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Friday, July 31, 2015

Bonnie L. Clatch
(B.E.D. '61 General Education - Elementary)
Clatch is opening a fourth location for her early learning center, Poko Loko, which has served the Glenview community for 50 years, along with sites in Wheeling and Libertyville. The centers are open for children age six weeks through kindergarten for full- and half-day programs.

Daniel L. Goodwin
(B.A. '66 Secondary Education - Psychology)
Goodwin and his wife, Carol, were named Philanthropists of the Year by the West Suburban Philanthropic Network, for their integrity, dedication, leadership and generosity to area nonprofit organizations.

James A. Blair
(M.A.T. '68 English Literature)
Blair has written and directed a new play, "Lounging: One Unforgettable Day in an Inner-City High School Teacher's Lounge." The play will be shown at the West Stage at the Raven Theatre Complex in Chicago, from mid-July through early August 2015.

Richard L. Desmond
(B.A. ’70 Sociology and ’72 M.A. Political Science)
Desmond has retired after completing 33 years with State of Illinois Department of Employment Security as a Program Manager. He resides in northern Illinois.

Lula Ford
(M.A.’74 Inner City Studies)
Ford was appointed to the Illinois State Board of Education. Previously Dr. Ford was an Illinois State Commerce Commissioner after serving as the Assistant Director of the Illinois Central Management Services.

James P. Rowan
(B.S. '74 Earth Science)
Rowan will be presenting a program "Don't Squash That Bug!" at the Poplar Creek Public Library in Streamwood in July. The program educates youth and families about the roles bugs play in our lives.

Robert J. Russell
(B.A. ’76 Board of Governors)
Russell has written and published a book The American Dream: Inspiring life stories of entrepreneurs who achieved financial success through free market capitalism about the inspiring life stories of 17 friends who achieved financial success by owning a small business. Russell's book can be purchased on Amazon and in bookstores.

Angelo R. Chavers
(M.A. S. '77 Education - Individuals with Mental Disabilities)
Chavers is currently the Executive Director of the Omega Museum Chicago, Inc., an African American Green museum project. He also recently received a Masters in Liberal Arts degree from the University of Chicago.

Robert J. Delaney
(B.A. ’77 Elementary Education - Physical Education)
Delaney is the new head coach for the boy's water polo at Maine West High School in Des Plaines, where he was previously an assistant coach. Delaney is also recently joined Harper College in Palatine as an adjunct faculty in the Career and Technical Programs Division.

Josef Ben Levi
(M.A. ’78 Inner City Studies)
Levi had a paper published with the Illinois Transatlantic Slave Trade Project (ITSTP) entitled Occasional Papers: Volume 1, Number 1 - The African Origins of African Americans and the Black Codes: The Right to Citizenship and Education in the United States. He also had an entry published in the new Encyclopedia of Diversity and Social Justice, "Sebayeet: An African-Centered Philosophy of Education." Dr. Ben Levi is currently a professor in the Departments of Education Inquiry and Curriculum Studies and Philosophy at Northeastern Illinois University. 

Michael E. Batio
(B.A. '79 Music)
Batio has released a career retrospective collection on the Rat Pak label entitled Shred Force 1. You can view numerous videos of Batio and his specialized dual-neck guitars plus audio streaming of some of the tracks from Shred Force 1 on YouTube. He is currently planning a world tour to promote the new release

Abraham Eshkenazi
(B.A. '79 Business and management)
Eshkenazi had an article entitled "Finding and Retaining the Supply Chain Workforce of the Future" published in Industry Week, a manufacturing magazine.

Diane M. Bourn
(B.A. '80 Psychology)
Bourn recently participated as a judge for the 2015-15 Daily Herald Academic Team, which honors graduating high school seniors in the Northwest suburbs, DuPage County, Lake County and the Fox Valley who have achieved extraordinary academic records. Bourn is currently a college counselor at Prospect High School in Mount Prospect.

Kenneth M. Koziol
(B.A. '80 Political Science and Business and Management)
Koziol was appointed as executive vice president of Panera Bread.  Koziol was previously executive vice president and Worldwide Chief Restaurant Office for McDonald's.

Eric J. Dybal
(B.S. ’82 Biology)
Dybal was named Chief, Section of Urology in the Department of Surgery at the Phoenix VA Health Care System in July 2014. Dybal oversees three staff Urologists, three mid-level providers and four Nurses in the section, providing state of the art urological care to the Phoenix Arizona based Veterans who have proudly served our country.

Craig B. Johnson
(B.A. '82 Secondary Education - History)
Johnson was appointed to the Illinois State Tollway Authority Board of Directors. Johnson has served as Mayor of Elk Grove Village since 1997.

Paul. M. Pryma
(B.A. ’82 Secondary Education - English Education)
Pryma has written and published the book, Coaches of Chicago: Inspiring stories about leadership and life, in which he chronicles his and other high school basketball coaches' experiences in Chicago. Pryma is currently the principal at Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook.

Daniel A. Jimenez
(B.A. ’83 Business Management and Spanish)
Jimenez is celebrating his 30th anniversary as a sales agent for State Farm Insurance. His agency is located in West Chicago, Ill.

Arlene J. Erlbach
(M.A. S. ’89 Teaching Education - Mentally Handicapped)
Erlbach is participating for the third time in the Pillsbury Bakeoff. Erlbach is a finalist in the contest. You can view her recipe for Sweet and Salty Chocolate Chip-Maple-Peanut Bars at

Mark Glochowsky
(B.A, '89 Accounting and M.B.A. '96 Management)
Glochowsky recently joined the Ethics Committee of the Illinois Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Society, a senior committee of the society.  Glochowsky also serves on the Scholarship Committee of the Illinois CPA Foundation and is a legislative contact and past member of the CPA Exam Award Committee.

David Zahn 
(B.A. '89 Art and Secondary Education: Art)
Atom Studio + Gallery in Davenport, Iowa is exhibiting sculptures by Zahn. He also teaches pottery and sculpture at Moline High School, which he says benefits him by keeping him informed with what is happening with kids.

William Peacy
(B.S. ’90 and M.S. ’94 Chemistry)
Peacy successfully defended his dissertation in June 2014. He was awarded Doctor of Education in Community College Leadership from National-Louis University. Dr. Peacy is currently a professor of Chemistry at College of DuPage.

Dr. Dennis Bricault
(M.A. ’92 Linguistics)
Bricault spent the fall semester as a Fulbright Core Scholar in Guatemala.  He worked with both the Universidad del Valle [UVG] and the Ministry of Education to give professional development workshops to over 1,300 English teachers in eight different regions of the country.  He also conducted class observations, gave guest lectures, and worked on curriculum projects at the main UVG campus in Guatemala City. 

Jeffrey Vick
(B.S. ’93 Management)
Vick has joined Breckenridge Insurance Services, the wholesale commercial brokerage division of Breckenridge Insurance Group, as Vice-President of their Chicago offices.

Bulus Galadima
(M.A. ’93 Political Science)
Galadima is the new dean of the Cook School of Intercultural Studies at Biola University in Cook, Calif., a private Christian university. 

Kurt M. Diclementi
(B.A. '93 Linguistics and M.A. '97 English Composition Writing)
Diclementi has published a novel, Laowai for Sale, in which he addresses what he views as the moral, financial, and spiritual bankruptcy of the American people.

Dr. Tammy Oberg De La Garza
(B.A. ’93 Elementary Education - Teacher Education and M. ED. ’96 Teaching Language Arts)
Ober De La Garza co-authored and published her first book , Salsa Dancing in Gym Shoes:  Exploring Cross-Cultural Missteps with Latinos in the Classroom, which guides pre-service and current teacher through cultural missteps that hinder the academic achievement of Latinos and provides practical solutions to close a widening gap.

Eileen Berman
(M.A. ’93 Music)
Berman is appeared in Oakton Community College's annual musical brunch, this year entitled "Life is a Cabaret," on November 16, 2014. Berman, a soprano who also teaches at Oakton, covered a range of song from Mozart to popular favorites from musicals such as "Cabaret" and "Fiddler on the Roof."  

Robert Irons
(B.S. ’94 Finance and M.B.A. ’95 Business Administration)
Irons is an Associate Professor of Finance and Statistics at Dominican University. Irons was recently hired to develop the new Finance major at Elmira College in Elmira, New York.

Sam Fazio
(M.A. '94 Gerontology)
Fazio was featured in Rick Kogan's nationally syndicated Chicago Tribune column, outlining Fazio's singing career, which was reinvigorated after 20 years of professional work with the Alzheimer's Association. Fazio sings at many local Chicago jazz clubs and regularly at Coq D'or in the Drake Hotel in downtown Chicago.

Gloria M. Valerugo
(B.A. ’95 Board of Governors)
Valerugo was named Account Manager at Colliers International. Valerugo oversees more than 1.4 million square feet of high-end retail, office, and industrial properties in the Chicago and Kalamazoo, MI areas.

Patricia W. Iverson
(M.A. ’96 History)
Iverson attended the State of the Union address as a guest of Congressman Mike Quigley. Iverson teaches social studies teacher and coaches volleyball at York Community High School in Elmhurst.

Lance Williams
(M.A. ’96 Inner City Studies)
Williams recently participated in a panel discussion at the Gene Siskel Film Center, in relation to a screening of the films, "Lord Thing" and Robert Ford's "The Corner" (1963), both documentaries about life on the West side of Chicago.

Robert H. Kim
(M.S. '97 Exercise Science and Cardiac Rehabilitation)
Kim won a silver medal in his weight class at the 2014 USA Judo Senior National Championships in Reno, Nevada. He went on to compete in the International Blind Sports Federation World Games in Seoul, South Korea.

Shinora Montgomery
(B.A. ’97 Board of Governors)
Montgomery is the new Principal of the Early Childhood Center and Riverdale Elementary School, for the Dolton West District 148, in Riverdale, Ill. She was previously Assistant Principal at Meadowview School in Country Club Hills.

Michael Martinez
(M.A. ’98 Geography and Environmental Studies)
Martinez recently had an article published by The American Bar Association in its section on environment, energy and resources' magazine, Natural Resources and Environment (Winter 2015).  Entitled "Working Lands for Wildlife: Targeted Landscape-Scale Wildlife Habitat Conservation," the article describes a partnership between the US Department of Agriculture, US Fish and Wildlife Service, several states and NGOs, and farmers and ranchers to preserve and restore habitat at an ecosystem scale for species subject to Endangered Species Act (ESA) jurisdiction.  This effort is one element of the Obama Administration's strategy to modernize federal ESA programs.  Martinez has served in the Administration since 2009.

Timothy S. Wambach
(B.A. ’99 Speech)
Wambach co-wrote and performed in the play HANDICAP THIS!, which ran for special one-week engagement at Stage 773 in Chicago. The play --part comedy, part storytelling -- celebrates the power of diversity and inclusion - and provides new insight on people living with disabilities. 

Brett Klein
(B.A. ’00 Board of Governors)
Klein was named the city administrator for Windsor Heights, Iowa, where he has been the interim administrator since September 2014. Klein was previously an administrator of five cities in Illinois and Wisconsin.

Paul A. O'Malley
(M.A. '02 Teaching Children with Learning Disability and M.A. '04 Educational Leadership: School Leadership)
O'Malley was named Superintendent of Norridge School District 80, beginning in July 2015. He was previously the Associate Superintendent of District 308 in Oswego.

Angela Geis
(B.A. '02 Psychology)
Geis recently competed and won seventh place in her class for Judo at the fifth annual International Blind Sports Federation World Games that were held in Seoul, South Korea.

Richard D. Benson III
(M.A. ’02 Inner City Studies)
Benson completed his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2010 and is an Assistant Professor of Education Studies Program at Spelman College. Dr. Benson recently published a new book entitled, Fighting for Our Place in the Sun: Malcolm X and the Radicalization of the Black Student Movement, 1960-1973.

Carolina Avila
(B.S. '03 Business and Management - Finance)
Avila was awarded the University Alliance Scholarship toward earning her M.B.A. at Roosevelt University. Currently, Avila is an asset manager at Mid-America Asset Management.

Elizabeth Arroyo
(B.A. ’03 Psychology)
Arroyo has published her third dark-themed coming of age novel, "Darkness." It is available on Amazon for Kindle. Her first novel, published in 2013, "The Second Sign" was quickly followed by its sequel, "The Second Shadow," both of which are available in paperback in addition to Kindle editions.

Kevin A. Mowrer
(M.A. ’03 Educational Leadership)
Mowrer has earned a doctor of philosophy degree from Michigan State University with a specialization in educational administration and supervision. Currently, Dr. Mowrer is the principal of Manchester High School in Manchester, Mich.

Viviana Belisle
(B.A. '04 Speech and M.A. '07 Communication, Media and Theatre)
Belisle recently celebrated her fifth anniversary at North Park University. As Assistant Director of Admission, Graduate and Continuing Studies, Belisle directs the admission and enrollment process for graduate and post-graduate programs offered by the School of Nursing (SoN) and Health Sciences. Since her appointment, enrollment has reached new heights with a new record for the master of science in nursing program. She serves in the graduate selection and progression committee in the SoN, has led the implementation of a new graduate referral program, and serves as liaison for partnerships with health care and nonprofit organizations.

Benneth Lee
(B.A. '04 Board of Governors and M.A. '10 Inner City Studies)
Lee was featured in a Medill Reports Chicago article, highlighting his life experiences and how he turned his life around after more than a decade going in and out of the Illinois prison system. Lee currently mentors "returning citizens" with the National Alliance for the Empowerment of the Formerly Incarcerated and is an instructor in the Justice Studies program at Northeastern Illinois University.

Jason Mandik
(B.A. ’04 Psychology)
Mandik was named vice-president in the Property and Casualty division at Assurance, an independent insurance brokerage. He will consult with businesses on worker’s compensation and other business insurance solutions.

Brian D. Betti
(B.S. '06 General Business Administration)
Betti was named Director of Americas Sales for The Electronics Group of Henkel, an international corporation that manufactures many household and industrial products.

Loren Henderson
(B.A. ’06 Sociology)
Henderson received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2014.  Henderson is now an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.  Her book, Diversity in Organizations: A Critical Perspective (co-authored with Cedric Herring), was published by Routledge Press in 2014.

Matthew C. Abbott
(B.A. ’06 Communication Media and Theatre)
Abbott is a regular contributor, writing articles and op-eds for the website Catholic Online at, which reaches more than 100,000 readers from over 120 countries daily.

Rodrigo Garcia
(B.S. ’07 Business and Management - Finance)
Garcia has joined the office of Illinois State Treasurer Mike Frerichs as chief investment officer. In this key role, Garcia will oversee $15 billion in funds and short term investments, $6 billion in local government investment pools, and $6 billion in management under our 529 plans as well as direct/manage other financial assets/programs critical to the economic future of Illinois.

Angela C. Vela
(M.A. ’08 Sociology)
Vela has parlayed her degree in Sociology into a successful comedy and story-telling act, assuming the role of what she calls "observational sociologist." Vela is currently a senior member of Broad Shoulders Productions, producing, directing, writing and performing shows and short-films across the Chicago area, including headlining last year's Chicago Funny Women. Most recently she appeared in the 18th annual Fillet of Solo festival presented by Chicago's Lifeline Theatre and Live Bait Theater.

Ivette J. Rivera
(B.A. '09 Bilingual-Bicultural Education and Elementary Education - Teacher Education)
Rivera was appointed as principal of Community Consolidated School District 54 MacArthur International Spanish Academy in Hoffman Estates. Before that, Rivera was assistant principal Campanelli Elementary School and Dooley Elementary School, both in Schaumburg.

Laila K. Elgandoz
(B.S. ’11 Accounting)
Elgandoz recently joined the Chicago accounting firm, Ostrow Reisin Berk & Abrams, Ltd. , in their Auditing Department.

Nanae Fujiwara 
(B.A. '11 Music) Jose F. Lomeli (B.A. '11 History) Justin R. Eisenbraun (B.A. '12 Music) and Elizabeth A. Foerster (B.A. '12 Music and Economics) performed Saturday, February 28, at 7pm at the David Adler Music & Arts Center. Thier group, the Lyra Guitar Quartet, began playing classical guitar together at Northeastern Illinois University. They offer a fresh take on the traditional classical guitar repertoire by adapting classical pieces written for other instruments and rarely heard selections for classical guitar.

Lynn E. Herman
(B.A. '12 Secondary Education - English Education)
Herman was elected to the Gibraltar School Board in northern Door County, Wisconsin, where she recently retired from teaching.

Francisco D. Castellon
(B.A. ’13 Elementary Education - Teacher Education and Bilingual-Bicultural Education)
Castellon was recognized as a success story for the Grown Your Own Teacher program in a recent Chicago Tribune news article. Castellon was quoted discussing how he uses English and Spanish interchangeably to help in his second-grade classroom, to help students with reading and vocabulary.

Kaylee R. Preston
(B.A. '13 Anthropology)
Preston was one of 23 finalists in the international female drumming contest, "Hit Like a Girl." Her video submission can be viewed at online at

Geoffrey Surprenant
(B.S.’13  Accounting)
Surprenant joined the audit and accounting team of the Baltimore-based CPA and consulting firm Gross, Mendelsohn & Associates, P.A. as a staff accountant.

Idalia Vasquez
(B.A. ’13 Elementary Education - Teacher Education)
Vasquez wrote an guest column for Catalyst Chicago about her experiences in the Grown Your Own program at Northeastern Illinois University and as a kindergarten teacher in Chicago Public Schools. Vasquez detailed how her experiences as the child of Mexican immigrants positively impacts the lives of her students who come from similar backgrounds and how the Grow Your Own program was integral in helping her achieve her educational goals.



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