Utica native explained that when she was in high school, women typically became either a teacher or a nurse. Campbell enjoys both those fields, and she had the chance to combine the two here at IVCC.

Originally, Bonnie went to school to be a nurse. She obtained her bachelor’s from Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington. Then studied for her master’s degree at Loyola Medical Center as she worked there. At that time, she and her husband decided to move back to Utica.

“I was lucky enough [to find] a position open for teaching faculty here at the college and I immediately moved and started teaching nursing,” she said. She quickly progressed to the director of Nursing, then the dean of Health Professions, before she left to run a garden center.

Campbell said that her previous positions have helped prepare her for her new position.

“Being a nurse has always been my first and most wonderful passion. I love the idea of helping people,” she said. She was excited to take her compassion, problem-solving skills and ability to seek compromise and transfer it into her teaching and now administrative position.

“I like the opportunity that I’m hoping to have in this position as Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs that I’ll be able to affect change at a larger level.”

Deborah Anderson, Campbell’s coworker as the vice-president for Academic Affairs, added, “[Campbell’s] previous experiences as a clinical nurse and small business owner give her a rounded perspective about the type of leadership that is necessary to build strong organizations.” Anderson praises Campbell’s ability to serve others and her loyalty to IVCC through her twenty years at the college.

One of the issues that Campbell has had to deal with is the lack of state budget. She said that it has made thing “much more challenging. Without a state budget… it’s just very difficult to do what you want to do when you don’t have the money that’s been committed to do what you want to do.”

Bonnie acknowledged the challenges faced by everyone in the institution, but also commended IVCC’s ability to make changes financially while still having the students and community in mind.

In addition to being the associate vice president of Academic Affairs, Bonnie is also the dean of Workforce Development. She hopes that one day she can drop that title and focus solely on Academic Affairs.

“I would love to have one hat as opposed to two,” she said, but that depends on the state budget. “Then I could focus in on the things that I really want to focus in on and make positive change.”

Congratulations, Bonnie.


Jan 142017

Sue Aldridge

Sue Aldridge ’79, a longtime drama director and English teacher at Champaign Centennial High School, has been profiled in the News-Gazette as she prepares to retire.

The wonderful article can be found at this link.

Congratulations, Sue. I hope you enjoy retirement. It sounds like you have some great plans.

Nov 142016

col-griffithCol. Mark D. Griffith, MD was recently involved in a full-scale mobile field hospital exercise in northern Indiana. During this exercise, a multi-agency team was implemented to respond to natural disasters in the state of Indiana, such as tornadoes, floods, and earthquake relief.

Col. Griffith was the Incident Commander (IC) for the operation which included local fire, police, EMA, as well as a helicopter evacuation unit from Fort Wayne. Col. Griffith is the commanding officer of the Medical Command (MEDCOM) of the Indiana Guard Reserves.

Dr. Griffith is an Illinois Wesleyan University graduate (SP ’77) and received his medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine. He currently serves as the Medical Director of Advanced Wound Care at Franciscan Health Lafayette.

Sep 282016

The Rev. Douglas Albert Williams ’79 is the new pastor at Salem United Methodist Church in Barrington.

Rev. Doug has served at churches throughout Illinois, including the Harmon/Eldena United Methodist Church in Dixon, First United Methodist Church in Normal, Earlville Methodist Church, Pierce Community United Methodist Church in Maple Park, Evangelical United Methodist Church in Ottawa and, most recently, Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Rockford.

An article from the Chicago Tribune has an in-depth article about Doug at this link.

Sep 282016

What If God Wrote Your Bucket List? Jay Payleitner’s ’79 20th book speculates that we all have things we want to do before we kick the bucket. See the Grand Canyon. Visit Stonehenge. Bungee jumping. Dinner at the White House.

Jay recommends you do it all! But Jay also reminds us that God’s bucket list may include things that have a little more eternal value.

See Jay’s book for things for God’s bucket list.