Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Alumni Speakers on Campus

One of the things we love about our alumni is their willingness to come back to campus and share their insights and stories with our current students. Being an alumni speaker is a very short time commitment and provides our students with a better understanding of topics from the alumnus’ real-life experiences.

Here are just a few of the talented alumni who have returned to campus as alumni speakers:
  • Alumna Samantha Rinehart '14 returned to campus in September to speak with students about the next steps on their educational path.
  • Faris Ziadat '12 (Business Administration) spoke at Professor Rich Burke’s and Professor Bob Bergman’s Salesmanship classes in September. Faris shared his personal experiences with students, and emphasized the importance of asking customers open-ended questions. Faris serves as the Vice President, Field Sales Representative at Citi; he credits his degree from Lewis in being able to take the next step in his career.
  • Lewis University launched its successful Girls Take Flight in Aviation camp the week of June 27. The camp brought together 23 middle and high school aged girls who came to campus to experience a week of learning about the science of flight, meteorology, and unmanned aircraft systems. Several aviation professionals volunteered their time to talk with the girls about how they shaped their own aviation careers, including Elaine Harris '03, MBA '08 from Ingredion; Tim Radigan '92 from Baxter; Elaine Karabatsos '90 from Coca Cola; and Margaret Naughton and Jessica Plascencia '15 from Vulcan Materials Company. Undoubtedly, the highlight of the camp was flight time for each girl in the University’s fleet of Cessna 22 aircraft. Departing from the Lewis University Airport, each girl got a flying lesson from a licensed flight instructor.
  • Lewis was pleased to partner with the community organization Girls4Science to recruit the participating girls. Many of the girls’ families noted how appreciative they were to be able to offer their daughters this experience, as it was provided without cost to the participants thanks to support from corporate partners.
  • Tom Drez '88, the CIO, CPO, CSO, and Managing Director at Christian Brothers Services, recently gave a talk entitled "Cyber Security, Cyber Risk, and Data Breaches. Oh My!" to Lewis students and others in the Computer Science division of the Associated Colleges of the Chicago Area (ACCA).
  • Former WFLY-TV News Director and General Manager Shane Gustafson '15 now works as a reporter for WMBD-TV in Peoria, Ill. Shane recently visited campus to speak with the Field Production class taught by Tracy Hemmingway, assistant professor of Communication, about his career in reporting and offer advice to current students in the Radio/TV Broadcasting program.
  • Bill Storie '69 returned to Dr. Dennis Cremin’s class on October 18, 2016 to present on “The Rise of the American Colossus.”
  • Artist and alumna Jane (Caldwell) Stiker '56 visited campus and brought a copy of the program from one of the first plays on campus.
  • Richard Joyce '73 spoke on September 20 to Dr. Dennis Cremin’s class on “A Community in Turmoil.”

Are you ready to join our list of successful alumni who have returned to campus as an alumni speaker? You can fill out the online form to express your interest at

If you have questions or need more information on volunteering as one of our Flyer Alumni Volunteers (FAVS), contact Margaret Grabowski '10, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations, at

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Celebrating Our Outstanding Educators on World Teachers' Day

Today is the United Nations' World Teachers' Day, which celebrates the role teachers play in providing quality education at all levels. Lewis University's College of Education faculty are committed to Saint John Baptist de La Salle’s purpose and vocation, creating critical educators who have the knowledge to transform education to meet the needs of a diverse population of students and to advocate for social justice in the school and community.

Education alumni like Takiyah Olatunbosun have been honored with numerous awards and distinctions, most recently including the Joliet Great Teachers and the PBS Learning Media Digital Innovators program, while also leading the educators of the future as school district superintendents. Rebecca Deang has always felt inspired to work with young children and their families and now serves as a Community Health Educator, and Tony Pena is a math teacher at Stagg High School who believes in giving back.

Have a faculty member who made a difference in your life? Tell us at

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Today is National Women’s Health and Fitness Day

Today is National Women’s Health and Fitness Day, and Lewis University is taking great strides to educate and empower women on campus to take control of their health, not just today but all year round.

Director of Student Recreation, Fitness & Wellness and Lewis alumna, Jill Siegfried ’85 says “It is important to take control of your health, make smart choices, and make time for physical activity despite all we are trying to balance in our lives. With exercise, 30 minutes a day makes huge difference. You can sneak exercise in as well: take the stairs instead of the elevator, go for a walk during your lunch break, or park far from entrances. Three 10-minute bouts of physical activity have the same health benefits as a 30 minute session.”

According to Jill, everyday exercise is especially important for women because of these five reasons:
  1. Decreases risk of osteoporosis
  2. Prevents muscle loss (which keeps metabolism high, giving women the strength to complete everyday tasks)
  3. Reduces stress, depression, and anxiety
  4. Enhances mental performance and work productivity
  5. Reduces risk of diseases such as cancer or diabetes

Friday, September 23, 2016

Flyer Friday: Natalie Manley, MA ’15

Editor's Note: For #FlyerFriday, we would like you to meet one of our speakers at our Celebrating Women in Leadership Conference. Representative Natalie Manley, MA ’15 will be presenting on "Women in Public Service." You can register for the October 7 conference on our website at

Representative Natalie Manley, MA ’15 has been a member of the Illinois House of Representatives since 2013 and represents Illinois’ 98th House District which includes parts of Joliet, Crest Hill, Romeoville, Bolingbrook and Plainfield. Representative Manley is also a Certified Public Accountant and has been on staff at Wermer Rogers Doran & Ruzon, Will County’s oldest public accounting firm, for nearly 20 years. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of St. Francis, her Certified Public Accountant certification in 2004, and her Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership with a focus in Public Administration from Lewis University in 2015.

For the past two decades Natalie has been working in public accounting conducting audits for private corporations, governments, and non-profit organizations, reviewing, analyzing and preparing budgets for individuals and businesses, and preparing tax returns for individuals, trusts and estates, and businesses. For many years Representative Manley has been actively involved in community service by volunteering her time with local non-profits serving in an official capacity as a board member and helping to raise funds.

Manley is newly married to Alan LaVeille and has one daughter that she raised as a single mother. She has been doing a live talk radio show for 13 years on a local radio station, WJOL 1340 AM, on Friday mornings called the Lynne, Mary & Natalie Show. Manley has taken her knowledge as an accountant to local area high schools to teach financial literacy and budgeting to students as well as mentoring young people both in high school and at the college level that are considering careers in the accounting field or in public service.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Coming this fall! Event Highlights for September-October

There are quite a few happenings you won’t want to miss here on campus! Mark your calendar for the following upcoming events:

Saturday, September 24, 2016
Swimming Alumni Meet

Friday, September 30, 2016
Women’s Soccer Alumni Day

September 30 to October 2, and October 6 to 9, 2016
The Day They Shot John Lennon at Philip Lynch Theatre

Saturday, October 1, 2016
Baseball Golf Outing
Tennis Alumni Match
Baseball Alumni Day
Softball Alumnae Day

Thursday, October 13 to Friday, October 15, 2016
16th Annual Electronic Music Midwest Festival

Saturday, October 22, 2016
Women’s Volleyball Alumnae Day

Want to see even more of our events? Visit

Friday, September 16, 2016

Flyer Friday: Kathleen Bolden ’71

Kathleen Bolden ’71 dedicated much of her life and career to Lewis University after graduation. A pioneering African American student who went back to school as a second career, Kathleen worked at Lewis in many capacities. According to Kathleen, her goal was, “to make a difference, to be a good mother, not only to my own children, but to any child who needs me.” Kathleen was a mother figure for hundreds of Lewis students and considered them her extended family.

In 1968, Kathleen Bolden, a 30-year-old wife and mother of three young children, made the decision to earn her college degree, and went on to earn a B.A. in 1971 from Lewis University and a M.A. in 1972 from Governor’s State University. Kathleen joined the Lewis staff in 1971 as Assistant Dean of Students. During her 10 years at Lewis, she held several positions including Adjunct Faculty Member, Director of the College Success Program and Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Aviation Security After Sept. 11, 2001

Over the past week, you might have come across many stories and tributes to the victims of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. One story that made us pause was that of former American Airlines employee, Vaughn Allex, who checked in passengers aboard AA Flight 77, including a few who would later hijack the airplane.

During that time in 2001, airport security did not have the strict policies we have today. Vaughn Allex followed the procedures of checking IDs, asking a few questions, and even flagging passengers’ bags for further inspection. Flight 77 was hijacked on Sept. 11, 2001 and its crash into the Pentagon in Washington, DC killed all 64 people on board, including five hijackers and six crew members, as well as 125 people in the building.

Post-9/11 progress in Aviation Security has been tremendous. The partnership of airports, airlines, pilots and personnel with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Defense - have helped enhance safety while preserving passenger rights and comfort. The evolving security of the aviation industry continues to be a national concern. The Aviation Department at Lewis University offers a bachelor’s degree in Aviation Security, which trains professionals to protect air transportation centers, passengers, and cargo.

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