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Bradley University Winter 2018

Prairie Med The challenges — and rewards — of rural medicine

Welcome from the President

Our talented leadership team and passionate people who have no egos or personal agendas and, as a result, have excellent chemistry. They are truly a dream team that makes my job easier. Let me introduce you to our Administrative Council: • Senior

VP of Academic Affairs and Provost Walter Zakahi ’78

• Senior

VP for Business Affairs Gary Anna ’75 (he will retire this summer after 36 years of dedicated service)

• VP

for Enrollment Management Justin Ball

• VP

for Student Affairs Nathan Thomas

• VP

for Advancement Jacob Heuser

• Associate

VP for Marketing and Communications Renée Richardson

• Athletic • Chief

THINGS ARE GREAT THESE DAYS on the Hilltop. Freshman enrollment continues to be exceptional. There are roughly 700 students from around the country enrolled in our online master’s programs in nursing and counseling, and we are about to launch a new online doctoral program in education. The new $100 million, 270,000 square-foot Business and Engineering Complex is under construction, on schedule and on budget. We continue to score high in the rankings, most notably the Wall Street Journal, which hailed Bradley as one of the 10 best colleges in the country for student engagement for the second year in a row. Our wonderful faculty are often recognized for various distinctions. I could go on and on, but the bottom line is that Bradley is doing very well and remains an exceptional place for society’s next generation of leaders to obtain an education second to none. One of the main reasons Bradley is doing so well these days despite a challenging environment for higher education is that it is blessed with exceptional people: dedicated students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends whose love and support allows our beloved university to thrive. Among these many outstanding people are those on our senior leadership team, each of whom plays a critical role for Bradley. They are all exceptional, talented, experienced

Director Chris Reynolds

of Police Brian Joschko M.A. ’17

• University

Spokesperson and Executive Director of Public Relations Renee Charles.

Joining the team June 1 is our new and very first Vice President of Legal Affairs and General Counsel Erin Kastberg, who comes to us from the GC’s Office at the University of Wisconsin, and our current Comptroller, Pratima Gandhi, who will replace Gary Anna as our CFO. Because the work of this team is so vital to Bradley’s success, our alumni should get to know them and what they do. In future issues, rather than always having me pontificate about something, I will ask some of these senior leaders to use this space to write a bit about themselves and the various responsibilities of their respective offices. As you read their stories, I think you will come to appreciate the complexity of running Bradley and the great work these folks do. I hope you find their information enlightening.

Winter 2018 How can you mend a broken heart?


Mohammad Imtiaz researches ways to create better cardiac outcomes.

Piano man


Jason Terry traveled to the Middle East to bring American composers and cultural diplomacy to two war-torn locations.


Prairie med


Rural Americans face additional health challenges compared to their city counterparts. Brave hearts


Brave Trails is the first summer camp in California to teach leadership skills to LGBTQ youth.


Voyages of discovery


First-generation students face additional stresses when acclimating to collegiate life. Departments Bradley Bits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Bradley Avenue. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Spirit. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

16: courtesy American Voices; 18: Duane Zehr; 24: courtesy Brave Trails; 28: Michael Austin.



Class Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Alumni Connections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Hilltop View. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

On the cover Almost 50 million Americans — about 16 percent of the population — live in rural areas with limited access to health care.



S.L. Guthrie executive editor

Gary Roberts ’70 president

Bob Grimson ’81 assistant director

Walter Zakahi ’78 provost and senior vice president for academic affairs

Mary Brolley assistant director Sarah Dukes art director

Renée B. Richardson associate vice president for marketing and communications

Duane Zehr university photographer Matt Hawkins, Nancy Ridgeway contributing writers


© Bradley University 2018 Bradley Hilltopics is published three times a year by Bradley University for alumni, faculty, staff, parents of students and other friends of the university. Send address changes to Bradley Hilltopics, Bradley University, 1501 W. Bradley Ave., Peoria, IL 61625. phone: (309) 677-2250 / website: email: / campus information: (309) 676-7611. Bradley University is committed to a policy of non-discrimination and the promotion of equal opportunities for all persons regardless of age, color, creed, disability, ethnicity, marital status, national origin, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or veteran status. The university is committed to compliance with all applicable laws regarding non-discrimination, harassment and affirmative action.

Bradley Bits Jake Hoffert ’20 became the first Bradley runner in 52 years to win individual gold at the Missouri Valley Conference Men’s Cross Country Championship this fall, running the 8K course in 24:37.87. The last Bradley runner to claim the title was Rod Collins ’67 in 1965.

Bradley’s hometown got some love in a new video by Seth Leverenz of the Office of Marketing and Communications. Take a look: and click on ‘videos.’

The university became a more welcoming environment with the installation of gender-neutral bathroom signage. The project began last summer with the residence halls and continued this fall in academic halls and other campus buildings.

“RACISM CAN’T BE EDUCATED AGAINST — AS IMPORTANT AS THAT IS. IT CAN’T BE LEGISLATED AGAINST — AS IMPORTANT AS THAT IS. IT MUST BE ORGANIZED AGAINST.” After headlining the Turner Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation’s 2017 Distinguished Entrepreneur Series last fall, UGG Boots founder Brian Smith posted a selfie with the center’s KEN KLOTZ.

Historian and anti-racist David Billings discussed 400 years of white supremacy in the U.S. at the Peplow Pavilion in January.

COMPILED BY S.L. Guthrie, Bob Grimson ’81, Mary Brolley, Sarah Dukes and Duane Zehr. PHOTO CREDITS // Peoria video: Seth Leverenz; Signs: Duane Zehr.


There’s a little more red and white on campus these days. Designed by TOM GUNTER and based on an idea by MITCH PERICAK ’17, the new Bradley-branded street-signs initiative was the first winner of the Glasser Endowed Tradition and Spirit Award.

Bradley Avenue

Spoken truth More than 800 students participated in last fall’s Tunnel of Oppression, which featured creative displays, multimedia and personal accounts of injustice. Everley Davis ’18, a Spanish, sociology, and religious studies triple major from Peoria, answered questions about her involvement in the biennial event. WHAT ROLE DID YOU PLAY IN THE PROJECT? I created a space dedicated to the relationship between African-American women and law enforcement. The women I featured varied in age, socioeconomic status, gender identity and mental health.  HOW WERE TOPICS CHOSEN? Each creator (of a room in the tunnel) chose a topic they identified with. I’m a black woman who has not experienced police brutality, but I fear it. I have also seen how it negatively affects the black community.

HOW DOES THE TUNNEL HELP SPARK CONVERSATIONS AND BUILD COMMUNITY AT BRADLEY? It’s hard to go through the Tunnel of Oppression and remain silent about your experience. The addition of the final tunnel that engaged participants in a miniature privilege walk allowed everyone to remember where they stand in relation to their peers. WHAT SURPRISED YOU ABOUT THE PROJECT? The collaborative effort of the presenters. We started as strangers and ended as family. Encouraging each other to speak our truth made the experience a therapeutic outlet to creatively represent and articulate our personal struggles. — M.B. 

Idea magnet New student venture competition What’s the big idea? That’s what the Turner School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation wants to know. Together with the Foster College of Business, it’s launched the Big Idea, a challenge for Bradley students and recent alumni (those who graduated in or after December 2016). The first phase of the challenge has ended, leaving about 30 teams, said Ken Klotz, the Turner School’s managing director. Designed to help students and alumni develop their


ideas, gain feedback, create networks and expose their ideas to potential investors, the challenge isn’t limited to business or entrepreneurship students. “We wanted to provide an opportunity for students in all colleges at Bradley to develop ideas for an innovation, product, service, smartphone app, or solution to a social issue. Everyone has ideas — we just want to provide a home for them in a fun, competitive environment. The ultimate goal? To see

some of the ideas blossom into thriving ventures,” Klotz said. In the second round at the end of March, teams will compete in a trade show and elevator pitch format. After submitting a business plan, the final three or four teams will make presentations to judges including prominent early-stage company investors, entrepreneurs, and business leaders from central Illinois. — M.B.

King gifts $1 million for scholarships at Steiner symposium

King at the Steiner Symposium for Sports Communication, shortly after announcing his gift of $1 million to the university to aid under-represented students studying communications.

Spoken truth, King: Duane Zehr.

During a recent trip to Norway, famed broadcaster Larry King HON ’09 noticed its attitude toward college costs and the amazement there that college was a pricey proposition in the U.S. The current host of “Larry King Now,” who spent 25 years headlining CNN’s most watched and longest-running program “Larry King Live,” believed he should do something. “I never went to college … I think it should be free,” King said at the 2017 Steiner Symposium for Sports Communication on campus, adding a college background wasn’t required when he started in broadcasting in Florida in the 1950s. Shortly before the third annual event, King announced a $1 million gift to

fund scholarships for under-represented students majoring in communications disciplines, saying, “they need more breaks.” “I can’t take it with me, and I wanted to support a good cause. I love talking with kids, working with kids. I love coming here.” King, who also attended the inaugural Steiner Symposium in 2015, said he plans to personally deliver the money to Bradley. More than 1,000 students and others participated with sports and media executives, broadcasters and writers at the symposium in November. Along with the event’s namesake, Los Angeles Dodgers announcer Charley Steiner ’71 HON ’10, speakers and panelists

included King, Olympics figure skater Matt Savoie ’02, Peabody Awardwinner Brad Burke ’01, sports columnist and Peoria native Rick Telander, President Gary Roberts ’70, longtime sportswriter Phil Hersh and Megan Gorecki ’15. Symposium panels focused on new media, the Olympics and Paralympics, ESPN and storytelling. “It (the symposium) is a thrill,” said Steiner, the five-time Emmy Award winner and member of the National Radio Hall of Fame. “Bradley is where it all began for me. You can only learn so much in the classroom.” — B.G.

Bradley Hilltopics Winter 2018


Bradley Avenue BRADLEY IN THE NATIONAL NEWS Media coverage on the rise Lawmakers honor astronaut Lawrence A bipartisan U.S. Senate effort, aided by NASA, honored Maj. Robert Lawrence Jr. ’56 in November. Acknowledged as the country’s first African-American astronaut, he died when his plane crashed during a training mission in 1967.


Story reprinted on 430+ media sites including: Business Insider Los Angeles Times ABC U.S. News & World Report Breitbart

Atlanta Journal Constitution Miami Herald Associated Press Washington Times Seattle Times

Next phase for NASA partnership The agency and Bradley announced Phase 3 of the 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge. With a $2 million prize, participants create habitats using indigenous materials with or without recycled content.

social media highlights



Chicago Tribune — 551,423 Facebook followers n 999,000 Twitter followers — 2  ,676,602 Facebook followers • 184 likes and 56 shares 743,000 Twitter followers

NASA, Bradley University hope to make 3-D printed habitats on Mars and Earth Engineering Dean Lex Akers and Professor Yasser Khodair talk about Bradley’s partnership with NASA and how it could change the world.

3 million

reach ‘Tis the Season to Be Professor Lori Russell-Chapin talks about the power of forgiveness during the holiday season.


Local interviews

Bradley professor and author Devin Murphy’s first novel, “The Boat Runner,” reviewed by The New York Times.

Online fashion/culture magazine


reach Holiday Depression Professor Lori Russell-Chapin discusses how feelings of grief, confusion, and shame are not out of the ordinary during the holidays.


9 million

reach Reprinted on 110+ additional sites. 75 mil. reach U.K., Austria, Australia, India

Why you should think about climate change again Dr. Wendy Schweigert explains that where information comes from plays a role in whether we believe it to be true.

3 million reach

College Students Share the Sober Ways They Have Fun A Bradley student weighs in on how students can have fun without drinking alcohol.

Bookplate Recent books by Bradley faculty

Hermann: Duane Zehr.

Hermann earns award for mentoring

His work with Bradley’s Self and Social Behavior Laboratory and as director of the Honors Experience in Psychology helped Associate Professor Tony Hermann earn the Mid-Career Mentoring Award from the Psychology Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research.

Given every two years, the award recognizes a member of the division who influenced undergraduate research through their own research, scholarly or creative projects and leadership. The Bradley lab regularly presents its research at the annual meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association. Hermann, who has served as a faculty member since 2008, also teaches a variety of courses, including social and experimental psychology. — B.G.

WOMEN’S LIVES: A PSYCHOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE (4TH ED.) Routledge Press Integrating current research and social issues, Caterpillar Professor and Distinguished Professor of Psychology Emerita Claire Etaugh, and co-author Judith Bridges, explore the psychological diversity of girls and women varying in age, ethnicity, social class, nationality, sexual orientation, and ableness. — M.B.

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Bradley Avenue


Photography by Duane Zehr.

Nearly 300 students took part in the commencement ceremony Dec. 16 at the Renaissance Coliseum. Included in the 190 undergraduate and 109 graduate degrees awarded were those earned by members of the 3:2 accelerated accounting degree program.


Teachers, mentors and friends We asked Bradley alumni to share which professor made a difference in their lives, and they were eager to comply. Here’s a sampling of the entries we received:

“Paul B. Snider (communication) was smart, funny and white. The only professor to step outside the coloring lines for me. After graduation, we became pen pals. I knew nothing of his family life, but he filled with immense fatherly pride when I got hired as a reporter for UPI, United Press International. He made a surprise visit to the Chicago bureau once and stayed for an hour, delighted to meet the bureau chief and other reporters. A veteran newspaper geek, his gestures stood boastful that one of his J-kids followed in his footsteps. In his letters, he flat out said he admired me. Full of excitement, the white professor and poor, black, South Side girl stood side by side, high on the 15th floor, inside a major news operation. Our lives were as different as television and radio, but our curiosity and passion for news connected us.” Jacqueline McLean ’76

Edgar A. Vovsi ’59

“No George Armstrong (speech) — no me. He took me into his family, counseled, encouraged, touched my life as no other educator. I became because of him.” Entries have been edited for length. Snider, Lambie, Jungck, Fuller, Petravick: Duane Zehr; Linstromberg, Kenny: Anaga.

“When I returned to BU as a sophomore after service during the Korean War, I met Paul Snider (communication). A great teacher, a caring human and my lifelong friend.”

“George Armstrong (speech) had the uncanny ability to challenge you to become a better orator and person, while never missing the opportunity to keep you grounded. E. Gifford Stack ’66

Chuck Pierce ’70 M.A. ’73

“Amanda Lambie (nursing) told me if I wanted to work with the sickest patients, I should be a Medical ICU nurse. Since graduation, I have been a MICU nurse at one of the best hospitals in the country. She influenced what has been the best decision I ever made.” Bethany Goralski ’15

“Robin Linstromberg (economics) took an active interest in my success and helped me believe in myself. Best mentor ever, along with my dad.

“Gerald Jungck’s (mathematics) genuine, demonstrable love for “The Mathematics” engendered such deep respect, his students proactively strived for nothing less than an A. Educator, mentor, counselor and friend.”

“I’m grateful for Robert Fuller’s (religious studies) enduring advice to block and tackle, i.e., to focus on fundamentals and bigger opportunities/ successes will follow. Shannon Taylor ’04

Don Sidlowski ’79

“The professor who made a difference for me was John Kenny, (physics). On his final exam, we had to answer four of six problems, unless we had a really good idea, but it had better be good. The meaning for me: Always think beyond the question. Patric Thomas ’74

“I remember Dr. (Simon) Petravick (accounting) at the Civic Center the morning of the CPA exam to wish students good luck. He cares so deeply.” Janelle Fassino Harre ’99

Geoffrey Silbert ’71 Bradley Hilltopics Winter 2018


Bradley Avenue

Braves’ pitcher world’s youngest to fly jet

While pilot ratings for prop-driven planes cover categories, pilots must qualify for individual models of jets. The Embraer Phenom 100 is a Brazilian light jet designed for four passengers and first flown in 2007. Janssen did his qualifications at the CAE training facility in Dallas. “The youngest person, they said, who went through there and got a rating was 22 from Mexico City,” he said. “Then I went through and told them I was 20 and they’re like, ‘OK, if you pass your check ride you’ll be the youngest one to get a rating.’ Being the competitive person I am, now I’m trying to keep it.”


His interest in aviation began in second grade, and Janssen earned his license once he became eligible at age 17. “At first, they (his parents) were kind of nervous,” the family and consumer sciences major said before noting he is teaching his dad to fly now. “It’s a little role reversal. He taught me how to walk, I’m teaching him to fly a plane.” In addition to being a student-athlete, Janssen is a charter pilot/instructor for Synergy, Bloomington, Ill., and works for Byerly Aviation in Peoria. He estimated he’s flown 600 hours in the last year. With smaller planes, he can take student-pilots over downtown Chicago and St. Louis. A recent charter trip over study day took him from Bloomington, Ill., to Cleveland to South Carolina and ended the first day in Florida. The second day saw stops in Mississippi, Little Rock, Ark., Colorado Springs and Utah before returning to Bloomington.

“You’re never going to see the same thing twice. You always notice something different. You see these cool sunsets and sunrises. When we’re flying to Colorado you get to see the mountains up close and from a different perspective.” Janssen said professors have helped him, offering online work and other flexible arrangements. On charters, he takes advantage of down time at airports or hotels to study. When he’s not up in the friendly skies he’s on the mound as a right-handed pitcher for the Braves. “I told my bosses … being on scholarship, Bradley comes first and flying comes second. It’s even in my contract.” Between charter flights and instructing, Janssen works about 30-plus hours a week. That’s in addition to baseball practices, games, workouts and classes. “Every day is a full day,” he said. “There are no days when I sit around and do nothing.” — B.G.

Photography: Duane Zehr.

At 20 years old, Mitch Janssen ’19 is an instrument-rated pilot with approximately 900 flying hours, qualified to fly commercial and multiengine aircraft and as a flight instructor. He’s also the youngest person in the world certified to fly the Embraer Phenom 100 jet.

“With instructing, I keep a little bit of beard so I look a little older. When I shave I look like I’m 12. People definitely ask.” — Mitch Janssen ’19

Research Scene

How can you mend a broken heart? BY BOB GRIMSON ’81

Doctors work on your heart, but engineers may lead the way to potential solutions. IN AN AVERAGE LIFETIME, a human heart beats about 2 billion times, similar to a building with its own cable electrical system. That’s what intrigued Mohammad Imtiaz, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering. One of his research projects uses electrical engineering procedures and mathematical modeling to study heart cells and how they function. Another hopes to develop methods that will predict with greater accuracy how certain drugs interact with the heart’s electrical rhythms. The third uses artificial intelligence and machine


learning to diagnose heart attacks and abnormalities more quickly. “You have all the cells in the human body; how do these cells work together?” he said, noting that heart cells have to work together, comparing it to an orchestra spread over a city playing in perfect synchrony. “It’s so amazing your heart doesn’t stop for even a few seconds or even miss a few consecutive beats. A heart is not … just squeezing haphazardly. Blood would not flow. It has to squeeze in a highly

orchestrated, synchronized manner. How does a single cell know to do this in time with the others? The whole thing is controlled by electrical mechanisms. Electrical engineering is not just about cables.”

outcome. Cardiac disease is one thing that does not give you time once arrhythmia starts. The idea is to accelerate the whole process. It won’t, obviously, replace the doctor but what it will do is actually lead them in a direction.”

The heart’s electrical waves normally move in linear patterns but change and become chaotic and disorganized in a damaged or diseased heart. Imtiaz likened that reaction to an electrical storm.

After years of research and teaching medical personnel, Imtiaz wanted to return to his electrical engineering background and relocated to Bradley last fall. While he still spends a lot of time doing research, now Imtiaz involves undergraduate and graduate students, showing them simulations of very complex ideas.

“That’s when the heart doesn’t pump properly and people can have heart attacks. We can model this and actually see (the cells) working in real time.” Using sensors to chart the electrical charges, the actions of single cardiac cells are mathematically modeled to mimic normal heart function. Once that’s achieved, researchers can disrupt the pattern to see if it can replicate or predict the effects of disease or drug treatment, using supercomputers in Australia and San Diego to run the necessary huge equations. “We can actually look at electrical activity in different sections of the heart,” Imtiaz said. “We can look at the person’s heart structural defect and say, most likely, the electrical wave will break up at this region, so this might cause problems.”

Peoria’s growing medical and research community boosts collaboration opportunities, he said, noting the presence of regional medical facilities and the University of Illinois College of Medicine branch. “People say it’s a miracle the heart is working. There are so many things that have to come together for the heart to work. It’s just incredible. I think it’s also a miracle that it doesn’t stop working. I don’t think we can replace human expertise, but we can make it better.”

Catecholaminergic Polymorphic Ventricular Tachycardia (CPVT) primarily affects teens whose hearts appear normal but for whom stress or excitement makes them pass out and possibly die. Imtiaz’s mathematical modeling helped explain that certain factors in diseased cells affected the electrical rhythms of the heart. He said current medical practices are based on population models but the trend is toward a more personalized, individual approach. “Can you take a patient’s MRI and essentially convert that to a model and predict some of the diseases?” he said. “We can say this person is likely to have these problems. This is where medicine is going to move.” As an example, Imtiaz said doctors would have to sift through multiple scenarios for a patient arriving at a hospital emergency department with chest pains. But mathematical modeling, artificial intelligence and machine learning, using data collected by multiple sensors, can hopefully help pinpoint problem areas. This would make treatment or surgery more accurate and possibly reduce the more than 600,000 U.S. deaths each year from heart disease.

ABOVE: A simulation of abnormal electrical activity in the heart using highperformance computers. Typically, a unique pacemaker drives beating of the heart. Here an abnormal region started generating electrical pulses and disturbed the normal electrical activity of the heart. The net result was an “electrical storm” with pathological rotating wave-fronts that disrupts the heart’s pumping capacity and could result in death. Different views of the same heart are shown here. Photo courtesy Mohammad Imtiaz.

“We can leverage all the data and come up with a model which can actually predict, based on a person’s medical history, what is the likely Bradley Hilltopics Winter 2018


BY MATT HAWKINS Photography by Duane Zehr



, THE FIRST FEMALE GOALIE ON BRADLEY S CLUB HOCKEY TEAM EARNED HER PLACE THROUGH GRIT AND PERSEVERANCE. A 12-year-old Laurie Cox ’21 fixed her eyes on the goaltender the first time she attended a minor-league hockey game. Even though a fierce-looking helmet and heavy pads obscured his steely gaze, she wanted to be him — alone, yet the most important player on the ice. From that first experience, the psychology major from Downers Grove, Ill., worked her way through junior hockey leagues with a singular passion, challenging herself at each level, often starting at the bottom of clubs’ depth charts. Eventually, Cox landed a spot as the first woman on her hometown high school’s inaugural hockey team. “(My) coach hit me with the fastest shot I’d ever seen,” Cox said. “I’m glad he did that because it showed me I had a lot to learn.” The 5-foot-2 Cox quietly committed to improving at a position normally filled by players a foot taller. She asked coaches for critiques and kept a notebook of her flaws. By her senior year, Cox made the conference all-star team and at Bradley, she is the first female goalie in the club team’s 50-year history. Cox is on the club’s Division III team. Matt Cipra ’21, her teammate in high school and at Bradley, credited Cox’s work ethic for improving both teams, whether or not she was a starter. “She works for what she wants and doesn’t feel entitled to things,” he said. “(Laurie) always puts forth effort and leads by example. We see her working and want to push ourselves harder.” That drive led Cox to Bradley when she looked at colleges. When other club coaches laughed at her dream of playing professional men’s hockey, Cipra and Bradley coach J.P. Fitzgerald saw a player eager to prove herself. Fitzgerald wanted to expand club hockey opportunities on campus and launched a second squad for the 2017–18 season as the club grew from 12 players in 2014 to 35 this year.

Cox also fit his long-term goal of adding a women’s team. Though women are rare in men’s leagues, Fitzgerald noted a few women typically play youth hockey in Peoria. Beyond local leagues, the Rivermen, Peoria’s minor-league hockey team, signed Canadian gold medal Olympian Shannon Szabados in 2016. If Bradley adds a women’s club, the university would join a wave of women’s hockey teams at the NCAA and club levels. “Laurie provides evidence there are young women out there looking for the opportunity to play hockey as part of their college experience,” Fitzgerald said. “Having Laurie join as the first woman is icing on the cake to our growth. Not only have we kept the hockey tradition alive on campus for 50 years, but we’ve also grown in numbers and diversity of students we’ve attracted to Bradley.” Choosing Bradley meant Cox would have to fight for playing time. When Fitzgerald told her she would be the fifth goalie on the squads, she seemed totally unfazed. “She told me she competed with boys her whole life and was confident she could do that at the college level,” he said. “I knew right then that her tenacity and competitiveness would be a big addition to our program.” The first-year student hopes to work her way up the depth chart and earn attention from professional scouts who follow the American Collegiate Hockey Association. If National Hockey League dreams don’t come true, she sees a future breaking barriers as a woman coaching men’s sports. “I want to make a statement that there is more to hockey than body type or gender,” she said. “Hockey is a beautiful sport because you don’t need anything special. I’m 5-foot-2 and was out of shape when I started. Here I am because I earned it.”


Good Works Jason Terry

P ANO MAN BY S.L. GUTHRIE Photography courtesy American Voices

When Jason Terry arrived in Iraqi Kurdistan last summer, it was just a few days after the liberation of Mosul from ISIS. Devastation was everywhere. But that didn’t stop him and other faculty volunteers from bringing the sounds of American music and culture to the war-torn region. For a number of the students, it would be the first time they were able to leave ISIS-controlled areas in several years. They sat at the checkpoint in the scorching sun for eight hours — in temperatures higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit with no air-conditioning — waiting for the chance to study composers like George Gershwin or learn the latest hip-hop moves. “They didn’t care,” said the new Bradley assistant professor of music about the long wait in the heat. “They were so happy to be joining us. But, as is often the case in situations like this, they were the ones who actually blessed us.” Terry spent five weeks in the Middle East with American Voices (, a nonprofit whose mission is to bring cultural diplomacy through the arts and to foster people-to-people connections. Founded in 1993 by pianist John Ferguson, American Voices hosts two-week camps — called Youth Excellence on Stage (YES) Academies — where students take classes and workshops in American music and culture. The program culminates in a student-performed, gala finale. Working six days a week, Terry gave private lessons and taught group piano, along with music theory and other related courses. The first camp took place in Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, followed by one in Zouk Mosbeh, Lebanon, 12 miles north of the capital of Beirut on the Mediterranean.


Students ranged in age from 15 to 30, and most, especially in Iraqi Kurdistan, were eager to learn. Unfortunately, the desert heat and power surges proved challenging to the instruments: with a total of only seven to eight pianos available and power to run air conditioning for just eight hours a day, students would be lucky to have 20 minutes of practice time in a two-day period because of random rolling blackouts. “There would be times when we were teaching and the power would just shut off,” said Terry. He and the other faculty tried to instill the idea of score study and practicing away from the piano, something Terry does himself while traveling on planes. Among those he befriended was a group of four musicians, a band named “Awtar Nergal.” One night, he sat beside a couple of the members at dinner and for an hour and a half they just shared their stories and experiences of the past three years under ISIS’ rule. “I sat and listened and didn’t even know how to respond, much less what to say,” he said. “I soon learned that neither they nor their stories warranted a verbal response — they just mentally and emotionally needed to share their hearts with others.” When the band members gave Terry a gift his last night in Iraqi Kurdistan, he hugged them, and expressed how meaningful the experience had been

for him. One of the members, Khalid, returned the embrace and said, “Thanks for everything you’ve done for us.” Terry responded saying he hadn’t done anything, since he hadn’t taught them during the camp. “With a hand on my shoulder, (Khalid) looked me in the eye and said, ‘But you did. Every time we saw you, you were smiling. And after the past few years, we need to see your smile,’” said Terry. “I will always, ALWAYS remember that comment.

ONLINE Learn more about American Voices at

TOP LEFT: Terry teaches works from classical repertoire, such as Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” while other students learn the latest hip-hop moves, all culminating in a gala finale. Each camp hosts about 150 eager students, who can also take classes in non-performance topics such as cultural entrepreneurship or songwriting with Ravi Hutheesing, former guitarist for the band Hanson. “There’s a rich, rich history of Kurdish music and Kurdish culture,” said Terry, noting its suppression due to conflict in the area. “Many of the students are trained in their own music, so with our composition classes, we try to take a Western composition and add some Kurdish instruments.”

“In that moment and the time spent thinking about it afterwards, I realized that I was not there for music. I wasn’t there to teach somebody how to play a scale correctly; I wasn’t there to share American culture. I was there to share a part of my joy, something that each of us must remember to share with each other whether we’re on Bradley’s campus or in a Middle Eastern desert.” Bradley Hilltopics Winter 2018


Focus on Rural medicine


Photography by Duane Zehr


Practicing in a rural community often means strained resources, older and sicker patients and a lack of separation between work and private life. But the rewards — acquiring a broad base of skills and forging connections with generations of families — far outweigh the challenges. Dr. Jack Gibbs ’49 watched the medical student work. Carefully eyeing the distance, she wielded forceps and a needle to stitch a cut in a pig’s foot. “No rush. You’ll get it. Good job,” he said. Today’s lesson: multiple suture techniques. Four first-year medical students attending a suturing clinic at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria (UICOMP) last fall got hands-on tutoring from two experts. Gibbs assisted retired cardiac surgeon Dr. Fred Hoy in introducing the students, who spend most of their time in the classroom, to the basics of surgery. “For every doctor, there was a first time he did something,” Gibbs told the students. “You’ll make mistakes here in the clinic, but that’s all right.” A retired assistant clinical professor at UICOMP, he had attended medical school with help from a scholarship and loan program financed by the Illinois State Medical Society and Illinois Agricultural Association, a program he later chaired for 25 years. Gibbs retired in 2011 after practicing as a family physician in the small town of Havana, Ill., for six years and as a general surgeon in Canton, Ill., for nearly five decades. Ever since, he’s been active in the medical school’s Senior Scholars program for retired physicians, which staffs these workshops for medical students. Gibbs in the surgical suite that bears his name at Mason District Hospital.

Through his extensive involvement in medical organizations during his career, Gibbs was able to encourage the decentralization of medical education and the development of medical campuses outside of Chicago, including Peoria.

Soft-spoken and sharp at 91, he still speaks out on behalf of the residents of rural areas — and the physicians who care for them. “I have a special fondness for my rural patients because of their spirit, grit, courage and determination,” he said later. “That’s why I was an early and vocal advocate for the practice of medicine in rural areas, where it was needed most.” RURAL CHALLENGES ABOUND In a 2014 issue brief, the Kaiser Family Foundation noted that almost 50 million people, or about 16 percent of the population, live in rural areas — defined as places outside of Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs). MSAs are urban areas with more than 50,000 residents and their surrounding suburbs. In rural settings, residents have fewer health care providers, experience higher rates of chronic disease and are slower to adopt new health technologies. Less likely to have employersponsored health insurance coverage, they have lower average incomes, with a quarter of residents living below the federal poverty level. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, rural Americans face other health challenges, including poorer outcomes related to substance abuse (particularly the opioid abuse epidemic), childhood obesity, and difficulty accessing treatment for mental health issues. The state of rural medicine has long concerned residents, medical educators and medical professionals.

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A champion for rural health

‘PATIENTS WANT TO FEEL CARED FOR’ As regional dean of UICOMP, Dr. Sara Rusch is well aware of the shortage of rural physicians and has worked hard to address the issue through recruitment and incentives. She credits Gibbs for pushing for expansion of medical schools in Illinois in the 1960s and ’70s. “He put a lot of energy into increasing the quality and quantity of physicians in downstate Illinois,” she said. “We know that physicians tend to settle near where they go to school, and there were no medical schools outside of Chicago.” Tackling problems in rural medicine, Rusch believes, will require a multipronged approach. “In addition to continuing to train physicians and other health care professionals, we’ll need to institute new models of health care delivery, such as using telemedicine to provide consultative help and increasing our use of community health workers,” she said.

Before Havana, Ill., had a hospital, Gibbs drove to and from Graham Hospital in Canton, a half-hour away, when his patients needed hospitalization. It was the Baby Boom, and Gibbs delivered 500 babies during his six family practice years in Havana. By 1960, he had a thriving general practice. With help from his wife, Francenia, a registered nurse, he’d helped found the Mason District Hospital in Havana and invited a friend from medical school to be a partner in the practice. They treated generations of families in their best and worst moments. Births. Deaths. Chronic diseases and common colds. And gruesome farm accidents.

UICOMP touts its 20-year-old Rural Student Physician Program (RSPP), in which students spend almost seven months of their third year of medical school working in a rural community. After a 20-week rotation in Peoria, residents begin a 28-week immersion in the assigned rural community under the mentorship of a physician. “We find that the medical students become engaged with the community,” Rusch said. “About 80 percent return to practice in small communities after residency.”

“Farming is a dangerous occupation,” Gibbs wrote in a piece for the Illinois Medical Journal in November 1960. A plea for more physicians to practice in rural communities, he described his practice, his patients and his growing concern about a looming crisis in rural health care.

The dearth of physicians isn’t limited to rural areas, said Rusch. “There’s a shortage throughout the country. The average age of physicians (in the Greater Peoria area) is probably in the 50s. There are also more patients to care for as people are living longer with chronic diseases, and interventions are prolonging life.”

Noting that many medical students were choosing specialties rather than general practice, he advocated the establishment of family practice residencies and encouraged practicing away from metropolitan areas.

Over the next several decades, Gibbs proved a deft diagnostician and surgeon in and around Canton, where he acquired extensive experience in the management of farm injuries. At medical, surgical and farm-related conferences, he presented a slideshow of pre and postoperative photos of patients with farm trauma and their management as well as the mechanisms of injury. “The slideshow has had a positive impact on the development of safer equipment and more safety conscious behavior by farm operators,” he said. For his work in farm safety and other rural issues, Gibbs received the Illinois Farm Bureau’s Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award in 1993.


Gibbs early photos: courtesy Jack Gibbs ’49.

To obtain additional education and training, Gibbs and his family left Havana for Chicago in 1960. After a four-year surgical residency, the family resettled in Canton, joining a multispecialty clinic.

Compared to practicing in a metropolitan area, rural practitioners rely less on tertiary care, more on the old-fashioned techniques of taking careful patient histories and physical exams, Rusch said. “When you ask patients what they most value in their physicians, it’s usually their communication skills. Patients want to feel cared for, to feel that they’re important as a person, not as a disease process to be solved.”

“I know just about everybody who works in the hospital.” — Chase Holtman NP-C ’17

TREATING THE WHOLE PATIENT A third-year medical student at the University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford, Nicole Tobin ’13 grew up in Edelstein, Ill. “I always wanted to be a doctor, and knew I would return to work in a small community setting,” she said. Tobin, who will go into surgery, knows that because of economic circumstances and limited transportation, many of the patients rural physicians treat have waited longer to seek care. She expects to forge strong bonds with her patients, but understands she may have trouble drawing lines between family time and work time. “Many rural providers have told me they’re not able to shop in local grocery stores because they are stopped nearly every aisle by someone with a medical question,” she said. Beyond technical skill and knowledge, she hopes to offer patients compassion and understanding. “A rural practitioner knows not only the patients, but the social and community factors involved. We can treat the patient as a whole, rather than (just) the disease.” Tobin participates in the Rural Illinois Medical Student Assistance Program, which gives low-cost

loans to medical students willing to practice in rural areas. The economic effects of a rural surgery practice don’t concern her at all. “If you factor in cost of living in a rural area, benefits, and compensation, you’ll be paid better than in a larger city,” she said. ‘YOU LOVE IT OR YOU HATE IT’ Chase Holtman NP-C ’17 grew up in Havana, Ill. He’s now a family nurse practitioner at the hospital Gibbs helped establish in 1957 — Mason District Hospital, a small, critical-access facility with an outpatient clinic that serves residents of Mason and southern Fulton counties. He’d originally planned to attend medical school, but decided after earning a bachelor’s degree from Monmouth College to enter a generalist entry master’s program at the Rush University College of Nursing in Chicago. Though he learned a lot, city life was a culture shock. “It really wasn’t for me,” he said. “So, after graduation, I moved to Springfield, Ill., to work in the burn unit in the ICU at Memorial Medical Center.” A scholarship from Havana National Bank paid for Holtman’s advanced degrees. “The only requirement was that I have to work (in Havana)

Bradley Hilltopics Winter 2018


for four years, which was a no-brainer. I know just about everybody who works in the hospital, including two of my sisters and my mom.” He is hopeful about the hospital’s efforts to meet the needs of its patients in new ways. “We have five nurse practitioners — one solely focused on diabetes education — and new telemedicine consultations in psychiatry and dermatology,” he said. Holtman is also excited about working at MD Immediate Care, the town’s new walk-in clinic with longer hours. And though rural practice might not be for everyone, Holtman believes he made the right decision. “If you come from a small town, and you come back to work in the hospital in that small town, you either love it or you hate it. My family has lived in Havana forever. I know a lot of patients who are coming through. I’m glad to be part of making them healthier and happier.” VOLUNTEER-DRIVEN MEDICAL CARE Another newly minted family nurse practitioner, Julie Barclay FNP-C ’17 is in the process of getting her credentials before starting a job at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center as an outpatient palliative care advanced practice nurse. Because she’s lived for many years in Cuba, Ill., population 1,200, she’s familiar with the benefits and challenges of life in rural communities. “Many patients don’t have insurance. They may not have transportation. Resources are depleted.” A self-described adrenaline junkie, Barclay joined Cuba’s all-volunteer Cass Putman Rescue Squad as a pre-hospital RN in 2008. Funded by donations and by the Grant Keime Memorial Trust, the squad covers 170 square miles. A small clinic, also staffed by volunteers, provides emergency care to those who are sick or injured.

“Many patients don’t have insurance. They may not have transportation. Resources are depleted.” — Julie Barclay FNP-C ’17, at the Cass Putman Rescue Squad headquarters


“We do emergent care, then transfer patients to an ambulance service for transport to an emergency department,” she said. Sensitive to the economic realities of her patients, she consults a website that lists inexpensive drugs approved by Medicare and Medicaid. “Some of my elderly patients were having to decide between medicine and food.” Providing medical care in the small town you live in can be tricky, she admits. “It’s a double-edged sword because you want to help your community, but you don’t want to be the one delivering bad news to people you know.” One of her preceptors during her FNP education was internist Ken Krock, M.D., affiliated with Graham Hospital in Canton. Barclay first met him 30 years ago when he was a resident and she a nurse at OSF Saint Francis. “Though he has the biggest practice and is the busiest practitioner, he knows every patient and their background,” said Barclay. “I learned so much from him.” Next fall, Barclay hopes to start a program in Cuba to provide low-cost physicals, starting with kids who need them to participate in sports. “There are people who can’t afford a physical, even a school physical,” she said. “If I can get OK’d to provide them, I’d like to do so.”

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BY S.L. GUTHRIE Photography of campers courtesy Brave Trails

A summer camp fo r LGBTQ youth pro vides acceptance and builds leadership skills.

*not his real name

AT 12 YEARS OLD, David* was just like an looking for an y other middleextracurricular schooler activity where friends. Unfor he could fit in tunately, the sc and make hool didn’t ha (GSA), and he ve a gay-straig didn’t know ho ht alliance w to start one. a workshop on After attendin how to build a g successful GSA for and establish , David advoca ed the club at ted hi s school where at quickly to 40-5 tendance grew 0 students each week. This is just on e of many succ ess stories from leadership sum Camp Brave Tr mer camp for ails, the lesbian, gay, bi questioning yo sexual, transgen uth started in der and 2014 by Jessic wife, Kayla Rya a Weissbuch n Weissbuch. A ’02 and her ccording to th org), their miss eir website (bra ion is to give “L vetrails. GBTQ youth an 12–20, innova d their allies, ag tive, impactful es su mmer camp pr meaningful rela ograms that fo tionships and st er de ve lop 21st centur the leaders of tomorrow.” Br y skills to beco ave Trails is th me in Southern Cal e first camp of ifornia and on its kind e of only nine camps like it in “I think it’s so the U.S. important for queer youth to where they can ha ve a space to com focus on them e selves, on fun, and on leadersh on building co ip,” said Weiss mmunity buch. “Oftent and people in imes, LGBTQ general live in youth this world whe to be somewha re they always t guarded. They ha ve al ways have to lo to make sure th ok over their sh ey’re safe … Ev oulder en though we’ this country fo ve come a long r rights and ac way in ceptance — ev Angeles, where en in the middl they’re based) e of (Los — people still for being LGBT get bullied and Q.” harassed There is a grea t need for safe spaces and guid especially in lig ance for LGBT ht of a soberin Q youth, g set of statistic by the William s. A 2012 stud s Institute at U y co nducted C LA Law discovered 1.6 million yo ung people who 40 percent of th fin e d in the U.S. iden themselves hom tify as LGBTQ eless each year . Another stud Rights Campa y done by the ign stated that Human when compare youth are 40 pe d to their peer rcent more lik s, LGBTQ ely to commit suicide.

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Activities at Brave Trails are similar to those at a traditional summer camp: archery, hiking, swimming, arts and crafts, and theater, among others. What makes it different — besides rainbows and glitter everywhere — are daily leadership workshops on topics such as gender identity and expression, activist storytelling or healthy practices for LGBTQ youth. Campers go through an application process, which Weissbuch said helps the administrative team decide who can handle being away from home. Compared to traditional camps where weekly fees can run between $2,000 and $3,000, Brave Trails’ rates are reasonable. Families pay $950 for a one-week session and $1,900 for two weeks, which includes meals, housing, program materials and instruction, an on-site medical team and other associated costs. While tuition covers some of the costs, the couple feels strongly that they never want to turn anyone away due to financial hardship. This summer they’ll give away about $40,000 in scholarships. A licensed family therapist with more than a decade of working with LGBTQ youth, Weissbuch knew she wanted to continue that work and focus on building leadership skills. Ryan Weissbuch, whose background is in nonprofit management, had the dream of turning her successful childhood camp experiences into a career choice. They came up with the idea of combining their two passions and after meeting with a lot of enthusiasm, the couple hosted their first fundraiser, a spaghetti dinner in their backyard that raised $1,500, the amount they needed to get nonprofit status. Weissbuch said they also received a tremendous amount of support from the American Camp Association (ACA). “It’s really a community story,” said Ryan Weissbuch. “Probably one of the best things about Brave Trails is (that) a lot of people were there to make sure we landed on our feet.” Even with help, there were many, many late nights and weekends the couple and their team gave — and continue to give — to Brave Trails, all in addition to full-time jobs. A successful social media campaign brought in the first group of 43 campers for one week in California’s San Bernardino Mountains during the summer of 2015. Last year they held two sessions, one for a two-week stretch, and the total number of attendants grew to 114, from all over the world. Instagram and Facebook play a large role in recruitment, as does word of mouth. “We’re in a unique position because most of the time, the kids



Jessica and Kayla Ryan We

are the ones that seek us out. In traditional summer camps, usually the parents (say to their child), ‘Oh, you’re going to camp this year.’ But in our case, the kids are the ones that are finding us and bringing us to their parents … Now that we’re going into our fourth summer, we’re getting campers that come back and bring three or four friends with them.” While testimonials from campers and parents alike abound on the Brave Trails website, the staff also reaps rewards. Coby Pfaff, one of the early team members, related the story of a 17-year-old Asian boy who spoke very little English. The boy struggled with his identity and for most of the weeklong camp said very little. “By the fifth day he put on a dress, a wig and makeup — he looked really pretty — and I said to him, ‘You look amazing. How do you feel?’” said Pfaff. “And he said, ‘I feel beautiful.’ It was just so touching to see the transformation of this super-shy kid, who probably comes from a strict and non-accepting (family), blossom into this happy, smiling kid who felt like he could be himself.” The days haven’t all been easy, and time management is definitely an issue. In the camp’s second summer, a number of the campers had mental health issues, and Weissbuch felt like she was on call 24/7. To alleviate the pressure, the leadership team brought on a dedicated therapist, changed the applicant screening process and figured out how to put in necessary breaks. “It was the first year where all four of us (administrators) felt like we weren’t at every single thing,” she said. Those time-outs will be important this coming summer when Camp Brave Trails runs for six weeks in four separate sessions — three in California and one in Maryland — with a total of 260 youth. Weissbuch and her wife now work for Brave Trails full time, along with a development director and Pfaff, who serves as the part-time operations director. Already, the team has expanded their offerings to include year-round activities in their local area, and a mentoring program is in the works. Weissbuch hopes they’ll be able to add two more weeks of camp each summer as well as a satellite program for kids who can’t travel to either coast. Whatever the future holds for the camp, Weissbuch is happy to have found a way to help her community and have fun. “It’s a really exciting time for the queer community,” she said. “(While) it’s hard to be told by people that we’re less than, and that we’re not deserving, I think that really motivates people to take action … and we help provide that space.”

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V O YA G E S of


BY BOB GRIMSON ’81 Illustration by Michael Austin



irst-generation students — often defined as those whose parents have not earned a four-year degree — face a unique set of circumstances. We asked several to share their experiences.

Before his senior year of high school, Gerry Regep ’18 and his mother moved from a working-class area to the more upscale Chicago suburb of LaGrange, Ill., where he graduated from Lyons Township High School. The move may have taken him away from friends and classmates, but it expanded Regep’s opportunities for college planning. His new school offered a resource center for college-bound students and those interested in learning more about higher education. “It was dedicated to applications, essays, letters of recommendation; there were college brochures,” the political science-philosophy double major said. “A lot of my friends (at the previous school) didn’t have that.” While high school resources such as college fairs and counselors were important, Ashley Jones ’18 still found the application process daunting. “We had no starting point,” she said. “The biggest thing was how do I decide on a college? What factors should I focus on? When you don’t have any resources to draw on it was a little more difficult.” As the oldest of three children with immigrant parents, Benyoceth “Ben” Juarez ’18 had to navigate the college application process solo. “Scholarships, resources, internships, anything like that was tough because no one really knew,” he said. Juarez, Jones and Regep are beating the odds. I’m First, an initiative of Strive for College, reported an estimated 30 percent of students at postsecondary institutions are first-generation students from low-income settings. Of that number, 89 percent will not earn a degree within six years after their high school graduation. Like many first-gen students, Juarez’s roadmap to Bradley led through community college. While attending Harper College in suburban Palatine, he worked door-to-door sales and for an engineering and manufacturing company. To save money, he lived at home and worked

as a banquet server on weekends. Earlier, there had been complications, however. “I couldn’t do anything to help (my family) … the only way was by working, and I couldn’t work because I was undocumented,” said Juarez, who became a U.S. citizen around his 18th birthday. “Besides going to school, I would work 30–40 hours a week and then weekends. (Essentially) I would work Monday to Sunday. I did that for two years.” The National Educational Longitudinal Study found less than half of students whose parents did not attend college enrolled for postsecondary education the year after graduating from high school. The majority of those who did enroll (56 percent) attended two-year schools or trade and technical institutions. ADJUSTING TO A NEW WORLD Bradley collects information on first-generation status on its application and aligns with the Common Application, which follows federal guidelines for identifying those students. The university defines first-gen students as those where one or both parents did not complete a baccalaureate degree. Jones found leaving her family behind in the small city of Sandwich, Ill., required a new outlook. “It was very hard knowing I was trying to figure out a new life and struggling and everyone else was going about life without me,” the elementary education major said. “I had a lot of homesickness my first semester — it hit me hard. But my family didn’t know how to deal with it because they’d never had to. What do you do? You have nobody who’s gone through it.” Welcome Week activities helped but she was still overwhelmed. “I was anxious and nervous. It was stressful because of the newness; there were so many things.” Eventually, Jones became active in club volleyball and groups focusing on American Sign Language and Pinterest as well as training service dogs through Wags for Mags.

Jhoanna Vega-Rocha ’17 signed up for the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s mentor program at the Activities Fair her first year and found it valuable, even though her mentor’s major was in a different college. “I remember when I received my schedule, I had a class in the Markin Center and that designation was M-A and I was like ‘what’s M-A?’” VegaRocha said. “I asked her silly questions like that but I wouldn’t have had anyone else to ask.” The mentor helped her adjust in other ways, introducing Vega-Rocha to people and inviting her to club meetings and events. “Meeting students older than me was really nice. I could ask them about registering for classes, they’d tell me about what to do in the area,” Vega-Rocha said. She now works for the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, serving as a college resource for students in eight Chicago-area high schools. “Sometimes people are afraid to ask the questions they think are silly or stupid. Having someone who has navigated through and knows what it’s like in a college environment is very helpful.” FAMILY VALUES Family expectations, sometimes self-imposed, can weigh on first-gen students. Juarez said he realized early in life that education was a path to financial stability and watching his parents struggle and sacrifice fired him with the need to succeed. “I have to make a difference,” he said. “It’s not like if we don’t do well in college we can do something else. We have to make it.” He noted short-term achievements lead to realizing long-term goals. “If I get through calculus, my grandma can have a vacation. If I get through physics class, I fund my sister’s education.”


Vega-Rocha added that being the first to attend college set her up as a family motivator and role model. “My 8-year-old sister says, ‘I want to go to Bradley,’ even though she doesn’t know all that goes into it,” she said. “Receiving a degree isn’t just an accomplishment for yourself; it’s for your family as well. Even though they didn’t go through the process they helped you get there.” She said cultural perspectives also come into play, noting Latino parents often think the child is leaving the family and they’re losing that additional help. “What I tell (students) is it’s not about him or her trying to leave, but trying to better themselves so they can come back and help even more.” Motivation runs both ways, however. Regep believes his background gave him focus, and he credits his family with encouraging college attendance and making it possible. “I knew I was not going to mess up my opportunity.” REAPING REWARDS Still, the opportunities offered in college outweigh the insecurities. Regep traveled to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point for an international conference on foreign affairs and met the president of the Council on Foreign Relations. Juarez, through his participation in the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, spent “the most beautiful week of my life” at Harvard Business School as part of the Summer Venture in Management program. Jones’ job as an intern in the admissions office where she helps supervise about 125 Bradley tour guides brought additional benefits. “There’s a greater sense that there’s more to the world than where you grew up — it’s a lot bigger than it seems,” she said. “I think I’m much more independent, a much stronger person, not so easily molded. I had to figure out everything from scratch, and I think that gave me a lot more opportunity to grow as a person.”

Snow removal probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to giving back. But when you’re trying to learn, a clear path to class can be everything.

Gifts to the Bradley Fund pay for the things students need to become the next generation of leaders, thinkers and doers. Even snow removal. And best of all, they fit any size budget. Consider making your gift to the Bradley Fund today.

Contact Shelly Smith phone: (309) 677-3091 email: online:

Class Notes 1950s Dorothy Wilkins McKenna ’51 is a retired health educator living in Green Valley, Ariz. She has five children, and is active with the League of Women Voters and the American Association of University Women, through which she is working for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. Gary Colboth ’58 earned a master’s degree at the University of Pittsburgh and a degree from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law. Retired since 2004, he worked as a labor lawyer, professor and university administrator. Gary teaches part time and lives in Long Beach, Calif.

1960s RJ Coons ’66 published the third Blaine Sterling novel, “Missing.” A teacher and principal before his retirement, RJ lives in Venice, Fla., and is active with several nonprofit groups.

Loren Eisner ’67 returned to campus for his 50th class reunion and decided to enter the Homecoming 5K race, where he finished in 33:32. Barry Frost ’69 earned the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award from Marquis Who’s Who. He earned a juris doctor at New York University School of Law and has been a partner at Teich Groh & Frost for 40 years.

1970s Cal ’74 and Joan Stickelmaier Coolidge ’75 published “Seventeen Steps of Stone…Escaping Paradise,” a book about their lives running a small hotel on St. Croix in the Virgin Islands. Cal previously worked in the defense industry and as a stockbroker and financial adviser while Joan served as a librarian. They have two daughters and live in Virginia’s upper Shenandoah Valley.

40 under 40 InterBusiness Issues magazine named the following alumni and staff to its 2017 list of 40 Leaders Under Forty for professional and community achievements. They are:


 ara Sledgister Burritt MBA ’15, administrative assistant C to the dean of the College of Education and Health Sciences

 athy Anthony Dolan ’05, human resources representative K at Caterpillar Inc.

Joshua Jones, senior assistant director of admissions

Steve Klemm MBA ’14, marketing director at Leidos

 yle Lewis ’04, advanced practice provider recruiter K at OSF Healthcare

 elly Schuler ’08 M.A. ’13, principal at Woodrow Wilson K Primary School in Peoria

Ali Sours MBA ’14, general manager at IDC Engineering

J ason Warner M.A. ’08, director of operations and finance for East Peoria Elementary School District 86

Eric White MBA ’03, assistant vice president of risk services at RLI

Joe Dalfonso ’76 and Steve Strickler ’03 coached Washington Middle School (Ill.) to an Illinois Elementary School Association Class 2-A state baseball title. It was the school’s first title since 1973. Steve teaches math at the school and Joe is retired.

1980s Rich Epich ’80 was elected to the city council in Sabula, Iowa, as a write-in candidate. AARP and Crain’s Custom Media has selected television personality and cultural presenter Garry Moore ’80 MLS ’09 among its 50 @ 50 leaders in Illinois. Roger Dusing ’81 earned his doctorate in business administration from Northcentral University. He earned a master’s degree at Central Michigan University and is chief human resources officer at Park University in Missouri. He and his wife, Darla, live in Liberty, Mo. Michael Fisher ’81 is on the list of 50 @ 50 leaders in Illinois by AARP and Crain’s Custom Media. Serving as vice president of market development for Country Financial, he is also active in several civic organizations, including the mentoring of the group 100 Black Men in Chicago and is an adjunct professor at Robert Morris College. Tom Kittle-Kamp ’82 is a law board member at Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law, where he earned his juris doctor. A partner resident at Mayer Brown LLP and board member at the University of Chicago’s Court Theatre, Tom and his wife, Margie Mendez Kittle-Kamp ’80, live in Chicago. Working Mothers/SHOOK Research recognized Maureen Raihle ’84 as a Top Wealth Advisor Mom. A private wealth adviser for Merrill Lynch, Maureen is a director for Children’s Memorial Foundation and involved with several other foundations. She lives in Lake Forest, Ill.

General achievement BY BOB GRIMSON ’81 Photography by Lealan C. Buehrer, TSgt, ANG

to Ken Peterson ’60, an Air Guard officer at the time, about a career in aviation. TOP: Robertson gets a champagne salute. LEFT: With Col. Daniel McDonough (left), the new 182nd Airlift wing commander.

AS FAR BACK AS THE FIFTH GRADE at Whittier School near

Bradley’s campus, teachers and others could see a potential military career ahead for William P. “Robbie” Robertson ’83. A family friend and neighbor, the late U.S. Rep. Robert Michel ’48 HON ’81, even offered the promise of a U.S. Naval Academy appointment if he did well in school. Life got in the way, and Robertson enlisted in the Illinois Air National Guard (ANG) as a security police officer while majoring in criminal justice. The path proved successful, earning him a promotion late last year to brigadier general and being named chief of staff. Robertson previously served as wing commander for the highly decorated 182nd Airlift Wing at Peoria for 13 years. Now second from the top in the Illinois ANG, Robertson oversees the mission readiness of the state’s three wings, based in Peoria, Springfield and at Scott Air Force Base in southern Illinois, near St. Louis. “My job is to facilitate and make sure things are getting done for the wings,” he said. Today, Robertson is a command pilot with more than 4,800 flying hours in a 37-year Guard career. Getting his start meant talking

“It was probably one of the shortest interviews I ever had,” Robertson said. “He (Peterson) said, ‘I know your dad, I know your family.’ He pulls a piece of paper out of his desk and says ‘you get your college degree by this date, I’ll send you to pilot training.’ That lit the fire under me.” Robertson worked as an air liaison officer with the Army and flew the A-37 as a forward air controller directing air strikes on enemy targets. He also flew the F-16 Fighting Falcon. The decorated pilot saw aerial missions in the C-130 Hercules that took him around the country and the world on humanitarian and combat assignments. “I was on one of the first planes going into Baghdad during Operation Iraqi Freedom; we were hauling medicine,” he said. “It was right in the middle of the battle. The U.S. Army had just rolled across the runways, which were blown up. We had to land on the taxiway. We’re all sitting there going, ‘Get this stuff off so we can get out of here.’” With a family link to the university stretching back to his grandfather — iconic coach and athletic director A.J. Robertson — he also has strong links to the Guard. Currently, one of his sons and a daughter serve. His father, William C. “Corky” Robertson ’53 M.A. ’64 was a member of the Peoria unit, and A.J. Robertson held sports mini-clinics with returning veterans after World War II. “I think maybe he was recruiting,” Robertson joked. He added that people continue to approach him with stories of his father and grandfather at the university. “A lot of people who went to Bradley knew my family or knew of them. There are a lot of great memories.” Bradley Hilltopics Winter 2018


Class Notes Paula Springer ’84 is a holistic health expert and speaker as well as a mastery certified transformational coach. She is CEO of Firebelly Practical and Intuitive Digestive Wellness, and creator of The Gut Advantage training for leadership and performance. Gary Understein ’84 retired from United Airlines in December after 38 years as a commercial pilot. He and his wife, Sally, live in Montgomery, Texas. “Leaving Iowa,” a play by Tim Clue ’85 and Spike Manton ’86 had its Peoria debut in January. Premiering at Jeff Daniels’ Purple Rose Theatre in the 2003–04 season, the play about families and family vacations has had performances at venues nationwide. Tim and Spike are motivational speakers and entertainers. Both live in the Chicago area. Theodore Harman ’85 opened a law office in Glen Ellyn, Ill., where he lives. He earned a juris doctor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Steve Holland ’85 joined Amazon’s leadership team. He previously served as CIO and held other executive positions at 7-Eleven Inc. Steve and his wife, Christa, have three children and live in Plano, Texas.

1990s Scott Byrd ’91 is president and CEO of Outpost Medicine. He worked for several pharmaceutical companies and earned an MBA at Harvard. David Evers ’91 is a senior associate and managing director of the engineering group in Dewberry’s Peoria office. He has a professional engineer designation in several states, is a certified energy manager and is LEED-accredited. Ali Raidl Bond ’93 M.A. ’94 is principal at Williams Bay Elementary School in Wisconsin after serving as director of student services, a teacher and administrator in Peoria and Dunlap, Ill. CEFCU promoted Denise Neeley Ghere ’93 to senior vice president of electronic services, responsible for strategic planning and oversight of the credit union’s payment systems, ATMs, certain accounts and online and mobile presence. She is a board member for the Peoria Area Children’s Home and lives with her husband, Shayne ’94, and their son in the Peoria area. Michael McLaren ’96 is a structural principal for RLG Consulting Engineers. He lives in Peoria.


The Northwest Association of Student Affairs Professionals elected Jason Feiner ’97 to a two-year term on its board where he will also be the group’s treasurer. He earned a master’s degree at Illinois State University and is director of student activities at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore., where he lives. Jennifer Wallin Franklin ’98 earned her doctorate in nursing practice from Duke University in September. She previously earned a master’s degree at Clemson University and is nurse manager at Duke Health. Jennifer and her husband, Tony, live in Apex, N.C. Scott Nass ’97 ’98 is president-elect of GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality, the world’s oldest and largest organization of LGBT healthcare professionals. A board-certified family physician in West Covina, Calif., he earned joint medical degrees at UCLA and the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science. George Washington University named Scott a Leader for Health Equality Fellow. Timothy Boyer ’99 is an associate circuit court judge for the city of St. Louis. Previously, he served as an assistant circuit attorney in St. Louis and worked in private practice. Timothy earned his law degree at Saint Louis University.

Rich Draeger ’87 is a development director for the Salvation Army and the central Illinois chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals has named him the 2017 Sturrock Outstanding Fundraising Executive. Rich earned a master’s degree at Trevecca Nazarene University. He and his wife, Stephanie Vala Draeger ’91 M.A. ’97, live in Peoria. MaryBeth Pabst O’Lear ’88 is a marketing manager at AMETEK Powervar. With 20 years of experience in marketing and communications, she earned an MBA at DePaul University and is studying for a master’s in sustainability management at the University of Wisconsin.

Nannette Rodriguez ’96 and Tena Hahn married Aug. 18. Nannette earned a master’s degree from Drake University and is associate vice president for marketing, brand and communications at Metropolitan Community College in Nebraska.

2000s Jenny Madison M.A. ’00 joined Psychology Specialists as a licensed clinical professional counselor in the group’s Bloomington, Ill., office. Michael Rebholz ’96 and his wife, Leslie, announce the adoption of Maddox Alexander Sept. 6. Michael is director of leadership services and human resources for Athletes in Action. The family lives in Xenia, Ohio.

Bob DeMent ’01 is vice president of operations for Kastalon, Inc. He was a senior sales executive for the company and worked for Enterprise Fleet Management. Bob is active with DePaul University’s Chicago Family Business Council.

Adam Klaege ’10 and Samantha Peterburs ’13 married July 15. Adam is a digital technical analyst for Caterpillar Inc., and Samantha, who earned a master’s degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, serves as records coordinator for Bradley’s Graduate School.

Myskeshia Mitchell ’01 M.A. ’10 is a counselor at Manual Academy in Peoria and among the 25 Women in Leadership selected by WEEK TV.

Jenna Cannon Palmiscno ’04 is a financial manager at AirCorps Aviation, an aircraft restoration, maintenance and parts firm in Minnesota. A CPA, she is a Six Sigma green belt.

Daniel Ludois ’06 is a Moore Inventor Fellow for 2017, focusing on creating lightweight electric motors for sustainable performance and lower cost. He earned a doctorate in electrical engineering at the University of Wisconsin. Dan’s wife, Melissa Dohn Ludois ’07, teaches music. They have two sons and live in Madison, Wis.

Curta: Elle Rose Photo; Klaege: Steph Zimmerman.

Christopher Troutman ’03 had an exhibit — “Drawn Narratives” — at the Betty Feves Memorial Gallery at Blue Mountain Community College. He earned an MFA at California State University, Long Beach.

James ’05 and Lauren Bruno Evans ’05 welcomed Finley Rose Oct. 19. James, who earned a master’s degree at Roosevelt University, is a systems specialist for Township High School District 214 in northern Illinois. Lauren is a senior training specialist for Liberty Mutual Insurance. The family lives in St. Charles, Ill.

Rebecca Ruch Baker ’04 and her husband, Gerald, announce the birth of Ben Charles and Max Joseph Oct. 5. She is a medical bill review specialist for Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Companies. The family lives in Omaha, Neb.

The city of Aurora, Ill., named Marissa Bianchi Spencer ’05 assistant corporation counsel. She earned her law degree at Northern Illinois University and previously worked for the DuPage County, Ill., State’s Attorney’s office.

Kaitlyn Curta ’07 and Keith Tobin married April 8. Kaitlyn earned a master’s degree at Saint Xavier University and is an academic counselor at Chicago’s High School for the Arts. They live in Chicago. Danielle Saletzki ’08 is 4-H and youth development program coordinator for the University of Illinois Extension Service in Bureau County.

Bradley Hilltopics Winter 2018


Class Notes 2010s Dan Eckert ’10 is an operations specialist with McMaster-Carr Supply Company. He earned a master’s degree at Concordia University Chicago, where he lives.

Victoria Gestner ’10 and Brian Whiting ’10 MSA ’10 married June 24. She is a senior account director for Henson Consulting. He earned an MBA at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and is a director of business systems. They live in Chicago.

Getting a kick out of a marathon Running a marathon is difficult, but Brian Lock ’10 added a layer of complexity to his participation in Peoria’s Whiskeydaddle race in October, setting a world record and dribbling a soccer ball the entire 26.2-mile course. A former soccer player at Bradley, he unofficially set the record with a time of 3:29.03, more than 50 seconds better than the previous world mark set in 2013. Officials with Guinness World Records will certify the record after checking witnesses and verifications. Lock is an actuarial analyst for RLI Corp. and lives in Dunlap. He ran the course to raise money for Imprint Hope for Uganda, which helps children with disabilities in that country.

Lock: Fred Zwicky / Peoria Journal Star.

Jennifer Dunmore ’10 and Bradley LaRocque married April 22. She earned a master’s degree at National Louis University and teaches kindergarten for District 102 in LaGrange, Ill. The couple lives in Woodridge, Ill.

Alexandra Warden-Michl ’14 DPT ’17 is a physical therapist with Connections Physical Therapy in Grafton, Mass.

Khalil Ali ’11 and Lauren DiSandro ’11 married May 26. Khalil is creative director/ buyer for and Lauren is a tour consultant. They live in Tinley Park, Ill.

Tyler Frizzo ’15 married Shelby Duitsman ’14 June 10. She is an inside sales specialist at GSI Group Inc. and he is a staff accountant at May, Cocagne & King P.C. They live in Decatur, Ill. Josiah Williams ’14 and Brianna Williams ’15 married May 6. He is a field representative for U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos. She earned an MSW at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is an adoption preservation specialist with Lutheran Social Services. They live in Peoria.

Amber Dudak ’11 and Jacob Gilfillan married July 29. Amber is a second-grade teacher in Bartonville, Ill. They live in Peoria.

Anthony Gravina ’14 married Allison Sherr ’14 in August. She earned an MSW degree at Loyola University Chicago and is a community support specialist for Thresholds. He is a credit analyst for Central Steel & Wire Co. They live in Chicago.

Ali: Seth Morris Photography; Frizzo: Kinard Photography.

Brittany DeVito ’15 and Andrew Carver ’15 married Sept. 30. She is a biology teacher at Hinckley-Big Rock High School and he is a project manager for Retail Data Systems. They live in Aurora, Ill.

Mallory Whelchel Wolf ’13 and her husband, Jeremy, welcomed Ryleigh Grace July 31. Mallory is a purchasing planner for Sensient Flavors, and the family lives in Dixon, Ill.

Jesse Marczewski ’14 hosts College Gameday for ESPN Wisconsin and does the Prep Monday show for ESPN Madison, Wis., where he has broadcast high school state championship games in football and basketball.

Tim van Straten ’15 is co-host and producer of “The Jim Mattson Show” covering sports on ESPN radio in Peoria. His wife, Amber Miller van Straten ’15, is marketing and events coordinator for the Children’s Home Association of Illinois. They live in Morton, Ill.

Bradley Hilltopics Winter 2018


Sojourneying through life BY NANCY RIDGEWAY Photography courtesy Sojourner White ’16

Sojourner White ’16 has found the joy of traveling, embracing different cultures and sharing her passion with others.

ONLINE Follow White’s travels at

While in Spain through Bradley’s Study Abroad program and after graduation as a Fulbright Scholar, she took full advantage of her surroundings and visited much of Europe. The journeys may be fleeting, but White keeps the memories alive as she shares travel stories on her blog, Sojournies. White has blogged weekly for a year, sharing insights about traveling and cuisine. She describes herself as “a traveling chocoholic enjoying life with a glass of wine, plate of food and her camera nearby.” The Milwaukee native was the subject of a’s Women of the Week feature where she shared how her interest in traveling began, her work-travel balance, a favorite memory and more. As a child, White traveled frequently with her parents to visit family in Pittsburgh and St. Louis. When she started studying Spanish in sixth grade, she became interested in learning more about other cultures. She majored in Spanish, psychology and Women’s and Gender Studies with an eye toward studying abroad.


Her Spanish professors encouraged her to go to Granada, Spain, and she was among seven Bradley students who ventured there during the spring semester of her junior year. In addition to attending classes, White volunteered at a residential facility for adults and helped with arts and crafts. “I would go to class in the morning, then walk from there to where I volunteered. As I went through the city, I got to see day-to-day life,” White said. “Walking up a hill, I could hear some guys playing music. People in Granada value down time, and I could sit and relax. They have such a rich culture with flamenco, tapas — just a great mix of food, culture and music.” White lived with a host family and describes her host mother as a “super sassy but cool Spanish lady.” The family also hosted other students. Italian girls lived in the house one week, followed by girls from New Zealand the next week. White enjoyed exploring on weekends. “I love languages and on a continent like Europe, each place is so different. I would go to Portugal, then to Italy. I could go to many different places in a short amount of time, and it was not expensive to do. I didn’t know until I started researching just how much was within my grasp.”

White’s travels have taken her all over Europe. Opposite page: Santorini, Greece. Top left: Mykonos, Greece; top right: Prague; bottom right: Laguardia, Spain.

After she returned to the U.S., White quickly realized her five months in Spain had not been enough, so she started working on a Fulbright application under the guidance of Associate Professor of English Tim Conley. Though she had been a psychology major, White became interested in education and for her year as a Fulbright Scholar, she taught 3- to 12-year olds in Longroño, Spain’s wine capital. Halfway through that experience, White decided to pursue a career in international education and hopes to eventually work for an organization that sends students abroad to learn about other cultures.

Placed through Americorps’ Public Allies, she works in the Girl Scout office four days, and on Fridays, she attends Public Allies training at nonprofits throughout the city. Part of her duties includes teaching financial literacy, explaining to schoolchildren, many of them Spanish speaking, different currencies around the world and how they compare to money in the U.S. “It’s important to teach the students while they’re young; you never know where they will end up,” she said. “I want to see the world, but I want to help others see the world.”

While she applies to graduate school, White is back in Milwaukee, working as a community outreach advocate for Girl Scouts of Wisconsin SE.


Class Notes In Memory 1940s Robert Baden ’42, June 5, Melbourne, Fla. Miriam Scharp Hawk ’43, Oct. 21, Peoria Marjorie Veigel Schmalensee ’43, Sept. 22, 2015, Naples, Fla. Shirley Henseler Staab ’45, Sept. 2, Peoria Dorothy Weber Teason ’45, Nov. 27, Elmhurst, Ill. Beverly Carrigan Long ’47, Aug. 31, Peoria Dorothy Mitchell Seward ’48, Nov. 30, Peoria Marjorie Hill Stone ’48, Nov. 5, Franklin Grove, Ill. Melvin Demmin ’49, Nov. 7, Bartonville, Ill. Sherell “Shez” Weinstein Jacobson ’49, July 23, Greenville, N.Y. E. Lewis Look ’49, Sept. 14, Peoria Roberta “Bobbie” Kilby Morrison ’49, Nov. 14, Garland, Texas Suzanne “Susie” Cassidy Walsh ’49, Nov. 8, Peoria

1950s William Biederbeck ’50, Oct. 23, Peoria Robert Crombie ’50, Nov. 7, Peoria Don Duggleby ’50, Sept. 14, Tucson, Ariz. James Felke ’50, Sept. 23, Algonquin, Ill. Raymond Holeman ’50, Sept. 21, Westchester, Ill. Robert Kessler ’50, July 21, Moorestown, N.J. William Knight ’50, Aug. 28, Peoria Richard Millikan ’50, Aug. 23, Peoria James O’Laughlin ’50, Oct. 20, Peoria John Organtini ’50, Sept. 6, Springfield, Ill. Harry Whitaker ’50 M.S. ’59, Nov. 5, Peoria William E. Wilson ’50, April 23, Peoria James Yakle ’50, Nov. 3, Dunedin, Fla. Delbert Burke ’51, Nov. 11, Dallas Patricia Miller Donohoe ’51, Sept. 12, Wauwatosa, Wis. John Farrell ’51 M.A. ’52, Dec. 3, Westport, Conn. Robert Malone ’51, Nov. 2, Peoria Lewis Murphy ’51, Oct. 9, Monmouth, Ill. Robert O’Neill ’51, Nov. 24, Peoria Phyllis Brais Enright ’52, March 29, 2016, Kankakee, Ill. John Fisherkeller ’52, Nov. 19, Springfield, Ill. Kathleen “Kacky” Sheehan Heinzen ’52, Sept. 6, Peoria L. Frank Herman ’52, Aug. 25, Springfield, Ill. Harry Levonian ’52, July 26, Chicago Renna Thurman Sauder ’52, Nov. 16, Sun City West, Ariz. Arnold Van Etten ’52, Aug. 19, Dubuque, Iowa Harry Athan ’53, Oct. 29, Stone Mountain, Ga. David Kamrass ’53, Sept. 11, Atlanta Marilyn Voigt Loock ’53, Sept. 20, San Diego Roberta Speck Sathoff ’53, Sept. 14, Peoria Thomas Storey ’53, June 3, Longwood, Fla. Richard Walker ’53, Sept. 4, Deer Park, Ill. Mary Johnson Hempstead ’54, Sept. 14, Springfield, Ill.


Lyle Marquis ’54, Jan. 13, 2017, Tempe, Ariz. Keith Toepfer ’54, Sept. 26, Tremont, Ill. Harold Wirth ’54, Nov. 17, Venice, Fla. Gustave “Gus” Bohlman ’55 M.A. ’72, Oct. 10, The Villages, Fla. Earl Krueger ’55, Oct. 17, Mesa, Ariz. Barbara Palmatier Mast ’55, Sept. 9, Phoenix Harold Turley ’54, Nov. 16, Peoria Robert Wildey ’55, Oct. 7, Sanborn, N.Y. Lloyd Agee ’56, Nov. 8, Geneseo, Ill. Clifford Chrisman ’56, Nov. 26, Havana, Ill. John Christian ’56, Sept. 11, Port St. Lucie, Fla. John Myers ’56, Oct. 14, Morton, Ill. Brian Newell ’56, Nov. 9, Canton, Mo. Thomas Northrup ’56, Nov. 16, Tampa, Fla. Willie Sanders ’56, Feb. 21, 2017, Evanston, Ill. Susan Osterkamp McConnell ’57, June 12, Mascoutah, Ill. Robert Olson ’57, Nov. 26, Kewanee, Ill. Lawrence Fuchs ’58, Sept. 8, Litchfield, Ill. Donald Just ’58, Aug. 15, Auburn, Calif. Anneliese Sinn M.A. ’58, Sept. 24, Peoria John Couden ’59, Nov. 13, Peoria Robert Gabric ’59, Aug. 13, Oro Valley, Ariz. Allen Grundstrom ’59, Nov. 28, Denton, Texas Corwin Jacob ’59, Jan. 1, 2017, Las Vegas Edward Jaunsem ’59, Oct. 19, Hilton Head Plantation, S.C. Cecil “Herb” Raybourn ’59, Oct. 21, Bradenton, Fla.

1960s Donald W. Andrews ’60, Oct. 16, Peru, Ill. Richard Bennett ’60, June 6, Las Vegas Richard Sloneker ’60, Oct. 27, South Pekin, Ill. Catherine Miller Cole ’61, Oct. 28, Plainfield, Ind. Judith Lewis ’61, June 30, Salem, Ill. Sandra Fleming Carruthers ’62 M.A. ’65, Oct. 18, Peoria Frederic Hensey ’62, Dec. 1, Conroe, Texas Ralph Kenner ’62, Oct. 28, Spokane, Wash. Wilbert “Bill” Ruck ’62 M.A. ’68, Sept. 30, Peoria William Cavanaugh ’63 M.A. ’65, Nov. 2, Reston, Va. Thomas Filippini ’63, Oct. 28, Winnetka, Ill. James Hancock ’63, Oct. 23, Sarasota, Fla. Carol Slisz Hillis ’63, Nov. 8, Greenville, N.C. Thomas Tharp ’63, Feb. 19, 2017, Royal Oak, Mich. Dennis Wegl ’63, Sept. 8, Carmel, Ind. Roger Eggena ’64 MEA ’71, Nov. 6, 2016, Statesville, N.C. Katherine Schmitt Giunta ’64, Sept. 19, River Forest, Ill. Barger Macy ’64, Sept. 4, Fishers, Ind. Chester Chylinski ’65, Feb. 6, 2017, Homewood, Ill. Robert D. Clark MBA ’65, Sept. 19, Northville, Mich. Robert D. Fischer MSME ’65, April 28, Shawnee Hills, Ohio Steven Rosley ’67, Oct. 25, Chicago D. Howard Tolchin ’67, Nov. 16, Scottsdale, Ariz. Larry Coppernoll ’68, Sept. 8, Linden, N.C.

In Tribute Edwin Stear ’54 Virgil Newman MSME ’68, Aug. 23, Morton, Ill. Henry “Hank” Lawrence ’69, Aug. 31, Peoria Virginia Risser Stickelmaier ’69, April 13, Metamora, Ill. Robert Wilderman M.A. ’69, Aug. 25, Surprise, Ariz.

1970s Jimmie Holmes ’70, Nov. 1, Somerset, N.J. Craig Proffitt ’70, Nov. 2, Bakersfield, Calif. Kathryn Wuest Bennett M.A. ’71, Oct. 2, Arlington Heights, Ill. Martha Raney Cummins ’71 M.A. ’75, Oct. 22, Hertford, N.C. Brent King ’71, Aug. 28, Frenchburg, Ky. Gail Atwell Randall ’71, Jan. 10, 2017, Riverdale Park, Md. Alice Bell Van Etten ’71, Nov. 5, Morton, Ill. Marilyn Cooper ’72, March 20, Peoria Doris Moore Norgart ’72 M.A. ’75, Sept. 4, Naples, Fla. Nancy Richards ’72, Feb. 23, 2016, Las Vegas Lyle Sajewich ’74, March 3, 2015, Frankfort, Ill. Thomas L. Smith ’74, Feb. 1, Oakland, Calif. Bruce Foster ’75, Nov. 10, Macomb, Ill. James Gilles ’75, Nov. 26, Morton, Ill. Mary Boswell Osborne ’75, Oct. 4, Morton, Ill. Roy E. Rogers ’75 M.S. ’80, Oct. 24, Gloucester Township, N.J. William Smith MBA ’76, Oct. 18, Punta Gorda, Fla. Joseph Stowell Jr. ’76, Sept. 4, Delavan, Ill. Terry “Bill” Morovic M.A. ’77, June 20, Arlington, Texas Donald Samburg ’78, Nov. 27, Winfield, Ind. Douglas Lam ’79, July 21, Bolingbrook, Ill. Charles Meyers III ’79, Sept. 27, Peoria

1980s Bimshire Davis ’80, April 22, Columbia, Mo. William Kinsella ’80, April 13, Evanston, Ill. Alisa “Ali” Gold Chinlund ’83, Sept. 22, Glendale Heights, Ill. Gregory Erthal ’83, Nov. 13, Alton, Ill. Robert “Randy” Ruyle ’83, Nov. 14, Fort Walton Beach, Fla. Barbara Westlake Alessi ’86, Sept. 30, Washington, Ill. Greg Scotti ’86, Oct. 1, Elmwood, Ill. McKinley Moton III M.A. ’89, Nov. 8, Peoria David Weber ’89, Aug. 25, East Peoria, Ill.

1990s Veralee Riddlespriger Smith ’91, Oct. 15, Peoria John Gall ’93, Aug. 1, Norridge, Ill. Susan Tankersley ’94, Oct. 15, Encino, Calif. Matthew Flagg ’95, Sept. 14, New Carlisle, Ind.

2000s Cori Ellis ’00, Sept. 10, Kewanee, Ill. Allen Miller MSN ’04, Dec. 1, Tremont, Ill. Paul Coogan MLS ’06, Sept. 22, Peoria

Edwin Stear ’54, the 1980 Distinguished Alumni and a Centurion, died Sept. 21 in Santa Barbara, Calif. After starting his education in a one-room school, he became an engineer, scientist and professor. The Peoria native earned a master’s degree at the University of Southern California and a doctorate in electrical engineering at UCLA. He taught at the University of California at Santa Barbara and was associate dean for research and a professor at the University of Washington. He was chief scientist of the Air Force, where he earned the Exceptional Civilian Service medal in 1982 and 1992. Stear was founding executive director of the Washington Technology Center and corporate vice president for technology assessment at Boeing. A member of engineering school advisory boards at Bradley and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he was honored by groups such as the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He also served on many advisory groups, including for NATO and NASA. A fan of mystery books and movies, he also enjoyed wood crafts, art and cooking. Surviving are his wife, a brother, son, daughter, four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Faculty Mildred “Duke” Caldwell, professor of physical education emerita and former chair of the department who taught at Bradley from 1955–83, died Sept. 29 in Peoria. She was 99. One of 1,100 members of the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) program during World War II, she flew military planes in the United States to free up male pilots for combat. After years of bureaucratic wrangling, Congress gave the group status as veterans and members earned the Congressional Gold Medal. Caldwell was a Connecticut native and learned to fly while working for the Piper Airplane Corporation in Pennsylvania. After the WASP program shut down in 1944, she worked at an airport in Florida and earned her master’s degree at the University of Missouri before moving to Peoria in the mid1950s with her partner, English professor emeritus Jo Pearce. She enjoyed traveling and was a top-flight amateur golfer, working with the women’s professional tour and coaching some of the top players at that time. Caldwell is survived by a niece and nephew.

Bradley Hilltopics Winter 2018


Alumni Connections Alumni Events March 3 // Peoria Women’s Alumni Basketball Game March 24 // Peoria Gamma Phi Beta Reunion April 12 // Peoria Wine Tasting April 20–22 // Peoria BUBAA Reunion June 25–28 // Asheville, N.C. Veterans’ Reunion Visit for details and registration, or contact the Office of Alumni Relations at (309) 677-3565 or (800) 952-8258.




Peoria The Bradley family came out to support the men’s basketball team against Drake on Alumni Night. The basketball band, cheerleaders and KaBoom! sparked a packed house at the pregame party.

Director’s Corner Tory McCord Jennetten ’96 A new year — and, here on campus, a new semester — brings a wealth of possibilities. Refreshed after winter break, students encountered novel ideas and attended engaging exhibits and lectures by artists and experts. As spring takes hold, Visit Days will bring crowds of curious prospective students. We hope they’ll choose Bradley as their home for the next four years.

outstanding students and your involvement in alumni activities (please check bradley. edu/alumni for our spring slate of events). We couldn’t be successful without you.

I’ve said this before, but I believe Bradley’s best ambassadors are you, our alumni and friends. We’re grateful for your loyalty, your continued help in recruiting

Tory McCord Jennetten ’96

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank you for your heartwarming support on Giving Tuesday at the end of November. More than 1,700 donors contributed in excess of $916,000 to Bradley’s programs and scholarships. You make me so proud to be part of the Bradley family. My best to you,

Executive Director, Alumni Relations






2 Chicago A pair of sold-out trolley tours let alumni experience the magic of Chicago’s holiday light displays. Stops included Christkindlmarket and ZooLights. 3 Peoria Alumni, including Patricia Doran Kellogg ’67 MA ’68 and Larry Koch ’56 MSME ’63 gathered in October at the Hayden-Clark Alumni Center for Blaze Your Trail: A Chance to Reconnect and Inspire. They heard the latest Bradley news, engaged with fellow alums and learned about estate planning. 4 Peoria In February, BAILA (Bradley Association of International and Latino Alumni) hosted its annual Student Leadership & Diversity Workshop where 30-plus students gained valuable life skills from BAILA members. 5 Chicago Bradley alumni, family and friends enjoyed “Escape to Margaritaville,” in Chicago and visited Eric Petersen ’03, who is featured in the show. Participants included (front row from left) Sydney Peters ’21, Bianca Thai and Rich Siok Jr. ’05; (Back row from left): Shelly Peters, David Trillizio, Tory McCord Jennetten ’96, Rich Siok Sr., Nila Siok, Petersen and Jennifer Gibbs. 6 Chicago More than 200 alumni and friends gathered at Bar 63 before the Bradley men’s basketball game at Loyola and at least 400 fans, including Ryan Dubs ’16 and Meghan Johnson ’16, turned out at Gentile Arena to cheer on the team.

Bradley Hilltopics Winter 2018


Hilltop View

Rising to the occasion Music director Susan Sommerville Brown watches for cues from the trap during a full-dress rehearsal of “Little Women” last October at the Hartmann Center. The musical, an adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s iconic book, details the lives and relationships of the four March sisters during the Civil War. Photo by Duane Zehr.


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Hilltopics Winter 2018  
Hilltopics Winter 2018