North Central College - Naperville, IL

Ryan Dowd '00

Ryan Dowd was named the 2013 Outstanding Alumni of the Year during the Northern Illinois University (NIU) Alumni Association Awards program on April 19 for his commitment to public service. He previously served as executive director of Hesed House, the second-largest homeless shelter in Illinois.

Sarah Brady '08

Sarah Brady completed her doctorate at the University of Oregon and specialized in inorganic chemistry. Specifically, she studied the synthesis of inorganic polymers, which are used to study the degradation of plastics. She has received a science policy fellowship that is supported by the California Council on Science and Technology. Her role will be to provide unbiased scientific advice and answers on policy issues regarding science and technology to politicians, staff members and constituents.

Jenny Decker-Pratt '04

Jenny Decker-Pratt and her husband Zach Pratt ’05 moved to Howard, WI. She has accepted the position of elementary cross categorical special education teacher at Menasha Joint School District in Menasha, WI. She will be supporting students with disabilities in the regular education classroom. Zach is an assistant professor of biology at St. Norbert College in De Pere, WI. Jenny may be contacted at jennypratt1@yahoo.com, and Zach may be reached at zach.pratt4@gmail.com.

Amy Gray M ’98 / M ’11

Amy Gray is assistant principal at Stratford Middle School in Bloomingdale, IL. She received her master’s degrees in liberal studies and in education leadership and administration leading to a type 75 certificate from North Central College.

Nick Hird '07

Nick Hird won the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon on April 26, beating more than 1,800 other participants. Running through the streets of Champaign and Urbana in 2 hours, 23 minutes and 56 seconds, he averaged 5 minutes and 30 seconds per mile. Hird was a former NCAA Division III All-American at North Central, where he now coaches as a volunteer.

Adrian Aldrich '02

Adrian Aldrich has been promoted to executive director of development and alumni affairs and will oversee the offices of development and alumni relations at North Central College. He may be reached at 630-637-5201 or amaldrich@noctrl.edu.

Sarah Rader Hughes '96

Sarah Rader Hughes was promoted from senior manager to executive director at Ernst & Young, LLP. She has more than 12 years experience serving various industries. As an executive director, she will focus on continued quality client service. She and her husband Jason live in the Atlanta area with their son. She may be contacted at selizabeth7@gmail.com.

Travis Hartke '05

Travis Hartke is an associate cross country coach at Boise State University in Boise, ID. Hartke started his career as a graduate assistant at Iowa State in 2006 after earning a degree in psychology and physical education at North Central. At Iowa State, he earned a master's degree in kinesiology. He was promoted to a full-time assistant coach in 2008, a position he held until 2010 when he was named associate head coach.

David Thompson '99

David Thompson is head coach of men’s track and field at Williams College in Williamstown, MA. He was head coach of the men’s and women’s track and field programs at State University of New York at Oswego; University of Dubuque in Dubuque, IA; and Ashford University in Clinton, IA; and was assistant coach at Augustana College in Rock Island, IL.

Matthew Lupo '07

Matthew Lupo was appointed as a staff associate at the Mathieson, Moyski, Celer & Co., LLP, Accountants and Advisors, a full-service accounting and financial services firm based in Wheaton, IL. He has experience in personal, partnership and corporate taxation and has worked with trust taxation, audits for small businesses, 401(K) audits and audits for manufacturing and warehouses. Lupo holds a master’s degree in accounting from Northern Illinois University.