HARRISBURG, Ill. (May 3, 2016) – Dr. Dana Keating has been selected by members of the Southeastern Illinois College Mu Psi Chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society to join Southeastern’s Distinguished Alumni roster. Keating Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs at Southeastern Illinois College. She has dedicated 38 years to the betterment of Southeastern by holding many positions and being involved in numerous grants, projects and programs.
A Harrisburg native, Keating earned her associate degree from Southeastern in 1974. From there, she continued on to Eastern Illinois University where she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education in 1976.
“Attending Southeastern right after high school graduation made great sense for me,” said Keating. “It was affordable and just a 15 minute drive from home and allowed me to save a great deal of money that I was able to later use when I went on to Eastern Illinois University. I gained confidence in my ability to be successful in college at Southeastern and it provided a good transitional step from high school to a university.”
Keating later attended Southern Illinois University and obtained a Master of Science in Vocational Education Studies in 1983, and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Higher Education in 1996. Early in her career she taught home economics at Flora Junior High School.
“As a student at Southeastern, the college provided a great first step to higher level degrees,” said Keating. “SIC gave me a great foundation to build upon. It was a small, friendly place where instructors cared about the success of every student. The College has grown so much since I was a student here, but it is still that type of institution – caring and committed to students.”
During her tenure, Keating has been involved in most areas of the college. Some of her positions have included instructor, counselor, director of admissions and records, registrar, dean of instruction and even interim president for a few months on the way to her current position as Vice President. She has served on and led several committees, been involved with professional affiliations and assisted in the ICCB Recognition process. She serves as the Accreditation Liaison Officer for SIC with the Higher Learning Commission, SIC’s accrediting agency.
Keating’s passion for higher education is evident in the millions of dollars in grants that have made their way to Southeastern with her help. Most recently, she led the grant writing team in the Student Support Services TRIO Grant that has been renewed for approximately $1.4 million over five years. Other grants include the Title III Developing Institutions Grant at approximately $2.4 million over five years and the Building Illinois Bio-Economy Consortium Grant for approximately $750,000 over three years, among numerous others. These grants have brought educational programs to Southeastern, assisted in funding the development of college services, helped fund needed equipment for programs, such as a pediatric simulator for the Nursing program, as well as employ faculty and staff for grant activities.
“Simply put, I strongly believe that education opens the door to opportunity,” said Keating. “Even a short certificate can make the difference in someone’s job opportunities and level of income for all their working years. Understanding and experiencing the value of education results in encouraging others to do the same.”
SIC President Dr. Jonah Rice said, “Dr. Keating is the epitome of the heart of Southeastern. She considers the student perspective in all that she does, and she cares, I mean really cares, for the college. She knows how valuable SIC is to the community it serves.”
“Dana represents all that is good about Southeastern. She is an admirable colleague, a good friend, and a wonderful choice for our distinguished alumna of the year.”
Keating, the daughter of Lodema and the late Ben Sisk, has been married to Bill Keating for 40 years and they have two sons, Kris (34) and Patrick (28). Kris and wife, Kim, have a daughter, Sonni, who is now six.