The University of Wisconsin-Madison has recognized students named to the Dean's List for the spring semester of the 2010-2011 academic year.  Students who achieve at a high level academically are recognized by the dean at the close of each semester. To be eligible for the Dean's List, students must complete a minimum of 12 graded degree credits in that semester. Each university school or college sets its own GPA requirements for students to be eligible to receive the honor.
To view an online listing, visit . For questions or concerns about eligibility, please contact
Here are the students from the Quad Cities area who have received this honor:

Maria Elena Ontiveros, Bettendorf, School of Human Ecology, Dean's Honor List;

Meghan Elizabeth Khoury, Davenport, School of Human Ecology, Dean's Honor List;

Mehmet Gultekin Badur, Moline, College of Engineering, Dean's Honor List;

Andrew James Hoogerwerf, Rock Island, College of Engineering, Dean's Honor List


Beloit College, Beloit, Wisconsin has announced that William A. Hawkinson, Senior, and Devin T. Lundy, Freshman, both from Davenport, have achieved academic distinction during the Spring term of the academic year and has been named to the Dean's List, which recognizes students who have maintained at least a 3.4 cumulative grade point average for the semester.


ROCK ISLAND, IL (05/27/2011)(readMedia)-- Five hundred and eighty students of the class of '11 graduated from Augustana College with their Bachelor of Arts degree on May 22, 2011. Augustana's 151st commencement convocation was held at the iwireless Center in Moline, Ill.

From your area this includes:

Debra Butler from Bettendorf , IA. Butler majored in psychology.

Lauren Carver from Bettendorf , IA. Carver majored in biology.

Rayna Narvaez from Bettendorf , IA. Narvaez majored in psychology and Spanish.

Emily Voigt from Bettendorf , IA. Voigt majored in business marketing.

Katherine Voigt from Bettendorf , IA. Voigt majored in biology.

Anna Smith from Davenport , IA. Smith majored in biology and psychology.

Regina Jarrell from Davenport , IA. Jarrell majored in art.

Christopher Wadsager from Davenport , IA. Wadsager majored in biochemistry.

Audrey Waner from Davenport , IA. Waner majored in art.

Anita Cook from Davenport , IA. Cook majored in art.

Kelsey Van Dyke from Davenport , IA. Van Dyke majored in music education instrumental.

Samuel Anderson from Rock Island , IL. Anderson majored in math and computer science.

Brianna Dyer from Rock Island , IL. Dyer majored in teaching English.

Neil Friberg from Rock Island , IL. Friberg majored in English.

Travis Greenlee from Rock Island , IL. Greenlee majored in speech communication.

Jacob McDowell from Rock Island , IL. McDowell majored in psychology and English.

Hee Do Park from Rock Island , IL. Park majored in Asian studies and economics.

John Patton from Rock Island , IL. Patton majored in English.

James Sales from Rock Island , IL. Sales majored in biology.

Andrew Shaffer from Rock Island , IL. Shaffer majored in honors history.

Courtney Vandewiele from Rock Island , IL. Vandewiele majored in political science and accounting.

Robert Fite from Coal Valley , IL. Fite majored in business management.

Rebekka Laverenz from Coal Valley , IL. Laverenz majored in biology.

Michael Seevers from Cordova , IL. Seevers majored in geography.

Emma Burgess from East Moline , IL. Burgess majored in psychology.

Matthew Kustes from East Moline , IL. Kustes majored in business management information systems.

Nicole Molina from East Moline , IL. Molina majored in international business.

Kayla Papish from East Moline , IL. Papish majored in teaching math and math.

Lauren White from East Moline , IL. White majored in accounting.

Jeremy Smith from Milan , IL. Smith majored in political science.

Brian Stone from Milan , IL. Stone majored in teaching math and math.

Felipe Aguilar from Moline , IL. Aguilar majored in business management.

Kellene Anthony from Moline , IL. Anthony majored in psychology and sociology with social welfare.

Steven Ash from Moline , IL. Ash majored in physics.

James Hallene from Moline , IL. Hallene majored in business finance.

Alyssa Harmon from Moline , IL. Harmon majored in political science.

Allison Hughes from Moline , IL. Hughes majored in accounting and business marketing.

Nicole Johnson from Moline , IL. Johnson majored in teaching English.

Jasmin Landeros from Moline , IL. Landeros majored in elementary education.

Courtney Mitten from Moline , IL. Mitten majored in psychology.

Anna Press from Moline , IL. Press majored in biology and pre-medicine.

Michael Reeves from Moline , IL. Reeves majored in accounting.

Meghan Showers from Moline , IL. Showers majored in Asian studies and political science.

Mark Stumphy from Moline , IL. Stumphy majored in biology.

Audrey Taylor from Moline , IL. Taylor majored in teaching biology and biology.

Jane Wiborg from Moline , IL. Wiborg majored in art history.

Nicholas Armstrong from Orion , IL. Armstrong majored in psychology.

Adam Bohland from Orion , IL. Bohland majored in psychology.

Ryan Hancock from Orion , IL. Hancock majored in geography.

Deanna Zwicker from Orion , IL. Zwicker majored in business finance and economics.

Jonathan Wallace from Port Byron , IL. Wallace majored in political science.

Megan Lecander from Sherrard , IL. Lecander majored in business management.

Bonnie Barlow from Silvis , IL. Barlow majored in psychology.

Randi Johnson from Silvis , IL. Johnson majored in communication science and disorders.

Janelle VanWatermeulen from Silvis , IL. VanWatermeulen majored in business marketing.

About Augustana: Founded in 1860 and situated on a 115-acre campus near the Mississippi River, Augustana College is a private, liberal arts institution affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The college enrolls nearly 2,500 students from diverse geographic, social, ethnic and religious backgrounds and offers more than 60 majors and areas of study. Augustana employs 226 faculty and has a student-faculty ratio of 11:1. Augustana continues to do what it has always done: challenge and prepare students for lives of leadership and service in our complex, ever-changing world.

Register for a chance to win a $529 College Savings Iowa Account

DES MOINES, IA (05/24/2011)(readMedia)-- State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald wants to remind Iowans it is their last chance to celebrate 529 Day by registering to win a $529 College Savings Iowa account for a child in their life. "I encourage everyone to register for the giveaway and explore the benefits of using a 529 plan, such as College Savings Iowa, to save for their loved ones' future higher education expenses," Fitzgerald said. "By starting early, saving a little at a time and making smart investment choices, families can make their savings work for them." For more information and to register for the giveaway, please visit before May 31.

May 29, 529 Day, helps bring attention to the fact that saving for college is one of the most significant things families can do for the children in their lives. Those who begin putting away money early and save little by little can, over time, make their college savings add up to a significant amount. Because saving for future educational expenses is so important, Iowa families are encouraged to open a College Savings Iowa account for a special child in their life.

College Savings Iowa offers families a tax advantaged way to save money for their children's higher education. It only takes $25 to open an account, and anyone - parents, grandparents, friends and relatives - can invest in College Savings Iowa on behalf of a child. Participants who are Iowa taxpayers can deduct contributions up to $2,865 per beneficiary from their 2011 adjusted gross income, and there are no income or residency restrictions.* Investors can withdraw their investment federally tax-free to pay for qualified higher education expenses including tuition, books, supplies and certain room and board costs at any eligible college, university, community college or accredited technical training school in the United States or abroad. To learn more about College Savings Iowa, please visit or call1-888-672-9116.

*Adjusted annually for inflation. If withdrawals are not qualified, the deductions must be added back to Iowa taxable income. The earnings portion of non-qualified withdrawals may be subject to federal income tax and a 10% federal penalty tax, as well as state income taxes. The availability of tax or other benefits may be contingent on meeting other requirements.


Investment returns are not guaranteed and you could lose money by investing in the plan. Participants assume all investment risks as well as responsibility for any federal and state tax consequences. If you are not an Iowa taxpayer, consider before investing whether your or the designated beneficiary's home state offers any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in such state's qualified tuition program.

For more information about the College Savings Iowa 529 Plan, call 888-672-9116 or visit to obtain a Program Description. Investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information are included in the Program Description; read and consider it carefully before investing.

OMAHA, NEB.- (05/20/2011)(readMedia)-- Creighton University conferred the largest number of degrees ever at its May commencement - more than 1,500 - to students from 46 states and seven countries. Two ceremonies were held Saturday, May 14, at the Qwest Center Omaha - The undergraduate schools, School of Law and Graduate School ceremony were held in the morning. The ceremony for Health Sciences professional schools, including schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing and Pharmacy and Health Professions, was held in the afternoon. University President the Rev. John P. Schlegel, S.J., presided at both ceremonies-his last as Creighton president.

The following students from your area received degrees during the commencement ceremonies:

Kelsie Knutsen of Bettendorf earned a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences degree

Stephan Marsh of Bettendorf earned a law degree

Special awards and recognitions were presented to leaders or groups who have made a difference locally, nationally and internationally.

Cardinal Jaime Ortega, Archbishop of Havana, Cuba received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree for a life dedicated to promoting religious freedom in Cuba.

An honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree was presented to the Rev. John Foley, S.J., founder of Cristo Rey Schools and executive chair of Cristo Rey Network.

A Presidential Medallion was given to Omaha area survivors of the Holocaust who endured great hardship with dignity and faith in German concentration camps during the 1940s when six million Jews were killed. After the war, 200 survivors found their way to the Omaha area with fewer than three dozen currently alive. Accepting the award for the group was survivor Beatrice Karp.

Creighton's Alumni Achievement Citation - the highest award given to an alumnus - was presented to Cage S. Johnson, M.D., a 1965 graduate of the School of Medicine. Johnson is an international authority on sickle cell disease, a serious disorder in which the body manufactures misshapen red blood cells that block blood flow, causing severe pain and organ damage.

Also receiving recognition in the afternoon was Shirley A. Blanchard, Ph.D., associate professor of Occupational Therapy, who will receive the Creighton Students Union Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Award for Teaching Achievement. Blanchard has served in the health care field for more than 30 years as an occupational therapist, researcher and educator.

About Creighton University: Creighton University, a Catholic, Jesuit institution located in Omaha, Neb., enrolls more than 4,100 undergraduate and 3,200 professional school and graduate students. Nationally recognized for providing a balanced educational experience, the University offers a rigorous academic agenda with a broad range of disciplines, providing undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs that emphasize educating the whole person: academically, socially and spiritually. Creighton has been a top-ranked Midwestern university in the college edition of U.S. News & World Report magazine for more than 20 years. For more information, visit our website at:

by U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley

Congratulations to all the high school and college graduates who this month celebrate hard-earned academic achievements and scholastic success.  Enjoy the pomp and circumstance and school traditions, from the caps and gowns to the commencement speeches and graduation ceremonies.  By earning a high school diploma or advanced college degree, our young leaders have earned the accolades and support from their family and friends gathering to celebrate these milestones.

The United States also is celebrating a milestone this month against the war on terror.  After nearly a decade-long search for the mastermind behind the 9/11 terror attacks, U.S. military and intelligence forces found Osama bin Laden.  He was killed during a covert raid on what turned out be to be his hideaway in Pakistan, half a world away from the devastation and agony he unleashed in America on September 11, 2001.

Just consider the graduates of the Class of 2011 have lived half of their lives in an era shaped by terrorism.  Many members of this generation joined the military after 9/11, putting their lives on the line to protect their country and defend the freedoms for which it stands.  Following in the footsteps of World War II veterans who sacrificed life and limb to end a reign of tyranny shaped by Nazism, Imperialism and Fascism, our men and women in uniform today are once again fighting for liberty and justice to preserve freedom and our American way of life.

Thanks in large measure to the service and sacrifice of America's veterans and current soldiers and sailors, today's graduates have the opportunity to pursue their dreams and taste the fruits of freedom and free enterprise from the tree of liberty.

Plenty of uncertainties exist -- from the lukewarm job market, to high gas prices, school loans, national debt and natural disasters -- that arguably cast a shadow over the next chapter for the Class of 2011.

However, as smiling graduates walk across the stage to receive their diploma, the energy and excitement hanging in the air symbolize a collective sense of optimism and hope that will help them achieve their dreams.  Dwelling on what could go wrong instead of taking risks and putting in the extra effort to succeed would undermine the hard work and sacrifice that today counts them among the Class of 2011.

Representing Iowans in the United States Senate, I appreciate both the uncertainty and the fresh-faced optimism I see so often with new graduates and young job applicants.  While new graduates work to land a job or continue their education, I'm working in Washington to help better manage the federal budget, revive the U.S. economy and boost job creation.  During visits with students in school districts across Iowa, I've found younger generations want the federal government to work together and stop overspending.  They've figured out the national debt will fall disproportionately on their shoulders.  The $14 trillion dollar national debt translates into roughly $45,000 for every man, woman and child in America.

If Washington fails to rein in federal spending, graduates entering the job market today will face an unbearable tax burden throughout their lives in the workforce.

Consider a recent report issued in May by the Social Security and Medicare trustees. The findings shifted the projected insolvency dates earlier than before, finding Medicare's trust fund exhausted in 2024 and Social Security's in 2038.  Today's demographics simply can't support the status quo.  Consider life expectancy in 1930 was 59.2 years, whereas, someone born in 2006 can expect to live to 77.7 years.  A shrinking pool of U.S. workers is financing a growing pool of retirees collecting federal pension and health care benefits.

These two entitlement programs account for two of the largest drivers of projected federal deficit spending.  With combined annual budgets of $1.3 trillion, they also account for one-third of total federal spending.  What's more, Medicare costs are on track to soar as more baby boomers qualify for the program and health care costs rise faster than revenue.

Political leaders in Washington have a big job to do.  Let's hope we don't travel down the tiresome path of political demagoguery.  I'd like to raise the bar of expectations and challenge the White House and Congress to solve problems together for the good of the country.

I encourage the graduates from the Class of 2011 to set a high bar of expectation for themselves, as well.  America is built on the can-do spirit that challenges each successive generation to out-do the achievements of the one preceding it.  Whether setting their sights on working for or opening a business, or pursuing military or public service, graduates from the Class of 2011 have a chance to make a difference.

Please celebrate safely and responsibly.  America is counting on your generation of innovators and hard workers to keep the American Dream alive.

Friday, May 20, 2011

EVANSVILLE, IN (05/17/2011)(readMedia)-- The University of Evansville is proud to announce that Andrea Solomonson of Orion, IL, has achieved a place on the Dean's List.

Solomonson, a Management major, made the Dean's List for academic achievements during the Spring Semester 2011. To make the Dean's List, a student at UE must earn at least a 3.5 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.

"At the University of Evansville, students experience a rigorous curriculum built on exposure to great ideas, timeless themes, significant questions, and multiple perspectives," said UE President Thomas A. Kazee. "Earning a place on the Dean's List shows incredible commitment to academic achievement, and students such as Andrea Solomonson and their families should be incredibly proud of this accomplishment."

BOURBONNAIS, IL (05/13/2011)(readMedia)-- Katelyn J. Flynn, an English major from Davenport, graduated magna cum laude with Olivet Nazarene University's first cohort of 14 students in the undergraduate Honors Program. She has been accepted at Regent University School of Law, Virginia Beach, Va.

Honors Program graduates received their degrees along with 1,683 other graduates during the 2011 Commencement convocations Saturday, May 7, in the Betty and Kenneth Hawkins Centennial Chapel.

"Our Honors students are bright young adults who give me faith for the future of our country," said Dr. Sue Williams, director of Olivet's Honors Program. "They are going out to serve others, not just to acquire. I'm proud of them. Several of them are going either to graduate school or taking jobs right out of college due, in part, to their scholarship and being in this program."

Launched in 2007, Olivet's Centennial year, the Honors Program immediately attracted academically talented students with unique interests and special academic ambitions. The goal of the program is to encourage and nurture the students in the integration of Christian faith and scholarship, preparing them for servant leadership in the Church and the world.

Each student was accepted into the program based on his/her ACT score, application, essay and an on-campus interview. During their years at Olivet, each completed a rigorous program of specially designed honors-level courses in addition to fulfilling all academic requirements for their majors. They also completed many community service opportunities and attended several cultural events. The culmination of their work was their mentored research and presentation of that research at an honors research symposium.

Olivet Nazarene University is an accredited Christian, liberal arts university offering over 120 areas of study. It is centrally located in the historic village of Bourbonnais, Illinois - just 50 miles south of Chicago's loop - with additional School of Graduate and Continuing Studies locations in Rolling Meadows and Oak Brook, Ill. and throughout Chicagoland.

U of I interim vice president, chancellor to address nearly 1,000 graduates

CHAMPAIGN, IL (05/10/2011)(readMedia)-- Area students will participate in Parkland College's 44th Commencement Exercises on Friday, May 13 at 8 p.m. at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. The public may watch the graduation ceremony live by going online to for the live video stream or by tuning in to the Parkland channel (PCTV), which will broadcast the ceremony live. PCTV is available on Comcast channel 9, Mediacom channel 10, and U-verse channel 99.

Nearly 1,000 candidates for graduation will be earning an associate's degree or certificate this year. Keynote speaker for the event will be Robert A. Easter, Ph.D., interim vice president, chancellor, and professor of Animal Sciences and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. During the ceremony, Dr. Easter will receive an honorary associate's degree for outstanding community service and appreciation of higher education, and local entrepreneur Darrin Peters ('96, A.A.S., Agricultural Business Management), founder and president of Midwest Underground Technology, Inc. (MUTI) of Champaign, will receive Parkland's Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Participating area students include :

Charles King of Davenport

Jessica Bounds of Silvis

Parkland's commencement will include selections by the Parkland College Wind Ensemble, directed by Verlin Richardson, as well as an invocation and benediction by Rev. Jong Heon Ham of The Korean Presbyterian Church of Champaign-Urbana. A reception will be held immediately following the recessional in the Krannert Center lobby. Tickets are required.

Congratulations to Rivermont Collegiate junior Pavane Gorrepati, who has received a Borlaug-Ruan International Internship!  This prestigious internship provides an all-expenses-paid, eight-week hands-on experiencing working with world-renowned scientists and policymakers at research centers around the world.  The internship is a program of The World Food Prize, which, since 1986, has honored individuals who have made vital contributions to improving the quality, quantity, or availability of food throughout the world.  The unique opportunity is different from other study abroad internships in that students participate in original research projects with acclaimed scientists, while getting a firsthand view of pressing food security issues and nutritional problems in poverty-stricken areas of the developing world.  Since 1998, over 140 interns have traveled to Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Kenya, Peru, and the Philippines - to name a few!

Pavane will be at the China National Hybrid Rice Research & Development Center (CNHRRDC) in Changsha, China.  Pavane will spend time in the lab, as well as days or weeks at a time in the field, conducting research and gathering data.  Upon return, Pavane will submit a research report and reflection paper documenting her personal experience and the outcome of her research project.

Pavane's many science awards include Champion rankings at the 2009 and 2010 Eastern Iowa Science and Engineering Fairs for projects on alternative energy, winning her trips to the International Science and Engineering Fairs in Nevada in May 2009 and California in May 2010.  Pavane's talents extend beyond the scientific realm - she recently earned a trip to the National History Day Competition in Washington, D.C. this summer with a performance about the Nuremburg Trials with fellow Rivermont students Joann Weeks, Meghana Pagadala, and Christine Mbakwe.  Pavane is a member of the National Honor Society as well as the Rivermont Environmental Club, and intends to devote her life to the study of alternative energy.

The World Food Prize was conceived by Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, recipient of the 1970 Nobel Peace Price.  In 1990, Des Moines businessman and philanthropist John Ruan assumed sponsorship of The Prize and established The World Food Prize Foundation, located in Des Moines, IA.  For additional information on The World Food Prize and the Borlaug-Ruan International Internship, visit

Rivermont Collegiate, located in Bettendorf, is the Quad Cities' only private, independent college-prep school for students in preschool through twelfth grade.  For additional information on Rivermont Collegiate, contact Cindy Murray, Director of Admissions, at (563) 359-1366 ext. 302 or  Visit us online at!


ROCK ISLAND, IL (05/05/2011)(readMedia)-- Augustana College has recently selected 51 students from its 2011 graduating class for induction into Phi Beta Kappa, the oldest and most selective honor society in American higher education. The inductees include the following students from the local area:

  • Debra Butler from Bettendorf, IA, majoring in psychology.
  • Samuel Anderson from Rock Island, IL, majoring in mathematics and computer science.
  • Andrew Shaffer from Rock Island, IL, majoring in history.
  • Courtney VandeWiele from Rock Island, IL, majoring in political science and accounting.
  • Michael Seevers from Cordova, IL, majoring in geography.
  • Anna Smith from Moline, IL, majoring in biology and psychology.
  • Mark Stumphy from Moline, IL, majoring in biology.

Augustana numbers among a select 10% of American colleges and universities that have met the criteria for having a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa. Each year, the college elects approximately 8% of its graduating class for induction into the honor society. Students are selected based on a set of rigorous, nationally-prescribed guidelines, including a record of academic excellence, tolerance for diverse views and a strong commitment to the liberal arts and sciences.

Phi Beta Kappa was founded at the College of William and Mary in 1776. The Greek letters Phi Beta Kappa represent the initials of the society's motto: "Love of learning is the guide of life." Originally created as a secret society-the members wanted to preserve their freedom to discuss any topic they chose-Phi Beta Kappa is now openly recognized as one of the most prestigious honor societies in American education.

Sarah Horowitz, the Phi Beta Kappa chapter secretary at Augustana, is proud that the college is able to recognize the inductees' accomplishments with such a prestigious honor. "These students have fulfilled Augustana's mission of developing the mind, body and spirit in an exemplary manner. They are now part of a long tradition of excellence at Augustana and other Phi Beta Kappa chapters across the country. We expect great things from them in years to come."

About Augustana: Founded in 1860 and situated on a 115-acre campus near the Mississippi River, Augustana College is a private, liberal arts institution affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The college enrolls 2,500 students from diverse geographic, social, ethnic and religious backgrounds and offers more than 70 majors and related areas of study. Augustana employs 287 faculty members and has a student-faculty ratio of 11:1. Augustana continues to do what it has always done: challenge and prepare students for lives of leadership and service in our complex, ever-changing world.