This year’s Homecoming celebration marks the 150th anniversary of the Illinois State University Alumni Association. Each year during Homecoming, the College of Education inducts new members into its Alumni Hall of Fame in honor and recognition of their distinguished careers, accomplishments, and contributions to the field of education. This year, five College of Education alumni will be inducted.
The sesquicentennial celebration also marks the recognition of the College of Education’s first Outstanding Young Alumni awardee. The award was created to honor and to recognize alums who have graduated within the past 10 years and who have made significant contributions to the field of education.
Hall of Fame inductee Lori Ann (Duncan) Campbell ’90 earned her bachelor’s degree in special education from Illinois State. The Chicago native has served in the city’s public schools throughout her career, beginning as a special education teacher and later as an instructional specialist. She was twice appointed as a Chicago Public Schools’ turnaround school principal, and she received the University of Virginia’s Darden/Curry Partnership for Leaders in Education’s School Turnaround Specialist Credential.
Hall of Fame inductee Greg P. Gardner ’91 earned his bachelor’s degree in special education from Illinois State. A state champion high school wrestler, Gardner taught and coached at his high school alma mater, Springfield Southeast, for 14 years. He then became the special education area administrator with the Sangamon Area Special Education District cooperative. Today, Gardner assists individuals with disabilities through his nonprofit, Individual Differences Inc. and as a vocational manager for the Hope Institute for Children and Families in Springfield.
Hall of Fame inductee Lois J. (Hurston) Gaston, Ph.D. ’84, earned her doctoral degree in educational administration and foundations from Illinois State. She began her career as an English teacher before taking a position at Illinois Central College (ICC) in 1971, where she served in various leadership roles. In 1992, Gaston accepted the position of president of Hillsborough Community College, Ybor City campus, near Tampa, Florida, where she internationalized the college’s curriculum and directed a complete renovation of the campus.
Hall of Fame inductee Teresa (Lucie) Thompson ’78, M.S. Ed. ’87, earned her bachelor’s degree in English and master’s degree in education from Illinois State. She served as an educator at University High School for eight years before entering the field of marketing and public affairs in the private sector. In 2008 Thompson became the vice president for marketing and media at Purdue University. Earlier this year, she accepted the position of senior vice president for university relations at the University of Arizona.
Hall of Fame inductee Beverly J. Trezek ’88 earned her bachelor’s degree in special education from Illinois State University. She has served as a teacher for children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Currently, Trezek is an associate professor at DePaul University and the director of its reading specialist program and family lab, which serves struggling learners in the community. She is a widely published scholar and foremost expert on visual phonics and cued American English.
Outstanding Young Alumni Award recipient Rebecca Mullen ’05, M.S. Ed. ’10, earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education and master’s degree in education with a specialization in reading from Illinois State. She has excelled in creating technology-driven curricula and was recognized in 2008 with the LaSalle County Excellence in Education Award. Currently, Mullen serves as the executive director of Reading Power, a literacy-tutoring program serving low-achieving elementary students in North Chicago.