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Summer 2017


MOMENTS Elmhurst’s innovative education programs give students the skills and confidence they need to teach and lead in a changing world.

in this issue



Plus: Elmhurst welcomes new additions to its senior leadership team, Jazz Festival celebrates 50 years, and more.












Students in Elmhurst’s innovative education department develop the skills and confidence they need to teach and lead in a changing world.


From campus living to curricular choices, students in the Elmhurst Learning and Success Academy have more opportunities than ever to live the college life.


Star forward Mikaela Eppard has found success on the basketball court, in the classroom and in her volunteer work.


Catch up on what’s new with your classmates and share your own news with us.


In her classes, Associate Professor Ayanna Brown explores how a history of racial inequity continues to shape American education today.

Alumni Association President Tim O’Toole ’03 | Members of the Board Karl Constant ’07, Jenn (Kosciw) Duffield ’10, Mike Durnil ’71, Ed Earl ’86, Heather Forster Jensen ’08, Dain Gotto ’06, Jacque (Kindahl) Hulslander ’72 and ’82, Liz McKee ’11, Brian Pociask ’14, Lisa Rexroad ’94, Bill Sir ’64, Dick Smith ’73, Rodney Stewart ’89, Ron Stone ’64, Frank Tuozzo ’72 | Director of Alumni Engagement Samantha Kiley ’07 | Assistant Director Amanda Gannon ’13 | Administrative Assistant Pam Savino | Office of Alumni Relations (630) 617-3600, alumni@elmhurst.edu | Editor Margaret Currie | Contributors Desiree Chen, Kevin Juday, Susan Keaton, Anilou Price, Andrew Santella | Photography Lauren Altiery, Stefan Carlson, Fran Gregory, Lynn Hill, Roark Johnson, Genevieve (True) Lee ’09, Yuma Nakada, Michael Pinto, Steve Woltmann | Art Direction and Design Yuma Nakada

Dear Alumni and Alumnae, I’m very pleased to introduce this issue of FYI, which comes to you as I’m completing my first year as president of Elmhurst College. It’s been an eventful year, full of discovery, progress and celebration. An important piece of this has been the Imagining Elmhurst initiative, which engaged the College’s key constituencies in envisioning the future of our institution. Thanks to valuable insights from you, our faculty, students and others, we have begun to prioritize our goals and dreams, and are poised to embark on a collaborative strategic planning process in the months to come. It’s also been a momentous year for fundraising, in large part thanks to you. Beginning with my inauguration in October, and extending through the College’s first Day of Giving in April, the College has received more than $7 million to benefit our students and help us fuel our dreams. This issue of FYI shines a spotlight on the highly regarded Department of Education, which offers its students an ahead-ofthe-curve combination of curricular and real-world experience to prepare them to become outstanding educators. Impressive numbers of education alumni are teaching and leading in schools across the country, especially in Illinois. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many of you at alumni events in the Chicago area and around the country, and look forward to seeing you again—and to meeting more of you—in the year ahead. I wish you a wonderful summer. Sincerely,

Troy D. VanAken President


Fellow Alumni and Alumnae, As the new president of the Elmhurst College Alumni Association Board, I’m honored to serve my fellow alumni and excited about giving back to the college that gave me so much. In my new role, I look forward to building on the successes of my predecessor, Sarah Clarin ’04, and capitalizing on the momentum she established. With the support of a dedicated team of alumni volunteers, I plan to take alumni engagement to the next level through even more opportunities for alumni to stay connected, network, meet new people and have fun.


In this issue of FYI, you’ll read about some of those opportunities and get a look at what some of our regional alumni clubs have been up to. You’ll also get an introduction to Valerie Day, our new vice president for development and alumni relations, and catch up on the news from your classmates. As I get settled in my new role on the board, I welcome your questions, comments and concerns. And I look forward to working with you to enhance the alumni community and support our alma mater. Sincerely,

Tim O’Toole ’03 President, Elmhurst College Alumni Association Board

News On Campus

Senior Wins Fulbright Award Isabel Juvan ’17 will work as an English teaching assistant in the Slovak Republic during the 2017–18 academic year, thanks to a prestigious fellowship from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. “It’s still kind of a shock,” said Juvan, an English and secondary education major who graduated in May as an Honors Program Global Scholar, the highest distinction available in the College’s Honors Program. The sixth Elmhurst College student ever to have won a Fulbright award, Juvan was one of two Elmhurst seniors to be named semifinalists this year—the first time two students have achieved that distinction in the same year. The other semifinalist, history major Mary Dickey ’17, had applied to be a teaching assistant in Germany. She also graduated as an Honors Program Global Scholar. The Fulbright English Teaching Assistant program places scholars in classrooms across the world to assist local English language teachers and to serve as cultural ambassadors for the U.S. To succeed, students need excellent grades, experience studying abroad, community or campus involvement and excellent interpersonal skills, said Mary Kay Mulvaney, an English professor who is director of the Honors Program and the College’s Fulbright Program advisor. The application process is rigorous and the competition is steep, she said. “To move from applicant to semifinalist (which is just one step from winning a scholarship) is very, very difficult,” she said. Having the College’s only two applicants get to that level speaks both to the caliber of student at Elmhurst and the way the College nurtures and encourages its outstanding scholars, she said. Mulvaney starts touting the Fulbright program to students as early as their first year. “I tell them a Fulbright Scholarship is a four-year process and they should start now.” Once potential applicants are identified, Mulvaney and Professor Emeritus Earl Thompson work closely with them on the application process. Dickey described the competition as an amazing learning experience on its own. “The support from across campus has been phenomenal,” she said, estimating that she wrote 14 drafts of her application essay at Thompson’s prodding. Juvan agreed, saying the faculty “were with me every step of the way.” English Department Chair Ann Frank Wake said spending the year immersed in a foreign culture will be of immense benefit to Juvan, who in her student teaching has always been “very focused on making sure


students from diverse backgrounds feel integrated into the classroom.” Teaching at a high school in Prešov, on the eastern side of the Slovak Republic, will give Juvan a chance to experience what it feels like to be the new person, to be the person learning a new language and culture, and having to work to fit in, she said. “This is only going to make her a more brilliant teacher,” Wake said. Mulvaney concurred. “She is a very deserving candidate and a wonderful young woman who has really maximized her opportunities at Elmhurst,” she said. “I couldn’t be prouder of her.”

News On Campus

Music Professor Named Fulbright Scholar


Mark Harbold, a professor in the Department of Music, will spend four months teaching and collaborating with faculty at Madras Christian College in Chennai, India, as the recipient of a FulbrightNehru U.S. Scholar Award. “I’m very deeply touched to have received this honor,” he said. “I have received such extraordinary hospitality in India over the years, and my hosts have provided so many rich experiences for me. I’m looking forward to this as a way of paying them back.” The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government, and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The Fulbright Program has provided opportunities for nearly 300,000 participants—chosen for their academic merit and leadership potential— to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns. Harbold’s Fulbright project, titled Collaboration in Teaching and Learning Western Music in South India, builds on his lifelong fascination with India and his “abiding love” for Indian classical music. He has been visiting India regularly since 2005, partnering with other Elmhurst faculty members to offer January Term courses on the peoples, religions, music and art of India. His Fulbright grant activities will include giving lectures and

collaborating with professors at Madras Christian College, consulting with the faculty about developing a church music program, visiting other educational institutions to observe how music is taught in South India, and offering workshops to the College and Chennai communities in Western music theory, arranging and church music. Harbold will begin his Fulbright project in December. “We are thrilled for Mark and congratulate him on receiving a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award,” said President Troy D. VanAken. “This prestigious award is not only a wonderful and well-deserved opportunity for him, but also another feather in the cap of Elmhurst College and the work of our faculty.”

Alumni Gather at Regional Events

Recent alumni events in Florida included a luncheon at the Bonita Bay Club in Bonita Springs (left) and a reception at Pier 22 in Bradenton.

From Florida to California, Elmhurst alumni across the country have had plenty of opportunities this year to reconnect at events hosted by the College’s regional clubs program. Alumni on the West Coast had several occasions to get together. In January, some 10 San Diego–area alumni joined in conversation and reminiscences at a dinner with the Rev. H. Scott Matheney, College chaplain. In April, President Troy D. VanAken and his wife, Dr. Annette VanAken, traveled to California to meet with alumni at receptions in Long Beach and Burlingame. In the Southwest, more than 40 alumni gathered in March for a Chicago Cubs spring training game in Mesa, Arizona, followed by a reception at Bar Louie. President and Dr. VanAken attended, along with trustees Russ Weigand ’64 and Susan Bowers ’74.

Florida was the site of several alumni events. In February, Board of Trustees Chair Barbara Lucks ’73 hosted 25 alumni and friends for a luncheon at the Bonita Bay Club in Bonita Springs. Later that month, some 30 alumni and friends gathered for a reception at Pier 22 in Bradenton, including Trustee Gina Prochaska ’88. At both events, President VanAken gave a presentation about the College’s recruitment and fundraising initiatives and the upcoming strategic planning process. The Florida trip concluded in Winter Park, where 15 alumni gathered for a reception and conversation at 310 Park South. Also in April, the St. Louis club hosted two gatherings with the Elmhurst College Concert Choir. Following the Choir’s performance at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, alumni attended a luncheon with President VanAken at Triumph Grill in St. Louis. In the evening, alumni and newly admitted Elmhurst College students gathered with Trustee Bob Ullman ’71 at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ for a Choir performance followed by a dessert reception.

For more campus news, go to elmhurst.edu/news

Elmhurst Welcomes New VPs to Senior Leadership Team Three new vice presidents will oversee academic affairs, development and alumni relations, and student affairs. April Edwards joined the College in June as vice president for academic affairs and dean of the faculty. Selected through a nationwide search, Edwards was previously the interim vice president for academic affairs and dean of Ursinus College, a selective liberal arts college in Collegeville, Pennsylvania. “Elmhurst has an outstanding reputation for the strength of its academic programs—everything from nursing to English to the ELSA program,” Edwards said. “There is a solid foundation upon which to continue building, and I look forward to working with the faculty to provide the best educational experience for our students—an education that is grounded in the liberal arts and that also provides professional education to students as they pursue their career goals.” A professor of mathematics and computer science, Edwards is an internationally recognized researcher in data science and has taught a variety of courses in computer science, including database design, data mining and artificial intelligence. At Ursinus, she chaired the Faculty Governance Committee for more than seven years, and served as faculty liaison to the Board of Trustees and as a representative on the Promotion and Tenure Committee. “Dr. Edwards’s commitment to academic excellence and student success is tightly aligned with Elmhurst’s core values,” said President Troy D. VanAken. “I also am impressed with her desire and ability to secure resources that will support and enhance faculty scholarship and innovation. She will be a strong addition to our senior

leadership team as the College anticipates its Sesquicentennial Strategic Plan and other milestones.” Valerie Day joined the College in May as vice president for development and alumni relations. Day was previously the vice president for advancement at CarsonNewman University in Jefferson City, Tennessee, where she developed a $60 million comprehensive campaign to fund the university’s strategic plan. She also secured $13 million in donor contributions for the development of a new nursing building. “I am impressed by her range of experience in institutional relations and advancement, and I believe that this experience, combined with her genuine passion for the work, will make her a great asset to the College,” said President VanAken. Day said Elmhurst College made a strong impression on her from the moment she set foot on the campus. “I know we will do amazing things to fund programs, scholarships and other initiatives,” she said. “There’s an electricity here, a wealth of new ideas, and all that is just very exciting for me.” Phillip S. Riordan will begin his new position as the College’s next vice president for student affairs in July. Riordan currently is the vice president for student affairs at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Florida, where he has introduced a program to provide students with staff mentors and peer mentors, opened a new Women’s Center and launched an Office of Multicultural Affairs. He said he was drawn to Elmhurst College by its strong academic reputation and the “family” atmosphere that many described during his interviews. “I was very impressed with the Student Affairs staff I met, and the students—from

the student leaders to the tour guides—were absolutely amazing,” Riordan added. “I’m excited to begin working with them.” President VanAken said: “I look forward to what Dr. Riordan will contribute to our leadership team, and I have been impressed with the depth of his experience, his commitment to innovation, and his promise to provide a student experience that is second to none.”

5 April Edwards

Valerie Day

Phillip S. Riordan

News On Campus


Elmhurst Celebrates 146th Commencement Against a backdrop of bright blue skies and regal brass fanfare, Elmhurst College held its 146th Commencement exercises on Saturday, May 27. That morning on the Mall, 737 seniors graduated from the College. Later that afternoon in Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel, 215 graduate students received their degrees. During the morning ceremony, the College awarded honorary doctoral degrees to former Tonight Show bandleader and trumpet player Doc Severinsen and Chicago radio icon Terri Hemmert ’70. As he accepted his doctor of music degree, Severinsen, who will turn 90 this summer, urged the graduates “to be able to say that you can have, do or be anything that you desire. You have to want it, you have to think about it, you have to fall in love with it, and you have to work like hell to get it.” Hemmert drew the title for her Commencement address, A Revolution of Tenderness, from a TED talk given by Pope Francis. An alumna who went on to become a disc jockey at WXRT-FM, where she was Chicago’s first female morning drive personality, Hemmert spoke fondly about how her time at Elmhurst influenced her outlook on life and her role in the world. “I didn’t need a college degree to be a deejay, but I know that if it wasn’t for the four years I lived here at Elmhurst, I would not have succeeded. And not just in my career. And not just as a person with the opportunity to help tear down barriers for women in our culture. But as a person who has faith that we can make the world a better place,” she said. Hemmert, who received a doctor of humane letters degree,

infused her remarks with song lyrics by The Beatles, Lou Reed, Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin. “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. There. I quoted a Beatle,” she said. “But it’s true. The career stuff will work itself out, but beginning now, it’s your job to figure out what you can do with your education and tenderness. “Some in my generation wanted to change the world, and found out it was really hard. And gave up. I have found that you change the things you can; you look at the people you love and admire, and see how they’ve made their world a better place. Now you figure out what you’re going to do. Trial and error. Hit and miss. But don’t give up. Try stuff. Get out of your house. Do something. Be present.” President Troy D. VanAken reminded the graduates that, although Commencement ends one phase of their time at Elmhurst, it shouldn’t mark the end of their connection to the College. “No matter what your future brings, after this morning, you all are alumni of this great institution, and are joining a community that has existed through the lives of tens of thousands of people over 146 years. “Every one of those people stood where you do today—about to leave one phase of their life and embark on the next—more mature, more knowledgeable, more independent and better prepared for careers, and for life, than they were when they first came here. “So stay close to the College in the years ahead. Let us be a resource for your future and a touchstone to your past. As for today, it belongs to you and your families. Enjoy every minute. And a hearty congratulations to you, the Class of 2017!”

For more Commencement photos, go to elmhurst.life/ECgrads17photos


News On Campus

Jazz Festival Turns 50


Each February for the past 50 years, jazz artists and enthusiasts alike have been flocking to Elmhurst’s Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel for the Elmhurst College Jazz Festival, one of the nation’s oldest and most highly regarded musical gatherings. Over the years, the event has attracted not only the best college jazz bands, but also an honor roll of acclaimed professionals, including Dizzy Gillespie, Louie Bellson and Cannonball Adderley. This year’s festival, marking its golden anniversary, may have been the biggest and boldest yet. In addition to dozens of college and high school ensembles, the festival featured performances from special guests Dee Dee Bridgewater, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Rufus Reid and others. It was a fittingly powerful celebration of an event that has drawn high praise from both educators and artists. Miles Osland, director of the University of Kentucky band and a frequent guest at the festival, calls it “the best college jazz festival in the country.” “It was a very special weekend,” said the festival’s director, Doug Beach, who heads the jazz studies program at Elmhurst and leads the College’s acclaimed jazz band. “We had such outstanding talent—not just the 60-plus professionals, but also the many wonderful college groups. I’ve had so many people tell me that it was a great way to celebrate the festival’s anniversary.” Beach said the anniversary celebration had been two years in the planning, and he credited the student volunteers who staff the festival with making sure the event ran smoothly. “This year was even bigger than normal, with more musicians, more hotels, more details to tend to. And the students really nailed it,” Beach said. “I always say that I may be the director, but it’s the students who really make the thing go.” Student musicians are at the heart of the festival’s mission. Visiting college and high school bands get the chance to perform in front of celebrated professional artists who serve as the festival’s adjudicators and clinicians. The professionals provide the students with detailed critiques of their performances and offer clinics and master classes. Then the professionals close each night of the festival with performances of their own, usually to enthusiastic overflow audiences. This year’s festival included performances by ensembles from five Illinois high schools and 26 college bands, including groups from as far away as the Kunstuniversität Graz in Austria and California State University, Long Beach. The final concert of the 2017 festival featured the Bill Holman Big Band performing an original composition in honor of the festival’s 50th anniversary.

For more campus news, go to elmhurst.edu/news

• Also in December, the College announced that it will receive an $850,000 estate gift to support endowed scholarships. • Ralph Pechanio, a longtime Elmhurst businessman, civic leader and community volunteer, donated $100,000 to establish an endowed fund to support internships for Elmhurst College students at the Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce & Industry. • Elmhurst residents Robert and Marcia Goltermann made a $100,000 gift to enhance the College’s popular lecture series. Longtime supporters of the College, the Goltermanns were awarded the College’s Founders Medal in 2006. In 1999, the couple established the Sandra Jorgensen Memorial Scholarship Fund, which awards scholarships to female art students at Elmhurst.

Day of Giving Highlights Banner Year for Fundraising Elmhurst College alumni, faculty, staff and students came together on Thursday, April 20, for the College’s first Day of Giving, raising $121,000 to support scholarships, faculty development and more. The Day of Giving opened with the annual Scholarship Breakfast, an opportunity for donors to meet the students who benefit from their scholarship support, and closed with a dodgeball tournament and a potluck dinner in the chaplain’s home. By the end of the day, the College had received an impressive 657 gifts from alumni and friends, unlocking a $25,000 challenge gift issued by Board of Trustee member Gina Prochaska ’88. The College also met and surpassed challenge grants issued by President Troy and Dr. Annette VanAken and Susan Swords Steffen, A.C. Buehler Library director. Elmhurst’s Day of Giving activities built on a successful year for fundraising that kicked off with the October announcement of $2.5 million in gifts to support scholarships and the Center for Professional Excellence. To date, the College has raised more than $7 million in fiscal year 2017. • In October, President VanAken announced that longtime Trustee Russell Weigand ’64 and his wife, Joyce Slone Weigand, will give $2.25 million to the College to enhance the work of the CPE. In honor of the Weigands’ gift, the Center has been renamed the Russell G. Weigand Center for Professional Excellence. • Also in October, President VanAken announced two substantial scholarship commitments: a $150,000 pledge from Trustee Edward Momkus ’74 and his wife, Betsy Goltermann; and a $100,000 gift from Trustee Hugh McLean and his wife, Mary Beth. • In December, the College met and surpassed its $100,000 Scholarship Challenge, unlocking $100,000 in additional funding in only two months.

• In April, an alumna who wishes to remain anonymous pledged $750,000 to support Honors Program students with demonstrated financial need who want to study abroad. “I’m so gratified to see the commitment on the part of our alumni and the campus community to Elmhurst College and its success,” President VanAken said. “One of our key messages this academic year has been The Power of Many, and the results from our Day of Giving demonstrate how that message will help us reach our goals and dreams.”


News On Campus

Cultural Season Inspires and Uplifts


Elmhurst College celebrated the power of words and music this year with a dynamic Cultural Season of lectures and other special events. The theme for this year’s Cultural Season—Words and Music: Inspiration to Create, Reach and Change—was inspired by the 50th anniversary of the Elmhurst College Jazz Festival. The season started strong, with “Hamilton: The Revolution,” a September lecture by author and cultural critic Jeremy McCarter about the Broadway musical/hip-hop sensation inspired by the American Revolution. At the start of the Spring Term, former President Barack Obama’s senior speechwriter and adviser, Jon Favreau, packed Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel for an exploration of the messages that had the biggest impact on the 2016 U.S. presidential election. In April, Grammy-winning composer and conductor Eric Whitacre talked about how music humanizes technology, wowing the audience with a presentation about his Virtual Choir.

For the first time, the College collaborated with the Elmhurst Art Museum on two exhibitions—one featuring the distinctive banners, album covers and other promotional materials commissioned each year for the Elmhurst College Jazz Festival; the other on pinball machine artwork influenced by the Chicago Imagist artists movement. In conjunction with the pinball exhibition, the College hosted a screening of Hairy Who and the Chicago Imagists, a documentary about the movement whose founders included Elmhurst’s director of exhibits, Suellen Rocca. The College also hosted several intercultural and religious lectures throughout the year, including a moving remembrance by Monsignor Kenneth Velo of Cardinal Joseph Bernardin; and, during the annual Holocaust lecture, Chicago Tribune arts critic Howard Reich talking about his friendship with Nobel Peace Prize winner and author Elie Wiesel. In late March, the College hosted the 10th Annual Elmhurst College Governmental Forum at the Drury Lane Conference Center in Oakbrook Terrace, an event that featured Illinois Senate President John Cullerton and Inland Real Estate Group Chairman Daniel L. Goodwin discussing the implications of the budget impasse in Springfield. At the start of the Jon Favreau lecture, part of the Rudolf G. Schade lecture series, President Troy D. VanAken welcomed the audience of about 900 people. The high attendance, he said, “reaffirms this College’s commitment to civic engagement, and to offering relevant, balanced, thought-provoking discussions on some of the most important and interesting topics of the day.” He also thanked the supporters of the Schade lecture series, including Professor Schade’s son, Rudy, and BMO Harris Bank; and recognized Robert and Marcia Goltermann, who recently donated $100,000 to enhance lectures at the College. “It’s through the generosity of people and institutions like these that Elmhurst College can bring a balance of important speakers here to share their insights with our students, our campus community and the community beyond,” he said. “The College is fortunate to know individuals and organizations that are passionate about encouraging and ensuring the continued success of events like these.”

In Memoriam Earl Swallow, a retired professor emeritus of physics at Elmhurst, died on January 14, 2017, at age 75. Swallow taught in the physics department for 37 years, many of them as chair of the department. He also was a founding director of the College’s Center for Scholarship and Teaching, and a co-founder of the Accelerator ArtSpace, a campus art gallery anchored by a massive, retired mid-20th-century Kevatron particle accelerator. Swallow was highly esteemed both by students and colleagues for his commitment to teaching and scholarship. A former Fermilab visiting scientist, he was the author of more than 150 articles, book chapters and other publications on particle physics, high-energy physics and elementary particles. Many of his publications grew out of the research he conducted at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, and CERN in Switzerland. Swallow was frequently recognized for his excellence as a teacher. He received Elmhurst’s President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, and in 1994, the Chicago Tribune honored him as a member of its “All-Professor Team,” a collection of the most respected teachers at small colleges. “Earl was an important presence at Elmhurst College for more than three decades,” said Brian Wilhite, chair of the College’s Department of Physics. “He was a mentor not just to a generation of students, but to faculty, too. For me personally, Earl was not only my most important mentor, he was also the person who gave me my biggest break, hiring me to come to Elmhurst. He will be missed.”

For more campus news, go to elmhurst.edu/news

Swallow graduated from Earlham College in 1963 with a bachelor of arts degree in physics. He completed his Ph.D. in physics at Washington University in St. Louis in 1970. He is survived by his wife, Bonnie Boerger; a son, Erik, and stepson, Michael Boerger; and two brothers. Paul Martin Jacobs, an assistant professor of business accounting at Elmhurst, died unexpectedly in Naperville on December 29, 2016. He was 59. Jacobs is remembered as a trusted advisor and mentor who supervised many student internship and independent study projects. His accessibility and dedication to his students’ success was noteworthy. He also served as a faculty representative on various boards and committees at the College, including the Business Committee and Investment Committee. “Professor Paul Jacobs was a great colleague and friend and, most importantly, an outstanding and compassionate teacher,” said Gary Wilson, chair of the Department of Business. “He served as a mentor, advisor and role model to hundreds of graduate and undergraduate students during his 16 years at Elmhurst College. He will always be remembered fondly for his cheerful and caring interactions with them.” Jacobs’ teaching was informed by his substantial professional experience in accounting and tax services for both business and individuals. Before joining the faculty at Elmhurst, he held a number of tax and accounting positions at ServiceMaster. Jacobs graduated from North Central College in Naperville with a B.S. degree in accounting in 1979. He earned an M.S. degree in taxation and accounting from DePaul University in 1995. He is survived by his wife, Patty; two children, Zachary and Jeremiah; and many family and friends. Walter E. Burdick Jr., an emeritus professor of history at Elmhurst and a 1960 graduate of the College, died on March 22, 2017, at his home in Hampshire. He was 80 years old. Burdick taught classes on topics ranging from women’s history to the Vietnam War. Students prized his erudition and his sense of humor. “He was passionately devoted to his students, and loved the back and forth of classroom discussion,” said Rob Butler, chair of the history department. “I have talked with so many of his former students who are just devastated by this loss. They appreciated the way he engaged with them in the classroom as equals.” Burdick was born in Chicago on December 7, 1936. He earned a bachelor of arts degree at Elmhurst, where he was a standout pitcher on the baseball team. After graduation, he served in the U.S. Army Counterintelligence Corps, stationed in Berlin during the period when Communist East German authorities erected the Berlin Wall. He returned to the U.S. to complete a master’s degree in history at Southern Illinois University, graduating with honors, and a Ph.D. at Northern Illinois University. He accepted a position in the history department at Elmhurst

and eventually would chair the department. “I think there were stretches of time during his career when he was the history department,” Butler said. “He was a great professor who could reach students of all levels and who could teach on an impressive breadth of topics.” Burdick is survived by his sister, Joan Landi; his daughter, Tracy (Zach) Adair; and two grandchildren. Ross Kellan, director of music education and conductor of the Symphonic Band at Elmhurst, died on June 4, 2017, at his home in Lombard. He was 68. Kellan was beloved by his students and colleagues for his generous spirit and his passion for working with young people. He was “one of the most gifted teachers in our profession—completely devoted to his students and their success,” said Peter Griffin, chair of the music department at Elmhurst. “He also was an incredibly kind and


compassionate friend, mentor and colleague to all who knew him. “The way he lived his life, both personally and professionally, inspires us to reach for excellence and challenge ourselves in ways we never thought possible. We are forever changed in the best possible ways because of him.” Kellan joined Elmhurst College in 2005, after a 33-year teaching career at Glenbard East High School in Lombard. During his career he was guest conductor for the Illinois Music Educators Association All-State Band, the All-Carolina Band Festival and the Eastern Illinois University Concert Band Festival. In 2011 he was inducted into Phi Beta Mu, the Band Directors Hall of Fame. In 2005, the Illinois Music Educators Association honored him with the Mary Hoffman Award of Excellence. In 2013 the Elmhurst College Alumni Association presented him with the Dr. Andrew K. Prinz Faculty Merit Award. In May of 2010, Kellan received the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching from the College. He is survived by his wife, Jeri; his daughter, Erin; brother, Kurt; and sister, Jayne.


TEACHABLE MOM E N T S Students in Elmhurst’s innovative education department develop the skills and confidence they need to teach and lead in a changing world. By Margaret Currie Photography by Steve Woltmann


It’s 10 a.m. on a Tuesday, and the students in the bilingual first-grade class at Conrad Fischer Elementary School in Elmhurst have just come in from playing outside. Picking out brightly colored storybooks from the reading shelf, the children settle down in small groups and get to work. Angela Bilancia, an elementary education major at Elmhurst College, moves confidently from one group to another. In fluent Spanish and English, she helps one child sound out the words, checks another’s work, and offers support and encouragement all around. Angela admits that the first time she stood up in front of a class to teach a lesson, it was “a little bit nerve-racking.” But on this Tuesday morning just a few months later, she exhibits the calm competence of a professional educator.

At the Forefront of Teacher Education


Angela is in the second cohort of teacher candidates in the College’s all-new elementary education program. Launched in response to new state guidelines in 2015, the new program was designed to incorporate more classroom experience than ever before. Back in 2012, when the Illinois Board of Education announced the new guidelines, Elmhurst’s education faculty had a choice: satisfy the new requirements by making a few minor tweaks to the existing program—or scrap the old program altogether and build a new one from the ground up. In the spirit of innovation that characterizes teacher education at Elmhurst, the faculty agreed to build something new. “We decided to dream big,” said Jeanne White, chair of the education department. “We wiped the slate clean and started to think about what we would do if we could start fresh.” So the department set to work to build a totally new program. Debra Meyer, who was department chair at the time, encouraged her colleagues to think about what they’d always wanted to do but couldn’t because of the constraints of the existing program— and the ideas came pouring in. Faculty members pointed out that in the old program, students were so busy going to class that they barely had time to visit schools to complete their fieldwork. “So we created a block schedule,” White said. “We’ve blocked out two days a week for teacher candidates to take classes on campus, leaving other days available for teacher candidates to be in the schools.” The block schedule also allows students to concentrate on one developmental level or teaching

experience at a time. The first block, Fall Term of a student’s junior year, centers on first through third grades; the second block on fourth through sixth grades. The third block concentrates on meeting the needs of individual students and fostering inclusive classrooms, and the fourth block is a full-time student teaching experience. The new program also gets teacher candidates into the field earlier and for more hours than in the past. In the first semester of senior year, for example, teacher candidates now spend two full days each week in schools, instead of dividing their time daily between coursework on campus and off-campus practica. “The new model gives students the opportunity to become really involved in the classroom,” White noted. “That exposure fosters beneficial relationships with the classroom teachers and gives our teacher-candidates the chance to see the arc of a whole day and how transitions work. They’re so much better prepared now.” The program was approved in August 2014—just the fifth program in Illinois to comply with the state’s new elementary education endorsement as part of the professional educator license—and launched in Fall 2015.

A Model Program

The new elementary education program is working well—so well, White said, that it served as a model for the department to follow when the State of Illinois introduced changes in licensure rules for early childhood education. “We saw the success of the block programming model in our new elementary education program, so we built on that approach to revamp early childhood and revise special education as well,” she said. The College’s new early childhood major, called Educating Young Children, was only the second such program in the state to win approval from the State Educator Preparation and Licensure Board. It has begun accepting students for the fall of 2017. The new program focuses on children from birth to second grade and incorporates a minor that encompasses the ESL and/or a bilingual endorsement—a new state requirement for early childhood educators teaching in programs funded by the Preschool for All grant. Students also earn the Letter of Approval for early childhood special education as part of the major, and they have the option to earn an Early Intervention credential to provide developmental therapy services in natural environments such as homes and child care centers. “Elmhurst College will be one of the first schools in the state to graduate teacher candidates who are

Graduate Programs in Education

Elmhurst launched its first graduate-level education program 20 years ago with a master’s program in early childhood special education, and it’s been expanding its offerings ever since. MAT in Early Childhood Education Launching in the fall of 2017, the MAT is a full-time, two-year program for students seeking licensure. Elmhurst’s MAT is the only one in the Chicago area that blends the disciplines of early intervention, early childhood education, special education and English as a second language (ESL). M.Ed. in Early Childhood Special Education Designed for candidates who are not seeking Illinois licensure, the M.Ed. program prepares students to work with young children with disabilities at a critical time in their lives, when effective intervention can have a substantial positive impact. M.S.Ed. in Special Education This program emphasizes teacher leadership within school communities and the profession, with coursework that advances teachers’ practice to enable them to provide research-based special education services in their classrooms and schools. M.Ed. in Teacher Leadership The teacher leadership program is designed to prepare experienced teachers to serve as catalysts for change within schools and classrooms. Endorsement Programs Teacher Leader LBS1 ESL and Bilingual Special Education ESL or Bilingual Free Course Voucher Alumni of Elmhurst’s undergraduate education programs are eligible to receive a free course voucher for the first course in a graduate program at Elmhurst College. Teachers who serve as cooperating teachers for the Department of Education also receive a voucher for one free course in a graduate program.


Catalina Heintz ’99, Angela’s supervising teacher at Conrad Fischer, has taught bilingual first grade at the school for seven years.


“The professors in the education department are amazing. They have experience in the field, and they’re very, very knowledgeable. The professors here are some of the smartest people I’ve ever met.” – Brittany Lewis

prepared to meet the new standards,” White said. “That’s a big draw for principals who are hiring.” The special education program has undergone similar changes and has begun accepting candidates for a Fall 2017 relaunch featuring block scheduling, expanded classroom hours and ESL approval. In addition, each candidate will receive an iPad on entering the program. Designed to be used in on-campus classes as well as in field experiences, the iPads come equipped with applications used in special education settings. In addition to elementary, early childhood and special education programs, the College offers licensure programs for secondary (grades 9-12) and K–12 teaching at the undergraduate level. At the graduate level, Elmhurst offers four master’s programs and several endorsement programs (see sidebar on page 15).

A Focus on Experience

Even before the recent changes, all of Elmhurst’s undergraduate education programs were characterized by an exceptional amount of classroom experience. “Education students at Elmhurst start doing field work and observations as sophomores, which is earlier than at most schools,” said Katie Sullivan ’16, a special education transition teacher at West Chicago Community High School. “So you get both experience and connections right away. In job interviews I felt very well prepared because of the experience I’d had.” Angela Bilancia agreed. “The state requires you to have 100 hours of experience before going into your final semester as a student teacher,” she said. “I’m only in my second semester of the teacher education program, and I already have 85 hours.”

Elmhurst faculty have strong connections with schools throughout the Chicago area, giving students access to placements in a wide range of settings— including public and charter schools in rural, urban and suburban settings, as well as community-based settings such as home visits and community educational events. “We regularly get compliments from mentor teachers on our graduates,” White said. “The mentors are amazed that our graduates are just starting out, because they’re so well prepared.” Elmhurst graduates typically are accustomed to working with a diverse array of students, too. A major focus of all programs is preparing teacher candidates to participate in a variety of settings that include student populations with racial, ethnic, gender, socioeconomic and/or linguistic diversity different from their own. “In the Chicago area, where the majority of our graduates end up, it’s not uncommon to teach in schools where multiple languages are spoken and where you have children of varying intellectual and physical abilities in the same class,” White noted. “All of our placements are in schools with diverse populations, so our candidates are prepared to work with students from backgrounds different from theirs.” The ESL/bilingual endorsement is built in to the coursework for the new early childhood program, and it’s one of the four minors for elementary education majors. The ESL/Bilingual Approval is part of the revised special education program as well. In the Chicago area, which has a large population of English language learners, those credentials make Elmhurst College’s teacher candidates highly marketable.

Learning from the Best

Classroom experience is just one of the department’s distinctive strengths. Ask a teacher candidate what makes Elmhurst a great place to study education, and you’re sure to hear some version of, “It’s the awesome faculty.” “The professors in the education department are amazing,” said elementary education alumna Brittany Lewis. “They have experience in the field, and they’re very, very knowledgeable. The professors here are some of the smartest people I’ve ever met.” All education courses at Elmhurst, both at the undergraduate and the graduate level, are taught by faculty members who have worked in the field as teachers and providers. “We don’t hire anyone who doesn’t have direct experience,” noted Linda Dauksas, director of the early childhood education and special education programs. “Our faculty members have stories and experiences that make the content come alive for students. You have to be able to blend theory and practice, and our backgrounds really lend themselves to that.” Faculty members hold leadership roles in state and

national professional organizations, maintain impressive publishing and professional service records, and win awards in the field. Last year, for instance, Therese Wehman won the Illinois Developmental Therapy Association’s inaugural Wehman Award of Excellence—an award that was named in her honor—and Professor Debra Meyer was awarded the Genevieve Staudt Endowed Chair. Professor Jeanne White, who teaches the math methods courses for elementary candidates, recently published her second book, Using Children’s Literature to Teach Problem Solving in Math: Addressing the Standards for Mathematical Practice in K-5 (Routledge, 2017).

Ready to Work

By the time they graduate, Elmhurst teacher candidates have the skills and experience they need to launch their careers. Many candidates get job offers from the schools where they did their student teaching; others get hired by other schools that are familiar with the College’s stellar results. In 2016, every single graduate of the College’s programs in special education and early childhood education was employed for the fall. “Elmhurst students tend to be strong candidates for teaching jobs, because they get a solid foundation, good practical experience and plenty of support,” said Brad Voehringer, superintendent of Morton Grove District 70. Indeed, Elmhurst alumni are frequently recognized for their teaching excellence. Lily Velazquez ’15, a first-grade bilingual teacher at Tioga Elementary School in Bensenville, won the Illinois Association of Colleges for Teacher Education’s Outstanding Beginning Teacher Award in 2016. In 2015, George Vlasis M.Ed. ’07, a kindergarten teacher at Hough Street Elementary School in Barrington, won a Golden Apple, the annual prize that honors top teachers in the Chicago area. That same year, Jessica Vaillancourt ’07 of Elgin High School was named Illinois Outstanding Young Teacher of the Year by the Illinois Communication and Theatre Association. Susan Brown ’76 of Elmhurst’s York High School received the 2014 T.E. Rine Secondary Mathematics Teaching Award from the Illinois Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and Tracy McDonald ’10 of Hinsdale South High School won the Davidson Award, given by the Chemical Industry Council of Illinois and the Illinois Chemical Education Foundation to honor outstanding high school chemistry teaching. Just two semesters into the teaching program, Angela Bilancia is already enjoying the rewards of her chosen profession. “I walk out of the classroom every day with a big smile on my face,” she said. “It’s a lot of work, managing school, work and classroom time, but once you go into the classroom, it’s like a breath of fresh air. It makes me feel that teaching is the right career path for me.”



The Confidence to Handle the Job I teach in West Chicago High School’s special education transition program, a fouryear extension of high school for students with disabilities. We focus on life skills like how to get a job, balance a checkbook, live independently. Some of our students are super-high-functioning, and some are nonverbal. We want all of them to be able to apply the academic skills they learned in high school to real life. I was lucky to be able to student-teach in a transition program, at the Kirk School in Palatine, and that experience made me sure that this was where I wanted to be. I know a lot of people want to teach the little ones, the cute babies. But I love this age group. This is an optional program, so my students don’t have to be there. They choose to be there. They show up every day and they learn. It blows my mind how competent they become and what they can do. My professors at Elmhurst were true professionals. They care deeply about teaching, and they demand a lot of their students. When you leave Elmhurst you have the confidence that you can handle this job. Now I want my students in transition to feel the same kind of confidence.


Katie Sullivan ’15 West Chicago High School Special Education Transition Program

Making the Biggest Impact The student population at Senn is super diverse. We have a substantial refugee and immigrant population, with students coming really from all over the world. With all that diversity, we try to create a very inclusive environment, where every student feels welcome. We want them to know that we value what they bring to the classroom. We teach a lot of emergent bilinguals, so we try to make the content as accessible as possible, by using pictures and graphics. You also rely on students helping each other; for example, I might pair Spanish speakers, so one with stronger English skills can work with another learning English. And, every once in a while, when I have to get a concept across, I resort to Google Translate. Elmhurst did an incredible job of preparing me for what I’m doing. Dr. Ayanna Brown and her class on race and education helped me see that education can be a way to fight inequality. The front line of that fight is in city schools. That’s why I wanted to teach in the Chicago public schools. I wanted to make the biggest impact possible. Michael Meadows ’16 Senn High School, Chicago Mathematics

The Excitement of Learning One of the challenges of teaching first graders is that school is still new to them. But that also makes working with this age a joy. Learning is exciting to them, and I love it when they have one of those “light-bulb” moments where they suddenly get something. They get so enthusiastic about the projects we do, and they are so eager to share their work with their family. A stereotype about little ones is that they are not able to do tasks that require high-level thinking. I like helping them prove that stereotype wrong. When given support they are certainly capable of doing high-level tasks. One example is the catapult project we do. We give the students rubber bands, plastic spoons and popsicle sticks, and ask them to design a catapult that will launch a small candy pumpkin. They draw up plans for their catapults, talk about them and experiment with them. It is the kind of complex task that teaches them to persevere through a problem. Elmhurst did a great job of preparing me to teach. One of the big things I took away from Elmhurst is the importance of using data about student performance to make lessons meaningful. We have students working at different levels, and by doing pre-assessments, I can see exactly where all my students are and what they need from their lesson. Jaclyn Pearson ’15 Grant Elementary, Melrose Park First Grade


Educating Families The children in my classroom are 3-, 4- and 5-year olds with a really diverse set of needs. Some of the children have individualized education plans; Down syndrome, autism and developmental delay are a few of the varying abilities. Others are from families considered at-risk: they may be homeless, or living with a foster family. The challenge is getting all their individual needs met. But that’s also what I love about the job. With children this young, communication with families is especially important. We are educating the families as much as we are educating the children. We provide families with as many opportunities as possible to get involved, so parents can see what we’re doing and extend that to their home. As a student at Elmhurst, I had such a wide range of field experiences, and that really prepared me to work with a diverse group of young learners. I can’t speak more highly of the education department at Elmhurst. The professors are really there for their students. There are so many great teacher programs, but the close family feel at Elmhurst really sets it apart. I loved it so much, I’ve come back to work on my master’s degree in Elmhurst’s teacher leadership program. I am researching the way children make the transition from early childhood to kindergarten and working on ways to improve the process. Amanda Montes ’13 Butterfield Elementary, Lombard Prekindergarten

Keeping Up with


From campus living to curricular choices, students in the Elmhurst Learning and Success Academy have more opportunities than ever to live the college life. 20 By Susan Keaton First-year student Elizabeth Siegler loves her busy campus life. When she’s not in class, she’s at an event, grabbing a meal in the Frick Center or just hanging out in Dinkmeyer Hall with her roommate, boyfriend or others in her growing circle. She’s also been challenging her athletic side, playing some basketball and trying track and field. Every once in a while, she’ll take the train home to visit her family in St. Charles, often arriving with dirty laundry in tow. If Siegler’s life sounds like that of a lot of college freshmen, that’s by design—and a successful one at that. Siegler is enrolled in the Elmhurst Learning and Success Academy, or ELSA, Elmhurst College’s fouryear, post-secondary educational program for young adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities. The program’s inclusive environment, set right in the swim of a welcoming college campus, provides ELSA students with opportunities to engage in the academic, vocational, social and recreational experiences of college life. It’s also what distinguishes the ELSA program from other programs for young adults with intellectual disabilities. ELSA students carry a traditional college schedule, participate in college activities and organizations, and have the option of living on campus. With each graduating class—the program’s ninth class graduated this spring— ELSA students have become more and more integrated into the overall Elmhurst College experience. About 20 of the

50 ELSA students enrolled this past year lived in residence halls; some formed the program’s first basketball team; and several ELSA students have been taking Elmhurst College classes for academic credit. “I love it,” Siegler said about her time at Elmhurst so far. “It’s amazing.” Although she was nervous about being away from home for the first time, the reserved teenager quickly gained confidence as she got to know her roommate, also an ELSA student, and learned her way around. Several community advisors—fellow Elmhurst students trained to support ELSA students learning to navigate residence hall life—live in Dinkmeyer. Each residential ELSA student also works with a life coach, another Elmhurst student who provides one-on-one help with life skills. Siegler’s life coach has helped her become more independent, guiding her through such tasks as keeping track of the meal dollars remaining on her Jaypass. “It’s helped me grow my confidence,” she said. ELSA welcomed its first students in 2005; most were commuters, until the residential opportunity began about three years ago. The option of living on campus has opened up the ELSA program to many more students: The first international student, from Nigeria, enrolled last year, said LuEllen Doty, an education professor and director of the ELSA program. Another big draw is the option of taking “ELSA electives”—regular Elmhurst College courses taken on a pass/no pass basis—alongside ELSA’s life skills and social

curriculum, said Tim Ahlberg, assistant director of admission. Senior Trace Nardi, who took a couple of English classes and a journalism class as his ELSA electives, now covers sports for The Leader, Elmhurst’s student newspaper. With coaching and encouragement, some ELSA students have been taking regular courses for credit as well. ELSA Plus, a pilot program, allows some students to take Elmhurst College classes for a grade; and a few ELSA students are pursuing a bachelor’s degree along with their ELSA certificate, through dual enrollment. Doty said these types of experiences widen the expectations of what people with disabilities can hope to accomplish. Administrators are constantly looking for ways to remove barriers. For example, although ELSA students are welcomed into most campus clubs or activities, NCAA rules prohibit non-degree-seeking students from playing college sports. So when Ahlberg learned this year that the ELSA program was qualified to field a senior-league team for the Special Olympics, he recruited a student willing to coach basketball. Ten students formed a team, and although the team played only part of the season, they placed second in their division in the state tournament—earning silver medals. “We only had one home game, but we had a huge crowd,” Ahlberg said. About half the team went on to participate in track and field, and prepared to compete in a meet this spring. “We’re continually looking for new ideas,” Doty said. She took a student to England a few years back for a study abroad opportunity, for example. The program also seeks out internship and job-shadow opportunities for ELSA students, to help them learn about post-graduation career possibilities. The biggest obstacle has been in providing financial aid to students. Because most ELSA students will not earn a bachelor’s degree, they don’t qualify for many grants or scholarships. But administrators have gotten creative in finding workstudy opportunities, grants and private scholarships, and are grateful for the support of local corporate sponsors such as Orange Crush, a Chicago-area road construction company. Word about the ELSA program continues to spread. Each winter, families flock to the ELSA Transition Fair, which not only spotlights ELSA but also provides information about a range of services and programs available to young adults with disabilities. ELSA also sponsors an annual spring celebration called ELSA-Palooza, which features a student showcase, special performances and a tribute to the graduating class. While originally a campus-focused event, ELSA-Palooza has become increasingly popular with special-education students from local high schools, who come by the busload not only for the event but also for campus tours and to learn about the ELSA program. Nearing the end of her first year in ELSA, Siegler already is feeling more confident about her life goals—to live independently and to work as a teacher’s assistant. Her mother, Sue, said ELSA has put her on that path. “It’s the best thing we could have done for her,” she said.


When Hard Work 22

At Elmhurst, star forward Mikaela Eppard has found success on the basketball court, in the classroom and in her volunteer work.

Pays Off By Kevin Juday When Mikaela Eppard ’18 was researching colleges, she knew exactly what she was looking for. “Throughout my college search, I wanted a school that would allow me to be involved in an array of activities and play basketball,” said Eppard, a communication sciences and disorders major. “The Division III level was what fit me best.” The Colorado native has fit right in at Elmhurst, finding success on the basketball court and in the classroom while also giving back as vice president of the College’s Best Buddies program and working as a teaching assistant in the College’s Elmhurst Learning and Success Academy (ELSA) program. “Elmhurst has been great because there are so many opportunities on campus that I am able to be a part of outside of basketball, and I am able to study something that makes me happy,” Eppard said. “I love that I have been able to continue my basketball career, as well as continuing my education with the feeling that I am going to have a career that I am passionate about once basketball is over.” Eppard’s success on the court has been obvious to any observer. The junior forward set career highs in both scoring (21.0 points per game) and rebounding (11 rebounds per game) while leading the Bluejays to the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) Tournament.

She became the first player in Elmhurst history to score more than 30 points and collect 20 rebounds in the same game. She also set a new single-season record in field goal percentage at 61.2 percent, making her the first player in school history to shoot over 60.0 percent for the season. Eppard eclipsed the 1,000-point mark earlier in the season and currently stands at 1,362 career points and 754 career rebounds. She ranks sixth all-time at Elmhurst in scoring and is fifth in career rebounds. Accolades have poured in for Eppard all season long. A threetime CCIW Player of the Week this season, she was a unanimous first-team all-conference selection. She added first-team all-region accolades from D3hoops.com and was recently named a third-team All-American, becoming just the third Elmhurst player to earn AllAmerica accolades from D3hoops.com. It wasn’t just Eppard’s on-court play that garnered recognition this season. She became the fourth Bluejay during the 2016–17 season to be honored as an Academic All-American by CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America). She was the only non-senior named to the five-player Academic All-America first team. In addition, she was one of just 10 finalists nationwide for the Jostens Trophy, an award given to the most outstanding student-athlete in NCAA Division III basketball. The Jostens Trophy evaluates athletic and academic performance along with community service contributions when deciding its finalists. Eppard, who plans to pursue a master’s degree in communication sciences and disorders after graduation, maintains a 3.94 gradepoint average while also assisting with Best Buddies and ELSA, a four-year, post-secondary educational experience for young adults with developmental disabilities. In addition to aiding in the classroom, she serves as a life coach for two ELSA students, helping them with their homework and schedule planning for the week. Eppard also spends one day a week as a substitute assistant at the Soaring Eagle Academy, a school for students affected by autism. “My favorite thing about Best Buddies and the ELSA program is all the wonderful people I have met throughout the years of being involved with both programs,” she said. “There is such a wide range of personalities and when we all gather together, we always have the greatest time. It is so rewarding hanging out with these students, because they have taught me that the smallest things in life can leave the biggest impact. The happiness and positive energy that radiates is contagious, which makes it so fun to be a part of.” Eppard’s coaches know how hard she works and are gratified by the accolades she’s received. “It’s great to see Mikaela rewarded for all of her hard work during her fantastic junior season,” said Elmhurst head coach Tethnie Carrillo. “She really worked on her game this past offseason to become a dominant force in the paint, not only on the offensive end but also on the defensive end. Her hard work is what sets her apart, and I’m pleased that she is getting recognized for it. I’m very proud of what a great teammate and leader Mikaela is both on and off the floor. She is the perfect example of what a Division III student-athlete is all about.”


Why I Volunteer Tim O’Toole ’03


Elmhurst College has always felt like home to me, ever since my first visit as a prospective student. I wasn’t just a number at Elmhurst—my professors knew my name, and they were always there for me when I needed them. The College opened up new horizons for me, too. I was a computer science major, but I took classes in political science, geography and other areas that interested me. It made me a more well-rounded person, and it gave me the foundation I needed to pursue a career in marketing even though I never took a business class. Serving on the alumni board at Elmhurst feels like coming home. It’s a great way to meet new people and connect with old friends—and it’s a wonderful opportunity to give back. Tim O’Toole ’03 is director of marketing for Mason Contractors Association of America, the national nonprofit trade association representing mason contractors. An active volunteer with the College’s Alumni Association since 2009, he has served as president of the Alumni Association Board since November 2016.

To submit your news, go to elmhurst.edu/classnotes


Let us hear from you! Send a note to alumni@elmhurst.edu or call us at (630) 617-3600. Better yet, stop by the O≈ce of Alumni Relations on the first floor of Lehmann Hall.

1950s and 1960s In October, a group of alumni gathered at the home of Mary Brueggemann in Montreat, North Carolina, for an annual reunion of the group’s trip to Turkey a few years ago. Joining Mary were Rev. Dr. Richard Ellerbrake ’55 and Johann Ellerbrake, Rev. Reine Abele ’54 and Elsa Abele ’60, and Rev. Dr. Donald Mayer ’55 and Lynnea Mayer ’57. Rev. Bill Johnson ’68 received a Distinguished Alumni/ae Award from the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California, on March 18, 2017. Elmhurst College friends Bill Kruse ’68, Jan Warzyn ’69 and Michael Steeb ’69 attended the award luncheon. Bill lives at Pilgrim Place in Claremont, California. 1970s and 1980s Elizabeth Dudek ’73 has joined international law firm Greenberg Traurig as director of health-care affairs. Elizabeth, former secretary of Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration, will join the firm’s state and national Health & FDA Business practice, as well as the Government Law and Policy practice. John Dispensa III ’83 and his wife became grandparents for the first time with the birth of Isabella Marie Watson. Jay Augustyniak ’89 recently earned the Certified Association Executive credential, the highest professional credential in the association industry, requiring intense education and training.

1990s and 2000s Christina Collins ’92, a wealth management advisor with Northwestern Mutual Chicago, has earned the Retirement Income Certified Professional (RICP) designation from the American College of Financial Services in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. Christina is recognized as a top investment specialist on the national level. Her quality of service has earned her the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA) Quality Award for 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015. Theresa Jordan ’92 has taken on the newly created role of director of sales and marketing at Montgomery Place, a continuing-care retirement community in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. Theresa earned her MBA from Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois, in May 2016. Lisa Oddo ’93, M.Ed. ’06, is a contributing author to the new book Overcoming Mediocrity iv: Remarkable Women, a collection of motivational stories about faith, hope, strength and overcoming adversity. Chapters are written by women who have faced significant challenges and emerged stronger. David Murphy ’94 recently graduated from Purdue University Northwest with an MBA. David graduated summa cum laude and was accepted into the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society. Kelly C. Coleman ’98, M.Ed. ’10, published a book in 2015 titled Choose It! Kimberley Savino ’02 traveled to the Amazon in the summer of 2016 for a graduate

course in avian and tropical ecology. Kimberley, a teacher at Michael Collins Elementary School, lives in Roselle, Illinois, and took the graduate course as part of her master’s degree studies with Miami University’s Advanced Inquiry Program. James Kryshak ’06 premiered the role of Lightborn in Edward ii, an opera based on the 1593 play of the same name by Christopher Marlowe. Commissioned by Deutsche Oper Berlin, the opera premiered in February 2017. James also made his debut with the Teatro Nacional de São Carlos in Lisbon in May singing the role of Bob Boles in Britten’s Peter Grimes. Erin ( Joyce) Jackson ’07 founded Inspire Santé, a nonprofit dedicated to broadening awareness of women’s health issues and educating providers. Erin speaks nationally about patient-centered care and is a vocal advocate for pelvic health. The nonprofit’s board members include fellow Elmhurst College alumni Vedrana Todorovic ’07, Sevi Sulemani ’07 and Terresa Byrd ’07. Kelly (Kral) Kelly ’07 and Matt Kelly ’08 both have new careers at Realtor Team (residential, commercial and property management). Lisa Johnson-McFarland ’08 became an Internet sensation last fall when her gospelflavored rendition of Go Cubs Go on Facebook went viral. The video received more than a million views, and she was invited to perform on several TV networks, including ABC7 Chicago and CBS2 Chicago.


Alumni Catching Up

Alum’s Film Debuts in U.S.


When filmmaker Jim Kreutzer ’72 traveled to Scotland with an ill friend on a “bucket-list” trip in 2010, he didn’t know that the journey would help inspire a new film project. The pair’s destination, the historic Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, spurred Kreutzer’s interest in the story of “Old Tom” and “Young Tommy” Morris, the father and son who helped pioneer modern golf. He developed a film concept based on the story and went on to produce Tommy’s Honour, a story of love, rivalry and generational conflict in Victorian Scotland. The film has already earned praise overseas, where it was selected to open the Edinburgh International Film Festival and won best feature film at the 2016 BAFTA Scotland Awards. Directed by Jason Connery and starring Peter Mullan, Jack Lowden, Ophelia Lovibond and Sam Neill, the film opened in the United States in April. Kreutzer’s career in film began as executive producer of the feature Fever Lake in 1994. Other film credits include Just Write and Big Brother Trouble. He is the founder and CEO of Wind Chill Media Group, a Chicagoarea production company.

Mark Anderson ’09 performed at Elmhurst College on October 30 with his guitar duo, Duo Tandem, as part of the College’s World Music Festival. The concert was held in the Buik Recital Hall in Irion Hall.

Heather Forster Jensen ’08 and her husband, Matt, recently announced the birth of their first child, son Lucas Elias Jensen, on September 23, 2016.

Michael S. Rosati ’15 published a novel, The Symphony, in March 2017. An innovation scientist with Sensient Technologies, Mike creates botanical extracts for beverage companies. “I got into writing because I loved sharing stories with others,” he says.

Marriages & Anniversaries Jesse Stellwagon ’09 married Laura Chambers ’10 on November 27, 2016. The wedding party included Adam Frank ’10 and Allie Chambers ’13. The Elmhurst College Jazz Band played for the reception, and many alumni were in attendance.

Births Betsy Ortiz ’01 and her partner, Jorge Martin, welcomed their first daughter, Lucia Sarai, on February 15, 2017.

Patrick Riley ’13 married Alyssa Hartney ’14 on June 11, 2016. The wedding party included Jimmy Riley ’10 and Sarah (Pittman) Riley ’12. In attendance were Andy Peterson ’14, Jillian Hartney ’12 and current student Sean Connell ’19.

Megan (Suess) Selck ’03 and her husband, Andrew Selck ’03, welcomed their second child, Kathryn Barbara Selck, on May 14, 2016. Tammy (Frank) Condon ’04 and her husband, Mike, welcomed their second daughter, Colleen Nicole Condon, on July 18, 2016. She joins big sister Lydia Marie, who is very happy to have her here!

Deaths Elmhurst College has learned of the following deaths. Laura Press Uthlaut ’36, of Freeport, Illinois, on November 3, 2016 Evelyn (Roth) Newman ’43, of Midland, Michigan, on October 4, 2016

Kristen (Butler) Novotny ’04 and her husband, Chris Novotny ’04, welcomed their daughter, Kacie Margaret Novotny, on February 9, 2017.

Alida Dureau ’48, of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, on October 6, 2016

Michelle (DeFranco) Deluca ’07 and her husband, Paul, recently announced the birth of their first child, daughter Madison Emma Deluca, on September 17, 2016.

George Fanslow ’49, of Sebastopol, California, in February 2017

Kelly (Kral) Kelly ’07 and Matt Kelly ’08 welcomed their first child, Layla Grace Kelly, on January 25, 2017.

Warren Rohn ’50, of Manhattan Beach, California, on September 7, 2016

Kim (Schneider) Kelly ’08 and her husband, Patrick Kelly ’08, welcomed their first child, James Robin Kelly, on November 1, 2016.

Marvin Engelsdorfer ’49, of Belleville, Illinois, on February 21, 2017

Max Pepmeier ’49, of Waterloo, Illinois, on December 21, 2016

Donald Seiler ’51, of Crystal Lake, Illinois, on October 6, 2016 Joan (Faber) Reeves ’52, of Calabasas, California, on September 19, 2016 Joan (Koenig) Elliott ’52, of Lombard, Illinois, on October 25, 2016

To submit your news, go to elmhurst.edu/classnotes

Dale Gittings ’52, of Big Pine Key, Florida, on June 30, 2016

Gary Miller ’65, of Malone, Wisconsin, on October 23, 2016

Lester Benson ’77, of Buffalo Grove, Illinois, in April 2015

Claire (Madson) Barry ’52, of Estero, Florida, on January 3, 2015

Randall Knudsen ’65, of Mount Prospect, Illinois, and Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, on September 17, 2016

Donna Pangrle ’77, of Colleyville, Texas, on February 7, 2015

Hal Warheim ’53, of Louisville, Kentucky, on March 5, 2017 Robert J. Clark ’53, of Naperville, Illinois, on November 24, 2016 Edward Heine ’54, of Hampshire, Illinois, on December 27, 2016 James Moore ’54, of Columbia, Missouri, on October 17, 2016 Wanda Sikora ’54, of St. Petersburg, Florida, on August 11, 2011 Marshall Esty ’56, of Sun City, Arizona, on December 4, 2016 Lee Brooke ’56, of Oak Park, Illinois, on November 25, 2016 John Roemer ’57, of Louisville, Kentucky, on March 2, 2017 John Gambon ’57, of Springfield, Missouri, on December 26, 2016 Allen H. Smith ’58, of Chicago, on September 5, 2016 Marilyn Dannacher ’58, of St. Louis, Missouri, on August 4, 2016 Karl Hollerbach ’58, of Belleville, Illinois, on July 4, 2011 Joseph Kovach ’59, of Topeka, Kansas, on November 17, 2016 Reverend Paul Joseph Pic ’60, of New Orleans, Louisiana, on March 6, 2017 Elsie (Bock) Piotraschke ’62, of Northglenn, Colorado, on November 11, 2016 Karen (Clark) McConachie ’63, of Phoenix, Arizona, on September 28, 2016 Barbara (Tague) Zeller ’64, of Anderson, Indiana, on November 27, 2016 Hubertina (Geelen) Gill-Soderberg ’65, of New Richmond, Wisconsin, on January 16, 2017

Vera Roads ’66, of Bradenton, Florida, on December 10, 2016 Glenn Pasvogel ’67, of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, on January 30, 2017 Kathie (Michler) Spross ’67, of Lakeshire, Missouri, on March 26, 2014 Daniel Root ’69, of Villa Park, Illinois, on September 2, 2011 Gregory Harris ’70, of Arlington Heights, Illinois, on February 1, 2017 Mary Jane Hopkins ’70, of Oakbrook Terrace, Illinois, in January 2017 Steven Gardner ’71, of Lakewood Ranch, Florida, on February 13, 2017 Tom Mouhelis ’71, of Wheaton, Illinois, on February 11, 2017 Richard Cappetta ’71, of Orland Park, Illinois, on February 2, 2017 Martha Jo McGough ’72, of Washington, Illinois, on October 22, 2016 Margaret Goss Looze ’72, of Barrington, Illinois, on May 5, 2016 Steven F. Turner ’73, of Glenn, Michigan, on May 3, 2015 Lawrence Madigan ’74, of Crystal Lake, Illinois, on February 11, 2017 Thad Bojanowski ’74, of East Aurora, New York, on April 6, 2016 Rocco Renda ’75, of Huntley, Illinois, on October 7, 2016 James Savage ’75, of Lombard, Illinois, on May 13, 2016 Steven Fortier ’75, of Sugar Grove, Illinois, on July 8, 2014 Lawrence Higgins ’77, of Hoffman Estates, Illinois, on January 29, 2016

Rula (Tziritas) Poulos ’79, of St. Petersburg, Florida, on February 12, 2016 James Orr Sr. ’81, of Willoughby, Ohio, on February 16, 2017 Paul Alonso ’82, of Kempton, Pennsylvania Brian Fraser ’83, of Miami, Florida, on October 26, 1999 Roger Young ’84, of Willowbrook, Illinois, on October 1, 2016 Susan (Swanson) Cook ’84, of Orland Park, Illinois, on November 3, 2013 Linda Tegtmeyer ’84, of Wood Dale, Illinois, on July 3, 2011 John Scherenberg ’85, of Laguna Niguel, California, on January 30, 2014 Walter “Bud” Huebner ’86, of Villa Park, Illinois, on October 24, 2016 James W. Russell ’87, of Prescott, Arizona Richard Nally ’91, of Naperville, Illinois, on January 14, 2017 Kimberly Failor-Tinerella ’92, of Lake Zurich, Illinois, on November 6, 2016 Robert Anders ’94, of Las Vegas, Nevada, on September 10, 2005 Naida Valdes ’95, of Naples, Florida, on October 6, 2010 Gail Minick ’02, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, on April 2, 2013 Tiffany (Hornish) Janzen ’10, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on October 6, 2016


Faculty Office Hours

Necessary Questions Interview by Andrew Santella

“I ask questions a lot of teachers would like to avoid,”


says Ayanna Brown, associate professor of education. Both in her research and in her teaching, Brown explores how a history of racial inequity continues to shape American education today. The questions she raises may be discomfiting, she says, but they are essential ones for aspiring teachers to consider.

Why is it important for the teachers of tomorrow to understand the history of race in education? Because they should recognize that education doesn’t happen in a bubble. It is not independent of social, cultural and economic contexts. I want to help our teacher candidates understand that they won’t only be teaching a subject, they will be teaching children who are interacting with the larger society. You have talked about the challenging questions that teaching candidates should consider. What kinds of questions do you mean? The central theme of my work is: How can we engage in discussions about race and identity to improve student experiences and outcomes? These are topics teachers tend to avoid. But I think they are essential topics for study. I hear, “Do we have to talk about that?” And I want to say, “Yes, it is normal and necessary to talk about it.” We have to normalize discussions of race. One place where those discussions happen is in your course, Race and Equality in Education. How did you develop the class? It emerged from my research, and from the significant silence about race in education. That silence is not necessarily malicious. It springs from what Joyce King called “an uncritical habit of mind.” I think the class has changed the way students think as

they prepare to become teachers. I’m proud that colleagues come to me and tell me, “I can tell who has been in your classes because of the questions they ask.” They change the conversation in the classroom. So many students talk about the impact your class has on them. What do you hope they take away from it? For one thing, I would like to activate their memory so they can recall when they were eight years old or 12 years old, before they became the super-self-actualized adults they are now. As kids, we may not always be right on target, but teachers can have a transformative relationship with children. Teachers must be advocates for their students. You have been an important mentor for so many Elmhurst students. Is it difficult for a professor to develop those relationships with students, but then watch them move on when they graduate? Sure, you have students take multiple courses with you, and you supervise their student teaching, and get to really know them, and then it’s “Fly, little bird!” It’s hard, but that is exactly what is supposed to happen. They’re supposed to take off on their own. It is a nice benefit when they come back and tell you about all they have done or that they have been nominated for a teaching award. That’s a very rewarding moment.

Get started by cutting out your own Victor E.


VICTOR E. BLUEJAY! Take your favorite mascot on your next big adventure and share the fun on Instagram. You could win a valuable prize! To enter the #VictorEandAlumni contest, cut out Victor E. Bluejay and post photos with him on Instagram in any of the categories listed below. You’ll be entered to win a $50 Amazon gift card! The categories are: 1. Most Unusual Location 2. Most Adventurous Outdoor Activity 3. Victor E. the Foodie 4. Best Celebration 5. Victor E. Doing Good 6. Summer in the City (any city) For more details, visit elmhurst.edu/victoreandme.


elmhurst? do your plans include

Leave a lasting legacy through an estate gift. An estate gift is a great way to support the people and programs that matter to you. When you give through your will, an IRA or another planning tool, you leave a lasting legacy for generations to come. Learn More For details about planning your estate, contact Lisa Klein, director of planned giving. (630) 617-5682 kleinl@elmhurst.edu elmhurst.giftplans.org

Office of Alumni Relations 190 Prospect Avenue Elmhurst, Illinois 60126-3296


Follow us on:

KAYAK CHICAGO FIREWORKS PADDLE Saturday, July 22 Join us for an evening kayaking trip from the Chicago River to Navy Pier to watch the fireworks. No experience necessary.

NEW STUDENT AND ALUMNI DINNER Friday, August 25 Help us welcome the Class of 2021 to Elmhurst with a festive dinner.


For details, visit elmhurst.edu/events. /ElmhurstCollege /elmhurstcollege

HOMECOMING AND REUNION WEEKEND September 29–October 1 Reconnect with classmates, cheer on the Bluejays and get an inside peek at campus life today.

FALL FUN AT GOEBBERT’S FARM AND GARDEN CENTER Saturday, October 14 Bring the family and join your fellow alumni for a day of wagon rides, corn mazes and a miniature zoo.

Profile for Elmhurst University

FYI Magazine, Summer 2017  

Elmhurst College Alumni News

FYI Magazine, Summer 2017  

Elmhurst College Alumni News