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Outstanding Young Alumni

 The Department of Technology proudly acknowledges our Outstanding Young Alumni. Each of these alums has garnered accolades for his/her significant career achievement during the first ten years since receiving a degree from Illinois State University's Department of Technology. It is with great pride that we honor an Outstanding Young Alum 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.

Outstanding Young Alum for 2016


Matt Scoville has been a trans-medial producer for 9 years, executing creative work spanning all formats and platforms. For every project he brings his experience, craft and ingenuity full force to deliver the best possible work, bar none. Matt worked as a production lead from creative inception on the award winning Allstate "Mayhem" campaign. While most recently leading production on the LG G5 launch campaign, Matt has also fostered and crafted creative ideas for clients including Samsung, Bud Light, SC Johnson, Hallmark, and McDonalds. Matt graduated Magna Cum Laude at Illinois State University. After graduating, he started his career as an intern at Leo Burnett in the Production department. He moved on to spend the next 5 years at Leo Burnett producing work for all media platforms

Outstanding Young Alum for 2015

Cory Grant - '11 is an Application Engineer at Young AlumniGenesis Systems Group in Davenport, Iowa. Cory graduated with a Bachelor in Science in Engineering Technology from Illinois State University in the Spring of 2011. He began his career at Genesis Systems Group, a robotic systems integrator, and helped develop their Advanced Materials Processing (AMP) Group. In his role within the AMP Group Cory develops robotic non-destructive inspection systems for the aerospace industry. The systems are used to inspect structural and critical components of airplanes and rockets. Over the past 4 years Cory has worked on the Boeing 787, 777x, 737 MAX, Airbus A350, SpaceX Falcon 9, and NASA SLS among other projects.

Outstanding Young Alum for 2014

Chris Marx - '02 An entrepreneur who quickly built Dis Alumnihis own successful plumbing company right out of college, Chris Marx is the owner of Redbird Plumbing. With extensive operational and management experience and nearly two decades of plumbing experience, he is a licensed plumber through the Illinois Department of Public Health and is Cross-Connection Control device Inspection (CCCDI) licensed by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. Chris has a Bachelor of Science degree in Construction Management from Illinois State University (ISU).  Locally owned and operated by Chris for over ten years, Redbird Plumbing has a reputation of doing quality work at reasonable rates. Chris's company earned the service industry's coveted 2012 and 2013 Angie's List Super Service Awards. Redbird Plumbing was also the recipient of second place in the Pantagraph's 2013 and 2014 Reader's Choice Awards. Displaying his Redbird pride, Chris's company has participated for numerous years in the ISU homecoming parade, receiving awards in the community float category in each of the last three years: third place in 2011 and first place in 2012 and 2013. Passionate and committed to his work, community and ISU, he donates labor to the Humane Society of Central Illinois and other charitable organizations, hires construction management and accounting/business students from the University to provide them real life experiences, and regularly sponsors teams and donates financially to the University. Chris lives in Normal, IL, with his wife Lisa ('01 ISU Alum) and daughters Tori and Taylor. He and his wife were featured in the Alumni Magazine's 'How We Met' section in May 2010.

Outstanding Young Alum for 2013

Shannon Fulton - '11 Renewable Energy wears fultonmultiple hats and has been named Outstanding Young Alum for 2013. She is Director of Illinois Business Development for StraightUp Solar, President of the Illinois Solar Energy Association, and a Solar Ambassador for WECARE Solar. StraightUp Solar designs and installs solar energy systems with the goal of making solar power affordable and readily available to residential and commercial customers. Illinois Solar Energy Association is a non-profit organization that promotes the widespread application of solar and other forms of renewable energy through education and advocacy. We Care Solar works in developing countries to equip medical clinics with solar power for critical lighting, mobile communication devices and medical devices, with the goal of reducing maternal and infant mortality. Shannon has traveled with teams to East Africa and Uganda in 2012 and 2013 respectively to install the organization's innovative Solar Suitcase components on roofs and in clinics and instruct the local medical staff on system operation, maintenance and troubleshooting.

Outstanding Young Alum for 2012

Michael Grammer, '06 is an IT Boser and GrammerProject Manager at Deere and Company (John Deere), based in Moline, Illinois.  He graduated from Illinois State University in the spring of 2006 with a Bachelor of  Science in Computer Systems Technology and is pursuing an MBA from the University of Iowa. Mike began his career at John Deere through the IT Early Development Program (IT-EDP) in early 2007 and has advanced through roles of increasing responsibility.  In 2012, Mike joined the Customer Support IT team as an IT Project Manager. In this role, Mike's primary focus is to provide IT project leadership within the Service ADVISORTM projects working closely with Technical Center India, key suppliers, and various John Deere teams. Mike feels the experiences at ISU have provided him with an excellent foundation for life and for career.

Outstanding Young Alum for 2011

Steve Parrott, ’95 is a current member of the ISU Technology Education Program Advisory Board. photo of alumnus Steve ParrottAfter graduating from SIU, he began his career in industrial technology by working for Maytag in the Quad Cities. When Maytag moved to Mexico, Steve enrolled in the Industrial Technology MS Degree and Alternative Teacher Certification Program. After graduation, Steve taught and coached at Lincoln High School before becoming the Principal Consultant for Technology and Engineering Education at the Illinois State Board of Education. Steve is actively involved in SkillsUSA, TSA and PLTW for Illinois. He was elected to the National TSA Board and is President elect of the Council for Supervision and Leadership for the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association. Steve has always been and continues to be a huge supporter and advocate for Illinois State University and its program.

Outstanding Young Alum for 2010

Shane Tredup Shane Tredup '01, is the Vice President of Operations at Custom Aluminum Products. While attending Illinois State University, Shane worked for the university as assistant to the lab maintenance manager. He also served two years as the student chapter president of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. Shane started his career as a Sales Engineer with Custom Aluminum Products. In 2001, he became Vice President of Operations. Shane received his MBA from Aurora University in 2005 and was awarded the 2007 NAIT Industry Division Outstanding Early Achievement Award. Shane spoke about some of the challenges he has encountered during his career at Custom Aluminum Products.


Outstanding Young Alum for 2009

Gavin Kalley Gavin Kalley, '00, is the 2009 Technology Outstanding Young Alumnus. Gavin, of Normal is a Senior Manager for Atlanta, GA based Holder Construction Company. In his career, he has been a part over $2 Billion in large, complex construction projects spread over 10 states, including Gwinnett Arena, Union Pacific Headquarters, State Farm Corporate South Addition, and six large data center projects. He currently has oversight responsibility for the $700 Million, 50 story, world-class headquarters facility for Devon Energy. Gavin is a member of the Illinois State University Construction Management Advisory Board, is a LEED Accredited Professional, and champions the Holder Construction recruiting efforts at I.S.U.


 Outstanding Young Alum for 2008

Mark Hibner Mark Hibner, '96, MS 00, has been selected as the 2008 Outstanding Young Alumnus. Currently, Mark is the Department Chair of Applied Technology at Palatine High School, as well as the District Chair for Applied Technology. As District Chair, he is responsible for being a curriculum leader, organizing Institute Days, and acting as a liaison between the District Office and the other Applied Technology Chairs in the district. In March 2006, Mark received the Silgebauer Award for Technology Use in the Classroom in part due to the success of the CAD program at Palatine High School.


 Outstanding Young Alum for 2007

Elizabeth Ivancsits Elizabeth (Betsy) Ivancsits, '97 was graduate majoring in Printing Management and has been named Outstanding Young Alum for 2007. Betsy is a Manufacturing Manager with Bodine Electric Company. Betsy comes from an ISU family.  Her grandfather was one of the mechanical/electrical engineers on the Turner Hall Building project in the early 1960's.  Her father was in one of the first classes taught in Turner Hall and a 1968 graduate of the Industrial Technology Department, as is her brother, a 1998 graduate.


 Outstanding Young Alum for 2006

Kyra Tillman Kyra Tillman, '99 Industrial Technology graduate, has been named Outstanding Young Alum for 2006. Kyra is a Project Manager for FCL Builders in Itasca, Illinois.  After the successful completion of two solo projects, she was assigned to run a new 60-acre industrial development at O'Hare International Airport.



 Outstanding Young Alum for 2005

Michael Cermak Michael Cermak, '92 has been named Outstanding Young Alum for 2005. Michael is currently the Director of Engineering & Technology at Rock Valley College in Rockford, Illinois. The Engineering and Technology division includes automated manufacturing, building construction, computer-aided mechanical design, electronic engineering, graphic arts and quality engineering technology.


 Outstanding Young Alum for 2004

Brian Murphy Brian Murphy, '93 has been named Outstanding Young Alum for 2004. Brian has worked for Drees Homes for eleven years and is a Construction Manager with them. He is responsible for managing multiple locations with as many as 11 superintendents and 120 homes under construction. He is also responsible for quality control, staffing, budgeting, training, warranty and purchasing manager roles.



 Outstanding Young Alum for 2003

Curtis Thomas Curtis Thomas, '91 has been named the Outstanding Young Alum for 2003. Mr. Thomas is currently an Account Executive in Customer Service at ABB Flexible Automation, Inc. in Auburn Hills, Michigan. Mr. Thomas has hired Illinois State students and was instrumental in arranging the donation of the ABB robot to the department. His motivation and perseverance helped him to recover from a serious neck injury in his freshman year at Illinois State and to achieve his impressive professional career with a multi-national corporation.   


Outstanding Young Alum for 2002

Kirk Nash Kirk O. Nash, '87 has been named Outstanding Young Alum for 2002. In 1988, he started Creative Digital Images, Inc. (CDI), a full service 3D computer animation studio located in the Chicago western suburbs. CDI provides broadcast graphics, product/process visualization for marketing and training, speaker support, courtroom animation and interactive multimedia. In recent years CDI has also been making children's entertainment oriented animation. Kirk O. Nash will be the keynote speaker at the Spring Awards Banquet on May 2, 2002 at the Radisson Hotel and Convention Center  


Outstanding Young Alum for 2001

Paul Walker Paul Walker, 2001 Outstanding Young Alum of the Department of Technology, Plastic Tooling Engineer, Compaq Computer, Houston, Texas.Outstanding Young Alum for 2002



Outstanding Young Alum for 2000

Bernard Pallardy, '90 Construction Management, has been named Outstanding Young Alum for 2000. Upon graduation, Bernard joined Pulte Homes. He rapidly progressed through the ranks at Pulte, learning the home building business, where he soon became the Vice President for Construction and Land Development. As such, he was a member of the senior leadership team responsible for the profit\loss of multiple divisions and recruited and trained the team members for both departments. In the mid 1990's, he was part of the start-up team for the largest residential project in the state of Illinois, Del Webb Sun City at Huntley.

Outstanding Young Alum for 1999

Michael Shannon - '88 Graphic Communications, has been named Outstanding Young Alum for 1999. Michael began his career and spent 12 years working at Schawk. He started out as a plant estimator and later moved to the Corporate Headquarters in a cost analyst role. Michael spent six years as a corporate financial liaison to Schawk's operating sites, responsible for setting hourly cost rates across the company, and conducting financial due diligence for acquisitions. He also worked closely with the company's information technology group, developing a proprietary standard cost accounting system. He later became the Director of Information Technology at Schawk, and held the position for two years before being made General Manager of the Schawk Graphics division in Des Plaines, IL. While serving as General Manager, Michael also led the start-up of Schawk's Cincinnati operation, which became part of his regional P&L responsibility.

Outstanding Young Alum for 1998

Michael Horst - '95 MS Industrial Technology has been named Outstanding Young Alum for 1998. Michael completed his BS at Millersville University (1991) and then worked for Lancaster (PA) General Hospital in Biomedical Engineering before arriving at ISU in 1994 to pursue his M.S. His academic studies had a strong focus on research and training and development in healthcare environments. After graduating, he returned to the Lancaster General Hospital as Director of Continuing Medical Education.

Outstanding Young Alum for 1997

Todd Ballou - '94 BS, '94 MS Industrial Technology has been named Outstanding Young Alum for 1997. After completing his MS as ISU, Todd took a position at the Caterpillar Technical Center where he developed and provided professional development training. He has served on the industry advisory board for the Integrated Manufacturing Systems sequence and the Graduate program.

Outstanding Young Alum for 1996

Keith Hechtel - '92 MS Industrial Technology has been named Outstanding Young Alum for 1996. After earning his MS, Keith joined Curbell Plastics, one of the nation's premier suppliers of plastic sheet, rod, tube, and film materials as well as adhesives and tapes. Curbell supplies products to a wide range of industries including manufacturers of petrochemical, military, aerospace, and semiconductor equipment. He began his career in technical sales helping customers identify plastic materials that can be used to replace metal components in order to achieve quality improvements and cost savings.

2016-10-28T09:17:06.529-05:00 2016