Showing posts from August, 2018

Alumni Feature - Greg Petty '15

Many had their doubts about how volleyball would take him anywhere, but with the support of his coaches, professors and friends Greg proved just how vital a role the sport would play in his life.

“It’s been an absolute dream come true,” says Greg. “Dan Friend definitely impacted my life in a big way. He helped me grow as a person and a player. Even though we ran through a rough patch in my younger years at school we are still friends to this day. Now, I am basically getting paid to travel the world and you definitely can’t beat that.”

Following older brother Jay’s footsteps, Greg came to Lewis with two goals in mind: play volleyball and get a degree. Little did he know he would end up doing much more.

Greg Petty grew up in Downers Grove, IL. In 2015 he graduated from Lewis with a Bachelor’s of Science in Physics and a minor in math. As a kid he was a huge sports enthusiast, trying out every sport he could, finally he found his calling with volleyball. Volleyball turned into his ticket…

Alumni Feature - Mary Wurster ('13)

The Valley View School District 365U Board of Education has approved the selection of Ms. Mary Wurster to the position of Executive Director for Student Services.She had previously been VVSD’s Director of Special Education.
Ms. Wurster began serving in VVSD in 2006 as a school psychologist.She began her professional career in 2001 as a mental health professional with Adapt of Illinois. Ms. Wurster collected a wide variety of experiences before coming to VVSD, including serving as a rape crisis counselor, assisting the counseling department at St. Ignatius College Prep, and teaching as a Graduate Assistant at Illinois State University.
Ms. Wurster earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Illinois State University in 2001.She continued her education by earning a Master of Education in School Counseling from Loyola University Chicago in 2003, followed by a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Lewis University in 2013. - Taken from Valley View Public Schools…

Alumni Feature - Joseph Shega ('92)

26-T "Fulfill your ministry with all the affection of your heart.”  -John Baptist de La Salle (MTR 9.1 [Med 201.1])
When it comes to compassion for the sick, there are men and women across the globe who help provide the highest quality of care and uphold the dignity of the patient. Lewis is proud to share that one of these men, Joseph Shega, MD, Senior Vice President and National Medical Director, has been promoted to Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for VITAS Healthcare, the nation’s leading provider of end-of-life care. 

Dr. Shega is responsible for overseeing and leading the medical direction for all VITAS locations in 14 states and the District of Columbia. Board Certified in Geriatric Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine, he brings 20 years of relevant clinical experience. Dr. Shega joined VITAS in 2013 as a Regional Medical Director and was promoted to Senior Vice President and National Medical Director in 2016. Prior to joining VITAS, Dr. Shega was an As…

Alumni Feature - Deborah Brown '95

A leader in the Chicago broadcasting industry, Deborah Brown credits her family for instilling the importance of loyalty to family, community, faith and country. This quality is evident in her community service and the thrust of her career. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Radio/TV Broadcasting from Lewis University in 1995 and was recognized as an active and dynamic student. Deborah was involved with several campus organizations including Delta Sigma Theta, Student Government, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Pan-Hellenic Council and the Black Student Union. At Commencement, the Alumni Association presented her with the Father Aquinas Award which recognizes students who have demonstrated personal and intellectual growth, commitment to faith, and dedication to the Lasallian values of justice and association. After graduation, Deborah began her highly successful career in broadcasting as an intern for WGN-TV on the assignment desk for television news. As her talent was recognized, D…

Alumni Feature - Tony Pena '98

“As a teacher I’m impacting more people than just myself. It’s a great responsibility.” Tony Pena, ’98 (pictured at left with his father), a math teacher at Stagg High School, works hard for his students. And he realizes that his work matters. His commitment has earned him a Golden Apple Award nomination and several wins during senior class polls. He has coached both baseball and track during his 17 years with the school.  His father taught him this mindset of working hard for others. “My dad came to the U.S. from Mexico at the age of 17 on a work visa. He was the oldest of nine kids and came here to help support his family back home. He spoke no English and had no money to his name. He often worked two jobs and sometimes three in order to give my two sisters and me a better life than he had. He wanted nothing more than for us to go to college and have an easier life.” Tony made his father proud and became the first in his family to graduate college.  “I was recruited to Lewis by for…

Alumni Feature - Paul Salmon '94, MBA '97

Paul Salmon ‘94, MBA ’97 has recently been hired as the Eastern Regional Sales Director for Wheaton World Wide Moving | Bekins Van Lines. Wheaton Van Lines, Inc. is among the world’s leading providers of transportation services and is the fourth largest van line, owning three household goods relocation brands: Wheaton World Wide Moving, Bekins Van Lines and Clark & Reid. In his role, Paul oversees the growth of sales for all Wheaton and Bekins agents in the Eastern region. He acts as a liaison between agents and the van line, advising agents on sales and marketing strategies. In the moving industry for more than 20 years, Paul worked as the Eastern Regional Sales Director for Bekins for a short time before leaving in 2000 to explore other career options. Lured back into the moving industry, Paul most recently acted as the Director of Business Development at E.E. Ward Moving & Storage for a North American Van Lines’ agent. “Every day presents a new challenge, which is what drew…

Alumni Feature - Jeff Adducci '92

After beginning his career with Illinois Bell 23 years ago, Jeff Adducci ’92 has held various positions since 1993 ranging from maintenance, Outside Plant Engineering, UVERSE Engineering, Area Manager Construction, and Project Management. In 2014, Jeff became the Director of External Affairs for AT&T Illinois which combined all of the skills he obtained from his previous roles. In this new position, Jeff is responsible for connecting with the local communities that the company serves and overseeing policy decisions that impact AT&T as a whole. A large part of the work Jeff does every day revolves around philanthropy. AT&T focuses on funding programs that empower students to reach their fullest potential and has contributed over $350 million to education over the last decade through AT&T Aspire. “AT&T Aspire is a philanthropic initiative to help equip students with the tools they need to succeed in school and beyond,” says Jeff. “We seek out programs in high schools…

Alumni Feature - Martha Villegas Miranda '98

Born in Chicago to immigrant parents, Martha and her family faced several hardships in the United States. Those hardships are what have inspired Martha to go to such great lengths to help undocumented and underrepresented students gain access to education. In fact, Martha wanted to support the students similar to her, so she began a scholarship which provides financial support for Latina students who exemplify academic rigor and servant leadership. With more than 16 years of experience in higher education, Martha Villegas Miranda ’98 has dedicated her life to being a fearless advocate for undocumented, first generation, immigrant students.   Martha currently works as the Latino Outreach & Retention Specialist in the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs at Joliet Junior College. In this position, she strives to promote the importance of a college education and works hard to provide students with unique opportunities and consistent guidance. Previously, Martha served as the Dire…

Alumni Feature - Mark Reyes '95

When Mark Reyes ’95 (Social Work & Human Services) was growing up on the south side of Chicago in the Little Village neighborhood, most of his peers were challenged with significant obstacles – particularly a lack of educational and economic resources. “Many of my peers came from single-parent homes, were in trouble with the law and joined gangs. I was lucky that I had a strong and supportive family that provided stability and an opportunity for me to be successful in life. I knew when I entered college that I wanted to work with youth who needed guidance and support, who just needed someone to be present because that can make the difference between graduating high school and having the opportunity to attend college – or not graduating and limiting one's possibilities to become successful.” With so many budget cuts and the elimination of after school programs, there is an evident need today for strong and present role models in the lives of youth across the nation. Mark, who …

Alumni Feature - Guy Thier '83

Guy Thier '83 B.A. Computer Science, and his father, Charles '61, have made attending Lewis a family tradition. Guy is currently the SVP, CIO, COO for Bally Total Fitness. He also serves on the Lewis University Computer Science Advisory Board and credits his education at Lewis with starting him on the path to success in his career. He gives back, he says, as a thank you for the education and experience Lewis provided him. "I've been lucky to have had a good career, and it all started here," Guy said. "I just felt that it was time to start helping shape the people coming out of college, and if I can add in any way to the curriculum being offered to them, to make them more productive, that helps me in the long run because I get to hire them." While Charles encouraged his son to attend his alma mater, it was something else that led Guy to pick Lewis for his education.
"The thing that sold me on Lewis was - the labs here were unlimited computer time,"…

Alumni Feature - Ann Rubino '86

Ann Rubino ’86 began her educational pursuit to obtain a degree in Elementary Education, and later went on to serve as an adjunct faculty member at Lewis University training future teachers in methods of science teaching. It was after her retirement from teaching, however, that Ann found another career path that trumped retirement – published author. “My husband always told stories to the kids and grandkids of his time growing up in Italy,” says Ann. “Once I retired and wasn’t so busy, I thought it might be a good idea to write down his stories and preserve them for future generations of our family. With some encouragement from my kids, the idea evolved into making these memories into a book that could be enjoyed not just by our family, but by others. And that’s how the whole route to publishing started.” Ann, who holds a holds a MT(ASCP), B.A.Ed., and M.S. Ed. and an Endorsement in Gifted Education, began the simultaneously arduous and joyous task of assembling her husband’s stories…

Alumni Feature - Maureen Madden '86

When Maureen Madden ’86 (Physics) was four-and-a-half years old, her mom sat her down on the floor in front of the big television and together, they watched the Apollo 11 moon landing. “I remember my mom telling me that this was history being made as we watched Neil Armstrong land on the moon. I loved science from that point on,” said Maureen. “Lewis offered me a scholarship and under the late Sr. Noel Dreska, OSF and Dr. Leonard Weisenthal, my love for science only grew.” Maureen earned a B.S. in Physics from Lewis University and a master’s degree in applied physics from Northern Illinois University. During the 24 years she has been at the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, Maureen has used her knowledge and skills in a variety of career opportunities to enhance knowledge about the universe – as well as the community in which she lives. After having a difficult time finding a job in physics upon graduation during a job recession in 1986, Maureen put out hundreds of resumes and research…

Alumni Feature - Todd Kruder '88

Captain Todd Kruder ’88, USN, Retired, has no doubt that his freshman year writing course shaped his love of writing. After more than 25 years of service in the United States Navy, Captain Kruder recently published A Journey in the Fog of Depression: A Military Spouse’s Experience. Captain Kruder is also an Alumni Achievement Award recipient. Learn more about our Alumni Achievement Awards, and submit a nomination!  This book joins two works which address depression among military personnel and their families. Captain Kruder has also published three fictional novels including Archer: In the Shadow of Our Fathers, which uses American History as a backdrop to portray the human condition. Captain Kruder plans on releasing several more books in this series under the pen name Gerard Todd, which will use scenes from the historical background of Lewis University to guide his story. Captain Kruder was commissioned in the United States Navy following the completion of his B.S. in Aviation Maintena…

Alumni Feature - Tom Hernandez '88

Tom Hernandez ’88 graduated with a degree in journalism and communications, which has served him well throughout his career. His days of creating a newspaper for his elementary school to his experience as a journalist and columnist have prepared him for one of his most memorable experiences yet – writing and publishing books. “I have always written poetry,” explains Tom. “I’ve always been a performer, actor, and musician, whenever I can find the time. I really enjoy the fine arts. After years of family and friends encouraging me to write a book, I finally made the leap.” He has now published two books and is working on a third. After college, Tom served as a newspaper reporter for ten years before changing course and finding a niche in school district communications. He is currently the Director of Community Relations for the Plainfield School District. “In 1998, I started writing a column for the Plainfield Sun newspaper to get back to writing, which I loved to do. The column started …

Alumni Feature - Karen Hackett '87

Karen Hackett (MBA) ’87 was named the Chairman of the American Society for Association Executives.  Since 2003 Karen has been the CEO of American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. As CEO, Karen works directly with the Board of Directors and executive management team to oversee 240 employees and manage an annual budget of nearly $60 million. Karen has been a true leader in association management and found a passion for health care early in her career. “I don’t think any of us currently in association management ever said we wanted to be in association management when we grew up. I started working in the health care field and found my niche because I loved the association work and found members that were just as passionate about doing great things in health care and hospitals,” said Karen. Mentors along the way like Thomas C. Dolan, PhD, FACHE, CAE, President and Chief Executive Officer of the American College of Healthcare Executives, encouraged Karen to look for opportunities within asso…

Alumni Feature - Charles and Helen Ford

Charles and Helen Ford have dedicated their lives to family and education, living out the core values central to Lewis University. In recognition of their devotion to education nd to Lewis, Charles and Helen continue building a scholarship named in their honor at the University. The Charles and Helen Ford Scholarship Fund enables scholarships for students seeking a degree in Criminal/Social Justice.

“As a gift for our 50th wedding anniversary, my staff and our friends instituted the scholarship fund. Their gesture was the perfect gift and recognized something Helen and I cherish – education,” says Charles. After serving in the Navy from 1952 until 1955, Charles turned his focus to the next stage in their lives and enrolled at Lewis University, where he completed two degrees. Keeping Lewis a part of the family traditions, two of their children attended Lewis as well; Jason earned his master’s degree and Brian earned his bachelor’s degree at the University. Both followed in their father’s…