Jan 212021

Scott Shields ’83 is an associate producer of Finding Courage, a documentary detailing one family’s struggle to be free. Finding Courage tells the story of Yifei Wang, a former Chinese Communist Party journalist living in exile in San Francisco and seeking justice for her family. Already the winner of multiple awards on the film festival circuit, Finding Courage is available for streaming at SwoopFilms.com. A song from the documentary, “Courage is Found,” is also receiving awards consideration.

 Posted by at 3:17 pm
Jan 182021

Ray Gensinger, MD joins the Becker’s Healthcare Podcast to share his perspective on the role of CIOs now and into the future, and much more.

You can find and listen to the podcast here.

 Posted by at 10:09 am
Jan 152021

Jimmy Edwards ’80 passed away on April 11, 2019 in his home in Bloomington. He was born October 12, 1958 in Lincoln and is survived by his brother, niece, and friends. Read the full obituary here.

 Posted by at 5:12 pm
Jan 112021

Congratulations to Cathy Coons Agasar ’85 on her book publication of The Gift of Loss: Transforming Tragedy.

Synopsis: Faced with the unexpected death of her husband of 20+ years, Cathy was left to raise their three children alone, grieving along with them. When she finally took stock of her life, she realized everyone else’s needs came first. That lifestyle completely zapped her emotional, physical, and spiritual reserves—exactly what she desperately needed when her world turned upside down. Her memoir inspires us to take stock to live the best version of ourselves. It chronicles her journey from unfathomable heartbreak and suppression of emotions to the incredible gifts of the healing process after the sudden death of her first husband.

Cathy Agasar’s debut book, which launched on March 24, 2020, reached #1 bestselling new author status on launch day and earned a top-10 spot on Aspire Magazine’s ‘Best Inspirational Books’ for May. Aspire Magazine is on a mission is to inspire women to live their best lives, something Cathy truly believes in. The Gift of Loss: Transforming Tragedy is available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble as well as independent book sellers. Cathy is often a featured speaker bringing a message of hope, courage and faith every time she connects with an audience.

You can get more information about the book here.


 Posted by at 11:25 am
Jan 062021

Cynthia “Cindy” (Daughenbaugh) Perkins ’81 of Bloomington, Illinois, died Dec. 26, 2020. She was 60.

Cindy graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in music from Illinois Wesleyan, magna cum laude with a master’s degree in religious education from Southern Methodist University, and summa cum laude with a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Cindy was a consecrated deacon in Christian education in the United Methodist Church, and an adult psychologist. She was a loving wife, sister and aunt, and had a passion for horses. She is survived by her husband, parents, two siblings, and many extended family members.

You can read the full obituary here.

 Posted by at 11:08 am
Dec 032020

Congrats to Jill (Misener) York ’85, who was named to the board of directors of Old Second Bandcorp, the holding company for the Old Second National Bank. Read the full article here.

 Posted by at 4:17 pm
Nov 302020

Bill Damaschke ’85 is the executive producer of Moulin Rouge!, which has been nominated 14 Tony Awards including Best Musical.

Despite indefinite postponement of the 74th Annual Tony Awards ceremony, the committee announced this year’s nominations on October 15. In total, 18 musicals, plays and play revivals will be considered for awards.

This year marks Damaschke’s second time producing a Tony-nominated musical through his theatrical production company StoryKey Entertainment. His 2019 musical The Prom received seven Tony nominations in addition to dozens more from multiple organizations, including a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical.

Damaschke has previously served as president of Animation and Family Entertainment at Skydance Media following two decades with DreamWorks Animation, where he rose from an entry-level production assistant to the company’s chief creative officer.

Moulin Rouge! The Musical is an adaptation of the 2001 film of the same name, directed by Baz Luhrmann. The musical tells the story of a depressed young writer who falls for a cabaret actress amid a world of splendor and romance. The Hollywood Reporter praised the production’s “eye-popping spectacle and off-the-charts energy,” and Time Out New York described it as “the jukebox musical to end all jukebox musicals.”

Along with its Best Musical Tony nomination, Moulin Rouge! was also nominated for Best Book of a Musical, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical –– Aaron Tveit, Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical –– Karen Olivo, Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical –– Danny Burstein and Sahr Ngaujah, Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical –– Robyn Hurder, Best Direction of a Musical –– Alex Timbers, Best Scenic Design of a Musical –– Derek McLane, Best Costume Design of a Musical –– Catherine Zuber, Best Lighting Design of a Musical –– Justin Townsend, Best Sound Design of a Musical –– Peter Hylenski, Best Choreography –– Sonya Tayeh, and Best Orchestrations –– Justin Levine, with Katie Kresek, Charlie Rosen and Matt Stine.

Read more here.

 Posted by at 12:46 pm
Oct 142020

Dr. Davis is IWU’s recipient of the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award.

Dr. Davis graduated from Illinois Wesleyan with a triple major in Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Following graduation, Pete attended the University of Illinois College of Medicine graduating in 1984 and completed his residency at St. Francis Medical Center. Dr. Davis is a practicing pediatrician in Rockford, Illinois, and is board certified in pediatrics with an additional certification in Child Abuse Pediatrics. Since the early 1990’s, Dr. Davis has treated children who are victims of physical or sexual abuse. Dr. Davis is a founding member of the Medical Evaluation Response Initiative Team (MERIT) which is part of the Illinois College of Medicine in Rockford (UICOM-R). He joined the faculty at UIC-Rockford in 2008, and is an associate professor in Pediatrics. Additionally, he serves as medical director for six county advocacy centers in northern Illinois.

Nationally, Dr. Davis is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect. Shortly after the start of his career, Dr. Davis began to see cases of child abuse. After aligning with a newly formed Family Advocate Agency, specializing in the comprehensive treatment of child sexual abuse and severe physical abuse cases, Dr. Davis quickly discovered these cases were not just confined to his practice, but were more widespread in his local community. He became (and continues to be) a strong advocate for children and a respected member of the investigation team at the agency. Dr. Davis has served on the board of directors for the Children’s Early Intervention Center and the Rockford Memorial Hospital. He also served as vice president and president of the medical staff at Rockford Memorial from 2004 until 2009, and 2009 through 2011, respectively. Additionally, Dr. Davis served as chair of the Multidisciplinary PEER Review Committee, and spent five years on the Credentials Committee, serving as chair for the last two years.

Dr. Davis is an educator who has developed a curriculum on physical and sexual abuse of children and mandated reporting, provides Continuing Medical Education (CME) lectures on child abuse topics, and seminars to Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), detectives and state’s attorneys in 15 counties. Dr. Davis has received numerous awards including the Excellence in Child Welfare Award from the Winnebago County CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children), Winnebago County and Illinois State Medical Society Alliance Humanitarian Award (2016), and the Rockford Chamber of Commerce “20 People You Should Know” Award in 2019.

Submit a note of congratulations to Dr. Raymond Davis here .

Dr. Raymond "Pete" Davis Jr.

 Posted by at 12:38 pm
Oct 122020

Andy Jones ’89 and Robyn Jones have nearly 60 years of basketball coaching between them. The Ridgeview Junior High gymnasium has been named “Coach Jones’ Court” in their honor. Read the full article here.

 Posted by at 11:45 am
Oct 092020

Ramona Cheek ’81 is the IWU School of Nursing ’s 2020 recipient of the “Distinguished Alumni Award for Excellence in Nursing.” Read the full article here. Congratulations, Ramona!

 Posted by at 3:43 pm