Connecting With Illinois Tech:
It’s Personal

Chapter News
Members of 4A pose at the 2015 Scarlet Affair [left to right]: Ron Andre, Fred Jones, Robert Ersery (MGT ’80), Andrea Berry (CS ’84), Lester McCarroll Jr. (EE ’83), Antonio Darden (MET ’85), Kenny Mason (CHE ’00, M.S. FPE ’02), and Trustee Harold Singleton III (CHE ’83)

Michael Hill (CS ’82) has made his connection with his alma mater personal by establishing an affinity group: the African American Alumni Association, or 4A. He and Andrea Berry (CS ’82), who is now chair of the Alumni Association Board of Directors and a member of the Board of Trustees, co-founded the organization in 2011 following a successful event they planned together to honor Nate Thomas, whose work helped to set the bar for STEM education at Illinois Tech. They became reengaged with the university through the Alumni Association, and 4A was born.

The group’s mission is to mentor the current generation of Illinois Tech students and to ensure that future generations have the same opportunities that they received. For its annual meeting in 2015, the group held a fundraiser called the Scarlet Affair in conjunction with Global Spirit Day. Members wanted to raise money to establish a scholarship in Thomas’s name, and they needed $25,000 to do it.

“Going into it, I told myself I would be ecstatic if we raised $5,000. By the end of the night, we had $17,000 (in cash and pledges),” says Hill, adding that he was shocked and humbled by the generosity and commitment of his fellow alumni. To keep 4A on the right track, Hill is always looking to the future.

Nate Thomas and Michael Hill
Nate Thomas [left] and Michael Hill (CS ’82)

“We hope to finish funding this scholarship; our next step is to make an endowment,” he says, which will fund the scholarship in perpetuity. “I know it’s a big goal, but we blew the first one out of the water, and I know that collectively, these people always come through. I think we can do it.”

Hill’s advice to alumni hoping to start an affinity group? Just do it!

“It all starts with an idea. Get your group together, even if it’s just four of you, and work from there,” he says. “You need to have the desire to do it and the dedication to follow through more than anything. When we did it, we didn’t have a touchstone in the Alumni Relations office to help with things like this, and now there’s a role for that. Illinois Tech wants to help you.”

Visit to follow the African American Alumni Association on Facebook.

IIT Chicagoland Alumni Chapter

Chapter Officers

Chair: Steve Nargang (ME ’96)—

Vice Chair: Robert Meder (M.Arch. ’10)

Chapter Secretary: Natalie Hammer (EE ’09, M.A.S. PWR ’14)

Communication Chair: Lauren Joyce Hensel (PTC ’06)

City of Chicago Branch
Director: Vacant—Please email Zach Rus at to get involved.

North Suburban Branch
Director: Vacant—Please email Zach Rus at to get involved.
Assistant Directors: Brett Champlin (M.B.A. ’90), Thomas Hutch (M.S. BIOL ’00)

Northwest Suburban Branch
Director: Bruce Meier (MATH ’76)—
Assistant Directors: Luke Dykstra (CPE ’00, M.S. CS ’01), Dave Kamath (M.S. IE ’73)

West Suburban Branch
Director: Joe Koblich (BA ’88)

South Suburban Branch
Director: Jerry Wilks (MET ’72, M.A.S. MET ’82, M.A.S. CHE ’05)—
Assistant Directors: Rob Besecker (BA, MM ’96), Marlene Lojas (CHE ’91)

Stuart Alumni Committee
Chair: Patrick Bourbon (M.S. FIN ’00)

U.S. Chapters

Volunteers who enjoy connecting IIT graduates to their alma mater manage each chapter. Domestic chapters and their leaders are:

Austin: Arun Prakash (AE ’99)

Bay Area: Shailvi (CPE ’07) and Govind (EE ’08) Wakhlu

Dallas: Lisa Marszalek Wright (AE ’01)

Detroit/Ann Arbor: Alex Rasmussen (EE ’00)

Houston: Victoria Meyer (CHE ’90)

Minneapolis: Harley Feldman (CHEM ’69)

New York City: Hector Guillen (M.Arch. ’91)

Philadelphia: Heather Weaver (PPPS `00)

Phoenix: Peter Koliopoulos (ARCH ’86)

San Diego: Crystal Sargent (M.S. MCOM ’02)

Seattle: Mike Wayte (ME ’61)

Southern California: Benny Jones (MATH ’94)

Washington, D.C.: Vacant—Please email Zach Rus at to get involved.

Global Chapters

China: General Secretary Jennifer Meng Xia (M.P.A. ’07)

Hong Kong: Victor Lo (DSGN ’73)

India: Thiruvengadam Ashok (M.S. CS ’01)

Japan: Tetsuyuki Hirano (ARCH ’79)

Korea: Jongsub Moon (Ph.D. CS ’91)

Taiwan: Steve Chun Pan (M.S. IE ’77, Ph.D. MSC ’88)

Thailand: Paiboon Pongchairerks (M.S. IE ’75)

If you live in any of these areas and want to get involved, contact the chapter chair or email the Office of Alumni Relations at