Nine accorded "emeritus" honor

September 19, 2013

Nine long-time faculty and staff members have been accorded the emeritus status following their recent retirement from the University. Those receiving the honor are:

Ms. Janet Kaizer

Janet has a long and distinguished career as a world-class pianist, playing venues all over the world. Still, her greatest work may have been done here, in our Department of Music.

In her 38 years at Bradley, Janet served and enriched the university to the highest degree. She has touched the lives of hundreds of Bradley students through her keyboard skills classes and applied lessons.

She joined the campus community in 1975 as a part-time temporary instructor, then went full-time in 1987. She served as the department’s primary instructor of piano fundamentals, teaching legions of music majors and minors the intricacies of the keyboard.

Janet had a virtuoso’s record of world-class creative-production scholarship. Among the places she’s peformed are Las Vegas, Phoenix, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Germany and Mexico.

She has served as organist and pianist at the First United Methodist Church since 1979 and was the official pianist for many important campus functions.

Dr. Ron Koperski

In his distinguished  47-year career, Ron served as chairperson of the Department of Communication, stage director for the university theatre, faculty representative to the NCAA, president of the Missouri Valley Conference, head of the public relations concentration, and architect of the sports communication program.

Among his greatest achievements are his groundbreaking experiential learning courses that include expeditions to Los Angeles and Chicago; an unprecedented internship program and placements with the Chicago Auto Show; and the extraordinary Ebeling PRize.

Ron received every major award for teaching that Bradley has to offer.

His expedition course to Hollywood is among the most popular courses on campus. The industry contacts he has developed over his five-decade career have assisted in the placement of Bradley students, the design of innovative courses and the development efforts of the university.

Dr. Joe Emanuel

During his 45 years at Bradley, Joe has brought great distinction to the Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering and Technology, to the Caterpillar College of Engineering, and to the campus as a whole.

Under his direction the capstone design course began to rival many consulting firms in terms of the depth of study and quality of output to the client. The projects became self-supporting.

He served as department chair for a number of terms, as associate dean of the college, and on many University Senate committees.

Beyond the Hilltop,Joe is well known for his expertise and professionalism. Between 1976 and 2004, he worked on a series of video and live courses for Caterpillar in basic statistics, regression analysis and design of experiments. He has done consulting work for Cat, Motorola, the USDA, Saint Francis Medical Center, and the Peoria Police Department.

Dr. Jim Miller

As associate professor of computer science and information systems, Jim was highly respected by both colleagues and students and distinguished himself over the course of his 35-year career at Bradley as an excellent teacher and scholar.

In the course of his duties, he advised hundreds of students and served on numerous committees. In just one academic year, he served on eight committees. He taught nearly every course in the curriculum and frequently would teach overflow classes so that students had the course offerings they needed. Later in his career, he trained himself to become an expert in computer graphics to remedy his department’s shortcoming.

While serving as department chair from 1994 to 2009, Jim had a vision for the department’s future. He was the driving force behind the gaming and mobile computing concentrations and courses. Today, those courses are nationally renowned and among Bradley’s most popular.

Ms. Deirdre Redington

Deirdre held the position of technical services librarian at Bradley from 1989 until retiring in September 2012. As the subject liasion for the sciences and health sciences, she was a tireless advocate for these research and curricular needs. Faculty and staff knew her to be highly intelligent, knowledgable, detail-oriented and helpful.

Deirdre would spend hours searching for elusive references and teaching students how to do effective research.

During her 23-year tenure, she coordinated three conversions of the library catalog. The conversion process is technical and tedious, requiring extremely close attention to detail, rules and vagaries of the system. Her willingness to accept change and learn new technologies was a tremendous benefit to the library system, especially as it affected the online catalog.

Deirdre served as Interim Executive Director of the library for two years in the mid-90s, showing the same attributes of organization, thoroughness, confidence, integrity and intellect that have defined her career.

Ms. Linda Guinn

The “face and the front door” of Bradley University to scores of vendors and business consultants, Linda dedicated nearly all of her 32 years of service to business affairs.

As an administrative assistant to the Vice President of Business Affairs for 27 years, she was the initial contact for constituents outside the university. She was highly respected for her competence and pleasant demeanor. She worked routinely with banks, insurance agencies, investment professionals, architects, neighborhood advocates and many others as well as Bradley employees and students.

Her courtesy and professionalism aided the university in its business operations, which became more involved with the growth of the university’s endowment from $13 million to more than $250 million, the expansion of the physical campus, the growing complexity of operations and related issues associated with risk management, as well as the needs of the Board of Trustees and a variety of other constituencies.

Ms. Barbara Carraway

In her 35 years at Bradley, Barbara  played a vital role in making the “Bradley Experience” the unique, personal and engaging phenomenon that it is for students and employees.

She started at Bradley in 1978 as a counselor. Four years later, she became Director of Residential Living. In this role, she was responsible for hiring, training and supervising residence hall staff members. She advised a number of student organizations and adjudicated student disciplinary hearings.

In 2006, she was promoted to Executive Director of the Center for Student Support Services.

Her professional achievements are impressive. But it’s her warmth, her love for the students and the university that the campus remembers most. She knew the names of every member of her 100-plus residence hall staff and mentored young people who had nowhere else to turn in their times of need. Whether it was students who experienced sexual assault, who had a parent pass away or were simply homesick, She was always accessible, always empathetic, greeted them with an open heart and open arms.

Ms. Jane Linnenburger

Jane was a passionate, integral part of the university for 35 years, with an impressive network of connections across all campus units.

Her creation of jobs, internships and co-op opportunities propelled thousands of students to rewarding, prosperous careers. The numerous career fairs, arranged under her supervision, helped young people make those vital connections to employers and led to industry partnerships that continue to serve Bradley.

During her 28 years as Executive Director of the Career Center, Jane propelled it to a facility of national distinction, overseeing its constant innovation and modernization to fit the needs of today’s students and those of the employers of tomorrow.

Bradley students selected to intern withNBC for the Olympic Games owe much of their success to Jane, who went above and beyond in designing workshops and classes to help prepare students interested in the opportunity.

She has been described as an innovator, an exceptional leader, a respected colleague and one of the pillars of this fine institution.

Ms. Angela “Nickie” Roberson

For 28 years, Nickie was a mainstay on campus in admissions, and remains today an integral part of the Greater Peoria community.

She joined Bradley in 1985 as Associate Director of Enrollment Management, a position she held for 10 years before “Director of Admissions” was also added to her title. She ultimately retired earlier this year as Executive Director of Enrollment Management.

Nickie’s contributions to the profession are extensive. She has held top leadership positions in nearly every state, regional and national organization, including the national association of college admission counselors and the college board.

She is highly respected for her professionalism and her work in the critical issue areas of diversity and access to higher education among underrepresented populations. She is held in the highest regard by her peers at all levels of the enrollment profession for her knowledge, hard work and impeccable character. Through her efforts, Nickie generated significant national recognition of Bradley University. Her willingness to serve the greater community has significantly strengthened the University’s town and gown relationship. She has given generously of her time and treasure to many local organizations, including leadership and governance roles in the Girl Scouts, Tri-County Urban League, the ywca, her parish and the Diocese of Peoria.