Betz-Hamilton receives Meritorious Service Award

Axton Betz-Hamilton will be receiving the NCFR Affiliate Councils Board Meritorious Service Award at this year’s National Council on Family Relations National Conference. The criteria for this award are:
  • Must have three or more years of continuous involvement in a state or regional affiliate
  • Must be a current member of a state or regional affiliate
  • Must have served at least one term as a state or regional affiliate board member or state officer
  • Must be active with NCFR
  • For university faculty: Must have served as a mentor of a student in a research project that was presented at a state or regional conference, or assisted in forming and/or sponsoring the student chapter at his/her university.

Congratulations Axton on this prestigious honor!

Wilkinson to Serve as Officer for International Association

Rick Wilkinson was elected to the Executive Board (as secretary) of the Central Federation of the International Association of Hospitality and Tourism Educators. The federation consists of approximately 160 educators from 50 four year and two year programs across 14 states in the central part of the United States. His term officially starts in July 2014 as part of the international association’s annual conference in San Diego.

Lisa Brooks Orgranizes Leadership Conference

Lisa Brooks, Assistant Professor in Hospitality Management, and Jeff Oetting, Interim Director of the Business Solutions Center, organized a Restaurant Leadership Conference that was held on April 4, 2104.  The conference focused on leadership principles from industry experts.  Speakers included Mr. Mike Murphy, owner of Charlie Parker’s Diner in Springfield, IL; Chef Niall, owner of Firefly Grill in Effingham, IL; and, Mr. Jason Hodges, the GM of Olive Garden in Champaign, IL. Approximately 200 students attended the event.

Kathleen O’Rourke Leads National Honor Society

Serving in the role as the Chair of the National Board of Directors for Kappa Omicron Nu Honor Society, Dr. Kathleen O’Rourke installed a new chapter of the honor society at California State University-Sacramento on March 20, 2014. She presented the Nu Alpha Delta chapter of Kappa Omicron Nu Honor Society with their new charter. Dr. O’Rourke took part in the initiation of the chapter’s 36 new members, presented the ceremony’s keynote address – “Values of Leadership”, and installed the chapter’s executive student officers. 

Kappa Omicron Nu is the leading honor society for students in the human sciences. Kappa Omicron Nu chapters are located in over 90 colleges and universities that offer a strong human sciences program. The mission of Kappa Omicron Nu is empowered leaders who use an integrative approach to enhance quality of living through excellence in scholarship, leadership, and research. Kappa Omicron Nu values recognition, reward, advancement, and strong affiliation networks. These ends enhance the ability of the organization and chapters to prepare scholars and researchers as leaders for the 21st century. To learn more about Kappa Omicron Nu Honor Society, visit

Dr. O’Rourke has been a member of Kappa Omicron Nu Honor Society since 1993, when she was initiated into the Kappa Alpha Theta chapter as a student member at Eastern Illinois University. As a student, she held the offices of Chapter President and Vice President. Currently, Dr. O’Rourke is the Faculty Co-Adviser of KON’s Kappa Alpha Theta chapter in the School of Family and Consumer Sciences and has held this position since 2002. Dr. O’Rourke’s term as Chair of the National Board of Directors will conclude in
 December 2014. 

Foster Implements Social Media to Raise Awareness

Sonja Foster’s Family in Social Change class participated in the #RapeCultureIsWhen Twitter campaign. Students were required to provide at least one tweet addressing the issue and respond to at least two other tweets. Students submitted a reflection paper on the activity and the use of social media in raising awareness on issues such as this.  This activity was conducted as a part of the discussion on violence in families.