School, bag, backpack.

Know of a student doing something remarkable? Tell us about it! Email


Aurora University has named Brooke Peters of Peoria to the dean’s list for the fall 2020 semester. Peters is majoring in psychology, professional writing. The dean’s list recognizes full-time undergraduate students who have earned a 3.6 GPA or higher.

Aurora University is a four-year, private, nonprofit, fully accredited higher education institution offering students an excellent education while maintaining one of the lowest private school tuition rates in Illinois. 

The campus is nestled in a tree-lined neighborhood in Aurora, the second-largest city in Illinois, and located approximately 45 miles from Chicago. The university serves approximately 6,200 undergraduate and graduate students across more than 50 majors and programs. AU leadership, faculty and staff are committed to the success of our students, offering strong academic support programs and learning opportunities that prepare students for success beyond graduation. 


Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville, Iowa, has released the fall honors list of full-time students (12 credits or more) who have demonstrated academic excellence by earning a grade point average of 3.25 (based on a 4.00) or higher. Kailey Maksim of Peoria is included on the dean’s list. 

Students who have achieved a 3.25 grade point average or better are recognized by inclusion on the dean’s list. Those with a 4.00 (A) average are on the president’s list.

Iowa Lakes Community College is accredited by the Iowa Department of Education with programs approved for veterans education and by the U.S. Justice Department, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the Iowa Board of Nursing.

With more than 50 areas of study from many nationally recognized programs to fulfill various educational goals, Iowa Lakes Community College helps people looking to receive the first two years of a baccalaureate degree, wanting to start a new career through career and technical programs, or hoping to re-enter the workforce with an updated skill set.


Kristin Simphoukham of Peoria has performed in a number of programs at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota, including the annual Christmas in Christ Chapel worship service virtually last year. 

In the midst of a global pandemic and ongoing social discord, Christmas in Christ Chapel’s 2020 theme, Healer of the Nations, Come, proclaimed God’s healing presence made manifest in the salvation story, renewing mind and spirit through life-giving music, dance, spoken word, and visual arts.

Gustavus Adolphus College is a private liberal arts college that prepares 2,200 undergraduate students for lives of leadership, service and lifelong learning. Gustavus was founded in 1862 and is the oldest Lutheran college in Minnesota. Fully accredited and known for its strong science, writing, music, athletics, study-away and service-learning programs, Gustavus is internationally recognized for its annual Nobel Conference.

Visit to learn more.


Over 2,500 students earned their degrees from Northern Illinois University in May. Included among the graduates was Jacob Zimbelman of Peoria who earned a Master of Arts in Philosophy at the DeKalb, Illinois, school. 

Northern Illinois University is a student-centered, nationally recognized public research university, with expertise that benefits its region and spans the globe in a wide variety of fields, including the sciences, humanities, arts, business, engineering, education, health and law. Through its main campus in DeKalb, Illinois, and education centers for students and working professionals in Chicago, Hoffman Estates, Naperville, Oregon and Rockford, NIU offers more than 100 courses of study while serving a diverse and international student body of about 19,000. The 17 NIU Huskie athletic teams compete in the Mid-American Conference at the highest NCAA Division I level. For more information, visit


Peoria native Anissia Hughes earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, on May 24. A graduate of Liberty High School, Hughes graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Graduates were honored in a virtual commencement ceremony this year.

Founded in 1882, Whitman College is a highly selective private, independent, co-educational, nonsectarian residential liberal arts and sciences undergraduate college. The college is home to approximately 1,500 undergraduate students exploring 45 departmental majors that lead to a Bachelor of Arts degree. Whitman College students develop capacities to analyze, interpret, criticize, communicate and engage. A concentration on basic disciplines, in combination with a supportive residential life program, fosters intellectual vitality, confidence, leadership and the flexibility to succeed in a changing technological, multicultural world.


The University of Wisconsin-Madison has recognized students named to the dean’s list for the spring semester of the 2019-2020 academic year.

Students who achieve at a high level academically are recognized by the dean at the close of each semester. To be eligible for the dean’s list, students must complete a minimum of 12 graded degree credits in that semester. Each university school or college sets its own GPA requirements for students to be eligible to receive the distinction. Most call the honor dean’s list, but some grant the dean’s honor list and dean’s high honor list. 

Among the students named are Glendale residents Yining Zhang of the School of Education; Atilano Escobar, School of Education, dean’s list and Jayla Thompson, College of Letters and Science, dean’s list.