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alumni news


zz c l a s s n o t e s took over the business from its previous owners to prevent its closure. He runs the restaurant, which offers traditional Italian dishes—namely, thin-crust pizza—with his wife, Michele. Stoecker came out of retirement to run the business after previously founding several multimilliondollar firms. The Stoeckers reside in Long Grove, Ill.

Students’ Publisher

While Rachel Switall, mfa ’95, was earning her master’s degree, the Chicago Tribune was reporting on shooting deaths due to gun violence at the Cabrini Green housing projects. “The paper had a tally every day of how many innocent children were killed,” Switall recalls. “It was devastating. I wondered what I could do to help.” Switall saw a chance to combine her graphic design skills with community outreach by creating a mini zine, Peaceful Changes, featuring words and drawings by kids from Cabrini Green schools. “Making their work into a

1989 Daniel Kraft, md has joined the staff of Community Howard Regional Health, Kokomo, Ind., as a sports medicine primary care physician. Kraft specializes in non-surgical care of musculoskeletal and sports medicine injuries in pediatric and adolescent patients. Concussion management also is an integral part of his practice. Kraft serves as co-director of the Indiana Sports Concussion Network and has helped develop Indiana state legislation related to the care of concussions in high school athletes. 1989 Vikki Pryor cba was unanimously selected to join the board of directors for New York Independent System Operator, which oversees the state’s electric system. She is principal and founder of Change Create Transform, a thought leadership company that helps mission-driven organizations succeed.

StudentsXpress could go to readers all over the city or even beyond magazine was my way of reaching more people, and offering the kids a chance to see their work printed,” she says. After graduating, Switall continued to work on publications aimed at Chicago youth—inner Drive, Wuz Up, Tiger Tales, Nettel2theMetal and, finally, CPSxpress, which she created in 2009, involving students from six North Side schools. She relaunched CPSxpress as StudentsXpress in

1990 Sabu Thomas eng has joined Computer Troubleshooters, an in­­ ternational network of franchise owners who provide onsite computer services and IT solutions to small and medium-sized business and residential users. Thomas will be working at the company’s new St. Charles, Ill., office—servicing businesses that focus on health care, as well as general clients in several parts of Illinois. Thomas is certified as a HIPPA Security Professional and

Courtesy of Rachel Switall

Rachel Switall highlights the writing and artwork of Chicago school children in quarterly publication

“A teacher told me she’s never seen middle-school children this excited about anything,” says Rachel Switall, mfa ’95, of StudentsXpress.

2011 to include additional schools. Today, students from 29 schools contribute to each quarterly issue. Switall gives them a topic, such as teamwork or courage, and they write or create art. “A teacher told me she’s never seen middleschool children this excited about anything,” she says. StudentsXpress is expanding with StudentsXpress SPEAKS, which brings students’ words to life on stage. This summer, participants will be invited to read their submissions in front of an audience for the first time. Switall plans to hold a StudentsXpress SPEAKS night after each issue is released. As the magazine grows in scope, Switall dreams of involving even more schools, saying “StudentsXpress could go to readers all over the city or even beyond.” —Benji Feldheim

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Summer 2014


UIC alumni


UIC Alumni Magazine  

StudentsXpress was featured in the Volunteer Spirit article in the summer edition of UIC Alumni Magazine

UIC Alumni Magazine  

StudentsXpress was featured in the Volunteer Spirit article in the summer edition of UIC Alumni Magazine