Posted by Jim Haverstick on November 20, 2017

Southwestern Illinois College Business Faculty Member Tina Dierkes, Ph.D., returned from the 55th annual Illinois Business Education Association fall conference in Springfield with a prestigious honor in tow – the IBEA Distinguished Service Award.

Dierkes, SWIC Office Administration and Technology program coordinator and professor, earned the organization’s highest honor for her dedication to education and her long-term service to the IBEA. She has taught OAT classes at SWIC since 2000 and previously taught at Kaskaskia College for nine years. She has served the IBEA since 1989.

“I’m honored to be recognized for doing something I love to do and by an organization I respect and admire,” Dierkes said. “Working with students in the classroom and through Phi Beta Lambda has truly been what has carried me through my career. I feel fortunate to have been so lucky to work with so many great students.”

More than 100 business education professionals from high schools, community colleges and universities across the state attended the annual event at the Wyndham Springfield City Centre Nov. 8-10, 2017.

While still a student, Dierkes served on the IBEA Conference Planning Committee in 1989. She then went on to serve as president, first and second vice president, parliamentarian, and chair of both student organization and commercial exhibits.

In addition, Dierkes began serving as chapter adviser for Phi Beta Lambda, the career and technical student organization, while a graduate assistant at Eastern Illinois University. Overall, she has served as a local adviser for 28 years and on the State Board for 26 years; 17 as state adviser. She is currently serving a second three-year term on PBL National Board of Directors. Previously, she was National Chair-Elect, National Chair, and then Past National Chair from 2009 to 2011. Her club has produced several state and national officers and has received numerous national awards. She also established the Illinois PBL virtual chapter, the third such virtual chapter nationally.

Dierkes earned the IBEA Post-Secondary Teacher of the Year Award in 2014 and the IBEA Doctoral Research Award in 2007. She was named SWIC Faculty Member of the Year in 2009.

Since its formation in the mid-1930s, IBEA has promoted the study, development, and teaching of business and vocational education in all educational settings. Members meet at annual conferences to share information, to support research efforts, and to promote the practice and teaching of all areas of business, computers, and vocational education. The cooperative and engaging atmosphere also provides opportunities to share applied, theoretical, and strategic ideas. For further information about the IBEA, visit

For more information about SWIC Business Division programs, visit