Joann Johnson, BS ’69 (Elementary Education) was featured in Today’s Catholic in April 2022 in a story highlighting her 48-year career in teaching. Joann spent 19 year’s within the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend and frequently worked with younger students, 2nd graders or younger. She has retired at age 74.
Marie Albertson, BGS ’88 (General Studies) and MLS ’93 (Library and Information Science from IUB), earned her bachelor’s degree in her 50’s and her master’s degree in her 60’s and then went on to work as a librarian at the Indiana State Library. She has written three books and traveled the world (five out of seven continents, so far). Marie’s most recent book is Aren’t You Glad You’re Old? A Humorous Look at Life in Older Years. Starting her college education after raising her four children, she encourages women to go out and do what they want to do. “Don’t be afraid to try new things.”
David Cassell, BGS ’11, MLS ’20 (Liberal Studies), won the national Amazing Teacher Award from Gannett Co., the parent company of The South Bend Tribune in February 2022. He was nominated by his co-teacher at Elkhart Elementary Academy for his work connecting with students whose education have been disrupted. He uses “ESP,” empathy, sincerity, and passion, to reach his students.
Renee Krug, BS ’88 (Accounting) was named chief executive officer of Transflo, a mobile and cloud-based platform serving trucking companies, in April of 2022. Prior to this role, Renee served as CEO of GlobalTranz, a third-party logistics provider, and worked for Swift Transportation and Honeywell. In 2018, she received the Distinguished Women in Logistics Award from Women in Trucking.
Dennis Sopczynski, BA ’82 (Fine Arts), was a student of Harold Zisla when he studied at IU South Bend. After graduating he worked at the South Bend Art Center before moving west to earn his Master of Fine Arts in visual communication from California Institute of the Arts. Over the years he has worked as a graphic designer, but has spent the majority of his professional years working as a college professor. Dennis currently teaches first year students 2D Design and Color Theory at the University of Silicon Valley. Dennis credits an opportunity Harold Zisla gave him at IU South Bend for setting the gears in motion for Dennis to see the rewards and challenges of teaching. In addition to teaching Dennis has created more than 600 drawings of swimming pools he has visited since his life as a swimmer began in 1993.
Sara Hoover, BS ’99 (Elementary Education) and MS ’02 (Elementary Education), was recognized with the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in February 2022. She currently teaches science at Beiger Elementary in Mishawaka and serves as a full-time Project Lead the Way facilitator, focused on project-based learning.
Martin Lukaszewski, BA ’97 (English Education) and his service dog Laverne were featured in the Puppy Bowl XVIII before the Super Bowl game in February. Martin was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2014 and was paired with Laverne, a service dog that helps Martin manage his symptoms. A teacher in Minnesota, Martin has noted the calming effect Laverne has in the classroom.
Danae Bell, BS ’08 (Nursing) is a family nurse practitioner and has joined the medical team at Goshen Physicians OB/GYN. After attending IU South Bend she went on to earn her Master of Science in Nursing at Purdue University Global and had established 14 years of experience in care.
Jason Cadwell, BS ’03 (Accounting) was awarded the 2021 CFO of the Year recognition from the Indiana Business Journal. Jason is the chief financial officer and chief administrative officer at Four County Comprehensive Mental Health Center, Inc.
Stephen Cox, BA ’09 (German) is retiring from public service where he had most recently been serving as executive director of the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, a position he started in 2020. Prior to this position Stephen was the Indiana State Fire Marshall, and before that he served the South Bend Fire Department for 26 years.
Mallory Edmondson, BS ’08 (Applied Health Sciences at IUB) and BS ’12 (Dental Hygiene) was named to the 2022 Forty Under 40 Class by the South Bend Regional Chamber. She earned her doctorate from the College of Graduate Health Studies at A.T. Still University in spring 2022 and currently serves as the director of Dental Education within the Vera Z. Dwyer College of Health Sciences at IU South Bend.
Amy McClellan, BS ’03 (Marketing), MPA ’07 (Public Affairs), was promoted to senior vice president and chief marketing officer with SpartanNash in January 2022. In this position she leads the marketing efforts for the Michigan based grocer.
Noe Najera, BGS ’08 (General Studies) was promoted in January 2022 to executive vice president at Horizon Bank. In this position Noe is responsible for consumer, mortgage, and mortgage-warehouse lending as well as Community Reinvesting Act and fair lending programs. He began at Horizon as senior vice president, consumer lending in 2016.
Christian Parra, MBA ’03 was promoted to director of International Sales at Do it Best Corp in January 2022. Moving from the position of international new business manager, in his new role Christian will oversee a team working with hardware retailers in 50 countries.
Adam Schwelnus, MS ’09 (Accounting), was promoted at Kruggel Lawton CPAs in South Bend from staff accountant to partner in the firm’s client accounting and advisory services group in January. Adam is a member of the 2015 class of Michiana’s Forty Under 40 and a 2013 graduate of Leadership South Bend/Mishawaka.
Stevan Slijepcevic, MBA ’00 was appointed president and chief executive officer at Cubic Corporation in January. Prior to this position Stevan was president of Electronic Solutions at Honeywell Aerospace.
Scott Spite, BS ’02 (Economics), graduated from IU South Bend with a degree in economics, and went on to complete the pharmacy program at the University of Illinois Chicago in 2006. He is now a pharmacist at a local Walgreens. Scott has noted how his work has been impacted with the arrival of COVID-19, having to decipher information from misinformation, and coordinating the distribution of the vaccine to the community.
Whitni Borman, AS ’18 (Radiography) is currently a radiologic technologist at University of Chicago Hospital and recently announced her engagement to Jonathan Albers of Hammond, Ind. They are planning an August wedding.
Elizabeth Fisher, AS ’12 (Business) and BS ’13 (Entrepreneurship) was one of 30 professionals recognized by Conexus Indiana in the 2022 Rising 30 cohort. Honorees represent top talent under the age of 30 who will drive Indiana’s advanced manufacturing and logistics industries into the future.
Trevor Fowler, B.A. 18 (Mass Communications), was featured by @WhiteHouse in January for sharing why #Juneteenth being made a federal holiday is so impactful to him.
Michael Kozak, MPA ’16 (Health Systems Administration and Policy) was named to the 2022 Forty Under 40 Class by the South Bend Regional Chamber. Michael is the site medical director and a doctor of family medicine and HealthLinc’s Centennial location.
Annalise (Nedderman) Lira, BS ’19 (Elementary Education) has held teaching positions at Walt Disney Elementary School in Mishawaka and virtually at Lena Dunn Elementary in Washington, Ind. Annalise got married, bought a new home in Elkhart, and is now pursuing a master’s degree at Indiana University South Bend in the inaugural Speech-Language Pathology program.
Seth Molnar, MS ’16 (Educational Leadership) was named principal of Concord High School in March and will begin his role in July. This is a homecoming for Seth who is a graduate of Concord, and has also taught there previously. Most recently Seth has worked in the Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation.
Patrick O’Keefe, BS ’10 (Criminal Justice) earned detective rank with the Indiana State Police in February of 2022, after passing a written test and completing a competitive interview process. He is assigned to the Indiana State Police Toll Road Post.
Bill Spalding, BA ’19 (History) started a new position as phone surveyor with Press Ganey in September 2021 where he conducts healthcare surveys and assists with mail-in surveys.
Rebecca Stevens, BSW ‘19 (Social Work) entered law school in Fall 2021 to at the IU McKinney School of Law at IUPUI.
Ryan Towner, BS ‘10 (Elementary Education) and MS ’16 (Educational Leadership), is the principal at Walt Disney Elementary School in Mishawaka. In March he received the Milken Educator Award for his excellence and innovation in education. Ryan was the first principal to receive the award in 2021-22 and is among 60 educators nationwide to receive this recognition. Additionally Ryan was named to the 2022 class of Michiana Forty Under 40 by the South Bend Regional Chamber.
Paige Closson, BS ’21 (Finance) jointed the Commercial Banker Development Program at 1st Source Bank. Paige is a graduate from the Honors Program where she was an intern.
Sean Fisher, BS ’21 (Biological Sciences) was accepted into his top choice medical school, the IU School of Medicine, where he is currently pursuing a medical degree.
Gabbriella Frodyma, BA ’21 (Speech Communications) was accepted into graduate programs at five universities and is now pursuing a graduate degree in health communication studies at the University of Illinois.
Brendon Handy, BS ’21 (Mathematics) is pursuing a career in personal finance with Korhorn Financial Group.
Amelia Hughey, BA ’21 (Biological Sciences) was accepted into the College of Veterinary Medicine at The Ohio State University and is currently pursuing a graduate degree in veterinary science. While a student, Amelia received the Academic Achievement Award for the Biological Sciences from IU South Bend’s Department of Biological Sciences in Spring 2021.
Autumn (Woodard) Johnson, BS ’21 (Marketing) is working for B&B Manufacturing in LaPorte, Ind. Her employer created a marketing analyst position just for her, allowing Autumn to apply her business degree in marketing as well as her minor in business analytics to the position.
Jonathan Williams, BS ’20 (Finance) is helping Dialexa expand into the Chicago market as the new lead in that region. He was hired for the role in May 2022. Dialexa is a digital product consulting firm. Jonathan brings more than 20 years of experience to the position.