ICCTA Distinguished Alumnus Award

2001 Recipient

Professor Karen Keasler
Chair, Business division, Southeastern Illinois College
Southeastern Illinois College (1977)

Described by a colleague as both "people smart" and "book smart," Keasler rose from humble beginnings to become an exemplary college professor.

A native of southern Illinois, Keasler graduated with honors from SIC in 1977. She then went on to earn her bachelor's and master's degrees from Southern Illinois University while at the same time maintaining a household and raising three children.

"Southeastern has not only affected my life while I was a student, but it has impacted my professional life as well," she says. "I am getting to teach beside some of my past teachers and learn about them as people.

Karen Keasler (right) receives her Distinguished Alumnus Award from ICCTA past president Linden Warfel.
Karen Keasler (right) receives her Distinguished Alumnus Award from
ICCTA past president Linden Warfel.

"I have found that working with them as a colleague has given me a new perspective from which to grow. As a member of the faculty, I have grown to admire and respect my teachers even more. They probably do not realize that they have continued to be my teachers as we work together," she says.

"I want to do all that I can to see that Southeastern and my students become even more successful," she says.

In her dual role as faculty member and chair of SIC's business division, Keasler is listed in "Who's Who in American Women" and "Who's Who Among America's Teachers." She has won teaching awards from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development, the Illinois Business Education Association, the Southern Illinois Business Education Association, Phi Beta Lambda, Southeastern Illinois College, and ICCTA.

Keasler has also served as faculty advisor for the college's Phi Beta Lambda chapter since 1990. Under her sponsorship, the chapter has won state and national honors for its annual community service project. In 1999 the SIC chapter was recognized by the Points of Light Foundation as a regional honoree for "Make A Difference Day" and has been nominated for the award again this year.

In addition to her many college commitments, Keasler has been active in her community as a religion teacher, Cub Scout den mother, and water safety instructor for the American Red Cross. She also volunteered time to the Arthritis Foundation, the Gallatin County Band Boosters, the March of Dimes, the Shawneetown City Park, the American Cancer Society, and the Anna Bixby Abused Women's Center.

A past president of the Southern Illinois Business Education Association, she has also served on the International Business Committee of the Southern Illinois Collegiate Common Market.

Keasler and her husband James live in Ridgway. She has three sons -- Kris, Ryan and Brad -- and is the daughter of Ike and Mary Bard.