Erica (Whitten) Emmett ’96

Erica (Whitten) Emmett ’96 launched FYR Consulting in 2023 after a 25-year career in veterinary medicine, that included nursing, sales and lastly, talent acquisition and development. FYR was borne from her desire to help people harness their superpowers to achieve greatness. She received her M.A. in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University in 2022 and became a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach to help individuals and organizations improve their teamwork, communication, engagement, and overall well-being. Congratulations Erica!

Betsy Phillips ’96

On September 10, 1957, Hattie Cotton Elementary School in Nashville, Tennessee, blew up. On March 16, 1958, the Jewish Community Center was bombed. On April 19, 1960, the home of Civil Rights attorney and Nashville city councilman, Z. Alexander Looby was dynamited. He and his wife were lucky to escape with their lives. These bombings have never been solved.

In fact, many in Nashville don’t even know they’re connected.

In Dynamite Nashville, Betsy Phillips ’96 pieces together what really happened in Nashville at the dawn of the Civil Rights Movement. It has national implications for how we understand the violent white response to desegregation efforts and white supremacist actions now.

You can learn more about the book here.

Vasan Ramanuja ’96

Vasan Ramanuja ’96 recently participated in Dancing with the Mankato Stars! He was nominated and performed with dance partner competing against 11 other local celebrity/dance coach duos. This was a benefit for the American Red Cross serving Southwest Minnesota, which raised over one million dollars!

You can learn more about the event here.


Deidre Dyer ’96

Deidre Dyer ’96 has been appointed to Circuit Court Judge in Cook County, Illinois. She is the first judicial appointment of Justice Joy V. Cunningham.

Deidre Dyer ’96 and Carla Vigue
Justice Joy Cunningham administering the oath of office, daughter Simone Sampson holding the Bible, and far left is sister Ouida Dyer Bradford ’86 who helped put on Deidre’s robe as part of the ceremony

Homecoming & Family Weekend 2022

In the past two years we’ve witnessed the Titan community come together in new ways to share stories, expertise, and friendship. However, we have long awaited the chance to welcome you back to campus for a true Illinois Wesleyan Homecoming! We look forward to sharing a meal, a drink, and a story with all of you in person, September 23-25, 2022.

Click here for a full schedule of events and to register.

Kevin Geraldi ’96

Kevin Geraldi ’96 will begin an appointment as Director of Bands at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, beginning Fall of 2022. As the 7th person to hold this position in the 154-year history of the Illinois Bands program, he will conduct the renowned Illinois Wind Symphony, teach graduate conducting, and provide administrative leadership for the University’s comprehensive and historic band program. From 2005–2022, he served on the faculty of the School of Music at UNC Greensboro. In May 2022 he was keynote speaker for the Spanish Musicological Society conference in Vigo, Spain.

Sarah (Weinstein) Edwards ’96

Filmmaker Sarah Edwards ’96 was nominated for a Mid-America EMMY for short-form content for “Classical BTS: Nomin Zolzaya,” which was featured as part of an Illinois Public Media docuseries. It follows the personal journey of Illinois Symphony Orchestra Principal Cellist Nomin Zolzaya, who first found her love for the cello as a young girl growing up in Mongolia.