Cooperative Sorority & Alumni

4-H House Blog


Meet Your Alum Board – Michelle Mitchell

Hello! My name is Michelle (Uken) Mitchell. I was a member of the ’94 pledge class of 4-H House and graduated from the U of I with a degree in Elementary Education. Currently, I am on the Alum Board and serving on the Property Committee. I have learned a lot from being on this committee and really appreciate their hard work. A big thank you to all of the alums who donate their time, talents, and/or money in making 4-House a special place for young women at the University of Illinois!
I grew up on a farm near St. Joseph, Illinois and I also enjoyed working on my grandparents’ dairy farm, as well as showing dairy cattle. My sister, Tammy (Uken) Kimmel was in the ‘87 pledge class. As her younger sister, it was always so fun to visit her at the house and get to know her house sisters. I [ ]

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Meet Your Alum Board – Pat Nelson


Hello. I am Pat Nelson, pledge class of fall 1976/graduating class of 1980. It feels like yesterday, but when I see those years on paper, wow! It is my honor to be serving on the 4-H House Alumni Board.  As the marketing/recruitment officer, I support the House Interviewing Chair with disseminating information, recruiting, and selecting prospective members. As privacy concerns increase and information shared through the university decreases, we rely strongly on our alum base to link young ladies in your communities with the opportunity of living cooperatively at 4-H House. I will make one more shameless plug. If you know any high school young lady that would make a great addition to 4-H House, please email the interviewing chair at 4hhinterview@gmail.com.
For me, there was really only one university choice and it led me straight to 4-H House. Perhaps my family brainwashed me into attending the University of Illinois [ ]

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85th Anniversary Celebration – Information and Registration

It’s Time to Re-unite and Re-ignite with 4-H House Sisters

Please join us for the 85th Anniversary celebration of 4-H House and our sisterhood in the Champaign-Urbana area of Illinois July 12-13, 2019!

Continuing the traditions established at the 50th, 75th and 80th celebrations and adhering to the 4-H motto, we plan to make the best better!

The committee has purposely planned events that leave blocks of free time for you to get together in “big/little” families, pledge classes, decades or others.  You’ll have time to just sit and reminisce, go on a walking tour of campus, visit your special spots, share a meal or a picnic, show your family around campus or any other combination of activities you wish to plan and participate in.

Friday, 7/12

Our kickoff event will be a barbeque at Lake of the Woods Pavilion on Friday night, 5 to 7 pm.  Come early and enjoy the park.  It’s a [ ]

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Meet Your Alum Board – Julie West

Member of 4-H House  and lived in the house for 4 years (fall 1976 – spring 1980)
4-H House president, House Manager and several other house offices and committees
BS in Home Economics Education, May 1980, University of IL
MS in Education, July 1993, Western IL University
Volunteer/Auxiliary Manager at Hammond-Henry Hospital, Geneseo, IL.   April 2003 – present
Coordinate efforts of 230 adult volunteers and 58 teen volunteers in rural community hospital.
In my “spare” time, I am also self-employed doing clothing alterations for a Four Seasons/GWK Enterprises and for individuals.
University of IL Extension, 4-H Youth Development, in Whiteside County, Rock Island County, Extension Educator- Youth-at-Risk/Prevention
Iowa State University Extension, 4-H Youth Development, in Scott and Muscatine Counties
Volunteer Involvement
First Congregational Church, Geneseo – member, secretary of Church Council, past Church Council chair and trustee, and current choir member.
Served on the local board of the Geneseo International Thanksgiving Fellowship Program (GITFP).  It is a non-profit group that hosts [ ]

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85th Anniversary Celebration Registration

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Meet Your Alum Board – Beth Patterson

Greetings.  It’s Beth
Patterson – your Alumni relations connection on the board.  When the House women look to meet, mix, and
mingle with our illustrious alums for networking opportunities, I’m the one to
call!  The Homefront also falls under my
responsibility.  As Joyce Riskedal (web
site maven) has previously mentioned, please update your profile on the House
web site as we are moving to more digital communication in January of 2020.

A little about me.  I hail from Carroll County in Northwestern Illinois and was determined to attend the UI no matter what.  My folks were concerned that this small-town girl would get lost in the shuffle of the University and they were right.  Thank goodness for learning about 4H House through the connections I made while showing projects at the state fair.  The night that Natalie Webb Dougherty and Nancy Blankenship Ottosen called me to join 4H House and the pledge class of 1978, I was [ ]

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Meet Your Alum Board – Pam Clodfelter

Hello!  My name is Pam
Clodfelter, and I serve as the Parent
Liaison on your Alumni Board.  It amazes
me how time slips away so quickly and before I know it, I find myself being a 30-year alumnus of the University of Illinois
and 4H House.  I graduated with a BS
(1989) in Agricultural Communications (News-Editorial) and an M.Ed. (2002) in
Human Resource Development.   I grew up
in Kewanee Illinois on a farrow to finish hog farm where I was active in
athletics at Wethersfield High School and 4-H.

In the past 30 years, I have worked in various industries as
my husband, Randy, and I have grown our careers and our family. Starting with
the Illinois Pork Producers Association to Higher Education to Ag in the
Classroom, I never strayed too far from promoting agriculture and education.  Currently, I am the human resource/office
manager for a local commodity brokerage firm. 
We live in Sterling where we raised our two
children – Meghan and Mitch.  [ ]

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Underwriting 85th Reunion

Dear House Sisters,

Plans for this summer’s 4-H House 85th Anniversary reunion are well underway! We hope you’ve blocked the weekend of July 12-13 on your calendar and will be in Champaign-Urbana to celebrate with alumnae and current House sisters.

As you know, during the 75th Anniversary in 2009, 4-House alumnae unanimously agreed that reunions every 25 years were 20 years overdue! What a joy it was to come together again in 2014 and now to look forward to July, 2019. Obviously, we can’t allow the celebrations to create a financial burden for our 4-H House Alumnae Association. And thanks to some very generous House sisters, we are close to accomplishing this goal!

Cindy Eustice, Kay Bonneur and members of the Class of ’56 have elected to celebrate their milestone birthday this year at the 85th Anniversary party – 85 at the 805 85th! These women were among the leaders of our sisterhood who [ ]

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Meet Your Alum Board- Joyce Riskedal

Hi, this is Joyce (Maierhofer) Riskedal (’91).  I am the one you hear from on FB and emails.  I serve as the website/database chair on the
alum board. (Don’t forget to update your profile).

Shortly after I graduated with a degree in Elementary Education,
I married my college sweetheart, Brad (FH, ’91).   I taught kindergarten for 2 years and started
our family.  I like to consider myself as
still being on maternity leave.  Except for
some substitute teaching years ago, I have not returned to the classroom.

We have 2 sons, Darren and Stephen.  Darren (FH, ’16) married Kendall Herren (4-H, ’16) and lives in Lake Mills, WI. He works for Insight FS.  Stephen (FH, ’19) will be starting a job with Grainco FS here in LaSalle County after graduation.

I stay busy helping Brad on our family farm in Leland, IL, keeping
the books for our trucking company, “R” Delivery, helping with Riskedal Beef
while the boys are away, [ ]

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Distinguished Alumni Award

Take a moment and think about your house sisters. Which one comes to mind when you think about service to the house, the University, her profession, and her community? Please consider nominating her for the Distinguished Alumni Award. The guidelines and application are posted below. This year’s application is due to the Alumni Board by May 1, 2019. Applications can be emailed to membersupport@4hhouse.com or mailed to 4-H House 805 W. Ohio, Urbana, IL 61801 Attn: Anne Hathaway



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