ALUMNI NEWS Summer 2018
The Promise of 2021
The new Elmhurst College Strategic Plan envisions a dynamic future, and charts the course to take us there.
CLASS OF 2018 FLIES THE NEST More than 800 undergraduate students graduated on May 26, 2018, on the College Mall. Read more on page 16.
in this issue
04 18 20
A DAY IN THE LIFE Monica Mazurek ’18
COVER STORY The Promise of 2021
The new Elmhurst College Strategic Plan envisions a dynamic future, and charts the course to take us there.
WHY I GIVE
Mac Harden ’19
Joel Herter ’59
Justin Roman ’00
Janice Tuck Lively
190 Prospect Ave., Elmhurst, Illinois 60126
Dear friends, I’m excited to report that Elmhurst College has finished the 2017-18 academic year on a historic note, and you’re an important part of the reason why. Thanks to hard work, insight and engagement from across our campus and alumni communities over these past several months, we have our Elmhurst College 2021 Strategic Plan!
Chair, Board of Trustees Ed Momkus ’74 President Troy D. VanAken Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty April Edwards Vice President for Admission Timothy Ricordati Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Valerie Day
Unanimously approved by our Board of Trustees this spring, the plan reaffirms who we are, declares our goals, and spells out how we will achieve them. It sets in motion the College’s agenda for the next three to five years, as we build toward our sesquicentennial anniversary in 2021.
Vice President for Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer Karen Kissel
Above all, it demonstrates our ongoing commitment to offering an excellent, relevant education to a student body of diverse backgrounds, interests and ambitions—now and for the next 150 years.
Vice President for Student Affairs Phillip Riordan
Vice President for Information Technology Kurt Ashley
In this issue of FYI, our cover story brings the Elmhurst College 2021 Strategic Plan to life by illuminating its six foundational pillars with compelling stories about our students. If you would like to read the full Strategic Plan, please visit elmhurst.edu/strategicplan. You also can catch up on all the campus news, including a story about the remarkable jazz collection that recently was bequeathed to the College; and a profile of one of Chicago’s most popular radio hosts, Class of 2000 alumnus Justin Roman. As the summer stretches out before you, I hope you’ll find some time to slow down a little and relax. But get ready. Come the fall, we’re going to hit the ground running—toward 2021.
Troy D. VanAken President, Elmhurst College
Editor-in-Chief Desiree Chen Creative Director Yuma Nakada Contributors Lauren Altiery, Judith Crown, Margaret Currie, Lauren Galvin, Kevin Juday, Andrew Santella, Barbara Sedlack, Jonathan Shearer Photography Genevieve (True) Lee ’09, Steve Kuzminski, Yuma Nakada, Organic Headshots, Andrew Schones, Steve Woltmann
FYI is published twice a year by the Office of Communications and Public Affairs, Elmhurst College, 190 Prospect Ave., Elmhurst, Illinois 60126. Inquiries may be sent to that address, care of the Editor-in-Chief.
Campus beauty and a special engagement topped the Elmhurst College Instagram this term.
3 437 likes See ya later, Spring Term!
336 likes Nina Burns ’18 and Emelio Davalos ’18 recently were #engaged on campus!
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WIN A PAIR OF CHICAGO CUBS TICKETS! With all the exciting things happening here on campus and at alumni events around the country, we want you to be well informed. Visit elmhurst.edu/updatemyinfo to update your information and stay on top of all the Bluejay buzz! While you’re there, help us stay green by choosing to only receive the digital version of FYI magazine. We look forward to seeing you soon!
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TAKE THE SURVEY Go to elmhurst.edu/readersurvey Thanks for participating. Go Cubs!
FOUNDERS, SENIOR OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED
During the annual Founders’ Honors Convocation ceremony, Elmhurst College announced the recipients of the Founders Award and the Senior of the Year Award, which are among the College’s top honors for individual student achievement. The awards were among a number of academic awards, research grants, scholarships and other recognitions of achievement that were celebrated during the Founders’ Honors Convocation, held Thursday, May 3, in Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel. “I am gratified to see how many of you are earning special recognition in a variety of areas, from departmental and faculty awards to student leadership and team awards,” President Troy D. VanAken said during the ceremony. “We’ve challenged you to perform at your very best, both inside and outside the classroom, and you have more than met the challenge.” The Founders Award: The Courage to Change 2018 comprises three awards, each recognizing self-initiated service that brings about change and embodies humane values. One Founders Award is given for service to the College community; a second is given for service to the greater society; and a third, the Cureton Award, is given for service to the global community. Candidates are nominated by members of the College community. • Estrella Vargas, a senior from Streamwood, Ill., received the Founders Award for Service to the College Community. A ﬁrst-generation college student majoring in political science and intercultural studies, Vargas cited leadership roles in the Black Student Union and HABLAMOS as helping her to develop a passion for political activism and working toward diversity and inclusivity, not only in the Elmhurst community but also in the broader society. • Nora Dixon, a senior from Carson, Calif., received the Founders Award for Service to the Greater Society. Dixon, who majored in kinesiology and Spanish, became involved in various activities starting from her first days on campus. She joined her sorority, Sigma Kappa, her ﬁrst year and rose through the membership to serve the organization as president; she recently was named Elmhurst’s Organization President of the Year. Dixon also worked extensively as a job coach, life coach and teacher’s assistant in the Elmhurst Learning and Success Academy (ELSA). • Rebecca Vogt, a senior from Mt. Pleasant, Wis., received the Founders Award known as the Cureton Award for
From left: President Troy D. VanAken, Nora Dixon ’18, Rebecca Vogt ’18, Estrella Vargas ’18 and Chaplain H. Scott Matheney
President VanAken and Esther Pereira ’18
Service to the Global Community. A special-education and Spanish major, Vogt studied abroad three times in her four years, including a full semester in Ecuador. She recently received a prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student award, which will enable her to spend a year in Argentina working as an English teaching assistant. The Senior of the Year Award is a highly sought-after award whose winner is selected by a special committee of the Elmhurst College Alumni Association. The winner excels in academics and campus involvement, and is passionate about continuing the Elmhurst College tradition. The 2018 Senior of the Year was Esther Pereira, an elementary education major from Chicago. Pereira is a ﬁrst-generation college student who was involved in a number of campus organizations. She joined Alpha Phi Omega, where she later became pledge trainer and vice president of membership.
For more campus news, go to elmhurst.edu/news
ELMHURST GETS A “TREASURE TROVE” OF A JAZZ COLLECTION Elmhurst College Director of Jazz Studies Doug Beach still can recall his reaction when he first laid eyes on Dick Sorensen’s collection of jazz recordings. “My jaw dropped,” Beach remembers. Sorensen, a jazz aficionado and Glen Ellyn resident, had acquired some 35,000 records, compact discs and books related to jazz, including 78 rpm recordings that dated to the genre’s New Orleans roots. After Sorensen’s death in 2017, his family acted on his wishes—to donate the entire collection to Elmhurst College. Now the Dick and Pat Sorensen Jazz Collection will offer Elmhurst students access to a compendium of notable recordings and texts that trace the history of jazz. “It’s a treasure trove,” said Beach, who directs Elmhurst’s Jazz Band. “This is the history of jazz told in these recordings.” The collection, which includes vintage hi-fi and and other audio equipment that Sorensen had acquired, resides in Elmhurst’s A.C. Buehler Library. Beach said the College plans to digitize the collection to allow greater access to the music. “There is no substitute for listening to this music,” Beach said. “The best musicians are the best listeners. You can see the notes on the page, but it’s how you play the notes that brings the music alive. Now when we want to play something by Ellington, for example, we have these recordings to guide us.” Sorensen, an executive at Abbott Laboratories, inherited his love of jazz and the foundation of his collection from his father. He added to both over decades of listening and collecting,
From left: Doug Beach, Music Department Chair Peter Griffin and Paul Sorensen
according to his son, Paul. “My father had an encyclopedic knowledge of jazz and a genuine passion for the music,” Paul Sorensen said. “He wanted to share that music with people.” The elder Sorensen was a frequent visitor to the annual Elmhurst College Jazz Festival, and recognized the College as an ideal home for his collection. “My father knew the quality of the jazz program at Elmhurst and knew his collection would be in good hands. It’s great to know that it will live on and touch the lives of so many students,” Sorensen said. “It is my father’s living legacy.” “We are so honored that he chose us as the home of his collection,” Beach said. “It is a wonderful resource for our students.”
TWO SENIORS (UNOFFICIALLY) SET WORLD RECORD FOR MARATHON RADIO SHOW As seniors getting ready to graduate, Jennifer Anthony and Emma Kaminski wanted to do something big to commemorate their time on campus and as deejays at WRSE, the College radio station. They decided to co-host a Guinness World Record-setting radio talk show. With a five-page list of discussion topics, board games, and endless cups of coffee and bottles of Mountain Dew, they stepped into the WRSE sound booth on March 17 at 10:08 a.m. to try and set the record for World’s Longest Marathon Radio Talk Show as a Team. They signed off around 5:00 a.m. on Tuesday, March 20. They’d been on the air for 66 hours, 45 minutes and 59 seconds, and had unofficially broken the world record. Guinness is determining whether they are the new title holders. “I feel like, if I made it through this I can do anything,” Anthony said, “but I also feel like I would never do this again.”
A RECORD $287,810 Raised During #JayItForward Giving Day 6
In an academic year already marked with record enrollments, Elmhurst College friends, alumni, faculty, staff and students came together on Thursday, May 3, and set another record—raising $287,810 during the College’s second annual #JayItForward Giving Day. More than 1,000 donors from 33 states contributed to the 24-hour fundraiser to benefit Elmhurst students, with the final number exceeding the original goal by nearly half. President Troy D. VanAken announced the final results the next day during a campus celebration also shared on Facebook Live. As Giving Day ambassadors showed each digit one by one, cheers erupted when the record-setting amount was fully revealed. “That’s a new record,” President VanAken said, “and it’s a testament to the fact that when we pull together, we can do anything.” The money raised will support numerous causes at Elmhurst College, including the student scholarship fund, the Honors Program, student research, the American Dream Scholarship for first-generation college students, student leadership programs, Bluejay Backers Athletics, the Bluejay Nest Fund, and more. On Giving Day, the campus was busy from end to end with #JayItForward Giving Day events showcasing Elmhurst College students, their accomplishments, and the opportunities an Elmhurst education can provide. The day kicked off with the Scholarship Breakfast, an opportunity for donors to meet with scholarship recipients and learn firsthand how their gifts benefit them. Singer Matthew Cloud, a sophomore and winner of the 2018 EC on the Rise student talent competition, performed for the attendees. Describing Elmhurst College as his “dream school,”
he thanked the donors and said there was no way he could attend without scholarship support. Shortly before 9:00 a.m., Valerie Day, vice president for development and alumni relations, announced that donations had just exceeded $100,000—halfway to the goal of $200,000— thanks to a $38,570 gift from two donors attending the breakfast, Susan Howard ’76 and her husband, Craig. Their gift foreshadowed a steady outpouring of gifts throughout the day and into the evening. At the same time, $70,000 in gift challenges were matched, giving the donations an even greater impact. A number of other activities were held on campus for anyone wanting to be “A Jay for the Day,” including a Bluejay Academy talk with physics professor Brian Wilhite; a campus arboretum tour; a Bluejay barbecue; and even a cooking class with the head chef of the campus dining operation. It also was a day to celebrate student achievements, with the presentation of numerous academic and leadership awards during the Founders’ Honors Convocation. That evening, students and faculty presented scholarly research, gave musical presentations, held panel discussions and more during the 16th Annual Research and Performance Showcase. During the “reveal” event the next day, President VanAken thanked all of the donors not only for their monetary gifts but also for their strong, collective commitment to Elmhurst College, its students and the future. “This has been a fantastic event and we’ve had a phenomenal year,” he said. “It’s because people are pulling together.” He closed by calling for a continuation of the campus’ culture of giving and working together, with the goal of “setting new records and doing big things” to benefit students and their experience at Elmhurst College.
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$287,810 TOTAL RAISED
for an Endowed Scholarship
103 YEARS OLD alumna from Class of 1936
CURRENT STUDENT DONORS
1,377 ENGAGEMENTS ACROSS SOCIAL MEDIA
JEB BUSH HONORS HIS MOTHER AND DISCUSSES LEADERSHIP AT GOVERNMENTAL FORUM
Greeted by a standing ovation from a crowd of more than 800, Gov. Jeb Bush spoke poignantly about the death of his mother, former First Lady Barbara Bush, and discussed a wide range of other topics during the 11th Annual Elmhurst College Governmental Forum on Wednesday, April 18. Barbara Bush passed away the day before, at the age of 92. But her son, the former Florida governor and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, kept his commitment to give the keynote address, “Leadership in a Changing World,” at the Governmental Forum. “If she were here, she’d say, ‘Thank God, you made it,’ because she would have been very upset if I stayed home. … You commit to something, you’re supposed to show up,” he said. President Troy D. VanAken thanked Gov. Bush for keeping that promise. “We are humbled that you would be here with us today,” he said. “It’s a testament to your family’s strength, characterized so often by your mother, that you would honor this commitment during such a difficult time. America has lost a powerful advocate for literacy and learning, as well as a most distinguished and revered first lady.” During his keynote and in a conversation with forum moderator R. Bruce Dold, publisher and editor-in-chief of the Chicago Tribune, Gov. Bush explored a number of topics, from education policy to what he called the country’s “poisonous” political climate. He said it will be up to citizens to change that political environment, which “has become embedded in our culture.” “We need a higher standard for people in public life rather than a lower one,” he said. “But politicians don’t see a reward in taking a first step.” He also appealed to Americans to “resist fake news,” and seek information from varied sources. “Conservatives watch Fox, liberals watch MSNBC,” he said. “We’re in our tribes.” If one side believes the other is evil, they will never find common ground, and “we need to find common ground,” he said. Watch video of the Governmental Forum at elmhurst.edu/govforum18
To all of our 2018 sponsors: Thank you for your support! Platinum Sponsor
VIP Reception Sponsor
Patrons BKD LLP James McHugh Construction Co. K&M Printing
Metro Strategies, Inc. William E. Hay & Company
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THE SPRING 2018 CULTURAL SEASON The Governmental Forum was one of several popular lectures Elmhurst College hosted during the Spring 2018 Cultural Season, themed “Make No Little Plans: Vision and Leadership in a Changing World”: • March 2: Travel as a Political Act, with travel expert Rick Steves. The Roland Quest Lecture Watch the video of his lecture at elmhurst.edu/ricksteves • March 7: Stay Tuned: A Conversation on Law and Ethics with Preet Bharara, with former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and Elmhurst College Professor of Philosophy Katrina Sifferd. The Rudolf G. Schade Lecture on History, Ethics and Law Rick Steves
• March 14: A Surprised Queenhood in the New Black Sun: The Life and Legacy of Gwendolyn Brooks, with award-winning author Angela Jackson. The Genevieve Staudt Intercultural Lecture • April 30: Sexual Violence and Oppression: A Kantian Approach, with scholar Helga Varden. The Niebuhr Lecture
Preet Bharara and Katrina Sifferd
(Highland Park High School), each received a stipend to cover four years of room and board at Elmhurst College. • Juan Garcia, of Chicago (Chicago Military Academy), Demetrius Johnson, of Chicago (Collins Academy High School), and Christian Sanchez, of West Dundee (DundeeCrown High School), received Beck’s Books stipends to cover the annual cost of books and other materials.
WINNERS NAMED IN INAUGURAL AMERICAN DREAM FELLOWSHIP COMPETITION Lillian Rizo-Dubois, a Prairie Ridge High School senior from Crystal Lake, became the first-place winner of the inaugural Elmhurst College American Dream Fellowship Competition, a scholarship contest that celebrates firstgeneration college students. Rizo-Dubois, who plans to major in French and return to her high school one day as a teacher, received a fouryear, full-tuition scholarship to attend Elmhurst College. She was one of several winners of American Dream awards, which ranged from four years’ room and board to stipends that will cover the cost of books and other materials at Elmhurst. The winners were announced on Monday, Feb. 19, during an awards ceremony in Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel that was attended by most of the 155 students who entered the contest, along with several hundred mothers, fathers, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends. The other winners were: • Michelle Diaz, of Round Lake Beach (Round Lake High School), and Cassandra Ibarra, of Highwood
All of the entrants received a $1,000 annual American Dream Grant if they attend Elmhurst College. Committed to helping its students achieve the American Dream, Elmhurst College launched the American Dream Fellowship Competition late last year. The contest was open to all first-generation college students who have been admitted to Elmhurst College for the fall of 2018. The College received entries from around the Chicago area and across the country, with a few even coming from Florida and California. During the awards ceremony, President Troy D. VanAken, a first-generation college student himself, encouraged the students to “dig deep, work hard” and take pride in how going to college would not only transform their own lives, but also shape the future of their community. “When you’re a first-generation college student and drive onto campus, when you look in that rearview mirror you can see the grandparents, and see the sacrifices they made in their journey,” he said. “If you look out the front window, and look well into the future, you’ll see the next generation—your children and the people who come after you. They’re all going to benefit from your education.” Watch the winning video at elmhurst.life/LilyRizoDubois
From left: Christian Sanchez, Cassandra Ibarra, Lillian Rizo-Dubois, Michelle Diaz, Demetrius Johnson and Juan Garcia
For more campus news, go to elmhurst.edu/news
ELMHURST PROFESSORS COAUTHOR BOOK ON RESPONSIBILITY Elmhurst College philosophy professors Tyler Fagan, William Hirstein and Katrina Sifferd have been collaborating on research into self-control and responsibility since 2010. So when philosopher Al Mele at Florida State University issued a call for grant proposals on research into self-control, it seemed like a natural fit. “Al had gotten a $4 million grant from the Templeton Foundation to fund research into the philosophy and science of self-control, and he was issuing subgrants for projects on the topic,” Sifferd said. “We’d been kicking around the idea of writing a book, so we applied.” In spring 2015, the Elmhurst team was awarded a $55,000 subgrant for the book. “It was very exciting to win the grant,” Fagan said. “It’s relatively unusual in philosophy to get this kind of funding.” With that grant, the authors submitted their manuscript, Responsible Brains: Neuroscience, Law, and Human Culpability, to MIT Press at the end of 2017 with an expected publication date of fall of 2018. The book takes an interdisciplinary approach to examining the cognitive processes that are involved with legal culpability, mixing recent findings from neuroscience and several cognitive sciences with larger legal and philosophical issues surrounding the notions of responsibility and punishment. “What we’re trying to do is to provide a principled way to discern whether someone is legally competent,” Hirstein said. “We’re presenting a larger theoretical framework to inform the discussion of who’s culpable.” “Someone who’s colorblind has a perceptual deficit, but we still hold them responsible if they blow through a red light,” Sifferd added. “Someone who’s schizophrenic and doesn't have the executive capacity to recognize their deficit, on the other hand, might be excused.” The authors involved Elmhurst College undergraduates in their research and writing. In weekly philosophy labs, students read chapters, provided comments and did their own research on topics related to the book. “Most of the time, students read works of philosophy that are finalized,” Fagan said. “This was a valuable way of showing our students how complicated the process can be.”
From left: Professors William Hirstein, Katrina Sifferd and Tyler Fagan
THIRD-PARTY COMMENTS FOR HIGHER LEARNING COMMISSION (HLC) Elmhurst College, a proud HLC-accredited institution since 1924, is preparing for its periodic evaluation by seeking third party comments from the public. Comments must be in writing and must address substantive matters related to the quality of the institution or its academic programs. The HLC uses these comments in the accreditation review process. A team of HLC peer reviewers will be on the Elmhurst College campus Nov. 26 – 27, 2018, and will review the institution’s ongoing ability to meet HLC Criteria for Accreditation. You may submit comments to HLC at hlcommission.org/comment or mail them to the address below. All comments must be received by Friday, October 26, 2018. Public Comment on Elmhurst College Higher Learning Commission 230 S. LaSalle St., Suite 7-500 Chicago, IL 60604-1411
WINTER WEEKEND BRINGS CROWDS TO CAMPUS
Temperatures were chilly, but the Elmhurst College campus was a hotbed of activity as several hundred students, staff, faculty and alumni took part in the College’s first Winter Weekend. Between Thursday, March 8, and Saturday, March 10, the College showcased its versatility and celebrated its students by hosting the EC On the Rise talent show, the Presidents’ Ball and the President’s Community Breakfast on campus; and then by sending a large and enthusiastic College contingent and a green and gold trolley to participate in the City of Elmhurst’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. “There was so much going on, day and night, and it was exciting to see so many students at all of the events,” said President Troy D. VanAken. “Whatever activity you attended, you had a great time—I know I did.” Winter Weekend kicked off with the EC on the Rise talent show, where a dozen acts competed for cash prizes on a state-of-the-art performance stage, in the Faganel Hall gym. The performers included musicians, dancers and a standup comedian, and the winner turned out to be the first act of the evening—singer Matthew Cloud and a brassy big band performing the Sinatra classic World on a String. On Friday evening, decked out in black and white dresses, suits and tuxedos, student organization presidents joined President VanAken in hosting the Presidents’ Black & White Ball. The cafeteria was transformed into a darkened ballroom with twinkling lights and a large dance floor that soon was jammed with students.
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13 The next morning, the cafeteria was dressed for St. Patrick’s Day, with tables set for 200 local civic, business, community and campus leaders attending the 48th Annual President’s Community Breakfast. President VanAken and Dr. Annette VanAken then joined 200 Elmhurst College students at the 22nd Annual Elmhurst St. Patrick’s Day Parade, one of the largest in the state. As the VanAkens rode by in a yellow Mustang convertible, a College trolley and 100 students traveled the parade route while another 100 students helped out behind the scenes. “I think Winter Weekend went really well,” said Union Board Vice President Emily Marquez ’20. “It was super fun, and I liked how the larger scale of the events appealed to the entire campus body.” Watch the Elmhurst College community video at elmhurst.edu/community
COLLEGE RECEIVES PLANNING GRANT TO GROW ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES PROGRAM
The prestigious Arthur Vining Davis Foundations have awarded Elmhurst College a planning grant that will enable the College to begin developing an undergraduate program in environmental studies that will prepare professionals to address the world’s environmental challenges and opportunities. With the $78,750 planning grant, recently approved by the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations Board of Trustees, the College will identify the curricular and administrative needs for the development of the bachelor’s degree program in the growing academic field. The grant will help Elmhurst College to accept its first class of prospective environmental studies majors in Fall 2019. Sparked by increased public interest and awareness of the environment, undergraduate academic programs in environmental studies continue to increase in popularity and demand. The programs play a formative role in producing environmental professionals who work in a variety of scientific, consulting, government, planning, business and public policy careers. The program will offer two interdisciplinary degrees in environmental studies—a policy-focused bachelor of arts degree, and a science-focused bachelor of science degree. Through interdisciplinary academic courses, internships, experiential and co-curricular activities, the program’s goal is for Elmhurst students to become
compassionate stewards of the environment, scholars in sustainability and environmental management, and experts in environmental studies. “It is exciting to see faculty from many different departments work together on the development of an interdisciplinary program that will appeal to many of our students and create exciting new research opportunities at Elmhurst College,” said April Edwards, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty. “We believe that a partnership between Elmhurst College and the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations will forward our shared objective of strengthening a commitment to stewardship of the Earth.”
TWO ANONYMOUS DONORS PLEDGE MAJOR GIFTS TO ELMHURST Two significant deferred gifts to Elmhurst College will benefit students by supporting the education and music departments. An anonymous donor established a $1.5 million bequest to create an endowed Chair in Education. The donor and her sister, both alumnae of Elmhurst, devoted their lives to elementary education and also have had a deep love for the College. The sisters, who have supported Elmhurst College scholarships in the past, recognized the continued importance that faculty research has on the development of best practices in education. The endowed chair, once funded, will be awarded to a faculty member in the College’s Department of Education.
Another anonymous donor committed an estimated $1 million estate gift to create an endowment that will support the choral programs at the College. Once realized, this gift will support the College’s choral programs, which are growing in both participation and range, ensuring that music will continue to be an integral part of the Elmhurst experience. The most recent gifts bring the total of fundraising efforts since July 2016 to more than $12.5 million, with more than $2.5 million going directly to student aid through scholarships. “It’s always gratifying to talk with our alumni and friends about our faculty and students, and it is especially rewarding when donors are moved to ensure that this great work continues,” President Troy D. VanAken said.
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MBA NETWORK HOSTS FIRST EVENT The Elmhurst College MBA Network hosted its inaugural event on April 22, 2018, in the Frick Center. More than 30 current and prospective students gathered with MBA alumni to network and discuss what ‘MBA’ means at Elmhurst College. Faculty answered questions about the program and potential career paths, and discussed the impact that an MBA has professional growth. The MBA Network’s next event will take place in the fall, and will focus on how LinkedIn can help drive careers. Professionally photographed headshots will be available. Learn more about the MBA Network at elmhurst.edu/mba-network
Learn to lead in a collaborative world
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“Each of you has a chance to discover who you are, rather than who you should be, and a chance to live your dream.” 16
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1,094 STUDENTS GRADUATE FROM ELMHURST COLLEGE
“You have learned how to learn—the most vital form of competence in this time of big and haunting questions.” —SHARON DALOZ PARKS
Under the sunniest of skies, Elmhurst College held its 147th Commencement exercises for undergraduate students on Saturday, May 26. That morning on the Mall, 812 seniors graduated from the College. Earlier in the week during a separate ceremony, 282 graduate students received their master’s degrees. “Your graduation marks the end of one significant phase in your life’s journey,” President Troy D. VanAken said during the undergraduate ceremony. “But commencement actually means ‘beginning,’ so today is even more about what you are about to start—a career, graduate school, a completely different adventure.” An honorary doctoral degree was awarded to global finance leader and Elmhurst College Trustee Emeritus Thomas A. Kloet. After accepting his Doctor of Humane Letters, Kloet spoke to the graduates about the unpredictability, and great promise, of the future paths they were about to take. In his address, titled “Your Ticket to Opportunity,” he urged the students to take the skills they acquired at Elmhurst, and apply them to their passions. “The most important skills you will leave here with today are not about the technical aspects of your major, but what you’ve learned about how to study effectively, how to cooperate, how to listen carefully, how to think critically and how to resolve conflict with reason,” Kloet said. “That is what a great college like Elmhurst has offered you, and you are better prepared for the global marketplace because of it.” For the College’s graduate students, this year marked the first time their ceremony was held on a separate day, May 24, on the Mall. Master’s degrees were awarded in the fields of business, education, health care and technology. An honorary Doctor of Divinity degree was awarded to Sharon Daloz Parks, a scholar, teacher and ethicist, and principal of Leadership for the New Commons. President VanAken thanked the graduate students for deciding to pursue their master’s degrees at Elmhurst College. “There’s no understating what a huge commitment it was to complete your graduate studies,” he said. “You successfully managed your academic workload with other responsibilities, like careers and families. Congratulations to you all!”
For transfer students, starting over at a new college can be intimidating. But at Elmhurst, Monica Mazurek found a seamless transition and a welcoming community.
As she approached her high school graduation in 2015, Monica Mazurek ’18 wasn’t at all sure what she wanted to do with her life. So she enrolled at Harper College, a community college in Palatine, with the goal of transferring to a four-year school once she had a clearer sense of direction. “I didn’t see the point in spending a lot of money on tuition while I figured out what I wanted to do,” Mazurek said. “I enrolled at Harper without even applying to any four-year schools.” Mazurek worked her way through Harper quickly, earning enough credits to graduate with an associate degree in just a year. Then she transferred to Elmhurst, where she declared a double major in psychology and intercultural
studies, signed up for the Honors Program and got involved in everything from independent research to a study abroad trip to India. Now, as an alternate for a prestigious Fulbright U.S. Student Award, Mazurek hopes to spend next year in Thailand teaching English. For students like Mazurek, transferring to a new college can feel intimidating. The admission process can be confusing, and transfers sometimes face barriers to getting involved in student life. “A lot of colleges have the perception that transferring should be easy, because transfer students have already made a transition to college,” said Michelle Adams, director of transfer admission. “But transfer students have a lot of
Monica Mazurek ’18 questions: Will the courses be harder? What is the workload like? What does a 300- or 400-level class mean?” That’s why Elmhurst has deliberately created a transfer-friendly culture. Spurred by the recommendations of a 2014 transfer task force, the College has implemented strategies ranging from new academic policies, to minor curriculum tweaks, to special transfer scholarships. “The task force also opened the door to a broader recognition of the important role transfer students can play,” Adams said. Admission counselors keep in close touch with transfer students throughout the admission process, offering services like transcript credit evaluations before
a student even applies. Before classes begin, a transfer-specific orientation introduces students to campus life and encourages them to get involved. More recently, the College has developed a variety of partnerships with local community colleges and international organizations to facilitate a smooth transfer (see sidebar). With programs ranging from dual enrollment to guaranteed admission, the partnerships encourage students to visit the library, take classes and, in some cases, even live on campus before attending Elmhurst full-time. “Our partnerships are designed to impress on students that transferring can be seamless,” Adams said. “We’re laying out pathways to help them reach their goals through a fluid process.” Thanks in part to these strategies and others, Elmhurst has seen dramatic increases in its transfer population in recent years. Between fall 2014 and fall 2017, the number of incoming transfers rose 22 percent, from 290 to 372. In 2017, for the first time, transfer students and firstyears enrolled in roughly equal numbers. For her part, Mazurek said her transition to Elmhurst was so smooth that she didn’t even think of herself as a transfer student. “It was really easy to transfer my credits, and Elmhurst was very welcoming,” she recalled. “Looking back, I have no regrets.”
A SMOOTH TRANSITION Partnerships with community colleges and international educational institutions facilitate a seamless transfer to Elmhurst for qualified students.
Designed for students who enroll at a community college with the intention of transferring to Elmhurst after two years, these programs offer an assured pathway to Elmhurst. • • • • • •
City Colleges of Chicago College of DuPage College of Lake County Moraine Valley Community College Oakton Community College Triton College
Dual-enrolled students take classes at both schools at the community college rate and participate in campus life at both institutions. • • • • • •
City Colleges of Chicago College of DuPage Elgin Community College Moraine Valley Community College Oakton Community College Triton College
These programs provide clear academic pathways to help students prepare to transfer. • College of DuPage • Harper College • Triton College
These programs ease the path for international students to attend Elmhurst. • American Community Schools, Greece • KinderWorld Education Group, Singapore
The Promise of 2021 The new Elmhurst College Strategic Plan envisions a dynamic future, and charts the course to take us there. In the summer of 2017, Elmhurst College launched a comprehensive effort to define the College’s priorities and set a course for the future. Over the course of several months, the entire community—faculty, staff, administrators, trustees, students, alumni and community members—provided feedback and insight as the plan took shape. On March 10, 2018, the Board of Trustees unanimously approved the Elmhurst College 2021 Strategic Plan. The plan proudly affirms our mission and vision, sets ambitious new goals, and establishes a detailed agenda as we build toward and beyond our 150th anniversary. Six supporting pillars affirm the College’s broad strategic priorities and spell out specific initiatives. In the pages that follow, we illustrate those pillars through the rich experiences of our students. After all, students are at the heart of the Strategic Plan, and of everything we do. Guided by the goals and vision of our new plan, we will continue to prepare our students to reach their full potential for generations to come. To read the complete Elmhurst College 2021 Strategic Plan, visit elmhurst.edu/strategicplan.
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Student Experience Beyond the Classroom For two recent graduates, student life at Elmhurst proved transformational
Elmhurst College focuses on student success inside and outside of the classroom, in a community that welcomes and includes all. We offer an impactful, enriching experience that promotes lifelong engagement with the College.
When Angel Madrigal ’18 transferred to Elmhurst College, he didn’t know anyone on campus. “My best friend here was one of my teachers,” he said. “But then I told myself I couldn’t just sit around my apartment, so I signed up for everything I could,” said Madrigal, an intercultural studies major. “I got involved in everything from the radio station to HABLAMOS to student government. And that’s when my experience at Elmhurst really took off.” Rebecca Vogt ’18 took a different path to a similar experience. “I knew I wanted to get involved,” said Vogt, a double major in special education and Spanish. “So I signed up to study abroad even before I got to campus.” She also joined Best Buddies, Habitat for Humanity, a sorority and more. “I’m a big proponent of learning outside the classroom,” Vogt said. “You can learn so much, whether it’s a skill like putting in floorboards or a leadership position that teaches you about yourself.” Vogt will spend next year teaching and doing service work in Argentina on a Fulbright U.S. Student award. “I’m sure my out-of-classroom experiences helped me get this award,” she said. “It really speaks to what Elmhurst College has done for me.” Madrigal, who’s going on to a graduate program in higher education leadership, said his experiences as a resident advisor were life-changing. “I came in as an education major, but I’ve discovered that I really enjoy working with college students,” he said. “At Elmhurst I found my true passion.”
Academic Excellence Intense Curiosity Elmhurst’s culture of inquiry helped one student find his path Michael White ’18 took advantage of Elmhurst’s many academic offerings, and then some. He began his undergraduate career as a pre-med biology student and became involved in Keystone—a program designed to introduce first-year students to scientific research methods. But after working with psychology Professor Elizabeth Majka, White got hooked on social psychology, the study of how people’s thoughts, feelings and behaviors are influenced by others. “I realized I had found the field I could get excited about, that made me happy,” White said. White immersed himself in research, making 20 presentations at student conferences during his four years at Elmhurst. One study, for example, explored whether spending money on friends and family makes people happy. He landed summer internships at the University of Chicago’s Center for Decision Research and New York University’s Center for Behavioral Statistics and the Study of Motivated Perception. “He’s got this intense curiosity about how people think,” Majka said. “Now he has the tools to test his intuition.” White also became enamored with philosophy, particularly enjoying an honors class in ethics with Professor Katrina Sifferd. “That course showed me a different way to look at problems,” White said. He ended up with a double major in psychology and philosophy and a minor in biology. Now that he’s graduated, White is working as a lab manager at Chicago Booth and planning to apply to the Ph.D. program next year. “He thinks like a social psychologist,” Majka said, “and has awesome insights.”
Elmhurst College fosters a culture of inquiry and engaged learning led by faculty who are experts in their chosen fields, excellent classroom instructors, and active scholars. Our graduate, undergraduate and certificate programs blend liberal learning and professional preparation to uniquely shape each student’s intellectual experience.
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Diversity, Inclusion and Responsible Citizenship Joining Forces A new student coalition empowers cultural identity groups by bringing them together
Elmhurst College’s diversity and United Church of Christ heritage strengthen and enlighten the campus, while influencing our commitments and actions in the world. We recognize our legacy of engaging others in an ever-widening circle in service to the common good, as envisioned by H. Richard Niebuhr and Reinhold Niebuhr. We value the opportunities for local, regional, national and international experiences that are available to our students, faculty, staff and alumni; and, we affirm our collective responsibility to foster an inclusive culture of service and philanthropy.
A leader of the Asian Club of Elmhurst and other student groups, Emily Marquez ’20 noticed that cultural-identity events on campus tended to bring the same core group of people. She wondered why there weren’t more new faces, and why attendance wasn’t higher. Was it a lack of interest? Not enough publicity? Or were students hesitant to come to something they didn’t think was meant for them? Meanwhile, Rebecca Hill ’19, president-elect of Black Student Union, has plans to build BSU’s membership. Her goal is to attract not only more students who identify as black, but also allies interested in learning about another cultural experience and helping to share those messages. Hill and Marquez said their groups also are starting to talk about intersectionality among various groups— Asian and Latinx, for example—and how to deepen those discussions. As part of that conversation, and in a broader effort to promote campus diversity, representatives from Elmhurst College’s cultural identity groups—Black Student Union, Asian Club of Elmhurst, HABLAMOS, International Club, Queer Straight Alliance, Muslim Student Association and Spiritual Life Council—recently formed the Coalition on Multicultural Engagement. The Coalition meets during the school year to plan collaborative programs, discuss trends on campus, and support one another through open dialogue. Hill is encouraged by how the coalition brings together people of color and different identity groups who can work from the same page “and are able to uplift each other.” “At the end of the day, we all have each other,” she said. “We feel very empowered,” Marquez agreed. “We’re just talking about everything, and that’s really cool to me.”
Workplace Environment Knowledge as Power Graduate tuition remission enables an employee to grow professionally and pay it forward First as a student at Elmhurst College, then as an employee, and now as a graduate student, Saaema Aslam ’09 treats education as a powerful tool that can solve problems, make work easier, and create opportunity. From her undergraduate experience as a student technician to her current role as assistant director of systems and support in the Office of Information Services, Aslam has always loved learning and teaching. By popular request, she recently led several technology training sessions to train colleagues to make the most of office operations software. “We wanted to help people with their day-to-day tasks, show them a more efficient way,” she said. “We’ll have more of these sessions in the future, on whatever people want to learn more about. You want people to do well, so it makes sense to give them more resources, and more opportunities to improve themselves.” Thanks to a new employee benefit that covers tuition costs for certain graduate programs at Elmhurst, Aslam is taking the opportunity to grow professionally herself. She had been considering graduate school for some time. But marriage, having children, and other factors took precedence. When the College rolled out the graduate tuition benefit last fall, the stars aligned and Aslam enrolled in the MBA program. She intends to apply the knowledge and skills she gains from the Elmhurst MBA program toward becoming an even more effective employee and colleague. “I grew so much here as a student, so I want to give back to the college that gave me so much,” she said.
Elmhurst College strives to be a workplace of choice – a diverse and inclusive community where the faculty and staff act innovatively to provide the best experience for our students. The College hires, retains and rewards the best people, recognizing that the effectiveness of our institution depends overwhelmingly on their efforts and ability.
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Financial Stewardship The Power of Giving A nursing scholarship benefits a current student— and her future patients
Elmhurst College manages its financial resources to ensure the long-term fiscal health of the institution. Achieving this goal requires effective use of our assets, implementation of efficient processes and new revenue sources. Careful endowment management and philanthropic support are critical to providing access to a highquality education for our students today and in the future.
After Ed Sprandel’s wife, Susan, suffered a stroke in 2005, Sprandel spent a lot of time at the hospital, where he met a lot of nurses. He was most impressed with the nurses who’d attended Elmhurst College. Sprandel later would endow the Susan Sprandel Scholarship Fund at Elmhurst College to honor his late wife, a 1950 alumna, and to bring more talented nurses to the profession. When Ajla Hadzisalihovic ’20 was 13, she was diagnosed with Type I diabetes. “I interacted with so many nurses who made me feel welcome and secure,” she recalled. “I knew I wanted to interact with people that way in my own career.” She decided to study nursing at Elmhurst College, but worried that it would be difficult financially. Her parents came to the U.S. as Bosnian War refugees; she is a firstgeneration American and first-generation college student. This year, Hadzisalihovic was awarded the Susan Sprandel Scholarship. After meeting Ed Sprandel, she thanked him in a heartfelt letter. “As I start my nursing career, I will always remember your stories and generosity to me,” she wrote. “I hope we stay in touch, and that you know you have created a profound impact on my life.” Sprandel, who received a Founders Medal in 2015 for his longtime support of the College, was deeply touched by her letter, and by the knowledge that his gift had made such a difference. “For (her parents) to come here from a war-torn part of the world and give her the chance to get an education here, that impressed me no end,” he said. “I’m approaching 93 and I’ve seen a lot of good and bad; I want to help as much as I can.”
Campus Infrastructure Learning Central In a new home in the A.C. Buehler Library, the Learning Center can expand its services and raise its profile As a math tutor in the Elmhurst College Learning Center, Daniel Triplett ’18 thinks the best thing the Center does is provide “a welcoming environment for students to come in to ask questions and learn.” About 1,200 students a term visit the Learning Center for help with writing, math, science, study strategies, test preparation and other subjects. The Center also houses accessibility and disability services. Writing tutor Molly Willihnganz ’18 has seen students improve not only their grades but also their selfconfidence. “I like helping others and getting the students to the point where, at the end of day, they don’t have to come back because we’ve given them the tools to be successful,” she said. “The best part is when people realize they can do it,” agreed Susan Roach, director of the Learning Center. “It’s great to see that light go on.” With the goal of better meeting the needs of students, sometime in the fall the Learning Center will move from its current home in the Frick Center to a new space in the A.C. Buehler Library. The new location will provide more space for Learning Center operations, as well as the potential to expand its services and enable the Library and Learning Center staffs to interact more directly. Triplett thinks the project makes sense. “At a library, people have the mindset that they’re there to study and learn, so having the Learning Center in that kind of environment would be a good move.”
Elmhurst College has a responsibility to maintain and improve campus facilities and infrastructure to effectively support our academic and cocurricular programs, and to do so with a focus on sustainable best practices. This includes providing state-of-the-art tools and technologies that students and staff need to be successful in the classroom and competitive in the workplace.
For This Player, Individual Success Is Not Enough
Mac Harden may have helped lead the Elmhurst men’s lacrosse team to its best season in the program’s brief history, setting single-season and career records in the process, but the Bluejay junior still was disappointed with the way the season ended. “Getting to the CCIW Tournament semifinals was something we’ve done before, so the fact that we didn’t win the CCIW Tournament was a little frustrating,” Harden said. “The awards are nice, but I don’t think it means as much to me because we haven’t proven all that we can do as a team yet.” In its sixth season as a varsity sport, the men’s lacrosse team finished the season with a 13-3 overall record, including nine consecutive victories. The team finished the CCIW season with a 6-1 overall record, finishing as the conference runner-up and earning the right to host a CCIW Tournament semifinal for the first time in program history. Harden, an attacker from Carlsbad, Calif., finished the season ranked among the national leaders in both points and goals per game while leading the Bluejays with 57 goals, 20 assists and 77 points in just 15 games. Along the way, he broke his own single-season records for points and goals in a season, while also becoming the program’s all-time leader in career points (196) and goals (141). Harden was named the CCIW’s Offensive Player of the Year, while also picking up first-team all-conference honors for the third consecutive season.
“We had a lot of injuries that affected our team this season,” said Elmhurst head coach Mark Morrell. “Mac definitely stepped up his game by staying focused and utilizing his teammates while also being patient to let plays develop. Opponents game-planned to stop him, but no one really did. He was really huge for us this year, especially as we focused on maintaining our early season success at the end of the season.” Morrell’s squad had to deal with injuries throughout the season, losing starters at every position, including Harden’s former high school teammate, Ty Funderburk, who finished with 23 goals and 32 points despite missing all of the CCIW portion of the team’s schedule. Harden admitted that although losing Funderburk and his teammates was rough, the team was able to pull together and overcome the challenges.
“Ty and I have been hanging out since we were about 8 years old,” Harden said. “Playing with him is easy because we know each other’s tendencies really well. When he went down it was tough, but some of our freshmen really stepped up to keep us playing at a high level. “One of the biggest things we focused on this year was overcoming adversity—we had so many injuries to guys who are vital to the team, but we were able to overcome them. It definitely helped pull us closer together as a team.”
LOOKING AHEAD TO 2019
With the Bluejays losing just two seniors to graduation and players returning from season-ending injuries, Harden says the Bluejays are focused on going even further in 2019. “Bringing everyone back healthy and having a talented freshman class incoming, we have our sights on not just getting to the conference tournament championship, but winning it along with the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.” While he already owns the Elmhurst all-time scoring record, Harden does have one record he’ll be chasing next year. “I want to best our assistant coach’s (Garrett Rosiek) personal record of 270 career points,” laughed Harden. “A little friendly competition has certainly helped fuel our relationship. But really, I’m looking forward to producing at the level the team expects from me. I just want to do my job as a playmaker while trying to be a leader, and see where that takes me and the team.” Morrell isn’t the least bit surprised that Harden has the team’s performance ahead of his own individual accolades. “In Mac’s first two years, we had to really rely on him to try and carry the load for us offensively,” Morrell said. “There were times he’d try to do too much, but his leadership and growth this year was evident. He’s the kind of player who just wants to go out and do what it takes to win games and doesn’t care if he scores six goals or one of his teammates scores six goals. You can’t ask for a much better trait in a student-athlete than that.” Follow all of the Elmhurst College sports teams at elmhurstbluejays.com
ALUMNI News JOEL HERTER ’59 MARKS 41 YEARS AS A TRUSTEE, AND A LIFETIME OF TIES TO THE COLLEGE
Joel Herter ’59 has contributed to Elmhurst College in just about every significant way possible—and has done so for most of his life. As a student, he was a standout basketball player for the Bluejays. An active alumnus, he distinguished himself in leadership roles on the Alumni Board and the Board of Trustees; and he has been a supremely loyal Bluejay Backer. Herter has received several honors from the College, including the Founders Medal, an Alumni Merit Award and induction to the Bluejay Backer Hall of Fame. And all along, he has been a generous, faithful philanthropic supporter. Yet Herter, who will conclude 41 years of service on the Board of Trustees on June 30, says he is the one who has benefited from his connections to Elmhurst. It was an Elmhurst professor who sparked his interest in accounting, the field that would launch his successful career as the founder of his financial services business, Wolf & Company LLP. He also has a number of important family connections to the College. “I had a wonderful four years here (as a student), and I credit my entire career to Elmhurst College,” he said. “The education I received was fantastic, and not only did I meet my wife here, but all three of our daughters graduated from here, my granddaughter graduated from here, and my oldest daughter met her husband here.” Herter also relishes belonging to the campus community, and often can be seen not only at athletic contests but also at lectures, concerts and plays. He has given back both philanthropically and in service to the College as a trustee, serving as Board chair from 1997 to 2002, and also chairing the Development, Trusteeship and Audit committees. “The College has given me so much, I feel it’s important to give back,” he said. “We have a great school that we should be proud of, and we should help continue to make it better.” As he retires from the Board, Herter is confident that Elmhurst College is headed for great things, and that the distinctive, student-focused experience the College offers will be sought after for generations to come. “I‘ve been very pleased to see how it’s grown over the years and gained the reputation it has today,” he said. “I’m very proud to know that I was a part of it.”
For more alumni news, go to elmhurst.edu/alumni
MEET YOUR NEW ALUMNI DIRECTOR Dear Alumni, I am honored to join Elmhurst College as the new director of alumni relations. I’ve devoted my career to this field but have never been quite as excited about a professional opportunity as I am about this one. As an alumnus of a small college myself, being part of a close-knit academic community again, on such a beautiful campus, feels like coming home. It is clear to me already that Elmhurst College is a special institution with a passionate and supportive alumni community. I’ve seen this by working with volunteers and meeting many of you at events these past couple of months. The success of our recent #JayItForward Giving Day further displayed your commitment. It is my responsibility to nurture this alumni community and create pathways for engagement. A strong alumni relations program should both support our members and create opportunities to support current and future Bluejays. Another goal of mine is to make sure you’re connected, both with fellow alumni and the College. With the help of volunteers and partners around campus, we will provide social, service, educational and professional development opportunities for our alumni community. We also will make sure to call on you for support, both philanthropic and in terms of your time. As you can see, I have some ambitious goals and I’d love your help in accomplishing them. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if there’s anything I can do for you. I look forward to meeting you, talking to you on the phone and corresponding with you soon! Sincerely, Cameron Watkins Director of Alumni Relations firstname.lastname@example.org (630) 617-3031
Let us hear from you! Send a note to email@example.com or call us at (630) 617-3600. Better yet, stop by the Office of Alumni Relations on the ﬁrst ﬂoor of Lehmann Hall.
1940s, 1950s and 1960s Frances (Wentzel) Headings ’48 retired on August 28 after 25 years of volunteering to read the morning newspaper on Monday mornings for the Audio Reading Service, a service of the Allen County Public Library. People with vision and other disabilities can hear local news, sports, TV listings and more. Mary Ann (Zimmerman) Grady ’49 was elected as the 2018 secretary of the Beacon Hill Resident Council Executive Committee. 32
Grace S Haskins ’49 of Loveland, Colo., co-celebrated her 90th birthday in Colorado with her sister-in-law Garnet Timke Vyduna ’49 of Seal Beach, Calif., Joining the celebration was Elaine Warner Yuhas ’49 of Euclid, Ohio. Theodora (Rasch) Pluschke ’67 spent over 40 years as a computer programmer, and is now living her dream as a stained glass artist. She creates pieces for churches, businesses and homes. She will be bringing her passion to the Elmhurst Redeemer Lutheran Church for a Holiday Boutique called “Bushel and a Peck” on September 21 and 22. 1970s and 1980s Cindy (Goeman) Heisler ’71 and her husband John returned to Elmhurst on March 3 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of their meeting at Harbinger Coffee on March 1. John retired as manager of accounting for Sloan Valve Co. in June of 2014 after 42 years. Cindy retired as an addictions counselor and licensed clinical social worker at Central Dupage Hospital after 20 years. They keep busy with seven
grandchildren, ages 3 months to 15 years old, and their two children and their spouses. Judy (Crews) Griffin ’74 recently moved to San Diego, California and says she will not miss the four seasons one iota! She is excited to be much closer to her Elmhurst College roommate, Susan Palmer Bowers ’74, who lives in Phoenix. She will continue her retirement with walks to Balboa Park, day trips to Coronado Beach and enjoying the California sunshine.
worked part time at NLU for 10 years. Now truly retired, she volunteers in a kindergarten class once a week. She will be 79 years old and said she believes her years at Elmhurst College taught her a great deal about who she is and what she is capable of doing. Her husband, Martin R. Fawell ’75, and two daughters, Marla Fitzgerald ’96 and Melissa D’Agostino ’96, also graduated from Elmhurst College. Sean Sheridan ’86 participated in the 2018 Polar Plunge that took place in March.
Lois Harris ’74 was honored by the local Girl Scouts with a recognition award in the spring in addition to receiving her 75 years active member pin. Gordon Leeks ’74 has retired after 22 years with the state of Texas. Gordon worked as an environmental professional for 12 years and has been in the Twogether in Texas healthy marriage program for the last 10 years. Gordon and his wife Diane are currently attempting to visit all of the major and minor league baseball parks in the United States. Gordon also is rafting as many navigable rivers in United States as possible. Johnathan Shaw ’74 is currently working on his latest editing project, the feature documentary “Stuntwomen: The Untold Hollywood Story.” He is happy to be able to contribute to this important film that chronicles the women’s movement inside the world of stunts. Marilyn Fawell ’75 taught school for 29 years, earned her master’s degree in education from NLU in her mid-50s, retired at the age of 64, but still
1990s and 2000s Melissa ‘Missy’ (Grice) Gillis ’90 is working at Kishwaukee College in Malta, Ill., as director of student outreach and assistant cross country coach. She ran cross country and track at Elmhurst College from 1986-1990 and remains in close contact with her teammates who became lifelong friends. She is grateful for what she calls her four life-changing years at Elmhurst College. Missy is happily married to Chad (23 years) and has a daughter, Bailey, who is 13 and will be a freshman at DeKalb High School this fall. She is enrolled in honors classes, will run cross country and compete on the Bass fishing team. Christina (Taylor) Collins ’92, affiliated with Northwestern Mutual Chicago, was honored by Northwestern Mutual with membership into its 2017 Forum Group. Only the top five percent of Northwestern Mutual’s more than 6,000 financial representatives receive this honor.
To submit your news, go to elmhurst.edu/classnotes
Thoms Isberg ’95 is a member of the Byson City United Methodist Church, and volunteers every week at PAWs (Placing Animals Within Society) to Shop, a thrift store that benefits Swain County, North Carolina’s only animal shelter. Additionally, he helps Swain Clean, an organization that picks up garbage on the sides of the roads and in the lakes and rivers. Thomas has a part-time job at Ingles, the local grocery store in town. Daniel Fries ’99, wealth management advisor at Merrill Lynch, was recognized by Forbes as a “Best-in-State Wealth Advisor” and by Barron’s Financial Investment News as a “Top 1,200 Financial Advisor,” both in 2018. He currently resides in Chicago. Wendy (Lindeen) Zielke ’99 and her husband, Rich have been married since 2002 and reside in New Lenox, Ill. Wendy started her career at Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill., spent seven years doing all types of surgery, and then spent five years as an operating room manager and charge nurse at a surgery center in Mokena, Ill. As of 2010, Wendy is the neurosurgery/spine surgery team leader at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox, Ill. Kurt Billsten ’01 is the 2017 PW Teacher of the Year. Seventeen years ago, Harper College, located in northwest Chicago suburb of Palatine, Ill., had no welding program to speak of. Today it has more than 500 students during Fall and Spring terms with an array of programs, including basic welding, maintenance welding, pipe welding, CNC machining, and most recently metal fabricating. The transformation is remarkable, and a lot of the credit goes to the man who, before taking the job, never even knew he wanted to teach. Julie Miller Sheehan ’01 was appointed to serve an additional year on the Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and also appointed by chairman of the board, Ken Bartels to chair the Centennial Celebration Committee, which was formed to celebrate the Chamber’s 100-year anniversary in 2018. Heather (Rusch) McCarthy ’02 accepted the Dr. Tererai Trent Award at the NAWBO Gala in October. She was nominated as the “Humanitarian of the Year”. She looks forward to meeting Dr. Trent in person and talking about how we can all work together to make this world a better place. Henry Rauschenberger ’06 and his wife, Abby, welcomed twins, son Harlan Shaun and daughter Henrietta Claire, on Dec. 5, 2017.
Elmhurst is a high note for Justin Roman ’00
Not much about Justin Roman’s career in radio and entertainment has gone according to plan. And that is perfectly fine with Roman, a 2000 graduate of Elmhurst College. Two years ago, Roman was tapped to co-host the morningdrive program at Chicago’s popular country radio station US99. It was at first glance an unlikely landing spot for Roman, who spent 12 years building a large and devoted audience at the Top 40 station B96. But for Roman, moving to US99 was just another unexpected opportunity in a career full of surprising twists. “You never know where your life journey is going to take you,” he said. “I wasn’t supposed to be in radio in the first place. So to get the chance to do what I do is so awesome.” Roman has enjoyed success in a parallel professional life, as a recording artist and producer, first with the teen-pop vocal trio Vi3 and more recently with electronic-dance duo Jump Smokers. His radio career emerged from his time at Elmhurst, where he studied music business and landed an internship with B96. His bosses at the station soon offered him a coveted on-air job, pairing him with longtime friend Dougie Stylz. Their partnership flourished and continues at US99. “I never would have predicted it working out this way, but I couldn’t be happier,” Roman says. Roman credits Elmhurst with preparing him for his success. He recently contributed a promotional video for the College’s #JayItForward Giving Day fundraising campaign. “The relationships I formed at Elmhurst are still so important to me,” he said. “My teachers got to know me and what made me tick. (Professor and choir director) Susan Moninger was like a second mom to me, and I am still in touch with her. I brag about the College all the time on the air. I have a lot of Bluejay pride.”
Alicia Foxx ’12 is headed for a Ph.D. at Northwestern
A course in plant physiology with Elmhurst College biology professor Paul Arriola set Alicia Foxx ’12 on her career path in botanical research. After taking the course during her junior year, Arriola invited Foxx to join a summer research project “and that opened the door for everything I’m doing now,” she said. Arriola also supported her when she applied to graduate school at Northwestern University. “She never turned down an opportunity to do something new,” said Arriola, now associate dean of faculty. “She’s turned into a first-rate investigator.” Foxx went on to earn her master’s degree and expects to complete her Ph.D. in plant biology and conservation next year. Her research interest: the different characteristics of desert plants, especially at the root level, and how they coexist in a harsh environment. “Plants compete for resources and that’s important to understand in a restoration, especially with competitive invasive grasses,” she said. A native of Chicago, Foxx was inspired by a high school chemistry teacher to pursue science. She attended the Elmhurst College Math and Science Academy, now the EC STEM Academy, a summer program for high school students. At Elmhurst, Foxx was involved in intercultural programs, worked several jobs and served as a resident advisor in Cureton Hall. After she receives her degree, Foxx plans to conduct research for a museum, a botanic garden or in industry. She spends several days a week at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe in a joint program with Northwestern. In warm weather, you’re likely to find her hanging out at Lighthouse Beach in Evanston.
Tess (Golcher) Kossow ’07 and Dan Kossow ’07 celebrated the birth of their first beautiful child. A miracle baby boy, Ferris Jobs Kossow was born on April 20, 2018. He is absolutely perfect and completes the Kossow family. Kisa Duncan ’08 graduated on May 19, 2018, from University of Wisconsin Stevens Point with a postbaccalaureate degree in philosophy, and with a concentration in religious studies. She has also been accepted into Starr King School for the Ministry (Unitarian Universalist Seminary), to pursue a master of divinity beginning in the Fall of 2018. Kim (Schneider) Kelly ’08 and Pat Kelly ’08 welcomed their second son on March 6, 2018. Finnegan Patrick Kelly was born 7 lbs., 7 oz. and 19.5 in. long. He joins big brother, James Robin, and dog Oscar. With just 16 months between the boys, mom and dad are both happy and exhausted. Jordan Ailes ’10 moved to Ecuador, where he is currently teaching 6th grade math and science in a bilingual school, which is giving him plenty of practice with his Spanish, his minor at Elmhurst. He also is getting the chance to explore South America. Katie (Haylock) Halvachs ’12 and Chris Halvachs ’11 welcomed their first child, Zoey Jean Halvachs, on November 3, 2017. Dana Dominguez ’12 married Jacob Shawver ’12 on November 4, 2017. Mary Heffernan ’14 is a social worker and professional actress and will star in “The Glass Menagerie” at Jedlicka Performing Arts Center in Cicero, Ill. Katrina Jose ’15 recently graduated from Rush University with a master of science in medical laboratory science, and accepted a position as a medical laboratory scientist at Run University Medical Center. Stephanie Mack ’15 graduated with honors from DePaul University with a master’s degree in special education. she also earned dual licensures in special education (K-age 21) and
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elementary education (K-9) and middle school endorsements in social sciences and ELA. She is currently finishing up her first year of teaching and looking forward to a long and fulfilling career. Jamie Mahoney ’16 stepped up as the director, and has been diligently working to get the non-profit T.R.A.C. Chicago back up and running for summer 2018, after it lost leadership in 2015. T.R.A.C. (Teen Reach Adventure Camp) is a volunteer-led, faith-based, weekend summer camp for foster care teens ages 12-15. The mission is to provide hope for at-risk youth and show these teens positive examples of safe love, giving them a summer experience they might never have the chance to experience elsewhere. Passed Catriona D. Bowen ’39, of Villa Park, Illinois, on March 8, 2018 Albert F. Troyke ’41, of Watertown, Wisconsin, on January 6, 2018 Betty A. Johns ’44, of Walnut Creek, California, on April 7, 2018 Joanne M. Kiehne ’47, of Hubbard, Iowa, on February 18, 2018 Charles E. Goldsmith ’48, of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, on February 13, 2018 Edith G. Hagens ’49, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, on October 20, 2017 Dr. George H. Langeler ’49, Trustee Emeriti, of Oberlin, Ohio, on September 30, 2017 Alice B. Phipps ’49, of Springfield, Illinois, on May 5, 2018 Joan M. Schmitz ’49, of Wausau, Wisconsin, on October 9, 2017 H. Clair Zimmerman ’49, of Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania, on November 25, 2017 Alfred D. Palermo ’50, of Linden, New Jersey, on January 8, 2018 Rachell C. Powers ’50, of Pocahontas, Iowa, on December 25, 2017
Gwendolyn J. Mollison-Douglas ’51, of Silver Spring, Maryland, on December 17, 2017 Harold W. Sterett ’51, of Rockford, Illinois, on December 31, 2017 Robert T. Williams ’51, of Rockford, Illinois, on February 20, 2018 Richard E. Branding ’52, of Granite City, Illinois, on March 17, 2018 John A. Graham ’52, of Oak Park, Illinois, on February 12, 2018 Donald A. Rinnan ’52, of Oak Park, Illinois, September 14, 2017 Rev. Dr. Lawrence T. Holmer ’53, of Akron, Ohio, on December 23, 2017 Rev. Richard W. Felsing ’54, of Sevierville, Tennessee, on September 27, 2017 Rev. Dr. John R. Thompson ’54, of Phoenix, Arizona, on December 9, 2017 Arnold P. Wolter ’54, of Ridgewood, New Jersey, on November 7, 2017 Gena Lou Woywood ’54, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, on April 23, 2018 Rev. Robert Charles Ahrendt ’55, of Pleasant Hill, Tennessee, on November 20, 2017 Mary P. Hays ’55, of Champaign, Illinois, on February 16, 2018 Kenneth Moy ’55, of Hinsdale, Illinois on November 13, 2017 Charlotte I. Gittler ’56, of Lincoln, Nebraska, on November 10, 2017 Richard E. Dunham ’57, of San Clemente, California, on February 23, 2018 G. Mons Schrantz ’58, of Bloomington, Illinois, on February 11, 2018 Margaret D. Stack ’58, of Wicomico Church, Virginia, on January 12, 2018 Philip A. Tomlin ’58, of Noblesville, Indiana, on September 24, 2017 William N. Collins ’61, of San Mateo, California, on December 18, 2017 Glenda Mowatt ’60, of Chicago, Illinois, on November 21, 2017
Jane B. Colin ’61, of Brookfield, Wisconsin, on April 13, 2018 Russell F. Krase ’61, of Mineral Point, Wisconsin, on November 5, 2017 Carole P. White ’61, of Rockford, Illinois, on March 16, 2018 Jean P. Branum ’62, of Louisville, Kentucky, on March 12, 2018 Gordon R. Stauffacher ’62, of Buffalo Grove, Illinois, on January 13, 2018 David R. Miller ’64, of Hinsdale, Illinois, on November 14, 2017 Lora G. Carpenter ’65, of Algonquin, Illinois, on February 28, 2018 Kenneth W. Niehaus ’65, of Lombard, Illinois, on October 2, 2017 Regina C. Sharpe ’65, of Little River, South Carolina, on March 18, 2018 Dr. John Jeffrey ’66, of Petoskey, Michigan, on October 16, 2017 James A. Kolkmeier ’66, ’11, of Chicago, Illinois, on March 22, 2018 Dwight G. Day ’67, of Glenview, Illinois, on April 21, 2018 Jeanne Marian Kellough ’67, of Glen Ellyn, Illinois, on October 30, 2017 Margie M. Kuehn ’67, of St. Augustine, Florida, on September 18, 2017 Dr. Steven Hepner ’68, of Berlin, Germany, on October 13, 2017 Dr. Peter J. Borger ’69, of Glen Ellyn, Illinois, on November 28, 2017 Nanette J. Mershon ’69, of Newark, New Jersey, on March 29, 2018 Nancy C. Miller ’69, of Lombard, Illinois, on December 24, 2017 William E. Rehr ’69, of Wheaton, Illinois, on January 30, 2018 Russell J. Andry ’70, of Kokomo, Indiana, on March 12, 2018 William Franklin (Frank) Spikes, III ’71, of Manhattan, Kansas, on November 8, 2017
Linda V. (Burton) Hallomah ’72, on September 13, 2017 William J. McNeff ’72, of Cleveland, Ohio, on March 7, 2018 Allan P. Schmidt ’72, of Bentonville, Arkansas, on April 15, 2018 Alvin G. Webb ’72, of Louisville, Kentucky on October 5, 2017 Thomas A. Scott ’73, of Key West, Florida, on March 21, 2018
For Rich Reichert ’94, Elmhurst is his kind of town— and College
Wendy Lyn Burkhard ’74, of Rockford, Illinois, on March 4, 2018 John J. Moore Jr. ’74, of Downers Grove, Illinois, on January 10, 2018 Susan A. DeLapp ’76, of Chicago, Illinois, on April 2, 2018 John F. Barry ’77, of Knoxville, Tennesssee, on April 21, 2018 Laddie A. Korecek ’77, of Antioch, Illinois, on November 28, 2017 36
Bobby Lee Armstead ’79, of Bartlett, Illinois, on November 16, 2017 Kenneth W. Fiedler ’80, of Oswego, Illinois, on April 20, 2018 Donna J. Banning ’81, of Mishawaka, Indiana, on December 10, 2017 Elwood E. Spencer ’81, of Roselle, Illinois, on November 1, 2017 Daniel C. Dupree ’83, ’90, of West Chicago, Illinois, on February 27, 2018 Nancy F. Banas ’84, of Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on September 24, 2017 Elaine H. Kennedy ’84, of LaGrange Park, Illinois, on January 20, 2018 Michael J. Berg ’88, of Geneva, Illinois, on January 18, 2018 H. Michael Cody ’89, of Cary, Illinois, on April 30, 2018 Joy Ilene (Mortenson) Pals ’89, of Glen Ellyn, Illinois, on November 27, 2017 John L. Haberkorn ’98, of Middleton, Wisconsin, on November 23, 2017 Joaquin Munoz Jr. ’05, of Chicago, Illinois, on January 16, 2018
Rich Reichert is not shy about professing his affection for his hometown. Just check out the charmingly unpolished a capella tribute to the City of Elmhurst, which opens every episode of Reichert’s new “Etown Lowdown” podcast, which launched in January. To hear the 1994 Elmhurst College grad and president and CEO of Community Bank of Elmhurst sing playfully of “the moonlight on Salt Creek” (to the tune of “Back Home Again in Indiana”) is to know that he loves his hometown enough to share a good laugh about it. “The podcast is lighthearted and fun, but we also tell great stories about Elmhurst,” Reichert explained, before deadpanning: “And for the record, I know I can’t sing, but I don’t care.” Reichert’s devotion to Elmhurst and the college that shares its name has been a recurring theme in his professional life. He was part of the group that launched Community Bank in 1993, to provide, as he puts it, “oldfashioned commitment to customers and community.” Reichert also chaired the City of Elmhurst and Elmhurst College Commission, a group that cultivates mutually beneficial relations between town and campus, from its founding in 2015 until last year. And as the coordinator of the Bluejay Backer Basketball Bunch, Reichert long has been a regular presence at men’s and women’s hoops games. “My time at Elmhurst College helped me succeed in the business world, but it also made me a better person, a better citizen of the world,” Reichert said. “The College is such an asset to our community. I’m glad that people now understand that this really is a college town.” Check out Etown Lowdown at: etownlowdown.podbean.com
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Janice Tuck Lively, associate professor of English, is a Pushcart Award nominee whose writing has appeared in many literary journals and anthologies. This spring at Bookie’s Bookstore in Chicago, Lively teamed up with WGN Radio’s Dave Hoekstra and two other writers for a radio show and reading called Cast Iron Legacies: African American Historical and Cultural Lessons from the Kitchen. What was the idea behind the Cast Iron Legacies reading? It was a way to celebrate Black History Month and to explore the role of food in the black experience. Dave Hoekstra read from his book, which describes how soul food restaurants served as a meeting place for civil rights leaders, and the rest of us read passages from our own work that focus on the kitchen as a place where African American culture has been preserved. What role did the kitchen play in your family life as a child? I mostly grew up in Chicago, but I identify as Southern because of the food we ate and the things we talked about around the kitchen table. My favorite thing was sitting at the kitchen table after dinner with my grandmother, listening to her tell stories. She was a natural-born storyteller, and she was my muse—the stories she told me as a child always found their way into the writing that I did as a graduate student. Do you remember any of her stories? One of the stories she told was about how my parents met. She said that my mother walked from Alabama to Chicago with rags tied to her feet, and she was so tired that she sat down on a park bench. Then my father came and sat next to her, and said if you marry me I’ll buy you a pair of shoes. My mother always got mad when my grandmother told this story because it wasn’t true and she thought it was shameful. But I realized later that even though it wasn’t our story, it was the story of the Great Migration. My grandmother was telling the story of a people. How did you know you wanted to be a writer? When I was young I was so shy that I would cry if I had to talk to anyone, and the way I found my voice was through writing. I kept
journals where I wrote down my ideas and engaged in a dialogue with myself about why things were the way they were and how I felt about the world. What have you been working on recently? I have a collaborative piece of hybrid fiction coming out in an anthology in August, and So to Speak journal just published a piece called “Mothering in Black and White” that I did with Mary Walsh in the political science department. And I just found out that Obsidian II: Literature and Art in the African Diaspora has accepted my short story “Green Cake.” I’m also working on revising the book I wrote for my dissertation, and I have three more ideas that are just waiting until I have time to write them. What changes have you seen at Elmhurst since you’ve been here? When I first taught Race, Class and Gender in 2001, there were no students of color in the class, and there was great resistance by some to what I was saying. But over the years, Elmhurst has made an effort to diversify, and students today are coming in with a greater consciousness. What I’ve always tried to do is to create an awareness. I may not be able to change people’s world view, but I’m going to give them enough knowledge that they’ll never be comfortable with that view again.
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The summer 2018 edition of FYI, Elmhurst College's alumni news magazine, includes a cover story on the Elmhurst 2021 Strategic Plan, Commenc...
Published on Jul 6, 2018
The summer 2018 edition of FYI, Elmhurst College's alumni news magazine, includes a cover story on the Elmhurst 2021 Strategic Plan, Commenc...