Alumni Class Notes
NEIU Alumni Class Notes by Decade
Keep up with your former classmates with Alumni Class Notes! Did you find a job or earn a promotion? Win an award? Get married? Tell us about it!
Patricia A. Wyman (B.Ed. '65 General Education, Elementary Education)
Wyman is a psychotherapist and has published a book, "Three Keys to Self-Understanding." She has two children and five grandchildren. She recently wrote to the Northeastern Illinois University Alumni Association and stated “I'm very appreciative of my time at what is now Northeastern.”
Frank P. Sesko (B.A. '66 Education - Speech)
Sesko co-authored a children's book “Santa and Sam's Big Secret” with his wife Mary Ann.
Patrick G. Patt (B.A. '67 Elementary Education: Math)
Patt is running as an independent candidate for the District 67 School Board. Patt is an adjunct professor of educational leadership at Concordia University, where he teaches graduate classes in ethics. He has served as president and state board member for Illinois Common Cause; board member for Family Services of South Lake County; volunteer academic tutor for Nuestro Center of Highland Park; volunteer for Big Brother/ Big Sister of Lake County; and volunteer for PADS program of Lake County.
Joanne Kitsos (B.S. ’68 Elementary Education)
Kitsos was awarded the newly created Karen Utterback Award for Volunteerism by the the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Board of Directors, recognizing her contributions to the growth and success of the organization.
Lois R. Kurowski (B.A. '68 Elementary Education, Mathematics)
Kurowski went from working in the accounts receivable department to customer profile administrator for ACCO Brands, an office products leader.
David Helfand (B.A. '72 Mathematics, Secondary Education and Psychology)
After two years volunteering with Orphans of the Storm animal shelter in Deerfield, Helfand is now an Adoption Counselor with PAWS (Pets Are Worth Saving) of Chicago. He also enjoys taking his dogs, Roxy and Bounce, to visit with the seniors at the Lieberman Center in Skokie. Helfand retired as coordinator of career counseling at Northeastern Illinois University.
Maria F. Martinez (B.A. '72 Spanish)
Martinez published "Cuban Stories about People, Terraces, Food, Revolution and Good-bye's,” a memoir of her childhood in Cuba before and during the communist revolution. Martinez retired from Citigroup after a career of 25 years and is now an independent specialist in integrated marketing.
Charles A. Towsley (B.S. '72 Biology)
Towsley is currently founding president of Sante Shipping Lines, Miami, Fla. He was the former port director of the Port of Miami (1998-2006).
Anita R. Brook-Dupree (B.S. '73 Biology)
Brook-Dupree recently retired from the School District of Philadelphia, after a 30 year career as a science teacher and curriculum specialist. After attending a conference in Chicago called "So You Want To Be An Educational Consultant?" Brooke-Dupree launched her own consulting firm called Science is My Specialty.
George W. Kerscher(B.A. '74 Secondary Education: English)
Kerscher is one of President Obama's appointees for the National Museum and Library Services Board. Kerscher is secretary general of the DAISY Consortium; president of the International Digital Publishing Forum; senior officer of accessible technology at Learning Ally; and serves on the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard Board.
Robert Bluestone (B.A. '75 Political Science)
Bluestone is running for City Council in Port St. Lucie, Fla. He was also former city commissioner of Ft. Pierce, Fla. and retired as senior vice president of Harbor Federal Savings Bank.
RoBert V. Cunningham (M.A. '75 Inner City Studies) Cunningham has served as an elected member of the Board of Directors for the Retired Teachers Association of Chicago since the year 2009.
Clifford R. Wagner (B.A. '75 Secondary Education, Physical Education; M.A. ’01, Grad-Ed Lead: School Lead)
Wagner is a teacher at Bogan H.S in Chicago. He is also vice president for teenage youth at the Illinois Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (IAHPERD) and president-elect for the Illinois High School Association and the College Driver Education Association.
Darlene J. Ruscitti (B.A. '75 Secondary Education: History; M.A. '86 History)
Ruscitti was appointed by Governor Pat Quinn to serve on the NEIU Board of Trustees. Ruscitti has been in the education profession in various capacities over the last 30 years, and serves as the first woman regional superintendent of the DuPage County School District.
Mary Zentmyer (B.A. '75 Speech)
Zentmyer is currently touring in the show “Late Nite Catechism.” The show has toured in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom and is currently playing in Easton, Pa. Funds from the play benefit nuns in need.
Luis V. Gutierrez (B.A., '76 English)
Congressman Gutierrez was named Hispanic of the Year by Panorama Hispano, a New York based paper dedicated to exposing news to the Hispanic community.
Charlene M. Jett (M.S. '80 Biology)
Jett is president of 3R's Management Consulting and Therapeutics, Inc. Jett presents quality clinical trial presentations such as, "An Ounce of Prevention is worth a Pound of Cure," which she presented in December 2012 at OMICS Publishing Company held in Philadelphia, Pa.
Mona Noriega (B.A. '81 Social Work and Criminal Justice)
Noriega lead an evening discussion with the University community on Wednesday, April 6 at the NEIU Angelina Pedroso Center's LGTBQ Resource Center. She focused on how to make a career of social work. Noriega serves as the chairperson for the City of Chicago Commission on Human Relations.
Thomas B. Perski (B.A. '81 Board of Governors)
Perski, senior vice president/rehabilitation services, The Chicago Lighthouse, oversees several programs including the VA Program and the Consumer Products Store. He will lead an expansion of services and sales through a new catalog and e-commerce web site of technology and independent living aids and other programs that will integrate with the Low Vision Rehabilitation Service and the Adaptive Technology Department.
Gardenia C. Hung (B.A. '82 Spanish and Secondary Education: French)
Hung had an article featured in CNN I Report called "How I Became a Community Interpreter?"
James H. Lawlor, III (B.A. '83 Business and Management)
Lawlor is a partner of Shea Law Group. He was recently named an Illinois Superlawyer by his peers, an honor bestowed on the top five percent of attorneys in his field of personal injury trial litigation.
Andrew H. Stein (B.A. '83 Speech and Performing Arts)
Stein was featured in the Buffalo Grove Patch as a candidate for the Buffalo Grove Village Board.
Toni L. Armstrong, Jr. (MA.S. '84 Teaching Children with Learning Disabilities)
Armstrong recently launched BLAST, a website powered by Meetup.com where "lesbians, bi women, transwomen, and our straight female allies have opportunities to socialize and network around their interests, to develop leadership skills, and to gain more LGBT and feminist cultural literacy."
Paul M. Nordhaus (B.A. '84 Political Science)
Nordhaus has been appointed Chair of the International Advisory Board for the National Science Teachers Association for 2012-12.
Daniel J. Yee (B.S. '88 Computer Science)
Yee passed the MCSE in September 2009 which included certification in Comptia A+ (2005), Network+ (2006), PDI+ (2011), Microsoft's MCP (2006), and MCSA (2008). He currently works for the Chicago Police Department IT division as a Microsoft systems engineer.
Jeffrey W. Miller (B.A. '89 Secondary Education: English)Miller was recently appointed account manager for Quality Catering. "Jeff's 20 plus years in education show his dedication to wanting to make a positive difference in the world," said James Scharnell, president, Quality Catering.
John Byrne (B.A. '90 Criminal Justice)
Byrne was promoted from deputy to lieutenant by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office in April. He has served in court security, work release, jail, highway patrol, criminal investigations, the emergency management agency, and was director of training. He has been a member of the Metropolitan Enforcement Group and is the field operations commander of the tactical response team. Byrne attended the Northwestern University Supervision of Police Personnel and Staff and Command School and will be in charge of the court security division.
Kenneth A. Bouche (B.A. '91 Board of Govenors)
Bouche, a retired Illinois State Police colonel , will serve as the Schaumburg Police Department's interim chief of police. "The appointment of Ken Bouche to interim chief allows us to ensure that we can continue to deliver public safety services to village residents and businesses," said Schaumburg Village Manager Ken Fritz.
Gabriella Filippi (M.S. '91 Exercise Science)
Filippi recently wrote "Celebrate Your Seasons," an inspirational book on love and god, published by Rowman and Littlefield.
Jeffrey Halen (B.S. '91 Business and Management)
Halen was featured in the Lake Zurich Patch as a candidate for trustee on the Lake Zurich Village Board.
Rae Lewis-Thornton (B.A. '91 Political Science)
Lewis-Thronton recently published “The Politics of Respectability” which is a memoir of her life and her personal journey living with HIV and AIDS. She is an Emmy Award-winning AIDS activist and educational speaker who has appeared on the cover of Essence Magazine, Ebony, Jet, Emerge, O (The Oprah Magazine), The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dateline, CNN, Black Entertainment Television, and the Montel Williams Show. In May 2011, Lewis-Thornton received the NEIU Distinguished Alumna Award.
Basia Emano (B.A. '93 Education, Leisure Studies)
Emano is an independent casting director who has served on independent films including "Dog Jack," "Batman Begins," "Spiderman II," "Drunkboat," "What Women Want" and "A League of Their Own." She has also worked on several television series such as "Judge Alex," "Cristina's Court," "Texas Justice" and "Rozmowy w Toku." She is currently working as marketing director for the Lira Ensemble (a not-for-profit professional performing arts company comprised of a Symphony, female vocal ensemble, a chamber chorus, a children's chorus and a dance company) and will contribute to the upcoming feature film "Jerzy," to be produced by the famed and multi-talented Paul Hensler ("Star Wars").
Kevin R. McCormack (B.A. '93 Board of Governors)
McCormick relocated to Nashville, Tennessee from Atlanta, Georgia after accepting a position as a senior financial analyst with Hospital Corp of America.
Neil Slater (B.A. '93 Speech)
Slater is pursuing a second bachelor’s degree in mathematics at Saginaw Valley State University.
Sasha Gerritson(B.A. '94 Vocal Performance; M.A. '96 Vocal Pedagogy)
Gerritson serves as a conductor of the Park Ridge Civic Symphony Choir. She recently led the concert to performances for Mozart "Requiem," the Brahms "Requiem," "The Creation" by Haydn, "Carmina Burana" by Orff, and the majestic "Symphony No. 9" in D Minor by Beethoven. She is also the director of opera studies at NEIU as well as a full-time instructor teaching music theory and sight-singing. At Northeastern, Gerritson also serves as the department's recruitment and scholarship coordinator and as is faculty advisor for the local NAfME chapter.
Ivan S. Muslin (B.A. '94 Political Science)
Muslin earned a Ph.D. in business administration at the University of Memphis in 2011. He is an assistant professor of management at Lewis College of Business at Marshall University.
Gwen Zimmermann (B.A. '94 Mathematics)
Zimmermann was recently named assistant principal for teaching and learning at Stevenson High School. She previously served as the director of mathematics. She has also served as chairwoman of the mathematics department at Hinsdale Central High School, taught at Glenbrook South High School, and West Chicago High School. Zimmermann was awarded the 2001 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics Teaching for the State of Illinois.
Carlo P. Basile (B.A. '96 Music; M.A. '96 Classical Guitar Performance and Pedagogy)
Basile is the founder of "Flamenco Nights" which laid the foundation for Las Guitarras de Espana. Basile continues to study Flamenco guitar in Cordoba and Seville, Spain.
Asif Anwar (M.A. '97 Excercise Science/Cardio Rehab)
Anwar authored “The Concise Review of Care, Trauma and Emergency Medicine: A Quick Reference Guide of ICU and ER.”
Enrique R. Gallego (M.A. '97 Political Science)
Gallego recently completed a three-year assignment as the political-military affairs/ counterterrorism officer at the U.S. Embassy in Bangladesh. Among his achievements were organizing the first bilateral security dialogue between the United States and Bangladesh and working with Bangladesh's primary counterterrorism unit to reform its procedures to conform with international human rights standards. Gallego recently received the U.S. State Department's Superior Honor Award.
Juliana Taimoorazy (B.A. '98 Board of Governors)
Taimoorazy is founder and president of The Iraqi Christian Relief Council. This nonprofit organization educates young Christian women arriving in Chicago from refugee camps in Turkey, Syria and Iraq.
Torrey A. Rinaldo (B.A. '97 Management and Marketing; M.S.A. ’06, Accounting)
In addition to double degrees from NEIU, Rinaldo received a master’s degree from Loyola University of Chicago 2003 and Ph.D. Madison University 2010.
Robert F. Tredray (B.A. '98 Non-Traditional Degree Program; M.A. ’03 English)
Tredray recently received the President's Volunteer Service Award. A letter from the White House was presented to him at the annual Awards Dinner of the Potawatomi District of the Boy Scouts of America, in recognition of his more than 500 hours of service in 2011. An independent scholar, Tredray presented papers to the International Congress on Medieval Studies in 2009 and the Mythopoeic Society in 2010.
Dean J. Young (M.S. '98 Exercise Science/Cardio Rehabilitation)
Young was recently hired by SPRI, a leading manufacturer and distributor of resistance exercise products for the health and fitness industry, as National Account Manager.
Felix B. Carter (B.A. '99 Non-Traditional Degree Program; M.A. ’05 Political Science)
Carter earned an M.S. in Education with a concentration in Elementary-Studies from Quincy University (Quincy, Ill.). While studying he held two part-time jobs--one with the Chicago Public Schools as a special education teachers assistant, and with the Transportation Security Officers for Homeland Security. Currently he is pursuing a part-time career position as an academic advisor, career coach or admissions counselor at the middle school, high school or beginning college levels.
Kyla Darling (B.A. '99 Speech and Performing Arts)
Darling served for 14 years as a producer, director and videographer for KRD Productions. She has produced more than 60programs for local cable stations. In 2000, she received a video award (Cammy) from Naperville community television in the performance category.
Gregory G. Jackson (B.A. '99 Political Science)
Jackson was recently installed as President of the Chicago Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration. He currently works as the principal for PPA International and serves as a member of the NEIU Alumni Advisory Board.
Jose Rico (B.A., '99 University without Walls)
Rico was appointed by President Obama as the director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics in 2011. The Initiative is in charge of expanding academic excellence and improving educational opportunities for Hispanics for President Obama and Secretary Duncan. Rico received the Northeastern Illinois University Distinguished Alumnus Award at the December 2010 commencement ceremony.
Francine L. Sheppard (B.A. '99 Teacher Education)
Sheppard is an MBA student at Kaplan University and expects to complete her degree in 2013. She earned a master’s degree in educational administration leadership from Grand Canyon University in March 2011, and graduated from Joseph Business School with a certificate of completion in June 2007.
Julio J. Valle (B.A. '99 Mathematics, Secondary Education Certification: Mathematics)
Valle was recognized by the Latino American Who's Who, a New York based publication, for his accomplishments in the field of education. Currently, Valle is principal of Sawgrass Bay Elementary in Sunrise, Fla.
Michael G. Wall (B.S. '99 Business Accounting)
Wall was appointed by BENNU Legal Services as a member of the board of directors and also as co-chair of the finance committee serving Lake County.
Luke N. Bobek (B.A. '01 Speech)
Bobek is the director of sales for industrial and institutional at Earth Friendly Products, an environmental cleaning products provider. Previously, he was the Midwest sales and marketing manager of Chase Products Company and the regional sales manager of Claire-Sprayway Inc. Bobek recently purchased a home in Sugar Grove, Ill.
Christine A. Matta (M.A. '01 Linguistics)
Matta (pen name Krystiana Stacy Kelly) authored earthquake survivor's stories in Never Shaken: Tales of Survival. The Shattered Swan, the first of the Tamara series, is a fictional account of the August 15, 2007 earthquake in Ica/Pisco, Peru.2012.
Lisa M. Stevenson (M.A. '01 Linguistics)
Stevenson was recently appointed principal of Neil Armstron Elementary in Hoffman Estates, Ill. She will begin in July 2012.
Camille R. Caldwell (B.S. '02 Biology)
Caldwell is a criminal investigator for the U.S. Airforce and recently married Kenneth Wayne Caldwell, aircraft mechanic for the U.S. Army.
Sean P. Fleming (B.A. '02 Criminal Justice)
Fleming recently announced his engagement to Christina Nerbonne.
Maria Luna-Duarte (B.A. ’02 Sociology)
Luna-Duarte, acting director, El Centro, received the 2012 E. Kika de la Garza Fellowship. This USDA award annually recognizes 27 fellows from Hispanic-Serving Institutions from across the country, based on their efforts within the USDA mission areas, as well as the impact their experiences will have on their institutions' educational abilities.
Paul A. O'Malley (M.A. '02 Learning Disabilities; M.A. ’04 Educational Leadership)
O’Malley, who currently serves the Niles School District 219 as assistant superintendent of business services, has accepted the position of assistant superintendent of business at Oswego Community School District 308.
Valerie A. Betts (B.A. '03 Board of Governors)
Betts received a National Board Certification in 2011 as an early/middle childhood music mission trip leader and organizer to Kenya and Ghana.
Gregory Bublitz (M.A. ’03 Special Education)
Bublitz was promoted from current special education facilitator to interim director of special events at Park Ridge School District 63.
Paul Clermont and Fred Clermont (B.A. '03 Speech and Performing Arts)
The Clermont’s are both assistant principals in Florida who started an organization that takes teachers and other professionals to Haiti every four to five months.
John Kretsos (M.S. '03 Chemistry)
Kretsos is the recipient of a 2013 Golden Apple award. He is a chemistry teacher at Niles North high school.
Carmen I. Lebron (B.A. '03 Speech)
Lebron earned a master’s degree from Benedictine University in 2010.
Charles Good and Eric Rojas (B.A. '04 Economics / B.A. '05 Nontradtional Degree Program)
Good and Rojas, members of the NEIU Alumni Advisory Board, attended NEIUs May 2013 Commencement Ceremony to distribute gifts to the new graduates on behalf of the Alumni Association. Good also provided greetings during the ceremony, welcoming the Class of 2013 into the over 70,000 member NEIU alumni community.
Maximo J. Marin (B.A. '04 Psychology)
Marin graduated from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and is a physician resident at the University of Chicago Medical Center.
Louis E. Martinez (B.A. '04 Board of Governors)
Martinez currently works for the Chicago Police Department and is the president of the Illinois Academy of Criminology.
John J. Ross (B.A. '04 Board of Governors)
Ross, a North Dakota State assistant soccer coach, was named head coach at Northern Illinois University. He was previously the director for the North Dakota Youth Soccer Association Olympic Development Program.
Andrea V. Belard (B.S. '05 Business Administration)
Belard graduated from DePaul College of Law in May 2010. She is currently practicing as a licensed attorney in family law in Chicago.
Katie Muhtaris (B.A. '05 Teacher Education)
Muhtaris earned a master's degree in teacher leadership from Roosevelt University and achieved National Board Certification as a middle childhood generalist. She was recently featured in the Comprehension and Collaboration DVD by Stephanie Harvey and Harvey Daniels and will be featured in the upcoming new edition of Best Practice by Harvey Daniels, Steve Zemelman, and Art Hyde. She also works as an education consultant for Stephanie Harvey, with schools and districts across the nation to implement balanced literacy, comprehension instruction, and meaningful technology integration. Muhtaris has presented at the International Reading Association Conference, The National Council of Teachers of English, and The Illinois Computing Educators Conference. She also founded a blog called "Inquiry Live in the Classroom" that talks about her teaching career; using inquiry based teaching methods, implementing reading and writing workshop, and meaningful uses of technology as a tool for learning.
Aida L. Perez (B.A. '05 Early Childhood Education)
Perez is currently working for the Head Start Program across the city of Chicago managing the day to day operations, budget, and monitoring compliance. She is involved with Imagine Learning English; a literacy program used in classrooms. She completed a degree in educational leadership and administration from NEIU.
Gregory R. Regalado (M.A. '05 Educational Leadership)
Regalado is the recipient of a 2013 Golden Apple award. He is a teacher at Main West high school.
Christina Henza (B.S. ’='06 Biology)
Henza was featured by the Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry as a top 40 medtech professional under 40 for her work interfacing with regulatory authorities for domestic and international companies. She has also written papers in leading journals and lectured at important conferences.
Betty J. Howard (B.A. '06 Board of Governors)
Howard recently retired as a community supervisor at a Senior Volunteer Program of the Jane Addams Hull House Association (JAHHA) in Chicago.
Sofia Huitron (B.A. '06 Bilingual, Bicultural Education)
Huitron works for the Addison School District as a bilingual third grade teacher and recently was granted tenure. She is pursuing a master's degree in educational technology and is expected to graduate in December 2012.
Rodrigo Garcia (B.S. '07 Finance)
Garcia was appointed assistant director of the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs by Governor Pat Quinn in 2011. Garcia serves as the second-in-command over an agency with 1,300 employees, numerous veteran homes throughout the state including one under design and development, various programs and services divisions, and supports Illinois' 1.3 million veterans.
Laura A. Hoeflich (B.S. '07 Biology)
Hoeflich recently announced her engagement to Robert Kalas.
Daniel T. Kamka (B.A. '07 Mathematics)
Kamka was promoted from a position as a Network Operations Center Support Engineer to an Operations Center Administrator I at Classified Ventures LLC. He graduated with a master’s degree in science from Roosevelt University in 2010.
Diana M. Lanza (B.A. '08 Mathematics)
Lanza earned a master’s degree in information systems from DePaul University.
Cicely (Virginia) Teal (B.A. '08 Communication, Media and Theatre)
Teal (pen name Virginia) is a journalist and editor who worked as a writer and floor director for the national children's literacy television program "Green Screen Adventures." She has also written for print and online publications, including N'Digo, GlossMagazineOnline, The DePaulia, The Independent, Café Magazine Online, Breaking Tweets and the ONE Organization. She worked for Central City Productions and WTTW channel 11.
Jacqueline Cunningham (M.A. '09 Linguistics)
Cunningham is co-chair of the English language learning and world languages department at Harold Washington College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago.
Alicja Haptas (M.A. '09 Linguistics)
Haptas is a reading instructor at Richard J. Daley College and is currently earning a graduate teaching certificate from Roosevelt University.
Corrina J. Nemec (B.A. '09 Elementary Education, Teacher Education)
Nemec received the prestigious ISTA New Teacher of the Year Award for 2010-2011 for outstanding achievements in science education. She is currently the eighth grade science teacher at Monroe Elementary School (CPS), and also the science department chair. She participated in the MSI 2010-11 workshops for teachers, and is fruitfully organizing and tending the school garden. Nemec is planning an after-school science club, and is the school's science fair coordinator.
Dale Rivera (B.A. '09 Communication, Media and Theatre; M.A. 12 Communication, Media and Theatre)
Rivera published the article “A Mother’s Son,” in the peer-reviewed journal Cultural Studies Methodologies.
Winifred O. Whelan (M.A. '09 Linguistics)
Whelan translated Mary García's “The Sufferings, Assassinations, and Martyrdom of the Missionary Church in Olancho Honduras (1963-1982): The History of a Church that Lived Its Commitment to the Poor,” which was published by Mellen Press in 2011, from the original Spanish into English.
Milton C. Zhinin (B.S. '09 Accounting)
Zhinin earned an MBA from the Liautaud Graduate School of Business at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has accepted a position in the audit enterprise and risk services division at the accounting firm Deloitte & Touche. Zhinin plans on being a licensed CPA by February 2013.
Aissatou Diallo (B.A. '10 Psychology)
Diallo recently presented a paper titled “Robust training attenuates TBI-induced deficits in reference and working memory on the radial 8-arm maze," which was published online by Frontier in Behavioral Neuroscience.
Tiffany M. Doan (B.A., '10 Psychology)
Doan is currently pursuing her master’s program at the University of Limerick, Ireland studying applied social research.
Jose Fulgencio (B.A. '10 Political Science)
Fulgencio recently earned an M.A. in Political Science from Oklahoma State University and will pursue an M.S. in Entrepreneurship this fall at Oklahoma State. He will travel to Cape Town, South Africa, this summer to work as a consultant with Oklahoma State’s School of Entrepreneurship to help disadvantaged entrepreneurs with their businesses.
Ronald I. Hale (M.A. '10 Political Science)
Hale recently married Elizabeth Moody in a ceremony in Cleveland, Ohio.
Steven V. Jerome (B.A., '10 Mathematics)
Jerome recently started a Ph.D. program at Columbia University in theoretical biophysics and chemistry. He was also awarded a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and the Eugene Cota-Robles Fellowship which led him to presenting research at the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.
Joanna P. Kowal (B.S., '10 Biology)
Kowal is a certified pharmacy technician at Walgreens. She is completing her master's degree at Saint Joseph's College.
Alexandra Maragha (B.A. '10 Communication, Media and Theatre)
Maragha is co-founder and editor-in-chief of Today’s BoomeR Digital Magazine, a bi-monthly publication of The American BoomerR.com.
Linda L. Stovall-Suazo (M.A., '10 Inner City Studies)
Stovall-Suazo is an MIT special education high school teacher. She recently received a LBS1 certification and is currently working on an ESL certification. This upcoming summer she will begin a Ph.D program at Capella University.
Silvana K. Torres (M.A. '10 Linguistics)
Torres presented a paper entitled "Reanalysis of the Mandan Verbal Suffix Complex through the Complementizer Phrase" at the Linguistic Society of America and the Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas Annual Conference in Portland, Ore., in January.
(B.A., '10 Social Work)
Vazquez earned a master’s degree in social work from UIC in
2011. She currently works as a Behavior Health Clinician
for high intensive adolescent services at Resurrection
Health Care in Chicago, Ill.
Angel L. Velez
(B.A., '10 Justice Studies)
Velez received an ENLACE Leadership Institute Fellowship
and is currently working as a Graduate Assistant with
Proyecto Pa'Lante at NEIU.
Elizabeth Y. Webb (M.A. '10 Linguistics)
Webb is working as an English as a Foreign Language (EFL) instructor in Izmir, Turkey.
George Wilmes (M.A. '10 Linguistics)
Wilmes presented a paper entitled "Interrogative content words in Mandan and other Siouan languages" at the Linguistic Society of America and the Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas Annual Conference in Portland, Ore., in January. He also presented a paper entitled "Past applications of optimality theory to Siouan language data and phenomena: A review of the literature" at the Siouan and Caddoan Languages Conference in Lawrence, Kan. in June.
Theodore J. Birren (B.A. '11 Interdisciplinary Studies)
Birren was recently promoted to director of operations for the Northwestern Suburb High School District 214. Birren perviously served as maintenance supervisor for the same district.
Susana Luna (B.A. '11 Communication, Media and Theatre)
Luna is a student advocate in West 40’s Project TAPESTRY, one of 29 agencies in the nation to receive a five-year federal High School Graduation Initiative Grant designed to aid local high schools in drop-out prevention. Luna is also completing the Improv Program at the Second City.
Rand Ringgenberg (B.A. '11 Communication, Media and Theatre)
Ringgenberg recently produced a show at Stage 773 and a Studio Theatre series at NEIU. Rand is currently working on Primrose, a play that started in a class at the Chicago Dramatists.
Daniella Bajtner (B.A. '12 Communication, Media and Theatre)
Bajtner was accepted into the Master of Arts in Organizational and Multicultural Communication program at Depaul University.
Eduardo Bocanegra (B.A. '12 Interdisciplinary Studies and Social Work)
Bocanegra was featured in an LISC Chicago article titled "Panel Traces Path from Childhood Trauma to Youth Violence." He has worked with the University of Illinois and CeaseFire to mediate conflicts and stop violence in Chicago communities, and he was featured in the 2011 film, "The Interrupters," for his work. Now a congregational organizer at the Community Renewal Society, Bocanegra raises awareness of a number of programs that attempt to address the causes and/or effects of violence.
Daniel M. Fink (M.A. '12 Geography and Environmental Studies)
Fink was featured in a MEDILL Reports Chicago article titled "What bites Chicago? Spring awakens carnivorous plants." Fink traveled to sphagnum bogs and sandy swales to perform research on these rare botanical species.
Galini Gkartzonika (M.A. ’12 Linguistics)
Gkartzonika is currently teaching Greek as a Second Language at the ATHENA Hellenic School in Morton Grove, Ill.
Diana Juarez (M.A. '12 Linguistics)
Juarez was hired as director of the Niles Township Schools English Language Learner Parent Center. She will lead the organization as it establishes English classes, access to community services, workshops and other programs for immigrant parents.
Jasmin Bleu Pellegrino (B.A. '12 Communication, Media and Theatre)
Pellegrino, a photojournalist, received first place for a photo essay about the current state of Gary, Ind., from the Illinois College Press Association. After graduation, Pellegrino worked for Boston University (BU) News Service covering the Obama/Romney campaign. She is currently a currently a BU International Ambassador and graduate teaching assistant.
Julie Wight (M.A. '12 Communication, Media and Theatre)
Wight was selected by the White House to participate on a social media panel for President Obama’s 2013 State of the Union address in Washington, D.C. She will present her research at the 2013 Gender Matters conference and at the 2013 Central States Communication Association conference.