Vote for WIU alum in Phi Kappa Phi grad photo contest!

WIU 2012 Graduate Diesel Baldwin - Phi Kappa Phi Graduation Photo Contest

Diesel Baldwin finished his B.A. in anthropology and a double minor in law enforcement and justice administration and biological sciences–zoology in December 2012. He submitted this photo into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi Graduation Photo Contest, and it made the top 10. Vote for the photo through Feb. 22 at phikappaphi.wufoo.com/forms/graduation-photo-contest/.

His expression says it all…

That’s likely why the photo of 2012 graduate Diesel Baldwin (see above)–an image of him enthusiastically shaking Western Illinois University President Jack Thomas’ hand on the WIU Commencement stage last December–made the cut in The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi (PKP) Graduation Photo contest. It is in the top 10.

Diesel said his mother-in-law took the photo.

“They were calling for submissions on the PKP website, so I voluntarily submitted a couple of photos, and that is the one they chose,” he noted.

Diesel finished his B.A. in anthropology and a double minor in law enforcement and justice administration and biological sciences–zoology in December. To be a member of Phi Kappa Phi, as an undergraduate, he had to maintain, and graduate with, a high grade point average. He certainly accomplished that: he said his overall GPA was 3.99–a 4.0 in his major and in his LEJA minor and a 3.95 in his zoology minor.

He’s already back in school at Western, currently enrolled at WIU-Quad Cities as a graduate student in the biological sciences, zoo and aquarium studies post-baccalaureate certificate program. He also works as a student worker in the WIU Admissions Office.

He has plans to pursue his master’s degree in forensic anthropology (biological/physical anthropology) and has applied to several institutions that have such programs (Western does not).

Voting ends Feb. 22. Vote for Diesel’s photo at https://phikappaphi.wufoo.com/forms/graduation-photo-contest/

WIU alumnus, zoo director in Ohio, involved in search for exotic animals

With headlines like “Exotic animals escape from Ohio farm” and “Schools closed as exotic animals prowl,” the situation that unfolded on Oct. 18 and 19 sounded like something straight from a movie rather than from actual news sources.

But the very real situation is that dozens of exotic animals, including lions, tigers and cheetahs, escaped from a Zanesville, Ohio preserve following the death of its owner. According to CNN.com, a number of animals thought to be dangerous were still on the loose as of 8:35 a.m. (EST) today (Oct. 19).

Tom Stalf, a WIU graduate, is among the officials trying to get the situation under control. Stalf, who until recently served as director of the Niabi Zoo in the Quad Cities, is now the senior vice president of the Columbus (Ohio) Zoo. The 1992 WIU alum was interviewed on TODAY this morning about the danger that these animals present on the loose.

Screen shot of Tom Stalf on Today show

Stalf earned a bachelor’s degree in biology with a minor geology from WIU. He left the QC area for Ohio only recently, according to KWQC.com, to take the position in Ohio. Watch him being interviewed on the TODAY show here. (Stalf’s interview begins at approximately the 2:35 mark).