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Sue Martinelli-Fernandez

TSPR Friends Advisory Board Member

Born in 1951, I was the first-born child of John Leo Peter Martinelli and Shirley Mae Fernandez. We lived in a two story, brick building, purchased and owned by my fraternal grandparents, Joseph and Anna Martinelli in the 1940’s. Grandpa Joe, immigrated to the United States in 1919 and was employed as a brick layer and then had scullery duties in a well-known restaurant in downtown Chicago restaurant, The Blackhawk, across the street from Marshall Field’s (their Wabash entrance). Eventually my grandfather observed other cooks (or chefs depending on their mood) and taught himself how to grill meats, sauté fish, and prepare simple, but tasty sauces to accompany said meats and fish… he became a cook … AND … he loved the opera.

My uncle Lawrence Albert Martinelli, was in the Marines during WWII, fought in the Battle of Guadalcanal, and eventually followed in my grandfather’s footsteps and became a cook. He had a short stint at the Blackhawk and then was employed at King Arthur’s Pub, also on Wabash .. a hop, skip and a jump from the Blackhawk ... AND ... He loved to read.

My father, John Leo Peter Martinelli did not find his calling until around 1954/5 when he went to Barber School. (If we fast forward to the mid-60’s, he would call himself a ‘hairstylist’… trust me he was and always will be John the Barber)... AND ... He loved to listen and to tell stories. 

Opera – Reading – Storytelling. Music, Literature, & Narratives – At a very early age, I was introduced to what I would learn to be embedded in some of the disciplines of my beloved Liberal Arts and it is this history that has informed who I am as an individual, as an academic, and as a long-time supporter of public radio.

Professionally, my Ph.D. in Philosophy is from the University of Chicago. I went to college as an adult student, earning an A.M. from Mundelein College, which is now part of Loyola University in Chicago. While earning my degrees, I worked full time for Lukas Lippert Film Productions and Essanay Studio and Lighting Company in Chicago. In 1993, I was hired by WIU as a faculty member in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies. Most recently, I am the retired Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Philosophy at Western Illinois University. I have published on Kant, Hume, feminism, and in applied areas of business ethics, reproductive issues, and military ethics. I have taught courses in applied ethics, ethical theory, feminism, and philosophy and literature and has delivered papers in these areas at national and international conferences. I have been co-director of the Program for the Study of Ethics at Western Illinois University and is currently faculty advisor to Golden Key International Honour Society, Western Illinois University Chapter. Also, I have served as Secretary/Treasurer and Vice-President of the Illinois Philosophical Association and served on the executive board of the Society for Teaching Ethics across the Curriculum. I have held membership in Delta Kappa Gamma International (Lambda State – Illinois, Theta Chapter), promoting professional and personal growth of women educators and excellence in education and has served as the co-chair of the International Committee.