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THE MAGAZINE OF ELMHURST UNIVERSITY

FALL ����

MOST ESSENTIAL Exploring public health at a time of urgent global need


Fall 2020 The Magazine of Elmhurst University

Maple and ginkgo leaves herald the arrival of fall on our arboretum campus. A living museum of trees and plants, the 48-acre arboretum contains about 850 trees and welcomes visitors throughout the year. Visit us online to plan your tour, or just stop by to see our foliage in its full glory. elmhurst.edu/Arboretum

volume iii, number

1i


F E AT U R E S

22

28

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New public health programs give students the tools to promote wellness and prevent disease at the community level.

Alumni of Elmhurst’s supply chain program keep businesses running smoothly in challenging times.

The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic turned a semester in England into a crash course in global health.

Most Essential

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

Supply & Demand

4 12

40 HOMECOMING

I N T H E CLASS ROOM

Parks and Recommendations B E YON D T H E CLASS ROOM

Laura Rusk, Future Changemaker Rafael Blanco Makes a Statement

4 3 C L ASS N OT E S

Joud Abdel Majeid’s Firm Foundation

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

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

Liverpool, Interrupted

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

Raven Rhone Calls the Shots A RTS S P OT L I G H T

Ray Ryan, Drawn to Perfection


I N T RO D U C I N G T H E S E S Q U I C E N T E N N I A L L O G O

Excitement is building toward the 150th anniversary of Elmhurst’s founding. As we prepare to celebrate throughout 2021, our new sesquicentennial logo captures the energy of this momentous occasion and provides a visual focal point for anniversary events and communications.

The Magazine of Elmhurst University

Fall 2020 volume

111, number 11

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS

Jonathan Shearer

Elmhurst �5o

SENIOR DIRECTOR, COMMUNICATIONS AND EXTERNAL RELATIONS

Desiree Chen CREATIVE DIRECTION & DESIGN

Laura Ress Design EDITOR

Margaret Currie PROJECT MANAGER

Natalie Bieri CONTRIBUTORS

G.J. Acuna, Megan Kirby, Brian Moore, Andrew Santella, LeeAnn Shelton, Brian Wallheimer, Claire Zulkey PHOTOGRAPHY

Both/And Pictures, Jim Drews, Rob Hart, Mark Hensel, Isaac Hoops, Steve Kuzminski, Kayla Mast, Sarah Nader, Yuma Nakada, Justin Runquist, Tamara Scronce, TrueLee Photography, Steve Woltmann PHOTO COORDINATOR

Lauren Altiery ILLUSTRATION

Adam Hayes, Gracia Lam, Mark Allen Miller, Lucie Rice, Ray Ryan ALUMNI NEWS & CLASS NOTES

Kelsey Hogan, Lisa Przybylski 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 University 190 Prospect Ave. Elmhurst, Illinois 60126 © 2020 Elmhurst University All rights reserved.


PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

COMING TOGETHER, MOVING FORWARD

I’m proud of the resilience and ingenuity our community has shown in these challenging times. We’ve embarked on our first year as a university in commanding fashion. Fueled by our collaborative spirit, our faculty and students are adapting to new ways of teaching and learning. We’ve updated some longstanding traditions—such as moving our popular lecture series online—while starting new ones, like turning the Alexander parking lot into a drive-in movie theater for Homecoming. This fall, we welcomed nearly 800 first-year and transfer students and a record-setting 287 new graduate students. Our rankings in U.S. News and other publications continue to affirm the quality of our teaching, our educational value and our innovative approach. In this issue of Prospect, you’ll read about how our community is continuing to make an impact. Our Actions Speak Louder Than Words Challenge, for example, calls on each of us to play an active role in building a more diverse, equitable and inclusive campus. And our new programs in public health are preparing the next generation to meet urgent health care needs. Thankful and inspired, we look forward to our sesquicentennial celebration next year, and invite you to join us in embracing Elmhurst University’s bright future.

TROY D. VANAKEN

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IN THE

CLASSROOM

THE CLASS

Advertising and Integrated Marketing Campaigns

PARKS AND RECOMMENDATIONS Marketing students get hands-on experience pitching creative campaigns to real-world clients.

THE PROFESSOR

FLEXING CREATIVE MUSCLES

Sondra “Soni” Simpson

Students unleash their creativity in this class by researching and developing a full advertising campaign for a client. This past spring, the client was the Westchester Park District in suburban Chicago. Others have included Microsoft Xbox, Elmhurst’s Brewpoint Coffee and the Runner’s Soul.

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR,

BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

LEARNING FROM THE MASTERS

We begin by studying great brands and campaigns. Then the class breaks into “agency teams” of about six students each. They meet with the client, do market research, interview consumers and assemble the data that will ignite their creative ideas. When you are asking a client to invest in your concepts, you had better be able to back them up empirically. COMPETITIVE FIRE

The client ultimately selects one of the agency group proposals, so the students become very competitive and very dedicated. When they were preparing to present to the Runner’s Soul a few years ago, a bunch of them went out to turkey trots early on Thanksgiving morning to interview runners. PROFESSIONAL PREP

Working in teams is so important, both in this class and in the professional

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world. They learn about teamwork, research practices, time management and how to present ideas. They learn what it means to be accountable, to pull your weight. PARTNERS

We don’t have to look far to find partners. They often come to us. In the case of the Westchester Park District, the board chair, Joe Christopher �Elmhurst Class of 1988�, heard about previous work our students did and approached us. LEARNING IN LOCKDOWN

When the lockdown hit in March, the client called and said, “So I guess the project is off?” I said, “Are you kidding? The students need this more than ever!” It gave them a constructive way to address the crisis. We did this amazing pivot to remote work, and the teams adjusted their recommendations to reflect the new social realities. WINNERS

The park district was so pleased with the winning proposal that it hired two of the members of that team, Matthew Zoppa and Domenica Di Vietro, as paid interns. They plan to implement parts of the other three proposals as well. I call that a win-win all the way around.


STUDENT VIEWS

“I learned so much about making an effective presentation, and I know that will be really useful. Professor Simpson challenged us every step of the way. When we got to the final presentation, we wanted to impress her as much as we wanted to impress the client.” — MATTHEW ZOPPA ’21

“The project was all about teamwork. We all had roles on the team, and we really meshed. One person’s idea would spark another person’s. To work on a project like this for a client while still in college was an amazing opportunity.”

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

— DOMENICA DI VIETRO ’21

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CAMPUS

NEWS

SPEAKER

Q&A CAMPUS TREES ���

Olympian Laurie Hernandez spoke virtually on Oct. 1 about going for gold, then going beyond.

Shortly before giving the Roland Quest Lecture, the champion gymnast talked with Prospect about the importance of representation and why next year’s Olympics could be well worth the wait. After you won gold at the 2016 Olympics, why did you take a break from gymnastics? At the Olympics

people saw me at my peak, but there was 11 years of work behind that. I wanted to separate from it for a while, to have as many new experiences as possible, to travel and meet new people. I got all of that and more, and it really shaped me into who I am today.

Hispanic families with little girls who saw themselves in me and got inspired to try new things. I’d be ecstatic if the book, which is loosely based on my story, could have that same impact. Earlier this year, your former coach was suspended for emotionally abusing you and other gymnasts. How did that lead to your work raising awareness about mental health? That’s about repre-

The shumard oak on the north side of Memorial Hall was the first tree planted in Elmhurst’s newly formed arboretum in 1966. Brought to campus in the back of groundskeeper Ragnar Moen’s station wagon, the tree is particularly beautiful in the fall, when its leaves turn red and bronze.

sentation too. I started talking about what had happened to me, and so many athletes came forward—they hadn’t realized that what they had been going through was wrong. It was healing, and I saw that it was so important to talk openly about mental illness. Athletes like me have an incredible platform to share our experiences and offer resources and help.

During that break you won Dancing with the Stars and wrote two best

Now you’re training for the 2021

sellers. What did you learn from those

Olympics, which were delayed by a

experiences? In gymnastics every

year. How’s it going? The extra time

movement is mine, but during Dancing with the Stars, I had to let my partner lead. It was tough, but I learned a lot about patience and trust. The books, especially my children’s book, She’s Got This, were about representation. After the Olympics, I met

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has benefited me, and my training’s going well. But it’s done that for every athlete, so next year’s going to be really competitive. We could see a lot of records broken, a lot of new skills, a lot of crazy, beautiful stuff. It’s going to be so much fun to watch!


HASHTAG

HIGHLIGHTS

BY THE

Even in the midst of a pandemic, the Bluejay community remains strong, vital and connected. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep in touch with your Elmhurst family.

NUMBERS Preparing for Fall Term presented some unusual challenges this year, but we tackled them all. Here are some of the ways we’ve kept our community safe and engaged since the start of COVID -19.

elmhurst.university That’s a wrap on Orientation Day 1! Class of 2024 and Transfer students, we can already tell you are going to make such a great impact here on campus! We hope you all had a great day because we know we did.

SQUARE FEET OF PLEXIGLASS INSTALLED elmhurstu_saac Our athletes know how to risk it for the biscuit #GoodEat

1,660 HOURS OF ONLINE TEACHING TRAINING FOR FACULT Y

5,000+ GALLONS OF HAND SANITIZER

402 Sarah Dvorak is with Connor Swier at Elmhurst University. My best friend. My soulmate. My FIANCÉ!!!!! @ Elmhurst University

elmhurst.alumni Hey Bluejays, did you get your Prospect magazine in the mail? We hope you're enjoying it as much as this future Bluejay is! Thanks to Christa Williams '18 for sending us this adorable snapshot of her daughter, Cali, reading through the latest issue.

(VIRTUAL) LESSONS LEARNED The move to online and hybrid learning has highlighted what’s essential in the classroom—and what’s not. What have we learned from the virtual experience? And how can we leverage those lessons to enhance our teaching in the future? Elmhurst education professor Debra Meyer unpacks it all on our blog.

DISPOSABLE MASKS DISTRIBUTED

6,000 GALLONS OF ANTI-MICROBIAL DISINFECTANT

350 VIRTUAL EVENTS DURING WEEKS OF WELCOME

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CAMPUS

NEWS

A LASTING LEGACY

This fall, Elmhurst University received one of the largest donations in the institution’s history. The $1.8 million gift from the estate of longtime donor George Howard Baechtold ’50 will support a number of causes and needs at Elmhurst, including a new scholarship for students from underrepresented groups.

“George had the foresight to leave the designation of his gift unrestricted, and to be used for the institution’s most pressing needs,” said Valerie Day, vice president for institutional advancement at Elmhurst. “A portion of his gift will go to support the newly established President’s Scholarship for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, which aligns with his passion and lifelong work.” (See page 9 to learn more about the new scholarship.) Baechtold, who passed away in December 2019, taught business law at California State University, Northridge. His giving to Elmhurst spanned more than 43 years and encompassed everything from the chemistry department to the campus arboretum. “Elmhurst was a really profound experience in George’s life,” said Melanie Stallings Williams, Baechtold’s longtime friend and colleague. “It was a place for him to make that transition from childhood to who he really was.” FACILITIES MASTER PL AN U PDATE

FULL-COURT PRESS The University’s gym sports a new look, thanks to extensive renovations completed over the summer. Updates to R . A . Faganel Hall include the installation of a two-lane track, new playing surfaces throughout the facility and all-new spectator seating.

Faganel Hall is where the Bluejays compete in basketball, volleyball and wrestling. The renovations are part of the University’s Campus Facilities Master Plan, a collaborative effort to empower student success through reinvented campus spaces.

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RISING TO THE

CHALLENGE In a time of racial reckoning across the country, the Elmhurst University community has been called to action. The mission? Building a more diverse, equitable and inclusive campus.

ANSWERING THE CALL

As part of the Actions Speak Louder Than Words Challenge, Elmhurst has established a new scholarship initiative. The endowed President’s Scholarship for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will offer support for students from populations that have historically suffered from bigotry, racism and

President Troy D. VanAken announced the Actions Speak Louder Than Words Challenge in September. “Drawing on our core values of community and social responsibility, this initiative provides ways for us to come together, as individuals and as an institution, to act on our social responsibilities and empower others to do the same,” President VanAken said. The Fall Term challenge invited community members to participate in three crucial steps:

discrimination.

“We have always believed that one of the strengths of an Elmhurst education is to provide a rich, diverse environment where people of different experiences and identities can learn together and feel that they belong,” President Troy D. VanAken said. “Never has it been more important to show how much we prize their contributions and want to nurture their success.

1 . L E A R N A N D R E F L E C T The University launched

a series of events, activities and resources to engage the Elmhurst community in discussion around today’s most urgent topics.

We have more work to do, but this scholarship takes us another small but significant step forward.” President VanAken and Dr. Annette VanAken launched the scholarship initiative with a kickoff donation, followed

2. S U PP ORT T H E DEI S C HOL A R S H I P With a fundraising goal of $200,000, the President’s Scholarship for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion supports students from historically underrepresented groups.

by gifts from Edward J. Momkus ’74, chair of the Board of Trustees, and members of the President’s Cabinet and the Alumni Association Board of Directors. The initiative’s fundraising goal is $200,000, which includes a matching challenge of up to $100,000 that doubles donor gifts.

3 . M A K E A N AC T ION PL A N Community members were

invited to consider how they can advance diversity, equity and inclusion in their own lives and in the world beyond, using their platforms and spheres of influence.

To make a gift, visit elmhurst.edu/Give.

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CAMPUS

NEWS

STEM IMMERSION Kynnedi Smith has an interest in science and wanted to practice her math skills in preparation for the SAT. So when the high school senior from Fort Worth, Texas, heard about Elmhurst University’s summer STEM Academy, she signed up right away.

Designed for high school students interested in science, technology, engineering and math, the two-week summer program gives students the opportunity to learn more about STEM topics, earn college credit and get a taste of college life. This year, the program was offered online and focused on the spread of infectious disease.

“At the STEM Academy I took a survey of kids my age to find out how the quarantine affected the mental health of young adults. I learned a lot, and now I’m thinking about majoring in psychology in college.” —KYNNEDI SMITH

The program attracted students from Florida, Missouri, Texas and throughout the Chicago area for two weeks of courses in math, biology, chemistry and computer science. The students also conducted research on relevant topics—such as the impact of quarantining on young adults, the math behind rates of COVID-19 transmission and the biological mechanisms behind virus replication—and gave a virtual presentation at the end of the program in August. “It was amazing to see what these students accomplished in two weeks,” said Theresa Robinson, associate professor of education and director of secondary and middle grades education. “The experience was simply transformative—not only for them but also for their families and the instructors.”

SEALING THE DEAL In honor of the University’s new name, two new seals were installed on campus this fall: a 22-inch bronze seal that hangs above the fireplace in the Founders Lounge, and a 20-inch wooden version in the president’s office. Art professor Dustan Creech created both pieces with the help of his sculpture students.

A TOAST TO EU On July 1, Elmhurst University capped its historic first day with a celebration attended by nearly 250 employees. “Due in large part to your efforts, we’re starting this new era in our nearly 150-year history with confidence and optimism,” President Troy D. VanAken told attendees, who joined by videoconference or gathered while physically distanced in the Founders Lounge. “This is how we will build on our legacy and take this institution into the future.”

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Cheers!


EMBRACING INNOVATION

Another academic year brings another set of accolades for Elmhurst University. The 2021 Best Colleges list from U.S. News & World Report has ranked the University the No. 3 Most Innovative college or university in the Midwest—a 10-spot improvement over 2020.

A TIM ELY

FOCUS

It’s been part of life for most of this year. This summer, it was an elective part of the curriculum for almost 50 incoming Elmhurst University students.

U.S. News didn’t just recognize Elmhurst’s innovation. Among the list of Top Performers for Social Mobility, Elmhurst vaulted to No. 18 this year from No. 54 last year. The relatively new category ranks colleges and universities that have shown the most success in advancing social mobility by enrolling and graduating large proportions of economically disadvantaged students who received federal Pell Grants. A free online course, COVID-19: An Interdisciplinary Exploration, offered incoming first-year and transfer students an in-depth examination of the pandemic and its implications. Faculty members and experts from several areas of study taught the

The University also ranks No. 7 in the Midwest for its commitment to undergraduate teaching, No. 9 in Best Colleges for Veterans, and No. 15 in Regional Universities Midwest.

course, providing a multifaceted view

U.S. News determines its rankings using measures of academic quality, including outcomes, expert opinions, student experience and more.

pinnings of COVID-19, as well as its

For Elmhurst, the rankings represent the first honors since the nearly 150-year-old institution became Elmhurst University on July 1. President Troy D. VanAken said the U.S. News recognition is an exciting start to the University era and reinforces the school’s historic commitment to academic excellence and studentfocused learning.

mapping the virus and its impact on the

“I’m very pleased that we are being recognized for the way we embrace innovation, the great work being done by our faculty, and our unshakeable belief in the transformative power of a college education,” President VanAken said.

of a critical issue. Students explored the scientific underpublic health effects and epidemiological outcomes. They also learned about global economic order. First-year student Jeri-Ann Day said she enjoyed the course content and getting to know multiple instructors. “I learned something new from every part of the class, and I liked meeting and learning from different professors,” the music education major said.

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

STUDENTS

A Congressional internship put. Laura Rusk at the center of more. than one world-changing event.

FUTURE CHANGEMAKER Laura Rusk ’21 has had a passion for public service and law ever since high school. So when she started looking into internships for the Spring Term of her junior year, she set her sights on the nation’s capital. “I was determined to spend a semester in D.C., so I applied for more than 20 different internships there,” said Rusk, a political science and philosophy major from Evansville, Ind. “I got an offer from the office of U.S. Representative Ron Kind, and I moved into my apartment in Washington a week later.” As an intern on Capitol Hill, Rusk got an insider’s look at the legislative process. “One of my main responsibilities was keeping track of which representatives had signed on to various appropriations bills,” she said. “The process is so much

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more intricate than I could have ever imagined. And it was really interesting to see how much money gets allocated to different things.” Rusk arrived in D.C. during the impeachment hearings for President Donald Trump, giving her a front-row view of a nationally historic event. She was also there for the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. “At the end of January, I went to a briefing with a pandemic expert who said the coronavirus was coming, and it was going to be bad,” she recalled. “Back home in Indiana no one was worried about it, but in D.C. we were talking about it every day.” The internship ended up getting cut short because of the pandemic, but Rusk said she treasures her time in D.C.

“It was a wild ride! But it was still the greatest experience I could have ever possibly had,” she said. Rusk, who plans to go to law school, credits her experiences at Elmhurst with deepening her interest in leadership and public service. In her first year on campus, she ran for student government and won— despite not knowing anyone. She later took on a variety of other leadership roles, including executive vice president of student government, president of Phi Mu sorority and orientation student leader. “All of these experiences have fed into my passion for public service, law and leadership,” she said. “They’ve taught me so much about other people and the world, and that has really shaped who I am.”


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

FACULTY

ARTIST’S STATEMENT Like most of the rest of the world, Rafael Blanco spent the summer of 2020 wearing a mask and working at a safe distance from other people. Unlike many others, he spent most of that working time at the top of a boom lift, 80 feet above the ground. Blanco, an assistant professor of art at Elmhurst, was commissioned by the University of Nevada, Reno, to paint a pair of large-scale public murals on the theme of diversity and inclusion. “The school wanted to make a loud statement against racism and discrimination,” noted Blanco, who earned his master of fine arts degree from UNR. “I felt really honored to be able to make such an important work tackling a contemporary issue,” Blanco said.

“It is now more important than ever to ask these questions about race, about diversity, about gender. Asking those questions, as an artist, is my main purpose.” 14

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Rafael Blanco’s latest murals focus on one of today’s most pressing problems.

Blanco didn’t always plan to be an artist. With the goal of becoming a tennis pro, he came to the United States from Spain at age 19 to attend Florida Southern College on a tennis scholarship. But after declaring a major in art, his focus began to shift. “When I came to the U.S., I was at that place in life when you are becoming an adult and you’re figuring out your passions,” he said. “My art teachers in college had a huge influence on my work and on my life, and my passion became painting.” Today, Blanco channels that influence into his drawing and painting classes at Elmhurst. “I tell my students, ‘Look, it doesn't matter what your passion is. It doesn't need to be painting. It doesn’t need to be drawing. But you need to find a passion. Because once you find that, then you will be motivated to wake up every day. You will be motivated to actually live life.’ “Being able to be part of their life at that moment is one of the things that I like most about being a college professor.”


P H O T O G R A P H Y B Y TA M A R A S C R O N C E ( L E F T ) , I S A A C H O O P S / T H I S I S R E N O ( R I G H T )


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

ALUMNI

FIRM FOUNDATION Joud Abdel Majeid climbs the ladder in the financial services world.

If there’s one thing that has never frightened Joud Abdel Majeid ’04, it’s change—and her ability to thrive in the midst of it. As a high school senior, she applied for scholarships to U.S. schools through an organization based in her homeland of Jordan. Based on her academic interests and background, Abdel Majeid was paired with Elmhurst University. She’d never heard of the school, let alone stepped foot on the campus, but she was primed for the adventure. Upon arriving at Elmhurst, she immersed herself in classes, friendships and student activities, getting involved in the honor societies Phi Kappa Phi, Omicron Delta Kappa and Delta Mu Delta. She soon felt at home within the campus community.

“Elmhurst gave me a foundation, both educationally and culturally, when I came to the U.S. It was comfortable,” Abdel Majeid said. “It equipped me with the toolkit I needed to enter and grow my career.” 16

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At Elmhurst, Abdel Majeid took classes in both micro- and macroeconomics and discovered a passion for the field that would help shape her career. “My microeconomics professor had unique ways of explaining complex economic frameworks. She would describe supply and demand in terms of pizza and beer so students could relate,” Abdel Majeid said. “And George Thoma could make monetary and fiscal policy interesting. He’s still one of the best professors I’ve ever had.”

on the adoption of technology to transform their business models, streamline their operations and connect more deeply with their customers. Later, as senior vice president and head of strategy and corporate development at E*TRADE Financial, she oversaw strategy and corporate development, including M&A activity. That experience served Abdel Majeid well in a move to New York-based BlackRock, the largest global asset management firm in the world. She served as chief operating officer of BlackRock Solutions, BlackRock’s internal technology organization, and is now chief of staff to the company’s CEO.

After graduation, Abdel Majeid took a job with a real estate investment firm. When the housing market collapsed several years later, she liquidated the company's portfolio—essentially working her way out of a job—while earning her MBA at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

In that role, she’s responsible for oversight of the CEO’s strategic agenda, engagement with global clients and leading initiatives with new and potential company clients.

Over time, Abdel Majeid found that her strengths and interests lay at the intersection of technology and finance. As a management consultant for Booz & Company (now known as Strategy&), she consulted with clients

“I’ve done a variety of things throughout my career. I see rotating roles as healthy,” Abdel Majeid said. “I’m generally a person who is attracted to challenges, and I’m comfortable with ambiguity.”


P H OTO G R A P H Y BY R O B H A RT

SPORTS SPOTLIGHT

CALLING THE SHOTS Raven Rhone applies lessons from the basketball court to the whole of life.

For Raven Rhone ’22, the college search came down to one question: Where could she get a great academic experience as a biochemistry major while still playing the

sport she loved? Then she connected with Tethnie Carrillo, head women’s basketball coach at Elmhurst, and the choice became clear. “Coach Carrillo invited me up to Elmhurst for an open house, where I had the chance to meet the basketball team and sit down with some faculty in the biochemistry department,” Rhone recalls. “I loved the campus community and the welcoming vibe, and I knew that Elmhurst was where I wanted to be.” A native of Pflugerville, Texas, Rhone threw herself into student life at Elmhurst before her first year of classes had even started.


“Coming to Elmhurst meant moving 16 hours away from home, so I wanted a way to meet people as quickly as possible once I got here,” she said. “I signed up for EC Connection, Elmhurst’s pre-orientation program for students from diverse communities. The friends I made through that program are still my closest friends today.” That experience led to many more. She joined the Black Student Union (BSU), served as fundraising chair for Relay for Life, and signed up to mentor incoming students through the EC Connection program. She even fulfilled a long-held dream of acting, appearing this past spring in an online rendition of A Doll’s House, Part 2.

She’s also emerged as a leader in the social justice movement on campus. Elected president of BSU in the spring of 2020, she spoke passionately about racism and inequality at a meeting of the Elmhurst University Board of Trustees in June. Along the way, the basketball team has provided both a sense of community and a competitive outlet. “Coming in to Elmhurst as a guard on the basketball team, I knew I would have a lot of work to do,” she says. “I’ve always been competitive, both in basketball and in my life, so I always put my best foot forward and compete to the best of my ability.” FA L L 2 0 2 0

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ARTS SPOTLIGHT

DRAWN TO PERFECTION Ray Ryan’s class project was accepted at an international animation festival.

Ray Ryan ’20 signed up for a January Term animation class a couple years ago with a few modest goals in mind. He figured he would try animating for the first time, master some new software and maybe make something good enough to add to his art and design portfolio. Creating a short film for an international film festival was not on his list of goals. But that’s exactly what the graphic design major did. The film he made for the animation class, Cartoons & Tunes, was screened at the prestigious Ottawa International Animation Festival in September. Ryan’s 41-second film, about a daydreaming boy navigating high school and

making a friend, was one of a dozen international student films selected for the festival, which is sponsored by industry heavyweights including Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and Disney Television Animation. “It was such an honor to be accepted by the festival,” Ryan said. “I thought the class would be a fun thing to try, but I never expected this.” The festival was held online this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, giving Ryan the chance to participate remotely in industry talks and question-and-answer sessions. His film made its debut on September 23 and was available on demand throughout the festival.


I L L U S T R A T I O N B Y R AY R YA N

Growing up in Oak Lawn, Ill., Ryan was, in his own words, The extra effort paid off. “I was struck by the raw look, “that kid in school who was always doodling and drawing.” sense of contrast, composition and sense of balance,” But the closest he had ever gotten to animation was said his professor, Robert Fritz, about Cartoons & Tunes. making flip books for his own amusement. “Ray used the medium in a way you normally don’t see.” Once he decided to tackle the challenge of animation, Ryan went at it with gusto. The assignment was to create a project of about 200 frames. Ryan ended up drawing more than 700 frames, working by hand with a stylus and tablet.

“I spent so much time on this project, just because I wanted to see what I could do to make it better,” Ray said. “I always want to create things that stand out.”

Still not satisfied with what he had created at the end of the course, Ryan revisited it the following January, literally going back to the drawing board to polish his work. FA L L 2 0 2 0

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BY C L A I R E Z U L K E Y I L LU S T R AT I O N S BY G R AC I A L A M

MOST ESSENTIAL Elmhurst’s new programs in public health prepare students to meet a growing critical need.

If ever the world needed the expertise of public health professionals, it would be now, in the midst of a relentless pandemic and the worst economic crisis in a century. And yet, experts say the United States is suffering from a deficit of as many as 300,000 public health professionals, the result of chronic underfunding. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the employment of public health professionals to grow by as much as 18 percent in the next several years. All of which makes Elmhurst’s new programs in public health particularly timely additions to the University’s offerings. The programs—a newly revamped master’s program (MPH) and an undergraduate major—aim to create a new generation of public health professionals who can prepare for and respond to threats like the COVID-19 pandemic. MEETING A NEED

Public health addresses health crises not at the level of individual treatment, but by preventing disease and promoting wellness among entire populations. During the COVID-19 pandemic, public health experts have sought to address the needs of underserved populations and have provided data and scientific

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MOST

ESSENTIAL

expertise to guide policymakers. Beyond the pandemic, they promote healthier communities through education, research, advocacy and more.

“We’re not going to make major progress against anything, whether it’s COVID or obesity or smoking, unless we treat the social determinants—the reasons why someone can’t get access to healthy food or get out and exercise,” said Molly Tran, director of Elmhurst’s public health program. The new undergraduate major will prepare students for jobs in fields such as health education, health promotion and policy administration. Courses include everything from human ecology and community health to the ethical aspects of health care. “It’s also good preparation for students in any sort of pre-health, pre-med, or pre-physical therapy program,” Tran said.

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The two-year master’s program, a relaunch of a program that ran for several years in the 2010s, prepares students for careers in fields such as biostatistics, informatics, epidemiology, research, contact tracing and public policy. “A lot of our MPH students are already working in health care and are looking to go to that next level of their job or pivot,” said Tran. A P OW E R F U L I M PAC T

Public health has had an astonishing impact in the last century, improving the quality of life worldwide and adding nearly 30 years to U.S. life expectancy. Among its notable successes: the worldwide eradication of smallpox starting in the early- to mid-1960s. Myrtis Randolph, MPH ’18, said she was attracted to public health because of its potential for improving the lives of entire populations. “My goal was initially to be a medical doctor,” Randolph said. “Then I thought, ‘If I am a medical doctor, I can treat a couple hundred


MOLLY TRAN

“We need to come up with some new and different solutions that make healthy things something that people want rather than something we’re pushing on them.”

MYRTIS RANDOLPH

“Elmhurst was a great place to get my footing in public health. The program really opened my eyes to how to properly do research.”

Pandemic Pivot When the COVID-19 pandemic hit last spring, Aaron Rossi ’06 wasted no time transforming his companies to meet the critical needs caused by the crisis. PAL Health Technologies, an orthotics manufacturer

in Pekin, Ill., began producing face shields for medical personnel. And Reditus Laboratories, a Pekin-based pathology lab, pivoted to processing COVID-19 tests in partnership with the State of Illinois. In September, Peoria Magazine honored Rossi, CEO of both companies, with a COVID Courageous Award in recognition of his contributions.

PAL Health Technologies is producing face shields (top), while Reditus Laboratories is processing COVID-19 tests for the State of Illinois.

An orthopedic surgeon by training, Rossi has long had an interest in the business side of health care. “I’m an entrepreneur, so I was able to pivot pretty quickly,” he said. “Shifting to face shields and COVID-19 tests was a bit of a stretch for us, but I just started figuring things out and made it work.”

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MOST

ESSENTIAL

people in my life, but as a public health professional, I can have an impact on thousands or millions of people.’” Public health students at Elmhurst benefit from small classes and practical experiences in the field, said Diane Salvador, executive director and professor in the department of nursing and health sciences. “We have many contacts in the community to set up residencies for students, so they get a lot of hands-on training along with their education,” she said. Gerrica Sallis-Smith, MPH ’17, found that the program’s training in effective patient-interview techniques was particularly useful in her work as a disease intervention specialist in Winnebago County in Illinois, where her work focused on public education about sexually transmitted diseases. “There is a need for community education about the harm sexually transmitted diseases can do,” Sallis-Smith said. “Getting messages out about disease prevention is so important.”

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Students in Elmhurst’s public health program will have unusual access to a multidisciplinary set of programs and expertise. “Usually an MPH program is sequestered over on a medical school campus. Here, we’re on the campus with the rest of the programs,” Tran said.

“Because we’re a small university and we’re used to working together, I can approach the head of a department and get a student that exposure. You can’t do that at a bigger university.” For example, MPH students can take electives in data science, marketing, communications and business. “In problem solving, the more diverse areas you study, the more likely you are to come up with a new and innovative solution,” Tran said. “We are developing public health leaders who can come at problems with a much bigger toolkit.”


DIANE SALVADOR

“Our program blends public health with Elmhurst’s orientation toward being a strong supporter of social justice issues.”

“I was attracted to public health because I wanted to do more toward bettering the health of my community.” GERRICA SALLIS-SMITH

Tracking the Virus As a nurse and public health specialist currently on contract with San Diego County in California, Julie Babyar ’05 tracks COVID-19 outbreaks, monitors cases and ensures that resources get where they need to go. The pandemic has hit the county hard, with summer outbreaks prompting threats of new fall social restrictions, but Babyar is taking it all in stride. “The situation has been challenging, yet my background in public health helps in navigation,” she said. “That’s part of any novel situation. Public health huddles up to the call.” In addition to her work on COVID-19, Babyar conducts research on strategies to revolutionize health care and advocates for Indigenous health equity. “In public health, you have the ability to change the world,” she said.

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BY B R I A N WA L L H E I M E R

SUPPLY & DEMAND EL M HU R ST S U P P LY C H A I N GRADUAT E S ST E P U P IN T IME S O F CRIS IS .

In the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, as states began issuing orders for people to stay at home and avoid contact with others, many consumers went into panic-buying mode. Store shelves were emptied of toilet paper, hand sanitizer, hand soaps, eggs and many other essentials. One high-demand item that didn’t disappear from shelves was batteries. That’s due in part to Brian Anderson, M.S. ’07, vice president of global procurement at iconic battery maker Duracell and a graduate of Elmhurst University’s graduate program in supply chain management. Like many supply chain managers, Anderson is always thinking about ways to improve efficiencies and lower costs. But he also puts a strong emphasis on something he learned about at Elmhurst—continuity and risk mitigation. “In February, we were calling suppliers every day, determining how to work with them within our current agreements to position inventory to ride out the storm. We had major challenges. Freight wasn’t moving in some places like Italy, where the country was essentially

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SUPPLY & DEMAND

BRIAN ANDERSON, DURACELL

shut down,” Anderson said. “Because of the things we put in place—changing where inventory is stationed, working with suppliers to keep materials flowing, increasing communication—Duracell plants didn’t shut down during COVID. We’ve not only increased profits, we’ve increased market share over our competitors and kept our products on the shelves, which was important for people who needed batteries.” Elmhurst’s supply chain management graduate program stands out not only because it was the first program of its kind in the Chicago area, but because it puts an emphasis on all aspects of supply chains. That approach prepares graduates such as Anderson to think more broadly about all the parts of their companies—marketing, finance, inventory control, transportation and many more—that must work together to keep supply chains running smoothly. “With everything happening around COVID, we had to think strategically, from sourcing to business continuity,” Anderson said. “I’ve always thought this way because I’ve been trained to think this way. I have to attribute a lot of that to Elmhurst. Everything that I apply every day has its origins in that training and education.” B U I L D I N G A S U P P LY C H A I N P R O G R A M

Education in supply chain management tends to be part of overall business programs, but Roby Thomas, director of Elmhurst’s program, wanted to offer something more robust. When the University’s graduate program debuted in 2001, it became the first in the region to focus specifically on supply chains. “Usually, businesses have silos. You have marketing departments, purchasing and finance. Supply chains cut across all these silos,” Thomas said. “Supply chain

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ROBY THOMAS, ELMHURST UNIVERSITY

SWETHA IYER, AMAZON FRESH

managers do a little bit of all these things, and it’s important to understand how they work and how they must work together. Our program does that.” The program admits about 20 students per year and employs a cohort model, fostering close relationships among classmates. Students come from a wide range of business areas, bringing different perspectives to the table as they work with their peers. Faculty teach alongside executives from businesses around the region. “Students come from marketing, IT, finance and other areas, so they see how all the different areas work together to build an efficient supply chain,” Thomas said.

“The adjunct faculty we bring in from industry are people who have a passion for what they do and bring relevant and timely experience to the classroom to share with students.” The program culminates in a capstone project that groups students into teams to tackle real supply chain issues for a company. Over the years, students have solved dozens of problems and saved some companies millions of dollars. P U T T I N G I T I N TO P R AC T I C E

The COVID-19 pandemic has tested the preparedness of supply chain managers around the world as consumers have begun looking for new ways to find products that aren’t readily available. Swetha Iyer, M.S. ’15, a supply chain manager at Seattle-based Amazon Fresh, manages inbound execution on the East Coast. As COVID-19 spread, she watched demand fluctuate.

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SUPPLY & DEMAND

TIM ENGSTROM, ESSENDANT

Covering about 30 fulfillment centers, Iyer faced capacity issues because consumer demands changed. Some items that usually sell well started to pile up, taking space that was needed for high-demand items such as paper products, water and canned goods. “We were seeing volume go up 30 percent to 40 percent as the pandemic hit. We saw strains on our supply chains, but we were able to meet that demand because we could prioritize and unblock barriers from end to end in our supply chain,” Iyer said.

Similarly, Tim Engstrom, M.S. ’03, was able to anticipate changes in demand for his clients at Essendant, a wholesaler based in Deerfield, Ill., that sells office supplies and furniture, janitorial supplies, technology, food service and other items. “We were seeing things like cleaning supplies surging in demand as people were home more, and other items, like office supplies, declining. Accounting for those changes meant working closely with suppliers every day,” said Engstrom, the company’s vice president of supply chain shared services. “There’s been a lot of innovation working with different companies where we’ve helped take out the non-value-added steps to improve overall flow,” he said. “We’re changing how they pick up and ship products and opening communication so that we can work with them to try new things to solve these new problems.” Engstrom said his well-rounded experience at Elmhurst made those changes possible. “The background I have, knowing the different aspects of supply chains, kept me from thinking about just one area of the supply chain,” he said. “I was able to link those components together and find ways to provide the greatest value to my suppliers and customers.”

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SOLVING A KEY SHORTAGE

BEAUTY DURING A PANDEMIC

As hoarders depleted toilet paper supplies this spring and desperate shoppers scoured store shelves, Bryan Wahlberg, M.S. ’10, was thinking about glue.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the buying priorities of most Americans. For many women, remote work has meant less makeup.

Wahlberg, director of key account development – chemical at Switzerland-based global logistics company Kuehne + Nagel, knew that glue was key to resupplying toilet paper because it is essential for sticking the paper onto cardboard rolls.

But that doesn’t mean Rachel Cannon, M.S. ’20, a senior supplier relations specialist for Ulta Beauty, hasn’t been busy. She’s been onboarding new brands for the more than 1,200-store company to meet consumers’ new priorities.

That glue was on a ship in the Pacific Ocean. As borders closed and shipping lanes were blocked, there was no way to get it to the United States. Wahlberg’s clients needed that glue, so he worked with other companies to find alternative international routings and get Americans the toilet paper they needed. “These were the sorts of things that supply chain managers were sorting out behind the scenes,” said Wahlberg. “Most people don’t realize that one tiny blip like that can make such a difference. But we got the glue supply taken care of and toilet paper back on shelves. That’s what we do.”

“People are buying different products. Being at home and not having to commute has meant less lipstick and more time for skin care,” said Cannon. “We’re dealing with increased lead times for those products, but my job is to find ways to guide our new suppliers as they begin their relationships with us.” Now Cannon is pursuing an MBA through Elmhurst’s MBA Option, which allows alumni of certain graduate programs to earn an MBA in just a year of part-time work. “In my master's program, I learned so much about supply chain management, but I also learned how to communicate more strategically and effectively. Earning an MBA at Elmhurst seems like an obvious choice for me,” Cannon said. “It’s a great investment in my future.”

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BY A N D R E W S A N T E L L A

First-year students studying in Liverpool during the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic witnessed the unfolding of a global health crisis.

LIVERPOOL, INTERRUPTED Last spring, Chris Perez ’23 was treated to an unexpected crash course in global public health. Perez was one of eight Elmhurst Honors Program students who spent Spring Term studying at Liverpool Hope University in England as part of a new study abroad course primarily for first-year students.

“I wanted to take the first opportunity I could get to study in another country. I’ve lived in the same town my whole life, and I knew it would be good to get out of my comfort zone,” he said. “This just happened to take me 4,000 miles out of my comfort zone.”

The group was a few weeks into their overseas experience when they began tracking news of the relentless creep of COVID-19 across the globe.

So, at a time when most first-year college students are adjusting to life on campus, Perez and his classmates were crossing an ocean to immerse themselves in another culture. The group lived and took classes at Liverpool Hope University, a 5,000-student public institution with three campuses in Liverpool’s metropolitan area, and they completed independent research projects related to their area of study.

“We weren’t panicked about it, but we kept a close eye on the news and talked a lot with other international students about what was happening around the world,” recalled Perez, a double major in English and secondary education from Northlake, Ill. “It was a pretty interesting time to be studying abroad.” EXPAND I N G TH E I R HOR IZ ON S

Perez signed on for the semester in Liverpool, a port city of nearly a half-million people in northwest England, because he liked the idea of expanding his horizons early in college.

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G O ING ABROAD, E ARLY AND O F TE N

Studying abroad may seem like a lot for a first-year student to handle, but educators now are increasingly encouraging students to study abroad as early in their college careers as possible.


KEEP CALM AND

STAY

P H OTO CO U RT E SY O F M I C H E L L E D I A Z

2 METRES APART

M I C H E L L E D I A Z , P H Y S I C A L LY DISTANCING ON THE CAMPUS OF LIVERPOOL HOPE UN I VER SI TY.


LIVERPOOL, INTERRUPTED

The Liverpool program is Elmhurst’s first study abroad option designed specifically for first-year students. To help ease the transition, Mulvaney traveled with the students to help them settle in and continued to meet with them virtually for her hybrid course, British Life and Culture. KEEP C A L M A N D C A R RY ON

Before the pandemic restricted their ability to travel, the students explored England and beyond. Michelle Diaz ’22, a communication sciences and disorders major from Joliet, Ill., and one of a few sophomores in the program, made side trips to Belgium, Scotland and Wales. She also discovered the very British tradition of afternoon tea, a practice she adopted and continues to enjoy. Students ranged far afield in their free time—a writers’ retreat in Wales, a hike through the Peak District, a visit to Emily Brontë’s home in West Yorkshire, exploring the music scene in Manchester, a long weekend in Paris.

“All I really knew about England before was that they had a queen,” said Diaz. “But traveling and getting to know the British students in my classes really helped me understand the country better.”

and the group came to rely on each other for information and emotional support during an uncertain time. “It was so important for us to have that support system of people who looked after each other, and who were sharing the same experiences,” Perez said. Participating in conversations about varying national strategies to deal with the pandemic became an education in itself. “We had the chance to see up close how another country dealt with the crisis. It’s pretty clear that Britain was late in responding, to their detriment.” Diaz came home in late March, after canceling trips to Italy and Spain. Perez hoped to complete his classes in Liverpool but decided to book a flight home to the United States near the end of the term—a week before his airline stopped making that run. Perez counts himself lucky to have missed some of the chaotic airport scenes that greeted some overseas travelers returning to the States during those confusing weeks. Both he and Diaz said they would not hesitate to study abroad in the future. “I would 100 percent do it again,” Diaz said. “Even though I was only able to stay a couple of months, I’ll never forget it. I feel like I lived a different life there and learned so much about how people will help each other through a crisis.” She is already planning to make her postponed trip to Italy and Spain as soon as it’s safe to travel again. She might even meet up with some of the international students she met in Liverpool.

But as the virus took its toll around the world, the students’ “We’re all still in touch, and we’re all still looking out for each other,” she said. “We became like a family.” concerns grew. They shared their Liverpool residence hall with students from Italy, India, Peru and other countries, 36

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P H OTO S C O U R T E S Y O F K AY L A M A S T A N D M A R Y K AY M U LVA N E Y

“More and more of the literature says that the sooner you can study abroad, the better,” said Mary Kay Mulvaney, professor of English and director of the Honors Program at Elmhurst. “The experience broadens their understanding of the world and informs the work they do for the rest of their time in college.”


H I STO RY I N R E A L T I M E . The Liverpool trip brought Elmhurst students to the United Kingdom during a confluence of history-making events. Not only was the COVID-19 pandemic straining the world’s health systems, but in Britain the political upheaval over Brexit continued to dominate the news. Elmhurst student Chris Perez said his British classmates tended to be strongly anti-Brexit, and they didn’t hesitate to share their opinions with the Americans. “I didn’t really understand Brexit before,” said Perez. “But one thing I learned for sure is how divided the generations are, and how unhappy young people are about Brexit.”


The

PARENTS Club

Bluejay Parents Unite! Are you the parent of an Elmhurst University student? We invite you to join the Parents Club. It’s a great way to stay up to date on campus news, get access to helpful resources— and stay connected throughout your child’s Elmhurst journey. JOIN THE CLUB elmhurst.edu/Parents

VOLUNTEER As part of the Parents Club, you’ll have a variety of opportunities to get involved. For example:

JOIN THE PARENTS COUNCIL Collaborate with other parents to make a difference.

SUPPORT OUR STUDENTS Your gift to the Parents Fund provides essential support for scholarships and more. elmhurst.edu/Give

LEARN MORE parents@elmhurst.edu


ALUMNI NEWS CELEBRATING OUR AWARD WINNERS The University’s Founders Medal and Alumni Merit Awards recognize the outstanding contributions of alumni and friends of the University. This year’s awards were announced during a virtual celebration on Oct. 23.

Did You Know?

F OUN DE RS MEDAL One of the University’s most prestigious honors, the Founders Medal celebrates individuals who have distinguished themselves through philanthropic or personal service to the University.

Alfred N. Koplin

This year’s Medal recognizes Alfred N. Koplin, a prominent local business leader and philanthropist who has served on the University’s Board of Trustees for nearly 40 years. Among the University’s most generous donors, Koplin has supported professional development for faculty, new academic programs and more. ALUMN I ME RIT AWARD S The Alumni Merit Awards celebrate Elmhurst graduates who have made exemplary contributions to the community and to their alma mater.

Zachary Hund

Jeanne Burda

Robert Carter Olson

This year’s Distinguished Young Alumni Award winner is Zachary Hund ’10. A chemistry teacher at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, where he has significantly expanded enrollment in advanced chemistry classes, Hund is also an adjunct faculty member at Elmhurst. Jeanne Burda ’82 received the Distinguished Service to Alma Mater Award. A lecturer in the University’s Department of Nursing and Health Sciences, Burda specializes in maternal and newborn health and works tirelessly to engage alumni in the life of the University.

Elmhurst’s mascot wasn’t always a bird. In the late 1920s, the school’s teams were known as the Pirates. But a football coach who engaged in unethical recruiting practices sullied the Pirates name. In 1940, fed up with remarks from opposing teams about their pirating ways, the Pirates took on a new name: the Blue Jays (now Bluejays).

The Honorable Robert Carter Olson ’83, a judge on the Pinal County Superior Court in Florence, Ariz., won the Distinguished Service to Society Award. Olson’s long track record of civic engagement includes serving as chair of the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission and board member of the National District Attorneys Association. FA L L 2 0 2 0 P RO S P E C T M A G A Z I N E

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ALUMNI NEWS

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This fall, Bluejays came together virtually and in person for Elmhurst’s first-ever Homecoming as a university. Highlights included a drive-in movie showing of Shrek, a live-streamed parade, virtual reunions and a rousing game of miniature golf. We can’t wait to celebrate with you at next year’s Homecoming!

See the highlights at elmhurst.edu/Homecoming.


EXCEL Advance your career with a graduate degree from Elmhurst University.

F R E E COURSE

Our graduate programs are practical, flexible and designed to meet your needs. Choose from more than 20 options in health care, business, education and technology—and prepare to take your career to the next level. Join Us for a Virtual Open House! Tuesday, January 12, 2021 5:30–7:30 p.m. R S V P T O D AY !

elmhurst.edu/ChooseElmhurst

Graduate Studies

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


CLASS NOTES 1940s & 1950s

1892 The Arion, also known as the

Band, was a fixture on campus from its founding in 1892 through at least 1914.

1932 Elmhurst lost its Homecoming football game to McKendree University, but the Homecoming parade brought the community together for a rousing display of school spirit.

1965 More than 100 students and

local residents marched in downtown Elmhurst in support of the historic civil rights marches from Selma to Montgomery, Ala.

Rev. Paul Krebill ’49 recently published his 12th book of fiction, A Mansion on a Hill and Other Stories (self-published), with the editorial assistance of his wife, Doris Schoening ’49. Rev. Armin Bizer ’53 moved to an independent retirement community, Aston Gardens at Pelican Pointe in Venice, Fla., in January. Bizer would like to say “hi” to his fellow Bluejays. Frances (Shay) Dmytro ’59 is still traveling, with six continents under her belt. Dmytro has two greatgrandchildren and is a prize-winning quilter.

1960s & 1970s

Sandy Ludwig ’63 recently published her first book, a memoir titled Don’t Drink the Water! A Story of God’s Saving Grace. The memoir recounts her experiences in Cartagena, Colombia, where she went after graduating from Elmhurst. Her goal was to teach English and revamp the local library, but while she was there she became gravely ill. Ludwig has two novels soon to be published and is currently working on a third.

Rev. Alva Hohl ’67 published The Heart of Prayer: Seeking the Sure Reign of God (Outskirts Press) in fall 2019. His first book, Picking Up the Pieces: When Faith and Culture Collide (Dorrance Publishing), came out in 2016. Alexander Rassogianis ’69 published Clouds Over the Aegean (Outskirts Press), his fifth book, in June 2020. A thriller set on the Greek island of Naxos, the book combines mystery, murder and international intrigue stemming from a secret shared by two schoolgirls in the 1920s. Rassogianis is currently working on an autobiography. Judith Sotir ’74 has had a long career in education administration since her time at Elmhurst, including serving on the District 204 School Board for 14 years. Sotir has also served on the Fox Metro Water Reclamation Board for 23 years, currently as president, and on the board for the Compassion Foundation. Sotir credits Elmhurst with giving her an outstanding global perspective that has helped her serve her community and neighbors.

1980s & 1990s

John Dispensa 111 ’83 and his wife were blessed with their second grandchild, another granddaughter, named Olivia Marie Watson. Ronald Lovatt ’91 lost his wife, Laura, after her long, courageous battle with breast cancer. FA L L 2 0 2 0 P RO S P E C T M A G A Z I N E

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CLASS NOTES

PHOTO: THE VILLAGE OF CAROL STREAM

Anna (D’Alesio) Russo ’98 is happy to share that her daughter is following in her footsteps and attending Elmhurst University this fall.

2000s Tune in to Turano Jim Turano ’86 has had a long and varied Chicago media career in radio, television and public relations,

REMEMBERING OUR VETERANS

including a stint as a sidekick on The

Thanks to the efforts of Jim Benzin ’74,

started at Elmhurst University. “The

Carol Stream, Ill., has a new veterans

reason I went to Elmhurst, initially, is

memorial. A Vietnam War veteran

that I was looking for a college that

and the commander of the Carol

had a radio station,” Turano recalls.

Garry Meier Show, a host on WGN-AM and WMVP-AM, and a panelist on WTTW ’s Chicago Tonight. But it all

Stream VFW, Benzin spearheaded the

He began broadcasting on WRSE-FM,

project in collaboration with the Carol

the University’s radio station, in the

Stream Park District. After five years of

1980s, and credits the experience

planning and $230,000 of fundraising,

with paving the way for his media

the plaza opened to the public on

career. His pop culture love runs

Memorial Day 2019. “As a veteran, I’m

deep—and his passion for a certain

very proud of the work that was done,

“Yellow Brick Road” singer earned him

but there are hundreds of people who

his “Elton Jim” nickname. In 2016,

were involved,” he says. “It’s become

Turano launched Elton Jim’s Captain

a community focus point.” In 2019,

Pod-tastic, a popular WGN podcast

Benzin was named Carol Stream’s

featuring his comments on everything

Citizen of the Year in honor of his work

from childhood breakfast cereals to

with the memorial.

organizing his concert ticket stubs.

Christina (Taylor) Collins ’92 was named to Forbes’ 2020 Top Women Wealth Advisors list. A wealth management advisor at Northwestern Mutual, where she started her career in 1993, Collins has built a nationwide

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financial planning practice, specializing in helping clients prepare for and transition into retirement. Kelly (Jourdan) Duff ’92 recently joined Sentinel Technologies as employee experience manager. In this role, Duff will manage employee programs including orientation, recognition and community-building events. A published author, Duff is working on a novel and says she still loves WRSE-FM, Elmhurst University’s radio station.

Tony Tranchita ’00, MBA ’11 and his wife welcomed their first child, Maisie, on Sept. 16, 2019. Maisie is a happy baby and future Bluejay. Tranchita was recently hired as an enterprise account director for Windstream Enterprises. Tess (Golcher) Kossow ’04, MBA ’07 published I’m Very Ferris Takes a Bubble Bath (Outskirts Press), the second installment of her I’m Very Ferris series of children’s books, in April 2020. Kossow has been interviewed by People.com, Amazon and Barnes & Noble about the series, the only children’s picture books on the market that focus on in vitro fertilization through the eyes of a child. Gabriel Gardner ’07 was promoted to associate librarian at California State University, Long Beach and awarded tenure. Kevin Mazikowski ’10 recently celebrated his 10th anniversary at the Vanguard Group Inc., where he has worked since the month after graduating from Elmhurst. As a general securities principal and registered options principal, Mazikowski holds the Series 4, Series 6, Series 7, Series 24 and Series 63 securities licenses with FINRA.


SLOWING THE SPREAD James Kastrantas ’14, MSCIS ’17 and his wife, Miranda Santiago ’15, MSCIS ’17, who met and fell in love at Elmhurst, welcomed their first child, Xavier James Kastrantas, on June 11, 2020. Everyone is happy and healthy. Zachary Bishop ’15 recently published a book titled The Waupaca Chain o’ Lakes (Arcadia Publishing). The book details the history of the Chain O’ Lakes area of Waupaca, Wis., exploring its history of tourism and recreation from the 1880s to today. It is based on the senior

Award-Winning Educator

Elmhurst University community members can show their Bluejay spirit while masking up against COVID-19, thanks to a fundraising effort by Nicholas Bank ’18. Bank launched Schools for Slowing the Spread with classmates at Case Western Reserve University, where he’s a second-year medical student. Now that he’s expanded the effort to his alma mater, students can buy Elmhurst-branded face masks. Fifty percent of the proceeds go toward the Bluejay Nest Fund, which supports Elmhurst students with urgent needs. “I love the fact that, as a lowly medical student with very limited power, I can actually do something that is meaningful,” says Bank. “We can really give back so much.” To learn more and buy your Bluejay mask, visit sfsts.org.

thesis Bishop wrote as a history major at Elmhurst under the guidance of Professor Robert Butler. Tim Misner ’16 recently joined Robinson Bradshaw, a law firm based in Charlotte, N.C., as an associate attorney. Misner earned his law degree magna cum laude from Wake Forest University School of Law in 2020. Michael White ’18 is a Ph.D. student at Columbia University, where his research will focus on morality, kindness and prosocial behavior. At Elmhurst, White conducted independent Honors research in the psychology, biology and philosophy departments. He credits that experience with helping launch his academic career forward.

SIGN OF THE TIMES

The arch over the main entrance to campus has been updated to reflect the University’s new name, and two alumni are behind the transformation. The wrought-iron, Victorian-style arch over the iconic Gates of Knowledge was rejuvenated by fatherdaughter duo Edward Bartholomew, MBA ’10, and Erin Bartholomew ’18 of the Bensenville company Sign Artist. The pair worked closely with Elmhurst’s facilities management team to design and install the updated arch, which was unveiled on July 1. “It’s such an iconic part of the University and an important part of my family’s history,” says Erin. “[This opportunity] felt too good to be true.”

In June, teacher Heather McCarthy ’02 dialed in to a virtual meeting expecting a routine update. Instead, McCarthy learned she was the Illinois recipient of the National University System-Sanford Teacher Award, given to the most inspirational teacher in every state. Along with the prestigious recognition, she won a $10,000 prize and is eligible to win a $50,000 grand prize. A seventhgrade language arts teacher at Oak Lawn-Hometown Middle School, McCarthy says her Elmhurst education was instrumental in developing her teaching philosophy. “Elmhurst taught me about being an activist, giving back to my community and making global contributions,” she says. As COVID -19 shifts McCarthy’s teaching plans, she’s taking everything in stride: She just turned her car into a bookmobile to deliver supplies to students. FA L L 2 0 2 0 P RO S P E C T M A G A Z I N E

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IN MEMORIAM Jean (Ohrman) Haselhorst ’40 May 29, 2020, Rockford, Ill.

Master of Music

Mark Colby, a celebrated saxophonist and a member of Elmhurst’s music faculty, died Aug. 31, 2020, at the age of 71. Over the course of his career, Colby played and recorded with some of the nation’s most prominent names in jazz, pop and classical music, from Frank Sinatra to the Bee Gees to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. In recent years, Colby performed regularly at Chicago clubs and regional jazz festivals. He also recorded several albums as a solo artist. Colby, who joined the Elmhurst faculty in 1997, taught saxophone and served as coordinator of jazz combos. In 2018, he won the Conn-Selmer Centerstage Lifetime Achievement Award and Selmer Paris Award.

D EC ORAT E D

HUMANITARIAN Rev. Edgar A. Krueger ’52, an ordained minister and tireless advocate for the oppressed and underrepresented, died June 22, 2020, at the age of 89. Krueger’s humanitarian efforts spanned 60 years and included doing missionary work in poverty-stricken areas of Honduras, organizing farmworkers alongside César Chávez, and serving the needs of Chileans terrorized by dictator Augusto Pinochet. Krueger’s work was recognized internationally with numerous awards, including the Texas Civil Rights Project’s Henry B. González Civil Rights Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award from César Chávez’s La Unión del Pueblo Entero.

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Elizabeth B. Ahlf ’45 Aug. 21, 2020, Arlington Heights, Ill. George W. Varns ’47 May 1, 2020, Vincennes, Ind. Thomas H. Justie ’49 July 20, 2020, Glen Ellyn, Ill. Richard B. Lewis ’50 June 1, 2020, Louisville, Ky. Maxine (Seybold) Schroeder ’50 May 16, 2020, Evansville, Ind. Rev. Dr. John Trnka ’51 June 13, 2020, Newburgh, Ind. Rev. Herbert H. Feierabend ’52 Aug. 13, 2020, Mission, Texas Jack Edgar Hill ’52 Aug. 4, 2020, Elmhurst, Ill. Doris (Grunwald) Synek ’53 May 18, 2020, Kansas City, Mo. Donald F. Earley ’57 Aug. 13, 2020, West Chicago, Ill. Barbara (Hofmeister) O’Connor ’58 June 13, 2020, West Bend, Wis. Gordon T. Maxson ’59 June 16, 2020, Wheaton, Ill. Ronald A. Brandt ’60 Aug. 30, 2020, Ormond Beach, Fla. Carol (Uthlaut) Krieger ’61 May 25, 2020, Saint Paul, Minn. Marsan (Beehler) Schaer ’64 June 28, 2020, Watervliet, Mich. Joan E. Marella ’65 June 4, 2020, Princeton, Ill. Susan (Ottoman) Nejdlik ’66 June 17, 2020, Winchester, Wis. Virginia (Sepanski) Dorenbos ’70 June 4, 2020, Lombard, Ill.


George N. Bergstrom ’71 Aug. 9, 2020, Evanston, Ill. Paul R. Best ’71 Aug. 16, 2020, Oviedo, Fla. Linda (Cangiano) Furst ’72 June 27, 2020, Des Plaines, Ill. Maria (Prioleau) Pembrook ’72 May 15, 2020, Washington, D.C. Cheryl M. Heyden ’76 Aug. 24, 2020, Prospect Heights, Ill. Mary Ellen Lavin ’76 May 21, 2020, Elmhurst, Ill.

Lifelong Music Lover

Kathryn (Meyer) Reinhardt ’49, a musician and a member of Elmhurst’s class of “49ers,” died July 11, 2020. She was 92. Reinhardt, a music major with a minor in English, came from a family with many Elmhurst graduates, including Carolyn Barth ’58, Ralph Meyer ’55, the late Rex Meyer ’53 and Marilyn (Meyer) Lind ’58. Reinhardt met her husband, the late Rev. Edward Reinhardt ’52, at Elmhurst, where they sang together in chapel choir. After graduating from Elmhurst, Reinhardt went on to a career as a music teacher. She also directed the choir at several churches and served as a church organist.

Alan M. Lorenz ’78 July 8, 2020, Frisco, Texas Thomas J. Clyder ’79 May 14, 2020, Wheeling, Ill.

A LIFE OF SERVICE

J. “Scott” Fowler ’83 Aug. 13, 2020, Maryland Heights, Mo. Daniel T. Meyers ’83 Aug. 20, 2020, Minneapolis, Minn. Maria Luisa (Juarez) García ’84 May 6, 2020, Niles, Ill. Brian W. Loss ’86 Aug. 4, 2020, Glen Ellyn, Ill. Laura E. Mijalski ’87 July 12, 2020, Sun Lakes, Ariz. James A. Smalley ’87 July 26, 2020, Elgin, Ill. Nicholas T. Bottis ’88 July 4, 2020, Des Plaines, Ill. Dorothy (Skowron) Krafft ’89 June 17, 2020, Sycamore, Ill. Gail Carney ’90 Aug. 17, 2020, The Woodlands, Texas Pamela A. Santella ’91 Aug. 12, 2020, Naperville, Ill. Kelly (McElya) Utzig ’93 May 15, 2020, Thousand Oaks, Calif. Irene A. Adickas ’96 Sept. 6, 2020, St. Pete Beach, Fla. Stacie Eddy ’96 Aug. 23, 2020, Green Bay, Wis. Diane (Wheelock) Neff ’96 June 5, 2020, Dallas, Texas

Theodore “Ted” Feierabend ’46, M.D., passed away July 8, 2020, at the age of 95. Born in India to missionary parents, Feierabend led a life dedicated to service in the United States and around the world. After serving in the U.S. Army in the Philippines and Japan, Feierabend married his wife, Jane (Hein) ’46, whom he met at Elmhurst. After earning a medical degree at Washington University in St. Louis, he served as a medical missionary in India, where he established a school of plastic surgery in the Punjab. He later did the same in Afghanistan. In the United States, Feierabend and his wife continued their service work in retirement, volunteering in churches and ministries.

Civil Rights Fighter

Rev. Alan Joseph Kromholz ’60, a minister who was active in the civil rights movement, died March 19, 2020. He was 81. Kromholz majored in philosophy at Elmhurst and went on to a career in ministry that ended in 1968, when he was removed from the Congregational United Church of Christ in Watertown, Wis., on the grounds that he was too socially and politically active. He continued his civil rights work in Mississippi as a voter registration worker and in Wisconsin as an advocate for open housing. A pillar of support for Elmhurst University, he and his wife, Ruth, established the Meyer-Kromholz Endowed Scholarship to support education majors at the University. FA L L 2 0 2 0 P RO S P E C T M A G A Z I N E

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MY CAREER

PATH

DIVERSITY CHAMPION Jennifer Rivera ’11 designs. learning programs that. develop the diverse strengths. of her colleagues at Aon.

I’ve always been interested in diversity and inclusion. My parents came to the United States from Mexico when they were very young and raised me in the mostly white and wealthy suburbs, so I always felt a bit of an outsider. When I got to Elmhurst, I took a study abroad trip to South Africa that was a real eye-opener. I assisted teachers in a primary school in Langa, a township near Cape Town. Working there helped me understand that in helping others, you also allow them to help you. It confirmed for me that my place in the business world should be helping others as much as I could.

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I started at Aon’s office in Chicago, but I knew from the beginning that I wanted to work abroad. I was very persistent about making that happen. I’ve been in London for more than three years now, and there is no better place to encounter the diversity of the world. It’s incredible how many different cultures there are here. As global learning experience manager at Aon, I design what we call learning journeys. They’re not one-time programs you attend, but an ongoing growth process. I own our leadership development program, called

Accelerate, and I am designing our people-leader curricula for managers, in partnership with FranklinCovey. This year, with so much of the world focused on the Black Lives Matter protests, there has been a lot of excitement around diversity and inclusion. These have always been values at Aon, but now more doors are opening to dialogue. People who have felt excluded have more of a voice. When people feel they are being heard and valued, everyone in the organization benefits.


Your Legacy. Our Future.

Join the 1871 Society Supporting Elmhurst through an estate gift allows you to meet your financial goals while helping t0 build a bright future for generations of future students. The 1871 Society recognizes our donors who have included the University in their estate plans. Contact us to find out more about how you can maximize the impact of your giving through an estate gift. Every gift makes a world of difference, and every gift is deeply appreciated.

LEARN MORE

elmhurst.edu/1871


Elmhurst University 190 Prospect Avenue Elmhurst, Illinois 60126-3296

B L U E J AY S U N I T E ! Our community prepared for an unusual Fall Term with determination, commitment and Bluejay style. For details, see page 7.

Profile for Elmhurst University

Prospect Magazine, Fall 2020  

The Fall 2020 issue explores how Elmhurst’s programs in public health and supply chain management are preparing students to meet critical gl...

Prospect Magazine, Fall 2020  

The Fall 2020 issue explores how Elmhurst’s programs in public health and supply chain management are preparing students to meet critical gl...