Zach Bokum received his commission as second lieutenant in August after graduating from OCS (Officer Candidate School). He joined the Army National Guard after graduating from OPRF High School in 2002. Zach’s grandfather also served as second lieutenant in the Army Air Corps during WWII.

Since joining the guard, he has been deployed to Germany and New Orleans. His unit, the 129th regiment, is currently serving in Afghanistan, and he will likely join them by the end of the year, say his parents John and Heidi Bokum. Zach is currently at Western Illinois University and will graduate in May. He hopes to learn to fly Apache and Blackhawk helicopters and eventually to enter law school as a JAG (Judge Advocate General) candidate.

Professor pens tome on race relations

Dr. Leslie Tischauser, a history professor at Prairie State College is the author of four history books tracing racial issues in the United States.

His most recent book, Race Relations in the United States, 1920-1940, was recently published by Greenwood Press as part of a series on race relations. The book examines some of the difficult conditions ethnic groups have faced, including the hardships of Germans, Hispanics, Asians, and American Indians.

While he was at Wright College, Tischauser appreciated the enthusiasm of his community college professors, and decided to pursue academia. He has been a history professor at Prairie State College since 1982.

Tischauser earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois, master’s degree from Northeastern Illinois University, and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. His other books include Black/White Relations in American History, The Changing Nature of Racial and Ethnic Conflict in United States History: 1492 to the Present, and The Burden of Ethnicity: The German Question in Chicago, 1914-1941. He lives in Oak Park with his wife, Connie, and has two sons.

Art at The Mart

Oak Park artists Carol Ryan of Carol Ryan Art and Alix Mikesell of Happenstance exhibited their work, Dec. 4-7, at the Merchandise Mart’s One of a Kind Show and Sale. Ryan specializes in abstract paintings, Mikesell in jewelry. They were among 500 artisans exhibiting during the eighth-annual, four-day event, which draws more than 30,000 visitors each year.

Dominican appoints new librarian

Dominican University has appointed Dr. Bella Karr Gerlich as university librarian. Gerlich comes to Dominican from Georgia College & State University where she served as associate university librarian and associate professor.

Gerlich has also served as the senior librarian for Carnegie Mellon University’s arts and special collections and worked in libraries at both Bethany College and Virginia Commonwealth University, in the library development office coordinating special events and creating exhibits and publicity campaigns among other duties.

Gerlich holds a bachelor of fine arts degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, a master’s degree of public management from Carnegie Mellon University, and a doctorate in library and information sciences from University of Pittsburgh, where she taught library management courses. She served as president and vice president of the Western Pennsylvania/West Virginia chapter of the Association of College and Research Libraries from 2004 to 2006.

Dominican’s Rebecca Crown Library is an integral part of the university campus. The library houses a collection of over 300,000 volumes and subscribes to more than 18,000 journals, many of which are available electronically through over 120 databases.

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