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Troy Franks, BS ’88 (Management), is the President and CEO at Cosco Home & Office. As senior executive, he has helped the company achieve record sales and lead market share brand of step stools and folding furniture.
Martin Lukaszewski, BS ’97 (Education) is currently the chairperson of the Board of Directors for Minnesota Transitions Charter School, Minnesota’s largest charter school with nearly 6,000 students. The district headquarters and one of the schools was nearly destroyed in May 2020 due to the riots at the third precinct in Minneapolis after the death of George Floyd. The district supports two virtual schools and the nation’s oldest sobriety school. The rebuilt school and district offices were scheduled for completion in early April. Martin continues to teach and lead the board of directors event after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2014. He states, “There is no obstacle that we can’t overcome.”
Chris Worrell, BA’ 03 (History), attended Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland on a full scholarship, and earned an M.A. He has spent the last decade reporting for Cleveland.com, Sun News and The Plain Dealer, i.e., Advance Ohio. While COVID has been tough, as well as print journalism in general, he continues to crank out solid community news.
Brianne Mahone, BGA ’06, BS ’10 (Nursing), MS ’19 (Nursing), is a nurse practitioner at Beacon Medical Group Cardiovascular Specialists at Beacon Health. Her specialization in cardiology helps her maintain and educate her patients on their cardiovascular health.
Stephen Varner, MBA ’07 (Management & Administrative Studies), became a partner at Kruggel Lawton CPAs on January 1, 2021 after working there since 2018. He holds an active CPA license and is a member of the Indiana CPA Society, the American Institute of CPAs, and CPA Society’s Tax Resource Advisory Council (TRAC). Stephen currently serves clients in the South Bend region in corporate and individual taxation, state and local tax, estate planning, and consulting services to companies and their owners.
Luke Williams, BA ’06 (Psychology) was recently promoted from marketing and electronic banking compliance officer at 1st Source Bank to Officer of the Bank. He joined the Bank in October 2019 as a member of the compliance department with special focus on ensuring Bank advertising follows all applicable regulations as well as supporting the Bank’s digital banking initiatives.
After graduating from IU South Bend with high distinction, Luke earned a J.D. cum laude from the IU Maurer School of Law. In the community, he has volunteered with Indiana Legal Services, providing legal advice to low-income individuals, and has served as a tutor for local children through the after-school program at the Charles Martin Youth Center.
Lee Wisler, BS ’09 (Economics) has been promoted to assistant vice president of 1st Source Bank, where he had been a specialty vehicle lender within the bank’s specialty finance group. In early 2020, he achieved his Certified Leasing Finance Professional designation. Lee helped form 1st Source Bank’s corporate banking development program and mentors recent graduates beginning their banking careers. He also serves as a mentor to graduating IU South Bend students and volunteers with the IU South Bend Alumni Association.
Chloe Dukes, BFA ’17, had two of her prints incorporated into the set design in the pilot episode of “Kenan,” the Kenan Thompson comedy, last February. Through sharing her work on Instagram during the quarantine period, her posts were shared, and shared again. This resulted in contact from the designer of the show who was looking for strong representation of Black women. Chloe is currently pursuing her master’s in art administration at IU in Bloomington, where she working on some murals for Artisan Alley.
Maggie Fink, BS ’19 (Biochemistry) has received the prestigious National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Award (GRFP). This award recognizes and supports outstanding students in the NSF-supported STEM disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited U.S. institutions. It is the oldest graduate fellowship of its kind.
Maggie is currently a Ph.D. student at Notre Dame, researching bacterial communities with a primary goal of understanding how different types of bacteria interact when they are living together, specifically how they communicate and cooperate by sharing food and other resources. This award allows her to expand her research questions as well as spend more time researching and engaging in community outreach that is integral to her career goals.
A primary part of her application for this award focused on her current work in engaging non-scientists in the South Bend community and helping rebuild trust in the scientific community. Last year she and Dr. Shahir Rizk started a social media collaboration, Folding Moonlight (www.foldingmoonlight.com) where they use art and storytelling to explain complicated scientific concepts.
At IU South Bend, Maggie was a non-traditional student, a mom, and a first-generation college graduate. She is a proud Titan alumna and is very active in the community. Maggie notes her time at IU South Bend made this award possible through the excellent training she received in the biochemistry, chemistry, and biology departments. She was supported as a mother and woman in the sciences and encouraged to pursue her goals at every step. This was especially true of Dr. Gretchen Anderson who was Maggie’s first mentor at IU South Bend. Anderson exemplified everything good that IU South Bend is for the community and what it means to be a scientist who can make a difference.
Angela Huff, BGS ’13, took a job with Purdue Polytechnic Institute South Bend as the student services coordinator. Prior to that she worked at IU South Bend for nearly 15 years, most recently in the Schurz Library.
Tom Kurzhal, BS ’14 (Economics and Accounting), joined 1st Source Bank as officer, accounting manager in the corporate accounting department in November 2020. He has past experience as a corporate controller and staff auditor, and is currently working toward his Certified Public Accountant (CPA) designation. Tom’s involvement in the community includes being board treasurer for the Forever Learning Institute in South Bend, board member of the Community investment Committee for the South Bend Common Council, and is an active member and ambassador for the Young Professionals Network South Bend.
Kamika Perry, BGS ’12, designed shirts and shoes reflecting social justice for the Notre Dame women’s basketball team last season. After consulting with Coach Ivey and the players about their vision, Kamika created a design that merges a fist with an anatomical heart. The team wore the shoes and a t-shirt with Perry design in their nationally televised game against Louisville in February. For more on this story visit: https://www.southbendtribune.com/sports/college/notredame/womensbasketball/notre-dame-womens-shoes-shirts-to-make-social-justice-statement/article_59dc164a-79bc-11eb-9623-5f99ec89556b.html
Danielle Wilborn, BFA ’11 (Fine Arts), is the Executive Director of the Buchanan Art Center in Buchanan, Mich. She earned her Master of Arts in social practice from the University of Indianapolis in 2020. Her project “un-Cultivated” is based on the multiple uses of plants in the Midwest. Through the use of plants commonly recognized as weeds, project participants made food related items such as maple and walnut syrup, wild yeast home brewed soda, and ice cream with spruce tips. Non-food created for the project included paper, ink, dye, and charcoal. Danielle also collected fabric squares dyed by project participants using common, safe plants, for an installation that can be found outside the Buchanan Art Center. Full details about the project are available here: https://www.alten.studio/uncultivated.html
Humberto Chavarria, BS ’20 (Chemistry), was a Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) scholar through the National Science Foundation as a student at IU South Bend. He was accepted into the Geosciences PhD program at the University of Arizona.