Ade Olayinka ’11

Adebola is currently at Duke University studying for a Ph.D. in Public Policy. Her research focuses on how international institutions and organizations aid developing countries. Ade graduated from IWU with  her B.A. in Economics and International Studies. She went on to receive her M.A. in International Relations from the University of Chicago the following year, where she received honors for her Master’s thesis on the influence of international organizations. After leaving Illinois, Ade returned to her native Minnesota to work with Mercy International Mission, a non-profit that provides for the basic health needs of people in rural Nigeria. When she is not studying away, Ade enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, baking, movies, reading and simply getting to know people – not in any specific order.

PhD students at the Sanford School of Public Policy

Jordan ’12 and Carolyn (Leonard) Zimmer ’11



Jordan Zimmer (Class of ’12) and I got married in August of 2012.  Since we have gotten our pictures back, we have had many requests that we send in the classic “IWU picture” that was taken for the magazine.  We had over 60 IWU alumni/students in attendance from Class of 1985 to the Class of 2013.

Carolyn Zimmer (Leonard, Class of ’11)

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Maggie Byrne ’11

Aluma and Peace Corps Volunteer in Nicaragua, Maggie Byrne (IWU ’11) ran an ultramarathon with some fellow Peace Corps volunteers.

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Nicaragua is known as the land of lakes and volcanos. One volcano in particular is an island in Lake Nicaragua and is used for the Fuego y Agua race. The race traces around Ometepe Island, including beaches, trails, and roads for about 20 miles, then finishes with a climb and descent of Maderas Volcano! It was nearly impossible to “run” the volcano due to a mix of intense climbing and sloping, rutted trail. Howler monkeys, birds, and all the beauties of this part of the world encouraged her to make it to the top, stopping only long enough for a drink and a photo by the crater lake at the top of the volcano. It took just over two hours to climb the volcano, and would take even longer to make the descent. There was no steady downward path, and in many places, Maggie found it necessary to crab-walk on all fours and jump down large drop-offs. The slick, muddy conditions tried to pull her shoes off, and the tree-root “jungle-gym” tried to slow her down, but Maggie even resorted to sliding down some of the volcano on her shorts to stay on pace. After running for nine and a half hours, Maggie says, “I felt a level of energy I never imagined possible!” Maggie finished as the tenth female overall, with a time of 9 hours 33 minutes. “This was one of the coolest, most beautiful, and most challenging things I have ever done.”

Mustafa Alavi ’11

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Syed Mustafa Alavi, an Illinois Wesleyan University alumnus and a second-year student at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, has been named a regional coordinator for the American Academy of Family Physicians National Family Medicine Interest Group Network. As coordinator, Alavi will serve as a consultant and resource for the FMIGs on medical school campuses in the 10 states – Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and  Wisconsin  – that comprise Region 2 of the network.

The AAFP established the National FMIG Network to strengthen the on-campus organizations that focus on promoting family medicine as a career. Composed of campus faculty and student FMIG leaders, appointed regional coordinators, and an elected national coordinator, the network fosters communication among FMIGs across the country.

“Family Medicine Interest Groups are one of the best ways that medical students learn about the breadth, depth and rewards of family medicine,” said Jeff Cain, MD, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians. “These regional coordinators are key to introducing students not only to family physicians, but also to the opportunities out there for both service and leadership in their communities and their profession.”

As an FMIG regional coordinator, Alavi provides a role model for fellow students at a time when demand for family physicians is growing. The Affordable Care Act will implement significant changes in the way that health care is delivered. The reformed system will emphasize primary medical care provided in a patient-centered medical home – an approach that incorporates physician-led teams of professionals who work with the patient to prevent health problems, coordinate care and avoid preventable complications of chronic conditions.

Alavi’s interest in medicine grew from his childhood when his grandmother moved into his family’s home. As she developed health conditions due to aging, he helped her cope with illness as she navigated the complex and often frustratingly fragmented health care system.

“I thought, ‘I want to be a better doctor than that,'” he said. “I want to have a relationship with my patients. I want to be the doctor who knows about the whole patient. And with family medicine, the doctor gets to know the whole patient; the doctor gets to know the patient’s family. We get to watch the family grow and provide their care from birth to death.”

That conviction was reaffirmed during an FMIG meeting when the speaker – a family physician – dispelled the myths about family medicine and pointed out “he was never bored,” Alavi said. “The family physician has to know so much and has to know everything well. We should have the smartest people going into family medicine.”

As the current president of the University of Illinois at Chicago Family Medicine Interest Group, Alavi enabled more medical students to participate in the FMIG by establishing committees on social wellness, student outreach and social media. He worked with FMIG members to organize numerous campus and citywide events, including plans to introduce Tar Wars to a local Chicago public school, FMIG participation in an AIDS run fund-raiser, and a panel discussion about health disparities. In addition, he attended the AAFP National Conference of Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students.

In addition, Alavi served as chair of the South Asian Medical Student Association, organizing their 2012 health fair.

Alavi earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology, graduating magna cum laude, from Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Ill., in 2011.

Julie (Tucker) Gernand ’11

Julie married Ted Gernand, a non-alum, in Orland Park, Ill., on July 28. She looked lovely and it was a special day.


Kristen Leigh Evensen ’11 (maid of honor), Angela Jos ’13, Michelle Milham ’11, Nicole Travis ’11, Ally Moravec ’11, Julie (Tucker) Gernand ’11, Michelle Ponschke ’11, Katie Dietrich ’11 (bridesmaid), Leah (Bauersfeld) Megli ’11, Amy Uden ’11 and Kelly Rosborough ’11.