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THE MAGAZINE OF ELMHURST COLLEGE

FALL ����

INSTRUMENTAL Fred ’71 and Dinah Gretsch lead a company that’s inspired generations of musicians to pursue their passion

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An aerial view of the Kranz Forum shows the campus in full fall glory.

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ON THE COVER: Gretsch guitar

provided by music business major Daniel Cortez ’21.

F E AT U R E S

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Fred ’71 and Dinah Gretsch reflect on the enduring legacy and promising future of their legendary music company.

Biology students probe the mysteries of memory disorders—and discover what it means to be a scientist.

The new digital media program prepares students to thrive in a fast-growing creative industry.

Instrumental

D E PA R T M E N T S

3 P R E S I D E N T ’ S M E S S AG E 6 CAMPUS NEWS 39 ALUMNI NEWS

Committed to Memory

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40 HOMECOMING

I N T H E CLASS ROOM

The Human Side of Data B E YON D T H E CLASS ROOM

Dennis Arreaza: Life Goals Mary Walsh: The (In)Civility of Politics

4 3 C L ASS N OT E S

Justin Stevens: Subatomic Sleuth

4 8 M Y C A R E E R PAT H

18 Read the magazine online at elmhurst.edu/prospect.

Where Content Is King

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S P O RTS S P OT L I G H T

Wendy McManus Is at the Top of Her Game A RTS S P OT L I G H T

Brandon Lee, Triple Threat


The Magazine of Elmhurst College

Fall 2019 volume

11, number 11

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS

Jonathan Shearer EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Desiree Chen CREATIVE DIRECTION & DESIGN

Laura Ress Design CONTENT STRATEGY

Margaret Currie PROJECT MANAGER

Lauren Galvin CONTRIBUTORS

G.J. Acuna, Leo Ebersole, Dave Roos, Andrew Santella, LeeAnn Shelton PHOTOGRAPHY

Bob Coscarelli, Mark Hensel, Roark Johnson, Steve Kuzminski, Sarah Nader, Yuma Nakada, Nickolas Oatley, Justin Runquist, Andrew Schones, E. Jason Wambsgans PHOTO COORDINATOR

Lauren Altiery ILLUSTRATION

David Doran, Adam Hayes, Dave Homer, Gracia Lam, Josie Portillo CLASS NOTES

Kelsey Hogan CONNECT WITH US

We welcome your comments! Email us at marketing@elmhurst.edu. Prospect is published twice a year by the Office of Marketing and Communications. Elmhurst College 190 Prospect Ave. Elmhurst, Illinois 60126 © 2019 Elmhurst College All rights reserved.

On a perfect fall day, the Reinhold Niebuhr statue is a reminder of Elmhurst’s storied legacy and bright future.

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PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

CELEBRATING THE CREATIVE ARTS

In anticipation of our historic name change next summer, we’ve been exploring fundamental questions about who we are and what sets us apart. Is it our rich history? Our cherished values? Our signature blend of liberal learning and professional preparation? All of these are vital to our identity, now and in the future. This issue of Prospect shines a light on one of our enduring strengths—our dynamic arts scene. Fred and Dinah Gretsch tell us how their company’s iconic guitars and drums have inspired music legends and up-and-comers. We also introduce our timely new program in digital media, and highlight faculty research in memory loss and civility in politics. As we head into the holiday season, I hope you enjoy this special time with family and friends. And stay tuned—Annette and I are hitting the road in January for another President’s Road Trip. Check our schedule at elmhurst.edu/RoadTrip, and come out and see us!

TROY D. VANAKEN

President

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IN THE

CLASSROOM

THE HUMAN SIDE OF DATA

THE CLASS

Research Methods in Data Science

THE PROFESSOR

MINING DATA TO

CAPSTONE PROJECTS

James Kulich

MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Our capstone project course is the culmination of the program. So by the time students get there, they’re ready to do something deep that applies directly to their world and their work. For example, one student created a tool for salespeople bidding on jobs. The tool helped users make price quotes that clients would be more likely to accept. Another student analyzed data to create equity in funding public school districts that serve low-income families.

PROGRAM DIRECTOR, M.S. IN DATA SCIENCE

Professor James Kulich led the launch of Elmhurst’s graduate program in data science in 2014, just as the field was emerging as a fast-growing career path. In his culminating capstone course, Kulich teaches students to apply “the human side of data” to solve realworld problems.

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We live in a world of unlimited data— data that is right in front of us every day and that we might not even see or recognize. Data science is about turning data into better lives for people and value for organizations. One simple example is your fitness app. Technically speaking, your app might be gathering information on the number of steps you take or the stairs you climb; but more deeply, it’s providing you with information to live a healthier life. LAUNCHING THE PROGRAM

We knew that there was so much potential in this field. We asked, “What if we crafted a program that puts the human side of big data front and center? What if we approached data as a way to make a real difference in people’s lives, instead of focusing on creating cool algorithms or more powerful tools?” Tools are great, but the best results come when you start by understanding the problem you are trying to solve. That’s when you really make a difference, and that’s when you create value.

ONLINE COMMUNITY

I teach the course entirely online, in a way that is often more interactive than a conventional class. Students ask questions using chat features or audio or video, and they work in groups, so they’re really involved. They post articles for each other to learn from, and they share resources. Even though the first time they meet each other faceto-face may be at graduation, they are a real community—just a different kind of community.


THE STUDENT VIEW

I L LU S T R AT I O N BY A DA M H AY E S

“For my capstone project, I created a customer-recommendation engine to pitch to my managers at KeHE Distributors, a national food distributor. My managers were so impressed with my project that they gave me the green light to implement a version of it. The biggest thing I took away from the program was that it’s not enough to build a powerful and accurate tool; you also have to be able to explain how it works. If you can’t explain it, there’s no reason for people to trust it.” — SCOTT JONES, M.S. ’19

J A M E S K U L I C H B LO G S A B O U T T E X T A N A LY S I S (A B OV E ) , AU TO M AT E D P R O C E S S E S A N D OT H E R DATA TO P I C S . R E A D T H E B LO G AT E L M H U R S T. E D U/ U N L I M I T E D DATA .

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CAMPUS

NEWS

SPEAKER

Q&A CAMPUS TREES ���

Social justice entrepreneur Shiza Shahid visited the College on Oct. 3 to talk about how we can all make an extraordinary impact.

Shahid, who co-founded the Malala Fund with Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai, spoke with Prospect about pursuing her own activism, meeting Malala and doing good while doing well. Your activism began when you were a teenager in Pakistan. What sparked your desire to get involved? It was a post-9/11 world, and in my hometown of Islamabad, we were facing a wave of terrorism and corruption among our leaders. We also were living through the aftermath of one of Pakistan’s largest earthquakes. I volunteered at a relief camp, but after a year the government stopped supporting the victims, so I organized my first protest around that.

Three years later, the Taliban boarded Malala’s school bus and shot her in the head. She eventually made an almost full recovery. I told her a lot of people wanted to help her. She said, “I’m OK, but tell them to help the other girls.” We started a global nonprofit, the Malala Fund, to fight for girls’ education. In recognition of that work, Malala won the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 17—the youngest Nobel laureate ever. What do you want young people to take away from your talks? That they

On the southwest side of Old Main stands a living fossil: a Ginkgo biloba, part of an ancient species that’s been around for 270 million years and is highly prized for its medicinal properties. Planted in 1967, the ginkgo is almost as tall as its neighbor and flashes brilliant yellow in the fall when its leaves turn.

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How did you come to know Malala?

In 2009, the Taliban banned education for girls in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. While reading about it online, I came across a diary written by an 11-year-old girl pleading for help to save her school. That girl was Malala. I tracked her down and created a secret camp for her and 26 other girls, to empower them to have a real impact in their community.

can build a life infused with meaning, happiness and belonging; and that some of the choices they may face—do I make money or do I do good in the world?— are false ones. It’s about staying aware of the things that matter to you and being entrepreneurial in building a career.

What’s your latest big project? My husband and I recently started an ecommerce company called Our Place, which sells mission-driven products for the home. The products are responsibly sourced, and they celebrate different cultures and traditions. We partner with brands that stand for something.


HASHTAG

HIGHLIGHTS

From the latest alumni news to pictures of grumpy cats, it’s all on social media. Join us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to see what’s new.

BY THE

NUMBERS From the practice rooms of Irion Hall to the Mill Theatre stage, the performing arts are alive and thriving at Elmhurst College. Here are some artsy facts about our community. GRAMMY WINNERS ON THE MUSIC FACULT Y

@ElmhurstWrestle Congrats to Bluejay Wrestling Alum Jeff Anderson on winning the bronze medal in freestyle at the Masters World Championships in Tbilisi, Georgia!

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THEATRE PRODUCTIONS SINCE 1929

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@fancy_pants_cat Woof! #grumpycat #elmhurst #elmhurstcollege #schoolweloveelmhurst

CONCERT CHOIR APPEARANCES WITH SINGER ANDREA BOCELLI

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ANNUAL JAZZ FESTIVAL ATTENDEES

@ElmhurstEats We’re getting into the homecoming spirit with our limited time specialty drinks, the Victor E. Tea and the Blue Jay White Mocha!

@ecstudyabroad “The first week in Australia TEAN took our orientation group to the Great Barrier Reef! We were able to scuba dive, snorkel, and spend the whole day on the boat enjoying the water!” —Katie D., Fall 2019

CHALK TALK How can teachers build authentic connections with students? What does it mean to be a teacher leader? Education professor Debra Meyer

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TAP SHOES WORN EACH TERM

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PIPES IN THE COLLEGE ORGAN

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unpacks these questions and more in her blog, Chalking the Line. Check it out at elmhurst.edu/CTL.

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CAMPUS

NEWS

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A NEW NAME FOR OUR

NEXT CHAPTER In an era of upheaval in higher education, Elmhurst College is embracing the future with a new name and an even stronger identity. The College will officially become Elmhurst University on June 30, 2020. The new name will more accurately reflect Elmhurst’s stature as a comprehensive institution that offers both undergraduate and graduate programs.

“Our story, which began in 1871 with 14 students

and now describes a comprehensive institution that educates 3,500 undergraduate and graduate students, is one of growth and change.” PRE S IDENT TROY D. VAN A KE N

It also reflects the College’s continuously evolving mission. Launched in 1871 to prepare teenage boys for the seminary, the College awarded its first bachelor’s degrees in 1924, started admitting women in 1930 and introduced graduate studies in 1998. Today, Elmhurst offers 17 graduate programs in addition to more than 60 undergraduate programs of study.

“Less than two years away from our 150th anniversary in 2021, we’re at a pivotal time in our history,” said Elmhurst College President Troy D. VanAken. “The decision to change our name to Elmhurst University marks the exciting start of our next chapter.” The name change comes at a time of record enrollments for the College. While other small colleges face declining enrollments, Elmhurst welcomed record-setting classes in 2017 and 2018. The new name also promises to further boost recruitment efforts by clarifying what Elmhurst is—and isn’t—for students who associate the word “college” with community college or technical school. “Changing from college to university will now become part of our story,” VanAken said. “But the most important part has always been the transformative impact of an Elmhurst education on the lives of our students. No matter what we call ourselves, that will always be the heart of our mission.” The decision to rename the school incorporated input from stakeholders across campus and beyond. The Elmhurst College Board of Trustees formally approved the change on June 15, 2019. Learn more at elmhurst.edu/NameChange.

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CAMPUS

NEWS

Science, technology, engineering and math account for some of today’s fastest growing careers. But not enough college graduates are entering STEM fields, and even fewer of those professionals are women, minorities or first-generation college students. With support from two significant grants from the National Science Foundation, Elmhurst College is launching an ambitious effort to help close that gap. Awarded this summer, the grants will provide $2.75 million for two projects that support STEM majors from populations historically underrepresented in the sciences. One grant provides merit-based scholarships for low-income transfer students who plan to major in a STEM field. The project will also build a sense of community and belonging through services such as mentoring, career exploration seminars and a science boot camp.

$�.��M FOR STEM The other grant funds a new alliance of eight Chicago-area colleges and universities to foster greater success among minority STEM students. The grant will support mentoring programs, research opportunities and programs to help students feel connected.

Elmhurst is the lead institution on the STEM alliance project, and President Troy D. VanAken is the principal investigator.

“These grants help us to carry out our mission of changing lives through education while powerfully demonstrating our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion,” VanAken said.

“It’s about bringing the institutions together and doing what we need to do to build community, support our students and help them to graduate,” said Assistant Professor of Biology Eve “I look forward to seeing the impact Mellgren, project director and coprincipal investigator. “Our hope is that these initiatives will have on the lives of our students.” what we’re doing will become a model Read more at elmhurst.edu/StemGrants. for other undergraduate institutions.”

NEWS BRIEFS THE PRESIDENT’S ADVISORY

HONEY FROM OUR HIVES CREATED

COUNCIL ON DIVERSITY,

QUITE A BUZZ AT THE HONEYBEE

EQUITY AND INCLUSION was

CONSERVANCY’S 10TH ANNIVERSARY

formed this fall to deepen

PARTY THIS FALL. The advocacy group

the College’s efforts to

highlighted its partnership with Elmhurst

enhance cultural diversity,

by showcasing our bee-utiful bottles

consult with other campus-

for Better Homes & Gardens, Parents

wide committees, and

magazine and other national media.

provide recommendations and best practices to the President’s Cabinet.

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ON CLOUD � When country music superstar Reba McEntire performed at the Illinois State Fair this summer, Matt Cloud ’20 had a distinctive vantage point on the sold-out show: He was her opening act.

The music business major won the opportunity to open for McEntire by earning first prize at the Illinois State Fair Karaoke Finals. Appearing in front of a crowd of 14,000 on Aug. 18, Cloud sang Michael Bublé’s “Feeling Good” and Billy Vera’s “At This Moment”—numbers that fit perfectly into his vocal jazz wheelhouse. This wasn’t Cloud’s first high-profile performance. A founding member of QB, the College’s a capella group, he won first prize at the College’s EC on the Rise talent show in 2018. He also appeared on Season 7 of NBC’s The Voice. But, he says, the opportunity to open for McEntire was unforgettable. “When the day came around I was incredibly nervous, but I was incredibly excited at the same time,” Cloud says. “Actually getting on the stage and getting to perform up close and personal with the crowd was an amazing thing for me and was definitely a dream come true.” Read more at elmhurst.edu/MatthewCloud.

UP ON THE ROOF The Elmhurst campus got a little greener this fall, thanks to a new 4,000-square-foot garden on top of the Frick Center.

Featuring a succulent groundcover called sedum, the College’s first green roof reduces stormwater runoff by capturing rain in a built-in reservoir. The garden also protects the roof from the sun’s damaging rays and reduces energy costs by providing extra insulation. And it’s a catalyst for learning. Kelly Mikenas, a faculty member in the biology department, plans to leverage the rooftop plants in her ongoing study of microclimates and biodiversity. “The green roof combines sustainability, research and education, so it’s beneficial on every front,” says Mike Emerson, executive director of facilities management. “Our hope is that this is the first of many green roofs on campus.”

NEWS BRIEFS VAPING, THE OPIOID CRISIS AND AN ONGOING NURSING SHORTAGE were among the topics discussed by a panel of

state lawmakers during a health care legislative breakfast held on campus on Oct. 21. The breakfast was hosted by graduate nursing students for a course on health care policy and finance.

ELMHURST CONTINUES TO RANK AMONG THE BEST IN THE MIDWEST for overall excellence and for value, according to

U.S. News & World Report, Forbes and others. U.S. News also ranks Elmhurst No. 6 for undergraduate teaching and No. 13 on the list of Most Innovative Schools. FA L L 2 0 1 9

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BEYOND T H E C L A S S RO O M

STUDENTS

LIFE GOALS On his first visit to Guatemala at the age of 11, Dennis Arreaza ’23 was shocked to see a group of kids playing soccer on a gravel-strewn, makeshift soccer field—barefoot. “They were running on rocks, and they had cuts on their feet,” recalls Arreaza, who was born in Chicago and now lives in suburban Northlake. He adds that his dad, who grew up in Guatemala, used to play that way too. Arreaza returned home determined to do something to help. He collected donations of money and soccer supplies, and he distributed equipment to the kids he had met in Zacapa, the impoverished town where his parents came from. In 2012 Arreaza expanded his efforts, forming a soccer team that’s still going strong today.

The long-term goal, he says, is to empower communities, give kids a sense of belonging and keep them from getting involved in crime.

A first-generation American starts a soccer program in Guatemala for at-risk kids.

his efforts with the soccer program. The video helped him win first place in the competition, earning him a four-year, full-tuition scholarship.

“In Central American countries, Since Arreaza posted his video on YouTube in January, it has received gangs start recruiting kids at a more than 2,900 views and generated very early age. To prevent that, a flurry of support. I thought these kids could play soccer. Sports can keep kids at a “People have been reaching out to me, and I’m getting tons of help,” he says. distance from violent crime.” When it came time to choose a college, Arreaza set his sights on Elmhurst, where he knew he could get a good education in nursing while staying close to home. Then he heard about the College’s inaugural Niebuhr Service to Society Scholarship Competition. He thought it was a perfect fit for him, but he needed to find a way to stand out. So he traveled to Guatemala—alone— to record a short video documenting

In fact, he traveled to Guatemala in August to distribute more equipment than ever, thanks to generous donations from the Elmhurst College community and beyond. Arreaza attributes his passion for service to his father, who taught him that “you have to lend a hand to help those who need it.”

“I chose nursing because I really enjoy helping people,” he says. “I think that’s my purpose in life, to serve others.”

Read more about Dennis and view his first-place video at elmhurst.edu/Arreaza.

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BEYOND T H E C L A S S RO O M

FACULTY

Mary Walsh’s new research project examines political discourse at the local level.

From shouting matches in Congress to name-calling on Twitter, it’s hard to escape the conclusion that rudeness and incivility are on the rise in American politics. Research bears out that conclusion—at least at the federal and state levels. But does incivility play out in local politics as well? That’s the question that political science professor Mary Walsh hopes to answer through her latest research project, a collaboration with Phillip Hardy and Brian Patterson of Benedictine University.

“It’s not simply politeness. Civility refers to norms of respect,” Walsh notes. “Political civility rests on the understanding that we are free and equal citizens and we have to find a way to come together.”

Professor Mary Walsh is studying civility in local politics in collaboration with colleagues from Benedictine University.

Walsh and her colleagues surveyed local elected officials across Illinois to assess their level of agreement with statements like, “Do you feel comfortable sharing your views?” and “Do people speak over you?” They also ask respondents to rate how often they observe behavior such as personal attacks or people shouting at one another. 14

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Results so far have been encouraging: By a large margin, respondents have reported a high degree of civility and respect within local government. And the researchers have some theories to account for that. Perhaps it’s because local government is less likely to suffer from negative media coverage. Or maybe it’s because municipal political bodies tend to be relatively small, making it easier to develop connections. Or as Hardy puts it, “It may be that if you live closer to the person you’re working with, you develop a stronger bond.” As their next step, the researchers hope to expand their survey sample and determine whether their findings can be generalized to a broader population of municipal officials. Meanwhile, they’ve presented their findings at two national conferences and plan to submit two papers to peer-reviewed academic journals. They’re also investigating the possibility of collaborating with civic engagement organizations to think about how to translate their findings into action. “As incivility increases, the possibility of finding common ground declines,” Walsh says. “This research plays a critical role by helping us understand both the causes and the impact of civility and incivility in politics.”

I L LU S T R AT I O N BY DAV E H O M E R

THE (IN)CIVILITY OF POLITICS


BEYOND T H E C L A S S RO O M

ALUMNI

In high school, Justin Stevens ’07 was sure he was going to be an engineer. Then he visited Elmhurst College and met Earl Swallow, the late physics department legend. “We talked about his research at Fermilab near Chicago,” Stevens recalls. “And he got me pretty excited about being a physicist and working with big detectors and particle accelerators, a possibility I hadn’t even considered before.” Today, Stevens is a particle physicist at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Virginia and a professor at the College of William & Mary. This summer he won a prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (pecase ) for his part in a pioneering hunt for some of the smallest theoretical particles in the universe.

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Stevens first learned about quarks, bosons, gluons and other subatomic particles in his Elmhurst physics classes. Now he’s part of an international experiment called GlueX that’s using a massive detector to identify a new type of “excited” gluon called a hybrid meson. Theoretically, Stevens says, such a particle should exist. “We’re out to either confirm or deny that.”

it would, or you see something in the data that you thought might be there, but you needed 10 people working on the analysis to figure it out,” he says. “Those are the really exciting times.”

While the pecase award is a huge recognition of his work, Stevens says that nothing in his field happens because of just one person. From his first labs at Elmhurst to his postdoc at mit, Stevens knows that collaboration is the engine of discovery.

“I’ve been told that I’m living the dream, and I think that’s exactly correct,” Stevens says.

“You have those breakthrough moments when the new detector starts working exactly as you expected

Fifteen years after his conversation with Swallow, Stevens is running his own lab at a prestigious institution and working at one of the world’s most advanced particle accelerators.

“If you would have told me as an undergraduate at Elmhurst College that this is what the future held, I don’t know that I would have believed you.”

P H OTO BY N I C KO L A S OAT L E Y

SUBATOMIC SLEUTH

Justin Stevens is searching for some of the smallest particles in the universe.


Justin Stevens is using a massive particle detector to identify a new type of gluon.

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At a time when men still dominate the sports industry at almost every level, Wendy McManus has taken a seat at the leadership table—on her own terms. As Elmhurst College’s new athletic director, McManus has achieved a career goal she’s had since her first job as a collegiate volleyball coach 15 years ago. And as the College’s first female AD, she wants not only to enhance the student experience but also to encourage other women with leadership aspirations. “I wanted to lead a department that helps student-athletes, that improves their lives from day one,” she says. “I want our department and our college to be successful in that way, and as a woman in this role, I want to lead that success.”

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President Troy D. VanAken says that since McManus started over the summer, he has been impressed with her tireless efforts to learn about Elmhurst’s sports programs—and the coaches, staff and student-athletes who define them. “That she is our first female AD is just a great bonus, especially for the perspective she brings and the powerful example she sets for all of our student-athletes,” he says. According to Women Leaders in College Sports, which tracks industry trends, about 24 percent of NCAA-governed schools currently have female athletic directors, more than half of them at Division III schools such as Elmhurst. “It’s unfortunate that there aren’t more women in this role, because women make up 50 percent, if not more, of participants in college athletics,” McManus says. “Still, this is an exciting time for us and definitely for me.”


SPORTS SPOTLIGHT

TOP OF HER GAME Elmhurst’s first female athletic director is focused on success beyond the playing field.

With the help of strong mentors, McManus charted a deliberate path to the athletic director’s chair, taking jobs that would broaden her skill set. She gained expertise in NCAA compliance and implemented a student-athlete lifeskills program at a university in Connecticut; assisted with fundraising and a departmental rebranding in Oklahoma; and honed her budgeting skills while overseeing the installation of a $2 million athletic dome at Minot State University in North Dakota. When she applied for the AD job at Elmhurst, everything fell into place. “The job was everything I was looking for, and I was at a point in my career where my core values had to fit with the institution’s,” she says. “When I first came onto the campus, I just knew.”

Her current focus is on clarifying the vision for the department, in collaboration with coaches, staff, athletic boosters and alumni. She also asked coaches to identify needs in their programs, and she is empowering them to make more decisions. McManus is empowering students, too. She has revitalized the College’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, charging members with identifying areas of concern and working with senior-level staff on solutions. “It’s not just about getting better in athletics—getting better on the playing field is a given,” she says. “But what are we doing to make sure students are successful beyond the playing field? It’s all about their experience.”

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ARTS SPOTLIGHT

TRIPLE THREAT Brandon Lee ’20 has been singing all his life, and his acting skills have earned him acclaim and awards. But until he transferred to Elmhurst three years ago, he had never ventured into a dance studio. Then a friend saw him make a few moves at an impromptu dance competition and talked him into joining Assistant Professor Amy Lyn McDonald’s Dance Ensemble class. That class led to many more—in tap, jazz, modern and ballet—and soon he was appearing as a soloist in dance concerts and choreographing his own works. “I kind of got thrown into dance, but once I started, I just

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For one business student, Elmhurst’s dance program opened up a world of possibilities.

ran with it,” says Lee, a business administration major and dance minor. “Dancing brings out so many emotions in me. It shapes who I am.” McDonald says that’s exactly what the dance program is all about. Offering classes in everything from ballet to jazz to Middle Eastern dance, the program is just as much about igniting passion as it is about perfecting a particular dance style. “We have students who’ve been dancing since they were 3, and we have new dancers like Brandon who just explode after a year of training,” McDonald says. “What unites them all is passion. The joy that emanates from the dance studio is powerful.”


McDonald says she’s never seen a dance student progress as quickly as Lee has. “The first time Brandon auditioned for a solo, it knocked me over,” she says. “He dances with his soul, from the inside out. In a short time, he’s developed the potential to be a real triple threat.” Beyond the dance studio, Lee has found plenty of opportunities to pursue his other passions in the arts. As a member of the College’s Concert Choir, he performed with virtuoso Andrea Bocelli and sang in Carnegie Hall. He’s a founding member of QB, an a capella group that has won

rave reviews for performances on campus and beyond. And last year he won a Millie—the College’s version of the Tony Award—for his leading role in the musical Violet. After he graduates in December, Lee hopes to make a splash in New York’s theatre scene. He also plans to put his business degree to good use. “I’ve dreamed of being on Broadway ever since sixth grade,” he says. “But I also want to open my own store to provide a platform for people who are creating innovative clothing designs. I have so many goals in my life.” FA L L 2 0 1 9

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Fred ’71 and Dinah Gretsch have had an enduring impact on generations of musicians.

INSTRUMENTAL BY D E S I R E E C H E N

P H OTO G R A P H Y BY B O B C O S C A R E L L I

The Gretsch Company’s iconic guitars and drums have inspired jazz and country legends, helped launch rock ’n’ roll and electrified crowds at Lollapalooza. Some of the world’s top artists have performed on Gretsch instruments, including Chet Atkins, Bo Diddley, George Harrison, Bono, Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus and Phil Collins. Today, the 136-year-old company is run by the founder’s great-grandson, Fred Gretsch ’71, and his wife, Dinah. The Gretsches sat down with Prospect to talk about the company’s enduring legacy and promising future.

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The Gretsch Company has been an industry fixture through many changes in musical tastes. How do you stay on top of shifting trends? FRED: We’ve always listened to our customers. The pace

of change has only increased over time, but with tools like the internet we can hear from people continually—and they’re not bashful about their opinions. Plus, we’ve always had a great eye for aesthetics, introducing new colors and features that get people’s attention. And high-quality instruments never go out of style. Even at a young age, musicians recognize the importance of having a professional instrument with the sound, tone and feel they want.


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R&B icon Bo Diddley, country star Chet Atkins and the legendary Count Basie helped catapult Gretsch guitars to fame.

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INSTRUMENTAL

What are you doing to help up-and-coming artists? DINAH: I’m always working with young people because that’s where my

heart is. I recently became friends with the Command Sisters, a group that won the John Lennon Songwriting Contest. They were just starting out and really needed a manager, so we helped connect them. Now they’re signed with Universal and going on tour.

FRED: It’s also important to support places like Elmhurst College, where

Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus are part of the newest generation of stars to embrace the Gretsch Company’s artistry.

musicians can learn the business skills they’ll need for a successful career. If you neglect the business side, you could be a struggling, out-of-work musician your whole life. There’s a real business side to success, no matter how talented you are.

You’re always on the go. Tell us a little about your day-to-day lives. FRED: Dinah runs the operations and finance side, and I’m on the product and

history side. We’re also blessed with a large family, including 16 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

DINAH: When we’re not on the road meeting with licensing partners or

attending industry events, we work every day at the business. We drive separate cars and are so busy, we might not even see each other during the day.

Do you have a favorite story about a Gretsch artist? DINAH: In 1987, George Harrison released his Cloud Nine album with a

Gretsch guitar on the cover. I wrote him a thank you note. Three weeks later, an assistant came into our office and said, “George Harrison’s on the phone. The George Harrison!” George wanted to tell me about this new group he was starting, the Traveling Wilburys. He wanted us to come to California, to (Eurythmics’) Dave Stewart’s house, where they were recording. So we went. George and I cooked for everybody, and we all talked a lot and became good friends.

FRED: And over the past year, we’ve had so much fun hosting parties in

Nashville, New York and California to celebrate Dinah’s 40 years in the music industry. The performers included some of the finest musicians in the world— guitarist Steve Wariner, drummer Harvey Mason and many others—all wanting to perform for Dinah. The folks who attended said you could never get these people together in one place otherwise. FA L L 2 0 1 9

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INSTRUMENTAL

Fred, how did your Elmhurst experience shape your path? FRED: My professors really encouraged my growth as an entrepreneur. After

graduating in 1971, I started a wholesale business selling instruments to major retailers like Sears and Montgomery Ward. My time at Elmhurst gave me the confidence I needed to go out on my own.

The Baldwin Piano Co. owned the Gretsch Company for 17 years before you bought it back in 1985. What did you do to make the company your own? FRED: Baldwin had run it like a big business, and we wanted to run it like a

family business again, with old hands and attention to craftsmanship.

DINAH: We moved the drum factory to Ridgeland, S.C., closer to our

craftsmen. All the drums are handmade there, and that’s the kind of thing that is really important for Gretsch to continue. Another thing was that Baldwin hadn’t made guitars for eight years. We launched a line of electric and acoustic guitars in 1989 and never looked back. So it was about taking the brand back to its roots.

FRED: But that doesn’t mean getting stuck in the past—it’s about creating

modern designs and features, while staying true to our heritage.

What do you want your legacy to be? FRED: Dinah and I have worked together for 40 years. We’re at the end of

our long careers and ready to spend more time with our family. Our retirement goal is to mentor the next generation of high-potential leaders to continue the excellence.

DINAH: The people you bring into the business have to be committed to the

brand. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it—just keep improving it.

FRED: We hear all the time from musicians in our worldwide community who

tell us that the quality of what we’re building and delivering is as good as it’s ever been. That’s what it’s all about. Maintaining that quality into the long term, with family involvement—that’s the legacy we look forward to developing in the remaining years we have.

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From the Golden Age of jazz to the height of rock ’n’ roll, Gretsch drums have shaped the history of American music.


Brian Setzer of the Stray Cats says he’s “always been a Gretsch guy,” and he has the guitars to prove it.

WHEN MUSIC STRIKES A CHORD Guitar player Matthew Zoppa ’21 knows the exact moment when music changed his life. He was an eighth grader and had just performed in a school talent show. “Before that night I was an introvert, the kid nobody knew,” he recalls. “But after I played, the way people treated me, it was like they saw my talent as my way of communicating who I am.”

A double major in music business and marketing, Zoppa says the College has opened his eyes to the possibilities of a career in music while deepening his appreciation of music as an art form. “Sometimes in class we take a step away from the technical aspects and look at the real part of music—the part that makes you human—and that’s incredibly valuable to me.” Zoppa is the recipient of two scholarships established by Fred and

Dinah Gretsch, who fund three music scholarships at Elmhurst, support the Gretsch Recording Studio and sponsor the high school invitational at the College’s acclaimed jazz festival. “To have the greatest impact, we believe in continuity and building relationships over time,” Fred Gretsch says. “Funding scholarships and other programs at Elmhurst is part of the same continuity of support we show musicians—to be ever-present, because we believe in their work.” FA L L 2 0 1 9

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Biology students probe the mysteries of memory disorders—and discover what it means to be a scientist.

COMMIT TED TO

MEMORY BY A N D R E W S A N T E L L A I L LU S T R AT I O N S BY G R AC I A L A M

For Amy Hebert, research and teaching aren’t competing priorities—they are inseparable partners. Consider her latest investigation: Hebert, an assistant professor of biology at Elmhurst, is studying how inflammation in the brain may contribute to memory loss—a pressing concern for millions dealing with the cognitive decline that accompanies neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. At the same time, she’s introducing her students to the joys, frustrations and challenges of laboratory investigations. “We want to use the research process to teach students what it means to be a scientist,” said Hebert. “We hope we can learn important things about the mechanisms behind memory loss, but for us, the process is as important as the end result.” Hebert and her students are working on a topic of ever-increasing urgency. The risk of developing a neurodegenerative disease increases with age. As lifespans grow longer, more and more people are likely to experience cognitive decline, and the hunt for treatments grows more pressing.

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COMMIT TED TO

MEMORY

Increasingly, researchers have been focusing on the role of inflammation in such diseases. Short-term inflammation is a normal process that helps protect the body against injury and infection. But chronic inflammation has been linked to autoimmune diseases and heart disease. And a study published earlier this year in the journal Neurology found that people with high levels of chronic inflammation at midlife are more likely to suffer memory loss and learning difficulties in coming years. But the specific role that inflammation may play remains largely a mystery. A CLOS E LOOK AT PROTEINS

One promising avenue of research focuses on cytokines, a category of proteins that are associated with inflammatory responses. Hebert and her studentresearchers are investigating how cytokines diminish the capacity for learning and memory. They have some remarkable allies in their investigation: hundreds of thousands of tiny, transparent roundworms (Caenorhabditis elegans). At about one millimeter long, the worms may seem an unlikely candidate to teach us about the complex workings of the human brain. But scientists have long turned to C. elegans for answers about everything from nicotine dependence to sleep patterns. One of the simplest organisms with a nervous system, it shares many genes with humans, making it useful for investigators seeking clues about neural processes in our own species. Plus, the roundworms are easy to maintain—hundreds fit comfortably in a petri dish. And studying them requires no expensive or highly technical equipment. Indeed, because they are transparent, Hebert’s students can (with help from a microscope) see changes in the proteins that regulate learning and memory. 30

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Alzheimer’s Advocate Susan Frick ’85 has worked for more than two decades at Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center in Chicago, providing training and support for patients dealing with early-onset Alzheimer’s and their families. But when she wanted to tell the stories of those families, she took on a new role: filmmaker.

P H OTO B Y E . J A S O N WA M B S G A N S

Frick produced and co-wrote Too Soon to Forget, a documentary film that focuses on nine families caring for loved ones with early-onset Alzheimer’s, a version of the disease that affects people under 65. The film, which premiered in Elmhurst’s Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel in 2017, has aired more than 400 times on PBS television stations across the country and has won several film festival awards.

“Early-onset Alzheimer’s can be a tremendously lonely experience, both for individuals with Alzheimer’s and their families. People don’t think of this disease as something that affects people so young,” Frick said. “I am amazed at how open these families were about sharing their stories.”

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COMMIT TED TO COMMIT TED TO

MEMORY MEMORY

“Our research is designed to be approachable for undergraduates. They can produce real results, even over a short period like a summer.” A M Y H E B E RT

A PROMIS IN G F IRS T S TEP

This summer was a productive one for Hebert and her students. They established a link between cytokines and memory loss in C. elegans, a first step in identifying the specific mechanisms at work in causing cognitive decline. Having trained the roundworms to associate food with a specific scent, the team was able to track memory and learning in groups of worms that had been treated with cytokines, and compare those results against a control group. Results indicated that the cytokine-treated worms experienced a decline in the receptors that are essential to learning and memory. If researchers can identify the specific paths that cytokines take to alter memory and learning processes, it will point the way to promising areas for new treatments for neurodegenerative diseases. Courtney O’Donnell ’20, a biochemistry major who worked on the study this summer, said the experience gave her valuable insights into the scientific process.

“I learned not just lab skills, but also data analysis, problemsolving and critical thinking,” said O’Donnell, who presented findings from the study at the National Collegiate Honors Council’s Annual Conference in New Orleans this fall. “It’s a solid foundation for a future in the medical field.” Even as they make original discoveries about one of today’s most urgent health care problems, Hebert’s students are learning practical lessons about laboratory research. They collect and analyze data, present results at student-research conferences and learn to overcome mundane but inevitable mishaps. “I want students to feel comfortable in a lab and confident as scientists,” Hebert said. “They’re learning to do research like a scientist, to persevere through setbacks and to have their hard work pay off. Getting the great results we got this summer is a bonus.”

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All In for Alzheimer’s The Elmhurst College community supported the search for a cure for Alzheimer’s disease with a series of fundraising and educational events in October and November. Among other events, Susan Frick ’85 of Rush Alzheimer’s Disease Center gave a presentation on Nov. 5 (see sidebar, page 31). In addition, the College’s chapter of Sigma Kappa sorority, which has long made Alzheimer’s the focus of its philanthropy efforts, hosted its annual Pearl Jam lip-sync battle and dance party on Oct. 17.

“We want to help beat this disease by raising funds and awareness,” said Megan Dufour ’21, an interdisciplinary communication major and the chapter’s president. “As a sorority, we’re especially aware that Alzheimer’s disproportionately affects women. We’re here to fight for those affected.”

Sigma Kappa sorority sisters (from left) Taylor Fuchs, Megan Dufour, Sami Bockstahler, Danielle Drallmeier, Isabel Hilario and Renae Heinze helped raise funds for Alzheimer’s research.

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The College’s new digital media program prepares graduates for creative, in-demand careers. BY DAV E R O O S P H OTO G R A P H Y BY B O B C O S C A R E L L I

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WHERE CONTENT IS KING


Two decades ago, the odds of landing a creative job in media or the entertainment industry straight out of college were close to zero. Graduates of film and media programs took day jobs as waiters or temps to pay the rent while they hustled to find creative projects on the side. A lot has changed in just 20 years. “The days of the starving artist are over,” says Kristyn Jo Benedyk, an experienced filmmaker and the director of Elmhurst College’s new digital media program. “Digital media is a multibillion-dollar industry that continuously needs new storytellers and creative people to fill all the positions that bring this media to life.”

Stop and think about how much digital content you consume every day—the news reports and viral videos in your social media feed, the dozens of original TV shows on your streaming video platform, the eye-catching advertising vying for your attention online and in stores. “For every piece of content, somebody has to write it, shoot it, edit it, do the final sound mix and color correction, and put the animated graphics on it,” says Benedyk. “Every piece of content you see has jobs behind it.” The industry is on the rise, fueled by an insatiable appetite for new content to feed digital platforms. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment in film and FA L L 2 0 1 9

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video editing alone will increase by 11 percent from 2018 to 2028—about twice the average growth rate for all jobs. THREE NEW MAJORS AT ELMHURST Launched in

the fall of 2019, the College’s new digital media program was designed to meet this rising demand. The program introduces three new majors: digital media, multimedia journalism and digital marketing communication. Years in the making, the program was shaped by an interdisciplinary committee of Elmhurst faculty from several departments, including English, communication, computer science, business and music.

“One of the most exciting aspects of the digital media program is how it came to be—it was created in response to the expressed needs of both current and prospective students,” says Elmhurst President Troy D. VanAken. “And now, in its first year, the program already has 36 students in its three majors.”

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The new program builds on the College’s traditional strengths in the arts, communication and digital entertainment. It also capitalizes on the College’s proximity to Chicago. Home to some of the largest film and TV soundstages outside of Los Angeles, the city is a hub for advertising and marketing firms. Internship opportunities abound.

“The model where you have to live in Los Angeles or New York to work in media and entertainment doesn’t exist anymore,” says Benedyk. “We just had a local TV news anchor on campus looking for an intern. You could intern on the set of Chicago PD, work in the media department of an advertising firm, or create digital content for a Chicago nonprofit whose work you’re passionate about.”


A HAN DS- O N A P P R OAC H Students in all three of

the new majors will get hands-on training in the latest professional-grade production software—Adobe Premiere Pro for editing, Adobe After Effects for special effects, Avid Pro Tools for audio, and Autodesk Maya for 3D animation. And digital media courses aren’t just for students majoring in these fields. As video continues to take over daily life, students in all majors will benefit immensely from video production and social media marketing skills.

“Today’s employers expect workers to be able to do so much more,” says Benedyk. “They expect you to know how to shoot and edit a video, put music to it, upload it to social media and manage social media accounts.” Research scientists get better press coverage when they release a short explainer video with their journal articles, for example. Nonprofits reach more donors through

“The last thing I cut on film was the original

inspirational videos that are shared on social media. And teachers know that nothing grabs a student’s attention like a well-produced educational video. For majors and non-majors alike, technical expertise is just the start. The real strengths of the program are its emphasis on storytelling principles and its roots in an interdisciplinary liberal arts curriculum that feeds creative minds. Students take core and elective courses in departments across campus, fostering a cross-pollination of ideas and perspectives that could lead to unexpected collaborations. A graphic designer might partner with a programmer to create a gaming app. A screenwriter could team up with a budding director to make a short film. “This interdisciplinary approach is the way that a lot of universities are starting to structure their academic programs,” says Benedyk. “And Elmhurst is leading the way.”

Shaw says that success in any creative

“For me, it always comes back to that

Twin Peaks 25 years ago,” says Jonathan

industry is about more than being able

foundation, those moments at

P. Shaw ’74, a veteran TV and film editor

to operate the equipment. It’s about

Elmhurst College,” says Shaw. “That’s

who’s worked with legends like David

having a fresh and interesting point of

where I draw from the well of experience

Lynch and Steven Bochco. “The next

view. Shaw credits his own artistic vision

and creativity.”

project, it all went digital. There’s an open

and values to his Elmhurst mentors, all

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Read more about

door for creative people working in digital

working artists in Chicago.

Jonathan Shaw at elmhurst.edu/Shaw.

media. It’s just going to grow and grow.” FA L L 2 0 1 9

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“I love to hear from alumni about their experiences here at Elmhurst. It’s fun to get a glimpse into the past.”

Hey!

Emilie Kottmeier ’20

Hi!

“I look forward to making new connections with alumni from all backgrounds and becoming more involved.” Morgan Ogunleye ’23

“I enjoy the opportunity to connect with alumni and spread enthusiasm for an ever-growing community.”

Hello!

Leo Swanson ’19

It’s Phonathon season! Our students are hard at work, calling alumni across North America to share the latest news from campus. So if you get a call from Elmhurst College, pick up the phone! Our student callers can’t wait to chat with you.

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ALUMNI NEWS HONORING OUR OWN Each year, Elmhurst recognizes the outstanding contributions of alumni and friends of the College with the Founders Medal and the Alumni Merit Award. This year’s awards were presented during the Founders Recognition Dinner on Oct. 25. F OUN DERS M EDAL One of the College’s most prestigious honors, the Founders Medal celebrates individuals who have distinguished themselves through philanthropic or personal service to the College.

Ralph Pechanio

Did You Know?

Business and civic leader Ralph Pechanio was recognized for his longtime support of the College’s intern partnership with the Elmhurst Chamber of Chamber of Commerce & Industry. Rudolf “Rudy” G. Schade Jr., who passed away in March, was a 23-year member of the Board of Trustees with deep family connections to the College.

Rudolf Schade’s children, Ingrid Kwak and Paul W. Schade

ALUMN I M ERIT AWARD S The Alumni Merit Awards celebrate Elmhurst graduates who have made exemplary contributions to the community and to their alma mater. Phillip Lee ’14, who works with young adults as a therapist and counselor in private practice and through organizations such as Mercy Home for Boys & Girls, received the Young Alumni Award.

Phillip Lee and Richard Dabrowski

Lori Tompos

The Distinguished Service to Alma Mater award honored Richard Dabrowski ’85, a partner in the consulting and investment firm Mercer and a mentor for Elmhurst business students. Lori Tompos MBA ’15 received the Distinguished Service to Society Award in recognition of her military service. A Desert Storm and Gulf War veteran, she was among the first American women to serve in combat.

Dr. Audrey Wagner ’50 was among the first players in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, inspiration for the beloved film A League of Their Own. The Bensenville native was 15 when she joined the league in 1943 as a Kenosha Comets outfielder, and she continued to play while attending Elmhurst. Her earnings helped pay for college and then later for medical school. “Doc Wagner” practiced medicine in California until her death in 1984.

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ALUMNI NEWS

HOMECOMING

ALL STARS

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WRITTEN IN THE STARS

The Bluejay community came together in October to celebrate Elmhurst with class reunions, a block party, football, a Homecoming parade and more. Thanks to all who joined us, and see you next year!

See the highlights at elmhurst.edu/homecoming.

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ADVANCE Prepare to succeed with a graduate degree from Elmhurst College.

F R E E COURSE

Ready to advance your career? Our graduate programs are practical, flexible and tailored to meet your needs. Choose from 20-plus options in health care, business, education and technology— and learn to lead in a collaborative world. Join us for our Graduate Programs Open House. Tuesday, January 7, 2020 5:30–7:30 p.m. RSVP at elmhurst.edu/ChooseElmhurst.

Alumni of Elmhurst undergraduate programs can take their first graduate course for free. Learn more at elmhurst.edu/FreeCourse.

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CLASS NOTES 1950s & 1960s

1910 The Elmhurst faculty deemed

American football too dangerous, so the College fielded two soccer teams instead.

Andrew McKillop ’59 received the Honorary Lifetime Membership Award from the Florida Health Care Association (FHCA) in recognition of his 59 years in health services and his outstanding dedication to the profession. The recipient of many FHCA awards, McKillop also served as co-chair of the health subcommittee of the White House Conference on Aging.

the opportunity to test their skills while providing therapy.

1969 The College’s first Black Arts

Festival, sponsored by the Concerned Black Students, featured a jazz quintet, a string ensemble, discussions and a fashion show.

Bert Leveille ’71 presented a solo art exhibit this spring at The Art Center Highland Park (TAC). The exhibit, Streaming Reflections, included large, abstract pieces of life-size beings colored with changing LED lighting to give viewers an immersive experience.

Darrell Raber ’59 was one of five recipients of the 2019 Living Award, sponsored by the Methodist Healthcare Foundation in Memphis, Tenn. He served as a pharmacist at Methodist Central (now Methodist University Hospital) for his entire 49-year career. Carolyn (Willey) Thomsen ’64 placed third in the Ms. Arkansas Senior America pageant in June 2019.

1967 The Speech Clinic gave students

Press, June 2017), a book of 10 short stories. The book is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble’s website.

Alexander Rassogianis ’69 is the author of Short Stories of Life, Love, and Remembrance (Outskirts Press, April 2019), which features characters grappling with the beauty and tragedy of everyday life. Rassogianis is currently working on Clouds Over the Aegean, a novel about international intrigue and conspiracy centered on the Greek island of Naxos.

1970s & 1980s Richard Shaw ’70 is the author of A Tapestry: Of Life’s Journeys (Outskirts

Karen (Maisch) Gray ’77 published her first book, Gentle Journeys, on Amazon (January 2019). She is currently working on a second book. Janet Bryant ’80 received the 2020 Award for Volunteer Service from the American Chemical Society (ACS). An ACS member for more than 20 years, Bryant recently retired after 38 years with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). Bryant will deliver the keynote address at the ChemLuminary Awards ceremony during the fall 2020 ACS National Meeting & Exposition in San Francisco. Beth Reissenweber ’81 was named vice president of finance and administration at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas. She previously served as vice president for finance and FA L L 2 0 1 9

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CLASS NOTES

superintendent of finance/CSBO at Arbor Park SD 145 in Oak Forest, Ill., for the past six years. Raymond Lawson ’97 published a book, As Luscious as Giraffes at Midnight (August 2019). The book is available on Amazon.

ON THE FLIP SIDE

Tony Tranchita ’00 recently joined AVI Systems as a unified communications specialist. He and his wife are expecting a baby in January 2020.

Beloved radio personality Terri Hemmert ’70 has stepped back from her post as a midday host on WXRT-FM in Chicago. She remains busy with her Sunday morning show, Breakfast with the Beatles, and still occasionally fills in on-air. Hemmert received an Alumni Merit Award from the College in 1984 and an honorary doctoral degree in 2017, and she was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2010. “After 45 years at WXRT, I’m going to figure out how to turn the record over and see what plays on the other side,” she wrote to her colleagues in June.

CAR TALK

As a student at Elmhurst, Keith Reed ’74 commuted to campus in his late father’s 1970 Dodge Monaco. Today, the car has all its original parts and just 59,000 miles on the odometer—and several vintage Elmhurst College parking stickers. “The Dodge and I have always had a special bond,” Reed says. Read more at elmhurst.edu/Dodge.

administration at Augsburg University in Minneapolis and as vice president for finance and treasurer at Aurora University in Aurora, Ill. Sean McGinnis ’88 has accepted a new role as president of the online retailer Kellyco Metal Detectors and MetalDetectors.com. His family is relocating from Salt Lake City to Knoxville, Tenn.

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1990s & 2000s Brian O’Keeffe ’92 earned his doctorate in educational leadership from Western Illinois University in May. His dissertation was titled The Perceptions of a Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support Program in a Midwestern Middle School. O’Keeffe has served as assistant

Aaron Schirmer ’01 published an article about the behavioral and ecological effects of artificial nighttime light on wildlife. The article was featured on WGN-AM, WBEZ-FM and WTTW. Schirmer is an associate professor in the Department of Biology at Northeastern Illinois University. Christina (Rizzo) Alonzo ’02 and her husband, Scott, welcomed a baby boy, Gabriel Scott, on May 31, 2019. Gabriel is the little brother of Dominic and Scarlett. Brandi (Blume) Warnock ’04, M.A. ’06, graduated from nursing school in May 2019 and is working as a registered nurse on the general medicine care unit at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital. Lewis Webb ’03 and Ericka Polanco Webb ’08 celebrated five years of marriage in July. They met on campus in 2005, when Lewis was helping his fraternity brothers with Homecoming festivities and Ericka stopped by with a friend. They got married in Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel in 2014 and have an amazing blended family of five kids. Ericka blogs about parenting and writes for Chicago Parent magazine.


Heather (Finn) Teliga ’05 and Justin Teliga ’04 welcomed their second son, Declan Daniel, on May 21, 2019. Declan joins his big brother, Liam Richard, who recently turned 3. Alexander Pappas ’06 was named a 2019 Illinois Rising Star by Super Lawyers. Pappas is an attorney with Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, where his practice focuses on real estate transactions, commercial leasing, assetbacked financing, joint ventures and land development. Pappas received his Juris Doctor from Chicago-Kent College of Law and serves as a mentor and presenting sponsor for Chicago-Kent’s Solo & Small Practice Incubator. Erin (Bufton) Fecske ’07 graduated with honors from Duke University with a doctorate in nursing practice. Brian Chenowith ’08 married his husband, Dan, on Oct. 27, 2018, at the Unitarian Church of Hinsdale, Ill. Heather Forster Jensen ’08 organized a musical instrument listening zoo for the Indian Prairie Public Library, where she works in youth services. Featuring six current Elmhurst College music education students and other musicians, the event gave children and their families a close-up introduction to a variety of musical instruments. Susan Martin ’08 and her partner, Wendy, welcomed a son, Emery Joe Martin Montgomery, on April 30, 2019. Emery joins 4-year-old sister, Raegan, who is over the moon to have a baby brother. Jonathan Porter ’10, MBA ’17 welcomed his first child, Daniella Rae Porter, with

FROM CIRCUS TO SYMPHONY Greg Luscombe ’80 joined the musicians’ union at the age of 17 and spent his college weekends playing trombone for traveling shows like the Ice Capades and the Ringling Bros. Circus. He had doubts about the practicality of a career in music, so he majored in business administration and worked in insurance after graduation. After a few years, though, he quit to take a chance on music. Now, Luscombe is celebrating 30 years as principal trombonist of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. “Originally I chose a route that would lead to a job,” he says. “But you’ve got to follow your dreams.” Kayla Siota ’16 participated in Miami University’s Earth Expeditions global field course in the Amazon, studying avian and tropical ecology.

his wife, Meg, on Aug. 7, 2019. Baby and mom are healthy and doing well. Jennifer Rodriguez ’10 wrote and illustrated an e-book on Amazon, How Mama Says Goodbye: A Story About Love and Readiness for Loss (April 2019). It ranked No. 1 in new releases in its genre.

Grace Bellino ’17 graduated with a master of science in library and information sciences from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Taylor Okey ’13 is in the national touring cast of Bandstand, the Tony-winning Broadway musical. The tour launched in October and will travel to more than 75 cities nationwide. Director of education at Trinity Music Center in Villa Park, Okey works throughout the Chicago area as an actor, director and choreographer.

Emilio Davalos ’18 and Nina Burns ’18 got married in Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel and had their reception in the Frick Center Café. Davalos is clerking in a law office and heading to law school to do immigration law.

COMPASSION IS KEY As a teenager, Christine Thomas ’18 was hospitalized with complications from a ruptured appendix. She credits her recovery to the compassionate care she received at the hospital, and she drew on that experience to write a paper about the impact of patient-centered care on health disparities. In May, Thomas’ work was published in Intersect: The Stanford Journal of Science, Technology, and Society. “The level of patient care that someone receives—and the amount of compassion that’s put into that care—can really help a person heal,” says Thomas, who’s pursuing a graduate degree and working as a patient care tech. FA L L 2 0 1 9

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CLASS NOTES

Margaret Glass ’36 June 26, 2019, Indianapolis Rev. Dr. Raymond W. Bizer ’42 May 15, 2019, New Braunfels, Texas Rev. Eugene Bickel ’44 Oct. 3, 2018, Evansville, Ind.

IN MEMORIAM A LOYAL FRIEND

Helen E. Holt ’45 Oct. 2018, Stockton, Calif. Virginia M. Lithgow ’45 July 11, 2018, Petersburg, Va. Dorothy M. Schemmer ’46 June 6, 2019, Albuquerque, N.M. Rev. Dr. Harley A. Krieger ’48 June 5, 2019, O’Fallon, Mo. Mary L. Corn ’49 Aug. 13, 2019, Downers Grove, Ill. Hugo A. Lorenz ’49 May 26, 2019, Chicago Robert G. Nugent ’49 Dec. 30, 2018, New Hope, Minn.

Edwin E. Sprandel ’50, a U.S. Navy veteran who served in World War II and the Korean War, died on Oct. 15, 2018, at the age of 92. Sprandel was an active member of the Elmhurst College community who devoted himself to philanthropy and volunteer work. In 2006, he established an endowed scholarship fund in honor of his late wife, Susan Sprandel ’50. In recognition of Sprandel’s longtime support of his alma mater, the College awarded Sprandel the Alumni Merit Award in 2008 and the Founders Medal in 2015.

Aileen M. Dohm ’50 July 6, 2019, Springfield, Mo. Margit V. Erickson ’50 June 23, 2019, Walworth, Wis. Rev. Donald C. Vogel ’50 Jan. 21, 2019, Mount Morris, N.Y. Richard G. Pearce ’52 July 26, 2019, Indianapolis Richard C. Bowman ’53 Oct. 24, 2018, Schaumburg, Ill. LuEllen Schmitt ’53 Feb. 28, 2019, Marshalltown, Iowa

FAMILY LEGACY

Rev. Robert S. Elkin ’54 July 19, 2019, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Lee W. Truax ’55 Sept. 17, 2018, Farmington, N.M.

Alice Stratemeyer ’53, daughter of longtime Elmhurst College dean Theophil Mueller, passed away on Aug. 22, 2019, at age 88. Stratemeyer was also the great-granddaughter of the College’s third president, Johann Peter Goebel. A teacher and school librarian for most of her career, she was deeply involved in her church and her community, volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Will County Community Health Center, where she read to children. Her father served as dean of students from 1925 to 1947.

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Diane (Davis) Williams ’55 Jan. 4, 2019, Tampa, Fla. Lorene V. Ellerbrake ’57 June 12, 2019, Lincoln, Neb. Arnold F. Sufalko ’57 April 28, 2019, Elgin, Ill. Russell H. Fox ’58 March 18, 2019, Las Cruces, N.M. Bernice E. Schendel ’58 July 30, 2019, Northfield, Minn. Robert G. Carter Sr. ’59 June 20, 2019, Elmhurst, Ill.


Alfred W. Diedrich ’59 Feb. 8, 2019, Marshall, Okla.

John E. Hilbert ’72 June 20, 2019, Glen Ellyn, Ill.

James F. Gervais ’79 June 8, 2019, Olathe, Kan.

William L. Lenhart ’59 Oct. 21, 2018, Hot Springs Village, Ark.

Alix Metcalfe ’72 July 10, 2018, Homewood, Ill.

Gregory C. Addy ’81 March 5, 2019, Elgin, Ill.

Peter A. Stewart ’59 April 28, 2019, Newark, Ohio

Leland Sizemore ’73 July 17, 2019, Elmhurst, Ill.

John E. “Jack” Ryder ’82 Aug. 1, 2019, La Grange Park, Ill.

Paula (Boesch) Swortfiguer ’59 June 7, 2019, St. Louis

John A. Urbelis ’73 July 30, 2019, Geneva, Ill.

Ralph D. Stiles ’82 March 2, 2019, Sioux Falls, S.D.

Mary Elsa (Pflug) Abele ’60 July 1, 2019, Concord, N.H.

Barbara A. Bermea ’75 July 28, 2019, Villa Park, Ill.

Colette M. Rigden ’85 May 6, 2019, Wheaton, Ill.

Dianne (Blagburn) Rogots ’60 Sept. 4, 2019, Las Vegas

William T. Boyd ’76 May 19, 2019, Winter Haven, Fla.

Harold J. Saving III ’85 March 20, 2019, New Lenox, Ill.

Barbara (Latsch) Searight ’60 Sept. 4, 2019, Anthony, Fla.

Alan C. Havlicek ’76 July 5, 2019, Lisle, Ill.

Jeffrey C. Cole ’96 May 1, 2019, Elmhurst, Ill.

Nancy Zochert ’60 Dec. 16, 2018, Winfield, Ill.

Susan M. Howard ’76 Jan. 4, 2019, Elmhurst, Ill.

Hemanshu Singh ’98 Jan. 19, 2019, Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.

Helen (Hubbard) Hasselbacher ’61 Aug. 2, 2019, Longmont, Colo.

Eva A. Natonek ’78 July 26, 2018, Crest Hill, Ill.

Eileen (Hill) Manusos ’99 May 10, 2019, Birnamwood, Wis.

Barbara (Allen) Kamradt ’61 Sept. 10, 2019, Hanover Park, Ill. Conrad Marvin Lang ’61 March 23, 2019, Stevens Point, Wis. Judith A. Riedel ’61 April 7, 2019, Muskegon, Mich. Barbara Shingu ’61 Jan. 10, 2019, South Gate, Calif. Robert I. Nuernberger ’62 May 23, 2019, Edwardsville, Ill. Howard Christensen ’64 Sept. 2, 2019, Elk Grove Village, Ill.

A TREE TO REMEMBER On Oct. 11, the College dedicated a tree near Memorial Hall in memory of beloved nursing professor C. Dawn Zibricky, who passed away in June. The winner of numerous teaching awards, Zibricky also taught in the Elmhurst Learning and Success Academy (ELSA) and conducted research about the impact of social justice on health.

Thomas B. Kuepers ’64 July 15, 2019, Estes Park, Colo. Rhetis Rosenberg ’64 July 9, 2019, Ceylon, Minn. Annette N. Baynard ’66 June 17, 2019, Munster, Ind. Rev. Dr. Joseph William Fraccaro ’66 Sept. 13, 2018, Evansville, Ind. Irene Marianek ’67 Nov. 13, 2018, Muskego, Wis. Jean Marie (Jackson) Hanz ’68 Aug. 26, 2019, Kingsport, Tenn. Judy M. Betz ’70 Feb. 6, 2019, Millstadt, Ill. James J. Hartigan ’70 Oct. 27, 2018, Danville, Calif. Kathleen Woolsey-Borden ’71 Sept. 20, 2018, Pekin, Ill.

STAR ATHLETE On Oct. 19, the College rededicated its weight room in memory of Thomas Roberts ’84, who died in June 2018. A four-year letter winner in both football and track and field at Elmhurst, Roberts is remembered by teammates as “a quiet leader, intense competitor and loyal teammate.” The newly christened Thomas Roberts Family Weight Room in R.A. Faganel Hall features upgraded machines and equipment, as well as a plaque in Roberts’ honor. FA L L 2 0 1 9

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MY CAREER

PATH

CHARACTER. ACTOR.

Fresh from roles on the Emmywinning HBO shows Veep and Succession, David Rasche ’66 recalls his Elmhurst roots.

David Rasche with castmates from Chicago’s Second City comedy troupe (left) and as a cast member in the 2019 short film Father Figurine.

My grandfather attended Elmhurst, class of 1902. Then my mom was one of the first women at Elmhurst in 1932. That’s where she met my dad, who was also there. You could say Elmhurst College is in our blood. I was one of the first Elmhurst students to spend a year abroad. When I got back, I spent a lot of time in my room listening to the radio. One day I heard these sketches—a comedy show called Nichols and May, starring Mike Nichols and Elaine May. I thought it was the most miraculous thing I had ever experienced. So funny, so smart. It just changed everything. 48

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After Elmhurst, I got a master’s degree in English, taught for a year, then went to divinity school (all the men in my family are ministers). But after two years the dean called me into his office and suggested I might be happier elsewhere.

When John Belushi left Second City, I got his parts. I did not fill them well. Belushi was remarkable. David Mamet used to work there, too. “I write plays,” he’d say. “I bet you do,” we’d say. I was in his first production at the Organic Theater in Chicago.

I didn’t have the first idea what to do. Then I met a woman whose husband worked at Second City, the improv comedy club in Chicago. I walked in the door, saw the little tables with bent wooden chairs and the stage. Everything smelled of stale beer and cigarettes, and I said, “This is it.”

The people who went to Elmhurst went on to become teachers and ministers and ran nursing homes— things that actually improved people’s lives. I am honored to be part of that group. ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Read the full

profile at elmhurst.edu/Rasche.


INVEST Your support for the Elmhurst College Annual Fund helps ensure that every qualified student has access to a life-changing education. Together, we’re building a brighter future for our students—and for our world. Every gift makes a difference, and every gift is deeply appreciated. Thank you for helping us shape the leaders of tomorrow.

M A K E Y O U R G I F T elmhurst.edu/give

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Elmhurst College 190 Prospect Avenue Elmhurst, Illinois 60126-3296

WE’RE BECOMING A

UNIVERSITY! SEE PAGE 8

The College community came together to honor Alzheimer’s Awareness Month with a series of fundraising and educational events. SEE PAGE 33

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Profile for Elmhurst College

Prospect Magazine, Fall 2019  

The Fall 2019 issue highlights Fred '71 and Dinah Gretsch's iconic music company, faculty and student research on memory disorders, and the...

Prospect Magazine, Fall 2019  

The Fall 2019 issue highlights Fred '71 and Dinah Gretsch's iconic music company, faculty and student research on memory disorders, and the...