Lewis Alumni Feature: Elliott Eiden '18

Growing up, Elliott’s father was a private pilot and aviation enthusiast.  Sharing his passion with Elliott, they would build and fly remote control planes and go to airshows together.  Elliott was exploring careers during high school, and learned about the Lewis University aviation program and was eager for the opportunity to pursue the dreams he had as a young boy.   In 2018, Elliott graduated from Lewis with a double major in Aviation Maintenance Management and Aerospace Technology. He received a minor in Unmanned Aircraft Systems and has his Airframe and Powerplant license. He is also a private pilot. Elliott is currently employed as a mechanic for a private corporate jet.   In 2020, an opportunity presented itself that would take his love of aviation to a new height.   He and his father purchased a privately owned, public use turf airport, which was likely to close like others in the area. Their desire was to save Camp Lake Airport in Salem, Wisconsin and return it to a vibrant sp

Women's History Month: Linda Mitchell '88

Women's History Month: Linda Mitchell '88  After leading a life of service, Linda Mitchell ’88 is taking action to pay it forward to the next generation of leaders at Lewis. “This is an inspiring time for women to be able to stand up and take pride in their accomplishments. It’s an avenue for all women to say, ‘This is worth supporting and I want to share it with the world.’ Women were put down for too many years – unable to show or prove what they were capable of. I am able to give back and should not be discounted. I recognize that I have a powerful voice in this world that can make a difference,” says Linda. Linda was born and raised in a small town in North Dakota. After high school, she traveled a bit before finding her passion for nursing as well as her soulmate, James. After getting married, the two moved to Chicago where Linda kickstarted her nursing career at Christ Hospital. During that time, Linda and James began to build a family. But it wasn’t until after th

Lewis Alumni Feature: Jesse Steward '14

According to the 2019 Annual Business Survey (ABS), approximately 18.3 percent (1.0 million) of all U.S. businesses are minority-owned. Born and raised in Chicago, Jesse Steward Jr. '14, Founder and CEO of Alexander James Straight Bourbon Whiskey, has broken down barriers and pushed the limits to build his legacy as a Black entrepreneur. "I credit the Lasallian standards and morals that are emphasized on campus; integrity and character shape who you are, not only as a person, but also as an entrepreneur." Jesse has fond childhood memories of his grandfathers who would get together for a glass of whiskey, share family stories and talk about history. One day years later, while enjoying a drink with them, Jesse decided that he wanted to make his own whiskey - to continue the tradition of storytelling and share the legacy they had built many years ago. Fast forward to 2017, a few months before his son was born, when he began to solidify plans for this dream. He knew he was

Lewis Alumni Spotlight: Jaylen Bush '21

Black History Month Alumni Spotlight: Jaylen Bush '21 For Jaylen, Black History Month has always been about celebrating the beauties of Black Excellence. Black Excellence is a mindset, and those we highlight this month had, or have, that mindset, according to Jaylen. "Through adversities and tragedies spanning from the darkest days of, not only American history but of our world’s history, Black Americans have fought tirelessly to make all peoples question: 'What kind of country, what kind of world, are we going to be?'" It is Jaylen's hope that we all use this as a time to reflect on ways to, not only celebrate, but also spread beauty and love throughout the world. For him, this is something he is committed to each and every day - especially as he begins his career and paves his own path for excellence. Growing up, Jaylen took part in after-school programs that were sponsored by the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP). This connection led him

Lewis Alumni Feature: William Heiden '84

For Lewis alumnus, Bill Heiden '84 , a Catholic education has been an integral part of his life since grammar school. Growing up, Bill attended St. Christopher Catholic School and Marist High School and eventually went on to earn his bachelor's degree in biology at Lewis. Today, Bill works as a middle school teacher at Annunciation Catholic Academy in Altamonte Springs, Florida.  Both as an educator and Catholic educator, Bill tries to incorporate his real world learning experiences into his classroom. Having worked as a research chemist, for 30 years, alongside people in sales and marketing, he recognizes the importance of blending these experiences into his lessons.  "I always felt my Catholic education and rigor better prepared me for college and career," says Bill. "I felt that I could take on the challenges and expectations of my employers and jobs. At the same time, at Lewis, I was able to be more involved and enjoy the extracurricular activities, because I

Lewis Alumni Feature: Cristian Palacio '21

If you put a challenge in front of Cristian Palacio '21, you can bet he’ll accept it. The 2021 graduate of Lewis University isn’t one to back down. In part, that’s what drew him to become an ammunitions specialist in the U.S. Army from 2014-2018 – which, as he quickly learned, dealt heavily with logistics.   That path eventually led him to Lewis – where he received his degree in supply chain management with a focus in logistics.  “What drew me to supply chain was how interesting it is to see all the parts work together to get a product from raw materials to the consumer,” said Cristian. “After my time in the Army, I had a good understanding of what the supply chain industry was like and I found it both challenging and rewarding.” While studying at Lewis, Cristian was heavily involved in the Office of Veteran’s Affairs, taking part in programs that were established to assist and connect with other veteran students.  “Before the COVID-19 pandemic, we held several events to meet and e

Future Alumna Spotlight: Rachel Fosler '22

Future alumna and current Lewis University art student Rachel '22 aspires to be an artist one day - with a focus on illustration or sculptures. Rachel has had the opportunity, through the art program here at Lewis, to use her creativity to embrace unorthodox ways of expressing emotion through art. "One of the biggest things that influences my creativity is the materials that I work with, especially ordinary everyday objects. I'm constantly noticing qualities in objects; what kind of feeling is attached to the shape and how they could be repurposed for art, whether it be a head or a nose or a mouth. Another thing that influences my creativity is human emotion and how to portray it through inhuman objects. I like to draw out a viewer's emotions in unexpected ways through my sculptures and characters. I want people to see not only the bright and zany exterior, but also sense underneath that there's an emotional awareness the sculptures have that they can empathize wit