North Central College - Naperville, IL

A call to help in Haiti

Don Dexheimer ’65, outreach director of Roscoe (IL) United Methodist Church, has been leading mission trips for more than 15 years after spending a full year, 1994, with his wife, Dorothy, on a mission team in Khabarovsk, Russia. Recently, he has found new challenges in Haiti, leading a team in May 2010 to work on a permanent school and church building in Fond Doux, a remote village.

Kai Ruggeri ’06 in Europe

In five years since graduation, Kai Ruggeri ’06 has studied in Ireland and England, lived in Austria, Spain and Germany, completed a postdoctorate in Portugal and worked in Belgrade, Serbia. Not bad for someone who never studied abroad as an undergraduate majoring in psychology. “I had too many commitments, played football and changed majors late in the process so I never had the opportunity to go abroad,” says Ruggeri, who’s been living in Serbia.

Jeff Seaberg '80

Jeff Seaberg heads up the children’s theater program in Danville, CA, and was director of the campy Danville classic, “Wigged Out,” for many years. During the school year he runs an after-school program called Theatre Performance Workshop, which ends with performances. He has up to 50 kids in each class in what he calls “controlled chaos.” He writes the plays for the group and publishes them as an inexpensive resource for other after-school programs. He says he’s improved his skills at populating his stories with interesting characters, better dialog and good plots.

A Legacy of Building Friendships Abroad

From as early as 1875, the College had developed ties with Japan and China through the mission work of the Evangelical Church. The exposure to the Church encouraged students in Japan and China to attend North Central College for their education. Henry Tayama, Class of 1893, became the first student from Japan to graduate. Fumiko Miyagi ’24 returned to Tokyo to become a renowned artist and humanitarian and a professor of art at Japan Women’s University.

Paul Lankenau '83

Paul Lankenau owns Lankenau Architecture in Naperville, specializing in residential and commercial architecture. He’s a member of the Association of Licensed Architects (ALA), Exchange Club of Naperville (board member seven years, Exchangite of the Year 2003, and chairman of Naperville’s Ribfest twice) and past chair of the City of Naperville Disability Advisory Board. He may be reached at paul@lankenau-architecture.com.

Chuck Thompson '87

Chuck Thompson wrote a book titled “Why Natasha?” It’s his first detective novel featuring Nattie Moreland, a.k.a. Natasha McMorales, in her first big case as she follows a lead to Tuscany, Italy, far from her homebase in Bristol, TN. Thompson divides the majority of his work between three positions: as a private psychotherapy/marriage counseling practitioner, director of the King College Counseling Center, and associate professor of psychology and religion at King College in Bristol.

Andrei Guruianu: The Immigrant Experience

Growing up in Romania during the 1980s under an oppressive regime was “normal” for Andrei Guruianu, assistant professor of English. As a 10-year-old he viewed his family’s move to Queens, NY, in 1991 as a loss, not an opportunity. “I missed my grandparents so much,” he says. “And of course there were the usual immigrant jokes at school.”

Pam Salik Pepper '91

Pam Salik Pepper was appointed to the City Council for Indianola, IA, filling a vacated position until the general election in November. She’s served on the city’s planning and zoning commission for 12 years. She’s director of development operations and director of Annual Fund programs at Drake University in Des Moines and wrote a case study for the textbook “Human Relations in Action.” She may be reached at pam.pepper@drake.edu.

Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky composer-in-residence

Faculty and students are enjoying the rare chance to collaborate with a composer of international fame. Dmitri Yanov-Yanovsky, North Central's composer-in-residence, is sharing his vast experience that includes commissions for renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, countless movie scores and other international projects. A native of Tashkent, Uzbekistan, he most recently has been a composer-in-residence at Harvard University and Dartmouth College.

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