headshotSherri Burritt is an artist based in Morton outside of Peoria.

For three decades she created works mainly with watercolor until about six years ago when she started experimenting with oil paints, enjoying the flexibility of the medium.

Her works focus on impressionistic style still lives as she plays with light and texture to create not just a scene but an emotion and feeling.

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Pulliam Hall SIUSouthern Illinois University Carbondale was recently recognized for the outstanding services it provides for non-traditional students. The NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education honored the college with the 2016 Annual Outstanding Undergraduate Adult Learner Program.

The university’s adult learner population is more than 30 percent of its total student population, and SIUC houses the Non-Traditional Student Services (NTSS) office. Deborah Barnett, who works with non-traditional student services, says that the award shows a longstanding commitment of the university.

“SIU has a longstanding history of support for adult learners,” Barnett said. “In addition, SIU’s history of supporting veteran and military-connected students is shown through numerous annual awards and being designated a Military-Friendly School.”

That office provides a variety of services to students who are financially independent, have delayed college enrollment rather than attending right after high school or are returning to college after interrupting their higher education.

One way in which the program has excelled is the way it attempts to communicate with adult learners. The NTSS office communicates through social media providing short videos like the “Monday Morning Minute.”

It also provides study spaces for students with children and an opportunity for family ID cards, which allow family members to receive necessary campus services.

“We have a lot to be proud of at SIU and in the state of Illinois,” Barnett said. “Even though we face challenges in Illinois, SIU is committed to serving students with excellence.”

Excellence in working with non-traditional students has become the norm at Southern Illinois University. It is just one reason it is a top-tier college in Illinois. Congratulations to Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Wall headshotsmMicah Wall is an artist based in Edwardsville who specializes in woodworking and personalized craftsmanship. He founded his own business called Unnatural Resources and prides himself in working with his hands and tools to bring beauty into our everyday lives and spaces.

Coming from a long line of craftsmen, the spirit to create and design is something he considers part of his DNA. He specializes in bringing others’ visions to reality and bringinging out the natural beauty in his materials.

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As Feb. 2 quickly approaches, residents of one Illinois town are preparing to celebrate a holiday that has made the town internationally famous.Groundhog day movie 1992 location 2007 03 18 IMG 4245

Woodstock, located 51 miles northwest of Chicago, was the filming location of the movie “Groundhog Day.” Although the film is set in Pennsylvania, director Harold Ramis loved the quintessentially American feel of the Woodstock town square and surrounding neighborhoods.

The lead role of the film would even be played by an Illinois native, Bill Murray, who was born in Evanston and raised in Wilmette.

Since the filming in 1992, Woodstock has held celebrations every Groundhog Day to commemorate both the holiday and the film that was described by the American Film Institute as the “eighth best fantasy genre film” in history.

Different events happening in Woodstock on Groundhog Day include a dinner dance, free screenings of the movie and walking tours showcasing town landmarks seen in the film. For a full schedule of events, you can visit the Woodstock Groundhog Days Committee website.

inthenews internetInternet access is an invaluable resource. Without it many of our students are unprepared for the future that awaits them in college classrooms, professional careers and everyday life. In decades prior, access to online information was not as widespread or important as it is now.

The EducationSuperHighway 2016 State of States Annual Report found that 83 percent of Illinois School districts representing 1,099,120 students met connectivity goals. The progress made last year tops the 71 percent of school districts with acceptable internet in 2015. The schools and libraries universal service support program, also known as the E-rate program, helps schools and libraries  get affordable broadband.

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