WIU Alum Honored for Act of Kindness

A 1989 Western Illinois University alumna is receiving notoriety in Phoenix, AZ, because of an act of kindness she performed during her work day. Screen-Shot-2013-06-28-at-9.40.43-AM

Natalie (Petersen) Simonick, who received her bachelor’s degree in law enforcement and justice administration and her minors in political science and management, is a police sergeant with the Phoenix Police Department.

While on patrol one night, Simonick saw 18-year-old Cristian Felix walking in an isolated area. She learned the teen was walking six miles each way to his job at a fast food restaurant because there are no buses running during the times he would need a ride.

Simonick gave Felix a ride home that night but the boy’s work ethic left an impression on the officer.

“I asked him if he ever had a bicycle, because that’s a little safer than walking,” Simonick told the Fox television station in Phoenix. “He said he’s never ridden a bicycle before.”

The officer decided to give the boy an extra bicycle she and her husband had at home. She and her husband also taught Felix to ride the bicycle. She also gave him a helmet and light.

“It’s really something when someone comes up on the street and then offers to do a kindness for you,” Felix told the television station. “It’s great – I’ve never had an actual bike before, now I just want to ride it all the time.”

For more on this story, visit myfoxphoenix.com/story/22211517/curfew-check-turns-into-good-deed.

History you walk(ed) by every day.

Hey, current students and/or Western grads: ever wondered why that residence hall you call home—or that building you went to most often for the classes in your major— is called “Olson” or “Brophy” or “Simpkins”?

Where do campus buildings get their names?

Olson Hall

Olson Hall... and Olson who?

Or, to put it another way:

  • What do buildings on Western’s Macomb campus have to do with the War of 1812?
  • Is it true, or just a legend, that the windows in Malpass Library really spell out the name of a state—and not the state we’re living in?
  • Which Western building was once the site of a speech by Eleanor Roosevelt?

Western student Matt Fischer recently dug up the answers to these questions and more campus history in his recent feature story, “The names behind the masonry,” for the Western Courier, the student-run newspaper.

For his research, Fischer spoke with University Archives experts who filled him in on some of Western’s most interesting architectural tidbits.

Read the full story from the Western Courier. And add your memories about living and learning in campus buildings in the comments below!