Welcome to Northeastern Alumni Class Notes
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(M.A. ‘68 Mathematics)
Swanson served as teacher, school district administrator and author for more than 40 years. He received a Ph.D. on Mathematics Education from The Ohio State University.
(B.A. ‘68 Music)
Winer received the League of Professional Theatre Women Special Award at the 2018 Theatre Women Awards ceremony. Winer was the Chief Theatre Critic for Newsday until 2017. She taught critical writing at Columbia University’s School of the Arts and hosted the LPTW’s “Women in Theatre” series on CUNY-TV. Winer was also the 2013 NEIU Distinguished Alumna Award recipient and Commencement speaker.
Anthony C. Parla
(B.A. ‘73 Political Science)
Parla worked in the insurance industry for more than 40 years reaching the position of vice president.
Richard C. Lindberg
(B.A. ‘74, M.A. ‘87, History)
Lindberg was honored by the Illinois State Historical Society (ISHS) for his work on publishing Northeastern’s first comprehensive history book, “Northeastern Illinois University: The First 150 Years.” Recently, the Chicago History Magazine published an article Lindberg wrote highlighting the early years of NEIU as the Cook County Normal School. Lindberg was also interviewed on WGN Radio’s Behind the Curtain Show with Paul Lisnek. Lindberg is a Chicago writer whose work includes “Chicago by Gaslight: A History of the Chicago Netherworld, 1880-I 920, The White Sox Encyclopedia,” and “The Armchair Companion to Chicago Sports.” He is also a member of the NEIU Alumni Advisory Board.
(B.A. ‘75 English)
Herriges published a book titled “Inherit the Streets,” an investigative report about Chicago street gangs for the Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine in 1978. Herriges has written numerous novels including “Someplace Safe,” “The Winter Dance Party Murders,” “The Bay of the Marseilles and Other Stories.” He has also produced documentaries including “TC Boyle: The Art of the Story” and “Player: A Rock and Roll Dream” won Platinum and Gold at the Aurora Awards in Salt Lake City.
Seema (Crandall) Ghori Imam
(B.A. ‘75 Elem and Learning Disabilities; M.A. ‘83 Reading Specialist; M.A. ‘87 Educational Administration)
Ghori Imam completed a Doctorate in Curriculum and Social Inquiry at National Louis University and a second Doctorate at Graduate Theological Foundation. In 2017, she was awarded full Professor at National Louis University. Ghori Imam was also the recipient of the Mary McLeod Award in Educational Administration at Graduate Theological Foundation and the Inspiring Women’s Award from the Muslim Women Alliance.
Karen (Hull) Schmitz
(B.S. ‘75 Physical Education)
Schmitz recently retired after a long career as a physical health and dance teacher, writer and marketing professional. She has two adult children.
(B.A. ‘76 Speech)
Dr. Hanson served as the 2018 Brommel-Hahs Lecturer at the Communication, Media and Theatre Celebration Week this spring. Hanson is a professor of communications at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Hanson is the author, most recently, of “24/7: How Cell Phones and the Internet Change the Way We Live, Work, and Play;” “New Communication Technologies in Developing Countries;” “Understanding Video: Applications, Impact, and Theory, and Connections, Technologies of Communication;” and has edited or co-edited more than a dozen others.
(B.A. ‘77 Physical Education)
Gems retired as a professor of kinesiology from North Central College, Naperville, IL. He served as the past president of the North American Society for Sport History, is a Fulbright Scholar, received the 2016 Routledge Award for scholarship, and is author of more than 250 publications. He has made more than 70 international presentations of his research and is currently working on his twentieth book.
Jennie (Gardner) Spallone
(M.A.S. ‘77 Special Education)
Spallone recently published a new book titled “Psychobabble,” her fourth psychological thriller in May 2018. She was recently awarded the Advanced Communicator Gold (ACG) from Toastmasters, International in recognition of her strong communication skills.
(B.A. ‘79 Music; M.A. ‘83 Music)
Kirkwood recently completed a Doctor of Worship Studies degree at the Robert E. Webber Institute for Worship Studies in Jacksonville, Fla.
(B.A. ‘82 Psychology)
The Detroit News reported that alumnus Richard Koubek has been appointed the 10th president of Michigan Tech.
James H. Lawlor
(B.A. ‘83 Business and Management)
Lawlor works as a personal injury trial attorney at Shea Law Group, Chicago, Ill.
Melanie (Goto) Dillon
(B.A. ‘85 Speech; M.A. ‘89 Guidance and Counseling)
Dillon is the co-founder of Entourage Clinical Services, one of the first integrated Canna-conscious health care practices in Illinois. In addition to being a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC), Dillon is a Certified Holistic Cannabis Practitioner (CHCP).
Kenneth D. Smith
(B.S. ‘87 Marketing)
Smith serves as a Tax Manager at The Abrix Group LP in Northbrook, Ill.
(B.S. ‘94, Accounting)
Escobar was recently appointed as chief financial officer at Nanophase Technologies Corporation, a technology leader in nanomaterials and advanced nanoengineered products, in Romeoville, Ill. He also has a CPA license from the State of Illinois.
(M.A. ‘94 Speech)
Jordan presented at Northeastern as part of the NEIU Alumni All Access speaker series. Jordan retired in 2016 as a reporter and news anchor for WGN-TV’s News at Nine. He recently published “Murder in the News: An Inside Look at How Television Covers Crime.” The book examines how news programs decide which murders to cover and how social media has changed the dynamic of reporting. Jordan received the 2011 NEIU Distinguished Alumnus Award and also served as the December Commencement Speaker at NEIU.
(M.A. ‘97 Political Science)
Gallego served as a regional policy coordinator at the Department of State’s Counterterrorism Bureau. He is currently training for a new assignment with the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia as the deputy political counselor for External Affairs.
Dietzen published a Holocaust memoir, Gypsy Music Street, in 2013. Her speaker’s program is titled “Gypsy Music Street: Genocide and a Daughter’s Journey to her Mother’s Shattered World.” She speaks about the inter-generational trauma of the Holocaust, and the importance of people standing up to hatred, cruelty, and injustice.
(B.A. ‘04 University Without Walls)
Maze recently published “Walk Until Sunrise,” a memoir about her experiences as a 15-year-old-runaway. Her book received a review from windycityreviews.org. She is currently am a member of the voice faculty at Merit School of Music and a teaching artist for Ravinia.
Aaron N. Durnbaugh
(M.A. ‘05 Geography & Environmental Studies)
Durnbaugh presented as the keynote speaker at this year’s Green Initiative Conference at NEIU. He is the director of sustainability at Loyola University, Chicago, IL.
(M.A. ‘06 Geography and Environmental Studies; M.S Biology)
Jones recently taught a series of beekeeping classes at NEIU through the NEIU Community and Professional Education (CAPE) program. She received a Ph.D. in Entomology from the University of Illinois.
Rebecca (Becky) Sarwate
(M.A. ‘07 English)
Sarwate recently published a new book featuring Chicago Cubs fans called “Cubsessions: Famous Fans of Chicago’s North Side Baseball Team.” The book is co-authored with Randy Richardson. Sarwate is a Chicago-based freelance writer whose work appears in Contemptor, The Broadway Blog, and Wrigleyville Nation, PoliticusUSA.com, RootSpeak magazine, EDGE Media Network, NewCity, Make It Better and StreetWise. She is a manifold IWPA award winner, and has been recognized for her work eight times by the National Federation of Press Women.
(B.A. ‘11 History)
Whitehead was awarded the 2018 Black Heritage Alumni Award at the annual Black Heritage Awards Ceremony which took place at the NEIU Carruthers Center for Inner City Studies. She works as a the manager of the Career and Transfer Center at Oakton Community College, Des Plaines, Ill.
(B.A. ‘12 Sociology)
Gómez was featured by the Mujeres’ Young Professionals Advisory Council. She is the co-director of programs and training at Public Allies Chicago, where she is involved with innovating the training and learning curriculum. Her role offers the opportunity to work with young adults from the city of Chicago.
Carolyn M. Hodrick
(B.A. ‘14 Justice Studies; M.A. ‘17 Inner City Studies)
Hodrick launched a new program called F.E.E.D. (Family, Education, Economics, Acts of Self-Diligence). The initiative hosts book drives for educational programs in Chicago.
(B.A. ‘14 History)
Williams was recently named librarian at the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture in recognition of his strong leadership in promoting local history and cultural institutions. He is currently a library associate at Teen Services at Chicago Public Library.
(M.A. ‘15 Clinical Mental Health Counseling)
Harrison published an article titled “Counseling people in the performing art” in Counseling Today, the membership magazine of the American Counseling Association.
Agron was recently highlighted in an online story featuring the NEIU Alumni Relations Student Philanthropy efforts. Agron currently works as the assistant director of alumni relations at Northeastern and is pursuing a master’s degree in Community and Teacher Leaders at NEIU. She recently earned a master’s degree in Community and Teachers Leaders.
(M.A. ‘17 Communication, Media and Theatre)
Taylor was admitted into a Ph.D. program in Communication at Purdue. Her research will focus in media, technology, and society.
(B.A. ‘17 Nontraditional Degree Program)
Williams is the president and founder of the Bronzeville Historical, founded in 1999. Over the years, Williams has documented Chicago’s black history. The organization has provided historical presentations, exhibits, and seminars in schools, churches, libraries and park districts.