Redbirds Around the World

Whether through unique opportunities studying abroad, spreading Redbird Pride through their travels, or landing amazing international jobs, Illinois State sends…
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three women standing next to each other in front of a lake and building with trees
Decades of adventure
Mary (Korte) Frost Bondioli, Linda (Goodrich) Henkel, and Rebecca (Page) Beckmann are 1970 graduates. Beckmann and Bondioli were childhood friends and roommates in Barton Hall in the fall of 1966. Henkel’s room was across from them. The three have remained close for more than 50 years, and still connect at least once annually. They traveled to Ireland to celebrate their 70th birthdays in 2018. They are, from left, Bondioli of Herrin, Henkel of Warrensburg, and Beckmann of Germantown.
two women standing next to each other in front of the arc de trioe
Roaming Redbirds
A friendship that formed on the 12th floor of Hewitt Hall in 1970 has remained strong for three 1974 graduates. The ladies have shared their experiences through love and loss, babies, adult children, and grandchildren. Now retired, the trio enjoys adventures around the world, including a trip to Paris in 2018. They are, from left, Peggy (Johnson) Romba ’74, M.S. ’89, of Bloomington; Elaine (Moats) Curran ’74, of San Jose, California; and Claudia (Connery) Krueger ’74, of Darien.
two men standing next to each other in front of a sign that says mount kilimanjaro
Bucket List Trek Two adventurous friends and long-time ISU employees who connected through the Division of Student Affairs took on the challenge of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro last fall. Rick Lewis, left, and Floyd Hoelting climbed the dormant volcano in Tanzania. It is the tallest peak in Africa. Lewis, M.S. ’87, worked 30 years on campus. He retired last year as an associate dean in the Dean of Students Office. Hoelting served as the University’s director of Housing and Food Services from 1977
two women holding up a red sign in front of a building with steps behind them
A love of literature is shared by alumnae who keep a close friendship despite the distance between Normal and England. Kate Charles, left, is a popular mystery author who writes under the pen name of Carol Chase. Her 12th novel, False Tongues, was published in 2015 in England and America. JoAnna Mink ’72, M.S. ’75, D.A. ’85, is a retired English and literature professor who writes the Reggie Reads column for Illinois State. A recent visit by Mink gave the two a chance to show their ISU spirit. T
a woman standing in front of a table filled with flowers and fruit on it's side
Redbirds Abroad: Alice Lin
Redbirds Abroad: Alice Lin
two men standing next to each other in front of a lush green field with buildings in the background
Jeff Fritzen ’74 of Normal has organized six outreach ministry trips to Medellin, Colombia, since 2005. The most recent trek earlier this year involved a work team constructing a soccer sports center. The 8 men covered their own costs and donated their time to help complete a regulation soccer field. Mitchell Butraigo, a local member of the ministry, reconnected with FHe shared his ISU pride, which runs deep as a past president of the Alumni Association Board of Directors.
a group of people standing in front of a table with food and drinks on it
Although far from campus, a group of Redbirds still find time to gather in Florida. All residents of The Villages, they gathered in the spring to enjoy a sunset and show off the school colors. Group members include, from left, Joan (Lebensorger) Nammari, M.S. ’70; Bruce and Della Davey ’95; Carole (Robert) ’72 and Greg Mroczowski ’71; Cathie (Ozog) ’71 and Jim Conrad ’71, M.S. ’72; and Jerry Heller ’69.
a group of people standing next to each other holding a red flag that says illinois state university
Four students (Kevin Neylon, Caitlin Fortier, Kayleigh Price and Travis Howe) and a faculty member (Instructional Assistant Professor Karen Dennis) from Illinois State University’s School of Kinesiology and Recreation traveled to Vladimir, Russia for a 17-day, short-term study abroad experience in May 2016. #RoaminRedbirds
the collage shows people in different locations around the world, including an old red phone booth
Nearly 250 students are spending their summer in 24 different countries through Study Abroad. Illinois State encourages students to expand their horizons to classrooms beyond our borders through Study Abroad experiences. #RoaminRedbirds
the word love is written in the sand at the beach
Our #RoaminRedbirds are loose across the planet! Thanks to Ashtyn-Hope Lasley on Instagram for this shot from Costa Rica.
an advertisement for the national traditional chicago festival
Join us at @navypierchicago June 22, 2016, for "A Normal Tradition in Chicago" when we will bring the sights and traditions of #IllinoisState to you, #ChicagoRedbirds! Register online at
a group of people standing on top of a wooden porch next to a white building
Our Dallas/Ft. Worth Area Alumni Network volunteered with Rebuilding Together Greater Dallas to work on a home for a veteran in the area. #RedbirdProud
some people are holding up a flag in a stadium
Even though the Redbird men's basketball team lost to St. Joseph's on Dec. 19, 2015, Philadelphia's ISU alumni attended the game to cheer on the Redbirds. From left to right: Susan ‘70 and Tim ’70 Brennan, Maggie ’74, M.S. ‘76 and Phil ‘ 75, M.S. ‘77 Tripp, Andre Cherry ’09 , Janet ‘75 and Frank ‘75 Plantan.
a woman standing in the water with her hands on her hips and looking at the camera
For Illinois State alum Courtney Johnson, it wasn't a choice between the Peace Corps and graduate school; it was both (via Peace Corps Midwest/Twitter):
a man holding up a illinois state flag in a room filled with bags and backpacks
Thanks to ISU alum Nicholas Stefan (US Air Force) for spreading the red on the ground in Afghanistan! #RedbirdProud
a group of men and women posing for a photo in front of an empty stadium
The Illinois State men's basketball team is enjoying its 10-day trip to Spain. The Redbirds are squeezing in some sightseeing around their 4-game schedule, pictured here at the home of Real Madrid. (photo courtesy John Twork)
two people are sitting in the sand at the beach and one is wearing a bathing suit
ISU alumni beat the heat with a fun day at Raging Waves Water Park in Yorkville, Illinois, while enjoying some Avanti's gondolas and Reggie in the sand!
a man standing on top of a sandy beach holding up a black shirt that says illinois state
Alex Islas is enjoying his #RedbirdTravels in Mexico this summer!
three people standing next to each other in front of flowers
Brazilian students spend summer at Horticulture Center
Brazilian students are spending their summer at Illinois State's Horticulture Center.
a group of older people sitting next to each other under a gazebo on a sunny day
Redbirds in The Villages, Florida, recently held a wine and cheese event alumni gathering.
a group of people on a boat posing for a photo with a flag that says illinois state
Redbirds reppin' Reggie in Chennai, India
a group of people standing next to each other on a river bank in bathing suits
The Phoenix Alumni Network is enjoying the summer on this Salt River tubing adventure!
a group of people standing next to each other in front of a brick building with trees
ISU's summer interns in Washington D.C., recently had an opportunity to meet the university's version of the First Family.
two women in red shirts standing next to each other near the tajwa mosque
Cassondra Izaguirre enjoyed her trip to India with her fellow Redbirds during Summer 2013.
a group of people standing in front of a large obelisk with trees behind it
The Brazil side of Tres Fronteras, the three frontiers of Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil - with students from the Mennonite College of Nursing.
four people standing in front of a white building with gold domes on it's sides
Mennonite College of Nursing students Miranda Matheny, Jenna Capriotti, David Baker, Ben Stuff, Sarah Anderson, and Bridget Good in Russia.