Sharon Chung ’00 was elected as representative for the 91st House District of Illinois, serving as the first Korean-American elected to the General Assembly. You can read more here.
Lucy Shair is an alum of IWU who passed away in January 2021. She was an avid supporter for women taking control of their financial futures and after her initial cancer diagnosis in 2016, she dreamed big and launched her own financial advisory firm. After her passing, a group a friends wanted to do more and the Lucy Shair Foundation for Women in Finance was created. The foundation will offer a yearly $5,000 grant to women working in the finance industry.
Sharon Chung ’00 debated against Scott Preston at Illinois State University’s Bone Student Center. Both candidates are vying for the 91st Illinois House District seat. You can read more here.
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.
Shaun Baer ’00 is among the voice cast for the animated preschool series Bossy Bear, slated for a 2023 premiere on the Nickelodeon family of networks. On the 30-episode series, Shaun plays Bossy’s dad, the manager of an electronics shop who has a Ph.D. in dad jokes, as the kids navigate silly childhood adventures in their Koreatown-inspired city of Pleasantburg. Shaun is a veteran actor of stage and screen, currently based in Los Angeles.
Ryan Jumper ’00, an associate judge in Illinois’ Third Judicial District, announced his intention to run for circuit judge in the November 2022 election. He will seek to replace Circuit Judge William A. Mudge, who announced his retirement at the end of his term. Ryan currently presides over the Third Judicial District’s probate, chancery and small claims divisions. Prior to joining the bench, he was an attorney at the Lance Callis Law Firm in Granite City, Illinois, and Thompson Coburn LLP in St. Louis.
InsureWomen has announced Meg McKeen ’00 as the latest Founding Member.
InsureWomen is creating a network of agents who are passionate about serving female insurance buyers. Agents are affiliated with top-rated insurance companies to provide the best insurance coverage at a competitive rate. Each agent is required to take the “InsureWomen Pledge” to make buyers feel comfortable during the process by answering questions and educating them about the insurance they are buying.
To read more about Founding Members and InsureWomen, visit here.
Kevin Kalus ’00 gave IWU students insight into careers in banking on February 16 for the virtual Titan Career Chat series.
Kevin has been a Chase Market Executive since 2014.
Dr. Susanna Widicus Weaver has been named Alumni of the Year for the Illinois Wesleyan University Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and will speak at the department’s Senior Night Awards Banquet on April 18. Dr. Widicus Weaver is now a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Departments of Chemistry and Astronomy.
“To me this is more important than any other award I could have received because it’s really from the heart,” she said. “It’s such a huge honor. To know that they respect and care about me at this level is just incredible!”
Dr. Widicus Weaver chose Illinois Wesleyan’s undergraduate program after meeting her research advisor in a lunch line at the university’s open house. That advisor showed her a meteorite collection and ignited her passion for astrochemistry.
“Other schools wouldn’t even let me see the labs,” she said. “She was telling me all about her research, so I ended up working with her for four years, and I graduated with honors.”
The program contained a small number of students, who interacted regularly, and when Dr. Widicus Weaver’s mentor left for another job, the rest of the department stepped up to make sure she could finish her honors research, attend meetings, give talks and continue learning chemistry.
“The department was phenomenal at helping me navigate all of that and at helping me keep my work going,” she said. “Every bit of it prepared me to get through graduate school and taught me how to think about science in terms of how to come up with a hypothesis and test it. It taught me how to get a research proposal funded and keep a project running… everything I needed to know to be a research professor.”
As an undergraduate, Dr. Widicus Weaver worked hard, spending evenings and weekends in the lab and sharing her excitement for chemistry with others in the department. Her enthusiasm and dedication did not go unnoticed.
“I realized that we had a budding research chemist in the making,” said Ram Mohan, IWU Wendell and Loretta Hess Professor of Chemistry. “I’m pleased that my observations were correct–Susanna has done wonderfully well and carved a name for herself in the field of astronomy. She has made significant contributions to the field and her research focuses on understanding the evolution of prebiotic molecules as stars and planets form. She was an independent thinker and came up with unique solutions at times to problems she ran into during the course of the lab experiment.”
Her time at Illinois Wesleyan University taught her how to handle research challenges and helped her grow into a confident scientist, but it also left a lasting impression on her desire to mentor undergraduates.
“I am always aware of the power of an undergrad research experience and how that can influence someone’s career trajectory,” she explained. “It was such a strong influence on mine. I always have them in my group and I really love mentoring undergrads and teaching graduate students how to mentor them.”
Sharon Chung ’00 announced her candidacy for Illinois’ 91st House District seat.
Chung, a Democrat, has served on the McLean County Board since she was elected in 2018. She is a professional classical musician and private instructor in Bloomington. She also is an adjunct professor at Millikin University.
“Right now, we have a really exciting opportunity to have great representation for the Bloomington-Normal community in Springfield. It’s something we were lacking for many years, the way the districts were drawn,” said Chung.