North Central College - Naperville, IL

John Giannini

Class Year: 

Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 2013

John Giannini ’84, Ph.D. , a coach, author, educator and motivator, he has built a powerhouse Division I basketball program while cultivating a reputation for his basketball acumen. Head basketball coach of the La Salle University Explorers since 2004, John is La Salle’s all-time winningest coach in the Atlantic 10 conference and, in 2013, took his team to the Sweet 16, its deepest run into the NCAA tournament since 1955.

The spotlight on his successes during the college basketball tournament allowed him to share the influence of North Central College on his career, in particular a Theories of Motivation class he took as a psychology major. He also credits his coach, Athletic Hall of Fame recipient Bill Warden ’54, with inspiring his coaching career.

He began his head coaching career in 1989 at Rowan College in Glassboro, NJ. Within three years, John coached the team to the NCAA Division III Final Four and to a national championship in 1996. He left Rowan with the best winning percentage in the nation (.814) among all active NCAA coaches and was inducted into the Rowan Sports Hall of Fame in 2004. John next assumed a Division I head coaching position with the University of Maine, where he again achieved coaching success. The Maine Black Bears soon became regular conference contenders in the Atlantic East. In his eight seasons with Maine, John became the winningest coach in the program’s history and led the Black Bears to the only two 20-win seasons in school history.

Also an author, John wrote the 2008 book, “Court Sense: Winning Basketball’s Mental Game,” and has published articles for academic research journals and practical coaching publications. He also taught courses at Maine and Rowan.

In addition to his North Central degree in psychology, he holds an M. S. in physical education from the University of North Texas and a Ph.D. in kinesiology with a specialization in sports psychology from the University of Illinois. John is an honorary trustee at North Central College.

He and his wife Donna Fuhr ’85 and their two daughters live in Mullica Hill, NJ.

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Charles Bartsch

Class Year: 

Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 2013

Charles Bartsch ’73 is an authority in the area of economic development and environmental community revitalization. As senior advisor for economic development to Mathy Stanislaus, assistant administrator at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Charlie promotes interagency and public-private financing partnerships to spur land revitalization and site reuse. He works closely with the federal government’s Partnership for Sustainable Communities and advises the Office of Brownfields and Land Revitalization on area-wide planning and community revitalization financing strategies. Charlie has a leading role in developing the agency’s EJ 2014 strategy, a roadmap to help the EPA integrate environmental justice into its programs and policies. He has been an EPA point person on the White House Strong Cities/ Strong Communities recovery initiative.

Charlie’s expertise is widely sought and he often testifies before Congress on issues of economic development. He has provided training and technical assistance support in some 200 communities in more than 40 states. In 2001, he received the International Economic Development Council’s Chairman’s Award for Outstanding Service for 10 years work on brownfield policies and legislation. In 2013, he received a Brownfield Leadership award for Lifetime Achievement from the National Association of Local Government Environmental Professionals.

Previously, Charlie was senior fellow at IC F International where he served as the brownfields and smart growth policy expert. He has also served as director of brownfield studies at the Northeast-Mideast Institute in Washington, DC , a public policy center affiliated with the bi-partisan Northeast-Midwest Congressional and Senate Coalitions.

Charlie studied political science at North Central College and later earned a master’s degree in urban policy and planning from the University of Illinois-Chicago. He enjoys sharing his expertise and insights with students and faculty at North Central.

Charlie resides in Washington, DC.

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Alumna's family scrapbook unveils ancestors’ deep connections to North Central College

Caitlin Schlorff recently discovered a scrapbook that revealed a fourth generation of her family’s connections to North Central College.

Caitlin “Cait” Neuman ’11 Schlorff recalls the moment when a simple request by her grandmother suddenly unearthed a treasure trove of her ancestors’ deep connections to North Central College.

They were at the family’s cabin near Eagle River, Wis., when Cait’s grandmother, Bonnie Erffmeyer ’54 McLaughlin, asked her to retrieve something from a closet. That’s where Cait discovered a scrapbook created by her maternal great-grandfather.

“My grandma had me looking for a hummingbird feeder and this scrapbook was on the top shelf,” she recalls.

Google spotlights recent North Central College graduate in video about internships

Kitt Vanderwater, a Google employee and 2012 graduate of North Central College, is featured in a Google video about its internship opportunities.

Kitt Vanderwater, a Google employee and 2012 graduate of North Central College, is featured in a Google video about its internship opportunities.

Troy D. Hammond to be inaugurated May 17 as 10th president of North Central College

The May 17 inauguration of Troy D. Hammond as 10th president of North Central College is part of a week that includes concerts and a fireworks display.

The May 17 inauguration of Troy D. Hammond as the 10th president of North Central College is part of a week that includes honors ceremonies, concerts and a fireworks display.

The inauguration occurs during Cornerstone Week, May 13-19, an annual celebration that commemorates the College’s 1870 move to Naperville from Plainfield and the laying of the cornerstone for Old Main. Some events will be webcast live. The week includes the following events:

North Central College purchases home at 409 E. Chicago Ave.

At its February meeting the North Central College Board of Trustees voted unanimously to purchase a house adjacent to campus at 409 E. Chicago Ave.

At its February meeting the North Central College Board of Trustees voted unanimously to purchase a house adjacent to campus at 409 E. Chicago Ave. The house will replace the Edward Everett Rall House as home to the College’s president.

In February 2012 the Board began evaluating the Rall House, which served the recent five presidents of the College: Edward Everett Rall, after whom the house is named; C. Harve Geiger; Arlo L. Schilling; Gael D. Swing and Harold R. Wilde.

Timothy D. Zager

Class Year: 

Alumni Recognition Award Winner 1987

Tim Zager is a clinical instructor at the University of Minnesota and chief of pediatrics at St. Mary’s Medical Center, where he is the director of pediatric intensive care. After graduating from North Central, Zager attended Loyola School of Medicine. In 1982, he completed his pediatric residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and has been on the medical staff of the Duluth Clinic in Duluth, Minn., since 1982. Tim and his wife, Anita Montgomery ’79 Zager, reside in Duluth. They are the parents of one daughter and one son.

Sam Sumwalt

Class Year: 

Alumni Recognition Award Winner 1982

Sam Sumwalt is president of Entre’ Computer Center in Lafayette, La. He is also an instructor for the Realtor’s National Marketing Institute, as well as his own company. His involvements in his community include president of Round Tree Commons Homeowners Association and choir member and chair of Every Member Commitment Committee for Prince of Peace United Methodist Church.  He also serves in the Naval Air Reserve in Glenview, Ill.

William D. Soper

Class Year: 

Alumni Recognition Award Winner 1984

William Soper is an assistant professor of surgery and associate director of transplantation at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. He received his medical degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine in 1972 and began a surgical residency at the University of Illinois Hospital in Chicago. Soper is the author of numerous articles on transplantation and has presented papers at several national conventions.  He was president of the Illinois Transplant Society in 1983 and is a member of the American Medical Association, American College of Surgeons, American Society of Transplant Surgeons and the International Transplantation Society. Most recently, Soper agreed to serve on the Alumni Committee of the Campaign to Endow Student Research in Science.

Karen J. Solomon

Class Year: 

Alumni Recognition Award Winner 1995

Karen Solomon is the assistant director for Accreditation Services, the Higher Learning Commission in Chicago. She is also a Coldwell Banker Realtor serving at a residential brokerage in Naperville. Her previous position was with Associated Colleges of Illinois Inc., as an education associate and outcomes assessment. She also worked at Northern Illinois University as coordinator of research and evaluation in Adult Continuing Education. Solomon is involved with the North Central College Board of Trustees Associates, serving as WYSE Competition co-chair and treasurer. She is a member of the Naperville Riverwalk Foundation, and the Naperville Jaycees. Solomon is also a member of the advisory panel for the American Indian Education Consortium and an advisory board member for Northern Illinois University Adult Education. In 2003, she received a doctorate in education from Northern Illinois University, majoring in adult and continuing education with instructional technology as an area of focus.

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