October 13, 2014
Vol. 10, Issue 2

Meet Stefany Sigler – GSU's 2014 Lincoln Laureate

Stefany Sigler
Stefany Sigler – GSU's 2014 Lincoln Laureate

Every fall an outstanding senior from each of the degree-granting institutions of higher learning in Illinois is awarded the Student Lincoln Academy Medallion and becomes a Student Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois. Student Laureates are honored for their overall excellence in curricular and extracurricular activities.

This year's GSU Lincoln Student Laureate is Stefany Sigler. She is a clear example of a college senior "whose contributions to the betterment of mankind have been accomplished in or on behalf of the State of Illinois, or, whose achievements have brought honor to the state because of their identity with it, whether by birth or residence, or by their dedication to those principles of democracy and humanity as exemplified by the great Illinoisan whose name it bears."
For Stefany, a psychology major, it all began with the GSU Dual Degree Program:

"When I joined DDP as a student at Joliet Junior College, I had no idea what a huge effect joining this program would have on my life. In May 2013, I graduated with my Associate of Arts degree from JJC and was awarded the DDP Honors scholarship, which is a full scholarship to Governors State University. Being awarded this prestigious scholarship motivated me to participate on campus and to give back to the program and institution that have made such a difference for me as an individual," she says.

During her first semester at GSU, Stefany was hired as a DDP Peer Mentor, then promoted to Student Transition Assistant to help other transfer students experience the move to GSU and to complete their own associate and bachelor's degrees.

"Over the course of my studies and my work, I have encountered the most inspirational and incredible people: staff, faculty and students who have helped me to realize that I want to dedicate the rest of my life to impacting other students in the same way they have each impacted me. As a first generation college student, I am exceptionally grateful for all of the opportunities I have been given to make my parents proud and to bring honor to Governors State University. I plan to graduate from GSU with my Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology in May 2015 and to continue onto GSU's graduate school to obtain my Master's degree in Educational Administration," she says.

Randi Schneider, Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management, first met Stefany in her former role as Director of the Dual Degree Program and was one of those who nominated her for the award. "Stefany's sense of civic responsibility has included volunteer work with many local organizations including the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society; Public Broadcasting Station WTTW-11, Restoration Ministries Food Pantry, The Heart Truth, Relay for Life, Oak View Community Center, Taft Elementary School, Markham Public Library, Cedar Ridge Apartments, Krueger Park Recreation Center, MLK Day of Service and Habitat for Humanity.  These civic engagement efforts showed both a commitment to serving the community as well as her sense of responsibility as a peer role model and leader in the DDP.  As evidence of this commitment she was the recipient of the Dual Degree Program Peer Mentor Award for Extraordinary Commitment to Community Service Projects during the 2013-2014 academic year.  She is an extraordinary young woman and I am proud to have been one of several GSU faculty and staff to nominate her for this honor", says Schneider. 


Library Renovation Complete and Ready to Celebrate

LIbrary Renovations
Photo courtesy of Leathem Photography

After nearly nine months of designing, bidding and building, and a construction investment of more than $2.5 million, the GSU Library and the Computer Connection Centra—or The Cube—are the newest star attractions on campus.

"Connecting the Library with the Cube is a twenty-first century approach to active learning.  This renovated space is now truly the living room of the campus, giving students a beautiful and functional space to study individually and in groups," said President Elaine P. Maimon.

The design team of Legat Architects and Primera Engineering delivered a space that invites the entire GSU community to live and learn together.

LIbrary Renovations
Photo courtesy of Leathem Photography

The renovation includes major changes in the Library footprint. In total, 11,200 feet of space was upgraded, with 9,200 square feet in additional computer classrooms. There are active learning labs and open computer labs with 260 seats. "The library now has two group study/collaboration rooms available for students to use during library hours," said Lydia Morrow Ruetten, Dean of the GSU Library. "The rooms are designed to give groups of two or more students a place where they can work together and collaborate," she added. To reserve a room, students can stop by the Library Information Desk or go online to http://libguides.govst.edu/groupstudy.

Don't miss the Ribbon Cutting

The official Ribbon Cutting ceremony and celebration for the GSU Library and Computer Connection Central, The Cube, will take place on November 5 at 4 p.m. just outside of the Cube and the Library on the 2nd floor of the D Building. The GSU entire community is invited. If plan on attending, please RSVP by October 30th to pperdue@govst.edu or call 708.534.4130.


Two GSU Students Blog About Their Washington Center Internship Experience.

LIbrary Renovations
Constituent Coffee with Illinois Senior Senator Dick Durbin (D) and student Shahenaz Ahmad (Left) and Illinois Senator Mark Kirk (R) and student Ricca Louissaint (Right).

For more than 35 years, the Washington Center, a nationally recognized program, has helped 50,000+ students from around the world gain valuable experience, and set them on a course of achievement, leadership and engagement in their communities. For the first time two GSU students, Shahenaz Ahmad and Ricca Louissaint, are among the accomplished students participating in internships and academic seminars focused on civic engagement, national service and public policy.

To get a closer look at the Washington Center Internship experience of a Governors State University student, check out Ricca's blog and Shahanez's blog. If you are an undergraduate interested in learning more about the Washington Center Internship Program, visit http://www.twc.edu for more information, or contact campus liaison Darcie Campos at dcampos@govst.edu.