Archived news about graduates from Illinois State's Department of Politics and Government. For the latest news, see our main Alumni page.
Shortly after earning her M.A., Smith went to work for World Relief DuPage/Aurora (WRDA). WRDA is a non-profit organization that serves as a refugee resettlement agency and also provides immigrant legal services in the DuPage and Kane county area. She currently works in the Immigrant Legal Services department as a paralegal, helping refugees, asylees, and Cuban parolees apply for legal permanent residency and also travel documents. Additionally, Allison helps with advocacy around the organization's victims related services by contacting local and state law enforcement agencies to educate victims advocates at these locations about the U Visa application process. Her goal is to become accredited by the Board of Immigration Appeals within the next year and to work full-time as a legal specialist with WRDA.
Grant Anderson is the Chief Executive Officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Bloomington-Normal, a youth development non-profit organization serving over 500 at-risk youth annually. Under Grant's leadership, the Bloomington-Normal Boys & Girls Clubs has gone from a national "watch list" for Clubs that may shut down, to a model turnaround Club, more than doubling both revenue and the number of youth the Club impacts. A native of Danville, Illinois, Grant completed a year of AmeriCorps service after graduating from Illinois State, supporting low-income job seekers as part of a workforce collaborative in Minneapolis, MN. Grant was a 2014 McLean County Leaders of Distinction 20 under 40 honoree. In 2015, he was the recipient of the CEO of the Year Award for Illinois Boys & Girls Clubs and was recognized with the national Boys & Girls Clubs "Vision and Spirit" award, given to a CEO with under five years in their position. Grant serves on the board of the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation and is a member of the McLean County Juvenile Justice Council, Promise Council, and United Way Agency Executives Council.
Natalie Raney graduated Magna Cum Laude in Political Science and Psychology, with a Career Enhanced Certificate in Human Resources Management through the College of Arts and Sciences. Natalie first turned a summer internship into a position at the Village of Orland Park. After stints in retail management, she accepted the position of Human Resources Generalist with National Futures Association, filling open positions within the organization as well as participating in the rebranding of NFA's recruiting site and various social media platforms. Natalie credits ISU, the great academic/professional guidance from her advisor Erik Rankin, and her political science background for her career progress. Natalie notes that the political science major assisted her with the essential elements it takes to succeed in any profession: verbal and written communication skills, analytical skills, organizational skills, and critical thinking skills.
Jessica Bastian has earned a scholarship to pursue a degree in academic librarian science. She was recently awarded the American Library Association's Spectrum Scholarship, a monetary award with a built in leadership and professional development component.The University of Illinois Graduate School of Library and Information Science, where she will study, has matched the award with a full tuition and fees waiver. She plans to finish the GSLIS degree within the next year, with an added certificate in community informatics as well. Further Jessica recently joined the administrative management team at Illinois Central College in faculty recruitment and development, where she has also taught American Government. Prior to joining higher education, Jessica participated in the Illinois Legislative Staff Internship Program (ILSIP) and then worked as a program coordinator for the Alliance Library System before completing her Master's of Science at ISU. Jessica resides in Peoria, Illinois.
In the summer after graduation, Scott returned to his summer job at Bartlett Hills Golf Course while looking for "real work." Within weeks, he received a phone call from Bartlett Village Hall with an offer of a summer internship. Excited at a chance to do public service in his hometown, Scott completed his internship and earned an invitation to stay, where he was encouraged to complete a Master's in Public Administration (Northern Illinois University, 2011). Scott is still at the Village of Bartlett, Illinois and work as a management analyst in the Administration Department. Scott adds that he "owes a lot to the Political Science Department; staff and faculty encouraged me and cared about my future the second I walked in the door, and continue to do so years later. I am confident when I say that joining the political science department at ISU was the best professional decision I have made so far."
Dan Evans has a diverse background in political action. He has held various leadership positions in both grassroots and electoral campaigns, coordinated Get out the Vote efforts, lobbied legislators, and acted as a research assistant in the non-partisan research office in the Minnesota House of Representatives. He has worked in politics in Minnesota, Ohio, Washington D.C., and overseas as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Albania. He most recently worked with the Minnesota Organization on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, helping enhance advocacy activities, lobbying efforts, and organizational grant writing. Dan holds a B.A. in Political Science and History, with a Minor in Peace Studies from Xavier University in Cincinnati. In 2007, Dan received a Master's Degree in Politics and Government from Illinois State University. Currently, Dan is employed as the Director of Government Relations for the Minnesota State College Student Association. In this position, Dan lobbies for students in the 2-year public colleges. He works with elected officials, state government administrators, and student organizations to advance the interests of students. He also works to empower and organize student leaders to maximize their influence in state and federal politics.
Tim Johnson received a Fulbright grant to teach at Hacettepe University in Ankara for the 2007-2008 academic year. During that time, he designed and presented courses in composition, public speaking, American popular culture, American cultural geography, American political institutions, and America and war. Upon his return to the US Tim taught high school social studies in the north Bronx. In Fall 2009, Tim is beginning a PhD program in political science at the University of Oregon. He will be working as a teaching assistant for the department.
Paula Silveria-Orlando currently works for TRACE International as a Due Diligence Manager. TRACE International is a non-profit organization focused on anti-bribery and corruption in international business located in Washington D.C.. TRACE provides several core services and products including: due diligence reports on commercial intermediaries; model compliance policies; an online Resource Center with foreign local law summaries; in-person and online anti-bribery training; and research on corporate best practices. Paula primarily manages a portfolio of Brazilian and other Portuguese-speaking companies and produces detailed background research regarding their anti-bribery compliance efforts. She continues to publish on gender issues. Her recent publications include, “In the Battle Ground: HIV/AIDS and the Human Rights of Women in Zambia” in Women: Role Transformation (edited by K. Padmaja, Hyderabad, India: Amicus Books, 2008).
Mina Aitelhadj graduated from the Department of Politics and Government and continued on to obtain an MS in Technology in 2007. In 2008 she started a career in Information Technology at CDWG where she provided State and Local Government entities with IT solutions. The frail state of the IT infrastructure in the majority of State and Local Governments inspired her to pursue another degree in IT. She was admitted to Northwestern University this fall and will graduate in 2014 with an MS in Information Systems. She currently works for an IT Company that provides solutions to retailers.
Zach Koutsky was named Senior Advisor to the Treasurer for Treasurer Michael W. Frerichs. Koutsky was campaign manager and deputy director to the treasurer's Transition Committee. Koutsky previously served as the Chief of Staff for Frerichs' state senate office and has worked for non-profits and political campaigns in nine states. Koutsky earned a master's degree in urban planning and policy with a concentration in economic development from the University of Illinois Chicago and a bachelor's degree from Illinois State University.
After graduation, Ryan took a job with the McLean County Chamber of Commerce. As Director of Governmental Affairs, it is his responsibility to represent over 1,200 businesses to local, county, state, and federal legislators. His position pushes for pro-business legislation that will build the local economy and develop new businesses within the county and state.
Matt Hindman received a Ph.D. degree in political science from the University of Minnesota in January 2013. His dissertation was titled Interest Group Citizenship: LGBT Politics from the Closet to K Street. He held the position of Visiting Assistant Professor of American Politics at Linfield College in McMinnville, OR during the academic year 2012-13. He will begin a tenure-track position as Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Tulsa in Fall 2013.
Michael Miller is a Public Affairs Specialist for Naval Service Training Command at Naval Station Great Lakes, IL which oversees the accessions training for the United States Navy. Miller is the Public Affairs Coordinator for the Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) and Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC). He provides public affairs guidance and assistance to the 640 worldwide NJROTC units and 59 nationwide NROTC units.
Michael Evans will be the new Executive Director of the Bolingbrook Area Chamber of Commerce.The Chamber announced that "Evans is a long-time resident of Bolingbrook who most recently has worked as Grants Coordinator for DuPage County. He brings to the Chamber his knowledge of the Village, necessary technical computer skills, experience working with local government, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Illinois State University in Politics and Government with an emphasis in public administration."
Kelly LeJunehas been accepted to the master's program at the University of Chicago with full funding.
Michael Dougherty is Thomsen Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellow in the Development Studies Program and the Department of Community and Environmental Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After graduating from ISU, Michael worked for three years in Guatemala as a development planning consultant, first with the Peace Corps, and then independently. Michael was also the Executive Director of Wisconsin/Nicaragua Partners of the Americas before he enrolled at the University of Wisconsin to get his PhD. His dissertation, underwritten by the National Science Foundation, among other sources, focuses on changing geographic patterns of mineral investment in Central America and the effect of this investment on state/society relations. Michael has published articles and book reviews in Rural Sociology, Natural Resources Forum, The Journal of the Community Development Society, Global Studies Journal and others.
Zachary Callen graduated in August 2009 from the University of Chicago with a PhD in political Science. Zachary's concentration was American politics, and his dissertation examined how federalism impacted American rail planning during the antebellum era. In the fall of 2009, Zachary started an appointment as an assistant professor at Carroll College in Helena, MT. Over the next few months, Zachary is looking forward to teaching his courses, turning his dissertation into published articles, and exploring the mountains.
Mia Porter graduated from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in September of 2006 and is a member of the Trial lawyers of America. Mia currently resides in Lansing, MI working as contractor for the state of Michigan. However Mia is in the process of applying for membership in the Illinois Bar Association.
Mr. Welch is the Program Manager of the Detailee Affairs Program with the Office of Operations Coordination and Planning, Department of Homeland Security. He administers a program valued at nearly $20 million and oversees over 200 detailees affiliated with state, local, and federal stakeholders. Mr. Welch resides in Northern Virginia.
Elizabeth Groncki is an associate with the law firm of Lowry & Hardyman in Rockford, Illinois. Her practice areas include insurance defense, probate, real estate as well as commercial and civil litigation. Her duties include handling 90% of the court appearances for the firm in Winnebago, Boone, Ogle, Stephenson, Lee, JoDaviess, Carroll, DeKalb and Whiteside Counties. She also handles civil litigation related cases and trials for corporate clients as well as assists in the discovery and depositions involved in insurance defense cases. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Groncki represented the People of the State of Illinois as an Assistant State's Attorney in Dixon, Lee County, Illinois. She received her J.D. from Northern Illinois University College of Law.
Sherri Replogle earned a PhD in Political Science from Loyola University of Chicago. Her dissertation explores the relationship between morality and power in international relations, specifically how moral norms shape strategic action and military doctrine in Afghanistan and Iraq. When she was at ISU, she won the Annual Fisher Thesis Award, first place in social sciences and university-wide runner-up. Her thesis in political theory, entitled "Reflections on the Politics of Truth: Ghandi, Foucault and Havel," was supervised by Dr. Manfred Steger.
Sam Snyder upon graduation from Illinois State, took a teaching assignment with the U.S. Peace Corps and was subsequently sent to the former Soviet Republic of Uzbekistan. Within the first two months of a two-year commitment, his service was cut short by a government ordered evacuation on the eve of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. Following this episode, Sam attended Southern Illinois University School of Law in Carbondale where he graduated with his J.D. in 2005. Currently, he is an associate with Benckendorf & Benckendorf, a small law firm with offices in Peoria and Morton. He deals with a variety of legal areas ranging from DUI to Social Security Disability cases.
After graduating with honors in Political Science, University Honors, Summa Cum Laude, and as a Bone Scholar, received her J.D., with distinction, from the University of Iowa College of Law. Rachel has recently opened her own law practice in downtown Chicago, concentrating in family law and adoption. She previously worked as an Assistant State’s Attorney in Tazewell County, Illinois and in private practice in Chicago.
Patrick Carlson is the Campaign Manager for Sauerberg for US Senate. Dr. Steve Sauerberg is the Republican candidate running in the 2008 United States Senate election in Illinois. Carlson works closely with operations, communications, and policy development. Patrick Carlson is the political coordinator for Speaker Hastert. His job is to oversee the Speaker’s political website (www.hasterforcongress.org), his grassroots campaign, and to handle several different local political issues. Patrick has recently agreed to go on leave to help two other candidates who have primary opponents.
Joel Fritzler was sworn-in as the Mayor of Carbondale, IL on May 3, 2011 after serving as a city councilman for six years. Joel was in the first group of ISU Peace Corps Fellows in 1994 and moved to Carbondale in 1996 to become the first Executive Director of Carbondale Main Street. Completing his degree was delayed while he focused his attention on developing Carbondale’s new downtown revitalization organization and working on a 50 year old house. Upon his wife’s graduation from SIU, he left his Main Street position, completed his degree, and accepted a six-month position as the “final” Food Security Delegate for the Red Cross in Albania where his job was to close a food distribution program. For the last ten years, he has worked at SIU; first as coordinator of the Illinois Delta Network program, then as the director of the Rural IL Cooperative Development Center and currently with SIU’s Office of Sponsored Projects Administration. He serves as a Disaster Services Volunteer and board member for the Red Cross and, since his election as mayor, he has found himself serving on other boards and committees. Although, he couldn’t find the time to replant the cannas bulbs he received from Dr. Bob Hunt’s wife in 2009, he manages to occasionally play in the Southern IL Adult Soccer League.
Mr. Galco attained Juris Doctor in 2003 from The Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan. He worked in Wealth Management Services at Park National Bank since graduation from ISU to 2009, concentrating on the management, preservation and growth of wealth through estate and tax planning methodology. He is finalizing a LL.M. in Taxation (Master of Laws in Taxation) from John Marshall Law School in Chicago (expected May 2010) with a focus in estate and financial planning/taxation of business entities. He is currently employed by The Private Client Reserve at U.S. Bank, advising on the tax ramifications and implications of financial and estate plans of clients throughout the U.S.
Tri Knoke is working in the Office of the Chief Financial Officer for the Environmental Protection Agency in Kansas City, KS. He is currently in Washington, D.C. working on what is called a Summary Volume and other congressional related materials for the EPA Budget hearings that will be going before Congress soon.
Kevin Ortegel father of four, is one of only two senior Strategic Workforce Planning Specialists at NASA HQ. His primary responsibility is to ensure that NASA retains all critically skilled Space Shuttle operations employees and contractors and transitions them to development projects under the Constellation program as a member of the NASA Transition Team. The Team has the challenge of balancing cost efficiency and minimizing massive job losses. To do this, Kevin and his team members must lead a comprehensive, detailed analysis of current workforce skills and capabilities as Space Shuttle nears cancellation in 2010.
Mr. Brandstedt is an associate attorney at the law firm of Litchfiel Cavo in Chicago, where he also resides. He practices in the areas of insurance and commercial litigation. He is also an adjunct professor of legal writing at DePaul University College of Law, where he instructs students in how to draft trial and appellate briefs.
Andrew Bender is a general attorney in the Office of the General Counsel of the Illinois Agricultural Association located in Bloomington, Illinois. The office provides legal services to the Illinois Agricultural Association and some of its affiliate companies, including Prairie Farms Dairy, Inc. and the companies comprising Country Insurance and Financial Services. His practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property, real estate, and corporate law. He lives in Normal, Illinois with his wife Penny and daughter Katie. Andrew Bender has passed the Illinois Bar Examination and will receive his license to practice law in Illinois on November 8, 2001. Andrew writes, “This outcome would not have been possible without help from all of you in my personal, academic, and professional development. Thanks to all of you for your support throughout the years.”
David Berkson interned at the White House in Press Advance upon graduation and then took a job at the University of Illinois as a Computer Network Operator. David returned as a research assistant in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and more recently has become a Proprietary Day Trader with a wall street firm. David is currently completing his licensing exams.
Shantel Bill is the associate general counsel for Schumacher Electric Corporation which is the leading manufacturer of battery chargers in the nation and is located in Mt. Prospect, Illinois. She handles all of the products liability and other litigation in addition to the filing and monitoring of the company’s trademarks plus working on anything from real estate, patents, regulatory issues, employment and contracts. Shantel reports that she is gaining great knowledge and experiences within the legal field and is very happy.
Andrew Chandler graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law in May 2001 and is working for the South Carolina Court of Appeals. Andrew will be attending NYU for an LLM in Tax in 2002.
Ryan Hagerty is currently a 6th-year associate attorney at Asher, Gittler, Greenfield & D'Alba, Ltd., a labor and employment firm in Chicago, which is one of the larger firms in the realm of union and plaintiff-side firms. Ryan deals with traditional labor and employment law matters/litigation. The vast majority of his work consists of representing public and private sector labor unions at the international and local levels. Some of the unions represented are the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the Service Employees International Union, the National Pharmacists Union, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the International Union of Operating Engineers, several different police and fire unions, as well as several different building trades unions and union coalitions. Ryan does arbitration, representation before labor relation boards, and litigation before state and federal courts and commissions.
Bina Patel is a Policy Associate with the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). NCSL is a prominent national bipartisan organization based in Denver, Colorado serving state legislators and other stakeholders in their lawmaking processes by providing unbiased policy and research information, as well as onsite technical assistance at legislative meetings. (www.ncsl.org) Bina works specifically on early childhood issues. She provides presentations on national policy trends, financing, state governance structures, and policy options available to legislators. She also conducts in-depth research and authors publications on current issues, policy analysis, and state legislative policy information.
Paul Morland is currently working as an Intelligence Analyst with the Federal Bureau of Investigation at Headquarters in the Washington DC. He is assigned to the Counterterrorism Division. Much of his job requires liaison with other agencies of the Intelligence Community.
John Albers graduated in 1997 from the University of Illinois College of Law. After a short stint in private practice, John joined the Illinois Commerce Commission where he has served as an Administrative Law Judge for the past 12 years.
William Diggins was promoted in 2002 to Central Investigations Bureau Chief for the Illinois Department of Rehabilitation Services (DORS). In this position, he is responsible for the supervision of 800 investigations per year. Diggins has also worked in the rewrite the Office of Inspector General's (OIS) enabling statute and administrative rule. He is a member of the Association of Inspectors General--National and Illinois Chapter. Completing his Master's in Political Studies at UIS after two semesters of graduate work at ISU, he worked at the Illinois Department of Corrections in the Fiscal Support Unit that purchased equipment for new correctional centers. He also worked for the Illinois Department of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) as an Internal Security Investigator where he was responsible for internal investigations into employee misconduct and fraud in the departments programs. Other career moves include being Internal Security Investigator II with the OIS, where he conducted investigations into allegations of abuse/neglect of individuals with developmental disabilities and mental illness.
Frank McCune serves as the Government Affairs Representative for APS – Arizona's largest energy provider. In this role, he is responsible for the APS relationship with the elected officials at the municipal level throughout Arizona. Before that, he was the Executive Director of Valley Leadership, Arizona's oldest and largest leadership development organization. Born in Gallup, New Mexico and raised in Northern Arizona, Frank has 20 years professional experience in public affairs, marketing and nonprofit management. He began his career in marketing and business planning for Accenture Consulting working in the telecommunications and manufacturing industries. Frank serves on the boards of St. Luke's Hospital System, Valley Youth Theatre, Friendly House, Sustainable Communities Collaborative, ASU's National Alumni Council, National Bank of Arizona's Nonprofit Advisory Council, and Encanto Village Planning Commission.
David Peterson is an Army Reservist captain currently deployed to Iraq working with the Multi-National Security and Transition Command. His civilian job is at the University of Miami in Florida, where he serves as the Senior Associate Director for Financial Assistance Services.
James Otterstein is the Economic Development Manager for Rock County (Janesville-Beloit MSA), WI. As a member of the County's Planning, Economic & Community Development Agency, James is responsible for providing economic development consultative services to public and private sector clients. These services include, but are not limited to: real estate acquisition and development; infrastructure development and financing; strategic planning; communications and marketing; project management; workforce and talent development; and government relations. As a seasoned economic development practitioner, James works with an eclectic array of publicly-traded and privately-held businesses; various professional service providers; and local, regional and national stakeholders. In addition to his Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) and Economic Development Finance Professional (EDFP) designations, James has twice been named to North America's Top 50 Economic Developers list. During his tenure, James has held numerous leadership and/or board member positions for local, regional and statewide organizations – including the Wisconsin Economic Development Association, a statewide membership-based trade association representing public and private sector economic development interests. Prior to moving to Wisconsin, James held a similar position in East Central Illinois.
Sheila Joyce is the Senior Attorney at Thomson Healthcare responsible for managing the day to day legal needs of the organization, including preparing and negotiating customer contracts, providing counsel regarding the company's compliance programs (including HIPAA), and designing and managing the company's contracts administration processes. Thomson Healthcare is a leading provider of decision support solutions that help organizations across the healthcare industry improve clinical and business performance. Thomson Healthcare products and services help clinicians, hospitals, employers, health plans, government agencies, and pharmaceutical companies understand healthcare markets, access medical and drug information, manage costs, and improve the quality of healthcare. Thomson Healthcare is a part of The Thomson Corporation, a provider of value-added information, software tools and applications to professionals in the fields of healthcare, law, tax, accounting, scientific research, and financial services.
Mary Ellen Madonia was elected by the voters of the Lincoln Land Community College district to serve on the Board of Trustees for the College. The Lincoln Land Community College district includes all or part of 15 counties throughout central Illinois.
Jeff Ogren is a Foreign Service Officer in the US Department of State (Diplomatic Corps). He currently serves as Deputy Director of the Management Tradecraft Training Division at the George Shultz National Foreign Affairs Training Center in Arlington, Va. He has previously served in Vilnius, Lithuania; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; and Guayaquil, Ecuador. He has received multiple awards for his service, most recently a Superior Honor Award for logistical support of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) summit held in Vilnius. He has worked on several Presidential, Vice-Presidential, and Secretary of State visits overseas. Jeff served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Jordan and an English teacher on the Japan Exchange and Teaching Program (JET). Jeff Ogren has passed the Foreign Service Oral Exam and now awaits the background check before being cleared for placement. This is an examination that only 5% pass.
Staci Plumnleigh is admitted to practice law in California and the U.K.. Staci received her law degree from the University of San Francisco in 2000 and thereafter joined Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison in Palo Alto. She later worked as in-house counsel at Signatures Network, a music-merchandising company in San Francisco, and is now an attorney with Young & Basile, based out of Palo Alto. Staci concentrates her practice on the handling of technology-related commercial transactions. She represents clients in the preparation, negotiation, and analysis of software and patent licenses, alliance, joint venture, and distribution arrangements and other commercial transactions. She also evaluates intellectual property issues in connection with mergers, acquisitions, public offerings and financing transactions. Staci has considerable experience in entertainment licensing, including the licensing of trademarks and rights of publicity for internationally-known recording artists. Her representative clients range from startups to established, publicly traded concerns. Staci also worked as a paralegal for several years at Pacific Bell/SBC and Sedgwick, Detert, Moran & Arnold. Staci is a member of the ISU Paralegal Advisory Board and she and her family are an Easter Seals VIP Ambassador Family.
Anthony Walesby is Associate Vice Provost for Academic and Faculty Affairs & Senior Director, Office of Institutional Equity, at the University of Michigan. Tony was in a similar role at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Prior to joining higher education, Tony served as a Federal Investigator for the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Theresa Miller Delin has been named Acting Director of University Housing, Division of Student Affairs, at Northwestern University. In this position she will oversee all graduate and undergraduate housing operations as well budget and project planning, which total over $65 million annually. Theresa has been at Northwestern University since November 2000, starting as a senior budget analyst in the Office of Budget Planning, Analysis and Allocation. She was recently elected secretary of the Association of Northwestern University Women, which is an organization dedicated to enhancing the professional development of women employed by the University. Theresa also has been taking classes at Northwestern in her spare time. Prior to joining the University, Theresa worked in the City of Chicago Office of Budget and Management. She lives in Chicago with her husband and daughter.
Troy says: "I am a Real Estate Agent in Evanston, Illinois where I live with my wife Karen and daughter Anna. I'm very active in the community; President of the Evanston Small Business Association, sit on several City of Evanston Committees and am involved with our PTA, Performing Arts advocacy and Economic and Community Development issues including improving the town/gown relationship between Northwestern University and the Evanston community. I also attend as many Chicago/North Shore ISU alumni chapter events as I can."
Mark Mullenbach After earning his M.S. degree in Political Science at ISU in December 1989, Mark worked for five years on the staff of Congressman Timothy Penny (Minnesota). He worked on his Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Arizona in Tucson from 1995 to 2001. Since August 2001, he has taught international relations and comparative politics courses at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. Currently, he is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science, and serves as Director of the International Studies (B.A.) program. Also since 2001, he has served as Coordinator of the Arkansas Model United Nations (AMUN) program and Faculty Adviser for the UCA Model United Nations (MUN) student organization. This November, UCA will host the 50th AMUN conference for high school students. Mark has been married to Jody McMullen since 1998 (she and he were political science graduate students together at the University of Arizona). She has been employed by the Division of Legislative Audit in the Arkansas State Capitol Building in Little Rock since 2002. Together they have a nine-year old son, Ethan, who has been swimming competitively in the central Arkansas area since June 2014.
Charnogorsky and Freitag are two of the 2010 inductees into the CAS Hall of Fame. Jeff Charnogorsky is the owner of Performance Enterprises, Inc. and Palm Tree Properties. He served as president of student body while at ISU. Robert Freitag, who also holds a J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law, is a judge in the 11th Judicial Circuit in McLean County, Illinois. Both Charnogorsky and Freitag currently serve as members of the ISU Alumni Association Board of Directors. The CAS Hall of Fame induction ceremony was held on 10 April 2010.
As an ISU student, Taye was best known for his work with Global Review and his leadership in many peace and human rights efforts. In 1992, Taye was elected Chairman of the Ethiopian Teacher's Association, Ethiopia's largest teachers' union with 120,000 members. In September of 1996, he was sentenced to fifteen years in prison by the Ethiopian government. A prisoner of conscience for six years, Taye was finally released in the spring of 2002, following a concerted efforton the part of many ISU alumni, friends, and human rights organizations.
Curtis Linder is the founder and President of Linder Legal Staffing – a lawyer and paralegal staffing and placement firm in Chicago which is now operating it its 10th year in business. The firm hires and places contract lawyers and paralegals to work on project-based assignment. The firm also fills direct-hire positions. Clients the firm serves are Chicago-area law firm of all types and sizes, plus companies large enough to have an in-house legal department.
Since he came back to Japan in 1984, Katsuhiko has been working at the prefectural government of Aomori in Japan as a public personnel. Aomori is located in the northern most tip of Honshu, mainland of the country.
Patrick Theisen has enjoyed a distinguished lobbying career. A graduate of an advanced program at the Public Affairs Institute, Patrick has been on staff in the McDonald’s Government Relations Department for over 13 years. In his current position as Director of State Government Relations, he counts among his many duties direct lobbying, strategic planning, coalition development, and budget management. In addition to his corporate responsibilities, Patrick is President of the State Government Affairs Council, is active in the National Council of State Legislatures and is a former member of the National Council of State Legislatures Foundation. He also works closely with the leadership of the International Franchise Association, the National Restaurant Association and its state affiliates, and the National Retail Federation.On a personal note, Patrick Theisen is married, has four wonderful children, and resides in Downers Grove, Illinois.
William Mudge has been the State's Attorney of Madison County, IL since November 2002, supervising nearly 60 attorneys and staff. Mudge writes, "my degree and experience at ISU, and particularly with the political science department, gave me the foundation and tools to go to obtain my law degree from St. Louis University in 1985, and experience success both in the public and private practice of law. ..ISU afforded me the opportunity to get involved in organized campus political party activities. I have been active in politics ever since."
Michael J. Walsh graduated from Illinois State University with a Bachelor degree in economics and political science. Since then he has earned his Ph.D. in economics from Michigan State, and has spent his professional life dedicated to facilitating green energy and reducing greenhouse gases through market based emission trading. Walsh has served on the Chicago Board of Trade as its Senior Economist where he led efforts to establish exchange-based environmental markets and managed the annual auction of sulfur dioxide emission allowances. He has provided testimony and presentations to local utility commissions as well as to U.S. congress. Walsh has spoken at United Nations climate conferences all over the world. Currently he works as the Executive Vice President of Chicago Climate Exchange, which is the country’s only integrated trading system designed to reduce emissions of all six greenhouse gases. He has been part of the faculties at the University of Notre Dame and the Illinois Institute of Technology.
Bonnie S. Fisher is a Professor in the School of Justice and Fellow of the Graduate School at the University of Cincinnati. She was awarded the 2012 George Rieveschl Awardee for Creative and/or Scholarly Works by the University of Cincinnati. She has coedited and coauthored a number of books, including the Encyclopedia of Victimology and Crime Prevention, The Dark Side of the Ivory Tower: Campus Crime as a Social Problem, Unsafe in the Ivory Tower: The Sexual Victimization of College Women (which won the 2011 Outstanding Book Award by the ACJS), and the 3rd edition of Campus Crime: Legal, Social and Policy Perspectives. Her over 150 published articles and chapters span the field of victimology; her primary research area is violence against women, from domestic violence to sexual assault, with an emphasis on college women.
Larry Williams has spent his entire career in the insurance industry, where he has earned several professional designations in his continuing role as a State Farm agent. Williams also has a long, close affiliation with ISU. He has been honored by the naming of a seminar room on his behalf, and he was inducted into the College of Arts and Science Hall of Fame. Williams has received numerous civic and community awards over the past twenty-three years, and his good deeds are well noted in the local media. He is active in a variety of civic and cultural organizations iincluding local Board Member for the American Cancer Society, Neighborhood Housing Services, Co-chair for the Austin Coalition on Underage Drinking, Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, and he is a founding Board Member of BEST (Business Emmett School Team), which is a partnership between a local public school and State Farm. Outside of professional interests, he travels widely, reads, is active in sports and enjoys living in Glen Ellyn with his wife Annie and two children, D’Ana and Michael. Annie and D'Ana are both graduates of Illinois State University.
Vice-Chair of the Attorneys Advisory Council Attorney with Arnstein & Lehr, Chicago, IL after graduating in 1979 with a major in Political Science, Pat Cotter entered New York University's School of Law on a Root-Tildon fellowship. Since graduating from law school he has clerked for a New York State Supreme Court judge, worked as public defender, been an assistant US Attorney working with a special organized crime task force that prosecuted mobster John Gotti, taught at three law schools, and worked in a large Chicago law firm. His current practice with Arnstein & Lehr involves him in criminal law and civil litigation. Pat believes his undergraduate courses at ISU helped develop his analytical thinking and writing skills. He also credits his professors and his fellow students with providing the intellectual inspiration and stimulation he needed to prepare for law school. Friday, October 27, 2000, Illinois State University dedicated the Larry C. Williams Seminar Room in 302 Schroeder Hall.
John Davis is the Director of Legislative Programs at the Fleet Reserve Association in Alexandria, Virginia. His duties include lobbying and testifying before Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, House Veterans Affairs Committee, and the House Appropriations Military Construction Veterans Administration Subcommittee on military personnel, quality of life, and retirement benefits. John lives in Vienna, Virginia with his wife of 29 years, where he serves as a Republican Precinct Captain. They have two children.
Mr. Henry is a practicing attorney in the State of Illinois and is the first down state lawyer to become Board Certified by the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification (NBLSC) in Social Security Disability Advocacy and Law. His law office, the Elder Law & Social Security Disability Center, is the only one that has a pastor on staff to help with the needs of the disabled clientele.
Michael Lesko is the Government Contracts Manager in Caterpillar Inc.’s Defense and Federal Products group. In that capacity Mr. Lesko is responsible for regulatory oversight, risk analysis and mitigation, and compliance related process improvement. He has been employed at Caterpillar for 36 years with diverse functional assignments including Marketing, Purchasing, Transportation, Caterpillar Logistics Services, Inc., Manufacturing Logistics, and Defense and Federal Products. International travel in the course of those assignments has included Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Mexico, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Mr. Lesko holds a B.S. degree from Illinois State University and an M.S. in Acquisition and Contract Management from the Florida Institute of Technology. He has also earned professional certification from the American Production and Inventory Control Society (CPIM); the National Association of Purchasing Management (CPM); and the American Society of Transportation and Logistics (CTL). Mr. Lesko is a registered practitioner before the Federal Maritime Administration and the Maritime Subsidy Board and a former part-time faculty member at Illinois Central College.
Marc Loro began his legal career as an Assistant State’s Attorney for McLean County, Illinois, and joined the legal staff of the Department of Administrative Hearings, Office of the Secretary of State, in Springfield, Illinois in April 1982. This department conducts hearings on the various licenses issued by the Secretary of State (drivers licenses, corporations, motor vehicle dealers, etc.) He has acted both as a hearing officer and the Secretary’s legal counsel in driver’s license hearings. He currently acts as legal counsel in driver’s license hearings, and as a hearing officer for corporation, vehicle dealership, implied consent, medical, title and registration, and various other types of hearings within the department. He coordinates legislation and administrative rule revisions for the department, and acts as the Freedom of Information Act Officer for the Department, in addition to his other duties as a legal counsel. He received his J.D. from Washington University at St. Louis School of Law. He's also been named a Judicial Fellow by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the American Bar Association (ABA). Loro's story has been featured in the C.A.S. News.
Denise Vowell, Alexandria, Virginia, is a U.S. Army colonel and an associate judge with the Army Court of Criminal Appeals. She recently published an article in Military Review related to her experience as chief legal advisor to the U.S. Army division in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Bob Keller has been the Director of the Mclean County Health Department since 1991. After graduating from I.S.U., he completed an MBA at the University of Illinois. Before his tenure as Director, Bob served as an assistant administrator at the McLean County Health Department, an organization that provides a comprehensive array of public health services including communicable disease control, food establishment permits, private sewage disposal permits, maternal and child health services, health promotion and mental health programs. The department has an operating budget of $7.5 million and employees 100 professional and support staff. In addition to professional duties, Bob was elected to serve as the president of the 6000 member Illinois Public Health Association in 2007 and previously was in the position of president of the Illinois Association of Public Health Administrators. Also in 2007, he was awarded the status of Certified Public Health Administrator by the Public Health Practitioner Certification Board. Bob, who lives in Normal with his wife, Jill, a retired Unit 5 teacher, remains an avid runner and plays guitar during his leisure time.
Tom Lamont serves as the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs having been appointed by President Obama in May of 2009. In this position, Lamont oversees 1.1 million active duty, National Guard and Army Reserve soldiers; 276,000 civilian employees and approximately 300,000 contractors. Among his various responsibilities include soldier recruitment and retention; payroll and benefits; implementation of Don't Ask, Don't Tell; policies regarding Women in the Army; soldier suicide and sexual assault prevention; Arlington National Cemetery and West Point Military Academy. Lamont recently testified before the Senate Armed Services Sub-Committee on Personnel to discuss the Army's plans to reduce Army end-strength from 567,000 to 490,000 over the next five years in effort to achieve the budget efficiencies directed by Congress and the Administration.
William McConkey teaches Communication, and Organizational Development and Leadership courses for UW-Oshkosh. He is a frequent participant in the university's training, seminar and speaker bureau programs. Dr. Bill McConkey received his BS and MS degrees in the Social Sciences from Illinois State University in 1964 and 1966. He received his Ph.D. from Florida State University in 1994 at the age of 52. Throughout his career, Bill has worked on over 200 campaigns for mainly Republican and Libertarian candidates. He and his spouse, Sandra Adams McConkey, have seven children and stepchildren and ten grand children. In his spare time, Bill likes to fish, cook and write. Bill has written on electoral politics as well as a murder mystery. Currently he is a plaintiff in a law suit against the State of Wisconsin challenging Wisconsin’s amendment banning gay marriages and civil unions for unmarried couples, regardless of gender. The suit is in the Wisconsin Court system and will be waged to the Supreme Court, if necessary. He believes that this suit is the right thing to do and is doing it as a tribute to the education he received in his Constitutional Law course at Illinois State University in the early 1960’s and to Dr. Kenneth Marcus.