I have lived my entire life in Central Illinois. I was born in Bloomington-Normal, I grew up in a little town called Morton, I did undergrad and graduate school in Urbana-Champaign, and I married a man from Pekin, a small town outside of the city of Peoria. My husband has also never lived anywhere else. Both of our sets of parents live here. Both my sets of grandparents live here. J’s grandparents are no longer living, but when they were around, they lived here.
It is a bit scary to contemplate moving to an entirely different area of the country. But it is also exciting.
I will be saying goodbye to the University of Illinois campus after twelve years of learning and growing on what is, to me, the most beautiful campus in the world. I hope to do my friends, mentors, and colleagues proud in my new position at Stephen F. Austin State University.
I am therefore quite humbled and extremely grateful to have been selected to receive the 2015 Graduate Scholar Award from the Women’s Resource Center and the Office of Inclusion and Intercultural Relations for my work on media, gaming, and identity.
I am honored to be valued by the community that did so much to shape my work and my life.
If you want to see me try to hold back wistful tears, feel free to come join me at the Annual Women’s Awards Ceremony on Friday, May 1st at 5 pm at the Heritage Room in the ACES Library and Alumni Center.