MACOMB/Moline, IL – Raymond Lawson, dean of online learning at Oakton Community College in Des Plaines and Skokie (IL), has been named the director of distance education and support at Western Illinois University, effective June 1, while Jacob Bartels has been named the distance education support specialist, effective May 17.

Lawson has served as dean of online learning at Oakton Community College since 2017. In this role he has directed the development and implementation of programs, and collaborated with faculty and staff to set and implement goals for online learning. Lawson also was responsible for developing external partnerships to enhance online learning program initiatives, and for overseeing instructional design

Lawson Named Director of Distance Education and Support; Bartels Named Distance Education Support Specialist

WIU has had a Quad-Cities presence since 1912, and before moving to River Drive in Moline, was at 60th Street off John Deere Road.

activities and improvements to the processes.

Previously, Lawson served as the director of online learning and educational technology at McHenry County College in Crystal Lake (IL) from 2011-2017. Lawson has also served as the program director for information technology and skilled trades (2009-2010) and as program director for skilled trades (2007-2009) for Kaplan Higher Ed Corp, Chicago; as a curriculum specialist for Career Education Corp., Hoffman Estates (IL) (2002-2007); as an internet application developer for Business Logic Corp., Chicago (2000-2001) and an instructional designer/programmer at NIU (1999-2000).

He is a member of the Board of Directors for the Instructional Technology Council (ITC), representing the North Central Region, and serves as chair of the marketing and communication committee.

“As we continue to build WIU’s remote educational offerings, it is essential to have administrators in place to further enhance our distance education initiatives. Dr. Lawson and Mr. Bartels will provide excellent guidance and support to grow our remote programs and initiatives,” said WIU Provost Martin Abraham.

Lawson earned his Ed.D. and a master’s from Northern Illinois University, a master’s degree from Eastern College, a bachelor’s degree from Universite du Benin (now Universite de Lomé) in West Africa and a bachelor’s degree from Universite Marien N’Goubi in the Republic of Congo. He also earned two certificates from the University of Illinois Springfield.

Bartels has served as a finance analyst at McDonough District Hospital (MDH) since December 2019. He is also the owner of J & L Cattle in Macomb. Previously, Bartels served as a clinical analyst at MDH and as a case manager for community outreach.

Bartels earned his bachelor’s degree in organizational and interpersonal communication from WIU.


Lawson Named Director of Distance Education and Support; Bartels Named Distance Education Support Specialist
Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.