North Central College - Naperville, IL

Barbara Wildemuth

Class Year: 
1971

Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 2001

Barbara Wildemuth is currently an assistant professor for the School of Information and Library Services at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, N.C. She has been awarded many special honors, such as a Certificate of Appreciation for service. She received five research grants, wrote numerous articles and spoke at several presentations. In 2002, Wildemuth was named associate dean for undergraduate programs at the School of Information and Library Science at Chapel Hill and was appointed to the honorary advisory board of the University’s Health Information Project in 2003. Wildemuth was a recipient of the Vannevar Bush Award for Best Paper at the Joint Conference on Digital Libraries that same year. Most recently, she was named the University of North Carolina’s Frances Carroll McColl Professor.


William "Bill" Davis

Class Year: 
1971

Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 2001

Bill Davis graduated from North Central College with degrees in psychology, sociology and anthropology. He is the north region director for the Department of Licensing and Adoptions for ChildServ. The agency is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and matches foster homes with foster children. His drive for understanding has taken him to International Conferences of the National Association of Black Social Workers held in Brazil (1986), Venezuela (1988) and Puerto Rico (1995). He received the Social Action Award from the Chicago Chapter of the National Association of Black Social Workers in 1992 for his role in facilitating public discourse on the potential harmful consequences of trans-racial adoption as well as the discrimination faced by African-American families wanting to foster and adopt African–American children.


Janice Van Den Berg Byrne

Class Year: 
1966

Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 2001

Janice Van Den Berg Byrne has educated and mentored students all over the world. Since receiving the Outstanding Alumni award in 2001, she has continued her work teaching English composition and developmental reading part time at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn. She also serves on the Study Abroad Scholarship Committee at COD and mentors foreign students. She continues to lead all-day professional development workshops at Pioneer Sholes School, a one-room schoolhouse museum in St. Charles, Ill., and also serves as secretary to the Advisory Board of the Tri-Cities Corps of the Salvation Army.


Leota Buss Ester

Class Year: 
1951

Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 2001

In 1986, entrepreneur Leota Bus Ester founded Landmark Temporary Services (later Landmark, The Staffing Resource) in Appleton, Wisc., and subsequently, opened Landmark offices in Oshkosh, Neenah, and Green Bay. On its 10th Anniversary in 1996, Landmark employed more than 700 women and men in office positions throughout the area and more than 50 in-house staffers. Ester has been a member of the Fox Valley Chapter, Women in Management; the National Association of Staffing Services; the Independent Professional Staffing Services (TIPSS); Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce; and the Rotary Club. She has been an elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA); a trustee of North Central College since 1999; and interim executive director of the Children’s Museum of the Fox Valley. She has earned numerous sales awards from Management Recruiters International and the Mentor-of-the-Year award from the Fox Valley chapter of Women in Management.


Rolland "Rollie" Ferch

Class Year: 
1941

Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 2001

Rolland “Rollie” Ferch has served a total of 60 years as a minister in the Wisconsin Conference of the United Methodist Church, which included 10 pastorates and a chaplaincy for United Methodists for Madison Hospitals. During his pastoral tenure, he served many leadership roles. His service to the community includes membership in the Wisconsin Conference Board of Missions, the Boy Scouts of America, Kiwanis Clubs throughout Wisconsin, the Lions Club of Menomonie, Wisc., and the Optimist Club of Sauk City, Wis.


Eric Bartel

Class Year: 
1986

Alumni Recognition Award Winner 2001

Eric Bartel is an orthopedic surgeon currently on staff at Fox Valley Orthopedic Institute. He is the team physician for the Kane County Cougars, Chicago Freeze and the football teams at Geneva High School. In 2000, he was inducted into the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. He is also a member of the American Medical Association, American Medical Student Association and the Academy of Family Physicians. In 1998, he was published in both the Annals of Internal Medicine and Operative Techniques in Orthopedics. Dr. Bartel volunteers at the Lazarus House in St. Charles, Ill., and serves on the Delnor Hospital Men’s Foundation board of directors and North Central College’s Alumni Committee of the Campaign to Endow Student Research Science.


Suzanne Erzinger Hallam

Class Year: 
1987

Alumni Recognition Award Winner 2002

Suzanne Erzinger Hallam became a full-time mom to her two sons after working nine years at Information Resources Inc., a marketing research firm in Chicago. She is a school volunteer and one of the chairpersons for the Flossmoor Community Church Parent Education Group. She coordinates the local women’s social organization and plans the neighborhood block and holiday parties.


Peter Hallam

Class Year: 
1987

Alumni Recognition Award Winner 2002

Peter Hallam graduated third in his class, summa cum laude, from John Marshall Law School. After law school, he became a litigation associate with the Chicago firm of Rudnick & Wolfe. Today, Hallam is a partner in the firm and litigates a broad range of commercial lawsuits, real estate matters and general corporate disputes. He frequently lectures on real estate litigation topics.


Joseph E. Birkett

Class Year: 
1977

Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 2002

Joseph Birkett was sworn in as DuPage County state’s attorney in 1996, and has been re-elected to two consecutive four-year terms. Throughout his career, he has assisted with training junior prosecutors and has received numerous awards and commendations for his public service. He received his law degree from the John Marshall Law School in 1981 and was admitted to the Illinois Bar later that same year. He became an assistant states attorney in DuPage County in 1981. In 1985, he was promoted to chief of the Major Crimes Unit and the next year was named deputy chief of the Criminal Division. He served from 1991-96 as the Chief of the Criminal Division. He is a member of several professional organizations and is also an adjunct faculty member at National Louis University in Wheaton, Ill.


Barbara Schroeder Rehn

Class Year: 
1957

Outstanding Alumni Award Winner 2002

Barbara Rehn has dedicated more than 40 years to the profession of teaching piano to students of all ages. She maintains a weekly studio of 45 students, many of whom participate and place in the Wisconsin State Music Association contests for which she has served as a volunteer accompanist for many years. Her most rewarding experiences have been developing lasting relationships with each of her students. Rehn is an active member of Community United Methodist Church of Elm Grove, Wis., and a loyal volunteer and supporter of North Central. She has assisted with recruiting high school students and organized Milwaukee area alumni gatherings on behalf of the College. She has served on the Alumni Board and has been a class representative for more than 40 years.


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