1996 Recipients

Emil Hospodar

Class Year: 1948
Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 1996

Emil Hospodar assisted in the development of the Medical Art Program and became professor and head of the Department of Biomedical Visualization at the University of Illinois. He established the nation’s first Medical Illustration Internship Program. In 1980, he retired from U of I and was named consultant to Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry, where he worked on the development of health exhibits including the “Miracle of Life” display. Along with a colleague, he also created the “Walk Through the Human Heart” exhibit. The College of Health and Human Development at the University of Illinois Medical Center honored him in 1999 by establishing the Emil W. Hospodar Excellence in Teaching Award.


John Bramsen

Class Year: 1960
Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 1996

A North Central College trustee since 1991, John Bramsen graduated from the College in 1960 with a degree in mathematics. He subsequently earned a master’s degree in mathematics from the University of Illinois, and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Chicago. He taught at the University of Colorado for many years before leaving to pursue post-doctoral studies in mathematics and statistics. By 1982, he was working for Spraying Systems Company in Wheaton, Ill., a company founded by his father, that manufacturers spray nozzles and accessories. Bramsen retired in the late eighties but continues to serve on the board of directors. He also continues to be engaged in research and writing in mathematics and sociology. Most recently he published a paper titled “Further Algebraic Results in the Theory of Balance,” in Journal of Mathematical Sociology, October-December 2002.


Nicholas Hood

Class Year: 1946
Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 1996

Rev. Nicholas Hood has been a pastor, a central figure in the United Church of Christ, and a leader in Detroit. He was also the first African-American to receive a degree from North Central College. In November, 1965, Hood became the second African-American to be elected to the City Council of Detroit, serving for 28 years. He was a founding member of Southern Christian Leadership Council with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and was the founder of Cyprian Center and the Cyprian Foundation, whose chief mission is to serve developmentally disabled persons. He received the Distinguished Graduate Award from Yale University Divinity School in 1974.


Sharon Zimmerman Rader

Class Year: 1961
Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 1996

Sharon Rader’s inspiring pastoral and administrative leadership is valued by laity and clergy alike. She served as Bishop of the Wisconsin Conference of the United Methodist Church from 1992 to her retirement in 2004. She has chaired the Council of Bishops Initiative on Children and Poverty and was president of the Wisconsin Conference of Churches. In 1976, she received a master of divinity degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill., where she was later awarded the 1996 Outstanding Alumni Award. She was ordained as an elder of the United Methodist Church in 1978 and served congregations in Michigan and Illinois before being appointed district superintendent of the West Michigan Annual Conference in 1989, the same year she received an honorary doctorate of divinity from Albion College. She’s a trustee of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and served as a North Central College Trustee from 1992-2004. She has traveled for mission study to Kenya, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Costa Rica and Nicaragua, and has served on the United Methodist Church’s Board of Global Ministries, the ethnic minority local church committee and the commission on the status and role of women.


Nancy Carlstedt Smith

Class Year: 1981
Alumni Recognition Award Winner 1996

Nancy Carlstedt Smith is a development chemist with Technical Coatings Company in Melrose Park, Ill. Smith holds master’s and doctorate degrees in chemistry from the University of Illinois.  She was a member of the North Central College Alumni Association Board of Directors for six years and served as president from1993-94. Under her leadership, the association implemented several new initiatives, including career networking. Smith volunteers her time teaching Sunday school at Calvary United Methodist Church in Villa Park, Ill.