By Marcia Faye

Match Point Bound

Erik Scanlan

Erik Scanlan, new coach of the Scarlet Hawks men’s and women’s tennis teams, proudly admits to being a racketeer—and he came to Illinois Tech to recruit new players to his game. After all, he is among the third generation of his family to excel at tennis.

Games played with his grandfather sparked Scanlan’s interest in the sport, which grew into a passion by the time he entered the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater as an undergraduate. Considered to be one of the region’s strongest NCAA Division III players, he was a four-year letter winner, two-time team captain, and NCAA Athletic All-American honoree in 2010–11. Scanlan also was an instructor at several clubs in Illinois and Wisconsin, and came to Illinois Tech via Carthage College, where he served as a graduate assistant coach. Now he is anxious to add head coach and program developer to his résumé as he helps to grow Illinois Tech’s NCAA-level tennis teams.

“I want to build a winning program. Far more importantly, however, is that I would like to build a successful program,” says Scanlan, in anticipation of the program’s inaugural 2017–18 season. “I define success not on a team’s record but on how much our athletes grow—as players, as students, and above all else, as people. I want my program to be defined as one where student-athletes learn about the physical and mental traits that influence their tennis game, what it means to be NCAA athletes, how to push themselves to new heights both physically and mentally, and how to effectively manage their time.”

Engineering Her Future

Roxanne Myers

Even the warm climate of California couldn’t convince Roxanne Myers (ARCE 16, M.E. STE 5th year) to stay there for her education when she learned that Illinois Tech would offer her the opportunity to earn an undergraduate degree in architectural engineering and qualify for a slot on the women’s varsity soccer team. Myers kicked her first recreational ball at age 6, joined a competitive soccer club two years later, played all through high school, and then came to Illinois Tech on a Camras Scholarship. She went on to achieve numerous athletics honors and school records by the time she played her last game with the Scarlet Hawks in 2016, including USCAA First Team All-American status, USCAA National All-Academic Team status, and the Ed Glancy Female Athlete of the Year.

Still active in a Chicago-based Saturday soccer league, Myers interns as a mechanical and electrical engineer with the firm dbHMS.

“My dad studied mechanical engineering at UCLA, my mom studied chemical engineering at UCSB [University of California, Santa Barbara], and a younger sister is studying biomedical engineering,” says Myers. “She and I are going for it! We’re taking the women in STEM concept as far as we can!”

Myers says that even though Chicago’s architecture offers a veritable palette of buildings for structural engineers, she is open to exploring different cities and opportunities that may come her way as May Commencement approaches.

“I’m working toward going into low-rise custom-home structural design,” she explains. “Between my first and second years at Illinois Tech, I was a project engineer at MG Partners, a company that builds luxury homes in Los Angeles. All of the homes the company worked on were so different in style. I like that variability in design and the challenges that presents.”