Dec 182020

Congratulations to Shannon O’Rourke Kasali ’07 and her husband Baraka Kasali who welcomed their new tiny titan, Nia Maeve Kasali! Nia means “purpose” in Kiswahili and also has Irish origins meaning “bright.” Maeve means “bringer of great joy.” We wish your family all the best this holiday season!

 Posted by at 12:06 pm
Dec 102020

Kate Tombaugh, a 2007 graduate of Illinois Wesleyan University, recently won the 10th annual Mildred C. Miller International Vocal Competition and $3,000 prize in an all-mezzo-soprano edition that began with 155 applicants and 13 finalists.

A Streator, Illinois native, Tombaugh was the only finalist representing the Midwest in the event hosted by Pittsburgh Festival Opera. Applicants submitted preliminary audition videos and a list of five arias for repertoire considerations, and the five member all-star panel of mezzo-soprano judges requested that Tombaugh present Nobles Seigneurs, salut! from Gioacomo Meyerbeer’s Les Huguenots and Things Change, Jo from Mark Adamo’s Little Women.

Careful steps were taken by Pittsburgh Festival Opera to ensure safe recording amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Sound and video recording devices were mailed to each finalist to ensure a more level playing field for everyone competing from home, as well as a chance to work with the pianist creating the accompaniment tracks. The Mildred Miller International Voice Competition was founded in 2011 to identify and nurture talented young singers. The competition is named for Pittsburgh Festival Opera founder Mildred Miller Posvar.

Tombaugh has performed professionally for a decade throughout the U.S. in works that range the gamut of classical and musical theater repertoire. Her most recent engagements include singing with Chicago Opera Theater in the world premiere of Freedom Ride, an American opera by Dan Shore celebrating the hundreds of young volunteers who risked their lives to desegregate interstate travel in 1961.

Since graduating from Illinois Wesleyan, some of Tombaugh’s career highlights have included performing as a soloist at CarnegieHall upon winning the Barry Alexander International Vocal Competition, winning the Harold Haugh Light Opera Vocal Competition, placing second in the Nicholas Z. Loren Vocal Competition, hosted by the Holland Chorale, and being awarded the “Grace Keagy Award” by NYC-based Kurt Weill Foundation in their annual Lotte Lenya Foundation.

Read the full article here.

 Posted by at 4:55 pm
Sep 182020

Charlene Carruthers ’07 was among the 2020 Freedom Scholars announced by the Marguerite Casey Foundation and Group Health Foundation. Recognizing scholars standing at the forefront of movements for economic and social justice, and creating the catalytic ideas for transformative change, the foundations are placing power in the hands of changemakers through new Freedom Scholars Awards, $250,000 grants that give leaders greater freedom to build a truly representative economy that works for working families and people. Charlene is a political strategist, cultural worker and Ph.D. student in the Department of African American Studies at Northwestern University. Her research includes Black feminist political economies, abolition of patriarchal and carceral systems, and the role of cultural work within the Black radical tradition. Her work spans more than 15 years of community organizing across racial, gender and economic justice movements. She is the author of Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements, and received Illinois Wesleyan’s Robert M. Montgomery Outstanding Young Alumni Award in 2017. Read more here.

 Posted by at 12:22 pm
Jun 042020

Beth Lanza ’07Joined The Center for Voice and Swallowing Disorders at The Ears, Nose, Throat, and Plastic Surgery Association in Orlando, Florida, as a speech language pathologist, in September 2019. Beth earned a master’s degree in communication disorders at Northern Illinois University in 2018 and, as part of her postgraduate work, started Bridges Choir, a choir for adults with language and cognitive communication disorders. After graduate school, Beth completed her clinical fellowship at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center, receiving training at the Voice and Upper Airways Clinic as well as the Neurogenic Communication Disorders Clinic. Congratulations Beth!

 Posted by at 11:50 am
Jun 012020

Todd Kumler ’07 Presented virtually on May 26th, and gave an overview of the economics consulting industry, including the types of projects that economics consultants work on and the day-to-day life of an economics consultant. His presentation also discussed opportunities at economics consulting firms for undergraduates and the types of candidates recruited by these firms. Thank you Todd!

 Posted by at 11:53 am