Education Briefs 6-24

NIU graduation

DeKALB - Over 2,500 students received their degrees from Northern Illinois University in May. Mendota students who graduated from NIU in May included Yohan Arellano, Bachelor of Arts, History; Jessica Barringer, Bachelor of Science, Nursing; Alonzo Ceballos, Bachelor of Arts, Psychology; and Ethan Guelde, Bachelor of Science, Finance.

Northern Illinois University is a student-centered, nationally recognized public research university, with expertise that benefits its region and spans the globe in a wide variety of fields, including the sciences, humanities, arts, business, engineering, education, health and law. NIU offers more than 100 courses of study while serving a diverse and international student body of about 19,000. For more information, visit 

McKendree University president’s list

LEBANON, Ill. - Shameka Butler of Mendota was named to the McKendree University president’s list for achieving a perfect 4.0 grade point average during the spring 2020 semester.

McKendree University is a “College of Distinction” and recognized as a “Military Friendly School” by Victory Media. Founded in 1828, the historic Lebanon campus is 25 miles from St. Louis, Mo. McKendree also has a campus in Radcliff, Ky. and offers programs online and at nearby Scott Air Force Base. 

University of Iowa graduation

IOWA CITY, Iowa - Lukas Brandner and Jillian Smith, both of Mendota, were among more than 5,700 University of Iowa undergraduate, graduate, and professional students who earned degrees this spring under extraordinary circumstances. Brandner received a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, majoring in biomedical engineering. Smith was awarded a Master of Arts, majoring in teaching and learning.

May usually finds the UI campus teeming with families and students in caps and gowns. They reminisce while visiting the places that have been a big part of their time on campus. However, the effects of COVID-19 forced these important celebrations to take place elsewhere. Shouts of joy and pride happened in homes all around the world, where students and their families are safe.

During this worldwide pandemic, the university supported commencement celebrations despite being unable to host them in person. Members of the Hawkeye community filmed short videos of encouragement, and each college produced a virtual livestream ceremony. Packages containing commemorative programs and other celebratory items were sent to graduating Hawkeyes everywhere. In addition, students who want to walk across a graduation stage in person will be able to do so at a future ceremony.

While making these preparations, teachers continued teaching, students continued to study, and staff remained dedicated to keeping research, education and service alive in these uncertain times. Everyone is finding ways to support and love one another, whether sewing face masks, donating plasma, coordinating resources or volunteering to help those in need. Hawkeyes are also treating patients, helping public officials understand the virus, and donating funds to students in financial hardship. The global pandemic reminded us just how important it is to step up.

No one is certain how or when life will return to normal, but UI still needs to educate doctors, teachers, nurses, neuroscientists, journalists, poets, painters, athletes, historians, economists, physicists, pharmacists and musicians.

The faculty and staff of the University of Iowa are proud to have known and supported the Class of 2020, especially recently when they showed how caring, compassionate, and hardworking they are. Now, go forth; the world needs you. 

Iowa State dean’s list

AMES, Iowa - Two students from Mendota, Mari Biers and Brooke Lee, are among more than 12,500 Iowa State University students recognized for outstanding academic achievement by being named to the university’s spring semester 2020 dean’s list.

To be included, students must earn a grade point average of at least 3.50 on a 4.00 scale while carrying a minimum of nine credit hours of graded course work for the semester.

Biers, a senior, is majoring in kinesiology and health. Lee, a sophomore, is majoring in agricultural systems technology.



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