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Distinguished Alumni

The Department of Technology proudly acknowledges our Distinguished Alumni. Each of these alums have reached a significant level of recognized leadership and accomplishment in his/her career. They have each contributed significantly to their respective discipline and it is with great pride that we honor a Distinguished Alumnus from the Technology Department each year.

We welcome nominations from alums and friends. If you wish to nominate someone, please email the candidates name, contact information (if available), and the reason why they are a worthy recipient to clwert@ilstu.edu. Nominees are screened by a panel of current and emeritus faculty.

Distinguished Alumnus for 2016:


Steve Skorup, '85 graduated cum laude with a BS in Industrial Education from ISU, he earned his MA in Educational Administration from NIU in 1990, he has 60+ hours post MA focused on CTE subjects i.e. CADD, CNC, architecture, and STEM. He earned his National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification in 2004. He started his teaching and coaching career at Roosevelt Junior High in Bellwood before moving to Indian Prairie School District 204 in 1987. He taught at Thayer J. Hill MS and then transferred to Waubonsie Valley High were he has taught TEE and coached wrestling for 24 years. He teaches drafting and design and pre-engineering PLTW courses in the D204 Technology and Engineering Education program. He was named 2003 Illinois Drafting Educators Association "Teacher of the Year", twice chosen as SkillsUSA "Advisor of the Year", ITEA "Teacher of the Year" in 2007, ITEEA Teacher Excellence Award in 2008, twice a candidate for the Golden Apple award, and also nominated for the IWCOA Assistant Wrestling Coach of the Year. In 2005 he was selected for the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund program to go to Japan and study their educational system and TEE programs. The WVHS TEE department was named TEAI "Program of the Year" in 2006. He has served on the IDEA Board as a member and president and also the ISU TEE Teacher Advisory Board. He has supervised numerous ISU TEE student teachers during his career. Steve served for 20 years on the Sandwich D430 school board and was nominated for Burroughs Leadership Award. His students have won numerous state and national awards in the CTE areas. His wrestling teams have won Regional and conference titles and he has assisted on teams who have won 4 IHSA state trophies. He has served as the D204 STEM coordinator since 2010. He is most proud of being chosen as an Indian Prairie Education Foundation "Most Influential Teacher" by over 20 students in his career. His former students are now serving as TEE instructors and colleagues throughout Illinois. Steve will retire from teaching in 2018 to pursue his other passions of cabinetmaking, fishing, and grand parenting.​

Distinguished Alumnus for 2015:


Steve Menken worked at Illinois State University for 20 years designing, implementing and supporting campus network and telecommunication systems for the academic and administrative areas on campus. He has been an adjunct faculty in the Technology department at ISU, given guest lectures in classes, and served as an external reviewer for course projects covering wide area networking and network design and protocols. Steve also assisted in authoring a $96M Federal Broadband Technology Opportunities Program grant with colleagues from the University as well as the State of Illinois – Illinois Century Network to improve broadband access to un-served and underserved areas in 55 counties in Illinois. The University's portion of the grant involved the partnership of healthcare, education, government, public safety, not-for-profit and for-profit partners in six of the 55 counties. Through his involvement as the grant PI, Steve was inducted into the University Million Dollar Club that recognizes faculty and staff who have secured $1 million dollars in grants for research and other projects. Steve now works at the University of Oregon directing the state research and education network and the Oregon GigaPoP that provide services to the state universities, K12, community colleges, state agencies and not-for-profit organizations. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Quilt a national coalition of advanced regional networks for research and education representing 36 networks across the country. Steve is also responsible for managing the university telecommunication and campus network. He graduated from Illinois State University with a BS in Applied Computer Science and a MS in Project Management from the Department of Technology and continues to be involved with ISU as an active member Department of Technology Computer Systems Technology Advisory Board.

Distinguished Alumnus for 2014:

Michael L. Shannon '88 is currently Senior Dis AlumniVice President at SGS International, with a primary role of leading the company's business development and market positioning. Michael is also the senior relationship manager for several of the company's largest global consumer branded clients. He has been with SGS International since March of 2000.  Prior to his current role, Michael was Senior Vice President of Global Operations at SGS, where he led the company's now 500-employee global expansion into Europe and Asia. Michael also served as a regional Vice President for the company before taking on his global role, where he had P&L and client responsibility for five operating plants located in the mid-west region of the United States. He serves as a Director of MCG, McGurk and SGS Packaging Europe Holdings Limited. Michael has 20 years of experience in the graphic arts industry in operations, sales and marketing, information technology, and mergers/acquisitions. He began his career in 1988 at Schawk in Chicago, where he held the positions of project estimator, cost analyst, director of information technology, and general manager of the Schawk Chicago and Schawk Cincinnati operations.

Distinguished Alumnus for 2013:

William Burfeind '95 Construction Management is a burfeinddynamic construction executive with 18 years of experience in sales, estimating, preconstruction
consulting and project management for commercial interiors, education, and mixed-use development projects. He has held various construction industry positions including Project Engineer, Estimator, Chief Estimator and Business Development Director for a $100 million revenue business. Now as Vice President, Mr. Burfeind oversees J.C. Anderson's group sales and business development including account management and project delivery. He plays a crucial role in team management, strategic planning, and building and maintaining client relationships throughout Chicagoland's interior construction market. Mr. Burfeind serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee for Chicago Loop Alliance and the Dean's Advisory Board for the College of Applied Science and Technology at Illinois State University.

Distinguished Alumnus for 2012:

Tom Loch '77 started his teaching career at Boser and LochPontiac Township High School and the Livingston Area Vocational Center in 1977 as a vocational graphic arts instructor and football coach. The following year, Tom began a 32-year tenure at Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Illinois, teaching Graphic Arts, Technical Drawing, Photography, Computer Programming, and Mathematics while earning an MS in Industrial Technology from Northern Illinois University in 1981. Tom was selected by his colleagues at Stevenson High School to be their faculty representative to accept the school's fourth National Blue Ribbon Award in Washington, DC in 2002, and was his school's nominee for the State of Illinois "Those Who Excel" Award in 2003. Professionally, Tom is a Past-President of the Graphic Arts Teachers' Association of Illinois, and as a member of the International Graphic Arts Education Association, Tom served as Regional Vice-President for six years hosting and coordinating numerous teacher conferences, was Chair of the Merit Badge Committee which updated and revised the Graphic Arts Merit Badge book for the Boy Scouts of America in 2000 and 2005, and in 2008-2009 served as the IGAEA's President. Currently, Tom is an adjunct professor in Graphic Communication at William Rainey Harper College in Palatine, Illinois.

Distinguished Alumnus for 2011:

photo of alumnus Michael ThomasMichael Thomas '85 is Assistant Manager, P.E. for Machine Group of Toyota Engineering Manufacturing of North America, Inc.  As part of his responsibilities he develops five year plans to explain to upper management the short term and long term goals for the Machine Group.  His duties include procuring equipment that meets North American codes and regulations as well as Toyota’s standards.  Previous positions at Toyota include Project Leader for TIM installations at plants in Canada, Kentucky and Indiana. Michael utilized project management and negotiating skills to reduce the installation time from 8 weeks to 4 weeks and thereby significantly reduce the project cost.  After college, Michael began his career at Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., in Normal, IL as a project coordinator for the Transforming Plastics Department.  In this position he traveled extensively to Japan to attend line trials and buy off on bumper fascia tools.  He was promoted to Senior Staff Engineer, Production Engineering for Plastics/Paint and was project coordinator for installation of two 4500 ton MHI Injection Molding Machines.  While living in Bloomington/Normal he served on the Minority Action and Police Partnership, “Sharing and Caring” breakfast program for Boys and Girls Club in Bloomington, and assisted with the Special Olympics.

Distinguished Alumnus for 2010:

Mark Deterding Mark Deterding '80 is Executive Vice President of Operations for Taylor Corp. He joined Taylor in 2009. He is responsible for working with business leaders to develop core capabilities that will ensure differentiation and competitive advantage in the markets which are served by Taylor. Prior to this, Deterding held leadership positions with RR Donnelley and Banta Corporation and was a Featured Speaker for the Ken Blanchard Executive Forum in 2007. He is an accomplished executive with a proven track record for developing purpose-driven, values-based teams that deliver enhanced P & L performance through improvements in sales, operations, customer service, procurement, information systems and distribution strategy. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Unity Foundation in Alexandria, MN. Mark provided his views on how “Servant Leadership” can be applied to educators who lead programs and students in the classroom. 

Distinguished Alumnus for 2009:

Mark Sanders Mark Sanders M.S. 75, was named Technology Distinguished Alumnus 2009.Currently, Mark is a professor and Program Leader in Technology Education and Integrative STEM Education at Virginia Tech. His research is centered around teaching and learning in Technology Education and STEM education. His accomplishments include: Founding Editor, Journal of Technology Education (JTE), 1989-1997. Vice-President, Council on Technology Teacher Education, 1997-2001. President and First Vice-President, International Graphic Arts Education Association (1983-88), His recent funded research projects include Technology Education Teaching & Learning Project (TFA 2006-2009); Bridges for Engineering Education Project (2003-06); Graphic Comm Central (1997 - present).

 Distinguished Alumnus for 2008:

David Weede David Weede '86 BS has been selected as the 2008 Distinguished Alumnus for the Department of Technology. David was an Integrated Manufacturing Systems student with a Plastics concentration. Since 1999, he has worked for DSM Engineering Plastics, North American Engineering Plastics Business Group in Evansville, Indiana. He started there as a Senior Account Manager involved with developing and managing a three-state territory. In 2005, he was promoted to Sales and Distribution Manager. David has come back to campus on several occasions to speak to technology classes and student organizations.

Distinguished Alumnus for 2007:

content - Doug Strand Douglas Strand has been selected as the 2007 Technology Distinguished Alumnus. Doug graduated with a BS in Industrial Technology from Illinois State University in 1990. He has held a variety of management positions in the food processing industry. He began his career at Oscar Meyer Foods Corporation in Madison, Wisconsin as a Maintenance Team Leader and progressed to Corporate Director of Engineering at Lopez Food, Incorporated in Oklahoma City. In July 2006, Douglas Strand started Strand Management and Consulting Services, in Yukon, Oklahoma. As founder and President of Strand Management and Consulting Services, he is responsible for the development and advancement of Engineering and Management Consulting Services for food service and private label food producers, as well as project assistance and resolution of issues within client facilities.

Distinguished Alumnus for 2006:

photo 7 Donald Braasch, a 1983 graduate of the Department of Industrial Technology with a concentration in plastics has been named our 2006 Distinguished Alumnus. Upon graduation, Don worked for Rockwell International Automotive Plastics where he earned five promotions in five years. From 1992 until 2001, Don worked for Crane Kemlite Company as a Technical Director for product development and quality assurance at multiple sites. As a Six Sigma Black Belt and Master Black belt, he was responsible for creating and deploying Six Sigma and Lean initiatives in various business units of Crane Kemlite. Don is currently an independent consultant for Six Sigma training and implementation. In 1997, Don completed an MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management in Chicago. In October 2000, he was the recipient of the Outstanding Industrial Technologist Award from the National Association of Industrial Technology.

Distinguished Alumnus for 2005:

Tom Schildgen Dr. Thomas E. Schildgen is the Chairman for the Department of Information and Management Technology at Arizona State University. He has been a professor of Industrial Technology for the past twenty-four years at Arizona State. Dr. Schildgen served four years on the faculty of Illinois State University prior to joining ASU. He is active in many professional organizations, a variety of advisory boards, and has served on the Board of Directors of the Association for Graphic Arts Training. Dr. Schildgen is a national and international consultant for Educational Development, Industrial Training and the Graphic Communications Industry. He has done work for companies such as Quad Graphics, Treasure Chest Advertising, and Mannington Resilient Floors. 

Distinguished Alumnus for 2004

William LaBounty Mr. William LaBounty , 2004 Distinguished Alumnus of the Department of Technology, graduated from Illinois State University with his Master of Arts Degree in Industrial Technology in 1974. He was the Director of Illinois State University Printing Services from 1972 until his retirement on September 30, 1993. He has been an active member of the Graphic Communications Advisory Board. Bill volunteers at the McLean County Historical Museum and is the newsletter editor and publications editor. The Association of Museums selected him as "Volunteer of the Year" in October 2002.

 Distinguished Alumnus for 2003:

Linda Rae Markert Dr. Linda Rae Markert, 2003 Distinguished Alumnus of the Department of Technology, is the Dean of the School of Education at the State University of New York at Oswego. Under Dr. Markert's leadership SUNY Oswego's School of Education recently received accreditation of its educator certification programs by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). She chaired the Department of Technology and continues to hold a tenured professorship. Dr. Markert is published in a number of professional journals, services on editorial boards, holds NAIT's distinction as Certified Senior Industrial Technologist, and is a sought after public speaker.

 Distinguished Alumnus for 2002:

Don Johnson Dr. Don Johnson, 2002 Distinguished Alumnus of the Department of Technology, is  assisting Rock Valley College and high schools in the Education for Employment region and writing grants and assisting in the Senior Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE).  At Rock Valley College he served as Program Director and Program Coordinator until the College filled the positions.  


 Distinguished Alumnus for 2001:

Mike Adams Dr. Mike Adams, 2001 Distinguished Alumnus of the Department of Technology, is the current president of Fairleigh-Dickinson University in Madison, NJ.  Dr. Adams has been teaching at the collegiate level since earning a B.S. and an M.S. degree in Printing Management from Illinois State.  He has published eight books and is founding publisher of TIES Magazine.


 Distinguished Alumnus for 2000:

Robert Baldocchi Robert Baldocchi, 2000 distinguished alumnus, graduated from Illinois State's Department of Technology with a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Education.  Mr. Baldocchi completed 22 hours of graduate work at Illinois State before becoming a junior high school arts teacher and then an assistant construction superintendent at CenPar Construction.  From there, he began work at Armstrong Construction Corporation in Bloomington, Illinois, working up from the position of residential construction superintendent to become co-owner. Currently, Mr. Baldocchi is working to establish branches of Armstrong Construction Corporation in other cities and to develop a commercial division.

 Distinguished Alumnus for 1999:

Jerry Wright Jerry Wright, selected to be the first recipient of Illinois State's Department of Technology Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1999, graduated from Illinois State in 1961 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Education.  Following graduation from Illinois State, Mr. Wright received a Masters of Science degree from Bradley University and began work for Caterpillar in 1965.  His work for Caterpillar has included a diverse range of positions including Factory Superintendent, Apprentice and Technical Training Manager, and Technical Resources Manager.  He is currently working on a special project in the Parts and Service Support Division. Throughout the years, Mr. Wright has served as an officer and member of numerous professional boards, including the Board of Trustees for Illinois Central College.

2016-10-28T09:04:11.82-05:00 2016