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Eleven honored by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

November 20, 2017

Northern Illinois University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences recently honored 11 recipients for the 2017 Distinguished Alumni, Faculty and Staff Awards, which celebrate and recognize the accomplishments of outstanding individuals in each category.


Following the college’s 50th anniversary in 2009, these awards were established as an annual event. To date, the college has honored 137 alumni, faculty and staff.


Ty Ballou – B.A., Communication, 1978
President and owner of PLB, Inc. and PLB Sports, Inc. and founder of Ballou Skies, a charity which supports Muscular Dystrophy research

Sheila Quirk-Bailey – M.A., Communication, 1987
President of Illinois Central College, former vice-president and dean at Harper College

Howard and the White Boys
Renowned blues band formed by Howard McCullum (B.A., Sociology, 1988), Stephen Asma (B.A., Philosophy, 1988) and Jim Christopulos (B.A. and M.A., Communication Studies, 1989 and 1991)

Karyne Jones – M.P.A., 1981
President and CEO of The National Caucus and Center on Black Aging, Inc. Former executive director for federal relations for SBC Communications (now ATT). Former member of the Texas House of Representatives and a congressional aide to U.S. Rep. Andrew Young.

Sedara Kim – M.A., Anthropology, 2001
Formerly served as Senior Researcher for the Cambodia Development Resource Institute and advisor to Cambodia’s Council of Ministers. Currently serving as the President of The National Preah Vihear Authority and Advisor to the Office of Council of Ministers, Equivalent to the Minister, Royal Government of Cambodia.

Camilla Vasquez – M.A., English, 2000
Professor of Applied Linguistics at the University of South Florida with research and teaching specializations in the areas of discourse analysis, the language of digital media, sociolinguistics, pragmatics and cultural issues in language teaching.


William (Bill) Johnson – Presidential Teaching Professor Emeritus, Department of English

Charles Larson – Professor Emeritus, Department of Communication

W. Bruce Lincoln – Presidential Research Professor Emeritus, Department of History


April Davis – Office Manager, Department of Political Science

Gregory Ross – Coordinator, Foreign Language Residence Program

Nominations for the 2018 CLAS Distinguished Awards will open in January 2018.