2013 Recipients

Charles Bartsch

Class Year: 1973 
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.


John Giannini

Class Year: 1984 
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.


Josh Stumpenhorst

Class Year: 2003
Alumni Recognition Award Winner 2013

Josh Stumpenhorst ’03 is being honored for his achievements as a premier educational professional. He has earned recognition in Illinois and nationally for his contributions to his students, his school and the field of education.

He was named the 2011-2012 Illinois Teacher of the Year by the Illinois State Board of Education and 2012 Teacher of the Year by the Illinois Education Association. Also in 2012, he was one of 38 public school educators who received the California Casualty Award for Teaching Excellence, one of the nation’s most prestigious honors for public educators. In 2013, the NEA Foundation recognized Stumpenhorst as a Pearson Foundation Global Learning Fellow.

Josh writes about his teaching experiences on a blog he calls Stump the Teacher, which has received EduBlog Awards nominations. He was named to the Emerging Leaders Class of 2011 by the International Society of Technology Educators and is the Illinois Computer Educators’ 2012 Educator of the Year. His Tweeting and blogging about educating youngsters have earned recognition for enlightening other teachers on using social media. He shares his knowledge as professional conferences, school districts and colleges and contributes articles as SmartBrief Education and the EdReach Community.

Josh remains committed to influencing the youngsters he teaches every day at Lincoln Junior High School in Naperville Community Unit School District 203, serving as the school's athletic director, boys basketball and track coach and computer club advisor. His influence and expertise extends to North Central College's education department, where he has presented to students about technology and is pursuing innovative ways to partner with the College in teacher preparation.

Graduating with a degree in social studies and minor in secondary education, he was named the College’s Outstanding Senior Man for 2003 and was a College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin champion in the triple jump. He holds a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction and National Board Certification in early adolescence social science.


Steven Hoeft

Class Year: 1973
Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 2013

Steven Hoeft ’73 is known for his expertise in the field of construction and real estate litigation at the international law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP in Chicago. As one of Illinois’ top lawyers, his practice is focused on construction, real estate, securities and commodities, product liability and intellectual property litigation. He has worked extensively with manufacturers, inventors, banks, underwriters and investors, and has had first chair responsibility for jury and bench trials, preliminary injunction hearings, arbitrations and appeals.

At North Central, his extraordinary vision and leadership have been instrumental in guiding the North Central College Board of Trustees during the important transition from the presidency of Dr. Harold R. Wilde to Dr. Troy D. Hammond. He assumed the role of board chair in 2009, and in 2012 helped oversee the presidential search process, transition and inauguration. His expertise and insight have also been important to many trustee committees and the College has benefited from his work on many levels.

As a student at North Central, Steve majored in English studies and political science while becoming the third leading scorer in the history of Cardinal basketball. He also participated in track and field as a triple jumper and was chosen to appear in the 1972 edition of “Outstanding College Athletes of America.”

Steve earned a juris doctor from Northwestern University School of Law in 1976. He was named among the Leading Lawyers in Illinois in 2007, 2009 and 2010 by Leading Lawyers Network magazine. A member of the American Bar Association, he is also a member of the bars of the State of Illinois, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (trial bar), and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth, Seventh, Eighth and Eleventh Circuits.


Tracy Smith Malone

Class Year: 1990 
Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 2013

The Reverend Dr. Tracy Smith ’90 Malone is a recognized leader in the United Methodist Church, widely known for her devout faith and her outstanding abilities to lead, mentor, teach and preach. She holds the position of Chicago Southern District Superintendent of the Northern Illinois Conference, and the district she oversees includes 60 local churches, a social agency, two campus ministries and other ministries. Tracy has served in associate, pastor and senior pastor positions and been a member of the board of directors for the General Board of Church and Society and chair of the 2012 delegation to General and Jurisdictional Conferences. She has received the Distinguished Leadership Award by the Chicago Black Methodists for Church Renewal.

Tracy came to North Central knowing that she would prepare for seminary, having been mentored to enter the ministry by her father (the Reverend Willie Smith ’79) and other clergy. While a student, she was a change agent who initiated the Voices of Praise gospel choir, planned new events for Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday and served on the search committee that hired the College’s first multicultural affairs director.

She graduated from North Central with a degree in religious studies, received a master of divinity degree from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and a doctor of ministry degree from United Theological Seminary.

As a North Central alumna, Tracy has been generous with her time on many occasions, returning as a speaker at Martin Luther King Jr. events and at the worship service to celebrate the inauguration of President Troy D. Hammond. In addition, she and husband Derrick Malone ’93 established the Derrick and Tracy Malone Minority Scholarship to support the African-American student population at North Central.


Wilber C. Harr

Class Year: 1930
Wall of Witness Award Winner 2013

Reverend Dr. Wilber C. Harr ’30 was a man of deep faith and compassion, called to bring Christian teachings to people of African and Asian countries through mission work.

After a term of missionary service in Nigeria, Wilber was appointed professor of Christian missions at Evangelical Theological Seminary (ETS) in 1940. During his career, he traveled extensively throughout Africa and Asia for months at a time, visiting mission units and studying new methods in Christian mission work. In 1957, he was among the first professors at ETS to be granted a sabbatical and spent six months primarily in Africa. During his second opportunity in 1965, he visited Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Ethiopia and India and was then based in Singapore at Trinity Theological College, where he was teaching. He traveled on weekends to Thailand and Indonesia and also visited Japan and the Philippines.

He pursued questions of Church-mission relationships and sought to clarify the work of “North American churchmen” who represented business, government and tourism overseas. Wilber would find doors open to him throughout the countries he toured thanks to the missionaries he had prepared across many Christian denominations.

His knowledge and discernment of missions brought him recognition in denominational and interdenominational circles. In addition to his teaching at ETS, Wilber accepted special teaching assignments at Garrett Theological Seminary in Evanston, Scarritt College in Nashville, TN , Chicago Lutheran Seminary in Maywood, and Bethany Theological Seminary in Oak Brook. Wilber served as president of the National Association of Professors of Missions of North America and the Midwest Association of Professors of Missions.

Among his many roles in the mission field was overseeing orientation for appointees to Africa for missions related to the Division of Foreign Mission of the National Council of Churches of Christ in America.

After earning a degree in history from North Central College, Wilber earned a bachelor of divinity from ETS, a master’s degree from Union Theological Seminary in 1940 and a doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1945. 

William Soper

Class Year: 1968
Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 2013

William Soper ’68, M.D. , has attained a lifelong goal to become a top surgeon and leader in the medical field. A board-certified general surgeon at Advanced Surgical Associates, S.C. in Arlington Heights, IL, he has built his career around general surgery and transplantation.

William has extensive experience in the practice of general surgery. He has been practicing in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago since 1994. Previously, he was associate director of transplantation at Northwestern Memorial Hospital for 12 years.

William has held several leadership positions at area hospitals, including chief of general surgery at Northwest Community Hospital. He also has held leadership roles with the American Society of Transplant Surgeons, the American Cancer Society Reach to Recovery Program and the Illinois Transplant Society. William has published numerous articles in national journals in the areas of transplantation and general surgery and is a member of many national surgical societies.

A biology major at North Central and a 1967 honoree in Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities, he went on to receive his medical degree from University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago and completed his surgical residency at the University of Illinois Medical Center.

William also completed a two-year fellowship in transplant surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Following his training, he served as director of the Surgical Intensive Care Unit at the University of Illinois Medical Group. He received the College’s Young Alumnus Award in 1984. While a student, he competed on the Cardinal swim team and still participates in masters swimming competitions.