North Central College - Naperville, IL

Joe Birkett '77

Joe Birkett ’77 in December was sworn in as a justice of the 2nd District Appellate Court in Elgin, IL. He was formerly DuPage County State’s Attorney and a prosecutor for nearly 30 years. Birkett’s wife Patty watched the oath, which was administered by Illinois Supreme Court Justice Bob Thomas. Daily Herald photo by Daniel White.

D-Term Trip to Berlin: Bad weather turns to opportunity

When Heathrow International Airport closed due to bad weather a week before Christmas, it posed quite a dilemma for 18 students, their professor and a staff member, Brian Rainville, who were stranded in Berlin at the conclusion of a D-Term course. The group was supposed to transfer flights in London.

A Thriving Global Community

On any given day at North Central College, students are sharing travel stories from D-Term, learning about new study abroad options to places like Jordan and Peru, practicing German at a language table, taking flamenco lessons and viewing a documentary film about India. They may encounter an English professor who grew up in Romania and a student organization comptroller from Haiti.

President's Message

One of my theories about great colleges is that they must include a few “magnificent crazy zealots.” Too many MCZs, and the institution could implode. Too few, and the school has a tendency to settle for good instead of great. The MCZs are the professors and coaches who refuse to accept constraints … whether they be resources, attitudes, “turf” or time … in their pursuit of excellence.

New American Colleges and Universities Fellow Adds to Science Lore

J. Burton Kirkwood, professor of history at the University of Evansville in Evansville, IN, used his sabbatical as a New American Colleges and Universities fellow at North Central during fall term 2010. While observing the College’s senior administrative leadership, he also researched North Central’s rich legacy in the sciences and its many distinguished alumni.

Dr. Carl C. Gamertsfelder '35: A Witness to the Launch of the Nuclear Age

"It seemed a little magical to me,” was how the late Dr. Carl C. Gamertsfelder ’35 described the nuclear reaction that took place at the University of Chicago on December 2, 1942.

Christine Ross ’11 in Prague

While Christine Ross ’11 was student-teaching in the Czech Republic, she mentioned to her class that she wanted to visit Egypt and ride a camel. “Four of the 13 students in my class told me they had already been to Egypt and ridden camels,” she says. “And they’re in fourth grade.”

An elementary education major, Ross embraced her passion for internationalism by completing her student-teaching requirement at a British International School in Prague. She applied to a program called Educators Abroad Student Teaching (EAST) and chose the Czech Republic from more than 40 options.

Michael Sparacino '79

Michael Sparacino, M.D., joined the Family Medicine Department at River’s Edge Hospital and Clinic in St. Peter, MN. In addition to his time at the St. Peter facility, he’ll also work at the River’s Edge clinic in Le Center. He previously worked at Immanuel-St. Joseph (ISJ) Hospital in Mankato, MN, as a family medicine clinician and program director for the family medicine osteopathic residency program at ISJ. He’s served as chief of emergency medicine for the 51st Tactical Fighter Wing at Osan Air Base in the Republic of Korea, medical director of high-risk obstetrics at St.

A call to help in Haiti

Don Dexheimer ’65, outreach director of Roscoe (IL) United Methodist Church, has been leading mission trips for more than 15 years after spending a full year, 1994, with his wife, Dorothy, on a mission team in Khabarovsk, Russia. Recently, he has found new challenges in Haiti, leading a team in May 2010 to work on a permanent school and church building in Fond Doux, a remote village.

Kai Ruggeri ’06 in Europe

In five years since graduation, Kai Ruggeri ’06 has studied in Ireland and England, lived in Austria, Spain and Germany, completed a postdoctorate in Portugal and worked in Belgrade, Serbia. Not bad for someone who never studied abroad as an undergraduate majoring in psychology. “I had too many commitments, played football and changed majors late in the process so I never had the opportunity to go abroad,” says Ruggeri, who’s been living in Serbia.

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